Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie


Posted: 10/04/2016 at 09:35

What you can do with parsnips is start the seeds off between two layers of damp kitchen paper on a plate,  covered in cling film. When they germinate, they put out a little root. You can then sow the resulting tadpole-like parsnipettes directly into their final stations in the bed, as you know they've germinated. 

I am not sure whether this actually gets them off any faster, but I think I may do it this year as the soil and the air are still so cold.

Mouldy compost

Posted: 10/04/2016 at 09:29

Sorry, no idea about that. I'm not very good with flowers, much as I love them, I'm more of a vegetable grower.

Mouldy compost

Posted: 10/04/2016 at 07:27

Oooh no, I'd never pinch the towels! But the toiletrries are meant to be used or taken.  We hardly ever used the tea and coffee in the room, so we're quite moderate in our usage.

Here's another tip for potting on plants (no theft involved): before filling  a flower pot, I place a scrap of old horticultral fleece at the bottom, or a piece of J-cloth., covering the holes. This prevents the compost being washed out of the holes and making a mess. It also keeps out woodlice and other creep crawlies.

Mouldy compost

Posted: 09/04/2016 at 17:46

I cover mine but only until the seeds are through. I save up those disposable plastic shower caps you get in hotels etc, which will usually cover a seed tray or a large pot.

Best seed compost?

Posted: 09/04/2016 at 17:40

Which? also recommended the Verve multi-purpose compost as being just as good as a seed compost, and much cheaper. I have used it for my tomato and some flower seeds, with good results so far.

Potting on help with so many seedlings!

Posted: 09/04/2016 at 17:37

You can also use thoseclearplastic punnets that the supermarkets use to pack grapes, strawberries, etc, as temporary homes for plants. They won't last long, but they won't need to.

If you really have more plants than you can ever use, you can probably find a home for them elsewhere; give them to other gardeners, or swop for something you want. There may be a local group offering gardening to the disabled, or some sort of community gardening project, or Spring Fairs, coffee mornings etc in your local church hall; any of these may welcome donations of spare plants.

Just make sure you keep plenty of good specimens, and a few spares in case of failure.

Growing tomatoes from seed

Posted: 07/04/2016 at 20:32

I have been known to take my baby plants on holiday with me, e.g a tray of tomato seedlings in little pots. This is feasible if you are, say, staying in self-catering accomodation in the UK,  or even a camper van, but not likely to go down well at the airport when you check in for your Ryanair flight to Malaga. 


Posted: 03/04/2016 at 22:34

Hmm....  how can you be sure, Laurasquirrel, that your rats didn't move on to Daisy's garden?


Posted: 02/04/2016 at 20:33

The poison put down by the pest controllers should soon do its work. It's not pleasant having to kill things, but sometimes it's the best option.

It's not necessarily down to anything you've done. Rats will eat anything, including each other,and a garden is full of both animal and vegetable matter they will feed on. 

Hedge veg

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 22:30

I live in a village on a quiet lane, but can get rid of quite a bit of surplus produce by putting it out at the gate. If it's something like tomatoes or gooseberries, I put out an honesty box and charge a modest amount; with windfall apples or overgrown courgettes, I just put a notice saying "Help Yourself."

Or sometimes I just donate produce to the village shop to use in their veg boxes. 

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Strawberry moths

Replies: 7    Views: 441
Last Post: 06/06/2016 at 19:45

Beware bark chippings!

Replies: 20    Views: 3447
Last Post: 24/05/2016 at 10:46

The Storm With No Name hits our garden

Replies: 5    Views: 520
Last Post: 11/03/2016 at 08:55

Aldi bargains

Replies: 26    Views: 2311
Last Post: 27/02/2016 at 18:57

Onion Smut!

Replies: 11    Views: 811
Last Post: 21/07/2015 at 17:08

Weird mutant bluebell?

Replies: 10    Views: 818
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 20:02

Leaking squash, help!

Replies: 12    Views: 1131
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 08:57

Moths and lavender

Replies: 0    Views: 582
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 12:14

Drama in the compost heap

Replies: 5    Views: 744
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 21:18

Tomato thriving on neglect!

Replies: 5    Views: 799
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

Replies: 5    Views: 1222
Last Post: 06/05/2014 at 21:27

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Replies: 6    Views: 881
Last Post: 04/06/2014 at 22:39


Replies: 8    Views: 1372
Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

Replies: 6    Views: 1144
Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

Replies: 10    Views: 2265
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25
1 to 15 of 18 threads