Suntrap Garden

World’s biggest bring and buy sale

On Wednesday 18 February 2009, Blue Peter is hosting the World’s Biggest Bring and Buy sale at the Lakeside Shopping Centre. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens are helping children grow and eat better food through the Blue Peter’s Mission Nutrition appeal. They have joined up with two other charities, Save the Children and ContinYou, to run the appeal.


Mission Nutrition wants to help children around the world to eat well and grow their own food. It’s also a great way to raise the profile of the community farming and gardening movement and the work their members do on a daily basis to promote the benefits of growing for everyone.

If you can’t come along to their bring and buy sale why not organise your own. A fundraising pack is available on the appeal website.

Alternatively, if you are taking part and want to let us know about it why not leave a comment below.


Bridgend Allotments Community

Will be holding their Health Project’s Third Annual Potato Day.


There will be talks, crafts and lots of activities to take part in.  Seed potatoes for sale.  And, of course, there will be bangers and mash.

Why not come along to Inch House Community Centre on Sunday 22 February between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm. For more details give them a call on 0131c 664 9559.  It’s going to be a great day out.

Night Classes and Workshops at Suntrap


Saturday 10.00am – 12.00 Noon

£6 plus the cost of materials

All classes take place at Suntrap Garden, Gogarburn,

EXCEPT for the Apple Pruning on the 7th February (return mid afternoon).

Saturday 7th February Willie Duncan’s Apple Pruning Work Shop”

Meet at Suntrap Garden car park 9.15am. Mini bus transport to Willie’s garden at Drumeldrie in Fife. There will be a £2 cost per person for transport. Bring packed lunch, hot drink, warm clothes, strong footwear and secateurs. (Limited places)

Saturdays 14th 21th 28th February “Flower Arranging”

For beginners or for people who just want to improve their flower arranging skills and at the end of the three Saturdays students will feel more confident in arranging flowers. (N.B. Cost of flowers & materials extra)
Saturday March 14th “Turf Wars” Caring for your lawn, what to do and what not to do?

Saturday April 18th “Vegetable and fruit growing in a small space” Container vegetable growing.

Saturday May 16th “Hanging gardens of Babylon “Tom Hardwick’s version” Practical workshop planting up containers and baskets for Summer.  Containers, baskets and plants additional cost.

Evening classes

(7pm to 9pm)

‘Design Your Own Garden 11 weeks starting 22nd April £105

‘Amateur Gardening 10 weeks beginning 23rd April £ 80

To Book Workshops or Evening Classes or for more information contact:-

Moira at Oatridge College – 01506 864807


Excesses of Christmas

Are you fed up already with the excesses of Christmas, too much turkey, too many mince pies and too much mulled wine? You probably need a bit of exercise outside in the garden. A great idea at this time of year is to lift a clump of Rhubarb for forcing to give you the earliest and sweetest crop around:


• Choose a large rhubarb plant already growing in your garden, one that is a minimum of three years old is best.
• Dig up the plant keeping as much soil on the roots as possible. (This is not a job for the faint hearted – but you will deserve a small tipple afterwards.)
• Leave the clump outside on the ground to go through at least three or four hard frosts.
• Pot into a large tub, wooden box or even a bag ……. I use a woven blue plastic one from a certain Swedish furniture store! You can use old compost, soil or even sawdust to pot the roots into.
• The plant then needs to go indoors to a temperature of 50 – 60OF in complete darkness, a large cupboard or cellar is ideal.
• Keep the roots moist but not wet and around 10 to 12 weeks later you will be able to harvest your first Rhubarb stalks when they are around a foot to 18” high. The stalks will be bright pink and really sweet with small unformed leaves. Use all the stalks that are produced over around a four week period.
• When the harvest period is finished set the plants back outside. They can be replanted in the spring when they will give a small crop; they will recover back to full cropping outside within a year or two.

If you can’t be bothered with all the fuss described above remember it is easy to force Rhubarb ‘in situ’ later:


• Cover the clumps with upside down buckets, pails or proper custom made clay forcers in March.
• Check during April and May and harvest the young shoots as they appear.
• Give different clumps a ‘rest year’ in between ‘forcing years’.
• Enjoy!!!!

Merry Christmas and happy forcing.

It’s not even Christmas and our thoughts are turning to Spring