Well, officially it has, yet one is struggling to feel its presence. The sky is grey and the air is cold. Rain is forecast to dampen the Easter holiday! I know winter has definitely run its course and I have started sowing trays of seedlings, yet I can't drive away the winter blue.
This year's sowing is particularly challenging. One of my greenhouses collapsed after the succession of wintry storms and I also lost the best 4-legged propagator who could started any seedlings within…Continue
I am a big fan of raised beds, and have been progressively replacing my old ones with much deeper (40cm) ones. Filling beds of this size needs a lot of material. I recently bought a 1000kg bulk bag of "Norfolk Loam", which will be useful, but I am also using as much home-made compost as I can muster.
I know it a bit early in the season, to be talking about…Continue
I was up on the allotment over the weekend and I was watching somebody new on the allotments digging over his plot, I decided I would walk over and say “Hello and welcome” after we had talked for a bit, we got on to the subject of the position of his plot which is on the north side of some trees. He told me that he was worry that he wouldn't be able to grow any d…
I have sown some tomatoes, chilli and peppers and they are indoors waiting to germinate. Three types of lettuce have also been started indooors. Last year transplanting lettuce plants was more successful than sowing direct.
Last year I lost over 100 peas to mice so this year 200 seeds have been sown in cells in the GH , hopefully this will make a difference and they will then be transplanted under cloches to give them a good start.
This year I will be using nets over all my…Continue
The UK has been battered by a number of storms over the last few weeks, it seems funny that we have been have more since the Met Office decided to start naming them. But you only need to go back to the winter of 2013-2014 to see a similarly stormy winter pattern.
Overall the weather has been very mild for the time of year. I've had to de-ice the car in the morning a lot less then I would of a couple of year ago. I think it’s ridiculous to deny the fact…Continue
Every year, round about the end of January, a 2-day Potato Day event is held in the Hampshire town of Whitchurch, giving an opportunity for gardeners and allotmenteers to buy from a huge range of seed potatoes - plus other items like peas and beans - at very attractive prices. Having discovered this way of getting potatoes, I don't think I'll ever go back to Mail Order.…Continue
Added by Mark Willis on February 4, 2016 at 7:33 — No Comments
I’ve had a few questions at work about coffee grounds and composting. People are interested to know if and how they can use coffee grounds in their compost. So hopefully this will help answer some of those questions.
First of all coffee grounds are a very good addition to your composting efforts. They should be considered a "green" or nitrogen source.
While it is widely thought that they are acidic it has been shown that most of this acidity is…
I always think that when I start to dig in the green manure on the allotment in January, that its the start of the gardening year. its one job I don't mind doing, there nothing better on a cold crisp day then get warmed up by digging.
The Hungarian Gazing Rye before I started to dig…
Ive germinated some pepper seeds which I took from some normal supermarket bell peppers but have read mixed information on whether these will eventually fruit or not.
Has anyone done the same- and what sort of luck did you have...
This was the scene at the allotment on Sunday, when our attendance managed to neatly and happily bisect a couple of squally rain showers. For shame: I haven't written anything veg-related on here since July, and in truth our attendance of the plot in real life over the last couple of months has been scarcely any more regular. The…Continue
Today we picked the last two sweet peppers in the greenhouse. The pathetic crop of chillies were picked yesterday. It was my own fault I bought the seeds from an online website that used foreign supplies.
I have now planned next year and I have ordered the seeds from a supplier on eBay that I have used before and the results have always been good, and the prices are half that of seeds in major retailers.
My main issue this/next year is to stay with my plan and not keep adding…Continue
Hi guys, here are numerous tips that we swear by in regards to cultivation. I hope some of you find it useful. I am sure you will.
COPPER WIRE - Copper wire is a great solution for repelling slugs and snails from climbing up your plants. Twist a section of copper wire around the base of the stalk ensuring the wire doesn't actually touch the plant so as to give ample room for growth. As this is a very…Continue
The one thing I have not done is to consider rebuilding the lean-to greenhouse all the way along where it was before the thatch got burnt down a few years back. I just left the foundations thinking i might one day do something. There they are.
I suddenly discovered the little less than perfect Halls Europa Mk.II 84 lean-to the other day and it arrived
within a couple of days. It ain't easy to assemble, just like Meccano.
I suddenly realized that I have the…Continue
There is always something in the garden that I am not quite good enough to do, and it is at times like that I need help from somebody to do it better. Just as I was pondering the complexities of lean-to greenhouse erection today, a savior came along in the form of a former employee, looking for a little paid employment. The one things he is good at...... precisely what I am not! Drills, rawl plugs, screws, and wood! He has even offered to put up a Swift box 5-7me up which I was…Continue
If you happen to have an abundance of ripe chillis, and don't know what to do with them, why not try making Harissa?
It scores heavily in the Effort-to-Results stakes, and produces a tasty and versatile condiment. Also, it doesn't have to be so hot that it burns your tongue, because you can tone it…Continue
Added by Mark Willis on October 17, 2015 at 10:17 — No Comments
I have had two big problems with the grapes, compared with Apples, pears and other fruit.
The first has been ripening them, which I may now have solved unless we have a dreadful September in coming years and even then... A little bit of reading goes a long way, and I took some literary advice to cut back the foliage to uncover the grape, which i did about a month ago. At the expense of some ripe fruit, more due to lack of water than lack of sunshine, I now have a splendid crop of…Continue
Thee sequence of events, pollination excellent, water very inadequate has produced an apple crop which is ready to pick now instead of last week in August, which is prolific but short on size. Small apples. Waiting for them to plump up, with the new rains in the last couple of days may be the answer.
After some discussion here about Celeriac planting last spring time, I took the plung and I now have about 30 healthy looking celeriac plants in tidy, well weeded rows. I tested…Continue