Garthdee Allotments

Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Anyone for a nettle patch?

This month’s Keep Scotland Beautiful and It’s Your Neighbourhood e-newsletter has an interesting article on why it’s perhaps a good idea to find a wee spot for a nettle patch on our plots, or elsewhere around the site perhaps.

Photo Credit: Phil Wilkie

The Council now encourages us to promote bio-diversity around the site and allowing a nettle patch to establish can be a good and easy starting point. You might want to give careful thought to where you put it mind you.

Nettles are great for balancing out your home-made comfrey tea liquid fertiliser as well. A recent Beechgrove Garden experiment showed that these two in combination made for a more successful tomato feed than commercially available chemical feeds.

I’m told that nettles have many uses in the kitchen too, but, I have to be honest I have yet to put this to the test myself. Can any one share some suggestions?

UPDATE:

Funny the way things happen. I posted this and popped into Youtube and found this had been posted up only today.

Site Security

Hi Everyone,

We’ve had reports from some plotters that tools such as hoes a rake and a spade have recently gone missing as well as some specialised plants. We all need to be alert and aware of the possibility of opportunistic thefts.

If you have any security issues please let any member of the committee know.

Please also remember to secure the chain at the site entrance if you think you are the last person to leave the site in the evening. Those who open the overhead barrier should ensure that they close it when they leave, but if you discover that it has been left open inadvertently, please close it.

Thankyou,
Stuart

Stuart

Missing Keys

A set of keys were found on site at Garthdee Field and handed in today.

UPDATE

Thanks to everyone who helped – the keys are now relocated in their rightful kingdom.

Going, going, gone

Sadly, a number of plotters have reported that recently, items have gone missing from their plots. Examples include hand tools from sheds, perennial and other veggies dug up from beds, bird feeders removed from fences and hand-sanitiser taken from the composting toilets.

We know that this happens from time to time, but we have had a long period relatively free of such thefts. Stuart asks that we take care to lock away items where we can, make sure communal buildings and containers are kept padlocked and report to a member of the Committee any recent losses or others in the future. It’s important that we build up a picture of how bad the problem is, as we plan an appropriate response.

Himalayan Balsam (again)

Pat at the council has been in touch with this bad news.

Dear Allotment Tenant

I am sorry to inform you that Himalayan Balsam seed may be present in the compost delivered to the allotment sites listed below.

A number of allotment tenants have advised us that they have identified seedlings growing on the compost as being Himalayan Balsam.

The compost has now been removed from all the allotment sites except King Street where the compost is being managed on site.
(For King Street Allotment tenants please do not use this compost until advised it is Himalayan Balsam free which will be when there is no new growth of annual seedlings.)

Slopefield
Greyhope Road
Holburn Street
Garthdee Field
Cults
Bankhead
King Street
Sclattie Quarry
Gray Street

If you have used any of this compost or are an allotment tenant on one of the above sites, please be vigilant as Himalayan Balsam spreads very easily and is an non-native invasive weed.
Unfortunately, this plant is spreading everywhere especially along our river banks. You may have seen Himalayan Balsam when walking along the banks of the River Dee or the River Don. It flowers predominantly in July and August and is particularly prevalent either side of the Brig o Dee, the Persley Bridge , the Diamond Bridge, along Seaton Park and at Donmouth.

Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant and produces colourful flowers. After flowering it produces seeds for the following year and when touched the seed pod bursts and sends the seeds flying in all directions.

It is important that this plant is controlled and not allowed to produce seeds that will be next year’s plant. Perhaps the best control is to pull the plant out of the ground before the flowers are fully out and left to dry, wither and die as per the average weed. It can be hoed out or cut down too. Control requires to be carried out before the flowers are fully out which is usually just before August. The plant will be recognisable to most during June and July.
If pulled out before the flowering stage which is before the seeds are produced it can be composted. If you are unsure of the stage it would be best not to compost and just leave the pulled plants to dry and wither.

Please find attached an information sheet on Himalayan Balsam.

Further information and advice is available online using the links below or searching “Himalayan Balsam”

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=480

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/himalayan-balsam

Kind regards

Pat

Dandelions, bonnie, but …

Dandelion, sporting a COVID-19 head of hair.

Pretty and invasive I guess we could agree. Of course the bees love them, they are native, but perhaps we can have too many of them? What do you think?

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