Tips from and questions to other allotmenteers.
… or, answers to daft and often very simple questions I came up with but couldn't find answers in books Also, questions for a newbie to ask to save time, money and effort. They are in no particular order.
Q: When are broad beans ready to pick? (I don't eat them, but acquired some when I took over)
Q: How do you get immaculate cabbages? (after mine had been shredded by the local caterpillars)
I decided to fight on with this one: I don't like the thought of eating more pesticide than cabbage so next time, nets are going to be used to keep the butterflies off in the first place. Oh and the pigeons… Flea beetles are another matter - grow the plants as fast as possible and use derris dust if all else fails.
Q: What dug up my carrots? (looking at a suspicious crater in the plot)
Ask to find out what doesn't grow very well on the local soil so you don't waste money on seeds!
Q: When is the last frost in the area?
Q: When do you plant sweetcorn out?
Q: Where do you get your manure from? This is best asked of the person with the nicest well-rotted manure heap!
One from Bob Flowerdew, heard on Gardeners´ Question Time after a question on one of my own banes, bolting caulflowers on light soils:
Caulis are not easy. Light soils are not good. They really do like heavy soils. Enrich with compost, manure, firm it by treading. Grow them in seed beds, thinly. Thin early, and when only a couple of inches high, run a knife a couple on inches under the surface to sever the taproots. This causes them to grow a bushier system of roots. When you transplant them it's a fibrous sytem which takes better. Don't put too close - couple of feet each way.
Q: Parsnips: when do you sow and how?