forum: Gardening / Growing

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#21 Sat 25 Sep 10 2:02pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

Hi CookieMonsterUK,

Sorry for the slow response. I'm writing articles one week and answering questions the next so sometimes takes time to respond.

1.) Bindweed.

I assume you want to get rid of it organically? I've recently relaxed about bindweed. Rather than trying to dig it up - which stresses me out and fails to work - I just pull it up by hand. This stops it smothering anything, prevents it from seeding, and if you do it about four times during the growing season will gradually weaken it. However, if you were starting a new vegetable patch I would certainly lay down a weed suppressant fabric for at least a year to bump it off. Good luck.

2.) Blackfly.

A strong blast of cold water will clear a lot of the pests away but the soapy solution that wine~o recommended really works well. E-cover will be more organic than Fairy Liquid. You could try companion planting. Aphids hate garlic, which I sometimes plant at the root of Roses to keep them away. Try planting garlic next to your beans? Other methods include a border of orange-coloured nastursiums. I haven't tried this but it comes reccomended.

3.) Dig or not to dig?

Huge question. There are arguments for both methods. I certainly reccomend that new vegetable growers start off with raised beds and import really good soil. This saves digging and gives you a contained, fertile and weed-free space to experiment  with.

Hope this helps.

Robin

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#22 Sat 25 Sep 10 2:13pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

Hi Cheffs,

I'm not an expert on the Singapore climate. But I do know that that radishes like to be sown outdoors in cool conditions. Perhaps the temperature is too high? Also are you watering regularly?

Let me know how you're doing.

Best, Robin

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#23 Sat 25 Sep 10 3:10pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

I have a pot of chives that I've kept going for two summers.  I divided and repotted them twice and the roots were enormous.  They are quite fine with a good green color and seem healthy enough, but they hang over the pot rather than standing straight up and they have never bloomed.  I don't cut every stem for cooking, so I wonder if the lack of blooms has to do with me re-potting at the wrong time or is it the exposure?  I have rosemary and other full sun plants in that spot in containers that are doing swimmingly.

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#24 Sat 25 Sep 10 7:41pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

When I harvested the lavender flowers , I put them to dry before I took off the little flowers.
This year, loads and loads of tiny black seeds have fallen out of the flowers.
I have not noticed this in previous years to the same extent.

Is it possible to germinate the seeds  ?
How should I go about it ?
How easy will it be ?

Thanks
( I don't have a green house and I only have a tiny garden !)

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#25 Sat 25 Sep 10 8:49pm

maddimouse

Forum champ
Occupation chatterbox addicted to cooking
From mid-west Germany
Member since Mon 23 Feb 09

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

RobinMcaf wrote:

Hi Maddimouse,

I also answered your questions in the article I wrote last week, which you can find in the Garden Experts section.

If you want to keep house flies away try Basil, Tansy or Eau de Cologne Mint (Mentha x piperita f. citrata).

Good luck with your balcony and Bon Appetit.

Hey Robin,

thanx a lot, have just read it and will have a look at the link, too! IŽll print out both and see what I can use best for our balcony for next season!

smile

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#26 Tue 28 Sep 10 4:59pm

cheffess

Member
Member since Thu 09 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

dear robin,
My radishes haven't even grow yet. White foamy thing starts to form above the soil that i've planted the seed in!!! what's happening?! i keep pouring water onto the soil to wash away the 'foam', but it still keeps coming back. Is the soil contaminated, or is it natural for this to happen?!  help    sad

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#27 Sun 03 Oct 10 10:22pm

CookieMonsterUK

Member
Occupation Chef
From Kent
Member since Thu 12 Aug 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

RobinMcaf wrote:

Hi CookieMonsterUK,

Sorry for the slow response. I'm writing articles one week and answering questions the next so sometimes takes time to respond.

1.) Bindweed.

I assume you want to get rid of it organically? I've recently relaxed about bindweed. Rather than trying to dig it up - which stresses me out and fails to work - I just pull it up by hand. This stops it smothering anything, prevents it from seeding, and if you do it about four times during the growing season will gradually weaken it. However, if you were starting a new vegetable patch I would certainly lay down a weed suppressant fabric for at least a year to bump it off. Good luck.

2.) Blackfly.

A strong blast of cold water will clear a lot of the pests away but the soapy solution that wine~o recommended really works well. E-cover will be more organic than Fairy Liquid. You could try companion planting. Aphids hate garlic, which I sometimes plant at the root of Roses to keep them away. Try planting garlic next to your beans? Other methods include a border of orange-coloured nastursiums. I haven't tried this but it comes reccomended.

3.) Dig or not to dig?

Huge question. There are arguments for both methods. I certainly reccomend that new vegetable growers start off with raised beds and import really good soil. This saves digging and gives you a contained, fertile and weed-free space to experiment  with.

Hope this helps.

Robin

Thanks for your responses Robin   thumbsup

Your bineweed solution was the answer i was looking for,I didn't fancy digging it all out  wink

I gonna try more companion planting next year,don't really want to go down the chemical route   evil

Thanks again  cool

Last edited by CookieMonsterUK (Sun 03 Oct 10 10:22pm)

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#28 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:54pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

Cheffs,

That sounds scary! I would start again. I would be very surprised if anything grows now. Is there a chance that you're overwatering it? You want the soil to be most but not drenched.

Robin

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#29 Thu 07 Oct 10 11:03pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

Hi Mummza,

I find Lavender sprouts in the cracks between my clients' paving stones so I would collect the seeds and scatter them where you want them in your garden. Do this after the last frost. Alternatively you could put in a moist tray of compost in the window, 6-8 weeks before the last frost and then plant them out.

Hope it works.

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#30 Thu 07 Oct 10 11:09pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Any gardening questions for Robin?

Ms Pablo,

Did you plant the chives in a good soil? If so then I would just give them a haircut to rejuvinate them.  Chop them back about 3 inches from the base of the plant. Give a liquid feed and keep them watered. Hopefully you'll get some fresh, healthy and upstanding shoots! 

Good luck

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