Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

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Dung and/or Compost Opportunity

We were all disappointed to find that our local supply of cow dung had dried up – so to speak! We are investigating alternatives which can be delivered in bigger tonnages – of domestic green waste compost and/or manure.

The scrapping of the containers from site produced a one-off windfall for GFAA funds and we hope to make around four barrowloads of dung and/or domestic green waste compost available free of charge to GFAA members.

We fear demand my outpace supply, so requests will be fulfilled on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

If you are interested, please leave a comment below this post with your name and plot number. The compost/dung will be delivered to your plot once it is available. This may take a few weeks to organise. Bear with us.

If things work out and there is enough interest we may try to repeat this exercise.

New Projects Underway

We are delighted to acknowledge the generous support of Scotmid’s Community Orchard Scheme that allowed GFAA to purchase 5 new fruit trees for our site. Thanks also go to our volunteer squad who recently completed the planting.

Last Friday also saw preparations for the installation of our new cabin take a step forward with the start of the container removal exercise. A big thanks to all those who cleared their containers to allow this to proceed and of course Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund which provided the funding for the cabin.

Garthdee Field Soundscape

Regular visitors will remember that Anna and Fiona from the, It’s a Small World programme on BBC Radio Scotland visited with us some weeks back.

The programme went out early Sunday morning, but can be accessed at any time via BBC Sounds.

Hi-Tech Gardening Advice

Artificial Intelligence is much in the news – as always – and Chat GPT was until recently, and perhaps still is, flavour of the month. If you have not yet given it a go, checking it out might take your mind off this terrible weather.

I checked it out tonight asking this question: Why should I go to the bother of making my own garden compost? Here’s what it came back with:

There are many benefits of making your own garden compost, including:

  1. Improving soil quality: Garden compost is rich in nutrients and can help improve the quality of soil by providing essential organic matter and minerals.
  2. Reducing waste: Making your own garden compost is a great way to reduce the amount of kitchen and garden waste going to landfill.
  3. Saving money: Buying compost from garden centers or nurseries can be expensive, so making your own can save you money in the long run.
  4. Promoting biodiversity: Garden compost supports diverse soil life, including beneficial bacteria and fungi, which can help promote a healthy ecosystem in your garden.
  5. Sustainability: Composting is a sustainable practice that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from organic waste in landfills.

Overall, making your own garden compost is an easy and rewarding way to improve soil fertility, reduce waste, save money, and promote sustainability in your garden.

Pretty good I thought. What do you think? Then I tried what I thought might be a bit harder. I asked for suggestions for companion plant combinations that would work well in a Scottish vegetable garden. This answer came back in seconds:

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experience or knowledge of specific locations like Scotland. However, here are some suggested companion planting combinations that can work well in vegetable gardens:

  1. Carrots, onions, and lettuce are good companions as they help repel pests such as carrot rust flies and onion maggots while the lettuce provides shade for the carrots.
  2. Tomatoes, basil, and marigolds make a great combination as basil improves the flavor of tomatoes while also repelling pests, while marigolds repel various pests.
  3. Cabbage, celery, and beets grow well together as cabbage and celery stimulate the growth of beets while repelling pests.
  4. Beans, peas, and corn form an ideal trio as beans add nitrogen to the soil, peas fix it, and corn provides support for both.
  5. Spinach, radishes, and strawberries make a great match as radishes deter aphids and strawberry moths while spinach helps to suppress weeds.

Note that these are companion planting suggestions and may not work in all circumstances, depending on your soil type, climate, and other factors. Also, remember to rotate your crops to prevent diseases and pests from building up in the soil.

OK, good. Chat knows its limitations. But can it make up a garden joke? How about a limerick? I asked for a limerick about a gardener with a bad back. Here’s what it offered:

There once was a gardener quite green,
Whose back was the weakest you’ve seen,
He’d bend and he’d twist,
But then he’d enlist,
A robot to help with the weeding.

:-) 10 out of 10! Except we at Garthdee Field use volunteers not robots. Only kidding! :-)

OK Smart Alex how about this: What do a basket of fruit and a punnet of potatoes have in common? Here’s what came back:

As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs, but the answer to your question is that both a basket of fruit and a punnet of potatoes are containers for storing and transporting food.

Blooming heck – there just might just be something to this. Give it a go and let us know how you get on. Link above.

Garthdee Field on the Wireless

Well Radio for the youngsters I guess.

Your will recall that Fiona and Anna from BBC Scotland visited a week or se back to record a number of interviews for their programme, It’s a Small World. Fiona has been in touch with the details of the upcoming broadcast.

I just wanted to let you know that the Garthdee allotment programme will be going out under the title of It’s a Small World on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday 19 March at 6 00 am. Very early, I know but you can also access the programme at any time via BBC Sounds. I’d be grateful if you can let our other contributors know also please.

Anna and I very much enjoyed our visit to the allotments and I hope you like what you hear.

Many thanks for all your help.

Best wishes

Thanks to all who helped out on the day.

Bonfire Date Change

Please note the annual bonfire has been moved back a week to Tuesday 21 March 2023. Sorry – but the weather dictates.

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