The Secret Herb Garden's beekeeper, Brian Pool, is a third-generation professional beekeeper with over 40 years of experience.
Brian's fascination with bees was kindled at the age of four, watching his grandfather in Cornwall tending his hives and he has had bees ever since his father gave him his first hive.
The weather in December has been unseasonably mild during the day so far and this will be appreciated by those who still have crops growing on their plot at this time of year .
In my case there are some leeks left, many of which shot during a dry spell earlier in the year and I’m doubtful they will be edible.
Other leeks which had been stunted in growth by planting in a container were planted out a few weeks ago however they have been massacred by a rabbit or some other pest and there is not much left.
Click here to read~
November on the allotment is a time to take stock of your plants, bushes and trees and do a general tidy up for next Spring
I was at my plot a few days ago and the ground was white with frost and hard underfoot.
Jobs which can be carried out at this time of year are to -
Prune apples and pears after leaf drop
Prune grape vines after leaf fall – cut out all fruited shoots back to two buds from the main stem
Take hard wood cuttings of gooseberries, redcurrants, white and black currants
Divide and pot up plants of mint and chive for winter use and keep under cover
FEDAGA has been approached by a student doing an Honours disertation on allotments and she would like as many people as possible to complete her survey to give her the data she needs.
There's a short survey for the general public: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3GFKBZV
and a more detailed one for allotment holders: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CHMQV7X
You may recollect responding to a survey earlier this year asking for comments on proposals regarding allotment legislation in the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. Well, the Scottish Government wants to refine these findings as part of the Consultation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill. The specific section dealing with allotments is reproduced below.
This year's AGM takes place at the Southside Community Centre, 117 Nicolson Street at 7.15pm on Tuesday the 15th October.
This is a busy time in the allotment as many vegetables are now ready for harvesting and the decent Summer weather means that crop yields are much higher than last year. A few weeks ago I lifted all of my onions as the soil conditions had become so dry that the onions had all pushed themselves out of the ground and the leaves had started to die back. Onions will start to rot in the soil if left too long after they have matured so lifting them seemed a wise choice. Onions will keep for several months if allowed to dry out and kept in dry, cool conditions.
FEDAGA has received the following from the Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities Directorate,
Agriculture and Rural Development Division concerning the Safe Haven scheme to maintain the health of Scotland's Seed Potatoes:
The health of Scotland’s seed potato crops is fundamental to both commercial and amateur
growers. Around 10,000 tonnes of seed potatoes in small packages are sold annually to
gardeners and amateur growers from a variety of sources including gardening centres, mail
order and the internet. The purpose of this letter is twofold. Firstly to provide information
about the conditions which apply to such retail sales and secondly to ask if you could alert
your members who grow seed potatoes to the awareness campaign being run by the Potato
Council, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
The on-line King's Seeds scheme continues 24/7. Go to "Seed Trading Scheme" and click through.
The seed potatoes and onion sets trading scheme is run separately. As these orders are more bulky it makes more sense to deal with transport and delivery ourselves and we will continue to do it this way. However, we rely on our network of site reps to publicise the scheme, take the orders (and cash) and arrange for someone to attend the FEDAGA Shop in Inverleith one bright sunny morning in February to uplift their site's order.
FEDAGA Trading Schemes are only available to members of affiliated sites. Here are details of this year's offers.