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Latest posts by Oldigger54

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Potatoes that turn to mush when cooked

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 22:20

I had the same problem last year with 4 rows of Maris Piper. Apart from the slugs in a third of them the rest were so floury they just went to mush when boiling and were just about ok when steaming. But they were tasteless even when roasted or chipped. Monty Don, in a Gardeners World article, experienced similar which he put down to extremes of weather, too much water at the wrong time and then too hot and dry when the tubers were growing.

So planted 2 rows of Casablanca earliest, had some today and were very nice, plus 2 rows of Sante main crop which are more resistant to slugs (hopefully).

The only other alternative is to grow a waxy variety

Fungicides for fruit and veg

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 21:53

Have you tried Plant Invigorator, it is an environmentally friendly plant growth stimulant and pesticide. It also helps prevent powdery mildew

compost advice

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 20:22

Compost bins/ heaps also rely on worm activity to aid the decomposition of the waste and if you have the 'dalek' style plastic compost bins the compost can get too hot. If you take the lid off and see the worms on the sides of the bin above the compost it could mean they are getting too hot so I guess you need to leave the lid of for a while. 

Compost accelerators help also, many on the market but if you have rabbits or chickens then the straw and waste is great 

Pulled My Spuds - Wash or Dry ?

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 20:07

I'm just finishing harvesting my Maris Piper, got two more rows to go, and I've had to sort them into 2 sacks - spuds with holes and those without - damned keeled slugs. The worst ones I was going to throw into the food waste bin but decided to try and salvage some, mash and freeze them. They were absolutely riddled with holes, uncovered by the peeler, and some still had slugs in - yuuurch! As it is my first attempt ( only got the allotment in April) it is a bit demoralising. If I grow main crop next year I will go for a slug resistant variety.

The quality is a bit suspect as well. When boiling, the outer skins turn to mush before the middle is cooked, so timing is critical otherwise you end up wth a pan full of mushy potatoes. Monty Don mentioned this in his article in last months GW with his Charlotte crop, and they were short on taste, he thought it was too much rain in spring. Still, I expect they'll make great roasties


stopping my cats pooing and weeing on my flower beds

Posted: 17/03/2014 at 00:22

I also have 2 cats which use an outside litter tray which is under a table on which is my cold frame but they do occasionally err to the garden. My proven prevention methods are placing plastic netting (plastic clematis netting is good) over the vulnerable plants. Wire hanging basket frames and plastic bell cloches work well on emerging shoots such as peonies, lilies and delphiniums. This year I also placed branches from my Christmas tree and some holly in the open spaces between plants (which I have now removed) and had no problems at all. What also works are small canes stuck in the ground between plants, restricting the space for them to scratch the earth up. My cats cannot get out of the garden, nor any others get in, because I have a product called 'purrfect fence, which enable them to have the rune of the garden and the climbing steps I have put in without the risk of being run over.

Works well!

Cosmos problems!

Posted: 05/04/2013 at 12:32

You are lucky. I sowed mine mid march in a tray in my coldframe - absolutely nothing 



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