Excitable Boy

Latest posts by Excitable Boy

spots on spuds

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 18:28

Pennypat, if your potatoes are first earlies and you have had better weather than me then they should be turning yellow and dying back around now as they're ready! Lots of potatoes have silver/white spots/pores as marshmello says, they can just be more noticeable on smaller early potatoes.

Enjoy your spuds!!

creepy crawlies in the soil on the allotment

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 18:14

Sounds more like a centipede to me if it's flat and orange. If the legs come out the sides it's a centipede, if they're underneath it's a millipede - these are usually black.

Centipedes are your friends as they are carnivorous and eat lots of nasties.

Slugs and snails - help needed!!

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 15:59

Given the scale of the problem I think I'm with David K and Geoff on this one. Sometimes you have to use chemicals to get things back in balance. The most effective stuff I ever used was a drench called "Slug It" many years ago - don't know whether it is still available.

The best long term solution is the encourage wildlife one, but that takes a lot of time.

Red Onions - Buds Forming

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 18:21

Bob, just remove the flower stalk and  let them grow on until you need them, but remember to use them first come harvest time.

Red Onions - Buds Forming

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 15:16

About half of my red onions have now bolted - and soime of my shallots as well, which has never happened before!

help with garden shed and bbq area

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 12:51

ian, if you are going to put down slabs I would give some serious thought to preparing a proper base unless you are willing to relay them every few years. to do this use DTp1 sub-base (often called type 1 scalpings) from a builders merchants (roughly £25/tonne). A tonne covers 6-8 square metres. You need to lay this about 3 inches deep and compact to around 2 inches with a wacker plate (which you'll need to hire). You then lay your slabs on cement on top. You can use the compacted scalpings as a base for your shed without the slabs if desired.

This probably involves more cost and work than you want, at least initially, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that laying slabs without a firm base is a total waste of time.

I agree with Paul's comment on a 6 x 4 shed. Get the biggest one you can afford, but at least 8 x 6. For a quick base use a couple of pallets if you can get them!

Neighbour's Plum Tree

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 11:46

I think you definately have to have a word with your neighbour. People often don't appreciate that mature fruit trees do grow to a substantial size (20 feet is way too close). Perhaps you could offer to buy him one with a dwarfing rootstock if he will take it down?

If he won't then I'd be inclined to give it a root prune come winter to get rid of any suckering roots on your property. This should reduce the tree's vigour a bit as well. As I am sure you are aware you are entitled to cut off any branches coming over your boundary providing you return the branches to your neighbour, but I'd only do this as a last resort.

Talkback: Sowing seeds - chillies and sweet peppers

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 11:08

Hi Italophile,

I'm growing chillies for the first time and the flowers are just starting to develop. I'm a bit concerned as there is some dark discolouration on the stalks at some higher leaf axils. Is something wrong?

Cheers, EB

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 11:20

Yeah, I live in the wet, wet, west!

I'd wanted to get the troughs planted up and grown on for a couple of weeks before putting them out on our bay windows, but no such luck.

The plants arrived today. Not the plants I'd ordered (upright instead of trailing) and very small (less than 1cm) - I could easily have grown them in 6 weeks without the aid of commercial facilities. To be fair this is the first time I've had a problem with T&M and they refunded the £20 straight away, but I don't think the troughs are going to happen now which is frustrating.

Will buy corms next year!!

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 15/06/2012 at 12:31

Still awaiting my April order of trailing begonias from Thompson and Morgan.

Supposed to have been dispached by end May, but when I phoned to chase up this morning they claimed they had only been dispatched yesterday (14 June) but needless to say didn't arrive today. Very disappointing as I have spent a lot of money with T&M this year and their service has been fine otherwise.

This is a salutory lesson to me regarding time-sensitive plants ( for baskets etc) as I could have got these locally several weeks ago - perhaps not as cheap, but if plants arrive too late to grow on they aren't cheap regardless of the price!

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