Latest posts by paull2

Growing chilies

Posted: 12/05/2014 at 10:56

There are 1000s of different types of chilli/pepper, and some are more robust and easy to grow than others. That is part of the enjoyment. Like you, I find it difficult to grow the size of peppers you find in supermarkets but yours will taste better. Some will happily grow outside in the summer but the hot chilies prefer good warm GH conditions. Generally, they like consistent warmth, good light, good compost, water and feed when the fruit sets. Don't overdo it, though.

Carrots not germinating

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 14:19

Ditto with the non-performing carrot seed. Admittedly mine was older seed but the conditions on sowing were pretty good, I thought. Parsley (flat leaf) can be another hit and miss experience. I took the tip this year of soaking the seeds overnight or so before sowing under glass cover (in an old Belfast sink) and the outcome has been quite good. Tried to sow celery seeds -- in a propagator -- back in March without much success. Reused the compost outside and guess what's coming up weeks later?


Posted: 11/05/2014 at 14:11

Don't be afraid to put skip-loads of paper and cardboard in with the green stuff. The end result will be a better crumbly texture of compost. Too much proportion of green (yes avoid weeds anyway) makes for a slimy mess. On the 'nettle tea' subject, I'm not yet convinced. I tried making this plant food last year - enduring the pungent smells - but I can't say it made any obvious contribution to cropping which many chemical solutions seem to produce. I'd be interested to hear further.


Posted: 11/05/2014 at 14:00

Perhaps I've been a little reckless but I've had half a dozen Black Beauty courgettes outside for three weeks - in containers and a sheltered position (excepting the current strong winds) -- and they seem to be fully OK with it. In the past, I have had problems with splitting stems when planting out but, so far, OK.

New Plum and Pear trees

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 19:14

Victoria has to be an obvious choice as they are a reliable, heavy cropper and lovely fruit. Depends how many you are able to plant. In addition to Victoria, I have a Damson 'Merryweather' and a brute of a plum called Excalibur which tastes gorgeously spicey but the tree is a robust grower, takes up much space, and the cropping not so reliable. My next choice would be a Gage. Love the taste.


Posted: 27/04/2014 at 11:26

They need consistent warmth and light to really get going.I started my peppers indoors in Feb, first in a propagator then old yoghurt pots, the bigger pots until about 9"-12" high. Only recently, once cold nights have gone, have I put them in the (unheated) GH, and tend to protect with some thin bubblewrap if temps drop. A lot of peppers, chillis, toms and cucs can be seriously 'checked' during the Spring due to any large temperature changes which they find it difficult to recover from. So be cautious and don't be in too much of a hurry. Harden the young plants off outside during warm daytime temps but be careful overnight.

Cherry tree

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 19:27

Yes, the bird issue is a tough one if you hope to harvest any cherries. Last year I managed to collect a bowlful of Stellas for the first time in about 6-7 years on account of my daughters put a couple of horses in the orchard to graze for a few weeks. They frightened off most of the birds but also started to eat the cherry tree while they were about it! Doesn't pay to get your hopes up.

Favourite vegetable to grow?

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 12:30

Anything that won't be plundered by slugs, greenfly, blackfly, birds, squirrels, rabbits etc, etc, way before it's ready to eat by humans, is a pleasure to grow. Half of my gardening life seems to be pest control.

Apple tree loosing bark

Posted: 27/01/2014 at 19:23

It could take a few seasons to give up the ghost....I've got one that has been in decline for 5 years...... so you can take some time to make a decision. Yes, I grew PHM rose up mine and, with a little careful pruning/guidance at the start, you can let it take over, with spectacular results. 

Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 04/01/2014 at 18:35

Not usually a fan of sweet liqueurs but sloe or damson gin has a character all its own. I am though pondering Cape Gooseberries steeped in vodka to develop some very subtle fruit flavours with a pale yellow hue.

Discussions started by paull2

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What causes split stems 
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Cherry picking problem

What's eating my cherry leaves? 
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Last Post: 21/05/2012 at 12:19
14 threads returned