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Gardening Hints & Tips

For seasonal advice and growing tips for our varied climate in Scotland. The diversity of the landscape, weather and light conditions make gardening in Scotland both a challenge and a delight.  Nevertheless we do all have four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter – although in some parts of Scotland the timing may seem different!  And what also seems even stranger is that whilst you might expect seasons to be further behind in the north of Scotland sometimes that is not the critical factor! Don’t miss the regular feedback on activities and progress with fruit and vegetables on the Caley allotment in Edinburgh. 

Advice on handling compost

Following the reports of Legionnaires disease in Scotland linked to compost, Health Protection Scotland have reminded gardeners of a few simple good hygiene tips to help you during gardening:

  • Wear gloves.
  • Wear a dust mask if you are working on anything dusty, particularly indoors.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you finish.
  • If you are going to smoke, wash your hands before doing so.

As well as the general advice above, the following advice can help you avoid breathing in dust:

  • Store compost, potting mixes, mulches and soil in a cool place, away from the sun.
  • Open any bags carefully in a well ventilated area and if possible using a safety blade or sharp knife.
  • Keep the door or a window open in greenhouses or sheds when potting-up plants or filling hanging baskets.
  • Wear a dust mask if you are working on anything dusty, particularly indoors.

Growing tips

There are a variety of books and websites that will give you information on different aspects of growing. Some useful books which address Scotland’s growing conditions include:

  • Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland, Ken Cox and Caroline Beaton ( 2012)
  • Growing your own vegetables, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2012)
  • Garden Plants for Scotland, Ken Cox and Raoul Curtis-Machin (May 2008)(2nd Edition 2015).

For those of you interested in growing fruit trees, the online pollination checker from Ashridge Nurseries is an easy to use tool  which will ensure you find the correct pollination partner for your tree.

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