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Latest posts by Madeleine51

Preparing bed for onions

Posted: 18/10/2013 at 17:41

Hi Daisy

In reply to your question I can only say that  based on that same advice I had read many years ago, I haver never planted onion sets where I have just manured.  I  usually plant them where I have grown lettuces, tomatoes,  spinach or brassicas which will have been manured/composted earlier in year or the previous autumn for those crops.That routine seems to produce a great crop of onions.  I might try planting them in a small patch of manured ground this autumn just out of curiosity to see what happens.

Good luck. Hope this helps


To Manure or not to Manure

Posted: 18/10/2013 at 17:25

For several years I have had really good brocolli harvests  by following advice to grow it in previous year's runner bean patch and to manure/compost in autumn. For rthe runner beans I usually manure at some point between winter and spring.

My question is, do I need to manure the bean patch again for next year's brocolli crop there or would the plot be good enough as it is without extra manure?

Many thanks






Posted: 12/08/2013 at 23:13

Thanks Bob and Lizzie. Re storing them indoors on windowsills, we have radiators beneath all our windowsills. Would that be too warm for them? I had wondered about keeping them in the garage but we have had mice in there that have nibbled at our potatoes in the past.


Posted: 11/08/2013 at 22:02

Just wait though until you see the new allotment series coming out which is being filmed right now and which is similar I believe in style to the Great British Bake off.

Something to look forward to methinks


Posted: 11/08/2013 at 21:56

This year is my first for growing butternut squash.  I have picked up some great advice from Italophile (Thanks Italophile) and others on this board and my squashes are doing really well although I havn't fed them yet which I probably should have done.

The question is, when are they ready for harvest?  I have several that are about 10" long and they are green and stripy coloured.  Do they have to change colour on the vine when they are ready or is that nutty colour one that comes after picking and whilst in storage?

Also, how do I store them and for how long?  I am really looking forward to having my first taste from them.

Unfortunately I have mislaid the seed packed and also neglected to make a note of the variety (a T&M one I think).


Butternut squash when to sow seeds

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 23:06

I hadn't heard about squashes rooting themselves Lucky. This year is the first year I have grown them and yes, they are very healthily spreading themselves. They are aboutone and a half metres long.  Surely they would need something very substantial to support the weight of the squashes. Any ideas?  An old pair of tights, one of those red mesh onion bags?

Also despite them spreading well, there doesn't seem to be any flowers yet.  Are they self pollinating or will they need some help.  If so how?

In answer to the original question, I sowed mine at the beginning of May in a heated propogator.


Bolting Broccoli

Posted: 13/07/2013 at 22:58

My brocolli started turning to seed and rather than lose the lot, I harvested all the heads (each about 8" across), cut them into little florets and froze them.  I have three large bags of forzen brocolli now.  I had my first taste this evening and they were so sweet and deliiiiiiiiicious!   As long as you put them in boiling water for only a couple of minutes then drain, run through some cold water, drain again and open freeze on trays then bag them up, they should be fine. But it was so frustrating having the lot harvest at the same time.  Next year I shall sow a new succession of brocolli about 4-6 weeks apart so that i have a more continuos crop.


Posted: 09/07/2013 at 14:07

Hi All

I have just harvested my brocolli crop which has matured all at the same time and needed to be frozen rather than refrigerated because there was so much.  My fault for not planting a smaller crop in various successions so as not to get the glut.  They were all about to turn to seed so I had no choice but to freeze.  Shame because prior to this were absolutely deilicious and there is nothing like straight from the garden brocolli. 

Anyway I have got some little calabrese seedlings which are ready to move from a seedbed.  (I have never tried "calabrese" before)   Would it be ok to plant them on the brocolli pitch this season if I were to gently rake in some slow release fertiliser or should they be planted elsewhere?  The alternative is the lettuce plot which (again ) matured all at the same time!!   I could plant them at the allotment but that has only recently been manured and I think I am right in saying it could be too acidic.

Any ideas?  Next year I shall mark my calendar and try to sow seeds in batches.



Posted: 05/07/2013 at 22:52

Wow speedy response!

Thank you fidgetbones and rose.  I shall try cuttng back as you recommend and feeding too which sounds a logical thing to do to give the plant more energy.

Thank you



Posted: 05/07/2013 at 22:30

Hi Everyone

My lupins have now finished flowering and the blooms look rather brown and sad.  I heard or read somewhere that if you cut them back, you can get a second flush. Is this true and if so, to what extent should they be cut? 

Discussions started by Madeleine51


Replies: 11    Views: 609
Last Post: 06/11/2014 at 20:41

Harvesting Butternut Squash

Harvesting B Squash query originally posted on Talkback forum in error 
Replies: 10    Views: 557
Last Post: 30/08/2014 at 22:23

Butternut Sqash

Too early to harvest Butternut Sqash? 
Replies: 1    Views: 250
Last Post: 25/08/2014 at 23:09

Brassicas - to fertilise or not?

Replies: 4    Views: 360
Last Post: 14/06/2014 at 13:32

Companion planting

Ideas needed for companion planting for fruit and veg 
Replies: 10    Views: 689
Last Post: 23/04/2014 at 23:43

Bamboo canes

Extending the life of bamboo canes 
Replies: 8    Views: 1007
Last Post: 06/04/2014 at 19:44


I have recently inherited a heated propogator which has no instructions.  
Replies: 21    Views: 2495
Last Post: 07/03/2014 at 08:18

Homemade Cloches

How I make my own mini polytunnels 
Replies: 1    Views: 627
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 15:08

What are people sowing right now?

Seed sowing in greenhouses in early Feb 
Replies: 21    Views: 1090
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 20:53

Compost for sowing seeds

Does anyone out there make their own compost for sowing seeds 
Replies: 19    Views: 3788
Last Post: 30/04/2014 at 07:30

Outdoor Cucumbers

Replies: 15    Views: 1303
Last Post: 07/02/2014 at 21:19

To Manure or not to Manure

Runner Bean patch 
Replies: 6    Views: 709
Last Post: 18/10/2013 at 21:55


Replies: 3    Views: 705
Last Post: 12/08/2013 at 23:13


Replies: 1    Views: 678
Last Post: 09/07/2013 at 16:41


To cut back for more flowers this year, or not? 
Replies: 3    Views: 621
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 22:52
1 to 15 of 24 threads