17 hours ago

Rachel Potley

We've had all the frog spawn yesterday, check out John Connor's page for video. he says he mustave counted at least 60 at one point but my friend Mandy has told me to expect snow and frost next week. Can anybody suggest a way to protect the frogspawn/ stop the pond from totally freezing over if it does snow??


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Frog spawn seems to survive certain amount of frost....

take some home with you and put it back when the cold spell has passed?

I've got some fleece or my old polytunnel tarp if you want

18 hours ago

Matt Hartley

Hi all, newbie advice please - making good progress on bramblepatch->soil transformation.
We had ordered a load of plug plants from the farm but have been told they can’t fulfill orders now.
As total beginners, full time jobs, a flat with minimal sunlight and no greenhouse - tips needed for getting started! Are plug plants the way forward? Or do people have ok success with seeds directly into pots and then the ground outdoors? Any advice most welcome! Thanks, Matt&Clare on 38b
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Hi there. I'm about a year or so ahead so this is what we've found... we had little room for sewing seeds at home (and limited success tbh) so have found that seedlings/plug plants are very straightforward (I didn't know about the farm not fulfilling orders - is that ALL orders do you know?). Some things have worked v well from seed direct into soil - courgettes, broad beans, corn, spinach for instance. Potatoes v straightforward too. Did leeks, cauliflower and rocket from plug plants but that's just what we did. Over to the pros now.... Good luck!

I'm lucky to have the space, so I sow almost everything into trays, pots, or lengths of guttering to give them a head start on the slugs. BUT I agree with Ali - any types of beans: borlotti, broad, runners, french etc do well here, as do courgettes, spuds, squash, and corn, (if the badgers don't get it), and brassicas, (if netted). Sow far more than you actually need to make up for slug damage etc, and cover seedlings with cut down plastic cartons/ bottles, with a few slug pellets inside. The Farm has VERY sadly lost funding for the plug plants, but might be able to rent out poly tunnel space for people with no space at home - watch this space TBC!

If you have space on the plot and want to grow plants from seed, try a pallet raised off the ground to help keep slugs at bay as a bed for pots and trays. Perhaps something similar to an empty raised bed, ie four scaffold boards making a square the same size at the pallet for it to rest on. Then with plastic pipe make hoops over the pallet, cover this with clear plastic sheet, held secure with decent clips, see photo. It's best to use a net at each end for ventilation as it will get hot inside and seedlings will suffer. Use trays that hold minimal water with capillary matting to help retain moisture for pots to stand in. I tried this last year with great success and want to improve on it again soon. Good luck.

I've found it helps to let plants grow quite big before you plant them out, so they are better to be able to withstand a passing slug taking a bite or two. This does make the space issue worse, of course, but really worth it in my experience.

Tomatoes and cucumbers have always done well on my plot, to add to the above lists.

Quite a few things go well direct in the soil. Leeks work very well in the ground, sow in March a packet in a line about 8 to 10 feet long, 1cm deep and about 5mm apart. Let them grow up to about pencil thickness then fork up, shake off soil and replant in a bed about 6 inches apart each way in holes about 1 inch wide and 6” deep. Water in and ignore till November. (Except if leek moth comes, ask in July for advice) Plant runner beans and French beans direct in soil late April a couple of beans in each spot about 3cm deep and about 6” apart. Purple sprouting broccoli sow in a close row in March then thin out to 6” apart; then when they have 3 true leaves lift with a fork and replant a 12 to 18” apart. Similarly most cabbages. Lettuce, spring onions, radish, carrot, coriander, rocket & broad leaved parsley also pretty good at germinating in the field. Peas and sugar snaps too if the mice don’t eat them first. Leaf beet spinach grows anywhere.., just scatter it at random. But you do have to control slugs and snails while the plants are very small for all of these except leeks. Hope this helps.

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2 days ago

Joe Dee

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Frogspawn 👍

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That time of year already. Lovely to see frogspawn again

Does anyone want a Miracle gro hose attachment - never used! Happy to get rid of it for free!

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