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John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding


Posted: 06/06/2015 at 13:59


Parsnips will not like being transplanted if it means separating them and disturbing the roots. I collected around 50 toilet roll centre tubes and made a wooden box to house them, then filled them all with compost and sowed 3 seeds in each in February in the greenhouse, pricking out the 2 weakest in each station after germination. These then grew on in their stations until they were ready to be planted out in April. They are now growing very well in their final positions.

The pic above shows the box with the thinning out done. It is important in my opinion to add a copper strip around the box to deter slugs and snails as they love to eat the tender young plants. If they do get over the copper strip ad a second strip below it and connect a pair of wires to the strips and connect to a small battery And that will guarantee they will not cross!

The cardboard tubes are best planted out with the seedlings and they will just rot down in the soil. Hope this helps

John H

Scarlet Emporor Runner Bean in blossom indoors in Feb advice please! :)

Posted: 07/04/2015 at 16:58

Of course, if there are plenty of flowers they are edible and can add a little bright cheerfulness to a salad!????

Growing tomatoes

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 10:48
Who is 'Steve' David?

Growing tomatoes

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 22:38

Sounds like "damping off" - a fungal disease than can affect young wallflower seedlings and others too. Below is a quote from the Marshallseeds website re damping od of wallflower seedlings:


Wallflower English Bedder Blend
Erysimum cheiri

Perennial Bedder Blend has dense clusters of fragrant, 1/2", velvety, richly colored flowers in shades of yellow, orange, brown, and rusty red. A must for any English garden or rock garden, these very fragrant and showy flowers are also especially nice in containers and as a ground cover for spring blooming bulbs. Does well in coastal and mountainous regions where it thrives in cool summers. 

Full sun to light shade. Blooms spring. 

Height: 10" - 12" tall

Days to Emerge: 5 - 10 Days

Seed Depth: 1/4"

Seed Spacing: 1"

Thinning: When 1/2" tall, thin to 1 every 8" 

When to sow outside: 2 - 4 weeks before average last frost or in early fall, 2 months before average first frost. 

When to start inside: 6 - 8 weeks before average last frost. 

Special Germination Instructions: Seedlings are very susceptible to damping off (fungal seedling disease); use a very light, sterilized soil mix and water from the bottom.

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Posted: 26/03/2015 at 11:17

Morning all, just a pic to show how my root trainers made from toilet roll & kitchen roll tubes are getting on. Made the box and sowed seeds on 13th Feb. pic below taken this morning. 3 seeds per station and have thinned out the weakest seedlings (mostly)


Growing tomatoes

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 10:52

My tomato seedlings are coming along nicely in the GH.

Pic below: top left = Alicante; bottom left = Sweet Aperitif; bottom right = Cristal F1 (only 10 seeds per packet) top right = dwarf french marigolds (for planting with tomato plants) All T&M seeds.


Camera Corner

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 13:40

A pic of my parsnip box made of toilet/kitchen roll tubes and seeds sown a few weeks ago now germinated. When plants are ready to go outside they can be set in their positions with no root disturbance. Copper band around the box is to deter slugs. If any do get across it I will add another band of copper below it and solder a pair of wires to the band and connect them to a small battery but all seems to be OK at present. I lost a lot to a small slug last year that climbed the root trainer container that was on the bench in the GH so I'm taking extra precautions this year.

 PS, I sowed 3 seeds per station and have picked/thinned out the weakest to leave the strongest to grow on.

Camera Corner

Posted: 11/03/2015 at 17:28
When you get that notice Little Ann just click it off and carry on with the upload - I think you will find it will work OK. John H

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 11/03/2015 at 13:57
Funny how different people have totally opposite views re the same product. I wonder what criterion each is based on. For my money I think I'd trust 'Which' who do have a reputation for thoroughness but despite that I do like the JAB Seed & Cutting compost so I'm staying with that for my seeds!

Growing tomatoes

Posted: 09/03/2015 at 22:18
It's very strange, I keep getting notifications saying there's another post on this thread but when I click on the link there's nothing new! Last post on this thread was at 18.56 yesterday according to my page.
I did click on the onions video and it was a bit like me in my own GH! - same pots on the shelf washed with Jeyes fluid - even the little compost tamping block is just like the one I made for myself. My compost tray has a few holes drilled in it for drainage though 'coz I use it to grow a few little gem lettuces later on!!

Discussions started by John Harding

Signing in problems

log-on keeps dropping out 
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Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 20:12

Signing in problems

log-on keeps dropping out 
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Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 19:57

What's eating my winter Spinach?

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Last Post: 19/11/2013 at 09:12

Email notifications

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Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 06:34

Is it me?

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Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 22:42
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