London (change)
Today 8°C / 6°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 1°C


Latest posts by Boater

1 to 10 of 66

planting stuff at the wrong time

Posted: 23/01/2015 at 16:33

Am I missing something here - the community group doesn't use the plot over winter so you have the use of it up to the point where they want to start sowing their crop....???

Am I just being cynical?

Could you put pots in the ground so you can just lift them and take them elsewhere when you get kicked off the site?

Starting tomatoes indoors

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 16:34

A piece of advice for conservatory growers (like me) - don't use a paraffin heater in the conservatory (even if it is well sealed from the house so CO is not an issue), everything ends up covered in soot, windows, blinds, walls, carpet, everything. I still haven't finished cleaning mine from trying to keep my late sown tomatoes going into the autumn, such a messy job!

Last year I tried potting a couple of side shoots, they rooted just fine, the trouble is I had no-where warm and light to keep them through the winter so put them in the lounge (dark through the day when I'm not in and only artificial light in the evenings) - the larger one finally wilted over the weekend (smaller one went a couple of weeks ago) which I thought was pretty good going, over 2 months only getting daylight at weekends, and some of those weekends I was away for....

Filling raised beds

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 16:18

I started both of mine by digging the soil where I placed them first (soil grows when dug over and then settles over time) which probably gave an inch or 2 in the bottom, the rest I made up with multipurpose compost from B&Q on multisave deals (quality varies with each bag, some have quite big bits of wood in). It will settle over time, but once you get started you will actually have stuff to compost and soon your own compost heap(s) will be going strongly for future top ups.

Manure is good stuff, but it needs time to rot before you plant/sow in the bed, you may still have time, depends how soon you aim to get growing, only reason I didn't use any originally was because I was already well into the sowing season and wanted to use the beds immediately.

I would dig mine over but I haven't seen them for a couple of weeks, stupid snow!


Posted: 14/10/2014 at 15:26

If it's the little boy I suspect it is, he often seems to be in trouble with his mum or gran!

I have little enough space to grow my own veggies. I have tried being nice by explaining that the wild bit is my garden and that there are plenty of properly wild places nearby that he can go and play, but I don't really like children and in these days of child protection paranoia there is no way I'm having anything to do with them!

Of course I have no actual evidence to suggest it was him, it could have been anyone, it's just that he has a history of messing about in my garden.

SGN have been working in the street for a couple of months now, looks like some bigger kids have been scattering their barriers and materials about too, so it could be related to that.


Posted: 14/10/2014 at 13:28

It sounds simple, but I think it is more complex!

I have freehold (dissolution of the feudal system just before I moved here, it is an ex-council house and the council made their feus into freeholds) so a 6' or 1.8m fence is fine for the last 8m, I'm just not sure what the deal is along the top of the wall which is a boundary I share with the council (under the original feuing conditions it was supposed to be 50/50 maintenance with the tenant, but I don't think the council have ever done any maintenance). Firstly is the 1.8m limit viewed from outside of my property or from the lowest ground level, if I put the posts on the outside of the wall they would be on the council side, if I attach them to the wall wind load on the fence could damage the wall, if I drive posts inside of the wall they would need to be 3.6m (if I use metposts, longer if I concrete or drive them into the ground) long, either of which might require a building warrant if not planning consent....

The point where the max fence height changes is not a problem, the wall turns to a hedge from the front of the house to the road, but I don't really need a 3.6m high fence blocking the morning light from the garden!

I waited until this morning to tidy up so I could take some photos, unfortunately I killed my SLR a few months ago so they are phone quality. I will try to contact planning about the fence, and the community wardens about the intrusion.


Posted: 14/10/2014 at 12:46

Thanks for the ideas folks.

The current fence at the back is a low 3-bar job that most adults could step over, I was trying to train some shrubbery along it but I now realise it is elderberry so that won't really work. The area has several quite big trees (all planted too close and growing through each other), in between is mostly covered in brambles and there is a holly bush back there already, although not at the fence line. I was going to plant a hawthorn hedge, but I understand they are quite slow growing? Also there is a mature Sycamore in the middle of the fence line so impossible to plant very close to it....

It's difficult to describe the garden, there is a retaining wall down the side with council land level with the top of it, and my garden up to 1.8m below, but the wall stops 8m from the hospital fence and there is a steep bank behind the garage and across the back as it rises to the council level. It is right at the back of the low fence where the kids climb over.

I'm pretty sure I can erect a 1.8m fence in place of the low fence (pretty sure it's primary age kids so that will stop them along there), maybe try to get some prickly hedging to grow in the shade behind it. I'm just not sure what I do to stop them jumping down from the retaining wall into the gap between it and my garage (or onto my garage roof - I've had to chase them off there before, although not for a few years) I've been encouraging brambles and a dog rose along the top of the wall - although the council could decide to come and cut it all back at any time.

I'll need to contact planning and see what my options are for the wall, I might be allowed to put a fence on top of it, but it might affect the structure of the wall and I definitely can't afford to have that rebuilt!

I am a dog lover but I don't have time to look after a dog so a dog is out of the question, otherwise I would have got one long ago to solve the cat problem!

There is one particular kid whom I suspect, he had a couple of friends the first time I sent him packing but I'm sure it was one of them came up and told me he had been in my garden another time. I don't know where he lives, maybe only a few doors down, or maybe it's his gran who is a few doors down, but if I see him out with his mum or gran in the near future I'll stop and ask if it was him. It is school holidays here so it would make sense if it is his gran that lives near and looks after him in the holidays... I don't think I've seen him around since term started.

Berberis look bushier than Hawthorn and more shade tolerant.


Posted: 13/10/2014 at 23:16

Got home tonight and went to unload my car and realized that my garden had been vandalized during the day or evening.

The pea sticks have been pulled out and strewn across the lawn - the peas are already finished and I have been meaning to take them down, but I had put some pots and a seed tray containing some radishes I had about given up on in between them and they were also strewn across the lawn. The spinach and radishes in the same raised bed have all been pulled up (no sign of them). The Chicken wire cover I put over my strawberries to keep the cats off is lying up against the fence and at least one strawberry plant has been pulled up and there are strawberry leaves all over the lawn. The carrots I was growing in a compost bag on the coal bunker have all been pulled out and the pots that were behind it are spread all over the lawn. Some of the slats from one of my compost bins are also laying on the lawn.

There were only about a dozen carrots, maybe 2 dozen radishes and a dozen spinach plants (which were starting to fade anyway) so the value of damage is very small but it is incredibly annoying.

I have been meaning to build a bigger fence up the back because there is a group of 3 small kids who keep climbing over (I suspect it was them or their ringleader that has done the damage, although I haven't seen them for a while and couldn't prove anything). A bigger fence might stop them for a while but it's impossible to make the garden secure, for part of one side my boundary is a retaining wall about 2m high  in places, lower in others, so people can jump down into the garden quite easily, and I doubt if I would be allowed to put a fence on top of that?

What would you do?

compost advice

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 12:24

joberg - compost your veg peelings separately and then when it is ready mix it with the shop bought stuff. No point adding new green stuff to compost that is already ready!

The advice about bigger compost heaps work better maybe needs clarifying. Maximising volume to surface area will make it generate more heat, but try to avoid a low heap with a big surface area which will lose it's heat too quickly. The most efficient shape for a heap would be a sphere but that's not very practical - cylindrical or hexagonal bins are next best, followed by cubical. Most heat loss is from the top, if heat radiated equally in all directions you would want the fill height the same as the width for maximum efficiency but since it doesn't the deeper the better!

Where am I going with this?

Setting up your first heap with not many scraps can take a bit of time. The more green waste you have to compost the quicker it will be. 

Some people advise to store compostable material loosely and intact until you have enough to chop up and start a heap, I just chop it up right away and throw it on, stirring it up from time to time with a fork - but I'll use what I add this year, next year so I'm not too concerned about how long it takes (2 heaps), there are more efficient ways of doing it as described....

Can I grow more raspberry canes from the seeds from my raspberries?

Posted: 19/09/2014 at 12:36

I'll set my alarm for Feb

green tomatoes

Posted: 19/09/2014 at 12:35

More like 12 to 22 in west central Scotland the last few of days but wednesday it was markedly warmer in the conservatory at 10pm (still around 20C) than in the house.... It was overcast all day. The weekend was much hotter though.

I could just build a climate control system, but that would seem like cheating!

1 to 10 of 66

Discussions started by Boater


Replies: 22    Views: 908
Last Post: 17/10/2014 at 19:04

Peas - Powdery Mildew?

Strategies to avoid spores overwintering? 
Replies: 3    Views: 212
Last Post: 19/09/2014 at 13:24

Topless Tomato

Where did the main stem go? 
Replies: 9    Views: 370
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 21:44

Carrots, hard in centre?

Replies: 3    Views: 233
Last Post: 14/07/2014 at 10:23

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Am I heading for a problem? 
Replies: 4    Views: 199
Last Post: 12/07/2014 at 16:09

Giant Peas?

Replies: 4    Views: 494
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 22:58
6 threads returned