Iain R

Latest posts by Iain R

1 to 10 of 12

Creating a no dig bed on heavy soil

Posted: 09/01/2017 at 12:36


It sounds like a lovely spot.  From what you say in second post it seems as though what you may have, is a high water table as the burn runs round and you have silt and sand in various parts of the garden (from past flooding?). If you read any good book that includes a chapter on soil etc what they all say is you can change the STRUCTURE of a soil by digging, composting mulching to improve fertility and aeration but not the underlying TEXTURE i.e. sandy silty gritty clay etc. So you have to work with what you have. Dig a small test pit  cover it with a board or heavy plastic, see if the bottom fills with water, then you will know how high the water table is & then how high your bed needs to be to avoid trouble. The only other way would be to lay drains that run into the burn but that would be a huge amount of work.

I quite like a lot of what Charles Dowding says but it seems to me that he is growing in pure compost. If you have access to huge amounts of compost or manure it could be the way to go but remember no dig does not mean no work.

From where you are now I would let the soil get frosted, then as soon as it thaws get as much manure or compost onto it as you can. In spring you can decide whether to dig or plant straight in.

Good luck.

Onion, Shallot & Garlic Collection from marshals seeds is not growing

Posted: 06/01/2017 at 11:38

A tip I learned from one of the guys on my allotment site is to soak garlic cloves in tepid water for 12 -24 hrs before you plant. You get short white roots appearing at base plate. You can plant direct or in modules as Zoomer says. Either way the soaking gives them a head start.

Seed Potato Accent

Posted: 06/01/2017 at 11:29


Anyone know why there seems to be no supply of seed potato Accent this year. I have grown this variety as first early for last few seasons as an improvement to my previous favourite Foremost. None of the catalogues I have seem to list it this year, all the main websites list it as out of stock- already!


Posted: 03/08/2016 at 12:43

I think it depends upon which type they are. There are Border types and Alpine types, the alpine ones are the ones that need most  protection. In both cases they need well drained soil but obviously the Alpine ones need very sharp drainage and benefit from protection. Those without an alpine house (most of us) are where the idea of the theatre came in as well as for display. I have mine in pots  on a basic open metal rack but against the greenhouse side so they have some shelter. I find them quite hardy.

Hope this helps.

Horsradish Thongs......to be or not to be

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 12:54

Dear Christine, Very wise decission not to grow, my wife loves horse raddish sauce so thought I would grow some, in spite of putting into large plastic pots of couse it escaped & it has infested my asparagus bed now so double disaster!  I agree with everything said by Little Miss Bush about trying to dig, remove and, grating  processing -literally takes your breath away!

Another Vitopod question

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 12:34

Thanks for comments, I agree the light levels are often a problem this time of year and as we all know light levels were a big problem all year in 2012!  I suppose a gow light is the next investment, these veg could turn out cheaper if I cover them in gold leaf!

Seriously what surprised me  was  a lack of instructions apart from how to put the side pieces together. Most seed packs give germination temps but not all. Ah well all part of the fun!

Another Vitopod question

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 14:52

Ok I read all the reviews dropped all the hints to family, shelled out for power down to the greenhouse, and now I have my first ever heated propagator. I have the large vitopod  with extension height. What now? What temperatures should I be using for general seed  germination, do I need to fill it up or will part filled be ok. I mostly grow veg. Anything in the books to tell me what to do?

All info greatefully received

What is this Seedling?

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 22:17

The seed on the bench looks like some sort of Bean but you might need to wait till the leaves unfold a bit more before you can work out what it is. When it has developed a bit more try again or just ask the Brownie pack leader what it is


Posted: 02/11/2012 at 23:06

My father (much better gardener than me) always told a tale that during WW2 he was stationed up in Oban doing embarcation of air crew .

He got a load of seaweed dug it in to the garden of the B&B he was staying in. He said he  got the best crops he had ever had, especially brassicas. To the point that when the ministry of food were going round on checks another neighbouring B&B owner complained that it was alright for his landlady to manage on the rations because she had got a professional gardener in who was suplying her with all this fantastic produce!

Iain R

New to the website

Posted: 02/11/2012 at 22:26

Go UP- Peas & climbing beans french or runner. My grandchilderen ask when it's time to sow seeds. The seeds are big and easy for them to handle, nice big plants and peans or beans to pick & eat! The purple french type Bluhilde long purple pods that go dark green whn cooked. The children think they are really cool!

1 to 10 of 12

Discussions started by Iain R

Seed Potato Accent

Lack of supply for 2017 
Replies: 0    Views: 191
Last Post: 06/01/2017 at 11:29

Another Vitopod question

How best to use it? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1748
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 12:34
2 threads returned