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Mel Mcbride

Latest posts by Mel Mcbride

1 to 10 of 93

Have you ever left your poly tunnel up over winter?

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 11:46

Mines up against a high fence, on the west of it. We have roughly 29MPH gusts today and the polytunnel is looking a bit on the scary side, blowing about. It's still secure, and the bottom pegs aren't coming up yet. But this is nothing compared to the gales we're likely to get this year.

Do you take yours down over winter? Or have you found a way to cheat the wind? It's a small one. 3m by 4m - maybe 5m, I forget now. It's a green one, the ones you typically see in garden centers.


Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:38

So glad I asked. I'm going to try burning some of it, and I'm going to use plaster And, try to get rid of some of it. They charge for taking soil to the dump where I am, so I'll try my best to use as much of it up as I can.

Garlic and onions vs the rain

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 22:51

Ian, I put a layer of stones or clay pebbles in the bottom of my grow bags to help drain the heavy rain away. If you have another one, you could put stones in the bottom and transfer them over. Or even slide a fistful down the sides to the bottom, mainly over the holes so the water can get out, without the soil clumping and clogging the hole.

My onions are seedlings just now, in a raised bed. The soil is wet through and has been for days. They're standing upright still, despite the heavy winds as well as rain. If those are anything to go by, we'll be fine I reckon.


What do you do with soil from plant pots?

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 22:42

From my spud, corn and tomato pots, I sifted the roots out as much as I could and threw them in the compost bin. I used the rest which wasn't root free, mixed with some new compost and a bit of slow release feed. I'm growing onions, broccoli, cauliflower and some lettuce with that bunch.

You might be a bit late to start some of these, but lettuce will easily grow. Spinach as well. They're really quick to grow.

Filling a new raised bed.

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 20:20

My raised bed is on top of thick clay soil, so I put a 2-3cm layer of clay pebbles down first to help the water drain away. Then I filled it up half way with compost mixed with a few tiny twigs and pebbles, roughly 20% - just as an extra drainage caution. Then pure compost for the rest. 

I had no idea if this was right at the time. But this year my spuds in the bed produced True potato seeds, they look like tomatoes. I read they only do this in 'perfect conditions' I was doing cartwheels in my head when I read that. Years ago I'd have done an actual cartwheel

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 20:12

I have a good two-three cubic meters of clay so thick you could make pots and fire them as is, probably! I also have more brown leaves than I know what to do with from neighbours trees.

Also I just emptied a very old compost bin (6 years+) It smells really woody and fresh. Not foul in anyway.


The plan is: I have large fern trees at the end, and I'm thinking of building up the area with the spare clay. Can I mix the clay and leaves together, to kind of bury the leaves a bit and hope they mulch down naturally? Is clay too thick for that? Also, will the trees suffer in any way with all that sodden clay around them? I'm pretty sure rainful doesn't quite hit the area. The current ground part is really dry compared to the lawn.

Can you identify this for me please?

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 16:02

I have other tiny potatoes that I left in the pot, and they just went green, just as they normally do. I've grown spuds for years, never had any go purple, and never had any with green shoots coming out of them. Also the stem is not like spuds stems, much thinner.

I just been looking online and there are actually purple sugar beets, I didn't know this! But, those grow one per stem.. so.. still not sure.

Can you identify this for me please?

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 15:41

Yeah its on there now!

Can you identify this for me please?

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 15:37

I found this on top of a potato pot I emptied days ago. Its NOT true potato seed, I have those, this is nothing like those. The dying stem they're attached to is slimmer than the dying stems of my spuds. The pot is next to pots of corn, an onion in seed (lovely and tall!) some salad, chives, and dill, sugar beet, but looks nothing like any of those as you can see.

They're VERY purple and are sprouting green leaves/or ?



Do basil seeds survive UK winters?

Posted: 27/09/2014 at 16:49

Yeah that's really what its' all about, just playing around. Fingers crossed it goes well. Even though they're on deaths door now, they still smell so nice, they smell of potential.. who am I kidding haha

1 to 10 of 93

Discussions started by Mel Mcbride

Have you ever left your poly tunnel up over winter?

Mine looks like its going to blow away today! 
Replies: 5    Views: 508
Last Post: 29/10/2014 at 15:30

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

I have a cheats plan.. sort of. 
Replies: 10    Views: 426
Last Post: 11/10/2014 at 20:02

Can you identify this for me please?

Strange and small 
Replies: 7    Views: 296
Last Post: 28/09/2014 at 17:42

Do basil seeds survive UK winters?

Didn't harvest in time :( 
Replies: 5    Views: 237
Last Post: 27/09/2014 at 16:49

Many questions about late blight?

Replies: 3    Views: 217
Last Post: 07/09/2014 at 16:09

What to do with downy and powdery mildew patch?

for future use 
Replies: 11    Views: 301
Last Post: 14/08/2014 at 15:45

What are some good plants for colour during winter?

Grey n green not doing it for me hehe 
Replies: 19    Views: 669
Last Post: 03/08/2014 at 22:00

Aphids: Luck or something else?

Replies: 1    Views: 202
Last Post: 03/08/2014 at 12:23

Is this the beginning of blossom end rot?

Tomato pic inside 
Replies: 3    Views: 286
Last Post: 26/07/2014 at 08:27

If, when and where to use straw?

I'm confused ....again 
Replies: 2    Views: 241
Last Post: 19/07/2014 at 19:51

Wild garlic seeds help

Trying not to learn the hard way! :) 
Replies: 4    Views: 256
Last Post: 15/07/2014 at 21:40

What have you learnt this year?

Will you do things differently next year :) 
Replies: 13    Views: 401
Last Post: 10/07/2014 at 14:38

Some questions about Basil

Forcing to seed 
Replies: 22    Views: 617
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 11:09

Where abouts to cut the leaves on pumpkins?

Possibly the dumbest question ever asked ! 
Replies: 2    Views: 220
Last Post: 02/07/2014 at 15:04

Anyone good with onions?

Seed pods just about to blow! 
Replies: 9    Views: 306
Last Post: 27/06/2014 at 21:12
1 to 15 of 24 threads