Latest posts by Leggi

Chilli plants - keep or chuck and start again next year?

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 21:51

I have one chili plant that spent last winter moving from one not particularly sunny windowsill to another, it spent this summer in the not very sunny propagator, currently it has the sum total of one small green chili growing from it after all the other flowers it produced promptly died.

I will spend this winter (more through obstination than sense) moving it around the house again in the vague hope that next summer will be glorious, and that it'll produce a bumper crop.

Sometimes, for me, gardening is a little like waiting for the ugly duckling to mature.


Posted: 03/10/2012 at 21:42

I've tried growing garlic from the supermarket in the past and they haven't made good sized bulbs. This afternoon I planted Marco's cloves at the allotment and am really hoping for a decent crop, pickled garlic is my aim for next year (it's also delicious).

If there's an Unwins GC near you Alan they have a decent enough selection of garlic bulbs to choose from this year. If you order any of the seed catalogues (Suttons, T&M etc) they will have a wider variety and also details of which are more mild than others.

when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 21:25

Clay soil here too, I take every opportunity to add sand/grit/compost whenever I can. I wouldn't advise anyone to take any material from natural sources though.

Apple trees

Posted: 01/10/2012 at 21:38

It's the generally cold wet summer Terry, a lot of plants have been confused by it.

To raspberry or not to raspberry?

Posted: 01/10/2012 at 19:02

As you have a clay, wet (I assume with the summer we've just had), soil I'd try growing them either in large pots (as Geoff suggests) or in raised beds. Raspberries don't really need a lot of organic matter mixed in, but they absolutely hate their roots sitting in a wet trench.

Also be careful not to plant the stems too deep, it's not necessary to plant them below the soil level you bought them with, and dig the trench a foot to 18 inches wide so the roots have plenty of room to spread out.

If you want to try something which isn't quite as fussy then you could plant blackberries which will tolerate a wetter soil to a certain extent.


Herb infestation

Posted: 01/10/2012 at 18:48

I think it's probably mealybugs that are a common pest with plants kept indoors.


Allotment finds

Posted: 30/09/2012 at 13:40

Why on earth was/is there so much stuff burried on your land Berghill?

I've looked through the maps going back to 1859 and it appears there hasn't been anything built on the land during that time, there's a farm house nearby, but it's still there now, and the land up until the 60's was wooded and then became used for agriculture. I'm guessing that the things we've been digging up have come from backfill on the plot from other residential building areas which surround it.

The next thing I'll do is contact local history groups to see if they're interested in taking a look at the bit and bobs. 

(Sorry for the late reply but my laptop died this week )

Thousands of bees on allotment

Posted: 30/09/2012 at 13:23

I'm wondering (like Dove) if perhaps there's a dry covered area that they've saught out for a home, perhaps something like a covered compost heap that hasn't been moved in a while?

I'd take the advice above and start contacting local wildlife groups as I'm sure they'd be interested and quick to help you out, rather than waiting for pest control.

Thousands of bees on allotment

Posted: 29/09/2012 at 19:18

What an interesting problem, has the local authority officer had a look yet?


Allotment finds

Posted: 24/09/2012 at 12:04

Thanks for the advice, I feel silly for not thinking of a local museum myself.

Mummy, the spoon is not very old as it's an early form of electroplate, unfortunately. I hope once you've battled your way through the brambles you find wonderful things in your garden though.

Gary, thanks for the link I'll have a look in a minute and report back. We've been sieving the soil to break up large lumps of clay and remove countless flints to a depth of about 18 inches, the bits of pottery and that are all kind of by-products of trying to sort the soil out. I agree with you that it's most likely to all be from the Victorian era apart from quite a lot of pieces of Kent peg tiles and a few small unglazed terracotta pieces.

We have asked the locals but the area the allotment is in is relatively new to housing having grown in to a commuter town for London, little remains of the small villages the towns swamped, and those who remember the area as it was are sadly very rare.

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