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Latest posts by Madeleine51

1 to 10 of 76

big allotment on bb2

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 23:21

I'm disappointed with Allotment for all sorts of reasons. I think it would have been nice to feature one of the plots each week to see close up what has been grown.  It scans them too quickly. Also, how sad after all those months of creating their plots that a pair of contestants have to go. Couldn't everyone remain to the end of the series when the results of the various challenges can be assessed by the judges?

Also, I hope the preserves lady rinses her mouth out after trying each relish etc. otherwise it must influence the taste of the following ones.


Talkback: How to make a comfrey feed

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 23:07

The previous allotment owner planted comfrey across the back of my plot and after slowly reaching that area to try to get it organised, I can ascertain that it certainly does come up everywhere. I have planted some in a pot for use as a fantastic accelerator in the compost heap and for fertiliser but in order to exterminate the rest I am going to have to resort to repeated attacks with weedkiller. This year I really had been looking forward to planting out raspberries in autumn there but I shall probably have to postpone that idea until I am certain the comfrey battle has been won. I don't want to be digging around the rasp roots to get it out and thus cause suckering.

Oh what fun!

Companion planting

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 22:42

Thanks everybody.  Judging by Tootles book, it looks as if I have completely planned my veggie patches wrong this year and should have been armed with The Companion Garden last autumn when planning what to do.   My brassicas are in the bed next to tomatoes and the tomatoes have potatoes on the other side of them.  I have sown some marigolds (do they have to be French ones?) to go with my runner beans to keep off black fly and some nasturtiums to put with my broccoli and cabbages.  I read also somewhere that cauliflowers do not do well with broccoli and cabbages.

Re Sweetcorn - is it really practical to grow s/corn next to runner beans, given that they are both tall crops? Thinking about the light aspect for each. I had wondered about growing them at right angles to runners.

All so mind boggling!

Emptying a compost bin

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 16:22

I grow some comfrey in a pot on my allotment and every now and then throw some of the leaves into my primary bin  to help accelerate decomposition. I use two wooden bins and empty the contents into bin 2 at the end of winter and I think the comfrey def seems to speed things up.

Companion planting

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 15:48

Hi All.

I would like to try companion planting to help keep away pests and encourage healthy growth in the allotment and vege garden at home.

Have any of you experienced growers some tips on this and are there any definite no-no's on this subject?

Many thanks




Heather and how to care for it?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:19

I have had several heathers in my garden for many years.  I believe they prefer ericacious compost (they  grow on healthlands in the wild which are usually very acidic).  I incorporate the E compost into the soil before planting and then give them a mulch of same every two or a three years.  The main thing about heathers is to always give them a good "hair cut" after they have flowered otherwise they become ragged and untidy. Cut them back to just below where they flowered (the seeds remain)  with scissors if the plants are small or with shears as they get bigger.  Good luck! Lovely plants 

Bamboo canes

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 11:53

Thanks everyone.  Feel as if I have been a naughty girl to neglect them  I shall definitely take more care from now on and give them more TLC after using them. In addition at home, looks as if the best solution would be to beg OH if I can have some rafter space in his garage to keep the the long canes.

Great. Problem solved! 

Bamboo canes

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 21:04


Thanks for replying - been on granny duty since posting this yesterday.

I generally keep them either lying flat on the ground at the back of my allotment or along some brackets my husband has put on the back of the workshop. They become brittle and snap easily.

Bamboo canes

Posted: 03/04/2014 at 17:03

Hello All

At this time of year I am getting my bamboo canes ready for my runner beans and as usual, every year I have to buy  more to make up for the reduced length due to the ends rotting. They only seem to last about 2 years full length before I have to remove a foot or so to make them strong enough to push into the ground. Very annoying.

So my question is, does anyone have a tried and tested remedy for prolonging their life?  I usually remove them during my autumn tidy up as soon as the crop has finished so it's not as if they are left in the ground over wet winters. This year I thought I might buy the longest length I can find so that if I do have to chop them, they would last a bit longer. I found the green painted metal ones I bought for my sweet peas a few years ago were a complete waste of money as the coating peeled off in no time at all.

Does anyone perhaps dip them in a solution or paint them or something?








Posted: 09/02/2014 at 23:51

Thanks chicky

Just typed a load and then zapped it away by mistake  so here I go again

I was thinking of trying a few flower seeds which state on pkt can be sown in Feb. Doing as you say and opening vents of HP for a few days when germinated, I wondered if it might work if I then transferred  them to unheated greenhouse, and place them on shelves with the zipped up plastic covers on they originally came with to keep them warmer out there and also cover the trays with lids .That way it might take away any excess cold.

OH doesn't like trays on windowsills and besides, things used to get so leggy

Would that be feasible do you think?


1 to 10 of 76

Discussions started by Madeleine51

Companion planting

Ideas needed for companion planting for fruit and veg 
Replies: 10    Views: 150
Last Post: 23/04/2014 at 23:43

Bamboo canes

Extending the life of bamboo canes 
Replies: 8    Views: 211
Last Post: 06/04/2014 at 19:44


I have recently inherited a heated propogator which has no instructions.  
Replies: 21    Views: 622
Last Post: 07/03/2014 at 08:18

Homemade Cloches

How I make my own mini polytunnels 
Replies: 1    Views: 133
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 15:08

What are people sowing right now?

Seed sowing in greenhouses in early Feb 
Replies: 21    Views: 570
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 20:53

Compost for sowing seeds

Does anyone out there make their own compost for sowing seeds 
Replies: 18    Views: 1156
Last Post: 05/03/2014 at 17:58

Outdoor Cucumbers

Replies: 15    Views: 501
Last Post: 07/02/2014 at 21:19

To Manure or not to Manure

Runner Bean patch 
Replies: 6    Views: 334
Last Post: 18/10/2013 at 21:55


Replies: 3    Views: 350
Last Post: 12/08/2013 at 23:13


Replies: 1    Views: 329
Last Post: 09/07/2013 at 16:41


To cut back for more flowers this year, or not? 
Replies: 3    Views: 273
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 22:52

Autumn planted onion sets

Replies: 1    Views: 360
Last Post: 30/03/2013 at 22:47

Talkback: How to grow pumpkins

This year will be my first attempt at growing pumpkins and it this might be a silly question but how do you tell the difference between a ma... 
Replies: 1    Views: 268
Last Post: 30/03/2013 at 17:32

Sweet Potatoes

Replies: 18    Views: 861
Last Post: 05/11/2013 at 09:11


Replies: 8    Views: 576
Last Post: 06/10/2012 at 09:14
1 to 15 of 20 threads