Bob Harper

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Talkback: Whitefly

Posted: 29/07/2014 at 16:18
For the last few years I have had a whitefly problem on brassicas. In June I was invaded suddenly by greenfly too but I decided to allow nature to help. Within a few weeks all the greenfly were gone and the whitefly never got a real hold (yet!). Is it co-incidence that I have a large wasps nest in a small outbuilding on the veg garden? It's about the size of a football cut in half and looks magnificent. As it was out of the way of the family I left the wasps alone. Co incidence perhaps but are the wasps actually keeping other pests at bay?

update on Jeyes Fluid and cat probs

Posted: 06/11/2013 at 11:01

The Jeyes tin says 5 ml will keep a full 50 gallon waterbut clear of certain nasties like mosquito larva. I hesitated to use it as I the barrels could be accessed by our horses. Does any one know if such a minute diution could harm a horse if it drank from a treated barrell?


Whats the difference,Fresh or green.

Posted: 14/09/2013 at 19:44
addict wrote (see)

Yeah forgiven

Still waiting for someone to come on here and tell us all about making liquid feed from nettles, comfrey etc.

I made Comfrey feed last year. I just filled a bucket up with comfrey leaves, rammed them down tight and filled it almost full of water. I kept it in the greenhouse (mistake! - Smells) and gave it a stir each time I passed by. After three weeks I removed the soggy grot to the compost heap and filled half a dozen milk bottles with the smelly brown liquid.

I don't know how good it was as I alternated the diluted (at about 10 to 1) feed with Suttons Tomato feed and Tomorite. I got a good crop so it may well have helped.

I keep an eye on the comfrey to stop it spreading and I will certainly continue making it but outside in the open air.

Whats the difference,Fresh or green.

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 14:43

Thanks Diddydoit4u,  Perhaps you could explain that to my Wife - I tried many years ago but I have not got the guts these days. At least we are down to just 2.

I made my 4 compost bins out of old palletts so I have room to recycle the horses production.

Whats the difference,Fresh or green.

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 11:50

Hi ginagibbs, I set up my kitchen garden about 3 years ago and began, like you, with our old heap. Once used up I composted the manure in 4 bins which I rotate so the compost I use would be about 6 months old (or 9 months if it was Winter).

If you are not going to plant up your flower bed till next Spring however, I would use the manure straight from the field and let the worms take it down into your soil over winter.

My Wife handles the shrub borders and uses recent manure on shrubs, against my better judgement but always seems to succeed and prove me wrong. 

Whats the difference,Fresh or green.

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 10:51

We keep two horses and so I have a good steady supply of 'end product' however I find that to make the best use of it then it should be well composted so I mix it in the bins with green waste and I shred all my waste paper and add that too. The only minor problem I have is that bedding straw takes a while to break down.

I am told that I could add the fresh 'end product' to water in a barrell/bucket etc. to make a readily usable liquid feed? I do not know what quantities to use when doing this. Can anyone help?

How to clear field

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 10:32

On the subject of Glyphosate, I was advised to buy the 'commercial' product which has a strength of 360g per litre. This is more economic to use than garden centre versions at just 7.2g per litre strength. knapsack dilution rate is 25ml per 1litre of water, 5l pack treats 10,000 m2 (or 2.5 acres) but costs about £39.00 - I did find a site selling 1 litre packs at about £13.00. OK it is highly concentrated so you have to be competent to use it and you need to do the research.
 has anyone any advice about this before I go ahead and buy some?  I will not use it anywhere near my kitchen garden but elsewhere the paths and drive are a problem which this could solve more economically.

Runner beans.

Posted: 19/08/2013 at 11:40

I save my bean seeds but as I am growing Scarlet emperor + Celebration + White lady all together I can not be sure what variety I might end up with - perhaps this time next year I can tell you. Last year I did not include White Lady and I can not see any sign of hybridising between the other two. I did spend a half hour last week watching the bees breaking through the back of the flowers and I notice a lot of beans not setting! The culprits seem to be the smaller type with a white fluffy tail. I guess the other insects are doing a proper job as I still get beans but only about a third of what I expected.

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