Excitable Boy

Latest posts by Excitable Boy

May In Your Garden

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:58
kate1123 wrote (see)

I was just thinking about tonights GW then remebered it was not on, what shall I do now

Absolute disgrace!

Would have missed it anyway as we're off out to celebrate another year of wedded bliss!

Talkback: How to grow parsnips from seed

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:54

I tried the trick of germinating the parsnip seeds on damp kitchen towel (on a flowerpot tray and covered with clingfilm to retain moisture) for the first time this year. To my surprise almost all of the seeds germinated!!. Very fiddly planting them out without damaging them and looking at them today I see I have a few gaps, but definately more parsnips than gaps unlike previous years. There's still time to do this!

What compost?

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 17:29

If you live in the South-east, Wales or midlands try Durstons compost - £1.48 for 20ltr bags at SPAR. Really good stuff - I have used it for seeds and seelings without any problems. Don't be shy of asking the manager to get you some if they don't have it on display.

Potato planting

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 17:00

Yes, give or take. If shallower don't worry, you'll just have to earth up more. Potatoes are very forgiving. I'm assuming you chitted them, but if not don't worry - farmers never do this and they seem to manage.


Posted: 04/05/2012 at 16:31

I'd avoid celery if you're new to veg as it's tricky and there's a lot of work involved. Courgettes are great but no more than two plants unless you really really like them. Butternut squash is dead easy and stores well. Beetroot - both for leaves and root, but pick when golfball sized. Sweetcorn too if the ground ever warms up (start in pots now). Tastes totally different to the shop stuff. Turnip and it's big brother Swede are also worthwhile if you have some space.

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 16:24

I bought 3 for £10 56ltr J Arthur Bowers compost from a garden centre recently and was very unimpressed - mouldy, smelly and too risky to use. Our local SPAR shop has 20ltr bags of Dunstons compost for £1.48 and it's really good stuff - even for seeds. If you find a SPAR that doesn't have it ask the manager to get some in for you and they're really helpful. I prefer the smaller bags too - far easier to handle.

Talkback: Japanese knotweed

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 16:02

We had this in our last house. Glyphosate, and lots of it, is the only answer! I found spraying with a stronger than normal solution to be fine, but it took about three years to kill it all. Do not dig it up as you have to dispose of at a licensed site as it is notifiable.

Be aware that it can damage house foundations, so if you're thinking of selling you need to make sure you don't have any within two metres of your property or your buyer may not be able to get a mortgage according to a suyveyor I know!

Potato planting

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 15:38

Assuming that you put them in the standard 5 inches deep and you haven't had any frost then within the next week.

Hosta or Weed?

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 11:06
blairs wrote (see)
sciencegirl wrote (see)

Icannot bear to pull out self seeded foxgloves. They pop up in the most hostile places that you have to admire their tenacity. Sometimes it can surprise you how good they look even if it wasn't in the original planting plan.

Neither can I! I love seeing them grow in walls or silly places. People walk past them all the time without realising what the plant is. I do tend to give seedling the benefit of doubt which means that I can end up with lots of weeds, but it is all part of the garden picture.

I know the feeling. We have lots of valerian growing in our garden walls and it is such an attractive plant we can't bear to pull it out.

Hosta or Weed?

Posted: 03/05/2012 at 10:56

Yes, they look very tired by the time they have finished flowering. Generally I find the whole plant will pull out fairly easily, but then I am in the moist moist south west, lol.

I am sure you are already aware, but remember that all parts of the foxglove are poisonous if eaten. Smaller children love to pull the flowers and put them on their fingers as they look made for this. Discourage this as the poison (digitalis) is concentrated in the nectar and pollen.

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