It’s Potato Day 🥔

It’s only the biggest day of the year!

If you’re a follower of our Facebook group, you’ll have been reading about all the last-minute details posted by Jan, our fantastic Potato Day organiser.

For those of you who haven’t, here’s a run-down of the key info:

  • The venue: Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre (in Dennistoun, just off Duke Street and near Bellgrove railway station)
  • The time: 11am – 3pm
  • The programme: potato sales, workshops, face painting, seed swapping, and cake!
  • The potatoes: see down below, or download the list to your device:
  • 12 noon workshops

    Keeping Bees on the Allotment

    Many folk say they’re interested in keeping bees but there are many things to consider, especially on an allotment site. Hear first-hand experience, valuable advice, and enthusiasm for bees!

    Speaker: Delia Henry, independent bee-keeper

    An Intro to Home Composting

    Rose will explain how to enrich and improve your garden or allotment with home-made compost and reduce kitchen and garden waste. She’ll cover how to set up a composting system, where, when, how and why, what (and what not!) to compost, as well as how ot manage your system and any problems.

    Speaker: Rose Harvey, master composter

    Wild Secrets of the Hidden Gardens

    What and where are the Hidden Gardens? Find out about its development from an abandoned derelect site to the beautiful community oasis that it is today. Come and hear about the wildlife-fireldy garden projects and surveys going on, and how you can encourage and sustain wildlife on your plot, community, school or home gardens.

    Speaker: Paula Murdoch, Hidden Gardens

  • 1:30 workshops


    Have you ever considered saving your own seed? Seed-saving is easy and it saves you money. Learn the basics of saving seeds from your own home-grown produce, as well as the steps for better germination and growing stronger, healthier plants.

    Speaker: Richie Walsh, Glasgow Community Food Network

    Glasgow City Food Plan

    We all love food and we all enjoy growing it. Discover how Glasgow can grow high-quality, fresh, local, organic produce that is available and affordable for all, and when good food is a celebrated part of our culture.

    Speaker: Abi Mordin, Glasgow Community Food Network

    Healthy Soil

    Living soil has the same four basic requirements we do: food, water, shelter and air. How do you look after your soil? What type of diet does itneed? How do you supply what’s missing? Come and learn how to build soil health, and maintain it all year round.

    Speaker: Emma Iller, Urban Roots

Potato Varieties

VarietyOrganic?Cropping  Time
1Accord1st early
2Arran Pilot1st early
3Casablanca1st early
4Duke of York 1st early
5Dunluce1st early
6Epicure1st early
7International Kidney1st early
8Lady Christl1st early
9Maris Bard1st early
10Pentland Javelin1st early
11Premiere1st early
12Red Duke of York1st early
13Rocket1st early
14Sharpes Express1st early
15Swift1st early
16Winston1st early
17Abbott2nd early
18Bambinoorg2nd early
19Bonnie2nd early
20Charlotte2nd early
21Elfe* 2nd early
22Gemson2nd early
23Kestrel 2nd early
24Nadine2nd early
25Nicola2nd early
26Shetland Black 2nd early
27Wilja 2nd early
28Vivaldi*2nd early
29Yukon Gold2nd early
30AmourMain Crop
31Arran VictoryorgMain Crop
32CaraMain Crop
33DesireeMain Crop
34Golden WonderMain Crop
35HarmonyMain Crop
36Kerrs PinkMain Crop
37Kifli Main Crop
38King EdwardMain Crop
39Kingsman Main Crop
40Maris PiperMain Crop
41Mayan Gold Main Crop
42OrlaMain Crop
43PicassoMain Crop
44Pink Fir AppleMain Crop
45Pink Gypsy Main Crop
46Salad BlueMain Crop
47Sarpo MiraMain Crop
48Sarpo ShonaMain Crop
49Red EmmalieMain Crop
50Rooster*Main Crop
All varieties 20p per tuber. 20 tubers of one variety £3 Except for Albert Barlett* pre-packs – can’t be divided

New Plotholder Awards 🏆

An award issued by The Incorporation of Gardeners of Glasgow

Each year, we award a prize to the best new plotholder across all of the allotment sites Glasgow. If you’ve taken on your plot since January 2019 (yes, the start of last year), you’re eligible to apply before the deadline of July 2020.

We wanted to let you know now so that you can a) get planning, and b) take a photo of your plot before you get started (see the judging criteria, below)!

The aim of the awards

To recognise the work of new plot-holders and to encourage a good standard of cultivation in its widest sense.

Who can enter?

Any plot-holder who is an Allotment Association member of a Council or privately owned site – within the Glasgow City area. The plot-holder can have taken on their new plot at any time after January 1st of the year preceding entry, thus giving an opportunity to apply over 2 growing seasons. (i.e. January 1st 2019 for entry by July 2020).

How do you enter?

By application form:

Judging will take place within July and will be confirmed later.

Applicants and site secretaries will be sent a receipt of acknowledgment of the application form. Please contact us directly if you do not receive this confirmation.

Plotholders should ensure that someone is able to open the site and show the plot to be judged on the day. Plotholders will be emailed the preceding evening to advise whether the visit will be in the morning or the afternoon and will be messaged by text approximately 45 minutes before the judge expects to arrive at their site.

Presentation of prizes will be at the GAF Celebration of Allotments Event on October 3rd 2020.

What are the prizes?

  • 1st Prize: £50 gardening vouchers & 1st Prize certificate designed by the Incorporation of Gardeners.
  • 2nd Prize: £40 gardening vouchers & 2nd Prize certificate designed by the Incorporation of Gardeners.

  • There are up to 3 Highly Commended prizes of £20 each, at the judge’s discretion.
  • 2 Commendation prizes of £20 are awarded for the most significant progress in overcoming adversity in particularly challenging conditions.

What are the judging criteria?

A short description of the state of the plot when it was assigned must be included with the entry form, along with photographs of the state of the plot at assignment.

Areas of judging & awarding of points:

  1. Overall Growing Plan – including attention to sustainability and biodiversity in both the process and your desired outcomes in matters like rainwater harvesting, mulching, soil care, understanding of crop rotation etc. (maximum 20 points)
  2. Overall appearance – general tidiness, evidence of planning &
    organisation. Appropriate proportion of the plot as growing space. Structures such as sheds and greenhouses, if present, should be in a serviceable state of repair. (maximum 20 points)
  3. Cultivation should be generally weed-free with evidence of on-going cultivation. A variety of healthy plants – vegetables, fruit and flowers – should be growing. Appropriate weed-control strategies are acceptable for areas not yet cultivated. (maximum 20 points)
  4. Paths, hedges and boundaries including frontage should be tidy and clear of pernicious weeds. (maximum 10 points)
  5. Systems and methods of composting, rainwater harvesting, and water conservation should be evident. Evidence of an understanding of biodiversity and soil care and nurture. (maximum 20 points)
  6. Evidence of your contribution to the wider allotment community including supporting other new allotmenteers, contributing to the care of communal areas, contributing to committee, contributing to open days etc. (maximum 10 points)
  • Good luck, and happy planning!

Count your slugs! 🐌

(Okay, that’s a snail. There isn’t a slug emoji, though…)

From 20 January until 2 March 2020, the Royal Horticultural Society and Newcastle University are on a recruitment drive for 60 volunteers to help out with a year-long study.

You must:

  • Be interested in learning more about slugs and how to identify them
  • Be able to survey a garden at night for 30 minutes once a month for a full year
  • Be willing to collect slugs and send them to our scientist

In return, you’ll receive:

  • An invitation to a free face to face training course on slug identification (travel costs not covered)
  • All the materials needed for the survey at no cost to you
  • A free FSC guide to identifying slugs
  • Personal correspondence and support from the RHS scientist leading this research

Starting the season 🌱

It’s that time again! The days are getting longer and, if you can dodge the rain for long enough, you can start getting a head-start on your plot.

On 9 January, the bi-monthly GAF meeting had the topic of ‘Starting the Season – Rearing Your Own Plants‘. Some of our most experienced members shared tips and answered questions from newer plotholders in a discussion that was so spirited it had to be forcibly cut off to make time for the business meeting that followed!

For those of you who couldn’t make it along, we’ve packaged up a summary of the key points. Skip on to page 2 below to read them online, or grab yourself a copy to download and keep (and print for the inside of your shed door, perhaps…)

> Don’t miss another discussion – put our bi-monthly meeting dates in your diary.

Get your allotments involved! UN climate summit – COP26

What’s COP26?

Officially a general term meaning ‘Conference of the Parties’, the most well-known COP is the annual conference officially known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The 25th annual COP – COP25 – was recently held in Madrid (although it was originally planned for Chile, before civil unrest took hold and it was relocated).

It’s a big deal, and it’s coming to Glasgow from 9 – 19 November 2020.

What does it have to do with me?

First up, 30,000 delegates and 200 leaders from around the world are expected to arrive in the city, so you can expect some disruption. They’ll be based around the Scottish Events Campus, so security arrangements and travel around that part of the city are likely to be affected.

You can also expect accommodations to be booked up around that time of year, and with Greater Glasgow’s population temporarily growing by 5% (but likely all packed in around the middle), there’ll be a lot more people all competing to be fed and entertained in the city centre. Worth noting if you have any big events during that couple of weeks…

Secondly, each COP comes with an informal fringe, which is an opportunity for the public to get involved.

What is the COP fringe?

Totally self-organised, and separate from the actual summit, COP fringe events are a place for the public to get involved and talk about climate change issues.

From campaign groups and protests to local food-growing organisations and educational activities, it’s a chance for a wide range of people to have a platform.

The Scottish Climate Change Secretary has arranged that the Glasgow Science Centre – just across the river from the SEC – will be a host venue to some of these activities.

The Science Centre won’t be big enough (or just won’t suit) a lot of the activities people want to run across the city, though, and it’s important that everyone with an idea for a fringe event has a space to collaborate and organise.

So who’s organising it, and what will they do?

Over the past few months, a national group has started to self-organise. Representatives from lobbying groups, environment-focused NGOs (think Friends of the Earth), trade unions, climate justice organisations, and local community groups have all entered the mix.

This group doesn’t go by an overall name, but you can think of it as a coalition of UK civil society groups. Broadly, it’s anyone who isn’t part of the country’s official, governmental involvement.

You can read more about them at

‘We are working in a broad, diverse and inclusive formation to organise ourselves as UK civil society around COP26 and are in the process of establishing UK-level and Scottish-level coordinating groups, with Scottish representation on the UK group and strong communication between the two groups.’

COP26 coalition

How can I help my allotments / GAF get involved?

Short answer – think about whether:

  • your allotment site could open its doors to the community in some way that relates to the challenges of a changing climate, or
  • you or your allotment members could bring your knowledge of small-scale, sustainable food-growing out to the community at some other venue, or
  • you could help GAF coordinate these kinds of activities between sites, or
  • you know of some other food-growing-type group who might like to be involved

Some of the GAF members were invited to the most recent coalition meeting in November – you can read about what happened and decide if you want to get involved.