Latest posts by Palaisglide

Crop rotation

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 15:50

Brassica need to be moved year on year, we used a four year cycle though club root can last in the soil for years. Prepare the plot in the Autumn with well rotted manure and we always limed 4 ounces of carbonated lime per square yard. Even in the smallest plots it is possible to rotate, keeping a diary is handy.

The other problem sounds like white fly scale, you can use chemical spray three times a week or try washing it off with a hose. We sowed more than we needed, a row for the birds a row for the beasties and two rows for us, after all they all need to live.


New Lawn

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 15:29

Ben there are no stupid questions, you need to know so ask, we old hands are usually pleased to help. If  flower beds old or not they will be reasonable for grass seed or turf. Remove the under lay, remove anything growing then optional, dig or fork it over and then rake to a fine tilth , if the soil is clear then rake it over a few times. Once that is done do the gardeners shuffle, move up and down the plot shuffling your feet together until you have a slightly compacted area. Then very lightly rake again, spread the seed of a general purpose grass as the instructions on the pack, water in and put up some birds scarers stand back and wait, water if we have a dry spell.

that is the lazy way and even more so if you use turf rolls, do not expect a bowling green, you will get grass. It will need cutting once a week in summer, weeding and feeding, water when and if there is a dry spell.

A beatiful lawn will take hard work to prepare and set plus more hard wrk to maintain the above will give you grass if that is your need. Never be afraid to ask. Good luck 


Providing water for bees and insects

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 15:56

An old dog bowl with a mix of pebbles and stones and water just below the pebbles does it for me. I sit and watch the insects of all sizes quench their thirst.


How to use a cold frame

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 15:50

The idea of a cold frame is to safe guard young plants against the vagaries of the weather. My own are against a brick wall that takes in heat from any sun we may get and gives it back at night as does the lean to greenhouse. The sides  taller at the back than front to allow the top lights to open yet let the rain run off without damage to the plants. The top light can be left open all day the harden off plants and closed at night against a drop in temperature. The tall sides provide shelter from winds and some shade from direct sunlight. Used properly they can be a production line from seed tray to greenhouse to cold frame then into the ground, hardening off being essential for most young plants before placing them at the mercy of our weather in the open. Inverness much like the NE of England next to the North Sea can have dramatic weather changes, this week in one day hot sun driving rain hail then back to sun and that was only the morning. Cold frames are a big help.


plants needed for a hot raised bed

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 15:31

Why does it get hot and dry?  Can it be changed? Does it need the soil digging out and mixing with a compost that would hold the moisture better? Is the soil too near the top edge? Would a watering system work. A pipe with small holes along the dry edge that could be connected to a hose now and then to dampen the soil.

I would be looking for a cure not plants to suit a problem, if the answer to the above is no then something trailing over the edge to Cool it down. This needs a coat of looking at.


How to use a cold frame

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:40

Jimmy, there are no stupid questions just requests for information and others may well be waiting for the answer too.

A cold frame being close to the soil will often be six or more degrees warmer than something on the ground not sheltered from winds and rain. Yours is South facing and will be warmer even on dull days. If you put the pots into a tray in the cold frame, cover at night against the odd frost even we get in the NE of England then all will be well. I use fleece though newspaper or bubble wrap draped over the pots held up from the plants with short sticks will be fine open during the day to allow the plants to breathe and acclimatise 


Epsom Salts

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:29

Jan, Magnesium Sulphate is best dissolved in water and used directly on the plants as a foliage feed, it is easily dissolved in water. Can be used on Peppers, Roses, Potato's, Tomato's and Carrots. Added to soil it adds magnesium which should not harm other plants as it is soon diluted and washed away by rain.


Why is my parffin heater making my greenhouse full of soot?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:12

Jackie, the wick is far too high, it needs to be just showing above the wick holder. The wick should also be trimmed each time you light it, cut the charred bit from the top of the wick turn it up to light it then down to burn.

unless you have a large stove with double wick consider it as a frost guard, it will not heat the full greenhouse. Standing under a staging with covered seed trays should however give enough warmth to germinate most seeds. Hope this helps.


Monty's wildlife garden

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 16:20

Gardens like fashions change over the years. Monty bless him admitted that area has lain dormant for a long time, it probably came as a good idea to keep the programme rolling, if we all had acres of garden then we could all do it.

My way is to put insect blocks around under bushes, leave the odd pile of brush in a hidden corner and make sure my hedgehogs can get under the cabin. The pond is a small urn with a pump and couple of plants. Bird tables and water baths for the birds, all small though the effort is being made though I do ask myself why. Living on the edge of fields dropping to a stream and a small wood in view,  the wild life does its own thing around here. Still if the spirit is willing why not.


Hello from a newbie

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 16:04

Hello Jennie and welcome, always ask the question you will get an answer from the good people on this board.

Right children love things they can pick and eat so start your 4year old off with strawberries, peas, baby carrots. All can be planted by children along the edges of your boxes. I did that with my grand children, still do they love it. Buy your strawberry plants from a garden centre or nursery, you will get some fruit this year that way though more the next two years. Peas they pick from the bush and eat from the pod and why not they planted them. A small carrot variety will be quick growing and so sweet straight from the ground washed.

For your self divide the boxes into sections and plant rows of seed or plants, salad stuff such as lettuce or cut and come again salad crops can be sown on a fortnightly gap to give you greens for all summer and even into winter. Keep a diary and rotate your crops on a yearly basis, that means do not grow the same crop in the same place year on year, I used a four year cycle as one crop can feed the soil for the next years crop.

One tip be mean with your planting, a glut you cannot use or give away is heartbreaking, little and often and more interesting. Good luck, get some seed down, yes you will lose some though what grows will make up for it, eternal optimists us gardeners.


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