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Fantastic tips from everyone!  What a brill idea to grow the carrots in a bag!  Never thought of it, & even though I could build Newgrange (or Stonehenge) with the stone from my garden, I think I can still have a go at parsnips using the 'old-timer's' method.  Many thanks from everyone.  

Hello everyone. Great info from all. I've grown a few fruits & veg in my garden in the last couple of years...tomatoes, green beans,chillies, blueberries, strawberries & plums. This year I'm trying Butternut Squash & Pumpkin 'Mars' too. Having grown from seed they're starting off well. But i do hear that they grow quite big! Any ideas on what to grow them in & how to support them please??

hi everyone im a begginer gardener and this year im growing tomatoes and strawberries im doing quite well and really enjoying it any advice for growing these would be really apreciated.

 Leek Moth, what can I use to get ride of it, It devastated my leeks last year, got it on Garlic Shallots Onions and Leeks this year, hope someone has a solution to this problem.

Cheers Barrie...

I did follow the procedures suggested in the "how to plant an apple tree" video, planting the tree during late autumn last year. However, despite watering the ground around tree many times during periods of dry weather; after the initial period of growth during this years spring and summer the leaves turned brown and the tree now resembles a dead plant. Why has this happened and what should I do to revive the tree?


John B  (21st August 2012)


Hello all,

I have a very good display of sweetpeas this year, also a bounty crop of courgettes, but I have only harvested one small broccolli head, the caterpillers are enjoying the taste of my broccolli plants before they produce any more heads.


John B Aug 2012

I have just managed to get a small plot in a gardeners club, its small but its all I need for the moment. Problem is I dont know what to grow, I want to grow vegtables but can you tell me what ones I can grow now that I will be able to crop over the winter. I live in Scotland. Thank you

I'm new to veg gardening and have just taken on a jungle of an allotment and trying to weed out long grass thistle and nettle roots from well beneath the soil but struggling to get everything, (no car to pick up a rotovator so down to grafting ! and want to grow organically so chemicals are out of the question) have put down barrier fabric but want to sow green manure over winter. Can anyone tell me if it's more likely that the weeds will have grown up by the time the clover etc is big enough to overshadow them ? Is it possible to sow my manure then cover with the barrier over until the seeds start to sprout and then take the sheet off so they get a chance to grow before the weeds are unmanageable ? Please help anyone  !!  



On my new allotment, I have inherited several "berry bushes" The raspberries are going mad but have produced some lovely fruit, I have discovered a black currant bush which is very nice, but there is a bush which I'm unsure of, the leaves are "wobbly" like an oak leaf and it has thorns, It looks healthy and seeing it is with the black current I'm sure It's a fruit. It's probably obvious to you all, but what berry has thorns? any ideas?


So many Questions! I am new to this web discussion lark, but not entirely new to Allotment gardening.

John 14 did you get any advice? Its tricky, but you could try to scrape a little bark off one of the branches (just a little bit) if it's green then its alive and new leves etc should appear in spring. Try liquid seaweed feed (in sping)  this can stimulate stronger more drought resitant growth. If you ever plant another tree I cant recomend RootGrow or any equivalent highly enough. This gives a symbiotic fungal growth which acts like a secondary root sytem which helps trees and shubs take up water & nutrients. It's quite new to home gardeners & not cheap but well worth it.

Chelle 2 Another difficult one. By now you may know the answer, if the green manure did not smother the weeds then I would cover the area with Black plastic or membrane now & leave it all winter. In spring when you uncover there should be no top growth. Dig out all perennial weeds  you can but be prepared for re-growth, it will take time but it will work. A rotovator would just chop up the roots & spread them & unless you can keep rotovating as soon as they re-appear. Potatoes traditionally help clear ground as you cultivate at least 4 times in season, (dig to prepare, dig to plant, earth up, Dig to harvest). There are other methods such as cover with cardboard, mulch with very thick layer of compost & grow into that (by implication you need a lot of compost). Try some of each! Good luck.

Nene- Gooseberry!

Iain R

barbara dancer

This is my 2nd year as a garden fruit and veg grower, last year I had good results with my caulies, and yet this year has been very poor, I've been lucky to even get them bigger than 1 florrette probably due to the weather I think? My carrots grew very stubby and had no length to them, and my onions and leeks just don't seem to be growing at all. last year I had a good crop of beetroots and this year I had really good success with potatoes.So it seems to be hit and miss with me. I'm going to try growing garlic next year, so hopefully I'll have luck with them. I've decided that maybe growing 'greens' is not my forte, as I just seem to feed the catrepillers.  (ended up with cabbages full of holes) I'm learning all the time so any ideas would be helpful on what best to grow.

Hi,I have had the same problem my caulies were very small i had asked an oldtimer and sujested that i should plant them in april I planted mine in early june ,it has been very wet on the n/e of Ireland rainfall 50% above normal.My first attempt of growing parsnips failed the second lot i sowed in May and I am still harvesting them and  they taste devine.other than some failers in peas and celery it was a very good year.



Hi everyone, We moved from south west wales ( been there over 20yrs and had a sheltered veggie garden on sandy soil) back home to northernmost Cumbria. Struggling with a garden on clay which resembles a pond most of the time. My husband built several raised beds to lift the growing surface 6" & 12" off the origional soil level but I am still finding that even the top of this soil is very wet. I struggled last year with all but broad beans and sweet peas; any suggestions about how to get the topsoil dryer and warm enough to plant my seeds this spring. I have got my garlic in pots in a cold frame. No greenhouse as too windy. Cheers

I would very much appreciate any advice on varieties of sprouts. I am keen to grow ones that produce small or medium tight sprouts. Does anyone remember Peer Gynt?It was an F1 Hybrid, but sadly no longer available. It was a superb variety.

I've had allotments for over 30 years now and they were all overgrown with couch and other grasses.  This tip is no use to the organic growers amongst us but Round Up used in April is magic.  It acts best when the grass is growing strongly and it will go right down and kill those annoying creeping roots.  It only works on the green growth and doesn't harm brown stems.  Even if you only use it the once it is a good start.  Tough perennial weeds like docks and Dandelion tend to need more than one dose.  I have seen new gardeners especially, spend many hours painstakingly digging it out, then the tiny bits of root left behind find thier way up again.  Bindweed is another shocker and that responds to a few doses.  Good luck Reg.  It can only get better.. 



Hi guys im new on here and at gardaning,i just paid for a years worth of magazines i was given a knee high raised bed by are housing people through a grow your own sceam i have ptsd and a head injury from being in the militry im amazed how reading all your reports and qustions has brought me out of my shell as did the garden in the back the top i landscaped around the bedmade a rocary pots tools all sorced from the tip now the front has been done im shaterd but love it. I have two qustions i have loads of big tomatoes green been this way for three weeks any idears also the yous of lime to sort out the terible sticky dirt in the boarders any help would be fab, im also sorry if i afend any one with my spelling and grammer im lucky i can even with spell check lol. digger x

Hi everyone, I am quite new to allotments and am having a problem with my spuds, , last year my main crop was a couple of rows of  pink fir apple and a couple of rows of maris piper, this year I decide to plant all Rooster variety, although I have a good crop we have a problem. although the potatoes look good they don't seem to cook well, in less than five minutes on the hob the skins split and within minutes they turn to mush, can anyone point me in the right direction to what I am doing wrong or a solution to this problem Thanks

They say that it's something to do with hot weather and relatively low amounts of rainfall or watering causing changes in the cell structure of the tubers. Some varieties are worse than others.

Suppose you could steam them rather than boil them.


Roll them in sunflower oil and roast in the oven.

Thanks for the info and tips. it has been a very hot summer this year and perhaps I neede to be a little more liberal with my watering.