Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Tag: Compost Page 1 of 2

Alpaca Poo Pricing Consternation

Apparently negotiations took on Brexit-like tensions at one point during the delivery of our first consignment of Alpaca Poo.

Nah, only kidding, all went smoothly and everyone seems pleased with their deliveries. Hopefully, we will see more deliveries on the future. Thanks go to Mari-Anne (Plot 49) for getting this in place.

Alpaca Poo anyone?

Apparently Alpaca Poo packs quite a punch. Mari-Anne on Plot 49 has found a source on Facebook (he owns ‘Highland Alpacas’ in Balmedie) who is selling “Alpaca Poo – organic fertiliser” and is keen to order some to try. It’s currently £4 for a 20KG bag with £6 delivery and he has 76 bags at the moment. Stuart (Plot 8) is willing to coordinate a bulk order to the site if enough plotters are interested in getting some. Please get in touch with Stuart directly if you are interested.

Thanks to Pixabay for the licence free Alpaca photo.

 

Coffee Grounds Anyone?

We have very kindly been offered spent coffee-grounds from one of Aberdeen’s baristas. A quick internet check reveals that there are differing views on how useful coffee grounds are in a garden.

However the grounds certainly have some uses and are being delivered free of charge to our site. You will find a small pile accumulating at the bottom of our allotment site beside where George dumps the grass cuttings. Please help yourself.

A job well done

The Volunteers Squad took on quite a challenge today sorting out the Primary Plot Compost Bins. Tough work, but the gang took it in their stride – as always. Not shown here, but fully involved, were Stewart (Plot 59) and Volunteer Irene.

Anne, Doug, Norman and Jordi.

Himalayan Balsam

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.

Bonfire boys – and girl.

DSC_1770

StuartThanks to the Magnificent Seven who helped with the bonfire today. We started in snow at 10.00, but finished in sunshine at 12.30 – largely due to the above and beyond efforts of our helpers.  No names, no pack drill, but thanks to all who were able to find the time to help.

It was very satisfying to see our site get a good clear up as tonnes of old wood, rasp canes and the like went up in smoke.  It’s amazing how much rubbish we seem to gather over the course of a plotting year.

It was less satisfying to have to wade though the piles of cut grass, weeds, plastic, old metal and other non-combustible debris that were left to be dealt with.  Please remember that there is NO facility for the collection of waste from our site and plotters should remove such materials from the site and use their domestic brown or black bins for their disposal – assuming they cannot be composted on individual plots.  Remember that most annual green waste is compostable and provides an excellent soil improver – this being the greenest possible form of treatment.  Plotters without cars can approach any committee member who will be pleased to help with alternative methods of removal where it is possible.

We are suffering a spate of fly tipping.  If you do see anyone dropping off waste on site, please challenge them and take a note of their car numbers, or better still photograph them.  Get in touch with a committee member and we will inform the appropriate authorities to take action where and when we can.

 

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