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Latest posts by Madeleine51

Brocolli and other brassicas

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 21:52

I have grown my own brocolli successfully for several years now and always sow them in the greenhouse or conservatory rfrom seed.  The most important thing I have found is digging in autumn or early winter and then pulling any weeds out by hand in spring before planting so as not to destroy the ground and to keep the firmness there.  When I plant them they go in deep into a small hole and the soil is punched into place around the stems (sounds brutal but provided the little plants or not broken all will be ok).  This is to keep them in firm soil.  Apparently they don't like air around their roots and hence my digging/composting is done in autumn. I will see if I can get the calabrese marathon but so far every time I have looked for brocolli seeds,  the GC's have been out of stock. I wonder why 

I have some lettuces that are ready to plant out and more to follow later and I have to admit I am dreading putting them in the groung because of the slugs and snails this year. They are becoming quite athletic munchers and have been climbing my runner bean poles.  Even hydrangeas have been eaten, leaves and flowers too!  Will be sowing more beetroot, carrots and trying some more cabbages.  I only grow summer cauli's as I think the winter ones are in the ground too long and take up too much space for little reward.  So far my cauli's are large golfball size and looking as if they too are going to bolt.   Oh dear.  Perhaps I will have to buy frozen brocolli too.


Brocolli and other brassicas

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 17:16

  I think I could have done with that ant--ageing advice 30 years ago!  I wonder how long frozen is going to stay at £1.25 per kilo given that there is bound to be a shortage. Might try it though.  Cheers

Brocolli and other brassicas

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 16:03

I went to the supermarket today to buy some brocolli to put with a nearly bolting piece of cauliflower from the garden to make at broc & cauli cheese for lunch. All my brassicas have been loose and quick to bolt as I believe has been the case across the country.  But £2.97 per kilofor brocolli!!!!!??  

So with this in mind and hoping we have an Indian summer this year, I am going to sow some seeds now in the hope that we a better crop in a few weeks time.  I thought I might grow the earlier variety to see if I can get away with it.  Nothing to lose.  I do love my brocolli but refuse to pay that price.  Any more ideas?



Posted: 23/07/2012 at 15:51

Wow loads more replies!  Thanks everyone. Have been busy in the garden these last few days as summer seems to have arrived at last and I have felt too exhausted to spend time on the pc afterwards so missed all your replies. Sooooo much catching up to do.

I will bear all your ideas in mind when I come to buy heucheras in the future.  I am determined to win the battle but I am obviously going to have to be careful as we ahve vine weevils in the front garden and as yet I need to try and obliterate them there. 


Posted: 17/07/2012 at 18:10

Hello Everyone.   Thanks for your ideas. Based on Lorelei's ideas, is it a good idea to  bury them deeper than usual perhaps if they have a tendency to lift out of the ground? 

a very miserable lady.

Posted: 16/07/2012 at 12:58

Interesting.  You mention you are getting cheap slabs from council.  I am all for re-cycling but it worries me that a large part of gardens nowadays are being "slabbed" /paved.  Where is all the water supposed to go?  and doesn't this coontribute to the flooding in recent years? I love to see a bit of grass which personally I think enhances the plants.  Our grassed areas are not the perfect lawns - my husband likes the clover and the odd violets that spring up - but I still wouldn't change it for slabs.  They have their place for some areas (A shame that people have to pave their tiny front gardens to provide parking) but give me a bit of green any day! We also intalled water butts this year which proved necessary with the early hosepipe bans. I got used to watering plants from the butts and will continue to use it in future in place of tap water to save water generally.

Good luck with your


Posted: 16/07/2012 at 12:25

Thanks for your replies.

I have tried them in compost enriched soil in full sun and semi shade although perhaps I should have been more generous with the compost.  They seem to be ok for a bit and then they just don't thrive (become spindly)and I end up pulling them out. Are they very thirsty plants? Mybe I dont water them enough


Posted: 16/07/2012 at 08:52

I just adore heucheras particularly the dark red varieties but I cannot get them to grow. I have spent a fortune in the hopes that they will do well.  I drool with envy when I see them in other gardens so can anyone give me some tips please.  I will be forever grateful.  Thanks


July in the garden!!

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 16:36

What a beautiful collection of photos and great to see some of are gardens are thriving despite the recent deluges we have had lately!

gardeningfrantic - seen your superb pix of bottlebrushes.  I know you planted yours from seed you say.  I bought one three years ago and each year since planting, it has weakened and finally died.  Do you bring yours inside during the winter months or cover the plants in some way for protection.  I would love to get one growing successfully here as they are such stunners.  We had them in our garden when we lived in Western Australia.


Posted: 15/07/2012 at 11:33

Hi Frank - nice to read you on this site after the collapse of the BBC messageboard.  I wondered if I would find some of the regulars from there now over here. 

Re ants I suppose I always remember being bitten when treading on an ants nest and then having them crawl up my trouser legs and got into wellies so I am a bit nervous of them. The idea of fresh mint leaves sounds good and,  no, I wouldn't try the petrol thing.  I can imagine up goes the fence next door as well as my bins and the rotting goodies withinm  Mind you with all this rain perhaps it would refuse to light anyway!

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