Latest posts by OldCompostHeap

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Too early to chit?

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 14:08

Well my earlies are chiting now in egg boxes, so they will be ready for planting early to mid March, depending on the weather. My second earlies will be obtained soon and then set out when I have enough boxes. They are placed in a spare room away from direct light.  It is always a problem to find room, so my boxes are placed on plastic trays that are used for wellies/boots normally. I would chit them as you acquire enough boxes/room.

Talkback: Know your potato types

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 12:53

Each year I have been searching for good tasting potatoes. So rather than growing one variety of first and second early and being dissappointed, I decided to grow three varieties of each.

This is because my local nursery sells most varieties loose at £1.40 per Kg. I have selected 12 tubers of Arran Pilot, Casablanca and Red Duke of York each for my trial with first earlies. I will do the same second earlies. I don't bother with main crop, as they are cheap locally. The cost was less than for a 2.5 Kg bag.

I have seen packaged varieties of 10 tubers for £2-3 elsewhere, so its a no brainer.

Broad Beans

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 13:07

I watch with interest and am a little worried that the beans are so far along. The frost/snow usually slows them down or kills them and we are not into February yet. As you mention raised beds, would it be possible to protect them with fleece/polythene?

Poppy problem on Veg plot

Posted: 19/01/2014 at 15:00

It all depends on which poppy you have, as written above. I have red and purple poppies on my allotment. The reds are thugs and are easily pulled up. The purple ones are pretty and small. So I leave a few of both to attract insects to the plot, but pull them up as soon as the flowers become seed pods 

September Raspberries

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 15:03

Well my autumn raspberries were around 5' tall, but my neighbours were over 6'. It will depend on the variety and the cultivation. I would check out the name of the variety as a guide.


Posted: 09/01/2014 at 11:57

I used Kings Seeds Echinacea White Swan last year, if you want a different colour.


Posted: 04/01/2014 at 15:53

I am in the same position as you. Inherited a large assortment of raspberries in a cage when I took over my plot.

We have been picking them from June to December!  New raspberry varieties have been introduced each year and also planted blackberry and loganberry as well in fresh ground. Our criteria is any part producing inferior crops 2 years running get the chop. It is very difficult to keep the old beds weeded, so it gives an opportunity to clean up the ground. Fertilizer is applied in spring.

Greenhouse growing

Posted: 31/12/2013 at 13:01

I always sow my Broad Beans directly in my allotment last week of October/ first week of November. They can stand the winter without cloches. Replacements for any losses  are sown in March in the greenhouse.

Peas are started in March in the greenhouse sown in plastic guttering and then planted out under cloche when they are larger in April/May.

I would personally not transplant your beans/peas until the spring and then under cloches.

Decomposition of Racehorse Poo

Posted: 22/11/2013 at 14:43

As the title states, I have acquired a large amount of Racehorse Poo at a very reasonable price.

I ordered 30 bags of this and managed to fill a compost bin made of 3 pallets and chicken wire front. The surplus filled a small corner of my allotment. I had ordered the amount as I thought they would be small bags as seen by the roadside examples elsewhere.

Having put my back out in wheelbarrowing and emptying all this poo, I wondered how long it will take to be usable. Normally a year is required for previous offerings to be ready to dig in. But that was more straw/wood shavings than poo. This the real thing. Almost solid. Hence the effort in emptying the bags. It reminded me of ancient times when householders use to clear up after passing horses for their roses!

So presumably it will take longer to break down and I shall have to mix with more vegetable matter to produce an ideal manure.



My orchid has finished flowering

Posted: 23/10/2013 at 14:57

As above, SWMBO waits until the last bloom has dropped and it is banished to the spare bedroom window. The old flowering stem is cut off when it has dried off. The pot is stood in tepid water for an hour or so and then banished again. The plants are only watered after a fortnight or so. Basically ignored until a fresh shoot appears, which is trained up a support as it grows. 

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