London (change)

David K

Latest posts by David K

Any ideas for an entry.....

Posted: 19/09/2015 at 15:51

I've judged fruit & veg many times at village produce shows, this year I was asked to judge the children's pet section. Never again! I'm too do tell a gorgeous little five year old, clutching a much loved, immaculately groomed   bunny, they haven't won this time. 

Btw, my top tip for making a 'killer' Victoria Sponge' is to introduce plenty of air when folding in the flour. I have won this (much to the consternation of the ladeeze) several times....once upon a time we used to get a Mc Dougals Flour sustificate.

potatoes main crop harvesting..

Posted: 18/09/2015 at 10:38

This isn't something I've encountered in my many years of gardening, but having an inquiring mind (nosey) I'm intrigued by the problem.

This is about the sum total of what relevant information I could find: " The individual potato cells are susceptible to breaking down based on the amount of starch in the potato. Higher solids (starch) potatoes have larger cell size and tend to not break down as easily when over mixed versus a low solids potato (such as a red or yellow skinned variety) which has smaller potato cells."


Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 18/09/2015 at 08:03

Linny - As you've discovered seed trays are not good for deep-rooted sweet peas.

I use these from Eagle SPs:


Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 21:35

Oh, that's a shame.  Having said that, it hasn't been a memorable year for SP growers in general.

Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 21:17


Yvies - I was wondering if your sweet peas had been successful this year.

Painted Lady above is reputed to be very highly scented.

Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 16:53

Linny - TBH, I always prefer to sow fresh seed, as it's important to me to know what I'm getting.

Having said that, self-seeders or saved seed will always produce flowers, although cross pollination may result in them not being true to type.  

Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 10:54

As a general remark, I would add that when seed companies state  on the back of their packets to sow in autumn or specify different months, it should be understood that the back of a seed packet doesn't offer them much scope.

By way of explanation I would say that autumn sowing of sweet pea seed is a balancing act and being so, no definitive time can be given for sowing.

The best case scenario is to sow the seed and as soon as it has germinated hope for the onset of cold weather to keep them from putting on further growth.....the general idea being that in October (or whenever) there is still sufficient natural warmth to germinate the seed before the onset of other words the optimum time. 

With the above in mind (and with a little practice) it's advisable to sow according to the existing weather, not  a particular week/month.


Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 09:34

 You're moving too fast,'s a tad early to be thinking of feeding them.

Having said that, you could help the situation in the preparation of your trough......add some well rotted manure to the mix.

Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 09:16

You're welcome, Liam.

I would imagine 15" deep for your trough would be an absolute minimum....20" would be better.


Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 08:56

Hi, Liam

Perhaps it would be best to answer your query step at a time.

First of all, living in Staffordshire I'm roughly in the same place re seed sowing times. I would say that rather than setting your mind on sowing those seeds in early October, wait to see what the prevailing weather is like.....sometimes mid-November is more favourable. Sowing too early will result in the seedlings being too developed going into winter.

Apart from sowing in deep pots such as grow-tubs (I prefer the (plastic bag) type sold by Eagle) I would recommend using seed compost rather than multipurpose.

I like your trellis project, but as sweet peas are both deep rooted & hungry feeders the trough you mention will need to be as deep as possible.

Those dwarf SPs would be better sown in the spring, then sow as with others.

Regarding those packets in your pic, the only ones I have experience with are Unwins, who are a reputable company who have always sold good quality SP seed.

Good luck.

Could I just add (I've posted this before) if anyone  has any queries about growing sweet peas, could you please use this thread rather than send them in a PM to makes sense, as everyone then shares the information.


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