John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding


Posted: 13/08/2013 at 08:17

If it helps I got fed up with Norton slowing down my PC and popping up reminders to update right in the middle of a Power Point Presentation to a hall full of people so I dumped it and used Kaspersky Internet Security (for the past 10 years now) without any problems.

I also use a software package called 'Advanced System Optimiser' by a company called 'Cleverbridge' which is excellent at removing spyware, adware, malware, all kinds of internet traces and much more. This software (nothing to do with 'Optimiser pro')  keeps the PC at peak performance.

[All Internet Security packages will eventually slow down a PCs operating speed] ASO will regularly remove all the temporary internet files that are responsible for slowing everything down and optimise the registry for best performance.

ASO costs around £20 + Vat

contact Email I use for renewals is (if it helps)


Now... back to picking the courgettes and tomatoes....JH

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 12/08/2013 at 23:36

3" nail was for added iron!

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 12/08/2013 at 21:58
John Harding wrote (see)

I've bought both the Westland Multi-Purpose with John Innes and the Westland Vegetable compost. The veg compost is about £1 cheaper per 60 ltr bag than the MP+JI with both types on same special offer buy 2 get a 3rd free. I used the veg compost to pot on some Courgette plants today in large patio containers mixing in a bit of Growmore as Courgettes do feed voraciously and need a fast release fertiliser. The veg compost is good but for my money the MP+JI is better and worth the extra money. How they will compare in actual growth remains to be seen as I have potted up some in identical containers but using both types - I'll try and remember to post results.

Well, I said I would try and remember to post the results relative to the compost used so here goes!

The Westland veg compost was good and we've had respectable returns but the Westland MP with added John Innes was better - way better - if you don't mind having to pick about a dozen courgettes every day. They are slowing down a bit now but we are still harvesting about 4 per day.

There was quite a bit of discussion about the J Arthur Bowers compost this year which I couldn't initially find but finally did and bought 5 growbags for the greenhouse and yes, it did look horrible stuff I agree but I used it for my tomatoes and the results have been excellent. I posted a picture of one of my 'Country Taste' toms the other day (and there are plenty on the plants): the one in the pic ripened and I picked it on Saturday - it weighed 1lb + 1/4oz and was very sweet. We used some in salads and the rest in our main meal this evening in Nadia Sawalha's Spanish Chicken with Chorizo dish. Yum!

J Arthur Bowers growbags have been used for 'Red Alert' and 'Apero' tomatoes and yields have been excellent.

John H

Good Evening FORKERS

Posted: 12/08/2013 at 21:29

Many years ago a friend lived in Flackwell Heath in Buckinghamshire. A new neighbour moved into the house next door and one of the first things he did was to cut down a mature Oak tree in the front garden which raised a storm of protest from all the nearby neighbours. There was no such thing as a preservation order on the tree (we're talking 40 years ago now) so council could do nothing about it but the local population gave him a lot of 'stick' (metaphorically).

In a fit of pique he sliced off a piece of the fallen tree trunk and used it to rename his house....


He wasn't a popular bunny!

Runner beans

Posted: 12/08/2013 at 16:39

I note all answers on this thread were last year until the last 2. Totally different weather patterns this year: My runner beans are doing very well this year (though they were'nt at all bad last year). Bumble bees do tend to go through the back of the flowers on broad beans though I've not noticed them doing that on my runners but in any case it doesn't seem to have affected the yield much. Runner beans do need plenty of water. I always dig a deep trench and back-fill with material from my compost bin + shredded paper from my office, in fact any organic material that will help to retain water - never seems to fail.


Posted: 12/08/2013 at 16:30

My daughter has the same problem (I grew all our runner beans from seed and she had 20 plants from me). She has this problem but I don't, we've picked pounds of beans & frozen some - eaten a lot!  

We have put a lot of it down to birds [particularly sparrows] taking the flowers, even though we have white flowering runner beans [Moonlight from Dobies seeds in Painton, Devon]. Only difference otherwise is that I have mine in the garden soil whereas my daughter has grown them in 8 large pots + a special Bean growing bag from local GC, given a trial this year but she has kept the plants well watered so it's not about letting them dry out.

Talkback: Horseflies

Posted: 09/08/2013 at 08:31

Wasps do have a aprt to play in our ecology: amongst other things they prey on Crane Flies (Daddy Longlegs) which emerge from the grub we know as 'leatherjackets' that live in our gardens (particularly lawns) and eat the roots of plants.

When our kids were little we used to like to sit in the garden to have tea on late summer sunny days but the wasps were a real nuisance at that time of year so we took to putting the table close to a Fennel that was in flower which solved the problem. The wasps would far rather have the nectar from fennel that our jam butties.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 08/08/2013 at 17:08

Gazanias just started flowering, New herb bed is settling down, Chicago Peace Rose produced another flower and Country Taste Tomatoes now starting to ripen

New Herb Bed



Chicago Peace Rose


Country Taste Toms: larger one is over 4 inches across




Posted: 08/08/2013 at 15:22

My personal preference is Felco No 2 which I've had for many years but I do have large hands & they are too big for my wife - she has a pair of Wilkinson Sword, smaller & lighter but very good quality. Felco (not to be confused with the cheap name copy 'Fedco') do a number of styles: The No 2 are robust and currently retail at around £60 so not cheap. Spare parts are also available for Felco (just bought a new blade for mine after 25 years at RHS Wisley plant centre last week) - the only part that's needed replacing since I bought them new!

Buy the best you can afford as there is no substitute for quality.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 16:53

I personally use an electric Qualcast 13" cylinder mower but you do have to be careful with the elactric lead. It does fine for us but our next door neighbour (who suffers from dementia) has a petrol Honda self propelled (walk behind type) with electric start and that is brilliant. Both I and his neighbour the other side of him offer to cut the lawn for him and I have to say it is a pleasure to use. His lawn is mostly clover, daisies and a few other weeds but it always looks good after it is mown. I wouldn't use it on my lawn for fear of the weed seeds transferring but I would definitely recommend the model to anyone considering a petrol mower. He also has a Mountfield mower of similar size but it is rip-cord start, doesn't always start easily and no-where near as reliable as the Honda - so my recommendation is go for the Honda with an electric start.

Discussions started by John Harding

Plant ID please

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Runner Beans

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Not been on here for a while

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Signing in problems

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What's eating my winter Spinach?

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Email notifications

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Is it me?

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Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 22:42
9 threads returned