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John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding

current tomatoes

Posted: 21/02/2015 at 13:30
Right, I think I'll give 'em a go on some hanging baskets & hang 'em on the trellis by the patio. I got some seeds from eBay (100 seeds for 99p + 44p post & packing). I noted that a lot of suppliers quote about 99p with free p&p but when you get to the check out they tell you p&p is only free if you are spending upwards of 50 GBP (some 70+ GBP!). it may be just my iPhone but when I type the pounds symbol it puts up question marks!!! - charges in some cases were 7.99 p&p to post a small packet of seeds. I just click on remove from basket when I see those sort of exorbitant charges!.
I bought mine from Premier Seeds Direct in Wilton , Wilts email:

Their service was exemplary, the seeds arriving within 48 hours of placing the order. Their web address is for anyone who is interested.

current tomatoes

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 19:45
I think I'll give them a try: goodness knows where I'll put them though, I've already got mor seeds/ potential plants than I've got space to put them unless I pinch some of Eileen's flower garden & I could do with staying alive a little longer!!!

current tomatoes

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 08:15

I tried a new variety last year (1st saw them in the Telegraph) they are called 'Sweet Aperitif.' Bought the seed from Thompson & Morgan and they did very well & were (as the ad said) very sweet and delicious. Slightly bigger than a currant they grow to about the size of a medium cherry.


Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:58

I tried deep root-trainers last year fidget for my parsnips but opening them did disturb the roots more than I wanted so I've gone for the loo roll tubes and kitchen roll tubes (cut down) this year.


Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:50

Hi Chicky, the box only took a few minutes to make: I had a spare hardwood flooring board going spare so cut the long boards to 490 mm (49 cms) and the short sides to 230 mm long then drilled 3 mm holes thought the long boards and used 40 mm x 6 gauge twin-fast wood screws to screw the sides together. Then stood the frame on a piece of melamine chipboard, used a pencil to mark the inside of the frame and carefully cut a base and screwed that into place in the same way (you can see the screw fixings in the pics). A box does at least keep everything stable and when I want to plant out the tubes all I need to do is remove one of the sides and pop them in the raised bed without disturbing the root ball.

Heavy clay soils

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:37

Some years ago a friend who had a farm in the fen country told me to lighten & improve clay soil use horse manure with plenty of straw. To improve light sandy soil use com manure. Also my brother in law had a back garden that was a blue marl clay and virtually unworkable when he moved in. Through sheer hard work, digging, re-digging and adding coarse sand and sewage sludge he managed to turn the clay into a very acceptable soil that produced good crops of vegetables.

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

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:26

As Verdun says Scarlet Emperor needs pollinating + the light and temperature at this time of year pretty well guarantees the plants will come to nothing so far as producing beans. 

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:20

Bought some fresh compost yesterday, decided to go for J Arthur Bowers seed and cutting compost with added sand and I have to say I am very impressed with the quality: fine, friable peaty textured mix.

I had a bag of JAB multi-purpose compost in the greenhouse from last year and it is very coarse with hard lumps that needed breaking down. I did that & mixed some vermiculite with it but the new bag is very much better.


Posted: 13/02/2015 at 18:01

Spent a bit of time in the greenhouse today: I haven't been on the forum for a while but decided to start sowing some seeds today. Started with Leeks (Pancho) which were very successful last year (& still lifting them ).

I made a wooden box to hold toilet roll & kitchen roll tubes, filled with compost and sowed 3 Parsnip (Countess) seeds in each (will remove weakest after germination to leave 1 per tube which can then be planted out complete in their tubes which will rot down in the soil as they grow on). I realise I will need to pin a strip of copper to keep gastropods away. Pics of Parsnip sowings follow


New Raised Bed

Posted: 19/09/2014 at 08:26

I have 4 raised beds for all my veg. crops and you need to be aware that some things like plenty of manure but many don't. Root vegetables in particular i.e. carrots, parsnips, etc will not do well in freshly manured ground as the roots will tend to fork. Legumes (Peas, beans etc) will need plenty of moisture holding compost/manure, as will courgettes, marrows, cauliflower and leafy salad crops. Potatoes will need plenty of organic matter to help against scab. Runner Beans like to have a good base of water retaining compost to a good depth (I dig a double deep trench for my R/Beans every year and fill it with well rotted manure, compost from my previous year's compost bin, shredded paper, straw etc (anything that will hold water) to about 4-6" below where the soil level will be after treading it all down, then backfilling with soil and level off. I then put the bean poles in at this stage to avoid disturbing the plants as they grow, then runner beans are sown/planted in this and they always do very well.

Discussions started by John Harding

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