Latest posts by Palaisglide


Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:52

Brycey, I live in County Durham and only grow tomato's outside in a very sheltered south facing spot, normally cherry types and not always successful, last year was a wash out even the greenhouse tomato's gave a very poor showing with tough skins and a bit watery.
Saying that we gardeners never give up, I sow seed in one third compost one third washed sand and one third fine grit then pot on to half compost half grit and sand.
My main pots twelve inch plastic with large holes in the base and no crocking will be set on the gravel bed in the greenhouse ready and the small pots then potted into the large pots and watered in. My out door pots will be lined up along the walking area (don't ask, they do get the odd knock as I scramble about) and when or if we get sunshine they go out into my sheltered area. Cool nights a fleece over them works, a snap frost it is back into the greenhouse.
You could cover them on cold days with fleece even newspaper but the main thing is to keep them out of the cold winds, that will turn the leaves blue as well as your fingers.


Grow lights

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:36

No point in asking me an old and craggy gardener Steph, I never used lights or saw the need for them, we garden by our weather patterns and experience.
Plants need light as much as they need heat and the Nursery up the road from me with fields of greenhouse do use them plus regulated heat to produce plants for early sale and the cost of the plants reflects that.
I would ask in this day of climate changes which even I notice do we need to be spending more on heat, light, and systems to produce food that given time nature will produce just as well. Potato's from Egypt, Salad stuff from Spain, Vegetables from France and from Belgium "err" apart from chocolate nothing, "oh well Steph" no use for your survey then.


Anyone oop North started planting yet ?

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:25

Steph, us Northerner's are one up from Yorkshire where pockets are tightly closed from birth to death, sorry Tykes.
We also watch the pennies and being half Yorkshire the Half pennies too so lights are out. I have electricity in my greenhouse for a heated sand bed and a frost guard fan heater but a green house is never big enough so growing stuff under lights to then sit in a cramped cool greenhouse would be economical madness.
Years of experience tell us when to sow and when to put stuff out clearing space for the tomato's etc, adding up all the costs of sowing early I think the £1 carrot or the £2 leek would choke me.


Plant direct or seed tray

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:13

My Grandchildren did set carrot seed in trays which I transferred later thinning them out once set, they came OK.
I plant mine straight into some old large pots and have not been bothered by carrot fly.
Your beds are high enough but if you are worried put some sticks in the ground round them and a very fine net or fleece just to raise the height a bit, the fly keeps near the soil I am told, could be an old wives tale of course. You can but try, if I am in doubt I will try just to see what happens.


Unrotted compost

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 12:04

Good question Nightgarden, we did spread rotted manure or part rotted compost in the potato trenches, apart from feeding the roots it also added some warmth to the soil as it worked.
The potato's grow on the Haum well up from what is in the bottom of the trench which is why we earth up and keep earthing up, saying that I cannot see a problem with doing the same in a bag.
You could try one as an experiment and let us know the result after all we gardeners spend our lives learning new tricks, the person who knows it all does not exist.


By hand or machine?

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 11:54

Yvonne, first I will tell you there is no easy fix either with chemical or by hand.
The moss needs to be got out as the grass under it will be strangled.
You can hire a scarifier if you do not have one and go over the lawn at high then keep lowering the blades this will remove a lot of the top growth, it will also scatter it about and regrow so it has to be swept off and bagged up, some will go in the compost well mixed.
You will be left with a really patchy lawn if there is any grass left under the moss, now is the time to Aerate, you can hire a machine to do this or using a garden fork start one end and methodically push it into the lawn every six inches or so, good exercise and I put my brain out of gear and listen to the bird song whilst doing that.
You now need to make up a mix of compost washed sand and lawn seed to spread on the area's where the grass has gone and gently rake it in. or sweep it in with a hard brush.
Let that grow which means not cutting the grass for a while then after a cut redo any bare patches with more of the mix.
Come the Autumn you will have a sort of lawn spread a winter feed and weed and leave after the last cut, make sure you water it in if it does not rain at the time.
Spring start to feed and weed about every six weeks or so and use the seed mix if there are still bare patches, two years from now you will have a good green lawn.
You could take off the old grass, (it makes good loam after standing in a stack for a year) and replace with rolls after preparing the soil to lay rolls. Modern grass rolls can come in fine medium and hard wearing so you take your pick.
I used to help look after our bowling green, there is nothing easy about caring for grass and it was very labour intensive and yes even with all the work we put in you would get some moss. I do not want to put you off Yvonne just wish you to know it is hard work.
Moss killer will knock most of it back, I hate chemicals although at times needed, then you will have the black patches to deal with and re-seed probably easier in time and effort it is up to you.
We are always here to help so ask if in doubt.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 11:24

Stockton cloudy although dry, could get brighter later although Gardening at the moment in this part od the country none existent, there will be an almighty rush in the next week or so.


MOB rants

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 10:59

Lizzie, having travelled, endured, had homesickness (definitely not a nice thing to have) my heart always lifted to see the green fields of England again and started singing when I reached Thirsk in Yorkshire by train car or plane as I was thirty minutes from home.
I was telling my Daughter Stockton is born into us not us born in Stockton, I am now settled for good, my passport ran out, my travel insurance ran out, my Visas are scrap and none will be renewed, seen it done it home is best.
Joan was not a lover of France the French or the Food, she did love the small shops full of drawers and cupboards full of sewing cottons and material, she once talked for nearly an hour to a French Lady shop owner about tapestry sewing knitting and came out with all the things she could not get in England, she could not speak French the lady could not speak English and I just listened to the animated conversation and paid at the end.
We both loved Austria and saw it from all angles but two weeks and Joan was hankering for home. I once did suggest going somewhere warm for the winter and she told me two weeks only which we did, left here in a snowstorm had two weeks sun came back in a snowstorm but she was happy.
My rant then is people run down this little "septic Isle" OK I know not as written, yet once we leave its shores we find there is nowhere better, plus what on earth do you talk about when it is constant sunshine, dull dull dull.


Anyone oop North started planting yet ?

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 00:49

Stockton on Tees, I have permafrost for soil at the moment the East wind blows straight off the North Sea up river and shrivels my door knockers.
No point in sowing seed as the light is poor so another week maybe. This time last year I was sunbathing in my Daughters garden for a week whilst a new bathroom was fitted, after that the rains came.


MOB rants

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 14:27

Sue, it is everywhere and I do not see any logic in it . I walk from my house onto fields with a beck and hedgerows at the bottom. I watched the workmen clear two truck loads of rubbish from along the beck then clear the undergrowth, it looked pristine. Two days later some one had dumped a complete kitchen down there plus all the packing off the new one. Our Council will send a truck and pick up your spare rubbish on payment of £10, it must have killed them getting that rubbish down to the beck to save just £10, I phoned it in and hoped they could find the culprit by the packaging there would be some clues surely.

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