Plotters will be aware of this message sent out by Stuart 10 days ago.

Pat Wilson at Aberdeen City Council has emailed to say that some recipients, at other Council allotments, of the recent delivery of compost from the Council have discovered Himalayan Balsam growing in it. This is a non-native invasive species.
“This is an annual plant which grows each year from the previous year’s seeds, so the aim of control is to prevent the plant from flowering and setting seed. Scattered plants are best pulled by hand, being careful to remove the whole plant. Cutting or grazing on dense stands can also achieve control but cutting should not be attempted once the seed heads have formed, as this would effectively spread the plant.”

The young seedlings look like this:

Himalayan Balsam Seedlings

If you have helped yourself to compost please keep checking for these seedlings and pull them out but don’t put them in your compost bin. It has been suggested to leave them on the surface to let them dry out in a controlled environment then bag and removed them from the site for disposal.

Over the next few months we will all have to keep checking as the seeds work their way to the surface. Hopefully with a combined effort we will be able to get rid of this invasion. If we can prevent these plants from reaching the flowering stage we should be ok.

Stuart has arranged for the Council to come and remove the remaining pile of infected compost.

This is a website with information on Himalayan Balsam.