Category Archives: Allotment garden

New4me: cauliflower recipe. Mmmmm!

I never thought of roasting cauliflower. Check out this blog. Keep scrolling…the recipes get better and better!!  As I have planted caulis this year I can look forward to trying some of them.

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More about garlic scapes

 I have been looking into this, as I thought I didn’t get scapes because I was too far north.  But it seems it must be the variety of garlic that is the factor, not so much the latitude.
I have found a garlic grower in Nairn, Scotland (farther north than Edinburgh, where I am). They are the Really Garlicky Company .  Click on the “More about the products” button to have all your garlicky questions answered. Including all about scapes.  It is the hard-necked garlic that grows scapes, not the usual soft-neck one.
Here is what they say:
“Technically, it is allium sativum ophioscorodon. Unlike the softneck garlic grown commercially, especially in Spain and China, this garlic subspecies produces a hard, woody flower stalk. The flower (topset or umbel) often contains bulbils. Many varieties develop partial or full coils in the stalks (scapes). We have to remove the scape in order to increase the size of the harvested bulbs.”

What a fascinating subject! This certainly is new for me!

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Garlic scapes – a bonus crop

I had never heard of scapes before today. But it seems they are tasty, versatile, free (if you have planted garlic!) and a garlic-lover’s paradise!!

They are a shoot that grows from mature garlic, though I have never seen it in mine. Perhaps the weather in Edinburgh isn’t hot enough, or maybe the scapes are more common on autumn planted garlic (mine usually goes in the ground in February or even March).

You can learn about garlic scapes here.

How about making scape pesto? Sounds delicious!

And if you want links to more scape recipes and stuff go here.

I love garlic, so will look forward to trying out some of these recipes.  This year I may try to get the garlic in the ground in the autumn and look for the tasty scapes next year.


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Organic slug control – garlic

I met a lady who runs a garden centre in East Lothian (damp Scotland!). She was telling me that her dahlias had been badly hit by slugs – in previous years, that is. But this year she is trying a new remedy – garlic water! It sounded good to me, and she said it seems to be working so far. 

Here is Cilla’s recipe for Slug Deterrant.
Take two heads of garlic. Peel and crush them.
Boil for 4 or 5 minutes in 2 pints of water.
Strain, and make up the liquid to 2pints
Leave the liquid to cool and bottle.
To use, take 1 tablespoon of the garlic water and add to 1 gallon of water in a watering can.
Water over your plants and leave to dry. Apparently this works best on a dry day, as the bitter liquid dries on the leaves. The slugs must not like the taste as Cilla’s dahlias are the best they have been for ages!

 This I will be trying on the allotment. We are over-ridden with the wee slimy beasties!

The Root blog has a fascinating page on this very subject of slug control, copper and garlic here .  We can learn so much from each other.

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Controlling slugs

This season my friend and I are trying a new method of slug control. I am much more squeemish than she is.  Slugs and snails that she spots are humanely dispatched – using a rock and a breeze block!

This, coupled with the fact that she crushes any eggs she finds, has depleted their numbers. But the cabbages and other baby seedlings will prove a big temptation form the remaining “slimies”. So we are going to plant some tender things like pak choi, lettuce and chard in containers – maybe some strawberry plants, too.

We like to use as few chemicals as possible, so were delighted to learn about a method of slug control to suit the organic gardener. The containers will be stood on “Shocka mat”.  This is  a barrier fabric treated with copper. Apparently it gives the beasties a wee shock if they go on it, so we shall see what happens.

You could put it on the ground and plant through it (strawberries, maybe). But it is also ideal for cutting into mats for pots and other containers.


After looking around for the best deal, we found it on an economical roll at

Keep scrolling and you will find it, as well as other methods of slug control.

Heres some piccies from their site – used by permission.


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Are plant pests a headache? Use aspirin!

Allotment gardeners often have some strange sounding ideas, and some odd solutions to problems. And “Tony the Hoe” has written about a cracker of an idea – Spraying plants with diluted aspirin to boost their immune system.
I once knew an old lady gardener whose motto was “Try anything once, dear.” So I may well give this one a go. Tony points out that aspirin is derived from willow and helps boost the natural immunity of plants against pests and diseases. He has used it to counteract onion eelworm.
He has heaps of other interesting information and I plan to have a good root through his excellent blog. The category list looks very tasty!

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