Archive for April, 2014

Beechgrove films new allotment site

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Original Field

Original Field

Aden Community Allotments Association, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire was formed in August 2012 with the aim to create allotments and community gardens within the boundaries of Aden Country Park just outside Mintlaw.  It acquired a long term lease from Aberdeenshire Council on a 30 acre former farmers field,  In February 2013 the association successfully secured a grant of over £77,000 from the Climate Challenge Fund. There were still hurdles to jump, for example although full planning permission was not required, the design still had to be submitted to the planning department.

Plots with sheds

Plots with sheds

However in July ground work began to develop the field into 49 allotments ranging in size from 10m x 10m to 20m x20m.  Each plot is provided with a shed, compost bin and water butt. In December 2013 the allotmenteers were able to gain access to their plots.  Over the past three months the allotments have developed.  Every plot holder has their own unique way of managing their plots. It is enlightening to see so many likeminded people coming together, all from different backgrounds to help one another in any way they can.  There is still work to be done on communal areas including the community garden at the site entrance.

Beechgrove Garden visited the plots on the 27th of March for filming on the allotments. This episode (Episode 3) was broadcast on the 17th of April, 7.30pm BBC2.  It can still be viewed using iPlayer.  The Beechgrove team will be back again in May, July and September to continue filming.


For more infomation and lots more pictures see the facebook page. Aden Community Allotment Association (ACAA)





Monday, April 21st, 2014

April is the  ‘lets go for it’ month on the alloment.  But proceed with caution.  With luck  we will all be feeling the benefit of  lengthening days and warm sunshine.  Even so there can be a price to pay, with the threat of hard night frosts never far away. Hold back and wait a day or two rather take a risk.  It isn’t so much the loss of seedlings or young plants that does the damage but the loss of your precious time that you will never get back.  The allotment will always catch up eventually and reward your patience with a bumper harvest.

Sowing and planting

Onion SetsContinue  planting out seed pototoes.  Aim to complete the job by the end of April.  Be prepared to cover the emerging shoots of first earlies with soil if a frost is forecast.  Complete the planting of onion sets and carry on making successional sowing of beetroot, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, spring onions, kohl rahi, radish, turnips, early peas, swiss chard.

Prepare a seed bed and sow the seed leeks and summer cabbage.  Plant out celeriac grown on earlier.  Sow under glass, in pots and trays filled with fresh seed compost, the seed of runner beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, pumpkin, squashes, outdoor/ridge cucumber.

Now is the time to plant up a new asparagus bed.  Remember it will take two more years to establish before producing succulent shoots.


Early sowings of brussel sprouts will need thinning  this month and the soil for next months transplanting of sweetcorn, courgettes, marrows,pumpkins and outdoor/ ridge cucumbers will need preparing. Put up the runner beans poles and start to support the growing peas with brushwood or netting.

Prepare seed beds for outdoor sowing of main crop vegetables next month.

Pest and diseases

Check over top and soft fruit for the first signs of aphids and take appropriate action.  Spray the plants with soapy water (diluted washing up liquid) or squash the flies with your thumb and finger. You can buy a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.  Protect any early strawberries with netting to keep birds and squirrels out.