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Spill the beans... on tricks for cheaply growing fruit & veg

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  • Hmm_2
    Hmm_2 Posts: 81 Forumite
    spadoosh wrote: »
    I could only assume the bugs are whitefly?! http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/whitefly-cid64.html?Aff=G010&gclid=CPjg7LPo-rECFeEntAodfAUAow theres a link to a few pest control methods, would do more research though!

    Herbs generally dont do too well indoors. They tend to be in a pot too small and are either allowed to grow to big killing most of the plant or growing too tall and flopping over. Especially the supermarket potted herbs, as far as im aware they rarely last over a month.

    What i would suggest doing is just growing them outdoors, theyll need very little care and attention and you open them up to wildlife defenses (other bugs and creatures will eat some bad bugs) obviously its true the other way slugs (especially this year grrrr!!!:mad:) will be a problem but easily over come with pots and copper tape. When it comes to late autumn/winter take a cutting/split from your herbs bringing it indoors and you should be able to make it last till the outdoors herbs come back again.

    Thanks I'll give thema try outside and look at getting the Savona Fatty Acid Concentrate :-)
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,620 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    If you think you haven't got enough growing space for soft fruit, don't neglect your front garden which is often wasted growing space. I grow redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries in my front garden borders, as well as strawberries. They don't look out of place & provide a valuable fruit crop.

    Most seed packets contain too many seeds for one year. Store the packets in a cool place & they will keep for several years. Even parsnip seeds (they say sow fresh every year) will last for 2 years - just sow them a little more thickly. Tomato seeds can be soaked in water for 24 hours to remove the mucus, & dried on kitchen paper. Don't worry if the seeds stick to the tissue - just sow the tissue paper in the compost as well. It will disintegrate and all will be fine. Chilli & pepper seeds from supermarket purchases can be simply dried & resown.

    Always make your own compost. Rocket is worth growing. New basil plants can be generated by snipping the top 3 inches off stalks of an ageing plant & leaving them in water for 2 weeks. New roots will grow from these stalks & they can be potted up.

    Freeze your surplus products loose on trays & then bag up in convenient portions . This will stop them getting frozen in a block & you can just remove a handful of beans, etc as you need them.
  • culpepper
    culpepper Posts: 4,076 Forumite
    Grow some comfrey so that you can make your own liquid fertilizer, add it to compost as leaves or fill your bean trench or potato trench before sowing.
    Make a tool cleaner with some sand or gravel and old sump or veg oil in a wide bucket or old plastic box. You can make a lid for the box with a bin bag with cardboard inside to make it stiffer and it will stand outside by your shed or tool store.
    After you use your tools, shove them hard into the mixture and they get cleaned and oiled for next time.
  • Leif
    Leif Posts: 3,727 Forumite
    AlanW1980 wrote: »
    we've tried to grow a lot this year but get demoralised by the slugs! EVERYTHING gets eaten. What's everyone's favourite way of stopping the !!!!!!s?

    I had exactly the same problem, everything except Chard was being completely eaten: sunflowers, lupins, delphinium, parsley, chinese cabbage and so on. I bought the metaldehyde slug pellets, they work a treat, but they do seem to need redoing every few weeks. Is this the wet weather?
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • spadoosh
    spadoosh Posts: 8,732 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Leif wrote: »
    I had exactly the same problem, everything except Chard was being completely eaten: sunflowers, lupins, delphinium, parsley, chinese cabbage and so on. I bought the metaldehyde slug pellets, they work a treat, but they do seem to need redoing every few weeks. Is this the wet weather?

    Had very little time to do much planting this year, so havent really bothered! (got house works to do and ting!) Im soooo glad! I went out in the garden about 11pm the other night and i swear down the grass was moving. There must have been over a thousand slugs! Went to put the chucks away and looked at their feeder and i counted at least 30 on the feeder alone. The beans i did plant got ravaged in days. Absolutely no chance i'd have been able to keep on top of them this year doesnt elp the fact that my garden holds soo much water!
    Guessing its the weather thats keeping them around, can only imagine its going to get worse as we head towards autumn:eek::mad:

    Seems to be a lot of good reviews about beer in a bowl. About an inch in a bowl burried so that they can go straight in, they get hammered and drown, if i was a slug, id rather go that way!

    A word of warning about pellets, though very effective against slugs they are also very effective against wildlife and domestic animals should they be ingested. They can kill cats and dogs in days. Not to mention the birds that are eating the slugs. Definately avoid if you have pets.



    O and slugs dont like chard, hence the reason theyre safe. You could try planting them around the plants they do eat in the hope itll keep them away?!
  • To stop the whitefly on indoor herbs etc try dilute washing up liquid in a little water. Supermarket herbs split into larger pots on the window sill will last for ages if kept watered. My basil from Aldi months ago is still going strong. Pinching out the tops to use thickens the plant. A sprig of mint in a jar usually roots & keeps growing for ages.
    Small pots of lettuce or mixed seeds sown every couple of weeks provide cut & come again leaves & can sit on a window sill, not too much sun, or outdoors. Just 1 or2 slug pellets is enough. Most people overdose them, complete waste.
    Wilko & Lidl seeds are excellent. Get T&M using Tescos vouchers you pay p&p. Choose the cheaper varieties & a £15 voucher buys masses
  • culpepper
    culpepper Posts: 4,076 Forumite
    For things like courgettes and Runner beans, sow them indoors and dont put out till they are around 5 or 6 inches high. That seems to deter the slugs more.
    if you have a windy day when plants are still a bit weedy and new, shelter them with windbreaks . We use our old camping windbreaks but you can use sticks and cardboard or boards,this works well too as shade if you get a couple of freak sunny days.
  • -taff
    -taff Posts: 14,477 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    For slugs, the most effective thing this year thanks to the numbers, and if you don't want to go down the pellet route - beer traps, but cover them by sticking four sticks int he ground and balancing a flat stone or piece of wood with a stone on it. It stops the beer being diluted by the rain.

    And get a good foraging book from the library and go out and get free food :) Cherry Plums are in season now along with a lot fo other things you can make wine/jam/chutney with.
    Also all above tips :D
    Shampoo? No thanks, I'll have real poo...
  • Leif
    Leif Posts: 3,727 Forumite
    spadoosh wrote: »
    I went out in the garden about 11pm the other night and i swear down the grass was moving. There must have been over a thousand slugs!

    :rotfl:
    spadoosh wrote: »
    A word of warning about pellets, though very effective against slugs they are also very effective against wildlife and domestic animals should they be ingested. They can kill cats and dogs in days. Not to mention the birds that are eating the slugs. Definately avoid if you have pets.

    Do you have links for those statements? The reading I did suggested that the danger is very low, assuming a dog eats one or two i.e. insignificant. If they eat a handful, then it's curtains. Same for hedgehogs I believe. But that just means you don't put down a bowl of the things. The RSPB advocate alternatives, but they do seem to endorse their use, or at least not condemn them:

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/chemical_free/slugs/further_information.aspx
    spadoosh wrote: »
    O and slugs dont like chard, hence the reason theyre safe. You could try planting them around the plants they do eat in the hope itll keep them away?!

    The irony is that discovered that I don't really like Chard. But it is decorative,and your idea is good. So I might try it.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Most items have been mentioned, but I found it strange that no-one mentioned potato peelings, especially those that have small shoots on.
    I bury them, spade depth, in any patch of ground that's free. Sometimes they disappear into the soil, sometimes they grow well and leave a crop of various size spuds that are fresh for the table.
    I don't know what to do about slugs and snails but working on the principle that what the pests don't eat must taste nasty, I make a spray from the leaves of such plants, especially rhubarb, which contains Oxalic acid (a known poison) and cigarette ends, if I come across any. I've never tried peppers but I assume that the reason for the burn is to discourage being eaten.
    Last item. I don't bother with book details on cuttings. I just shove cuttings deep into the ground, where they are to grow. If they're going to survive there, then they'll thrive there. Great with blackcurrants etc.
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