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Frank Davidson

Latest posts by Frank Davidson

1 to 10 of 143

What can I put in a tub with sunflowers?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 04:41

I boight a half kilo of seeds at the pet shop in the market for less than the price of a seed packet. They grew fine, a couple of metres high in poor soil.


What to do with this broccoli?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 04:37

Eat it. If it's bitter let it flower and eat some of the flowers, leave some for the bees


Sauted in olive oil with salt and pepper. 

Once it has finished flowering and seeding if you're collecting eat the centre core of the stems

Soil Type

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 04:29

There are about 7000 soil types in the UK, most depending on the underlying geology, the geological processes that have formed the bedrock and what has grown there over millenia.

 All  established gardens will be anthrosols (anthro=human) or tecnosols (product of the various additions to the soil). The original soil will be described by looking at whether there are distinct horizons( layers) and the nature of the horizons, humic content, mineral content (eg Al, Fe), texture (gravel, sand, silt, clay), blockiness, angularity...

See USDA soil classification if you are interested. It can get quite complex. It's not an exact science, it's just a very useful way to characterise soils.

You could google McCaulay soil maps, soilscape.ukso maps or uk soil maps , check on google images too.. They are mainly for agriculture but for sub/urban land you'll get the gist from the surrounding rural data.

you could dig a pit or core at a nearby uninhabited area, to see if there are distinct horizons, examine the soil where a tree has been uprooted or where significant erosion or other process exposes a cross section of what's under there.Check old maps I did this at the nearby woods and later found it was planted over a filled in quarry.

Though the above isn't about our personal gardens the underlying geology does massively influence, nay define what we garden on and how we have to look after, feed, water, restructure and in some cases drain our soils.

You could ask a neighbour who gardens "what are you gardening on, clay, loam, sandy? Is it acid alkaline?"


Remove grits and larger aggregates.

Dampen it, squeeze into a ball. If it doesn't hold together it has  a significant amount of sand.

Next try and pull and form  a ribbon out of it, if you can it has a significant amount of clay.

You could then drop a bolus of soil in a column and see how the sediment settles.

WWCCSoils has some practical labs (and lectures) on soil science on youtube if you want to get technical.

It's international year of soils, there might be some public access lectures round your way.

My advicelay.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 00:22

I noticed the kale is starting to flower, can't wait to pick those, fry with a touch salt and pepper and serve on toast.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 00:15

No, sat in the sun before the weather turned.

This evening a bird became stuck in my greenhouse. I left the door wide open so it could get out, but it obviously didn't get the hint at where the exit and free world is. When I tried to help it out it hid and now it has hidden behind the compressor of the refrigerator, which I only noticed some time later by flashlight from the outside..I removed the panes from the outside, but  can't get my hand behind the compressor to get the bird.

I've put a heat pad, some nesting material, water and food  in and clipped the panes back,  It's had some water with a touch dioralyte, so I think it'll be fine. Moved the fridge so the compressor is near the greenhouse door. The hot water bottle's at the ready for the rescue box tomorrow if needed. The poor wee thing is frightened..

Blueberry Bush Pests

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 03:16

Aye, Coccoidea (berrylike) of some sort by the description, The superfamily includes mealy insects  and scale insects.

Treatment I don't know sorry.

collecting ranunculus seeds?

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 00:44

Google "ranunculus baskins", the first hit should take you to a section on ranunculus and papaveraceae.

Ranunculus doesn't have orthodox seed, it is recalcitrant will lose viability when dried and cooled.

chilli peppers

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 20:59

Something cropped up and I got home extremely late, so never got them indoors in time. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 03:23

You can usually get the hostons in the wok before the gastropods get stuck in.


Rogue potatoes - should I encourage them?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 00:08

Free potatoes, half the work!

1 to 10 of 143

Discussions started by Frank Davidson

9V electric fence for gastropods.

Non lethal shocking of slugs & snails 
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Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 04:01

Cheapo PID Controllers for horticultural controls?

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Last Post: 22/03/2015 at 09:05

What sells well at charity plant sales?

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Last Post: 26/01/2015 at 09:01

Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

What shall i plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 734
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 18:05

Recycling compost from last years tomato growbags

Can one re-use growbacg compost? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1349
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 20:30
5 threads returned