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Latest posts by Boater

wooden or aluminium

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 12:08

You can choose a naturally rot resistant hardwood, or use treated softwood.

Build on a base so you don't have timbers into the soil and make sure the air can circulate all around them so you don't get damp patches and many woods can last a long time without being painted.


Posted: 14/08/2015 at 17:01

I've been thinking about this, and I reckon if you start them in a way that you can plant them out without disturbing the roots (peat pots, card pots, paper tubes, roottrainers) carrots probably don't mind being started in 'pots', the trouble is they want to put a very long straight tap root down quickly so you either need very tall pots or to plant them out whilst still very small.

I haven't had a problem with the taste of bolted carrots, they are so hard you can't really get a bite to taste..... the texture will make you spit it out right away

Outdoor tomatoes

Posted: 14/08/2015 at 16:56

Signs of colour turning on my indoor tomatoes last night, after weeks of cold weather all day last night ws still 21 deg at 10pm and very muggy - vents left open all night! (never got below 18).

Amazing how much variation there is from one part of the country to another....

Strawberry disease?

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 00:49

I was hoping to get another year out of them, but right now I'm wondering if it is even worth letting them finish cropping this year. Looks like Verticullum can affect a lot of things I like so I'll have to be careful what I rotate into that bed.

Strawberry disease?

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 12:29

A few weeks ago my strawberry crop looked promising, there were hundreds if not thousands of small green berries starting to form.

I went through the bed and took out runners and any dead stems I found and noticed a few trusses had turned brown and cut them out too. The bed has drip waterers under black polythene mulch.

Fruit started to ripen but in the miserable weather it often stays green underneath, sometimes rotting if it ends up in a puddle on the polythene (I'm not convinced by the polythene!), but I keep finding more and more trusses have truned brown and withered. Initially it just seemed to be trusses that hadn't been pollinated, but now I'm losing them with small fruit on.

I've looked online and the closest thing I can see to my symptoms is verticullum wilt - I always have a few leaves turn brown with shots of brown in the stems which I usually cut out when taking off early runners, but the plants seem to thrive despite it and I have never seen the fruit trusses suffer before, and I don't see them mentioned in descriptions?

Am I right in thinking it is probably something fungal like this, perhaps exacerbated by the terribly wet and windy summer we've had here in the west of Scotland?

Am I going to have to clear the bed and use it for something different next year, and establish a new bed with fresh disease free plants?

Tomatoes why does thou not begin to ripen..eth?

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 12:18

We have had a terrible summer in west of Scotland, many days the temp in the conservatory has struggled to go above 20. Yesterday we didn't get the rain that was forecast (have some now) but it was overcast and relatively cool all day, the thermometer hung around 20 all day with the door closed and the windows open (if I don't open something humidity goes right up).

I might take to growing weeds, they seem to be thriving, everything else is struggling!

Seriously though, I have quite a lot of green tomatoes forming, just hoping for some late season warmth to get them ripened - it could stay warm until the end of September, but first it will need to get warm.

people moving into an area and paving over the front garden

Posted: 04/08/2015 at 14:39

Hmm, we did hijack the thread a little, but I think it's important that we see both sides of every story

I was out on my bike yesterday, stopped at traffic lights, used the right lane approaching the roundabout to turn right (highway code says I don't need to do that but I prefer to if I can find a space to pull across after signalling and making sure the next car has understood my intention) and all the normal stuff. I was starting to get a little frustrated coming out of Morrisons though as the lady in front was ignoring big gaps for pulling out left onto the roundabout, turned out she had got into the wrong lane and was trying to go straight on. We all make mistakes sometimes, just have to let them go!

If more people cycled the short journeys, the roads would be much safer for all cyclists.

Anyway, we covered the issue of nice gardens being laid to concrete or monoblock, but how do people feel about those untended overgrown jungles of gardens (often also filled with trash) - would we rather see them turned to hard standing so the inhabitants can manage them, or prefer to look at the mess because at least it is mostly green?

Tomatoes - some fruit not growing properly

Posted: 03/08/2015 at 16:09

celticmary - where are you based? I'm in Scotland and as far as I can tell the rubbish  weather this 'summer' has really slowed down a lot of things, strawberries and tomatoes are cropping later than usual - I'm sticking with it, I'm sure they'll turn good, although we'll need an indian summer to ripen them!

people moving into an area and paving over the front garden

Posted: 03/08/2015 at 14:41

Sorry annmarie2 but I strongly disagree about cycle paths, they are much more dangerous to regular cyclists than cycling on the road. When I used to commute 15 miles by bike I had a choice between off road cyclepath and roads running almost parallel to each other.

On the cyclepath I had constant hazards from broken glass (its where the yobbos go to drink at night), from pedestrians who change direction randomly without thinking that there might be a bike approaching on the shared cyclepath (and no, a warning shout, horn or bell doesn't help, it almost guarantees they will turn into your path and stop to see what is going on), worse still are the dog walkers who use those reel leads and set them up across the path as near invisible trip wires ,dogs are great - the people with them are generally idiots - even when a dog is off the lead aware of the bike and staying clear many dog walkers seeing a bike approach will call the dog to them across the path of a bike....

That's without mentioning the varying surface conditions, some sections were almost unrideable in heavy rain, and the fact that unless they are on old railways or canal paths, cycle paths are constantly stopping to cross roads, often via complex barriers that either force you to get off or weave through very slowly (presumably to prevent cars and motorbikes using the paths).

My commute was much faster and very much safer on the main road where the tarmac is generally better (although not great), where I could ride at a sensible speed without having to alter course for pedestrians and animals, where, because I was riding in accordance with the highway code (don't get me started on those red light running idiots or the ones who hop on and off the kerb) cars were able to treat me the same as any other traffic - at times they may have felt held up, but most of the route was on roads easily large enough for a car and cycle to pass, even a lorry and cycle.

On the cycle paths I had a near miss almost every day, on the road I have only ever had 2 near misses, both with buses which deliberately cut me up - no they weren't pulling into bus stops, one of them was out of service and returning to the depot.

Cycle paths are OK for occasional cyclists with no road sense who go very slowly, indeed they really should be off the roads for their own safety, but please don't assume that every cyclist who uses the road is wrong, even though there are some who don't use helmets or listen to music instead of picking up vital audio clues from traffic, for many of us the road is the right place to cycle.

Serious bird feeder question!

Posted: 03/08/2015 at 13:54

I don't really have a problem with the squirrels getting food, although I'd rather not encourage them to move in as they can be destructive, and I live not far from red habitat so would prefer there weren't greys in the area at all, but the biggest issue I have with the squirrels, is that they chew through the sides of the feeders ruining them and spilling the seed onto the ground to attract rats.

I guess I could just buy more expensive metal feeders?

Discussions started by Boater

Strawberry disease?

Flower/fruit trusses withering and rotting 
Replies: 2    Views: 246
Last Post: 11/08/2015 at 00:49

Sometimes when you gamble you lose....

Maybe I shouldn't have started on my lawn yet? 
Replies: 5    Views: 415
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 13:51


Replies: 22    Views: 1241
Last Post: 17/10/2014 at 19:04

Peas - Powdery Mildew?

Strategies to avoid spores overwintering? 
Replies: 3    Views: 372
Last Post: 19/09/2014 at 13:24

Topless Tomato

Where did the main stem go? 
Replies: 9    Views: 613
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 21:44

Carrots, hard in centre?

Replies: 3    Views: 523
Last Post: 14/07/2014 at 10:23

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Am I heading for a problem? 
Replies: 4    Views: 391
Last Post: 12/07/2014 at 16:09

Giant Peas?

Replies: 4    Views: 668
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 22:58
8 threads returned