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16 comments:

  1. Hi Mark
    Got your tweet but advice is too long in 149 characters.....You may not grow good tubers from supermarket varieties due to our fluctuating daylength - in the tropics day and night are equal, here it varies wildly and tubers only form when we get days shorter than nights...just about when the frosts kick in, alas! more info on www.sowingnewseeds.org.uk
    I'd certainly try growing on what you've sprouted, keep very warm - they don't like being chilled at all - and either grow in really big pots - the largest size of flexible plastic trugs sold in budget shops are ideal - half good weed and stone-free soil, half decent garden compost - or in a polytunnel. They are almost all too vigorous for all but the biggest greenhouses. Keep weed-free, hack back excess foliage if needed (they can get aggressively invasive) and feed with tomato fertilizer - they don't need incredible amounts, just weak feed once a week - and leave in full sun as long as possible. If a cold night, bring under cover - hence trugs as they've got handles - or cover with fleece. Leave as long as possible before harvesting: in pots, start drying off from late September and allow foliage to die back under cover if you can, in open ground cover when needed but lift as soon as a frost has scorched the leaves. I've had the best harvest from Murusaki and O'Henry, but Beaureard had the better flavour. Good luck! Sally Cunningham

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    1. Thank you for this very comprehensive set of advice!

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  2. Hi Mark:
    Is shingle the same thing as wood chips? Trying to find equivalent in US and having a bit of trouble.
    Thanks.

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  3. Hi Lynnell; No, shingle is not he same as woodchips. Shingle is comprised of small stones, normally ones which are extracted from a beach or lake, so have been rounded at the edges by water action. The ones I use are nominally 25mm in diameter. Smaller-diameter ones might be described as gravel or "pea-shingle".

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  4. Hello,
    Just want to say, THANK YOU! I am beginning my organic garden an follow your fabulous blog!

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  5. Hi Yvonne; Nice to have you "on board". You might want to have a look at my Advice page, because there are several articles there aimed at the less experienced gardener.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Dutch Cuisine? I live here, I don't think that really exists! Well mash potatoes and kale maybe. lol

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    2. Nice to see your success with PSB. I love having it in my southern California garden however production is not guaranteed. Usually about half of my plants produce sprouts. Since plants are so large I've not planted it for a few years. I did get some sprouts when planted in compost rich 15 gallon pots. Any tips?

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  7. wow. i wish i had the skill to do that. when i stand outside my garden i cant envision how it will look like at the end. :(

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  8. Hi we have read with interest your weedkiller problem - and we think this is what we have - we've grown runner beans each year in a pot filled with 3 grown bags - this year the beans are so distorted and pictures on a site showing weedkiller damage from contaminated manure, a friend thought this might be the problem - sadly we haven't kept the bags so no idea which brand they were - our pot was new this year and we didn't have problems last year so don't think the canes could be the problem but am certain that the growbags are. Our tomatoes and peppers in the same compost are also struggling - even though every one states they are safe to eat we are sceptical

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    1. Hi Liz; I'm sorry to hear that you have been affected by the weedkiller problem. Regrettably, I think it is much more common than compost-manufacturers care to admit. As regards safeness to eat - I have been eating the fruits from my contaminated tomatoes with no visible ill effects! Reading reports in the media I conclude that we are all eating weedkiller all the time, since it is now well and truly in our food chain. For instance, Glyphosate (Roundup) is commonly used on cereal crops and thus finds its way into flour and thus bread. Home-made compost seems to be the only answer for the amateur gardener.

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  9. Hi Mark, I was looking for a picture of thyme flower and honey bee for my thesis (which is on honey) then I found your blog. I would like to ask for permission if I can use your picture on my thesis. Thank you
    Zahra

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    1. Hi Zahra; Yes, no problem - you are welcome to use the photo. A thesis on honey sounds interesting - you got any good recipes??

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  10. Mark, tried your very simple red cabbage recipe, just so simple, will now await the results but even in the jars looks good.

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    1. I'm glad to hear this! I hope you will let me know what you think of it when you do try it.

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