Iain R

Latest posts by Iain R

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Summerhouse mould? Is it ruined?

Posted: Yesterday at 10:21

If it is a mould & not a stain there are several  treatments sold under a variety of names such as Patio magic Mould magic etc. There are also DIY decorating treatments for mould such as Polycell 3in 1 The main ingredient in all of them is Benzalkonium Chloride some contain additional agents. They do not work instantly but the effects work over a period of time (2-3 weeks). They certainly work on algae outside and black mould you can get in Bathroom grout.

VERY IMPORTANT- DO NOT MIX BLEACH WITH OTHER TREATMENTS- It may release chlorine gas which is highly toxic. 

Lemon Tree

Posted: Yesterday at 09:47

Ah a conservatory the perfect place!  Keep it moist in growing season, put it on a tray  or dish of hortag to keep a humid atmosphere around it.

horse manure

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 22:13

Exactly- If you watched last weeks GW you would have heard Monty say mulching is one of the best things you can do for the garden.

Lemon Tree

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 22:05

Fidgitbones is correct though I have used ordinary JI no 3 with added grit when I could not find soil based ericaceous. They seem to do better in an unglazed clay pot. Ideally they need to be kept above +5 at all times. Mine are too big to move to the greenhouse now so I have had to build a shelter on the patio- they are under a south facing kitchen window. I put the shelter round in October & don't fully remove it till May.  If you get fruit they taste fantastic quite different to the ones you buy in the shops.


Posted: 21/03/2017 at 21:47

Well  anything in large doses could be a hazard. The the idea with Ferric phosphate is that the molluscs crawl away & die so are less likely to be picked up by birds hedgehogs etc If used sparingly the ferric phospate should breakdown in the soil. I would love to be able not to use these things at all but when it's a case of keeping a crop or bed full of plants for me its a last resort but I will use them. Last year was particularly bad for slugs, I was helping with a schools garden & one week we planted out some lettuce we had grown in modular cells ourselves. The following week there was only bare earth even the stems had gone. This happened 3 times,then I resorted to pellets round the outside of the deep beds at last the children had some lettuce to crop. The pellets were never near the actual crop so all was safe for the humans at least.

My point to rosemummy was that the snails will be largely unaffected by nematodes and by removing the competition from slugs the snail population may increase. I have experienced this myself. I understand fully that many people do not like using pellets even the so called organic ones. I use all methods: Nematodes, Copper tape, physical barriers, coffee grounds & hand removal- pellets are my last resort.

Help me choose a rotovator

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 10:41


I have no direct experience with this exact model but I have used many different types from the Mantis tiller all the way up to a Camon two wheeled tractor. As always it depends on several factors. What size of area are you wanting to cultivate, how often do you think you will use it, and of course your budget. Mountfield are a well known make so you should be ok there. You say you used an electric tiller before so you have some idea of what they are like to use. In my experience  all these cultivators mostly speed up the work, you use very different muscles to those used in ordinary digging but it does not take away all the effort required. Small tillers like the mantis put more strain on hands wrists & forearms, the medium size ones (usually with a drag bar)  put more strain on shoulders upper back and backs of legs (you have to hold it back to make it dig in to the soil) although with practice you can minimise the effort. Ironically the ones that need least input from you are the large ones with power driven wheels BUT they are only any use on very large areas because you need room to turn & manoeuvre. Small tillers will not dig unbroken ground very well as their light weight tends to mean they bounce off hard ground ( you can break  hard ground with a fork just by putting it in and giving it a wiggle) Most allotmenters that I know (including me) still winter dig and use a cultivator of various sizes to knock down the lumps in spring. We do have a couple of people on our site that only use rotary cultivators one of whom is very elderly but he was a professional gardener all his working life & he is still very active. Another Plot neighbour of mine uses an Alko tiller very similar looking to the Mountfield  you are proposing she is very happy with it but she still digs with a fork as well.

Hope all that is some help.

Looking to try and identify a old green vegetable

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 09:55

The organic gardening catalogue has Good King Henry as well www.organiccatalogue.com. Worth noting they also have a heritage seeds section with many of the old cultivars you may remember.


Posted: 21/03/2017 at 09:43

You may still have to use some pellets for the snails as they tend to live above ground and the nematodes can't get to them there. I am sure you know the Ferric Phosphate ones are best as they do not affect other wildlife so much.


Posted: 20/03/2017 at 10:29

Soil temperature on my plot was +11 C at weekend so even with a dusting of snow I don't think it will drop that much in the root zone. I think they say it only has to be +5 for the nematodes so you should be ok. Out of interest was it for slugs or vine weevil?


Posted: 17/03/2017 at 11:22

You do not need a special rose as such but  as the the carrier medium  and nematodes are in suspension rather than actually dissolved, a fine rose will tend to clog up. Even a coarse Rose may block a little, even when the product is correctly mixed & diluted. You could apply without a rose into pots but if you want an even spread on open ground, they advise a coarse rose.

Last edited: 17 March 2017 11:22:46

1 to 10 of 103

Discussions started by Iain R

Seed Potato Accent

Lack of supply for 2017 
Replies: 0    Views: 251
Last Post: 06/01/2017 at 11:29

Another Vitopod question

How best to use it? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1824
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 12:34
2 threads returned