Allotment / Gardening Chat and Advice [2018-2019]

I may have overdone the squash a little! :smiley:


You have the greenest fingers of anyone I know!

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The only downside is you can no longer eat at your table now! That is impressive!

What are the torpedo shaped ones on the chair and are those all butternut type ones at the back of the table?

I’ve had lots of patty pan this year, it truly is staggering how much you can get, and the fact you can keep it for so long.

\ should we soon start a new thread for 2020 as people start to look to next year. Happy to do another seed swap with anyone interested again, can maybe do it earlier than last year before people go ordering stuff online / I’ve already over-ordered on toms…

Torpedo ones are North Georgia Candy Roaster - new to me but supposedly really nice.
The rest of the butternuts are Sweetmax, Hunter and Waltham and the big ugly ones on the right were grown from seed that Sandra gave me. They really do keep well if stored properly - I ate one of last year’s about a month ago.

Yes I think new thread is in order as this one has got a bit long - maybe one per year?
I am staying away from seed catalogs for now!

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Winter advice for novice gardener please.

I have a Vegtrug which is effectively a waste height raised bed. For winter it has a frame and polycover

I’d like to grow some crops over the winter. Any suggestions? I was keen on planting winter garlic but am uncertain whether growing this under cover is a good idea.


Yes winter salad. I am following this excellent advice from this article on salad leaves and already we are self sufficient ie no more bags of lettuce from the supermarket. Still time to sow I think.

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Or for a head start buy some plugs like these.

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Just to add that oriental brassicas also can do well overwinter - Pak Choi, various mustards, Tatsoi etc…
Good for a stir fry and some for salads…
Spring onions can go well - it may be a bit late to germinate but if you have a cover that will help.
Onions from sets and garlic are what everyone will be planting now but you may be right about the garlic as it does like a cold spell. May be worth a few cloves though…
Micro greens might be interesting under cover - lots of choice too with coriander, radish, basil etc…

That very helpful. But excuse my ignorance. What are “sets” as in onions from sets.

A set is an onion that has been partially grown and then stopped - they look like very small pickling onions. You can buy them by the pound but @Shannonsgc sell them in bags of 50 (which is still quite a few) - you just stick them in the ground and they get bigger over winter ready to really grow on next year so they are an early crop. A lot of folks prefer to grow them, as onions from seeds can be a bit fiddly…

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Barring the obvious answer of “it’s a weed”, does anyone recognise what this is? Have showed it to a few people who didn’t know… pulled a metric shed-load out of my raised bed yesterday as I certainly didn’t plant it!

Just curious, new to this ol’ putting things into/pulling things out soil malarkey.

That actually looks a little bit like rocket - did it smells or even taste of anything…

Smelt like generic green stuff, grass smell I guess, and didn’t think to give it a taste! I’m bound to have missed some so will have a look later, seemingly weeding is never over…!

Don’t think it’s rocket, which tends to be a single leaf, this has leaflets branching off a leaf stalk. It could be an asian ‘green’ called ‘shungiku’ or edible crysanthemum. suggest leaving one to flower to be sure before eating it though. Even that doesn’t look quite right though, your leaves are growing from the base of the plant rather than from an elongating stalk.
If you are a member of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) or know someone who is you can send them a sample to identify.


Try the Plantsnap app.

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Great info, thanks! The bulk of it is in my neighbours compost bin now, however I spotted some growing on the grass and also on someone else’s raised bed so there will certainly be some for experimental observation.

Yeah, tried that, and also Google Lens, but nothing really stuck out as an “ah-hah, that’s it!” Closest I saw was some kind of daisy, or even chamomile.


Anyone got any suggestions as to where to get some rotten manure ?

If you have transport and you are willing to shovel it into bags then Shannon Leigh Stables in Bexley has an enormous pile of it. There is a bit of a bumpy road down to the stables though.
A mate just got a load from Surrey Docks Farm but I am not sure if it was free - it was bagged up though.
Southborough Lane Stables, Bromley generally has a huge pile but again you need to dig it out and bag it up - take wellies!
Dulwich Stables has loads but you’ll need to wait a year for it rot!
There are some stables on Catlin Street, New Cross but again I haven’t been for a while and it probably needs rotting down a bit.
You can off course buy it - @Shannonsgc will have some bags and you could order in bulk online if you need a large quantity…


Thanks for that amazingly informative and helpful reply Nick. I shall think of you as the Manure King of Forest Hill from this point on.


Continues: Allotment / Gardening Chat and Advice 2020 Thread