Monthly Archive October 2013


Overwintering Chilis, Aubergines and African Blue Basil

My ChilisThat’s it, it is too cold and time for my annual attempt to overwinter tender plants. I should of course give up such a mad endeavour and accept the british climate is what it is and tender plants are what they are. But hope springs eternal and the winter is not that long, is it? It has not all been total failure, two years ago I succeeded in overwintering three chili plants (thus proving it wasn’t a fluke) which cropped well again the next year but succumbed to the next winter. It was gutting.  Read More


Winter mulch and slugs


Slug damaged leeks, egyptian onions to the leftMy autumn mulch has not gone to plan. The theory was that mulching, though very beneficial to soil, encouraged slugs and snails – the bane of gardeners everywhere. For this reason I don’t use mulches during spring and summer, but I figured if there wasn’t much in the allotment that slugs would like I could lay down a mulch over the winter to help suppress weeds but more importantly prevent the winter rains from washing all the nutrients out of the soil. As many a gardener will tell you slugs don’t really like alliums, like leeks and onions, and as my allotment at the moment contains Egyptian onions and leeks I felt that now would be the time to lay down a mulch. Read More


Vegetative Propagation of Cabbages (Taking Cuttings) [updated]

IMAG0791 copyAs reported previously I have put a lot of effort into reproducing my plants without using seeds. Seeds are uncertain, tricky and prone to being wiped out by slugs and damping off. They also cost money and time. With such things as broccoli and kale I can simply pull off a sprout from the main stalk and bung it in some compost. Cabbages don’t have sprouts like this but will grow sprouts if you cut the main head off. This is well known as a technique to get a second harvest but not as a means of taking cuttings. Read More

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