Frank Davidson

Latest posts by Frank Davidson

1 to 10 of 227

Is Tomorite ok to use as plant food?

Posted: 05/09/2016 at 22:28

Tomato feed is for promoting flowering and fruiting in healthy grown-up plants.

For younger plants, relatively established but not seedlings that are filing to thrive despite good light, or are Nitrogen hungry or are chlorosed (yellow) you could use a N+ rich fertiliser if the plants need it eg BFB or chicken manure pellets.

If seedling and very young plants are overfed for the given lighting conditions they'll end up etiolated (leggy/spindly)

If they are autumn flowering plants and are quite established, sure use tomato feed to promote flowering, otherwise you are just pouring money into the dirt.

Read the seed packet label or consult with the seed merchant. 

I don't bother much with feeds these days, too much shlepping.

Rake recommendations

Posted: 16/02/2016 at 01:52

Tetley, haha, I've done the full slapstick rake routine  before.


Rake recommendations

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 22:56

Thanks all yeah it's just for general gardening. There aren't any more shops I can get to that stock rakes I can check out in the shop hence looking for recommendations. I went to a couple they had the same ones which looked quite tinny. I can't recall the make but the handles were stained, I suspect in an attempt to look more traditional and old school, like it's a tool with heritage. 

The ironmongery wholesaler I use has decent looking rakes but they are far too wide.

I've a Wolf handle and a few heads but it isn't much cope for anything. I just use the heads as small hand tools.

I stated a preference for stainless or galv so I don't end up having to paint it every winter as I do with other some other carbon steel tools. I frequently forget what I'm doing and leave tools outside. There's often a problem with welds in stainless tool though.

Is the Spear and Jackson neverbend good? Does it have a fat handle? None of the sites stated the handle diameter.

Grow box with monitoring and remote control system

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 20:52

Yeah it looked like it to me. I google imaged the plant photo and it was cross-posted to head forums.


Grow box with monitoring and remote control system

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 19:21

I'm not sure what you are selling. It looks like repurposed mini bars or 19" equipment racks and a picture of plants with no link between the pictures.

Perhaps a little over the top for domestic gardeners unless the plants they are growing have an big payback in economic terms, as Ali G says "Aaiii!" Not my scene.

Some folks are serious about their chillies, tomatoes and mediterranean herbs and need to get them off to a good start because we have such a short season.. I am but I'm more serious about holding up my reputation as a penny-pincher.


If one buys that sort of kit in the UK questions will probably be asked and doors possibly booted in at stupid times of the morning regardless of what plants are being grown. It's a pretty easy job getting court orders to monitor the accounts of resellers of equipment which might be used in the cultivation of Class B drugs, then follow the money. If the Police see unusual coloured light through a window, they will investigate for an easy win. I had a police officer enquire about my fly lamp once when they were up to take a witness statement.

It's undersized for commercial and lab growers. They work on the Danish or Euro (60x40cm) system. I've worked on horticultural controls for a garden centre chain and commercial fruit growers, and we did that with PLCs and BMS controllers but in large rooms. There have been automated germination cabinets on the markets for decades supporting plant research. For non species-specific lab work, generally on the reference plant species Arabidopsis thaliana there isn't a great need for anything fancy as they readily germinate. 

I might have looked at something similar if I still worked at sea a few weeks at a time or still travelled abroad on business a month at a time and had money to burn. I'd be doing so as a DIY technical project, for fun, not buying a COTS system. I didn't garden then though. Then again, if I had money to burn I wouldn't be growing my own veg.

Seems a bit odd to ask us, potential customers what you should market your product as.

Coir Compost Blocks

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 18:08

The bag of damp coir I made up last spring is still damp.

The only thing is coir is highly processed and shipped a long way, so there's loads of embedded energy and CO2.

No fungus. Take that, peat!


Rake recommendations

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 16:43

I need a new soil rake. not less thann30cm wide.I need a long handled one because I'm quite tall.I have a grip problem so 25mm diameter handle is better than 20mm.

Stainless steel would be better but not to the expense of robustness. Perhaps a well-galved one.

Are round tined rakes better than flat?

What's considered the best brand. Any recommendations?



Anyone ever made needle mould?

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 16:30

I have. It takes ages to happen even after putting the collection bin in the greenhouse. I keep it separate 

Best greenhouse width?

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 15:33

The best size is quite a few sizes up from the one that you think is just a bit too big for your needs.

If you've got space for the width and space for the length you'll be kicking yourself in years to come that you didn't save up a few/several/however many months more.

How effective is leaf mold at mulching?

Posted: 04/10/2015 at 15:17

The wild, deciduous forests, anywhere where there aren't bought-in plants which are the principle vector of colonisation. The NZ flatworms don't like the heat (20deg C ha, that's what they call 'heat' up here ) so they are less prevalent in SE UK. Their spread has come from botanic gardens to garden centres to domestic gardens. Council parks use bought-in-plants quite heavily so are prone to colonisation. The specimens hang out in leaf litter, waiting for anecic (elevating) worms to ascend then ambush them.

1 to 10 of 227

Discussions started by Frank Davidson

Rake recommendations

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Bolt resistant oriental veg?

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Forestry tray suppliers UK?

small quantities. 
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Countryfile "Grow Wild" seeds arrived

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Bulk UV resistant plant labels?

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9V electric fence for gastropods.

Non lethal shocking of slugs & snails 
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Cheapo PID Controllers for horticultural controls?

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What sells well at charity plant sales?

Replies: 11    Views: 2051
Last Post: 26/01/2015 at 09:01

Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

What shall i plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 1511
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 18:05

Recycling compost from last years tomato growbags

Can one re-use growbacg compost? 
Replies: 4    Views: 4171
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 20:30
10 threads returned