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Notjustgreenfingers blog

Thought I would say "hello".  I have four allotments and I am passionate about growing vegetables and helping to show people how to also 'grow their own'

Earlier this year Monty was conducting an experiment about growing Tomatoes in one of his Green Houses.  Grow Bag, Large pot filled with compost and John Innes (or similar) and the hardly any compost, but regular feeding.  I may have missed it, but have not seen the results of that experiment.  Can anyone help with result?

Potatoes, which variety???  My friend has just returned from Peru and was amazed by the variety and taste of the potatoes they grow.  I intend growing earlies and main crop next year.  Which is the best flavoured potatoe anyone can reccomend?  I am more interested in flavour, rather than yield.

Grace Davies

Hi Everyone.

This may be a random stab in the dark but I was just wondering if I could get any help on a university project. I am looking to see if people who grow their own fruit and veg can be encouraged to donate any excess/waste produce to food banks. Any thoughts, advice, direction, ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Grace Davies



We discussed this at the end of summer when gluts were common, but I understand that food banks will not accept fresh fruit and veg.

David Matthews2



Hi folks, I hope you may be able to help 'sort out' these fruit trees which have sadly been neglected re: proper pruning for several years. My father has gardened here for over 50 years - but now it falls to me to try making sense of the overgrown trees. Unfortunately, I live over 200 miles away, so must time my visits for maximal effect. When would be the best time to prune and what are the key rules to follow?? I'm able to use various hand tools including extending pole saw/ lopper, but ladders are generally a 'nono' for me! (my fit & healthy 34yo son can assist on times, but even he is 90 minutes drive away from the mature garden in the English Midlands). Any Advice or pointers much appreciated....?

David Matthews2

Sorry, my previous posting was incomplete: the trees I am wanting to prune include eating and cooking apples, damson (several), plus one pear and a youngish Victoria plum. The soil is a light sandy loam but generally has not had any 'enrichment' for an awful long time....! [The trees are still fruiting, but the damsons in particular are so tall that much of the fruit is well out of reach; so is left to fall of its own accord, such a pity that so much is going to waste.


David, It looks like they have had a severe cut back in a previous year. That has resulted in a lot of shoots. I would reduce all the new shoots back by two thirds and hope for formation of flower buds next summer. take out any crossing branches.

 You will get more replies if you start a new thread.

David Matthews2

Thanks, FidgetB, I appreciate your pointers - fair comment about my starting a new thread rather than 'embedded' where it is!

Wanted to say hello as a new poster on this site. I have a smallish garden but am lucky enough to have an allotment two minutes walking distance away. We first acquired the allotment in February this year so there's still lots of digging left to do for next year. I'm hoping for lots of advice from this forum.


Welcome Dave; just start a new thread if you have any questions.

hi all ,I was wondering if anyone has tried to grow artichokes from seed.I think you are to start them now ,and they need to be kept in the frig for a while. I would love to hear from someone who would know .  thanks Debra


This is probably a really dumb question and, if so, I apologise for it in advance!!

Can anyone tell me why none of the commercial  fruit/veg growers in this country grow cos (or similar) lettuce under cover in the winter?  I am so fed up having to eat

tasteless, flabby, imported lettuce in the winter and don't really like the bags of

mixed salad leaves in the supermarkets. Also I like to eat British produce as much

as possible - so please can anyone answer this question for me?


Our nearby farm shop sells locally grown Baby Gems throughout the winter - they're not as well hearted up in the winter as during the rest of the year, but they're lovely and they're local 

Thanks a lot for that Dove.  I don't often get to a farm shop as I don't drive but I'll get 

my OH to take me there this weekend, to see if they have Baby Gems.   It just it shows it can be done, but perhaps it doesn't pay the growers if they try to

grow too much lettuce here in the winter months  - I love salad all the year round

but I expect lots of people don't like it in the cold weather. 

I am new to this veg growing just built two raised beds getting topsoil tomorrow then what do i do please help

FFB, you could grow your own in a greenhouse, polytunnel or coldframe.  I can't see winter salads being of interest to UK commercial growers given the vagaries of a British winter and how much it costs to maintain even growing conditions - shelter, heat, water and nutrients plus labour costs for sowing, pricking on, weeding and pest control and then quality control and packing and transport.