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BS: Gardening Tips

The Sandman 11 Nov 20 - 01:10 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 20 - 01:52 PM
Backwoodsman 11 Nov 20 - 03:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Nov 20 - 04:00 PM
Thompson 11 Nov 20 - 04:39 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 20 - 05:35 PM
The Sandman 11 Nov 20 - 05:55 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 20 - 06:25 PM
leeneia 11 Nov 20 - 11:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Nov 20 - 12:12 AM
The Sandman 12 Nov 20 - 02:28 AM
The Sandman 12 Nov 20 - 03:55 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 20 - 09:02 AM
The Sandman 12 Nov 20 - 10:27 AM
Jos 12 Nov 20 - 11:32 AM
Jos 12 Nov 20 - 11:40 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 20 - 06:51 PM
The Sandman 13 Nov 20 - 04:21 AM
Bonzo3legs 13 Nov 20 - 05:11 AM
Thompson 13 Nov 20 - 09:39 AM
The Sandman 13 Nov 20 - 10:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Nov 20 - 11:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Nov 20 - 12:04 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 12:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Nov 20 - 01:02 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 01:14 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 01:23 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 01:32 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 01:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Nov 20 - 06:26 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 20 - 08:33 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Nov 20 - 09:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Nov 20 - 09:53 AM
The Sandman 16 Nov 20 - 12:17 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Nov 20 - 12:49 PM
The Sandman 16 Nov 20 - 04:41 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Nov 20 - 06:33 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Nov 20 - 06:31 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Nov 20 - 07:18 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Nov 20 - 07:26 AM
Thompson 18 Nov 20 - 10:42 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Nov 20 - 11:50 AM
Thompson 18 Nov 20 - 12:37 PM
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Subject: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 01:10 PM

Plant feed solution

It is too strong to be used neat on most plants and should be diluted. Dilute one part fresh urine to 10-15 parts water for application on plants in the growth stage. Dilute one part fresh urine to 30-50 parts water for use on pot plants, which are much more sensitive to fertilisers of any kind.
This is not a piss take, if you have any other gardening tips , feel free to add them, here is another
   How to Water Plants with Epsom Salts Want to know how to water plants with Epsom salts? It’s easy. Simply substitute it for regular watering either once or twice a month. Keep in mind that there are a number of formulas out there, so go with whatever works for you. Before applying Epsom salt, however, it’s a good idea to have your soil tested to determine whether it’s deficient of magnesium. You should also be aware that many plants, like beans and leafy vegetables, will happily grow and produce in soils with low levels of magnesium. Plants like rose, tomatoes and peppers, on the other hand, require lots of magnesium, and therefore, are more commonly watered with Epsom salt. When diluted with water, Epsom salt is easily taken up by plants, especially when applied as a foliar spray. Most plants can be misted with a solution of 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of Epsom salt per gallon of water once a month. For more frequent watering, every other week, cut this back to 1 tablespoon (15 mL). With roses, you can apply a foliar spray of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water for each foot of the shrub’s height. Apply in spring as leaves appear and then again after flowering. For tomatoes and peppers, apply 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt granules around each transplant or spray (1 tbsp. or 30 mL per gallon) during transplanting and again following the first bloom and fruit set


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 01:52 PM

Urine is an excellent compost heap activator (that great pioneer of organic gardening, Laurence D. Hills, called it euphemistically "liquid household activator") but you shouldn't be using it as a fertiliser. Grow a patch of Bocking No 14 comfrey instead. Take a couple of crops off it each year (it will last forever) and soak the leaves and stems for a good two or three months in a water butt. Even leave it until next year, which is what I do. Dilute the resulting rather smelly liquid about 4:1 and water your crops with it about once every couple of weeks in summer. You'll be amazed. It's especially good on potatoes, tomatoes and roses, but it's good for everything.

As for Epsom salts, don't use it. You don't need it. Magnesium deficiency in soil is fairly uncommon, mostly found in acid, sandy soils, and, in any case, if you're gardening properly by feeding your soil with lots of compost or well-rotted manure you will automatically be correcting pH and magnesium issues. Epsom salts is a harsh inorganic chemical that will damage the soil ecosystem and hurt your plants' roots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 03:37 PM

Gardening tips? Mine is ‘Don’t’. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 04:00 PM

It's nitrogen in the urine that plants respond to.

Don't use Epsom salts too often, it will build up in the soil and work against you. But it does make the tomatoes happy to use 2 or 3 times during the growing season. The mix is pretty dilute, just a couple of tablespoons per gallon of water.

Foliar feeding is good, when done early. Don't spray the leaves in heat or bright sunshine or you'll burn them with the water in the sun on the hot leaves. And don't rely just on foliar feeding; my gardening guru here in the states was talking about that just this week on his radio show - the roots get "lazy" and won't interact with the soil and microorganisms as easily if you only do foliar feeding. Dribble some of that liquid directly onto the soil as weel.

Are you a regular gardener, Dick, or is this something you've just discovered?


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 04:39 PM

I sometimes use the dried fish flakes you get in Chinese supermarkets for watering - add a couple of spoons to the can, or use it in a reservoir attached to a hose. It's like drugs for plants, they practically snarl and claw at you as you pass after a couple of feeds of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 05:35 PM

As that amazing self-sufficiency guru John Seymour said, you do not feed plants, you feed the soil. Adding a manufactured inorganic chemical to the soil is not feeding the soil. It will instantly kill soil organisms and will hinder the soil's job of sustaining your crop. Make your own compost or compost some stable manure, then add that to your soil. Epsom salts can add only magnesium. If your tomatoes can't manage without the magnesium in Epsom salts, you're not managing your soil properly. If you really must spray your plants with anything, make it organic liquid seaweed extract. That contains all the magnesium your plants need and a whole host of other micronutrients too. If you can get your hands on seaweed, hose away the salt thoroughly then lay the seaweed around your plants. No need to compost it first. Anything made from seaweed, as long as you've washed away the salt, has an amazing beneficial effect on soil organisms. And grow some of that comfrey.

I've been gardening this way for over forty years, over thirty on hungry, sandy soil, have always had big, healthy crops as long as I haven't succumbed to laziness, and have never resorted to Epsom salts or any other inorganic fertiliser. Oh, and I have a degree in botany...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 05:55 PM

I have been gardening for 45 years, 45 I occasionally use Epsom Salts, one table spoon for a gallon if leaves are yellow, it works very well in my experience.I do make my own compost.
i live fairly close to the sea and i have used seaweed MANY TIMES it is in my experience as useful as manure.
yes, i have grown and used comfrey as a liquid manure and nettles soaked in a water tub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 06:25 PM

Nettles are good but not as good as comfrey. Nettles are superb for adding coarseness to the compost heap (I need them because I always have something of an excess of grass clippings, which needs bulking out with coarser material). I always leave some nettles in a wild area in order to feed the caterpillars of certain butterflies such as small torties and peacocks. I leave piles of logs around here and there, great for insects. There is no use in my half-acre of good earth for any industrially-produced inorganic chemical. I had a grey wagtail in the garden this morning and my garden isn't exactly in grey wagtail territory. The chiffchaffs have stayed for the winter again and there are blackcaps and coal tits on the feeders. Though my veg is all grown on hungry, sandy soils, I don't get yellowing of leaves. Why would I buy a bag of dismal white crystals?


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 11:57 PM

A long time ago I grew cantaloupes in my garden. An elderly neighbor said, "They won't have any taste." She was right. The fruits looked beautiful, but when cut they were completely tasteless. It was an odd sensation, like having a cotton ball in the mouth.

My garden book said the problem is lack of magnesium, and to spray the vines with Epsom salts and water. But I never did, preferring to grow crops that were less effort.

My soil is derived from loess, supposedly one of the best agricultural soils in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 12:12 AM

I have several compost piles going in the back yard; I usually start a new one each year and after a couple of years of sitting there (not turned often, if at all) it's in excellent shape for the garden. And it seems like my best tasting cantaloupes are the ones that sprout and grow in the compost. :)

I miss the wonderful soil from the Pacific Northwest; this Texas soil is full of clay and really hard to work. Every year more soil amendments are added to get it into better condition, and the mulch put in the garden every year breaks down and improves it also.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 02:28 AM

It is quite right to try and feed the soil.
And to test the ph of the soil.
example, rhodendorons like acidic soil, adding sawdust in limited quantities will make the compost and finally the soil more acidic.
crushed egg shell [preferably ground up] will make the compost more alkaline.
Bark fibre or forest bark is excellent as a mulch and not too acidicic has ph value of 5.5
Epsom salts are far from dismal, they are excellent for all sorts of things, they make an excellent addition to a bath in the water for external washing. internally they are a mild laxative, they have been used in trials on alcoholices with dts and were successful in alleviating the withdrawl symptoms of delirium tremens to some extent
John Seymour had worked on field drainage during the second world war his advice on drainage is very good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 03:55 AM

Stilly, Have you tried incorporating straw into your heavy ground, wheat or oat straw i apparantly helps aeration,if you drive a spade6 to 7 cm deep take the soil out then place straw in,it helps in retaining moisture but can result in nitrogen shortage so so you might havt eo work in dried blood or hoof and horn meal or strongly dilute durine


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 09:02 AM

Adding sawdust to soil will result in nitrogen robbery. Not great. As for eggshells, you'd need to eat an awful lot of eggs in order to generate enough shell to make any difference to soil pH. I suppose that the Epsom salts would then come in handy to, er, keep you going. As for straw in gardens, by far the best thing to do would be to compost it with some high-nitrogen material such as annual weeds, nettles and grass clippings. Even better is if you can get your hands on some strawy horse manure to stack up and cover for a few weeks. It's unfortunate that many stables use wood chips or sawdust for bedding. If that's all you can get it needs stacking for a long time before use. A problem with fresh straw is that it can be high in the residues of whatever pesticides the farmer used.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 10:27 AM

i said quote.. adding sawdust in limited quantities will make the compost and finally the soil more acidic. so i am suggesting adding it i limted quantities to THE COMPOST HEAP, not directly to the soil.
yes, you are right alot of shell is need to make it more alkaline but if you are growing something in pots and you keep chickens it isd not a big deal, furthermore i live near the sea , the other alternative is lime, but it must be the right kind of lime


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Jos
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 11:32 AM

Dick, I think Steve was referring to your post dated: 12 Nov 20 - 03.55 AM, where you said:

"Stilly, Have you tried incorporating straw into your heavy ground, wheat or oat straw i apparantly helps aeration,if you drive a spade6 to 7 cm deep take the soil out then place straw in ... "

This is not saying put the straw in the compost heap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Jos
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 11:40 AM

But I think I'm getting confused between the sawdust and the straw.
My aologies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 06:51 PM

If you have sawdust or wood chippings the compost heap is not the right place for them. As they very slowly rot down they will rob nitrogen, thereby slowing down the rotting down of the rest of the heap's components. You can use them as a weed-suppressing mulch on shrubberies and flower beds. Even better, mix them in a big heap with lots of grass clippings. After a year or so you will have a lovely mulch, far better than wood chips alone. I do the same with fallen leaves every autumn. You get superb leaf mould in one year, instead of two or three. I don't even bother to cover the heaps but I do turn them over occasionally. I got this idea from the estimable Bob Flowerdew on Gardeners' Question Time years ago. It works a treat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 04:21 AM

wet leaves will be more difficult to mulch than leaves that are dry, so if possible, avoid mulching leaves until they have dried. Generally speaking, the finer the leaves are chopped up the better, as they will be broken down more quickly by weather and soil microbe
Mulching leaves is a great way to dispose of them. It can reduce a pile of leaves to about one-tenth of its volume. Mulching also mixes grass clippings with the leaf particles. The nitrogen-rich grass particles and carbon-rich leaf particles compost more quickly when they're mixed together than they do separate.
I did read somewhere, that oak leaves are not the best because of their high tannin content,that they take longer to rot down.
However..I was mystified because I had noticed how good the soil was in woods where there were oak leaves and i had previously used leaf mould from oak trees. and then here an article debunking the tannin in oak leaves theory quote
you often read that you shouldn’t put oak (Quercus spp.) leaves in the compost, because they’ll be toxic to micro-organisms … or is that rather that they’re too acid? (The proponents of this garden myth never seem to be able to agree on the explanation!) Nor, say these same authorities, should they be used as mulch for the same reason(s). But the whole idea is essentially false or at least, highly exaggerated … but it does contain a pinch of truth, as is often the case with garden myths.

The Truth About Oak Leaves

It’s true that oak leaves contain a lot of tannins, phenolic substances that would be toxic to humans if we ate too much of them … but nobody munches on oak leaves. Tannins in too high a concentration are also toxic to certain herbivores (horses, cows, etc.) … and they’ll avoid eating oak leaves if they have any other possibilities, largely because tannins make the leaves very bitter. There are many micro-organisms that will turn toxic tannins into harmless byproducts … but others that won’t touch leaves until the tannins have been broken down.

So, a bit of truth there, however…

The same tannins are present in most other tree leaves too, not only in those of oaks. Tannins are, in fact, very abundant in forests. It’s tannins, for example, that give the rivers that flow through forested areas their brown tea-like coloration. This happens even in northern forests well beyond where oaks grow. Water rich in tannins remains as drinkable as other similar water sources and harbors a wide range of fish species.

Also, humans regularly consume tannins without any harm. The clear brown color of tea comes from tannins, as does the somewhat astringent taste of red wine. And if distillers age whiskey in oak barrels, it’s so the tannins oak wood gives off enrich their taste.


Fresh oak leaves are acidic, but by the time they decompose, most of that acidity is long gone.

As for acidity, true enough, the freshly fallen oak leaves are certainly acid, but they become less and less so as they decompose. At the end of the process, they end up being, depending on the species, slightly acid to even a bit alkaline! And “slightly acid” is actually the acidity most gardeners want for their garden soil.

As a result, the acidity of oak leaves does no harm to plants when they are used as mulch, nor does it make the soil more acidic than it originally was, much to the disappointment of rhododendron enthusiasts, who often mulch their favorite shrub with oak leaves under the mistaken belief that they will acidify their soil. (Rhododendrons and azaleas are, with blueberries, among the few plants that grow best in very acid soils, but mulching is not going to acidify their soil.)

In fact, if you analyze the soil under large oaks where their own leaves have been allowed to decompose for decades, you’ll find it to be … acidic, neutral or alkaline, depending on the pH (acidity level) of the underlying rock. Even after 100 years of superimposed layers of oak leaves, they will have had almost no influence on the acidity of the soil.

The simple truth is that mulch almost never modifies the pH of the soil underneath, no matter what it is made of.

But Oak Leaves Aren’t Perfect

So, when oak leaves are accused of poisoning soil or compost or being too acid, that’s essentially a myth … but that doesn’t mean oak leaves are necessarily a boon to gardeners.

First, oak leaves are very slow to decompose. Not only do they tend to be tough and leathery compared to most other leaves, but the presence of a lot of tannins does seriously slow down decomposition … and usually what you want if you add leaves to compost is fast decomposition.


Oak leaf mulch.

Also, when oak leaves are entire, they make a poor mulch, as they tend to clump together, forming an almost impenetrable layer that perennials and ground covers have trouble breaking through.

That’s why it’s always best to shred oak leaves before using them. Run them under the lawn mower, vacuum them up with a leaf blower (it will chop up the leaves as it picks them up), pour them into a garbage can and shred them with a string trimmer, or whatever. The method is up to you, but when you do break oak leaves into small fragments, tannins will be largely rinsed out the first time it rains, reducing the so-called toxicity to almost nothing, and bacteria will start to decompose the leaves in earnest.

It’s interesting to note that, in several of the world’s greatest gardens, shredded oak leaves are actually the preferred mulch, as they last a bit longer than other leaf mulches!

So, don’t be afraid to use oak leaves in your compost bin or as an ingredient of your mulch: they are essentially harmless and can even be most useful. Just make sure to shred them first!


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 05:11 AM

Best gardening tip I know is to pay someone else to do it!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 09:39 AM

Rather than making compost heaps, if you want fast compost full of fat red worms, dig a trench and gradually fill it back with vegetable peelings, cardboard boxes, newspapers, eggshells, tissues and so on. Pile back the soil on top of each lot, and protect it from diggers. And obviously don't put flour or grease or anything cooked into it.

Do it in thirds with a two-metre-long one-metre-wide trech. It'll take around six weeks to have perfect compost from the first third.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 10:22 AM

thats a good idea thompson


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 11:52 AM

I let food waste decompose in a five gallon bucket beside the back door where the DOGS can't reach it. I have a chicken-wire thing surrounding my active compost heap and it goes over the top with various pieces of wire woven through the edge to keep the DOGS from jumping in and digging even that most rotted slurry from where it is buried in the middle of the protected compost pile then covered over with a heavy layer of lawn clippings (I mulch grass back into the lawn when I mow except I catch some clippings for this purpose).

I used to use coastal hay (a type of Bermuda) in the garden but it has two problems. Seeds - you get a lot of grass sprouting in the garden from seeds that arrived with the hay. And even worse, much of the hay out there is grown with herbicides that kill broadleaf plants in the hay field. It stays with the hay or straw, it goes through the animal that eats it and is still in the droppings that you might want to compost and use in the garden. Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings

Picloram, 2,4-D dicamba, clopyralid, etc. will kill your garden if it's in the hay that you use to mulch the paths, or do like Ruth Stout used to do and cover the whole garden with hay as a mulch and plant through it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 12:04 PM

Best gardening too I have seen recently is when you bury a murdered body, cover the grave in rare plants. That way it's illegal for anyone to dig it up :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 12:58 PM

Cooked food waste is bad news in a compost heap, as is anything at all of animal origin except for herbivore droppings (horse, rabbit, chicken, sheep=good, dog, cat, human=bad). Hair, maybe. I'm suspicious of eggshells for the same reason. I have no desire to attract rats. Wood or charcoal residue from my firepit gets sprinkled on in small amounts as it's a useful source of potash. I don't use newspaper as I don't want the chemicals from newsprint. I've come to regard compost starters/accelerators as a waste of money as I get lovely compost without them anyway. I've never bothered to enclose or cover my compost heaps though they are quite sheltered. A good turning-over once or twice does the trick. The only vertebrate beasts that show any interest in my heaps are grass snakes and slow worms, both of which breed therein every year, which is fine by me. I doubt whether the frogs and toads would agree. I haven't got potato eelworm or brassica clubroot in my garden, so I won't compost shop-bought potato peelings or brassica trimmings. I have got white rot, which has black spores that can live in soil for 20 years, so growing onions, shallots, leeks or garlic is a waste of time, and a smelly one at that. Nothing smells worse than rotting onions unless you know different...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:02 PM

Don't start on that nonsense. The "no meat" or "no dog droppings" in the compost are old wives tales. /End of rant


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:14 PM

Gosh, I think you're in a minority. You certainly would be this end. You may be lucky to have pets that keep rats away. I wasn't!


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:23 PM

Part of the advice from the Eden Project on composting:

5. Don’t put the wrong stuff in

Certain things should never be placed in your bin. No meat or dairy products unless you’ve opted for a digester. No diseased plants, and definitely no dog poo or cat litter, or babies’ nappies. Putting any of these in your compost will lead to unwanted pests and smells. Also avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistle) or weeds with seed heads. Remember that plastics, glass and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:32 PM

More advice, this time from the RSPB, which champions wildlife-friendly composting:

5. What not to compost in a wildlife-friendly bin.
Don't include meat, cooked food (bread, cooked rice, leftovers etc), dairy products or pet waste. Avoid these, and the risk of rats using your heap are very small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:42 PM

From the BBC website (the Beeb broadcasts many gardening programmes on both TV and radio):

Rats are probably not the most welcome visitors to your compost. Stick to fruit and veg waste – throw out meat or fish and you’ll have all the local rodents round too.

From the UK Wildlife Trusts website:

Do not compost:
Cooked food, coal and coke ash, meat and fish, bones, cat litter, dog poo, disposable nappies or human poo, glossy paper, weeds, woody stems, or diseased plants.


Looks like we're a nation of old wives! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 06:26 PM

Compost

Compost Making

That list in the last post of "do not compost" really is nonsense, other than human waste (biohazard). No weeds in the compost? Then what are you composting? It really is a very silly, unenlightened list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 08:33 PM

Jesus wept. Spoken from a person who lives in chlorinated chicken country...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 20 - 09:35 AM

I chose not to dishonestly select bits from that list to delete, but I agree about weeds. I'm wary about big perennial weed roots but everything else weedy goes into the heap. Doubtless I'm spreading lots of weed seeds with my compost, but my soil is full of weed seeds anyway so I'm not bothered. I concur with everything else in all the lists, however. Speaking as a victim of compost rats in my rookie gardening days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Nov 20 - 09:53 AM

There are very few things that I won't put in the compost. I don't put anything to do with poison ivy, because I want it out of the yard completely. I don't put plant parts from the jimson weed that grows in the front yard - the seeds have a strong drug and I don't want the dogs getting into it. The pitbull one time I think ate a small sprouting plant in the back yard and was kind of loopy for a while.

Dog poop, weeds, food waste (suitably decomposed in the lidded bucket first), it all goes in the compost. If you want it to cook a bit faster then put lawn clippings on top. Anything that was alive can go into the compost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Nov 20 - 12:17 PM

i have been sowing broad beans , i used to do that years ago in the uk in november the climate here in south west cork is milder, planting in november is supposed to make them ready before the blackfly. anyone got any tips on how to improve broad bean crops


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 20 - 12:49 PM

That's a good idea. The only trouble is that I get winter issues with birds eating the plants or Cornish gales blowing them over. I might give it a try. As sunny a spot as possible with a bit of shelter would be ideal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Nov 20 - 04:41 PM

try a variety like Sutton.Broad Bean 'The Sutton' has a bushy dwarf plant habit, ideal for small gardens and very useful exposed locations. Growing only 35 to 45cm (15 to 18in) tall this variety also has the added benefit that is does not need support.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 20 - 06:33 PM

I found that The Sutton gave fairly small yields and was susceptible to that horrid rust disease. My go-to summer variety is Masterpiece Green Longpod. I think I've got a couple of packets of Aquadulce Claudia, which are recommended for November sowing. I need to get on with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Nov 20 - 06:31 AM

My wife Anne asks:

What are your tips for getting better yields from broad beans?

She has tried Sutton and Aquadulce Claudia successfully but with small yields. We are 1100 feet up, very windy but the veg garden is in the most sheltered part. It is wind chill rather than lowest temperature that is our main problem, it is usually 2-4 degrees lower at the bottom of the hill!

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Nov 20 - 07:18 AM

Well I have have multiple issues with pests when it comes to broad beans. There's no way I can direct sow them. They're gone by next morning, eaten by mice or woodpigeons. Even if I sow them in individual cells in trays I'm a victim of birds (or climbing mice). Once I can get the young plants six inches high they're OK once I plant them out. This year I was looking forward to a cracking good crop in July, then something (I suspect jays, which were around an awful lot this year) neatly stripped the beans from the pods whilst still on the plants. I estimated that I lost three-quarters of the crop. Netting next year.

Broad beans need organic matter but they don't need extra feeding and they can put up with a bit of drying out. I plant mine in single rows in my raised beds, the rows 18" apart and the plants in the rows about a foot apart. Aim to get the plants about six inches high by early April, though a bit later can still be OK. I don't get much trouble with blackfly because my garden is very diverse and a bit unkempt, but I do check them over in June a few times and just pinch out the few affected tops if I find any (none this year). The trick is to pick the pods when the beans are a good size but not to let them get "black in th'eye" (the scar on the bean where it's attached in the pod), as they go starchy and tough at that stage.

Broad beans freeze brilliantly. A three-minute blanch in boiling water, a quick cooling and drying and they last all winter in the freezer. 350g individual quantities are a handsome amount for two. If I have odd smaller amounts I use them in my three-bean-and-bacon risotto. I don't understand people who insist on individually skinning each bean. You only need to do that if you've let them get a bit too tough. I hate those bags of frozen broad beans you can buy in supermarkets. Nasty little things with tough skins and no flavour. I grew horse beans for green manure one year and I'll swear that shop "broad beans" are the same thing. I'd rather do without and just eat Cap'n BirdsEye peas. An unfortunate loss of crop in my garden is due to the excessive number of beans I eat raw when I'm shelling them (definitely an outdoor job by the way).


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Nov 20 - 07:26 AM

Isn't it you who's in Rossendale? I think I'd be starting off my beans in trays under shelter if I lived up there, maybe in late Feb (I used to live in Radcliffe and in latter years take me old mum for a drive up round Owd Betts, so I know what it's like, a bit raw at times in spring...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Nov 20 - 10:42 AM

I'd be afraid to put comfrey in the compost; it's a devil to root when it gets the chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Nov 20 - 11:50 AM

Put the comfrey leaves and stalks in a water butt and soak for a few months. The resulting liquid is a terrific veg fertiliser. They're ok composted too, though it's a pity to do that when you can instead have a supply of liquid veg booster available all summer. Another good thing to do with the leaves is to chop them up and add them generously to last year's potting compost. As good as new.

My comfrey patch is well-behaved. The plants stay put where I planted them. They're far more likely to be swamped by stinging nettles than they are to go all native on me. The variety to go for is Bocking 14. It's pretty well-behaved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening Tips
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Nov 20 - 12:37 PM

It's Bocking 14 that I have, but I don't trust it not to roam, it's vigorous to say the least.
I actually did put some in an old wheelie bin with water last spring, and will probably take it out and use it next spring when my brief annual craze for gardening appears, before the poor garden reverts to its usual neglected jungle.


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