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Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 9)!!

1. If you have used "permanent marker pens" to write on your plant labels try cleaning off the writing with wire wool/scouring pad and water, easy to do.

2. When planting Tomatoes, instead of planting the plants upright, lay the plants along a shallow trench, leaving only the top leaves above soil level. The whole stem should put out extra roots and will soon grow upright. A larger root area should give more nutrition to the growing plants.

3. Many Daffodils & other similar plants have finished flowering. Leave the foliage to die back naturally, this will put extra energy back into the bulbs for next seasons stronger growth.

4. Recently I read an introduction to an allotment blog indicating that crop rotation was too complicated & a waste of time. I realize that in some circumstances crop rotation is not practical but it is important and not really that complicated. Remember the following "phrase" for rotating your veg.

 Potatoes  Like  Being  Roasted in Oil.               

Potatoes/ (then)  L = Legumes/ (then)  B = Brassicas/ (then)  R = Roots/ (then)  O = Others.
 This assumes 5 different areas of ground over a 5 year period.     
You can grow some of the others (O) with some of the others for a 4 year rotation.

5. Pyrethrum (made from chrysanthemum flowers), is one of many natural insecticides. "Natural" insecticides can still be harmful to humans. Keep them away from children & wash all fruit and vegetables correctly before eating them.

6. O.K. so its probably raining "cats & dogs" at the moment but when the dry weather sets in again, try watering your plants with water left over after cooking your veggies, (after it's cooled down). The extra nutrients in the water from the cooked veggies will benefit the plants as well as saving more water.

7. If you are troubled with ants (outside areas), try the following (for adults only). Find the entrance to their nest. Liberally pour some bleach into the nest, let it soak in for a few minutes then pour boiling water into the nest. Take care when using bleach & boiling water. An alternative to this method is use garden lime, putting 2 or 3 handfuls into the nest.

8. Liquid feeds. Use a plastic container with a hole in the base, fill it with nettle leaves & put a heavy weight on top of the leaves. When a black liquid oozes from the hole, bottle it. Dilute the liquid 1 part liquid to 20 parts of water before WATERING AROUND plants with it.

9. Avoiding Eelworm.
 Plant certified, eelworm resistant potatoes. Use a crop rotation of at least 4 years. When lifting your Potatoes don't put the roots onto the compost heap. Don't plant diseased tubers.

10. Peas are normally ready for staking (adding pea sticks or supports) when the plants have developed their third set of leaves. 


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