Sunday, May 27, 2018

11 Mar

Experimental toilet roll treatment

My name is Alister, ‘The Gardener In The West’ and I live in Herefordshire, on the border of England and Wales. My job since leaving school is selling houses but since my early 20’s I have been interested in my veggie garden. My wife, Joanna, often jokes that I don’t mind doing the work as long as I line my stomach!

I am also blessed with two lovely daughters, Lydia being the eldest aged 10 and Natasha 7. Both love helping Dad especially in the greenhouse where they can pick lovely, sweet cherry tomatoes (Gardeners Delight) straight off the vine and eat them. Since moving to the wife’s grandmothers house some 14 years ago, we have been lucky enough to have a bit of space around us to enable us to not just have a productive garden but also some chickens, ducks and geese. We are currently toying with the idea of getting some tiddling lambs for the children to look after. It is only really in the last 5 years we have had time to enjoy the garden as we had to carry out substantial works to the house, in fact, for twelve months we enjoyed the delights of living in a caravan.

Helping to keep pest like slugs at-bay are our happy band of chickens

This time of year is exciting, looking forward to Spring and the longer evenings. It is really the first opportunity to spend some time in the garden. Over winter I have been trying a few experiments with cut up toilet rolls. I have used these to bring on my winter onions and garlic having planted them out directly into beds some 5/6 weeks ago. You will see from the photographs that they seem quite healthy but as yet I am unsure as to whether or not the bulbs will swell and give me a good crop.

Early garlic looks good

Overwintering Onions

The last of last years leeks

My concern at the moment is that there is no sign of my broad beans which I planted late November. The end of last year was obviously very wet and at the moment I have concerns that they may well have rotted in the ground. I am faced with the question as to whether I should have been bringing some on in the greenhouse in pots just in case. To me it always seems funny that we should plant seeds in the middle of winter but my Father and others since have always said that by planting out in November/December you have a stronger plant which is less likely to be hit by black fly. I must add that on the whole I have not previously had any problems with this method.

I am also bringing on some lettuce and beetroot in the greenhouse (beetroot is another thing I am trialling). Next time I will update you on how they are coming along.

Beetroot coming on well in my toilet rolls!

Early lettuce seedlings getting the experimental toilet roll treatement.

See you then.


3 Comments on "Experimental toilet roll treatment"

  1. Anonymous on Fri, 13th Mar 2009 10:55 am 

    Two ideas about your Broad Beans. 1) Wet weather, I experienced same problem one year, they all rotted. I now sow them in toilet rolls (yes I use them too!) in January in cold greenhouse. When about 2 inches high, if weather permits, move outside, and then after 2-3 weeks plant in garden.
    2). Could it be Hungry Mice? they do like Braod Bean seeds, also they are very partial to YELLOW crocus bulbs. NOT purple ot white!Blackfly…Pinch out tops as soon as plants are ‘beaning’, and also spray with very soapy water at first sign. Good luck.

  2. Anonymous on Sat, 14th Mar 2009 12:24 pm 

    I have used loo rolls for years – they are great for sweet peas, runner beans and for getting a good head start on mangetout !

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