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email: mwillis@ntlworld dot com
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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
Thank you for this very comprehensive set of advice!Delete
Is shingle the same thing as wood chips? Trying to find equivalent in US and having a bit of trouble.
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".ReplyDelete
Just want to say, THANK YOU! I am beginning my organic garden an follow your fabulous blog!
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.ReplyDelete
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Dutch Cuisine? I live here, I don't think that really exists! Well mash potatoes and kale maybe. lolDelete
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?Delete
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. :(ReplyDelete
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 scepticalReplyDelete
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.Delete
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 youReplyDelete
Hi Zahra; Yes, no problem - you are welcome to use the photo. A thesis on honey sounds interesting - you got any good recipes??Delete
Mark, tried your very simple red cabbage recipe, just so simple, will now await the results but even in the jars looks good.ReplyDelete
I'm glad to hear this! I hope you will let me know what you think of it when you do try it.Delete
Really love your blog, and weekly updates. I found your site a little while back, and all you write about gardening has been informative and I am leaning lots so a big thank you.
I read with interest your article on planting watercress, and I am also going to experiment with two plants I was able to purchase for 60 cents Canadian money. I belong to a non-profit organization that has food items donated, and then sold to low income and seniors at greatly reduced cost. Very thankful for this. Still like to plant my own veges though.
I an originally from New Zealand, and love English type gardens, food etc. having a Irish background. I love your English villages, and countryside - just beautiful.
Now to my question regarding the watercress. Did you put holes in the bottom of your container? You did say it needed to be watertight I think? Wanted to clarify this. I really like watercress, similar in taste to arugula (rocket) which I really like, however our spring this year in Western Canada has been very wet, and I didn't plant any, but ideal for the watercress I am thinking, so will give it a try. By the way, another lady was buying watercress, so I told her about you, and how you planted it, so she will try also. It's amazing how information gets spread around.
Thank you again.
Hi Yvonne; It's gratifying to hear that people in far-flung Canada are reading what I write! The answer to your question is No. I wanted the container to be watertight so that its contents remain thoroughly "swampy". As the water will reduce naturally via evaporation, I plan to top it up occasionally. I hope your similar experiments meet with success too!Delete
Hi! I just found your blog while researching raised beds and protective netting. Thanks for the details, pictures and ideas. I will be commenting and posting questions on individual posts but wanted to congratulate you and thank you for a great blog. Best wishes, AnitaReplyDelete
Hi Mark how did you first make your boxes eg Did you turn over grass and then add soil. We are just starting to make some 😃ReplyDelete
Hi Cas; We call these things "Raised beds", so if you use that term in the SEARCH box you will find all the details - like this post, for example: https://marksvegplot.blogspot.com/2015/02/raised-bed-renewal-work-in-progress.htmlDelete
Hi Mark, may I use your photo "Denizens of the compost bin" happy to give you creditsReplyDelete
Hi RodneyLee; Thanks for asking. Yes, you may use the photo and I'd be glad if you would credit it to me. Where are you going to publish it?Delete
Hi everyone, I am new to gardening and really like this blog, thank you Mark. I feel a little paternal at the moment, responsible for all the little seedlings as they enter out into the world from our conservatory. Watching plants and vegetables grow from seeds upward is going to be fulfilling, i just know it!ReplyDelete
Hello and welcome to the addictive world of veg-gardening! I hope to be able to provide you with some tips, advice and inspiration.Delete
i am highly allergic to haricot cannelloni beans etc . Please do you know if the mushy pea bean is of the same family . I can eat runner beans and peas . I can’t seem to get advice . Thank you vivReplyDelete
I'm not 100% sure, but I imagine the Mushy Pea Bean is in the same family are all the others - legumes.Delete