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Latest posts by Tootsietim

Cheaper alternative to raised bed

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 00:13

What is this trend for raised beds? I suspect it is encouraged by garden centres and online retailers to get us to buy overly priced, ready made, deep bed kits.

What I find important for growing veg, is good, well prepared, fertile soil. If there is a depth of soil so much the better, and if you arrange your plot into narrow beds so that you can access from the sides without treading the soil, well then you have just created  deep beds.

A deep bed doesn't need edging, it just needs a good depth of untrodden soil, but without an edge it tends to spread about and loose definition, so I would recommend a low edging, just to define the area, keep the soil from the paths, makes it look tidy, and help the soil at the edges stay moist.

If edging is your thing, then  1" x 6" treated timber from the timber merchant is probably as cheap an option as any. (untreated timber if you don't like the idea of chemicals near your edibles) Drive stakes into the corners. attach the boards, and then dig the plot deeply adding whatever rotted organic material you can and hey presto, a deep bed. Simple and cheap.

Sorry if this has become a bit of a rambling rant, but I work in a wood yard, and every year we see more and more gardeners, especially newbies, who believe that veg only grows in raised beds. When I discuss their needs and in particular how they are going to fill them, it is almost always apparent that this hasn't been considered or budgeted for. If you have to buy in a lot of topsoil and compost on top of the cost of the timber or ready made kit, then it makes for some hellishly expensive vegetables.

Rant over..

Good growing and good eating.



Posted: 19/10/2014 at 00:46

 A swarm of ladybirds (or bishy barnabies as we call them in Norfolk ) which occurred by the coast a few years ago. Theory was that these were immigrants flying in from Europe, but latest thinking seems to be that they a British insects, looking for new food sources, becoming trapped against the sea.

Mystery rose

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 22:09

Another option might be deep secret, a well scented ht. 

(I don't think that it is etoile de hollande as that has a drooping flower )

Shield Bugs

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 22:01

I am sure that they are not Hawthorn shieldbugs and believe that they are most likely to be Coreus marginatus, the Dock Bug. I don't think they will do a lot of harm.

Turf or seeding

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 01:11

The soil is warm and they moist autumn days are upon us. I would sow seed, but then I am a cheapskate. seriously though it is a good time to be sowing seed.

Weird Weeds

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 01:03

My small garden plays host to a silver birch, two hollies an elder and a mountain ash.

I didn't plant any of them.

If I had the room, I would let the oaks that the jays plant in my lawn grow as well.

Overwintering Dahlias

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 00:55

Dahlias growing in pots are going to be vulnerable to freezing if left outdoors, and if the tubers freeze they will rot and die.

I leave my dahlias in the ground, mulch them well and hope for a mild winter.

If my dahlias were in pots I would wait until the first frost blackened the plant, cut them back to a few inches, put them on their sides to let any water in the hollow stems drain away and then store them somewhere frost free, keeping the compost pretty dry, until next year when they could be planted out after the threat of frost has passed. (If you have the space in a greenhouse/conservatory etc, you can bring them into growth earlier, but you cannot plant them out until the risk of frost has passed)

Talk about daylight robbery!

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 00:43

A local garden centre (which I find rather dear at the best of times) was selling off some Veronica gentianoides which had finished flowering, at half price. Bearing in mind that the original price was £8.99 that made them £4.49.

Another local nursery was selling the same plants, in larger pots and in flower at, you guessed it, £4.49.

(p.s. I bought an astrantia from them that had been reduced from £4.99 to 50p. Now that's value)

OK, who's got it?

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 00:34

We once had the local farmer deliver a trailer load of pig muck which was tipped on to the front garden. During the night, about a ton of it was stolen. In the morning we could see the wheel marks where the shit thief had barrowed it up the road 20 yards to a car trailer. Heaven knows how long it must have taken.

On a similar theme, a friend had a ton of sand delivered to lay some block paving but it vanished during the night. Next morning he traced the wheelbarrow track and split sand to a nearby block of flats. Entering the foyer, the tracks led to the lift.

What on earth was someone doing with a ton of sand in their flat??

Leaking Oak Barrel

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 00:10

Have you tried hammering the hoops down to tighten the joints. I find this works with properly coopered half barrels when I want them to hold water. using a hammer and piece of wood or metal I work around the barrel driving the hoops tighter.

Discussions started by Tootsietim

cuttings from wallflowers

Does anyone have experience of taking cuttings from ordinary wallflowers? 
Replies: 4    Views: 793
Last Post: 02/04/2015 at 17:44
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