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young codger

Latest posts by young codger

1 to 10 of 24

Sprout harvesting

Posted: 22/11/2015 at 18:53

That is good news for me then, I will pick them off as & when required.

I didn`t know that the leaves were edible. I`ll try some. Well, I will if I can find some that don`t look like the wings of a lancaster returning from Berlin.



Sprout harvesting

Posted: 22/11/2015 at 18:19


My sprouts are ready to harvest, but I don`t want to waste them if at all possible. I have about a dozen plants all with sprouts on. I have just cut one plant and brought it in the house about ten minutes ago-the first one.(see photo)

The thing is, I Iive alone and the sprouts on this one plant will suffice for 2 meals. There were approx 40 edible size ones, and about 6 or 8 around marble size or smaller that I left on the plant-too small to peel.So, one plant per week (until I am sick if eating sprouts-or not as the case may be).

The outer leaves of the sprouts are already going a bit yellow/brown so not sure how much longer I can leave them in the ground. Will they last longer in the ground with all the frost (snow?) that will be heading our way, or best to get them in now and eat sprouts like they are going out of fashion?



What is wrong with this Rudbeckia plant (see photo)

Posted: 15/06/2015 at 13:17

Thanks for all the advice-the points have been noted. I feel that any one of the suggestions could be the reason for the problem, and they are indeed possible things for me to address.

At the time of posting, I had wondered if the paling of leaf pigment and blotchiness may have been specific to a specific cause/reason. For example, I know from experience that too much potash can cause a plant to "curl up and shrink" and become all contorted. Alex and I will try what has been suggested.

What is wrong with this Rudbeckia plant (see photo)

Posted: 14/06/2015 at 13:14

Can anyone identify from looking at the photo what is causing the problem with my plant? I`ve uploaded a second picture so a comparison can be made with a healthy plant of the same type.

I`ve grown a lot of these Rudbeckia plants this year, and most of them are ok. However, something is causing a problem with the leaf colour on a small amount of the plants. Could the plant be getting too little or too much of something-what do you think the problem is?



CORRECT name for this weed killer please?

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 15:35

Thanks for answering my question Nutcutlet. I`m 99.9% sure that will be what he said. A letter V does sound like a letter B over the phone.

CORRECT name for this weed killer please?

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 14:12

I`ve been told by a "gardener" that there is a weed killer (to get rid of daisies in my case) and it is called "BERDOE extra" He told me that is how it is spelt, but as nothing similar came up via an online search I have to assume he has got something wrong.

What could he be referring to?


The war on slugs-

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 13:59

I think most of us have been there-you put some small but vibrant healthy plants in the garden, and a few days later the slugs have decimated the young leaves.

I think I know almost all the remedies, and my weapon of choice is hunting them late at night armed with a torch. Plus, a dosing of slug pellets around the plants for the slugs that elude my night time prowling.

I’ve been spraying the plants with insecticide to keep aphids off (I grow loads of Rudbeckia). I’m just wondering if a “consequential” effect of the insecticide may render the leaves unpalatable to slugs. I guess it depends on the chemicals used. Anyone else got some unconventional ideas/remedies for the slugs (I know about the beer traps etc).

One other idea I`ve yet to try, what about a small area-say 1 meter square ( shallow wooden frame around the edges) and filled with stuff that slugs love to eat-banana skins, kitchen waste etc all dosed with slug pellets. The idea/theory is to encourage and hope that the slugs would be attracted to the frame more that the plants you’re trying to protect-a kind of decoy.  

Secateur review

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 15:57

Purchase date March 2015

Item: Secateurs

Brand: Felco

Website: 7

Model. No7

Price paid: £44.95

Retailer: ebay seller. 

Purchased based on reputation of brand. 

Bypass type blade (where one blade slides past the other) as opposed to the anvil type blade. Holding up the secateurs to the window, no light could be seen between the blades, which created the impression that they were a well-engineered precision tool. 

After using continuously for about 40 minutes, the concertina spring between the handles would not allow the handles to spring apart naturally. In fairness I had made in excess of 300 cuts of up to 20mm (mainly green) blackberry stems (in to 3 inch long pieces for the compost heap). A quick spray with WD40 remedied the issue temporally. However, after only another 10 minutes of continuous use another spray of the lubricant was needed. If it happens next time, I will try oil on the spring instead. I am going to fall short of describing this as a fault as I feel sure the spring will bed in. It is a good fit between the blades and I could not imagine it dropping out. 

While on the subject of “sticking“, it is worth mentioning that there was no problem at all with the small catch that holds the handles together when not in use. Once released the catch remained out of the way. I mention this because many people have highlighted the issue with other brands that they have tried. 

The seceteurs were sharp. The specs states that they will cut up to 25mm (1 inch) thick. I did not try this for the following reasons. I want to keep a good edge on the blade. I don’t want to strain my finger joints. Finally, if you need to cut 25mm thick wood you should be using loppers. Remember, there is no leverage with short handled tools. (Try digging with an 18 inch spade to understand what I mean)! 

I bought the No7 model because it is recommended for large hands, and the handle opens very wide (ok for me). The other new feature that is on the No7 (and a few others) is the swivelling handle. I found this to be a little disconcerting and mildly annoying. Imagine using some hedge-clippers and one of the handles is rotating in your hand. I’m sure you get the picture. 

Are they value for money?

They are a quality item with a lifetime guarantee. But, for £45 I could buy 3 pairs of Spear & Jackson secateurs from Tool station and still have a bit of change. (Prices of S&P range from £11.30 up to £14.10, max cut 20mm).


Am I pleased with my purchase?

I’m 80% pleased. I can keep the oil can nearby for the spring issue, but I may not get used to the rotating handle. 

Notes: Spare parts are available for Felco secateurs on eBay & Amazon etc.

Felco have a wide range of secateurs available



Fritillaria "No show" on the 2nd season

Posted: 17/03/2015 at 14:27

Early 2014 I planted 4 Fritillaria (2 red & 2 yellow). All the plants came up more or less together, and all bloomed in the way anticipated.

This spring, 3 of them are through and about 9 or 10 inch tall. There is no sign of the the 4th one.

Is it normal with these plants for them to sometimes miss a year. Or is there another reason for the "fail" such as mice may have eaten the bulb?



Lidl surprises

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 15:47

I will go down there then with an interest in buying one. Can you tell me Daintiness, how deep does it go down in to the lawn with the scarrifying?

I`ve often thought of trying to find an alternative to the garen fork. That machine maybe just the job then. I`ll mention you when I go in my local store.


1 to 10 of 24

Discussions started by young codger

Sprout harvesting

How long can I leave them in the garden? 
Replies: 5    Views: 211
Last Post: Yesterday at 17:17

What is wrong with this Rudbeckia plant (see photo)

Leaves losing colour. 
Replies: 7    Views: 422
Last Post: 15/06/2015 at 13:17

CORRECT name for this weed killer please?

May have been given incorrect spelling 
Replies: 7    Views: 318
Last Post: 10/06/2015 at 17:57

The war on slugs-

Garden pests of mass destruction 
Replies: 4    Views: 332
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 19:57

Secateur review

Felco No7 
Replies: 7    Views: 927
Last Post: 08/04/2015 at 11:09

Fritillaria "No show" on the 2nd season

3 out of 4 ok but one had vanished (Mice?) 
Replies: 1    Views: 305
Last Post: 17/03/2015 at 15:40

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

What to do with young sprout plants 
Replies: 10    Views: 719
Last Post: 13/11/2014 at 00:37

How to tell when Garlic is ready to harvest?

Seeking advice about the right time to harvest. 
Replies: 14    Views: 782
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 15:43

What`s eating my marigolds?

Replies: 13    Views: 2177
Last Post: 01/05/2014 at 17:12

Bottle propagator (see photo).

DIY propagators-cheap & effective. 
Replies: 7    Views: 1374
Last Post: 07/12/2013 at 11:42
10 threads returned