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Peat Ballan

Latest posts by Peat Ballan

Talkback: How to grow garlic

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 20:09

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME !  I thought I would be clever and try bottling the cloves in olive oil. I now have three jam jars of garlic cloves, that are slightly fermented, and when I try to open them, it is like having a champagne bottle of garlic explode in the kitchen ! Takes days for the smell to disperse ! Like being sprayed by a skunk, it permeates clothes, fabrics, drawers, towels and hair to such a degree that people either turn away from you or ask if you are English !

Anyone want a bottle of garlic wine ?

Talkback: Peach leaf curl

Posted: 02/05/2012 at 17:41

I forgot, last year, I gave a red card to a reluctant plum tree, pulled it up unceremoniously from it's spot, and put it in the 'sin bin' oop top of lotty. Here, in shame and isolation, in the same season of its' exile, it PRODUCED FRUIT !!! I think it should be called 'Contrary Plum' !

Talkback: Peach leaf curl

Posted: 02/05/2012 at 17:38

Two peach trees, bought two years ago Last year they flowered. Fruited sparingly. This year, nowt, except for one measely reluctant blossom on one tree. Bright green new leaves, but starting to curl inwards, tightly. Is this a case for the wonder-drug, Bordeaux mix, to be sprayed liberally, in addition to pruning off the curled leaves ?

Talkback: How to grow garlic

Posted: 01/05/2012 at 08:47

So many methods of planting for garlic, itis difficult for the beginner to decide which to try. I too, was abeginner a few years ago, ( or seasons ) and I just jumped into the fray with my usual enthusiasm on a foundation of optimism and determination. The garlic more or less looked after itself from day one ! I use a different bed each time, about 5mX3m, well dug over, a bit of oh be joyful material thrown in for soil improvement properties, and weed occasionally with a hoe-hoe.(haha).They DO look after themselves, and in about August time, after 7 months, harvest , drying the bulbs out on a rack in the sun. Garlic in a pot, is best with a leg of lamb thrown in at the same time !!  Garlic is a hardy and well behaved plant. I LOVE it !


Posted: 27/04/2012 at 10:48

I manage to get some good bargains from Wilko's at the end of the season, whenever that is !  Bags of composts for the following spring, gong for 25 to 50 pence, BIG 'uns too ! If one has storage space, the autumn is a bargain basement dream come true! All sorts of spontaneous cheapo's !

Fiskars Weed Removing Tool

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 20:13

Hi Cliff,  I wonder how complicated a tool can be ! The weeder has just not come up to the mark as far as I can figure. It leaves 50% of  major root systems torn off and left in the ground, craters in the lawn where it has been used, and I cannot get any neighbours to even borrow it !  Good luck to yourself tho'. Perhaps tools with a single direction moving part are beyond my scope of experience ! 

Compost, they reckon !!!

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 18:52

I have three compost bin/ barrels, one tumbler bin, three pallette  bins and a section for leaves still in the bags I collected them in. The old green things that used to take all kitchen wastes are now for forcing rhubarb, VERY  efficiently, yet, I still feel I need more compost ! I can go and collect as much horsemanure  as I can load, sheeps dags, and my allotments own stuff, but I still itch for more. It's becoming an obsession ! My wife thinks I have gone too far now, and is threatening me with heavy blunt instruments, and I don't mean tuba's.

Fiskars Weed Removing Tool

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 18:44

The tool looks and sounds like a 'Rambo' weapon.  In reality, it is 'OK' for simple uncomplicated weeding out of dandelions, but virtually anything else, is useless, Docks laugh at you. Daisies scoff and anyything else is irrelevent to the tool. It is though, a veritable MASTERPIECE of marketting. 


Posted: 05/04/2012 at 17:35

I have found that the incinerator burning of waste veggy materiel oop t'lotty is missing a chance to improve patches of open areas waiting to be cultivated. I burn old cane prunings, knackered bamboo canes, hedge trimmings, all sorts of stuff, too hard to compost, and make a neat pile in an open patch. Leave it for a week or so, then with a scrap of old newspaper, burn it and then rake the ashes around that  area. It provides pest control where the fire was, potash to spread around, cooks the slugs and pests directly under and Roberts yer Uncle ! AND you get the fun of a good bllaze as well, to satisfy the primitive side of you !

Talkback: Slugs and snails and pussycat tails

Posted: 05/04/2012 at 17:26
Nematodes........... reads like something from Jules Verne or John Wyndham, The day of the Nematodes ! I really think that the only good these critters do is line the pockets of the breeders of these so called voracious things. They last for a short time, cost a fortune to have any effect on a patch of allotment, and then one has to start all over again ! I have tried my own system, to broadcast slug pellets over a legume patch, rake it it well, and the molluscs go for it UNDERGROUND, leaving it safe for the birds, hedgehogs and wotnot that patrol of an evening. Better still, DIG the pellets in deeper than a raking !

Discussions started by Peat Ballan


Replies: 8    Views: 295
Last Post: 13/10/2013 at 09:48

leaf mulching

how to get the most out of your old leaves 
Replies: 3    Views: 346
Last Post: 13/07/2013 at 22:51


improving shed and garden security 
Replies: 6    Views: 432
Last Post: 12/07/2013 at 21:47

GM seeds

to seed or not to seed 
Replies: 4    Views: 256
Last Post: 24/06/2013 at 21:12

herbal lawns

Establishing a herbal lawn 
Replies: 18    Views: 976
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 14:57

Now the soil is warm

what and where to plant and sow 
Replies: 6    Views: 459
Last Post: 23/05/2013 at 23:25

bee hives

benefits of bee hives 
Replies: 0    Views: 480
Last Post: 14/09/2012 at 10:12


where and when to burn or not to burn 
Replies: 1    Views: 497
Last Post: 05/04/2012 at 18:10
8 threads returned