Latest posts by bookmonster

Veg seeds to sow now...

Posted: 28/06/2014 at 19:57
I've just sown some chard, spinach and white lisbon spring onions to overwinter. We've had a couple of good crops from some I overwintered last year, so I'm starting them off earlier this year as I have a gap. I may stick some more carrots in when my shallots come up, or just leave the ones planted between the shallots to get bigger. They're little round ones, I can't remember the variety off the top of my head.

winter veg prep

Posted: 18/05/2014 at 08:08

What sort of winter veg are you planning to grow?

spring onions

Posted: 18/05/2014 at 08:06

Where have you sown them? I've germinated white lisbon on a sunny windowsill last year and in a plastic mini greenhouse this year and both times they've come up fairly quickly, though they can take a while to reach edible size.

Poorly Pear Tree

Posted: 22/04/2014 at 18:48

Thanks, first opportunity I get I'll remove affected leaves, and give it a dose of seaweed extract.

Poorly Pear Tree

Posted: 21/04/2014 at 18:45

Thanks! The pictures are pretty big, if you click on them they should open up. All we've used this year in terms of compost is soil improver (composted garden waste) with a handful of chicken manure, with a fairly thin mulch of all purpose (peat free) compost. It doesn't look like the pictures I've found of rust - what's leaf curl?

Poorly Pear Tree

Posted: 21/04/2014 at 14:48

We planted two trained fruit trees in February, a double cordon conference pear and an espalier howgate wonder apple. They're in clay soil that we've been improving for a year and a half, and east facing so get plenty of sun. We've given them a good water when the weather has been dry, and they've not been waterlogged.

As the pear leaves have opened, brown patches have developed at the edges of the leaves. I've attached some photos- there are small circular organgey spots,and browing at the edge of some leaves. A few leaves have gone totally brown. Is this a pest, a disease, or a cultural problem like a mineral deficiency?






Where to begin?

Posted: 23/02/2014 at 07:50

I'm no expert, but I'm sure raising the soil above neighbouring areas would help with drainage. The main way it's recommended to improve clay soil is by digging in organic matter, eg compost, manure, coir etc.

We're on heavy clay, but we're quite lucky to be on a slight incline. We started improving the soil using bags of manure and soil improver from the garden centre just over a year ago and are seeing a big difference in the quality of soil already.

You could always work with it and create a bog garden, plenty of wildflowers like marsh marigold enjoy damp conditions. What sort of wildlife are you hoping to attract? I found it so rewarding last year watching the bees, butterflies and hoverflies on our plants where before there had been gravel, grasses and paving.

Some news for wildlife friendly gardeners

Posted: 27/10/2013 at 08:33

A really interesting study! There are so many myths about wildlife gardening.

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 06/10/2013 at 08:20

I'm swapping garlic for Jermor shallots, as the garlic didn't really taste of anything. Had good success with the runner beans, but will be swapping them for dwarf french beans next year as they shaded everything else - it's a small plot.

Been really pleased with white lisbon spring onins, and had a few good courgettes (black beauty), and plenty of baby carrots (chantenay red cored). It's my first year growing things, and I'll be rearranging things to try and get the most out of the space.

Protecting Chard and Spinach

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 10:01

I'm hoping the same Green Magpie! My chard isn't attracting the beasties - probably as it's stil quite small - but the spinach beet can resemble net curtains. Thanks for the feedback about your experiences over winter all.

Discussions started by bookmonster

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Bring out your planters!

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