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Latest posts by biofreak

Swiss Chard

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 13:35

Gosh what a great response! Certainly will order some now BUT does it require special attention like celery, - is it best to start it off indoors or can it be sown direct outside. I normally start all seeds off then plant out seedlings in situ. Details on packets for Chard not that clear.

Moving gooseberries

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 13:30

Thanks for all the wonderful varied advice - Tempted to try the lot as 12 bushes (2yrs old) so could try all methods on say 2 of each. On second thoughts I think Neem Oil and matting makes the most sense on new ground. Still I did not know the full lifestory of sawfly - Do they affect other fruit?

Moving gooseberries

Posted: 05/01/2015 at 14:43

I want to change my fruit bed around by leaving blackberries/raspberries and tayberries in situ but moving out gooseberries which are blocked by the taller fruit. Problems with sawfly last year make me want to move them to another plot altogether. Will the sawfly lava still be in the root areas of the gooseberries and will I be moving them as well as the plants? When and how should I treat the gooseberries against infestation?

Swiss Chard

Posted: 05/01/2015 at 14:39

I have been wading through the seed catalogues and have never tried growing or indeed eating Swiss Chard. Tried Asparagus Peas last year - disastrous as predicted by many of you. Is Swiss Chard worth a go - If so which one - T & M recommend the yellow one for sweetness cooked and the red one for salads - A mystery to me but I always like to try something new.

Biodynamic Gardening

Posted: 05/01/2015 at 14:35

I have received a Biodynamic Gardening Calender and Diary for 2015. Already Organic, it seems to be a good way forward. Has anyone else tried it. Interested in sharing experiences. All seems very complicated though.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 05/01/2015 at 14:32

Happy New Year everyone and may it be a good growing one! I have taken stock of successes and failures in 2014 - No I will never grow asparagus peas again - You were all right how awful they were to eat - and I had tons of them. Made good compost though. Salad crops worked well, and we did have a crispy lettuce with smoked salmon on Xmas Day! I also disagree with some of the pruning advice but it has worked so I shall try again for a third year AND brace yourselves, I have received a Biodynamic Gardening Calender/Diary for 2015. It is a nightmare to get to grips with , and I thought that the Lunar Cycle could be complicated! Still I am going to give it a go - Does anyone else garden this way. My Mum did for years and we always seemed to have wonderful crops. Anyway here goes with Lunar Calender for 5-16th January. Happy Gardening.

5th Jan 2015 - Flower Day Plant Bare Root trees & shrubs, soaking their feet in sticky mud before planting out. Water generously despite rain.

6/7th Jan - Leaf Days If no frost remove mistletoe and tape over resulting wounds on bark/

8/9/10th Jan - Fruit Days (No gardening after 2.17pm on the 9th) Plant bare root fruit trees mixing compost with hoof & horn meal. Plant bare root soft fruit and erect stake and wire supports for raspberries.

11/12/13th Jan - Root Days (No gardening after 11.30am on 12th Moon ascending) In mild regions on well drained light soil plant garlic and shallots for cropping in July.

14/15/16th Jan - Flower Days Plant up tuberous begonias and cannas in greenhouse or conservatory. Place in full light between 15-20c and water from time to time.

Can I just say Thank you to everyone who has added comments during 2014 - They have encouraged me to keep writing this diary, and it is so good to hear all points of view.

Happy New Year once again.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 19/12/2014 at 15:36

Hi everyone - Just finished getting ready for final Xmas Street Market this w/e - Shall be glad to spend some time in the garden away from crowds and noise.

Have just cut lettuce and Spring onion tops for a quick salad - Can't believe how mild it is but have spotted first snowdrop!!

Herewith Lunar Calender 18th-31st December - Final Report for the Year.

18/19/20 December Flower Days If it is not frosty prune spring flowering clematis. Plant amarylis.

21 December Leaf Day - If no frost prune trees cutting out old wood. Prune hazels and tie in best branches to keep tidy in hedging.

22/23rd december - Fruit Days In mild areas sow Broad Beans. Transplant grafted baby fruit trees in sheltered spot.

24th December - Root Day No gardening after 11.40am (Thank goodness need to cook!)

25th december - Root Day MERRY CHRISTMAS - Having made plans for 2015 Think of which seeds you would like to buy and order quickly to avoid disappointment.

26th December - Flower Day - In warm greenhouse sow begonias (semperflorens) and pelargoniums, do not cover begonia seed.

27/28/29/30th December - Leaf Days Do not garden on 29th Before 2.30pm otherwise if it is not frosty harvest spinach/lambs lettuce/ winter cabbage and brussels. In the house germinate beansprouts and soya for crunchy salads.

31st December - Fruit Day In mild regions sow broad beans and round peas (not wrinkled) Mine are doing well in the greenhouse, so may pop some more in to get some fresh air.

So there we are - end of the year and generally pleased with results. Temptation to garden outside lunar advice is dreaful, but I have stuck with it and whilst I will drop some crops totally, I think the general principals with regard to sowing and sprouting are excellent, and I can see a pattern forming. Will continue into Feb to complete the annual cycle as promised. Then if anyone wants me to continue writing Diary I shall be happy to do so.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/12/2014 at 16:35

Lunar Calender 1st - 17th December as away next week.

1//2/december: Leaf Days Harvest Brussel Sprouts/Lambs Lettuce/Lettuce and spinach. Protect outdoor salad crops with tunnels. 2nd No gardening before 1.35pm Moon at lowest point so no power to aid gardeners.

3/4 december: Fruit Days In mild regions continue sowing round (not wrinkled) peas and mangetouts. Try sowing pear and apple seeds in pots with a sandy mix in greenhouse

5/6//7 December: Root Days. Sow round radishes and short variety carrots under cover. Air in mild weather. Protect from slugs and cover frames with straw in cold weather.

8/9 december; Flower Days If there is no frost plant bare root roses and shrubs.

10/11 December: Leaf Days. Force chicory. Outside frost periods plant hedgerow with bare root trees.

12/13/14 december Fruit Days. 12th No gardening after 6pm (Too dark I think!)

Prune fruit treese situated in windy positions, removing old branches in particular and clearing centres of crossing branches. Brush moss and lichen from trunks. Lightly compost root areas and add leaf mould as well. Lift stray raspberries and replant.

15/16/17 december Root Days 16th No gardening at all. Ascending moon. Continue to prepare heavy soil for next season. In mild regions plant white and violet garlic on un manured plot. Harvest parsnips/artichokes/salsify and scorsonora. Hold back good roots of horseradish and artichokes as these will be useful for transplanting for fresh crops in new plot next Spring.

Happy Gardening.


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 18/11/2014 at 17:53

Lunar Calender 18th Nov - 28th Nov

18/19/20th Nov - Root Days In mild regions plant last shallots, otherwise lift and store root crops as needed remembering parsnips are better off left in ground and lifted after a frost. Improve compacted ground with compost.No gardening on 19th before 1.20pm

21/22 nov - Flower Days Cut back spent perennials, burn spent woody stems or chop and put on compost hea[ (I burn alot and use potash on raspberries) Do not trim grasses but let them die back naturally and tidy in the Spring. Cut out old wood from roses and treat cut ends with Bordeaux Mixture to stop disease getting in.

23 Nov - Leaf Day Force chicory, and stop planting out cabbages. Plant ivy and virgin creepers against walls, and continue planting hedgerow trees like ash.

24/25/26th Nov - Fruit Days In mild areas sow Broad beans and round (not wrinkled) peas.

27/28th Nov - Root Days No gardening on 27th after 6.10pm. Check out stored veg and rub off sprouting points on potatoes.

I have just picked beetroot/celery/batavia and spring onions from outside (not greenhouse) -still so mild did not expect to eat my own salad in November! How about you? How is it going? happy Gardening.





Empty Space??

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 10:43

How about a herb bed? The soil sounds ideal and fennel or angelica would make a super centre piece with edible flowers making the outer circle you could make the bed pretty and practical.

Discussions started by biofreak


Slug deterrant? 
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Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 18:13

Lost Seed Order!!

Has anyone else lost their's in transit? 
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Cucumber Frames

How do I make maximum Use of one? 
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How to get rid of Gorse

Roadside problem 
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Last Post: 10/02/2015 at 11:35

Are Gardening Magazines Overseas related to UK?

Carol Klein & Alan Titchmarsh in France 
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Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 14:50

Old Wive's Tales/Tips and Wrinkles

True or False? 
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Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 14:29

Moving gooseberries

Will sawfly move too? 
Replies: 14    Views: 720
Last Post: 19/01/2015 at 07:57

Swiss Chard

New veg to try? 
Replies: 20    Views: 665
Last Post: 18/01/2015 at 15:48

Biodynamic Gardening

Has anyone tried it? 
Replies: 21    Views: 639
Last Post: 24/02/2015 at 14:58


Moving Gooseberries 
Replies: 1    Views: 237
Last Post: 04/10/2014 at 18:13

Figs in Pots & Mulberries

What Soil? 
Replies: 4    Views: 271
Last Post: 04/10/2014 at 18:51

Greenhouse in Winter

What to plant/sow now 
Replies: 11    Views: 788
Last Post: 10/02/2015 at 02:35


Replies: 11    Views: 443
Last Post: 19/06/2014 at 18:43

Insect Eating Plants

What soil to use 
Replies: 11    Views: 453
Last Post: 25/06/2014 at 11:39

Peach leaf Curl

Will fruit hold? 
Replies: 6    Views: 436
Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 17:43
1 to 15 of 40 threads