Lewis T

Latest posts by Lewis T

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The mystery of my Verbena Bonariensis

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 19:05

Thanks for the tip Topbird. I actually didn't think of my compost - as everything that's healthy goes in to my three solid compost areas. It's quite possible that some stray VB seeds went in when I mulched all my pots last Spring. Well one mystery solved! I never keep potato or tomato haulms tho because they cause blight and I don't keep kidney beans leaves either if they've started getting rusty but we do shred our leaves and twigs as we live next door to a public park so get rather a lot. 

The mystery of my Verbena Bonariensis

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 16:41

For three years I have bought and tried to grow Verbena Bonariensis plants in my herbaceous border and last year managed to keep three in my middle garden border. However after the last rainy winter, despite protecting them with large plastic bells, one solitary pathetic 3 foot stem appeared and that was it. However by my back door, suddenly, instead of a white solanum climber, I have several plants with similar leaves. I did not sew them and they have popped up in various pots with other plants all over my patio - which is a few feet above my middle garden. This week one flowered and it was a V B so how did that happen? There is a wall dividing the two areas and I am completely mystified but happy too. I think I'd better pot them on and keep the pots in my gazebo over winter.The wonders of nature!!!

anaemic cabbages

Posted: 21/07/2014 at 20:13

Well thank you everyone, I am reassured. Kev I've grown chard for the first time this year in another part of the garden and it looks like rhubarb.I will have to look up the web to see how to cook it. I have to admit my veg garden is a bit like a hospital, as I am so keen to keep my husband and I as healthy as possible by eating only organic produce. I try not to use chemicals at all - even dishwashing liquid - if the adverts say it strips grease off plates - what is it doing to our skin? My butterfly net cage 6 x 4feet (courtesy of Two Wests) are reasonable and brilliant for keeping the white butterfly out. I sew the narrow ends on with fishing gut and use tent pegs to pin the sides down and I move them every year. As for the Green halos, Orchid  Lady I have built up 2 dozen, enough for one raised bed. The slugs can't manage to crawl over the sharp edges. After planting out my cabbages I find topping the halos with my own compost helps to stop the cabbages from rocking. They have lasted about five years so far and I've only chipped one base. One more tip - I'm told that if you rake the ground with a copper tool (Implementations) the slugs are not attracted to the fresh soil. I use little copper rings for my peas and large ones for my lettuces. I had my w iron man cut my granddaughter's old copper tank into several 3" bands and plant carrots and beetroot in them. 

anaemic cabbages

Posted: 21/07/2014 at 16:51


Best I can do. On the single cabbage it is easier to see the paler mottled inner leaves. I did remove the outer leaves yesterday to stop them acting as a bridge for the slugs but they were not dark as shown on the internet. 

anaemic cabbages

Posted: 21/07/2014 at 15:32

Hi, My single row of Elisa F1 Hybrid ball type cabbage suitable for                          cole slaw are fine, the ones with the pointed whitish mottled leaves                           are Pyramid F1 Hybrid from Thompson and Morgan. Should I feed                           them with Seaweed liquid feed as it's the only liquid feed I buy?

anaemic cabbages

Posted: 21/07/2014 at 08:22

Hi, I am 100% organic and use all my own compost, plus lime for my raised cabbage bed and a little fish blood and bone as allowable nutrients. One row in particular - a pointy cabbage is very pale, whitish and looks anaemic and is quite tasteless. My kale, sprouts and cole slaw cabbage in the same bed seem fine.                                  I have seaweed liquid feed and wondered if I should use that?                                             I grow my cabbages in Halo pots for support and slug protection - but use mains water for watering (not v organic I know) Any suggestions please?

Which netting /mesh for growing brassicas?

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 17:51

Come the rain I'm afraid the slugs will return. A plank left on the ground overnight may collect about twenty underneath, so a handy jar of salted water is useful.

As for rubber balls, I bought some aluminium rods and the green rubber balls many years ago and use  them for several things. i.e two four feet apart supporting peas on netting, as I can't get sticks locally; for making cages around my broad beans with string, and as support for ramming plastic sheets up against my new peas to prevent mice eating them, also with string to keep my raspberry plants from falling over. The balls safeguard the eyes. They must be ten years old, not cheap these days but are everlasting so in the long run quite a good buy.




Slugs and Hostas

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 08:36

Salt kills slugs and snails so I thought I'd add extra protection, just in case snails can swim. Some people kill them by putting salt directly on the slugs but I keep a jar of salted water and a pair of tongs and drown them. I'm afraid after all the work of gardening I am not happy when they eat my plants. I use copper rings too but find thick copper pipes with four corners, making a rigid rectangle work just as well. My lettuces stayed slug free until the leaves extended across the pipes forming a bridge so now I keep using the outer leaves first. I have mentioned before I had a copper tank cut into three inch slices, turned the top over as copper is sharp and plant my carrots and beetroot in these. Copper tools are everlasting, but pricy, but it is said that if you rake the earth with copper instead of steel, the slugs do not smell the fresh soil. My daughter buys me copper tools for Xmas from 'Implementations'. I am building up a collection.

Which netting /mesh for growing brassicas?

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 08:13

I bought a reasonably priced steel cage from Two Wests and Eliot with butterfly netting (a must) three years ago. I sewed the top / shorter sides with fisherman's gut and move it every spring to one of my raised bed areas. I peg it down with tent pegs and haven't had a single caterpillar in that time, although there are many white butterflies about as I am a totally organic gardener. I also find the green 'Halo pots' useful as they help support the cabbages etc from the wind. It's taken years to build up different ways to stop the wild life from attacking my crops. I suggest you ask for slug rings for Xmas or ask around for an old copper tank and get someone to cut it into three inch sections, fold the top over (copper is sharp) and safeguard your plants this way. I never put seeds straight in the garden as I have clay soil and am steadily building up the quality with my own compost.

Slugs and Hostas

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 07:49

My three Hostas around my water feature were riddled with slug/snail holes but my single Hosta, balanced on a pot in my stone sink bird bath was perfect. For the front edge I bought a large blue pottery casserole dish to try as an experiment, filled it with salted water and placed my good Hosta in the middle and it is still perfect. I then bought two steel washing up bowls for the other two and will bury them to the rims creating two more moats while they re-grow. See pic 


11 to 20 of 31

Discussions started by Lewis T

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The mystery of my Verbena Bonariensis

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anaemic cabbages

My cabbages are pale green and anaemic looking 
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Slugs and Hostas

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Monty's galvanised pot with handles.

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8 threads returned