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Latest posts by BrummieBen

Seer Rock dust

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 18:22
fidgetbones wrote (see)

I gather it's not the same as fertiliser, but more for improving minerals in the soil. reommended dosage rate is 1 to 10 kg per sq metre. I will then add blood fish and bone as usual for NPK. I already use FYM by the tractorload. What I want to know is am I going to get the huge onions like in their advert. The last time I saw onions like that I was a kid being very impresses by the Robinsons stand at Southport flower show.

I used to use calcified seaweed for minerals but then it became unavailable due to someone stopping the cornish from dredging it off Falmouth. I gather it is ok for the French to dredge it up off Brittany.

Mr Fidgetbones, I'm by no means an expert, but I have already figured out that growing 'giant' veg of any sort usually means growing them completely differently to the norm. Molly-coddling them, growing in barrels of sand, growing in the greenhouse etc etc. They usually taste awful too, my uncle used to grow show veg and he never ever ate them, or even used the ones with 'defects' he discarded from his show table.

I use the dust purely as a longterm slow release to supply the essential minerals that are depleted by successive crops. I'm hoping using good rotation, plenty of fym and some good quality household compost, should keep my soil in tip top condition for my fruit and veg. Also planning on making a worm farm and producing worm tea at some stage, I'm just going to have to wait and see the results over the next few years, but I shall try to keep the forum informed of my findings. Good luck in the meantime, I think the dust is probably mainly to give me peace of mind that I've covered all the bases.

Seer Rock dust

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 11:23

Yeah, I looked into this last year for making my raised beds organic. The cost of the bags online was quite a bit. It can be found in B&Q under their Verve range, comes in 10kg bags, has SEER on back and works out cheaper! You don't have to add huge quantities, and it is supposed to last 3-5 years. I have to say it's not done any of my bulbs or garlic any harm at all. It seems about same price as inorganic and I will use the same way, apply a handful after each crop.

Regards to the sandy soil, get as much organic matter in there you can, then keep top dressing every year with home compost, soil will improve over next few years. Good luck and if you go the rock dust route, remember B&Q, I checked all over internet for it, then found B&Q stock the same stuff cheaper, and if you are over 60 they do a 10% discount day every week too.

Runner Beans loss of leaves

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 11:11

pigeons or mice likely to be the culprits I'd think.

What did you do in your garden today?

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 11:08
JR33 wrote (see)

Can anyone tell me what this plant is? It comes up every spring on a small patch of ground in my front garden. I have never seen it anywhere else and it doesn't seem to grow on anyone else's garden in the street.

Thank you


Mrs J Randall



Fairygirl wrote (see)

Tina - I'm fed up picking off dandelion heads- there's  thousands here..

Waiting to get more posts in before I put weed n feed down but if the weather doesn't improve I'll be cutting silage in the front garden...

It's to do with the long cold snap we had this year. Most perennial weeds with big tap roots, (think bergamot, dandy's and docks) essentially get a head start over just about everything else, even grass, so while everything else is just starting to produce food and growth when the temps went up, the monsters were galloping away producing flowers and seeds using their tap root stores. These blighters are successful for a reason you know! Still satisfying when you remove them!

My attempts at gardening ::: comments welcome!

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 12:08


buy the used one, worth every penny, will tell you how to propagate just about everything commonly found in gardens, also good for seed preparation.

Does anyone else..........

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 11:52

Yep, chop up things and they compost quicker, what I would say is careful of citrus, I tend to put the odd orange peel in, but not like 12 oranges worth in one go. Reason being worms really don't like citrus, and as worms are the main guys who break down the rough stuff, it's sense to keep them onside.

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 11:47

with all this rain, and the fertiliser the lawn is shooting up, loathe to cut yet, want to give the weed killer chance to work in. Thinking I'll leave for a full two weeks then take top third, then a week later take down to half. Anyone think that is the best way to go?

Strimmer for small garden

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 11:44

I have an ancient flymo one that can flip around to do the edges! It's about 20 years old and still holds it's own. My neighbour recently bought a new strimmer, and asked me to help get it up and running. It was a bosch and I have to say I was very impressed, it's about £60 but was very powerful and very easy to use. I belong to which? and bosch are usually the top or in the top 3, I'd go with one of those, from experience was fairly light and plenty powerful. Was also easy to use. Happy strimming!

Laying new Turf

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 11:38

most important is the soil you are planning to turf. If you prep it right, you should have a real easy time of it. You can just dig over existing stuff, but try to remove any nasties like danylions or docks. Dig to a depth of a spit (ie a spades depth) and then stick in as much sharp sand as you can, ideally looking for approx 50/50 with the soil you dug over. Remove bigger stones, ones bigger than 3". Once you have dug over and mixed in, tread the soil down, rake then tread again. Rake to roughly level. Lay turf, loads of vids on how to do it. Use a sprinkler twice a day for about 30 mins each time, make sure turf is completely wet. Don't walk on it for about 6-8 weeks, if you lay the paving when you turf, you won't have to walk on it! First cut (after 6-8 weeks!), take the top 1/3rd to half off and leave for a few days, then take another third a few days later. after a few months give the lawn a feed with lawn fertiliser also if dog wees on lawn, immediately chuck a whole watering can of water on the area. If you follow this, you should have a lovely lawn with very little maintenance and if there's no shade, very little moss. The sharp sand sounds excessive, at 50% but trust me, grass loves free draining soil and will grow like a champ.

Will red ant colony damage my potato crop?

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 11:28

I always get ants in my dalek composters, I guess the heat helps them raise their brood, they improve the air circulation so aid the composting, I always feel a little guilty when I water or turn the compost!.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

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clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
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The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

It's back, trying biological control this time. 
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bulbs, daffs, tulips, hyacinths, alliums

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Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

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Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

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Last Post: 20/04/2013 at 09:35

Back after a long slog

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Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

anyone else think this 'extended' winter, means a good summer

as above 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

So lyon, change your name back to Gary, wondering why?

well not really 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 09:28

Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
Replies: 13    Views: 1189
Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

Replies: 9    Views: 800
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

The ones you use most! 
Replies: 26    Views: 1237
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 14:56

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
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Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
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Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads