The Compost Cafe

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  • Nothing to do with compost, well it can be if you want. The main reason I started this thread was for a bit of a natter, see sometimes I want to say something or ask a question but know full well that the thread I start will get one or two posts then die. Not complaining about that, you ask a question it vets answered, nothing else to say. Hence this thread, so here goes. Homemade seed tape, anyone made and tried any? Looks simple enough to make, toilet roll, flour and water glue and seeds. I was just wondering what kind of results you had.

  • Never tried it , but years back there was a bit of a craze for putting seeds in a wallpaper paste (non fungicide) and piping it into the soil in a furrow .


    These days I start most stuff in modules (cept for carrots and non transplantables ) .It gives stuff a head start by germinating in the greenhouse, and you get nice even rows when you plant them out and you dont have to thin .


    This year I am experimenting with parsnips started in toilet rolls , so far its working well , except for 5 chickens escaping and trashing a metre or so of the row . Moral to that is do not have yhe door to chicken enclosure opening directly onto veg patch !

  • Good idea for a thread. I have never tried or even considered trying any seed tape.


    What are the advantages?


    Paul


    Thank you, I'm wih ma, think easier and maybe less seed waste as you can see the seeds easier on the tissue. Also wondering what the shelf life would be, although probably depend on germination length and storage conditions.




    Never tried it , but years back there was a bit of a craze for putting seeds in a wallpaper paste (non fungicide) and piping it into the soil in a furrow .


    These days I start most stuff in modules (cept for carrots and non transplantables ) .It gives stuff a head start by germinating in the greenhouse, and you get nice even rows when you plant them out and you dont have to thin .


    This year I am experimenting with parsnips started in toilet rolls , so far its working well , except for 5 chickens escaping and trashing a metre or so of the row . Moral to that is do not have yhe door to chicken enclosure opening directly onto veg patch !


    Also remember the wall paper paste one, I'm thinking of giving it a go with the radish, carrots and beetroot. Been doing some of mine in newspaper similar to the toilet roll, got one of those wooden things given to me for Christmas looks bit like a sawn off rolling pin. The problem you had with the chickens is why I gave one of my plots up, they gave the plot next to mine to a bloke for keeping pigeons. I could have covered everything but I like to see things grow.

  • I'd agree with Ma that modules is the easiest way to go. Toilet roll and flour paste (You cut the roll across to get narrow strips) I heard of awhile back, and we even tried it briefly, but found it more than a bit fiddly. The plants didn't grow any better than those sown in the ground, but didn't need thinning. So you can save on seeds, but if you can use modules you save on seeds anyway.
    If you save small plastic containers you can use them by filling them with cut-up cardboard modules, filled with seed compost, all close together so they support each other, and sow your seeds in these. The cardboard generally stays in one piece long enough to let the young plant grow, and you can plant out without disturbing the roots.

  • Me 'ol Grandad used to bring on some of his prize carrots early in sweet pea pots, which were long clay pots, then when he planted them out he would soak the pots well overnight, and knock 'em out easy next day without disturbing them, into a biggish hole with a mixture of soil and sand all around them. Them days some the blokes used to have a fine sacking fence round the carrot plot, about waist high to a man, which was said to keep the carrot fly off.

  • Yeah, I tried trip-wires at 18" one year, but didn't get many...:beard::D


    But seriously, I once read - in some Henry Doubleday publication years back, I think - that the carrot fly can only on average fly at a maximum about 18" from the ground, so this is why the sacking was used, apparently. I might give it a go with some fleece this year, as we get quite a lot of carrot fly on our exposed allotments. I suppose they can smell the carrots down the wind, miles away.

  • Yeah, I tried trip-wires at 18" one year, but didn't get many...:beard::D


    But seriously, I once read - in some Henry Doubleday publication years back, I think - that the carrot fly can only on average fly at a maximum about 18" from the ground, so this is why the sacking was used, apparently. I might give it a go with some fleece this year, as we get quite a lot of carrot fly on our exposed allotments. I suppose they can smell the carrots down the wind, miles away.


    That's something I'm going to have to get used to on the 2 plots I'll be getting, pests, with growing in the back garden it's been easy with pests. Had one year were the caterpillars destroyed my gooseberry bushes and a bad year for slugs about 4 years back, with growing in containers and pots the slugs were easy to find though, just a matter of waiting till it got dark each night and getting them on the wall after they'd come out of their hidey holes. Also with it not being exposed had no problems with things blowing down or cold winds, easy to get water, no vandals etc all things I'm going to have to deal with on the plots.

  • I've heard a lot of stuff during the years, either from old gardeners, on tv, books, internet etc but saw a new one today. Aspirin tablet in a gallon of water, supposedly does the plants good specially the tomatoes.


    My Grandad was a good gardener, maybe were I get it from, maybe not the good part :pp but the growing bug. His was mainly roses, used to look after them like kids. Roses in the front garden with an immaculate privet hedge and a gooseberry bush on oneside of the back garden and blackberry on the other side, again both immaculate and never looked like getting out of control and always laden with fruit. No idea if I got the growing bug from him but did get my love of gooseberries from that gooseberry bush.

  • Yes we find we get more pests at the allotments than in the garden. Except for slugs, which we have more of them in the garden, despite my O/H being a determined slug-crusher. We are going to try Aman's tip about a 'slug brew' when we get a good batch of them together.
    We are lucky for water on our allotment, there is a tank only thirty metres away, although I prefer using rainwater wherever possible, to tap-water.
    Some of the guys on our allotments rig up transparent panels around seed beds to make it a bit warmer and keep the cold winds out. It seems to work, so we might give that a try this year.


    That's interesting about the grandfather, because one of my grandfathers (On the Irish side) was a keen gardener too, even to the extent of showing stuff in the local horticultural section of the town shows. In summer he would come back to the house laden with produce, in a little cart he had rigged up behind his cycle. As a small kid he would take me along to his allotment, which is probably where my gardening interests started.


    One year someone pinched a couple of his show roses (grown for show blooms), from his allotment. He thought they might come back for more, so he sharpened his spade on all three sides, like they did in the trenches in the 1st World War, and went and sat in his allotment shed for a few nights, waiting on them coming back. I remember my grandmother being terrified:
    "You'll get yourself killed, man!" she said. " It won't be me that gets killed, woman!" He replied.
    Luckily nobody did come back to steal more roses, but it was really exciting to me as a kid of about six or seven!

  • I'm a bit worried about water to be honest, more on the plot I'm seeing tomorrow as no idea what water supply there is if any or if the last plot holder had a water butt. The new plot next month, I'm not so worried about as there's a small fishing lake about 50-60 yards away so at a push I can make a few trips there to fill a water butt up if need be.

  • I actually never knew until recently my Grandad had an allotment about 200 yards from where I live, I remember as a kid heing in his garden alot but when I got to an age that I wanted to learn things he'd spend more time in the bookies and pub. I can remember what his gardens were like, also remember like it was yesterday him putting the ashes from the fire round the bottom of his roses. I'm not a big flower person part from lavender and I also let some chives flower so maybe have a rose either in a pot at home or on one of the plots.

  • Probably a stand alone subject when you really look at it but just wondering as anyone used the nematodes range for pest control, plus what kind of results did you get? I don't want to go into depth as I believe it's a stand alone thread but usually I deal with the slug problem with a torch at night but don't want to be going down to the allotment everynight, also there's a few cats about so don't want anything poisonous so was thinking nematodes range.

  • I have never used nematodes , but I would if I had a problem with slugs , the chickens take care for me , but I know of people that have used them very successfully , It is really easy to breed your own >


    Dead slugs, Yes?