Latest posts by onionbreath

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What happens when you leave your boyfriend unattended!!

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 15:02

Fairygirl...re slugs, have 2 ponds, one of which has a healthy population of frogs spawning every year, also hedgehog house, which has visitors, but sadly still loads of slugs.  The soil here is very heavy clay (there's a brickworks down the road!), is slow to heat and is very very wet (even with extensive drainage).  Nematodes have been tried with no impact several times.  Slug pellets help, but even so, maincrop spuds come out so full of holes I've given up and just grow earlies.  Bran, copper, ashes, you name it, has been tried. 

What happens when you leave your boyfriend unattended!!

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 23:57

To be honest Verdun, I'm not a football fan at all, never have been.  By the way, Sunderland people are "Makems" (as we geordies call them).  Geordies are from the Newcastle area, Sunderland is in Wearside, a wonderful area with wonderful people, but a separate culture.  And if anyone calls the commentator on Big Brother a "Geordie" they're more wrong, as he's a Teessider, from Middlesbrough area - even further South...somewhere I've worked and loved at the time, but another different culture.  Seriously, North-East England is a minefield (and we've even missed out Durham in the middle!)

Anyway, I'm an adopted Cumbrian now, so I've taken my native leek/onion growing culture to the Furness Peninsula, but have never got used to the higher rainfall/snails

What happens when you leave your boyfriend unattended!!

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 23:38

Howay man pet.  Oh gawd, it's that time of night when I am revealing my Geordie leek-growing roots and what I call every woman from my mother to my granddaugther, so please do not take offence.  Like Verdun, I can't see the pic, but I reckon your BF has got the gardening bug. That is good.  He's done it in good time for the ground to settle and should be applauded.  Anyway, if you're worried, I'm sure you can "prepare" the ground in the next couple of weeks which will make him thnk you are appreciative.  Red Dahlia, eh?  I take it you're not the Bishop of LLandaff then?

Wooden Greenhouse glazing

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 23:24

Putty from almost everywhere M Fent.  Wilkinsons are dirt cheap, but also any of the usual DIY stores.  Small tubs usually which is great cos you don't need huge quantity.  Sprigs...well to be honest I've just bought very tiny panel pins, about one quarter of an inch or 5mm approx.  I use my late Dad's panel pin hammer (sorry if that's not the correct joinery term, he was, I wasn't a joiner) which has a head of about two thirds of a inch wide (about 7 mm) to hammer them in.

I've bought putty in both "natural" and "brown" colours in the past.  As I've discovered, brown is the best for me as it is nearer in colour to the wood, the natural needs a couple of coats of preservative to blend in.  Best of luck with your purchase.  If it helps, you can go to a glass supplier and ask for "horticultural glass".  It's cheaper than getting "normal" window glass.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 23:14

You're in Lincolnshire. a long way from t'north where I am.  But I agree with other posters, good light is essential.  A few years ago I experimented with grow lights and a heated bench to grow Gardeners Delight through the Winter.  I got about 3 tiny tomatoes!  My GD's were sown in January on a heated bench this year and are about 4 inches high.  Even with the snow recently, we've had the odd bright day, and they've done ok.  But they definitely need both heat and light.  In a normal year (ahem, if we ever get one again) I would expect ripe toms from GD by late June in the greenhouse, after planting them out in a cold greenhouse early to mid May (in Cumbria).  Up till that point they were in a frost-free propagating house (soil warming cable plus thermostatic fan heater). if you're using windowsill/conservatory, I'd suggest turning the plants every day to stop them bending towards the light, but try to avoid them getting cold, they don't like it.

Wooden Greenhouse glazing

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 22:18

I've a cedar greenhouse.  The glass is held in with putty and metal sprigs (like little tacks).  The putty can deteriorate and the sprigs can rust and fail, but over 14 years I've only had to sort slipping panes about 4 times, and that's with 22 foot long house.  Mine is built by a 2 man firm in the Lake District. I can't say for sure what more commercial modern firms use, I vaguely recall one of the higher-priced producers using methods similar to household double glazing.  It's worth asking the people who produce your chosen brand.  Having had both aluminium and wooden houses, I have to say the wooden one is definitely the more flexible in use, but obviously needs a lot more maintenance (ie preservative).  A firm local to me (and I promise I have no commercial interest) is Sovereign Chemicals of Barrow-in-Furness.  Their woodstain has the Royal Warrant (used at Sandringham) and is used by the manufacturers of my greenhouse.  I've bought 2 tins in 14 years (which also covered a large shed) and it's lasted a lot better than the usual Homebase/B & Q fare.  However it's very expensive.

What eats onion sets?

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 21:50

Here in the Furness Peninsula. South Cumbria, we have occasional visits by deer, usually when it snows.  This Winter, most of my onion sets have been pulled out and eaten by them.  As well as seeing them at it, their footprints in the onion bed have added to the weight of evidence.  When I had an allotment in Carlisle (North Cumbria), we were plagued by rabbits.  They'd eat everything but rhubarb, onions and potatoes. Slugs and snails have ruined wallflowers over Winter as well. We do have rodents, but lots of semi-feral cats keep them down.

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