Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Tag: Compost

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.


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.


The sweet smell of success?

Dear Plotters
Today ACC has delivered a load of freshly produced compost, which is located in the lowest bin next to the main car park.
You’ll recognise it from its dark colour and mild fragrance.
To share this out among ourselves, can I suggest that any plotholder takes no more than 5 barrow loads?
As this is the first of this compost we have received, it would be helpful if you could let a committee member know of its effectiveness (later in the season).
 If we receive any further delivery from ACC (either compost or manure), please allow those plot holders who did not take from this delivery to have priority access, for up to an overall total of 5 barrow loads per plot.
Happy plotting,
Best Regards
Michael Hart


I have just come across Martina’s Three Part Guide to Composting over on the Recycle for Aberdeen blog. Martina provides a very useful beginner’s guide to the hows and whys of composting.

Part 1 covers the benefits of composting and suitable compost bins.

Part 2 deals with how to feed your compost bin with the right balance of ingredients, combining Green/Wet and Brown/Dry materials.

Part 3 tells you when and how to use your compost and offers a troubleshooting guide if things go wrong.

Composting our green and brown waste is a great way of getting a soil improver free and helps us do our bit to make Aberdeen a little greener by cutting the use of landfill.

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