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Latest posts by Topbird

Growing Garlic

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 16:14

Gemma - you snuck in while I was writing! Spare scaffold boards would be better than bricks!

Growing Garlic

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 16:10

Gemma - I think your idea of a mobile frame would work quite well & the compost etc that you leave behind each year would help improve the soil underneath.

The only thing I would question with a single mobile frame is when you would actually move it - the garlic would be in from autumn to early summer by which time it would be planted up with summer crops. If you have room for 2 or more frames that might work better. 

Other advantages of raised beds is that they warm up much quicker in spring than cold clay and the controlled contents mean direct sowing is usually more productive. If you can afford it, the company Harrod Horticultural Products do some smaller frames in various shapes & sizes which might be more moveable or easier to take apart each year. Their products are nice and sturdy but they are an easy rather than a cheap option.

Otherwise I have had success just using old bricks (loose laid) to essentially contain the contents of a few bags of MP compost. This just gives a few inches of friable compostey soil over pre-dug soil. The bricks can be moved to a new site as needed and can be used to make containers of different sizes. 

Happy gardening 

Growing Garlic

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 12:44

Gemma - Garlic is tough when it comes to cold but I believe it prefers good drainage. Planting into cold, heavy, wet clay soil can cause the cloves to just rot away - so your method of module planting will probably always give you better results - unless you can improve drainage around the cloves for the winter.

I also have a heavy clay soil & have to be quite careful when it comes to all autumn planting except trees and shrubs. I grow all my veg in raised beds which have good drainage and which I can work all year round.

Room 101

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 12:24
Topbird wrote (see)

The english teacher who wrote "You should of used more paragraphs in this essay" against a pupils homework .....    

(Courtesy of the Telegraph letters page a couple of years ago - never forgotten it!!)

Oops - of course, that should have (or 'should of' LOL) read "pupil's homework"

Very naughty of me to correct other people's grammatical errors with one of my own 


Room 101

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 11:29

The english teacher who wrote "You should of used more paragraphs in this essay" against a pupils homework .....    

(Courtesy of the Telegraph letters page a couple of years ago - never forgotten it!!)

Growing Garlic

Posted: 07/01/2015 at 19:14

I put in about 24 cloves of soft-neck garlic at the end of November. They have all taken & have 5'' shoots on them 

In a previous year I planted some in spring but the results were not worth the effort - puny little bulbs. They obviously had not had either the required cold spell or length of time in the ground to develop properly. I'm hoping for better results this time.

My research (Google!) has indicated that seed garlic should be used rather than eating garlic because the garlic bought in SMs may be sprayed to inhibit sprouting, they may also carry viruses (seed bulbs should be virus free) and they may also be varieties which are not suitable for growing in the UK climate.

Garlic bulbs from the GC may be a little more expensive but should give more reliable results. That said - I'd stick an unused garlic clove in the ground before I put it in the bin - so good luck with any SM plantings - hope they give you  a good crop. 

Room 101

Posted: 07/01/2015 at 17:51

People who spell "definitely" with an "a".

They should definately go in....(oops!!) 

Room 101

Posted: 05/01/2015 at 13:56

Companies that keep cold-calling my aged in-laws (despite them having TPS).

They (particularly F-i-L) are too open, honest and polite to accept that a caller (a complete stranger) might be trying to con them out of money (.. "I like to trust people until they prove that I shouldn't"..). They think it is rude not to answer the phone when it rings and also won't hang-up or interrupt cold-callers.

They are not stupid or ignorant - they just do not accept that there are strangers out there who will use underhand tactics to con money out of anybody. All very worrying when we are so far away. We can only advise them not to answer the phone if they don't know whose calling or to hang up - but they won't do that...

Room 101

Posted: 04/01/2015 at 18:22

This thread is the funniest one we've had for ages - LOL funny

Visions of some people (Charlie & Runnybeak take a bow) going puce & thumping at the keyboard as they let it all out... 

Glad to see Edd Balls has been mentioned several times - the clue is in the name

Steve - you will get one of Dove's special spanked btms if you are not careful (or if you're lucky depending on your personal preferences in such matters )

Garden programme on Sky 1

Posted: 04/01/2015 at 15:11

I really didn't notice any sharp comments but maybe I FFW'd through them - by the time I'd cut out the biographies, challenges, comments, scoring and adverts, the programme only took abt a third of it's air-time for me to watch 

With any of these reality TV shows I am always very aware of how an editor's 'touch' can make a jokey or off-the-cuff remark seem quite nasty or fabricate a 'dirty tricks' plot where none exists (Think Bake-Off ice cream saga...). 

Wonder if any of the entrants are members on here? - would be quite interesting to hear what it was like taking part - although I don't think I'd blow my anonymity if I was one of them! 

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