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Crazy Cat

Latest posts by Crazy Cat

11 to 20 of 20

Material for raised bed

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 12:46

Hi Dr1974.

Firstly congratualtions on making your own raised beds yourself, rather than buying them- They are a silly price to buy

I am a Chemistry Technician by trade and my advice to you is that yes the Tanalith 'E' treated wood should be okay to use. This is because (unlike traditional treatments) Tanalith 'E' does NOT contain Chromium or Arsenic compounds-it contains organic biocides which are generally much safer.

I would however still line the raised bed using a waterproof material (Tanalith 'E' is water soluable and the wood is treated by soaking in Tanalith 'E' and then vacuum pressured). Whilst not hazardous in the levels in your wood, the organic biocides can affect good microbe soil health over a time period of 1-2 years (Tanalith 'E' biocide is meant to prevent microbes rotting wood). A simple waterproof lining with drainage holes in the bottom (away from the wood) will suffice.

Hope this helps!


Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 20:19


The garlic might be the tricky one- meganzqn was spot on when she said garlic needs a period of cold to trigger clove formation.

If you put them in during march then they might be okay as we had a very cold and late spring (we had snow in march where we are). The late cold spring may have been enough to trigger them.

If the top are yellowing/browning then I would gently fork up a few and have a look. Try to do this on a sunny dry day and garlic tends to keep better if you leave the root on.


Confession- slug olympics

Posted: 06/07/2013 at 22:01

Okay- I have a confession to make

In the eternal battle against my arch nemisis (Slugs & snails) I admit to being rather brutal.

I live on the edge of a field and so I take a rather guilty pleasure in flicking said slugs/snails (using my spade) over the fence into the field. The thrushes seem to have caught on as they are usually hanging around waiting for there food to be thrown over.

Anyone else have any henious secrets they care to confess? I can't be the only secret snail slinger.....can I ????

Blue Lake Climbing Beans- Very late to flower??

Posted: 06/07/2013 at 21:55

Hi Follks,

Thanks for the replies. It is just so frustrating- the dwarf beans are all okay but these climbing french beans are not behaving themselves....

I guess the dreadful start to the year didnt help so fingers crossed they will catch up. I must admit I have been really suprised by some dwarf runner beans (Hestia) I have been growing for the first time- output yield is amazing considering the size of the plants compared to traditional climbing runners. Learn something new every day!


Blue Lake Climbing Beans- Very late to flower??

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 20:42

Evening Folks!

Just a question to see if anyone having similar problem.

My climbing french beans (Blue Lake) are only just developing flower buds- in previous years I have already started harvesting byt this time!

Really quite strange as the Runner Beans seem to be doing well and I just picked the first lot last week.

Anyone any ideas as to why these pesky french beans are on the go slow? Sigh...suppose they are french after all!

ground cover for slope

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 18:09

Hi gillylal,

As sandy soil on a slope will lose water quickly I would maybe go for some varieties that hold up well in that soil type.

Some grasses might help to anchor the sand and help reduce water loss.

For groundcover maybe Oregon Stonecrop or Moss Phlox (although the shade may limit the Phlox).

Flowering Quince loves free draining soil and possible bulbs that may grow okay in sandy soils could include foxglove and bluebells (although I think you would have to dig in some good ).

Mahonia 'Winter Sun' is a good shrub for the shade and likes free draining soil (again would add some humus/good compost). It can grow throughtout britain although can get a little big- although bounces back well from a good pruning now and then!

Hope you find plants which suit your needs!




Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 17:41

Hi Italophile,

Thanks for the reply!! I hope that having taken cuttings I should have enough time to have a second crop of minibel tomatoes ripened by the end of summer (weather dependant!)

I am suprised by how few people seem to have grown this variety Hardly anyone I speak to have heard of them. All rather strange!

They require no staking, take very little room and are pretty disease resistant (I have no problems at all with them so far). They have produced a lot of tomatoes that are ripening well and the actual size is very good for a cherry- about 1 and half inches or so.

As an heirloom variety I would have thought more people would have tried it! Especially as it takes so little room it is an ideal size for container/patio growing or even as a companion plant at the ends of the salad beds. I presume city/balcony growers would love this type as well...

Come on all you fellow gardeners- I can't have been the only one to grow them....Anyone??


Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 18:31

Afternoon All,

I am growing Tomato Minibell this year- First time I have tried this type! Anyone had any experience with this type?

I have grown them early indoors and I must admit I have been a little suprised. All of the 5 seeds I planted have germinated and are flourishing. They have reached about eighteen inches high and have about 25ish tomatoes on each that are already nearly ripe!

As they are determinate and produce their fruit all at once, I have taken some sucker cuttings yesterday- I presume that they should have enough time for me to get a second crop of tomatoes off these new plants by late august???

Anyone have any experience with this particular type- any suggestions welcome as  this is the first time growing this variety.

Thanks in advance

Talkback: Frogs and toads in the garden

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 22:39


I don't have a pond and none of the neighbours do either (small children..all of us). I wish I could have a pond...I am at WAR with those darn slugs and snails

Every morning I arise to follow the slime trails to see which plant they felt like salivating over. This morning I had to put the Nasturtiums into plant intensive care.

I do use slug pellets as sparingly as possible but none of the traditional methods (beer cans, egg shells, copper tape, slug hunting) seem to make even the slightest dent in their numbers.

So Gardeners who have a pond of their own or nearby count your blessings...What I wouldnt give for a few frogs!

Dwarf French beans

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 20:29

Hi Nick,

Don't worry about age- Gardening is one hobby where sometimes years of experience cant always provide the answers- Nature and the British Weather are the Masters im afraid!

To answer your question- Dwarf French beans generally are self supporting and do not need staking. However, considering the wet and windy weather so far this year I would recommend that you do provide some stakes-this will help keep the beans off the wet ground (and so lessen the chances of your beans becoming mildewy).

Do not buy expensive bamboo stakes for small dwarf plants. Have a look in your local supermarket for some fairly long bbq kebab sticks/chop sticks. These should be fine to stake your dwarf beans with-It has worked for me before and they are very cheap.

Good Luck

11 to 20 of 20

Discussions started by Crazy Cat

What cucumber are people growing this year?

Replies: 6    Views: 412
Last Post: 14/04/2014 at 23:32

Confession- slug olympics

Slug hammer throw? 
Replies: 20    Views: 966
Last Post: 17/07/2013 at 05:16

Blue Lake Climbing Beans- Very late to flower??

Slow growing beans 
Replies: 8    Views: 801
Last Post: 07/07/2013 at 21:24

Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Looking for advice! 
Replies: 4    Views: 1529
Last Post: 04/06/2013 at 18:09
4 threads returned