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John Harding


Latest posts by John Harding

A day in the garden.

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 18:59

Pressure washers have a habit of the motor seizing up if they are left for a long time without being used. I had a Stihl PW that did this but the end of the motor shaft had a hexagon socket in the end that you could put an Allen key into and work the motor free. Had it for 20 years and was a good tool but eventually the motor burnt out so I have replaced the PW with a new one (same make).

Look for the end of the motor shaft and see if there is some way to turn the rotor to get it moving (or if it's already free to move you will know that's not the problem).

If the capacitor has blown it should be fairly obvious as when they go it's usually with a big flash & bang and the capacitor blows apart leaving a black sooty deposit behind which you will have to ask Sweep to clear up!

As the machine is electrical & pumping water you should have it PAT tested by a qualified electrician after you've looked at it/done anything to it 'cos if anything goes wrong and someone gets hurt guess who the finger will be pointing towards.

John Harding MBLI, Training officer to PUWER Regs 1998 (Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998)  ...[and passionate gardener!!!]

Plant ID and bug info

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 11:34

I agree the shrub looks like a Choisya: the bug looks like a capsid bug - unlikely to do any great harm in the garden, they are sap suckers not predators and if you squash them you will have a nasty niff on your hands - literally!

Plants

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 11:21

Gas blow lamp kills most bugs!

This forum

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 21:14

Have booked tickets for Gardeners World Live for Friday 13th. Hope the weather is good this year. 'twasn't too bad last year though it did go cloudy & cool at lunchtime when we were sitting outside having munchies- then started to rain! The afternoon brought a few heavy showers too but we managed to stay under cover for most of it

Bugs....what is munching my brassicas??

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 21:05

If you don't remove all the eggs and caterpillars and net with a fine net it will be a waste of time. It's very early still in the season for cabbage whites and you can be sure many more will be all over your brassica patch during the next few months and they will decimate your plants. At least a good netting system will stand you in good stead for many years to come. I bought my nets from Knowle Nets in Dorset this year and they are paying dividends already as I have the healthiest pest free plants this year that I have ever had. Every year I have said 'I must get some netting' but never got around to doing it but after last years dis-spiriting waste of time, ground and effort I bit the bullet (so to speak) and bought the netting recommended by a friend, and boy am I glad now that I did. I have 4 raised beds and have decided I will invest in a new net cage each year now until I have protected all four beds (They're all slightly different sizes and I don't want to have to move them about every year). The guy at Knowle Nets was very knowledgable and helpful and sent exactly what I needed - he will know exactly what size netting you need if you tell him what you want to protect (or of course you can buy some netting at a GC and make or get someone to make up a frame). At least the Knowle Net frames are aluminium and will last for years.

uploading images

Posted: 25/05/2014 at 19:29

I use photoshop and click on the 'images' tab and scroll down to image size, then make the long side of the picture 2048. The short side will then be calculated automatically and you can then save as a separate file if you want to keep the original photo. As long as the photo doesn't exceed 3 mb they upload and can be enlarged by everyone by just left clicking on the picture when it appears on the forum page. In photoshop, when you click 'save' a dialog box pops up asking what size you want with the picture's megapixel size underneath and you can easily adjust the final pic size before saving.

Of course, you do have to have a version of photoshop to do it that way. There is a photoshop programme you can buy called photoshop elements which will work perfectly well with most PCs that is by no means as expensive as the full CS (Creative Suite) software.

uploading images

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 18:11
Couldn't have said it better myself.

parsnips seedlings

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 09:54

If you don't want to spend out on Root Trainers (they can be quite expensive) collect all the centre tubes of kitchen rolls and toilet rolls, cut them all to the same height and fit them into a framework of some kind to hold them together. Fill them with compost and sow the seeds in them. When they have germinated and grown on to a decent size you can then plant them in their final positions after hardening off, in their tubes, which will rot down in the soil and there will be no damage to the root system or check on the plant's growth.

parsnips seedlings

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 16:55

I use a Haxnicks deep root trainer and sow about 4 seeds per station in the greenhouse then thin the weakest out after germination leaving one per station. When the plant roots begin to protrude through the bottom of the trainer I harden them off for about a week & then carefully dib a hole and plant them out in their final positions. Parsnips (as per any root veg) do not like to be transplanted but with the root trainer system it allows for minimal root/soil ball disturbance and the plants grow on without any check.

Beware of gastropods (snails & slugs) though as they will decimate a tray of seedlings overnight if they are not protected.

Too early for beans?

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 16:37

I put my runner beans in about 4 weeks ago. It's been quite mild here in Bristol with no frosts for many weeks. Pic below: they are climbing well.

Variety is Moonlight - a white flowered bean that the sparrows leave alone, are prolific, self fertile and incredibly tasty.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/46749.jpg?width=307&height=350&mode=max

 I read somewhere that it is best to tie the canes low down so that the beans are easier to pick and they get more light & grow better so I am trying that this year.

Discussions started by John Harding

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Signing in problems

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What's eating my winter Spinach?

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Is it me?

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