Latest posts by SkyeSteve

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Making a cold frame and where to buy a manger.

Posted: 10/11/2012 at 17:02

I'd like to know the answer about the perspex myself actually. I haven't made mine yet as I'm still on the look out for a window frame as I don't want to spend any money....I have some spare wood waiting. I don't know about the heat retaining properties of perspex as opposed to glass and it depends how substantial it needs to be, but it may be worth giving it a try. 

Split Garlic

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 21:45

Hi bobloes, I seem to have exactly the same symptoms with my garlic, it is just as you describe it. I have only harvested 2 plants and that is because an animal, next doors cat I suspect, bent them over. I wondered if it was simply that they are not ready yet as there are only 2 yellowing leaves on each plant. However they don't look as if they would have formed a normal garlic bulb at any time. One of my thoughts is opposite to yours in that we had an extremely wet Jan, Feb and March (my onions in the other half of the bed had to taken out as they had rotted!), although the garlic seemed to be ok. Last year was my first with garlic and it was ok but small and this years looked  a lot more promising.....until now. I'm going down to my local garden centre tomorrow to see if they can shed any light on the problem.

Making a cold frame and where to buy a manger.

Posted: 01/05/2012 at 20:09

Yeah, I'll let you know. I'm away for a couple of weeks soon so I'll be planning it while I'm relaxing with my feet up!  

Making a cold frame and where to buy a manger.

Posted: 30/04/2012 at 21:35

Well some great ideas and advice, thanks all. Flora_etc I have recently started to save my eggshells rather than put them on the compost. I was going to buy some Hostas which I love, but have been decimated by snails/slugs in the past, and use them for that, but it might be a good idea to use them in my cold frame. Several of my friends keep me supplied with duck eggs which have much thicker shells, so they might be better at keeping the slugs at bay. That's just made me think of seaweed, which I have good access to, as its very brittle and sharp when it's dry, so I can try that as well.  Yarrow2, I like the idea of your cold frame. I'm not a DIYer, so I like to keep things simple!.....and it does the job.   Right, I'm going to try those websites. 

Making a cold frame and where to buy a manger.

Posted: 28/04/2012 at 23:28

Thanks for the reply flora_etc. I haven't actually made mine yet as I have also been checking local waste, but so far I've had no luck. I don't want to spend any money unless I have to, so I'll just keep looking. I have some waste wood and no old bricks so that will dictate my design I think. I would have definately said soil rather than concrete and I'll probably line it with some black plastic to keep weeds and slugs down to a minimum.  Thanks again, SkyeSteve

Talkback: Dealing with slugs and snails

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 09:15

 The slugs loved my first attempt at rhubarb last year, but I eventually succeeded and had a good first years growth. Now I'm looking forward to it growing back up again for the first harvest later in the year. To keep the slugs down I bought a slug bell from Garden Organic. Does anyone have any experience with these and do they work?

Talkback: Composting cardboard

Posted: 12/01/2012 at 10:53

Frances, it sounds like your biggest problem is not having enough bulk to put in the heap at once?  That was my problem until I moved here, so I have now solved that. However I have still 'shopped around'  ( local friends gardens and stables ) to find supplies of leaves and manure ( very good on its own or in smaller quantities in the heap). Do you live near the coast? If you do, seaweed is a wonderful activater. It is amazingly heavy carrying in a bin liner, but if you can get good amounts it also adds the bulk as well. Dry it out and then chop it up first though otherwise it takes along time to break down.     Good luck.

Talkback: Composting cardboard

Posted: 08/01/2012 at 12:50

Hi frances, I'm replying to you as a citizen of northern Scotland, well Skye as you can see, and certainly not as an expert! However if I can add my two'penneth.   I created my first raised bed 2 seasons ago and filled it with loam and compost from the garden centre. It's only one planks depth and I've topped it up several times, partly i must add with my own excellent compost!!, and this year, with onions and garlic planted, I noticed after all the rain it settled down to only half way up the board. I don't know the science of it but I've put a lot of material onto my beds and there's still room for more.

   I had been very frustrated with my first efforts at composting, but since starting a new garden 2 years ago I have read a lot about the subject and have now reached the point where I am delighted with my compost. I presume the temperature outside the bin plays its part but the make up of the bin can create its own heat. Bearing in mind, to get to your point, about our position in the country, although my bin is in full sun ( is that the big yellow thing that appears in the sky occasionally?)  it is very exposed to all the wind and rain and has only ever felt warm....never hot. I have now used compost from the bottom half of the bin several times in the last year, and although not perfect it is doing the job in my veg patch. The next lot, weather permitting, will go on my beds in a month or so and is really good, and there's plenty of it.  Four lessons that have helped me personally in the last year were:- chopping up garden waste and straw to speed up the process ( I've ordered a cheap shredder to help even more); putting large amounts in at once; turning the heap regularly ( quite awkward and tiring in my bin, but well worth it ); and using cardboard in fair amounts.  

I looked at this part of the forum because it was about cardboard.......and i must say I love cardboard!   We own a shop where we sell loads of stationery and consequently have a lot of packing boxes left over. We give a lot to customers to re-use but I use a fair amount on my garden also. I have always used scrunched up kitchen and toilet paper rolls, but for the last year I have been adding broken down cardboard boxes that have played another roll first.     I now have five veg beds and started off killing weeds and grasses over winter by covering the earth on two of them with black plastic liners......didn't work well at all, and because I had so much  spare cardboard ( and it was quite good for the compost bin as it was) I covered the other beds in that and topped it off with wet grass cuttings. It worked a treat. At the start of spring I scraped off some of the grass, but not all, and I had bare soil and very few weeds. I then pulled up some of the broken down soggy cardboard. What was left on the soil dug in easily, and the excess was great for the compost bin, even in fairly large amounts, mixed in with drier materials obviously. Two birds with one stone!      Hope this is helpful and also hope for a better years weather!

Talkback: Nature in the garden

Posted: 04/01/2012 at 19:44

I've never seen blackbirds in such large numbers as I have this past year. They had a field day with my no dig potatoes in spring. No matter how often and how high I piled the straw/grass cuttings they managed to get through....I just gave up in the end. Now, since I planted my garlic and onions in autumn, I've watched them pulling the bulbs out. Belatedley I've covered them but I'll do it sooner next year.  This autumn Ive planted a lot of daffs and tulips, but now something is pulling a lot of those bulbs out. I suspect mice/voles in this case as the bulbs in pots that our 4 legged friends can't get at are still intact. The interesting thing though is that the tulips seem to be a lot more popular than the daffs! Anybody else experienced this?

Making a cold frame and where to buy a manger.

Posted: 04/01/2012 at 08:05

Hope somebody answers this as I have exactly the same questions......Help!...Please!  Haven't got used to the site yet Tootles but presumably we can ask one the experts. That's my next step when I get back from work.

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