allotments community gardening fruit and veg garden furniture gardening recycling

Trug, trug, trug and trug!

It is strange how the word trug has come to mean slightly different things over the last decade or so. Until then the word trug referred to the wooden, hand-made garden carriers first made in Sussex and thus called the Sussex Trug.

This post is specially for one of my followers – she will know who she is – but I hope everyone likes it too.

The Sussex Trugs are still made from chestnut and willow, the  sweet chestnut being used for the frame and willow for the body. The willow is a by-product of the cricket bat industry and the chestnut comes from coppiced wood.

We use our Sussex Trug in the garden when we harvest fruit from our trees, to hold bulbs ready to be planted and we find them convenient for lots of small jobs. We have been using Sussex Trugs for 20 years or so and we are only on our second one – they last for ages!

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We also have a trug which we use for collecting cut flowers from the garden. This one is made from willow wands. This one has a flat bottom rather than the boat shape of its Sussex cousins so is great for holding our cut flowers as we cut them from the garden. The photo shows it being used to hold Nerine bulbs ready for planting.

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The latest garden carrier to be given the name trug is made from recycled plastic and has proven itself to be one of the most useful pieces of garden equipment to hit the garden centres for years. These are available in lots of colours, sizes and dimensions so have a wide variety of uses around the garden.

We use ours when we are harvesting, pruning in the borders, watering and spreading compost as a mulch on our soil. On our allotment we even used a shallow but wide one to create a small wildlife pond. Every gardener has their own range of uses for the plastic trug.

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Trugs originated in Sussex, where they have been made for two centuries, because there was plenty of coppiced woods with Sweet Chestnut trees and plenty of willows found in marshy areas of the county. The word trug originated from the Anglo-Saxon word trog meaning a wooden vessel or boat-shaped article. They were used as measures or scoops for grain.

So just one more trug to show, the new veg trug. These big wooden raised beds for growing vegetables in are sold by several companies now but they are all virtually the same. The veg trug provides a growing space which is raised to a comfortable working height and allows anyone with the smallest space, even a patio, to grow vegetables and herbs. On our allotment site we have three which we use for our young gardeners to use. The first one we had was planted up by them as a pollinators garden. The other two are recent acquisitions so have yet to be planted by the youngsters of Bowbrook Allotment Community.

We spent a sunny spring day planting up the trug. The children worked with their parents, grandparents and committee members planting up herbaceous perennials and watering them in.

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The children have been looking after their pollinator garden ever since. They particularly enjoyed the watering!

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Jude and friend Sherlie made up the two new trugs which arrived flat packed. In the spring the children will plant them up and will then have a trio of trugs to look after.

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And here are our two new trugs built by Sherlie and Jude now filled with compost and planted with lots of different bulbs of every possible colour shape and size. Can’t wait until Spring wakes them up!

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