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Latest posts by Topbird

Glass cleaning

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 09:02

Bucket of hot water with a dash of washing up liquid and / or vinegar and a sponge and squeegee for me.

I don't think it is necessary to use any harsher chemicals to clean glass. If you can't use washing up liquid at all (I really am talking about a tiny dash in a big bucket of water) then I would just add a slurp of vinegar.

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 08:56

According to the RHS you can grow them in a large container - so a large trug with holes in might be OK - but I would still sink it into the ground for stability. You can also keep the stems reduced to about 5' so you only need minimal support for the plants.

If you can do mash Bekkie, you can do soup  - just use stock rather than water as the cooking liquid, cook them until very soft and then zuzz it all up (stock & artichokes together) with a stick blender or in a liquidiser until nice & smooth - yummy!!


Dilemma - Broads or peas?

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 19:41

Peas for me every time!  My favourite veg but they don't store well - which is why 'fresh' peas from the market never taste as good as the ones you grow yourself.

Nothing beats eating raw peas picked straight from the plant & they are good in salads.  I also use some of the young green growth (pea shoots) in salads and the empty pods can be used to flavour stocks (I think you can even use the pods to make soup if they are young and tender enough). And, of course, you can always make pea pod wine ... 

I use the lower growing varieties and shove some twiggy prunings in as I sow . They keep pigeons and cats off the new shoots and give the peas something to scramble up as they grow.

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 19:10

... I can send you the soup recipe if you want Bekkie ...  xx

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 17:58

Sorry Phillippa - you snuck in there - didn't mean to repeat what you just said...

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 17:56

Bekkie - I've not yet grown JA's - but they make the most delicious soup - really, really easy and tasty - bit of a nutty, savoury taste - very difficult to describe.

They grow very tall so I'm not sure how well they would do in a container unless it was sunk into the ground for stability. I also don't know how much room the root & tuber system needs. If you plant them in open ground it is important to harvest them thoroughly (ie remove all the tubers) so you don't have unwanted plants popping up next year. I believe they can become a bit invasive if you just leave them in the ground.

They are a winter vegetable and are available in my local supermarket at the moment - so I suggest you buy a packet and try them first to see whether you like them or not. They are easy to grow but a very big plant - you might not want that if you don't like the taste of them.

The best way to avoid the flatulent  side effect is to cook them thoroughly...

Growing potatoes in bags

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:49

I was given some proper potato grow bags 2 years ago. Did it exactly as Kelsbels describes (about 3 or 4 potatoes to each bag) and I had a surprisingly good harvest (whole fruit tray full of potatoes). 

Homegrown Wedding Flowers

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:45

White cosmos, larkspur, stocks and anntirhinums perhaps? 

I might also consider some greenery. I don't know if some of the foliage plants used in hanging baskets would be suitable for any of your decorations? - plugs of those are starting to appear now in the GCs. 

Better luck this time! 

Wrong plants sent by mail order

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:32


Using mushroom compost...

Posted: 14/02/2015 at 10:15

Hi Ally - I'd wait a few weeks before doing anything too drastic. I also made the mistake of using mushroom compost to improve the soil in an area earmarked for raspberries. I used A LOT because the existing soil was on the site of a huge old conifer and the soil was really poor & depleted.

Anyways - long story short - my raspberries grew strong, well and healthy and highly productive. Maybe the conifer had made the underlying soil acidic and I ended up with a neutral mix, maybe the compost didn't have too much lime in it - I don't know - but I would wait to see whether or not your raspberries start shooting away quite happily before doing anything too drastic.

It's probably worth making sure the compost is pulled away from the stubs of the stems though. Good luck 

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11 threads returned