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Latest posts by steephill

Self Watering system

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 23:00 Lots of useful info there but it could get costly.

Lawn Funghi

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 00:06

Looks like honey fungus to me. You might find some old tree roots buried below the crop if you dig down, it would be feeding on these. Although honey fungus is bad news in a garden at least it is edible! But don't ever eat any fungus unless you get multiple expert real life confirmations that it is a safe variety. Look out for fungus events locally where you might find an expert to have a look at your specimens.

Ruuner Bean roots- a problem?

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 01:17

The nitrogen will have been passed on to the plant during the growing season. There will be very little value left in the roots other than the fact that the plant is perennial and would grow again from those substantial roots given protection from frost over the Winter.

Tools to tackle an overgrown laurel hedge

Posted: 30/09/2012 at 18:00

You would need to eat the leaves to suffer cyanide poisoning, that's how it kills horses. It is safe to prune laurel, wet or dry.

Any idea what this fruit is?

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 23:55

Seems very late for cherry plums, they usually ripen late July/early August. All of mine were gone by mid August. I have the purple variety and have made good jam from it.

runner beans

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 12:13

Yes, just treat them the same as kidney beans - cook thoroughly. You can also freeze the fresh beans if you need to harvest before the pods dry.

Late Runner Beans

Posted: 10/09/2012 at 13:21

Runner beans are also called seven year beans in the US as they are a perennial plant. They are probably too tender to survive the Winter in the UK unless well protected though. You should find a good strong root system when you dig them up at the end of the season.

If you leave some beans to mature they will give you lovely large fresh beans which you can freeze, just wait until you can see the swollen beans inside the pods. If you have enough time and good weather let the pods dry out on the vine for dry beans which can be stored in a jar.

What to do with soil that's got coal in it

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 12:19

It may seem odd that coal made from trees and other organic matter can contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury and (radioactive) uranium and other pollutants but it does. The contaminants come from the normal geological erosion of rocks and are washed into the swamps where coal is formed. These are mainly concentrated in the boundary seams of coal but you have no way of telling where in the seam the coal came from. The heavy metals can leach out of the coal to pollute water courses. This largely a problem for power stations where they store millions of tons of the stuff.

If the layer isn't too thick I would dig it out first especially if planting fruit and veg.

The pinky bits might be brick debris from the previous demolition of the coal shed.


Help - Massive Bramble problem

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 11:59



If you can borrow a couple of pigs for a few days or so they will eat the roots and rotovate and manure the ground at the same time. Take off top growth first.

One more thing - infection. Unless you are very lucky you will get lacerated by brambles when removing top growth. I was tackling a similarly overgrown garden and picked up a nasty bacterial blood infection through cuts. Nothing exotic just common bacteria found in any garden but it took 9 weeks and three different antibiotics to clear it up. So wrap up well with industrial strength welders gauntlets and a strong face guard.


Runner beans.

Posted: 25/08/2012 at 01:16

Leave some pods to mature and with luck you will get a nice crop of beans to use in stews etc. They freeze well too.

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