Archive for December, 2013

Climate Challenge grant for Killandean Allotment Association

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Killandean Community Allotment Association have recently received £101,370 in the latest round of grant awards from the Climate Challenge Fund!   The money will be used to fund  the planned Phase I of a project to develop 35 allotment plots and a community garden on 2 acres of land owned by West Lothian council in Livingston. The grant will cover the cost of fencing, paths, community facilities, sheds, rainwater harvesting and composting as well as communal tools and other minor items.

The project is supported by both West Lothian Council and Livingston Village Community Council.  The end result will be the first allotment site for 25 years to be developed in West Lothian on local authority owned land. Work is expected to start on site in the middle of 2014, once the final details of the lease and planning consent have been agreed.  As well as providing a growing space for local residents, the allotment site is projected to save more than 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next 15 years.

This is December

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Last LeafThe year is coming to an end and the longest night this month heralds the slow advance towards next season. So take a bit of time to reflect on your successes and to consider what went wrong with some crops. Always remember, there are no failures in gardening, it is always down to the weather, furry things or acts of god. Allow yourself a little relaxing time around the New Year and be ready to hit the ground running in 2014.

Harvesting

Brussel SproutsKeep picking the brussels sprouts to ensure the sprouts don’t blow open. Also harvest winter cabbage regularly although, depending on variety,  they can remain in soil for months. In reasonable weather, parsnips and leeks can be left in the ground to be lifted as needed.

If a prolonged cold or wet spell is forecast you can lift leeks and parsnips to be used at a later date.  Store  them in a container of old compost or soil.  Cabbages and even sprouts can be lifted with their roots in a soil ball and stored in shed or greenhouse. Don’t forget to water the soil occasionally.

Sowing and Planting

There isn’t anything to sow in garden this month except onion seed. This should be sown in trays or pots in gentle heat towards the end of the year.  Treat yourself for once and spend some dream time looking through the pages of the seeds catalogue.   Post your order ASAP.

General

Check over all your tools in the shed to make sure that they are safe and fit to use next season. Clean metal and wipe  down all wooden handles with linseed oil. This preserves the wood and also makes it more comfortable on the hands.