I have a plastic compost bin. When I open the lid loads of earthworms fall down. Where do they come from? Are they on way in or way out?

When can I harvest my pumpkin? Is it too early to take it up now? I attach a photo. I have another pumpkin growing which is smaller than this one? I would like to take up the pumpkins as I need the space for winter planting.

Accidentally sprayed Roundup on my vegetable raised bed, how long before i can safely use it ?

I have 2 varieties of main crop potatoes – Roosters and Records. The Roosters are doing beautifully and in flower. I though that the Records were also doing well but they have failed to flower!!

Most of my potato plants show only small slug damage to the leaves, but some (right beside seemingly healthy ones) are heavily stripped. I don’t wish to kill the slugs, but I wonder whether its safe to just let them finish eating what they started, as the other plants flourish?

I have grown potatoes from cuttings fairly successfully in the past. Reading about spacing, and hoping to improve the crop, I have cut back to soil level some plants (they are all just under a foot high) to give space to the others. However, as many of the stems are from the same cut pieces, … read more

Having problems with the rhubarb this year as you can see it is being eaten by something but it is not slugs or snails and underneath them there is nothing there either could you any have suggestion as to what it might be. Regards b

When I sow scorzonera indoors, it germinates well enough. But it doesn’t take well to being transplanted. So I sow it in large patio pots (for ease of harvesting); germination is poor, and still most of the plants wither. Is the soil too damp, or too dry? There seems to be no leeway between the … read more

I got a neighbour’s grass clippings last year, which I used in the lasagna-layering in the veg patch. Working the soil this spring I noticed a strong odor of dog poop. When I commented about to him, he admitted that he doesn’t clean up the yard after his 3 dogs, just mows it up with … read more

the Receptacle on my peas are being infested by a microscopic white grub which kills the flower. What is it and what can I do?

I am relatively new to growing vegetables and am not having much luck with my seedlings so far. My French beans are doing good as the stems are nice and thick supporting nice leaves ready to plant out soon maybe ? but the broccoli, spinach and coriander are looking pretty miserable; Extremely long leggy and … read more

Where can I get ‘Sharpe’s Express’ seed potatoes to grow my own?

Question concerning main crop potatoes . I simply cannot grow them as eelworm gets them or at least that’s what I believe it to be . They look fine until lifted and are then found rotten inside . No problem growing earlies though which is what I do the past ten years . Any suggestions … read more

Just wondering what could have eaten my beetroots? Surely it couldn’t have been done by slugs and I don’t see any rabbits or hares around.You might enlighten me. They were taken out of the ground in November with all this damage.

I have got a load of well rotted horse manure and I want to revitalise my raised beds. What is the best modus operandi at this point of the winter? Do I spread and cover with plastic?

I’m hoping to sow a lot of pumpkins for Halloween next year. Can you tell me where I can buy pumpkin seeds in bulk rather than the small 10-15 seed packets that are available in shops and online.

I found these seeds in the garden Could you please tell me what plant they are from and could I reset them?

What is the best way to control slugs and caterpillars on cabbage, turnips etc?

I have lettuce and radish growing in a window box. First some radish leaves got holes and now some lettuce are toppling over being eaten at the bottom of the stalk and have no roots.

I have a small amount of potatoes,grown successfully.I will be going away early September for 5 weeks,returning October 9.Should I lift all the potatoes before I go or leave them in the ground till Oct.?How should I store them?

Have recently acquired an allotment. Digging done to clear it and now getting mixed messages re weeds. Do I cover it in black plastic to keep them down or do I bank it to let the frost get at it during the Winter. Not really intending to plant it til the Spring. That wise?

I want to put a little science project together for school children to test which of the advertised garden “growth products” on sale have the best results. I want to set up the experiment in multiple yoghurt sized pots and get results in hopefully 2-3 weeks. It doesn’t matter what a plant I use, just … read more

My broad beans were very healthy but the leaves have now gone rusty and are withering. No problems in previous years.

I have 4 raised beds with vegetables in my garden. In one of my raised beds where I have started to grow beans I’ve noticed that the leaves are being eaten by something. I have protected against slugs with pellets and have checked for insects but cannot see any. The bed beside this has some … read more

I have been growing garlic successfully for years. This year, the garlic grew strongly at first. But, in the last month, it has all wilted and vanished. On either side of the garlic, white and red onions are growing well. .

I have grown courgettes from seed indoors but now that I am planting them out, they are breaking off at the stem. They are in a sheltered area and I’ve also put down slug repellent, and bed is covered by nets so it’s not birds or animals. I don’t know what is causing this. I … read more

I have a clear gel like substance on the stalks of my rhubarb. Can you suggest what this might be?

Its my first time growing potatoes and the flowers are coming out on some of them. When do I harverst them? I planted them 11th and 28th March.(I have them growing in bags).

I bought too many seed potatoes in my local garden centre. I assumed they’d be OK to eat, but it was suggested by a friend that maybe they’d be sprayed/treated in some way.

Can I grow potatoes in the same ground 2 years running? Have grown them successfully but usually skipped a year.

I work in a school garden. Because the children get holidays at the end of June, we try to sow the chitted seed potatoes by mid March at latest. This year Easter hols are very early so we probably need to sow next week. With the bouts of frost and cold….Is this going to affect … read more

My box hedge which surrounds the vegetable patch has recently been infected with blight. i am treating it and hoping for the best. However I am wondering if it is safe to grow potatoes in this area. I realise the two blights are caused by different fungi but am concerned that it will increase the … read more

I enclose a photo of rhubarb plants which are being eaten. I’m wondering what could be attacking them at this time of year and what remedy you would recommend. The variety is ‘Timperly Early’. I have applied slug pellets to no avail.

I want to start a vegetable plot, my garden had 10ins of soil on top of hard compacted stones and yellow subsoil and poor drainage,i scraped off the soil with a digger and removed 12 ins deep of subsoil i put back the soil and then filled in with new topsoil i tested the new … read more

Any vegetables the kids can get started and in the garden for Oct, Nov, I hear peas can get started in November or kale’s looking to give the kids something before march/April yo see growing Any herbs Maybe?

What can I start growing in my garden at this time of year as in fruit and veg?

I have a little veg plot in my garden, about 5 X 4 meters. 7-8 years ago it was producing plenty of excellent results. Basic stuff…lettuce, carrots, peas, spring onion…but it was always great fun. Last year several of my crops started off well, but then completely failed, and this year pretty much nothing grew, … read more

What’s likely cause? it occurred on the potatoes from just one plant. Plants either side are okay

I have a new raised veg bed this year that is producing very well. However I used railway sleepers at the front and sides of the bed without really thinking about the danger involved from wood preservative leaking into the soil. Do you know if the veg will be contaminated and what I could do … read more

I found wasps on my potato stalks today. They were on two different plants. They were grown from the fruit that formed on the stalks of sharpo axon is that l had growing last year. I was wondering what was the attraction. I have never seen it before.

can you grow new potatoes for Christmas?

I accidentally sprayed vinegar on my vegetable garden. I sprayed with the hose right away with water of course. What is the probability that my plants will die??

Something is munching my Brocolli plants both those bought as plants and those I have grown from seeds. Doesn’t seem to be slugs, cant see any tiny eggs or caterpillars although there are small tracks on the reverse of larger leaves? Might it be Vine Weevel although there are lots of big bits from the … read more

New house nearly ready and we are putting gravel provisionally around most of house. 0.25 acre site. I want to start growing veg. Should i just get greenhouse ? or leave some ground as is for a tunnell ? or just leave some ground and grow direct in that. Aim is to grow kale / … read more

Two of my raised beds have been taken over by a weed with a white root (see photo) that can run parallel to the ground at the depth of a few inches. The root is quite strong and can be a number of feet in length and I assume it is strangling the roots of … read more

My veg garden gas been going for 9 years and is now tired and performing poorly. I am not really able to dig it anymore, nor have I farmyard manure to dig in.I see you’re not really a fan of raised beds but I had intended to put them in to avoid digging and make … read more

I have sowed new potatoes and kerr’s pink potatoes in back Garden which has not been sown in years The new potatoes were perfect and clean, they turned out great big and floweryThe Pink potatoes are bit scabby but seem ok to eat, very flowery, What causes the skin to be scabby

I have recently put in raised beds. The first layer of soil is made up of the grass / lawn sods taken from the area. Followed by mulch. The beds are 20″ high. Cutworms are appearing and eating through all stems of salad and leafy veg. only thing that they have not eaten are onions … read more

I have a rat in the compost bin. Can I use the compost or should I destroy it?

I recently got some large logs from a neighbour to create a “fernery” but this fungus has appeared on the ground immediately next to the logs. The logs originally had the bark on them but the harsh frosts detached the bark. the fungus does not have any stalks, the cups appear to emerge directly from … read more

I’ve just read nearly all the answers on spuds. I”m not sure any of them answersed mine. My potatoes are in various stages of dieback, some completely, some half way ect. My problem is, I have started to dig them and I”m finding good ones and rotten ones under each stalk, their Roosters, and I … read more

My sister in Scotland had a soil lab test done for her veg garden recently. The results showed the soil had only 1.01% Boran and 0.03% Molybdenum. The lab reccomended levels of 2.1% and 0.6% respectively. All other elements were OK. How does she increase her levels. Are there any propritiary brand products available ? … read more

This might seem like a daft question. The attached ‘greenery’ has invaded my veggie patch and I don’t think it is anything I planted as it is in strange places. It lies flat on the ground. Is it a weed?

Most newspapers now use coloured ink. Is it still OK to use them in compost or for mulching?

Bought some type of brocolli/calabrese plants in a garden centre last June, put them down and didnt really give them any more attention. From about August onwards they started to give lovely crops of these small heads of broccolli, all through the winter until about mid December. Winter came and went and as you can … read more

I have just bought Gallup Blograde 360 which I am going to use to kill off all the grass and weeds that have grown on my vegetable patch over the winter. I am not sure that I have bought the correct product and if so I can always return it to the shop and exchange … read more

Rather than throwing ashes in the bin can I use them to grow vegetables in a raised bed? The ashes are those derived from burning dry wood cuttings (raspberry canes, pruned branches etc.) How deep should the raised bed be? Can I use a base of 8 cm polystyrene sheets to build it up to … read more

Are there any courses in Ireland on polytunnel growing and best choice of polytunnels?

I have a small north facing garden and I’m wondering if you can grow fruit and veg in it.

New treatment system and percolation area installed in garden last year. How far do i need to be from perculation area or tank to plant vegetable and fruit?

I’ve grown Nicola potatoes in the same ground for the last two seasons and wonder can they be put there again for the third season. I’ve heard where they should be moved to a different spot every couple of years. Nothing else has ever been grown in this particular bit of ground.

I want to build a raised vegetable garden. what is best type of wood to use for this project

Could you help me with this question. Having dug manure into garden last October and covered over with plastic,do I need to repeat the same again before I start planting vegetable seeds? I have raised vegetable beds in my garden. Thank you, John and Rosemary.

I am hoping for the first time to plant a vegetable garden and am in the planning stages. For a family size garden, what size areas chould I allow for say potatoes, carrot, parsnips, onions etc.

I have an established fish pond in my garden. I recently found out about aquaponics and I was wondering if I would be able to set up this system with my pond or would I have to set up a complete system in order to start growing vegetables in this way?

Love to grow sweet potatoes but dont know how to get started. I kow it needs a green house but I cant find seeds, seed potatoes or plants? Any advice.

We have a huge patch of over growth in the back garden that i want cleared but i DO NOT want any weed killer used on the soil as I hope to start growing next year, can you tell me how to go about clearing this patch manually, Im afraid i dont know the names … read more

I tried growing onion shallots in a poly tunnel for spring use. I couldn’t find any so I bought some in the supermarket. I planted on 1/10/11 but out of 15 planted only 2 have sprouted and are only 2 inches long. The rest have small roots only. Have they been treated to keep them … read more

Our sprouts are doing rather well (see pic). At the top are cabbage-size growths. Is all this greenery edible (leaves and centres). Sure seems a shame to waste it.

I planted garlic cloves on Oct 18, and now, 3 weeks later, I can see 5cm shoots above the ground. Is this normal? I had somehow thought the cloves were meant to lie dormant over the winter.

Can I plant potatoes next year in the plot i used this year?

What should I put on rhurbarb now to feed it for next year. I cannot get old horse manure. I was wondering if “sea mun gus” (fish-seaweed-humic acid. would suffice.

My Brussel sprouts are still quite small and on a few plants, the sprouts are only half formed. Will they still grow at this time of year? Can I still leave them in the ground in the hope that they will increase in size?

Some of my ‘Record’ potatoes have purple flesh. What causes this and are they edible.

I sowed seeds of purple sprouting broccoli direct into the soil in the spring and transplanted them on 8th April to a sunny spot in a cage well spaced and fed with comfrey tea. They should be harvested at the end of winter but they seem to be maturing now but they seem to be … read more

What can you plaint in the garden or plaint in the Organic garden in Ringsend?

I have very large scallions can i dry and store these like onions,

How far into the soil should I plant garlic bulbs?

I planted lettuce plants under a cloche to extend the season into autumn. Unfortunately over half of them have died and appear to be cut off at ground level. I cannot find any insects in the soil and I have been using slug pellets. The same happened to other lettuces earlier in the summer; not … read more

I made some compost tea in May (using nettles and comfrey) and gave everything a good feed with it. Now there is still plenty left but I’m wondering is it a) too old and b) too late to feed plants this time of year?

I want to start preparing my garden for winter.. do i need to put down compost AND mulch and if so which do i do first? which is the best compost and mulch to get?

What causes black spots on brussel sprout leaves . Starts at the bottom leaves and works it’s way up.

My cabbages are getting eaten and as i have seen earwigs at them assume they are the problem. i have put wet newspaper down in the evening to trap them without much sucess, any help would be great

I tend to get gardening type presents for birthdays, fathers day, etc etc which include plant nutrients such as fish meal & bone mixes. Do these things have an expiry date (as I seem to accumulate of lot of boxes of different types of veg supplements?)

I’m very pleaaed with my rhubarb as it’s been very plentiful this year. I am now wondering when I should stop pulling it?

Leeks on my allotment have got rust. RHS website says do nothing, other sites say to use dithane 945. What do you recommend?

I have had a problem with premature die back of potatoes for a number of years resulting in reduced size of tubers. It is not blight as the tubers are not affected. This year I was growing Sarpo Axona and Orla. The same problem has effected my greenhouse tomatoes, grown in growbags, this year. My … read more

I want to start growing Veg & Fruit in my garden. I have a large enough garden but want to know am I better using raised beds or digging up the soil? Also, can I start now with some winter veg or am I better off waiting til Spring time to get going? Do I … read more

Round up was sprayed between Potato drills 2 weeks ago, are the potatoes safe to eat?

Could you please explain about composting wood shavings and why there can be a problem (bacteria using up all necessary nitrogen, or something?

My Endive, and my Chard have bolted fiercely, and my lettuce also, recently. Have they been too dry?

My 3 yr old asparagus plants are not doing great and planted very near to a wall. Is it ok to move them to another site. It’s possible they don’t get enough water and also I forgot sbout the snails.

My rosemary plant, which is growing very well, has alot of ‘rust’ colour on the leaves. What could be the problem & are they safe to eat?

My mint plant has discolouration on the leaves – a beige to light rust colour. What causes this & is it safe to eat the mint.

what if anything can i plant now as space in garden. I am going to put in some garlic but would like to try maybe something else?

I grew carrots for first time this year. Carrots are severly cracked, short and fat. Also they appear to have worms.

This is my first year growing parsnips. Is it true that parsnip canker shows itself on the leaves first as a redish brown colour then a yellowing of its leaves as this is whats happening to mine.

Purple sprouting brocoli should be ready to eat next April, why is it producing sprouts now?

Just wondering what veg I can now sow in my polytunnel for the winter ??? I would like to grow broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, peas, carrots, lettuce, rocket, sprouts,-any problem with these ? Rgds John.

I’m new to gardening, so this may be an obvious one. My cos was doing beautifully and all the sudden in the past week, the leaves are degrading into sludge. I can’t find any evidence of slugs or other insects. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.

For the second year my sprout plants have all bolted grown really large and the young sprouts have all bursted open what could be the cause?

Where can I get organically grown herbs in pots for my balcony?

I have cauliflower that has been bolting all summer. Is the bolting due to temperature or lack of watering?

For the second consecutive year my carrot crop has been destroyed by root fly (not grown in the same area of the vegetable garden this year). Adjacent rows of parsnips were unaffected last year, but I’m not sure if they are affected this year. Does the pest persist in the soil ? I don’t plan … read more

my beetroot are all leaves and very little bulb.can you help please?

I harvested my little crop of beetroot the other day. I left about 3-4 cms of stalk and the roots intact, washed and boiled gently for about 2.5 hours. After cooling, I peeled gently with my fingers before going to slice and pickle them. However half of them are soft and perfect and half of … read more

I sowed peas and they have grown very well they are about 2ft high now but they never flowered hence no pods so what went wrong this never happened before

Over the years as I dig my vegetable plot I have found bits and pieces of old household waste, i.e. pieces of old china, glass, small chunks of burnt coal, etc. Once I found a small scrap of lead. The property used to belong to a house dating from about 1830 and I think my … read more

My wife and I recently took an allotment for the 1st time this year. I was just wondering about the types of Winter vegetables we could grow and what time of year to plant them.

Are there any vegetables that can be planted outside with no protection ,in the next month?

I have 4 tomato plants growing indoor, Shirley, Moneymaker x 2, and Shipsaint. One growing outdoor Tomatoberry. The plants seem weaker than other years and the leaves are all getting a heavy brown spotting. All are forming fruits but I think there should be more. They were planted in the first week of May. Is … read more

Can you eat rhubarb the first year of planting?

just got one plant aim to grow it in a large pot my question is where should i grow it glassshouse or outside??

I have been growing apple cucumbers this season. Could you please tell me how to save the seeds for next season?

I have planted a variety of onions and scallions in a raised bed, the tips of some are going yellow, plus some bulbs are coming out of the earth. I pulled a few yesterday and it looks as though, if I leave the rest any longer the stem will grow even bigger and grow down … read more

I have few cauliflower plants. Only one plant, though it is not as big as other plants has a head (all planted at the same time)Few of them have loads of leaves but no heads,but looks healthy.What should i do?

I’ve planters,round and rectangle type,the plannix range,10ft polys also.their well set up with a good mixture of quality home compost and bought compost along with perlite.what veg could I start or what well started veg could I plant, bought type. I have some courgette, peas, rocket, lettuce, tomatoes all well established.

Planted Nantes seed about 3 weeks ago just a few coming up. Had already done same middle of May, a few came up and have disappeared since. What is happening? I had prepared ground well and sowed in drills.

If I re plant the swede thinnings will they mature and produce a normal vegetable ?

when to harvest runner beans?

I dug some of my early potatoes (Leager) today and found some that were really soft and smelled. Do you know what this could be? There was no blight and stalk looked healthy if a little wind battered.

I am growing a mixture of lettuce plants in rows. All are doing well except the Rocket which are being eaten by small black flies. What are these and what can I do to stop it?

What potato seed can I plant and where can I get same?

I am growing potatoes in bags,since April they have just finished flowering, but there is greenfly on the leaves, what should I do?

I have what appears to be a good healthy crop of Record potatoes. However on closer inspection quite a few of the leaves have little holes in them and the outer tips of same are discoloured with a dark blue/purple tinge.I have already sprayed them with Dithane 945 approx. a couple of weeks ago and … read more

I planted potatoes in a potato growbag on 16th April,when will these be ready to dig and can the stalks be put on the compost heap. Stalks can go on the compost heap.

1st time to get cabbage root fly, how do I get rid of it. I cant rotate my veg plot very much.

The leaves of my radishes- sown May 10th- are being eaten. They are in a raised bed(18ins) & there doesnt appear to be any slugs in it. Emerging beetroot leaves also being eaten. Cause? Remedy?

Growing basil in a pot outside. Leaves are being eaten by some insect dont see anything .What should i do to stop this and pervent this happening?

Can you please tell me if you have tried/had success with using horsetail mixture as a treatment for potato blight? I found the below while searchibg the internet: Thanks, Tom436 1. In a large glass or stainless steel pot, mix 1/8 cup of dried horsetail leaves in 4 1/2 litres of unchlorinated water 2. Bring … read more

What would you suggest best treatment for preventing potato blight, and should i keep on the safe side and apply it now, i have 8 drills of kerrs pink, navan and arran victor would be glad of advice

How do you deter cats from spraying etc on my raised beds? Also will my vegetables be ok to eat?

I had bought a rhubarb plant to grow at the back of my shed about two months ago.. in the first few weeks it was doing great the leaves were growing.. then a few weeks later the plant just died all of a sudden? what may have caused it to die.? please help as i … read more

I planted autumn king carrot seeds in carrot bags in April, when can I harvest them.

New to the world of seeds – I planted basil, pumpkin and squash in a seed tray and left in my glass house. The basil started to sprout within 7 days but now (day 10) there’s no sign of it! The pumpkin & squash have not come up even though packet says they should within … read more

I crush a garlic clove and soaked it in water and used it to spray the pepper plant’s , Are the green fly dead or do i repeat spraying?

I have a supermarket bought pot of CURLY Leaf Parsley that is still going strong on my sunny kitchen window sill after 2 months. Last week it started growing a few stems of what looks like FLAT Leaf Parsley to me. Is that possible as I thought that they are different plants?.

We set up a compost bin last year and when we went to take compost from it for the first time, discovered that it was full of ants. is there anything that we can do to solve this problem, and must we get rid of the rest of compost in the bin.

Am worried about potatoes that I have fertilized with aged horse manure for the first time. Are they safe to eat after the german scare? Also have looked up that if horse on antibiotics or dewormer its not good to put on your veg even if ecoli isn’t there?Should manure only be used on flowers?I … read more

My potatoes were sown on 16/03/2011 comprising of the following varieties, Sharps express, British queens, Kerrs pinks and King edwards ,they are all new seed .i have full blossoms on the queens but no sign of blossoms on the sharps express but they are green and healthy looking ,there are blossoms starting to appear on … read more

When we open the lid of the compost bin (first season using it) there seem to be hundreds of flies which all swarm out over the person lifting the lid. Yeugh! So the best option is throw the lid back and run. Are we doing the composting correctly. We seem to be following the instructions? … read more

My Cauliflower looks really good, with lovely healthy leaves but absolutely no heart ( centre), They look just like cabbage. Is there anything I can do with them or should I get rid of them.

I appear to have a great crop of broad beans(windsor variety) this year. They are about 4ft tall with lots of flowers, though some have died off. Will they still pod? All of the books tell me to pinch out the tips to prevent black fly attack – I have cut off the top green … read more

I planted 2nd earlies (Maris Peer) in late Feb and early Mar 2011 into approx 14 tubs (2/3 plants in each tub). Most of the plants are still in flower but there 5/6 of them looking half withered and dying? The normally dark green leaf is now a very light green with brown spots. Am … read more

When does rhubarb stop growing? I have had a very short season of it this year and now it seems to have some disease like the stems have a guey spit on it and when i cut it the rhubarb seems brown in places inside.

A couple of my potato plants are suffering from a mosaic virus. I’ve since been spraying all my spuds with garlic extract to hopefully keep the aphids from spreading it! Is this enough or will I have to remove the infected plants? Also if I dont have to remove the infected plants will they produce … read more

I have cabbage plants that are well established and have now the cabbage root fly symptoms. At this stage, what can I do?? Any sprays?? or alternative cure.

I planted some winter onions last Oct/nov.. they have developed into what I would call clusters of what look like large scallions. I have misplaced/lost the info sheet and was wondering if winter onions develope into large onions or into groups of shallots and when should I harvest them? Very vague question….sorry.

The recent high winds have bashed my potted potato plants foliage is really damaged have i lost my crop or can i save it

What to plant beside little gem lettuce in containers

I have an infestation of cabbage root fly, it’s any solution? And if not can I use my beds for other plants?

For years now, I’m growing dwarf french beans. Most of the time, the first ones that I pick are OK, but after that the beans start to curl and twist and become unsuitable for eating. Why, and what to do?

I am writing a short story set in Glendalough. Would you please advise me about what my characters would be planting in a vegetable garden mid-June? I was there once, but never dreamed I’d be writing this story.

Is there anything on the market which you spray on veg or plants as a preventitive against bugs? something similar as the way simazine works? Also is derris liquid and dust gone off the market?

Is there anything you can do to kill the larve of cabbage root fly. Or is it just preventing the fly from laying its eggs in first place using netting or cabbage collars?

Why do potato seeds go soft? Is there anything I could have done to stop them going soft? Planted them at the end of April, will they be ok?

I’m growing potatos for the first time and I fear one of my stalks may have leaf roll virus! What should I do and is this disease common here in Ireland?

My cauliflowers were coming on nice & strong, healthy in appearance and thriving until about a week ago when I noticed the plants failing.They have continued to do so. No sign of attack on the plant above ground so I assumed that perhaps the roots were being attacked. I pulldd the smallest plants and discovered … read more

is there any hope ? will it affect my carrotts lettuce and other veg any prevention ?

I’m growing potatoes (2nd earlies) in tubs (approx 18” in diameter and 24” high) and in each tub I have between 2 & 3 plants. I’m told I can start adding potash now but I have no idea in what quantity per tub above or indeed how often. Is a teaspoon once a week too … read more

Can you tell me what I can do to stop onions going to seed. They are planted out in my veg patch. I planted them in Feb.Why does this happen?

Where can I buy a Loy spade also known as a ridging spade?

I have rosemary growing in a big pot plant but its starting to go brown and look like its dieing off,how can i fix this?

I’m thinking of growing potatoes but i have not got a clue from start to finish. would be pleased if you could help me.

Should i put in support’s for asparagus plant’s i just planted i think they around 2 years old, they look like they need some thing… thanks………Also what’s the proper temperature for glass house when sowing tomatoes ,chilli and peppers.. Should i used miracle grow or go for somthing more organic like nettle feed when feeding.

my sage herb has got brown spots on it. I grow it in a polytunnel next to dill, thyme,oregano.

I got a present of an electric propagator. I have planted some seeds about a week ago (mixture of lettuces and coriander). Nothing has happened so far which is okay but the soil appears to have some mould on the top and there is so much condensation on the covers. I am worried that the … read more

Should i sow asparagus with rhubarb and what kind of soil do i need.

Is it ok to put a raised bed on a patio – am worried about how to ensure proper drainage and that the patio is not wrecked from it. Might be building it and if so what should I use as a base? The one I have seen for sale is of solid wood and … read more

I have just found a biscuit tin of packets of Burpee Seeds from the US — swiss chard seed tape, carnations, heliotrope, geraniums, lettuces, basil etc. — about 30-35 packets dated from 1997! Is it worth my time to try to germinate them or shall I just dump them? It breaks my heart to do … read more

Just wondering can i use seaweed in my compost heap,if yes dose it have to be dried out or can you through it on straight and can you only use certain types.

I planted broadbeans in NOV10 and I was wondering when is the best time to harvest them?

I have sown 2 rows of beetroot seed in a raised bed and found it alarming that half of them disappeared overnight. Then I saw a few (arghh!) woodlice in the bed. How do I get rid of them?

When is the best time to divide rhubarb?

Is it possible to plant onions from ordinary onions that have sprouted in the kitchen drawer or is it best to get bulbs? Also where we live the soil is like a very thick clay, is it best to plant in a container? We have dug in compost etc to the soil last year?

Can’t think of where I heard or read it but are French Marigolds good for keeping carrot fly at bay?

We have a small garden, and we have a variety of Rhubarb called “Pink Champagne”, the garden is over run with weeds and we are trying to sort the garden. Some of the rhubarb is dead and some is alive. We were going to dig it all up and re-sow it. We were just wondering … read more

I have sage growing in herb garden. Am new to this, appreciate information. have been picking tips to make bushier plant. Do i pick flower buds or just let them grow.

I had a bed of potatoes last year and only recently noticed that there are some fresh potato sprouts in the same bed this year – can they be left or should i get rid of them? they’re obviously growing from potatoes that were left in the ground last year. i had planned on growing … read more

I planted my potatoes just over 3 weeks ago but no sign of growth yet. They were chitted for 6 weeks in my garden shed in Feb & March but as there was a fairly heavy spell of frost during this period I am wondering if the crop may have been damaged by this? Should … read more

I would appear to have an infestion of shiny green (metalic looking) beetles eating my rhubarb leaves, just spotted them on Saturday and they are going mad for the leaves. I’m afraid they will spread to nearby strawberry beds, how do I get rid of them and what are they?

We hope to try and plant a pumpkin patch, but are new to this with great intentions. The back of the seeds say need 90 growing days, which is 3 months, planting indoors for 4 weeks july the out for aug & sept. This site says plant indoors late april may for 4 weeks, then … read more

For a second year flowers have appeared on rhubarb plants, have cut them out but wonder what conditions are causing flowers to appear in the first place. I understand the plant wastes energy flowering at the expense of the fruit.

I was told you could use seaweed as fertilizer in the veg garden, so I got myself a ton of it. Do I wash it first and then put it in the base of the drill before planting potatoes etc or how is it applied?

I want to grow some potatoes in containers and I want to know how many seed potatoes do I put in each container and will garden soil do or do I need to mix compost with it,if so could I use homemade compost or must it be bought compost.

Is there a bird friendly slug pellet I could use in my vegitable garden that would definately not harm birds or other animals?

Every year we try growing potatoes and before we get to dig them out they are attacked by this slug and are full of holes

It is said that stable manure is principally a soil improver. Also that it is a fertilizer. For cabbages its is recommended not to fertilize their beds. So, what is it with stable manure, and should I or should I not apply it to cabbage beds?

Went down to check on rhubarb and found the older tubers had round heads coming up the centre. They have a few stalks but then a thick centre stalk with the round head. What do I do? and what is the problem please

I have read all the posts relating to growing rhubarb and wonder if it’s possible to grow rhubarb in a container as there are very limited sunny spaces in my garden.

have been growing approx. 300 onion sets (white and red) successfully over many years. Weeds are now a major problem. Is there any type of ground cover on the market to keep the weeds covered, and say holes 6ins apart to allow sets to grow. For age and other reasons i have to reduce labour.

When my cabbage seedlings grow to about 25-35mm in height they are very leggy & do not develop into sturdy plants. I use a good quality seedling compost & grow the seedlings in a greenhouse. Any suggestion on why they grow this way?

I’m a bit new to growing herbs from seed but I planted some Basil, Rosemary and Thyme in small pots and placed them on my window indoors a few weeks ago. They seem to be going well but I’m wondering should I seperate the seedlings into seperate pots or just leave them develop in the … read more

Have chitted Orla potatoes in my conservatory which are beginning to go green, can I plant them or forfeit them and purchase others.

Can you tell me is Kilkenny suitable for sowing the blight resistant potatoe,variety Sarpo Mira as I have heard that they are only suitable for planting in the west of Ireland.

I am starting from scratch with a green field site. Should I spray the area i want to plant out before rotavating?

I have recently obtained an alotment. I have to be careful with my back and my osteopath has recmmended to me that I use a long handled garden spade / fork etc. I have tried the usual outlets to no avail. Could you please recommend to me an outlet where I may purchase long handled … read more

Im about to plant Asparagus beside recently planted Rhubarb plants. As the rhubarb hasnt matured yet what spacing would i need to leave between the two rows of veg.

Last week I bought some Home Guard seed potatoes. When I opened them they are very soft with very long shoots already on them. I’m just wondering will these be okay to plant or should I take back and get others. I have other seed potatoes of British Queen chitting and these are much harder … read more

Could you use builders lime to adjust the acidity of a soil?

I had a problem with leatherjackets in raised beds last year. My spuds were decimated and i found leatherjacket grubs. I would like to treat the raised beds with nematodes before i grow this year. When can i start the nematodes treatment and how long do i have to wait before i can start growing?

I am growing potatoes in tubs (2nd earlies) and the instructions state t I should put 6” of compost into a tub on top of which I then place the potato etc. It then states that I should cover the potato with compost etc. My question is simple in that ‘is it ok to use … read more

Can you tell me the best way on how to make and store compost?

We have a large area in the garden which is used as a percolation for our biocycle system. this has been barren except for grass for 10 yrs now, last october we covered the complete area with plastic and left over the winter. We have now removed the plastic and all the grass has died … read more

I made a raised veg bed and filled it with soil, compost and well rotted horse manure about a month ago. It is very acidic, about 5.5. I have read you should not apply lime when manure has been added recently. It seems I have no choice though. Can I apply lime now and how … read more

Neighbour has built a high wall by my veg plot. I now only get sun early in the morning and then for the late afternoon.While I understand vegs need sun,what vegs would be more tolerant of shade than others ?

The smaller bits and pieces from leftover Turf (Fuel) can those be used arround the garden ?

I grew veg from plants in boxes last year cucumber /courgette, not too sucessfully ! Grew in multi purpose compost, may not have watered enough, fed with tomato feed,any sugestions for this year?

This shed wall, in my concrete back yard, is south facing and a great sun trap. I plan to build a raised bed against this wall using a low concrete wall in front. Is there an optimum height and width for such a bed? I hope to grow shrubs, fruit and veg in it.

I have constructed a raised bed using concrete blocks about 500mm high, with sand/cement mix as an external finish. Do I need to line the inside of this wall before filling with soil to avoid later damp/green algal growth on the wall exterior and if so, what should I use?

My parsnips last year were massive, but had so many tails on them.what do you think.

I just started at a new bit of ground for growing veg … i dug it over and added farm yard manure to it today, its about 12 ft square . what should i do next ? i just realised that it only gets sun in the morning and the evening as the house is … read more

how do i get rid of scutch grass in my vegetable garden

I want to find out where to buy about 20kg of “Orla” “Sarpo Mira” and “Sarpo Axona” seed potatoes anywhere in ireland. I live near Belfast.

Having only recently moved to a new house we have just finished weeding and rotivating our plot. Is it too late to add some seaweed to it? We don’t have a compost yet and I’d like to nourish the soil.

I leapt upon your piece re seed potatoes just now… I have been dreaming about them ever since I had the worst scab on my Duke of York last year. In 2009, I got the most wonderful variety, called Accent. And I have been searching for Accent ever since. Any idea where I can get … read more

I want to prepare a new vegetable plot for spring which is at present part of my lawn, can i kill off the grass now or do i need to lift the sod before digging.If i can kill the grass what is best to use.

Where can I buy sweet white onion seed or transplants? The onions I want are the ones that are very mild and you can eat like an apple..eHOW.com gives growing instructions.

I was thinking of growing brussels sprouts again this year despite the disaster with pests I had 2 years ago. In short, every bug known to man attacked my crop which put me right off planting them again.My plan this year is to start the brussel sprouts off in the glasshouse (as before) and when … read more

My Sarpo potatoes produced enormous haulms this year together with an excellent crop.Can the haulms go on the compost or must they be burnt?

I would like to grow dill from seed bought in a supermarket. When should the seeds be planted and would that be in a seed tray or in open ground?

I intend growing garlic now and wonder if it can be grown in large pots/troughs. What type of compost and or manure can I use.

This is my second year to grown onions they have grown very well, I lifted them in September and but them in a shed with doors now they are all rotting from the stem down. What can I do or what am I doing wrong?

I sorted my potatoes before i pitted them. last week need to get some out, and found a few bad ones in the pit. what can i do to make sure all my potatoes dont go bad. will i be able to save them. there is enough potatoes in the pit to keep me going … read more

I’ve sown Giant Stuttgart onions. Some in polytunnel in April and the rest outdoors in June.I sprinkled some organic fertiliser twice during year and watered them regularly.However , they never got passed the scallion size (i.e. 1 inch diam. ).Should I leave in the ground over the winter or eat them?

I set purple Broccoli plants this year in my veg garden they are very leggy now should i cut them back, are they any more good, should i set more from seed next year?

What soil depth is ideally required for a herb bed? I plan to move existing box hedging (is this a good idea) that is approx 9inches high and plant a variety of herbs. This is being dug out from existing gravel area with mixed hardcore.

Will frost affect my carrots still in ground. anything i should be doing?

Planted out savoy cabbage about 6 weeks ago. Doing well. Now some of the plants are been eaten. All that remains is like a grey dust.All I can see is very small cream like bugs.Any idea what they are and how to treat.

Vegetables in the garden are divided into 4 plots-brassicas, alliums legumes, roots-potatoes planted elsewhere-I only want to use one section over the winter/spring period-this year’s allium plot – can I sow/plant from all grps in this area regardless of usual rotation cycle-and then resume the usual rotation cycle next year?

I grew onions last year in a raised bed. It was the first time I planted onions in it. I had a few different types. I was late picking them but when I did I noticed the white onions were eaten all around the neck. They are not rotting but they seem cleanly eaten from … read more

My turnips are brown in centre look perfect on outside .what causes this and how can I treat for next year .This is second year it has happened all other root veg perfect.

Got a great carrot harvest having protected from c. fly with mesh surround.Now picking some carrots that show signs of rotting down to tail (not all), these have a black soil effect on them.These are Autumn King, my early Nantes not affected.What is the cause and prevention.

I seem to have a problem with getting my swedes to swell to any reasonable size, they have plenty water and rich soil.

I am new to growing veg in Ireland and would welcome some advice on what will grow in windy wet climate with sea air, The garden is high on moorland. I have built a couple of raised beds as the ground is very stony.can you recommend any publications that might be useful?

What causes the black marks in pototoes.When I peel some potatoes the have black marks in them. I cut these out and the cook the potatoesCould you please tell me what causes the black marks?

I read the piece on how to grow rhubarb – I would like to bring a stool of rhubarb from one house to another. Is now the time to do it. How do you know where to cut it and what does “crown” mean?. I have a small garden to put the new rhubarb in … read more

What veg can I sew now (Sept)?

How do i control caterpillars on a crop of cabbage plants. They were planted about a month ago and were doing really well but have since being savaged by caterpillars. I don’t think these plants can be salvaged but if i plant another batch how do i protect them? They were planted outdoors and were … read more

I have loads of rhurarb in the garden can it be stewed and put in the freezer.

we have planted swede in June. we checked one of the plants ,there does not seem any thing growing under the soil there is leaves on all the plants could the amount of rain be effecting the growth of them or is it to early for them to form.

My turnips are ready for harvest and rotten in the middle. The outside is perfect and no evidence of pest infestation. My soil could be on the dry side


We had a vegetable patch last summer (2009) and it was a success. We could not put the time into this year and now it is overgrown. In preparation for next year I am thinking of spraying some rambo/roundup on it before the winter sets in. Would this be ok?

I am very much a new gardner and have just had my lawn mowed for the first time. I would like to try my hand at growing some vegetables. So my questions are : Are there any preparations that the soil would would need please.Also what vegetables are good for beginners to start off with … read more

are there any vegetable combinations that should not be planted near or beside each other? i was going to plant say a head of cabbage at the end of each drill of potatoes to maximise the space i have, rather than a patch of cabbage heads. my space is limited so i am looking at … read more

I got these seed heads recently and have no idea what they are except they are not a cape gooseberry and have a mauve colour flower. Do you have any idea what it might be?

We have 5 large vegetable plots which we would like to plant green manure in over winter, could you advise me as to what is best to grow and also any stockists as we dont seem to be able to find any anywhere.

I have recently read about lasagne gardening in a US magazine. Do you know anything about it.

how do i know when swede plants are ready to be harvested.

My British Queens & Kerrs Pinks have developed a scab, some covered 100%. The soil is dense stoneless riverbank clay. Would appreciate your opinion.

Making raised beds at the moment and i was wondering what type of soil should i put them because the soil in the ground is stony. Should i put multi purpose compost or or something different?

I think I picked up some unusual runner beans at an organic food festival in Bristol last year.I planted the seeds this year and the plants have produced some lovely beans which have a pale green base colour and are mottled with burgundy red squiggles. Do they have a known variety and are they eatable?

garlic flowers in olive oil fermenting dangerous?

I raised “tromboncino” trailing courgette from seed. Put one outside….very successful plenty courgettes. Put another inside greenhouse. Huge leaves plenty flowers but no courgette? What pollinates courgettes? Is it too hot in greenhouse for insects which might carry out pollination of these plants. Great crop of tomatoes in same greenhouse

My carrots all have huge leafy healthy-looking tops but make very small roots. What am I doing wrong?

I hope to pick onions from the garden for the first time during the week, and i am keen to know how best to store them. I would intend to store them in the garage.

My sweetcorn have black flies all over the sliks – what do i do?

Are carrot fly still laying eggs?and if not can I nowremove my defence barrier of garden fleece?

My parsnip plants have started to get brown patches on the leaves. Do you know what this could be? I used to have them covered and uncovered them about three weeks ago.

I have recently started collecting seed potatoes for storage. At the moment i am storing them in a paper potato sack.In a dark location.Is this ok and do you have any other advice as Regards storing seed potatoe and propagation? If blight is contracted how does this affect the seed potato?

My mangetout plants,although still cropping well,have contracted mildew.When finished cropping,can I put them on the compost heap?

I recently got free compost in coolock recycling centre. I’m wondering how organic is compost from municipal brown bins? Should i only use it on ornamental plants and not on my vegetables?

Can I grow coriander in a pot in a greenhouse I was told I could not get it here but is it available?

This year my garlic bulbs have mildew on the tubers ,I had to take them out of the garden early. Could you please tell me the reason?

I am a novice veg gardener this year with an allotment and would appreciate some help. I am currently harvesting summer cabbage (Yippee) while I have winter cabbages to be planted out: my question – Do I plant the winter cabbages in the current cabbage plot or do I put them in the roots plot.

My rooster potato leaves are holed and eaten badly and also my beetroot leaves have suffered a similar faith but the leaves of my sarpo mira potatoes next to the roosters are only barely touched . when i examine the leaves i cant see anything on them,no insects or caterpillars but always a couple of … read more

Which garden veg can I freeze for Winter? I grow shallots, onions, peas, broad beans, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, spring onions, pak choi and courgette and leek.

This year I have grown broccoli, which was gorgeous to eat. Now however, when I cut the little off shoots, they are loaded with caterpillars, and even after steeping broccoli in salted water, there are still caterpillars which are so small they are difficult to see, so they end up getting steamed! The leaves are … read more

Shiny green beetle eating rhubarb leaves. How do you get rid of it?

I grew calabrese from plants bought in my local garden centre. Very dissapointed as the heads were very small and very quickly went to seed. I cut the heads off to try to encourage side shoots but little was happening so I have pulled them up. Soil is quite heavy but well manured and plenty … read more

My basil is being eaten away by something, I have put slug pellets down but I can’t find what is eating it, could it be a spider?

I have small parsnip plants which I have had covered with a netting tent. I was wondering if I should take it off as it limits the amount of sunlight reaching the seedlings or should I leave it on to prevent any bugs getting at the plants.

I have grown potatoes in containers this year and, unfortunately, they have blight. I have cut off the haulms and am eating the spuds as fast as I can!What should I do with the spent compost in these containers? Can it go on my garden compost heap or to the municipal composting site?

I have grown British Queen from certified seed i have a lot of small potatoes can I use these as seed next year and if yes how can I store them

I have just stated harvesting caulifowers but notice the larger ones have developed a purple tinge, the discolouration seems to be confined to the surface. some leaves also have a touch of purple, is this a disease?

I’d appreciate any advice on harvesting my onions and potatoes. Spuds are Duke of York, and they have profuse foliage but few blossoms. (I have just read they are prone to blight! Ick!)Onions are poking their “shoulders” up above the surface, and looking very healthy – they are Red Baron and Sturon. The books say … read more

I sowed pumpkins seeds and was able to plant two very healthy plants outside in well manured soil. They are now growing extremely well and and have produced about ten fruit around the size of a golfball. Should I leave them all grow away or reduce the numbers to increase the size of a few. … read more

The attached photo shows a mettalic green and/or gold beetle of about 5mm, that I cannot identify, which is destroying my Victoria rhubarb. What is the name of the beetle and how can I control it?

I have just lifted my onions and garlic from their raised beds. What would be the best way to deal with these beds now? Could they be used for another follow-on crop or would it be better if they were manured, covered and left until next year.

I am growing courgettes in a polytunnel. However the fruits are turning rotten from the flower end. This happens when the fruits are small (about 2-3 inches.I tried growing courgettes outside last year and the same thing happened. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

I planted swede turnips in April and some of them are growing a large stem with a yellow flower. Is this normal.also the turnips seem to be flat underneath unlike other types?

If i mix the potatoes stalks with what i already have in the compost bin will it decompose or do i need to use chemicals to break it up?

I have been growing runner beans for the past few years and have never had any problems. This year everthing was perfect until a couple of days ago when suddenly a whole lot of the leaves shriveled up as if they needed water. I watered them but the problem persists. Is this some kind of … read more

I have a “potato bag” and wonder if I can still plant some and expect a crop later this yearI haveno real ground space (apartment living) and would get agreat thrill t get any sort of crop.Any suggestions?

a variety for sowing now after potatoes

My father has grown potatoes in the same plot for many years.In the last year or 2 the potatoes do not thrive as well as previously,we are wondering if the soil is lacking in minerals, any advice?

I have been growing sweetcorn for a few months now!they are growing very slow but the stalks are very strong and healthy looking!what can i do to help them grow better or whats the problem!

Can you please advise best solution to destroy an active wasps nest which has taken over the compost bin. They can be seen entering and exiting from underneath the plastic lid.

This is a photo of the underleaf of one of my cabbage plants. Is this caterpillar damage or what is your opinion?

I planted early potatoes in march Home guard and British queens. I also planted Kerr pinks and Golden wonders as late potatoes. The late potatoes are all flowering but no sign of a flower on the earlies. Is there a problem ?

I have found non- flying flies in the dirt around my lettuce. They are walking all around and are fairly slow – I can catch them if I get them before they burrow back into the dirt. What are they and how can I get rid of them?

I have potatoes in tubs all in fresh multipurpose compost with added Osmocote, religiously watered. In the last 2 weeks some leaves have yellowed between the veins and turned brown. There is no sign of any mould. Dr Hessayon’s book (The Vegetable Expert) suggests it could be magnesium deficiency. If you think this is likely, … read more

I’m not sure of the brand but I bought 2nd early potatoes in Woodies and I planted them in the fold-up tubs that they sold (circa 60cm high). I brought the earth bit by bit to within 15cm of the rim of the tub. I now have 2 ft st green stalks coming out of … read more

I was wondering if you could help me to find a sollution to keep caterpillars away from my cabbages and broccolis!

I planted out very mature Sprouting Plants last Saturday and about 25% of them have this on them.I have brought it around to thg local Garden Centres and they have never seen it. Do y0u know what it is and do I need to do anything about it?It is speading very quickly in the infected … read more

I planted my garlic in March of this year, and the plants are nearly 2 ft tall, with the leaves beginning to turn yellow. When should these be ready for harvesting? Most people seem to have planted last August/September, and am wondering did I plant my garlic too late?

Just noticed that some of our cabbages, which are fairly well matured, have gone very limp and dying off. we lifted one to discover the root eaten by little white worms. What are these and are the rest of the cabbages likely to get infected? thank you

I have a tunnel and i have a weed i cant get rid of its like shamrock and roots into the plants like a miniture carrots. It has ruined a orchid i have when i pull it the hundred more roots ah!

Just wondering if you have any tips on planting cabbages. I have planted 2 “Gortahork” cabbages and vatious magazine or books have suggested using felt collars. What is your opinion?

which vegetables can I sow in June?

Is it true that nettle brew is a good nutrient for veg plots, lawns & shrubs compared to other enhancers or do you still need to give those areas another fertilisers boost.

Can you compost rhubarb leaves?

all my potatos have their leaves curling up what be the problem and all my onions have died

I want to construct a herb garden,could you please tell me what herbs are perennial. My Grandson is a chef and the herbs would come in very useful for him.

i have swede sown i need to thin them out can i replant the young plants i take out, will they grow as normal i did replant some last year but they just went to seed and i got no veg from them Thanking you for all your help

Please advise suitable total weedkiller for use around outside around polytunnel.

Could you please tell what plants like Ammonia Mostly in the veg plot

I have grown broad beans for the first time they are now 5ft tall and have flowers but it looks like the little pod is all black at the end where the flower were, have they died and what can i do?

I sowed Sprouting Broccoli(Early Purple) indoors earlier in the year and put the seedlings out in the ground in a seedbed.They are now getting seriously big and will very soon be too big to transplant. The seed packet was talking about July or August for permanent positions.I don’t think I can wait very much longer.Can … read more

A large number of my cabbages seem to have lost all their roots and whats left have what looks like tiny maggots in them.Is this the cabbage root fly and if so how do i get rid of them?

I have cauliflower plants which are going limp and dying.When I pull them up I find a small white maggot 5mm long has eated through the root just below the stem, Could you advise?

I got some seed potatoes this week from a friend , is it too late to sow outdoors and if not how deep should I sow them.

My early potato tops have grown to 18 inches high, should I pinch out the tops and can I compost them?

Please advise when do you lift yellow onions?

A lot of my vegetables are being eaten, not by slugs, but by something which is making holes in the leaves. For example, my seedling lettuce plants are being destroyed: they look like lace! What might this be and what can I do?

I planted carrot seeds and onion seeds about 3 weeks ago when should I see results as there is nothing yet.

I sowed carrots and parsnips in the last week of April, they are now just starting to show leaves/stems, is there any fertilizer i could apply to give them a boost. Also i have good cabbage plants, should some of the leaves be removed to help the head form better?

I am growing 8 rows of potatoes about 12 feet long. A couple of the stalks in the middle of the rows are wilting. What could cause this? frances

i sowed some roosters about 4 weeks ago and they are not up yet, i also sowed records on thesame day and these are well up. Should i take out the roosters and could i put someother variety in or is it to late?

I have sweetcocrn growing in a raised bed under a plastic tunnel. it shooted up at first, bout a month or so ago but it seems to have stopped growing at about 2 inches. any advice. also sowed scallions next to them with a no show. looking forward to hearing from you

I’ve heard that vinegar can be used as a weedkiller. But it needs to be stronger than thehousehold variety. Any experience of that , and where could you buy a stronger solution of vinegar ?

One of my early potato plants has black/brown bits on leaves, could this be blight? Its only one plant, the rest seem fine.

Can sweetcorn be grown in pots as I am running out of space in my veg garden?

Lettuce plants growing nicely then recently at least four have ‘flopped’ and ‘wilted’ . When lifting off the leaves no roots attached just as though they have broken off at base. One plant looked perfectly healthy yesterday morning and by late afternoon it had ‘flopped’. Slug bait all around, even egg shells as well. Have … read more

From a friend, I got what was called a ‘Spinach Tree’, no further info was given. Any idea, what kind of plant/care/use?

I sprayed weeds in my veg patch with Roundup last week. When can I plant veg into that ground next?

I recent bought a thyme plant from a local food store. The plant has very soft stems and is not very woody. My question is if I plant this thyme out will it get that bit more woody? Should I harden the plant off first before setting it outside?

I planted seedling carrots outside over the last few weeks and some disappeared. I assumed they just didn’t make it but on closer inspection something seems to have eaten the leaves. I haven’t spotted slugs or snails and have beer traps. It’s my first time growing carrots. Could it be something else?

I have used a mixture of washing soda and blue stone on my potatoes to prevent blightbut i am not sure how often i should spray them

We started a veg.garden plot this year everything is going fine until I went to the ploy today and noticed cabbage plants which I planted about three weeks ago and to discover leaves on some plants and 5 or so complete plants were eaten. I scattered slug pellets on the ground when I discovered the … read more

I have grown onion sets put them in March the tops have grown to about 12″ but the onions have not grown at all and feel very soft to touch as if empty inside, what have i done wrong can you help please?

Some of the onions planted have bolted . Can you suggest why this should happen. Do I remove them or let them grow on . Are they edible?

I know they are poisonous to humans but are there any good reasons why I should not spread rhubarb leaves around the foot of other plants to prevent weeds from coming up?

Potato plants have succumbed to frost in recent nights. Do they need to be lifted or will they come again. I have seed potatoes left and can replace if need be.

What is the best organic fertilizer to use for cabbage plants. Is chicken manure pellets ok for cabbage and what about the use of seaweed for potatoes. Whats best for carrots and parsnips?

About 3 rows out from hedge all bassicas are being cut off at ground level, I think it might be cutworm, but the plants are feft lying there and are not being eaten. Would cardboard circular cutouts at ground level stop this mayhem ?

I am growing potatoes for the first time (2nd earlies) and they appear to be going well. When do I need to spray them (assuming I do) and what do you recommend?

potatos are up about 6 inchs when do i start to earth them and spray for blight?

Don’t know whether you can help me with this one want to make rhubarb jam with my surplus and as its low in natural pectin I wondered if you knew where I can buy it in Dublin. Have googled but nothing comes up.

Are red ants capable of eating vegetables growing. Just that i have a garden patch fenced off from rabbits. but there is something nibbling the top of my vegetables. Mainly spring onions and parsley. did notice red ants close by!

This beetroot survived the extreme frosts and has grown very well with mostly top leaves and the beetroot under ground is NOT maturing. I am feeding once a week with tomatoe feed. for the past 4 weeks. will i continue in this fashion or clear them all out as a lost cause.

I planted rhubarb in a shady patch of my garden last year, but moved it in spring to a sunny position once I learnt it needs a sunny location. There is a lot of growth on the plant now (end April) but all the stalks are green, and the centre stalk has gone to flower … read more

Can i use sleepers around a raised vegetable patch that have been treated with cresote.

As nemaslug contains microscopic eelworm will it cause a problem for my potato crop?

i’ve been given a recipe for prevention of caterpillers on crops -.garlic clove boiled in water diluted 10/1. can you tell me when i use this ? can it sprayed or watered on when plants have just been planted out?

I have coriander, basil and parsley growing on my window sill. In the last day or so i have found greenfly on the corriander. Should i throw the plant out or can it be treated?

Do you know by any chance where can I find here horseradish? I had so much fun collecting the veggie seeds offfered by you in the Irish Daily Mail – the salad mix and the rocket are already out, can’t wait to eat them. And now I am looking forward to collect the flower seeds.

I wanted to plant early york cabbage seed to grow plants from. You recommended april or greyhound in a previous question and said they were heart shaped heads. Ive been told early york is round/ball headed in our area. Is there a round headed seed varietity of early york and if so what is the … read more

I have about 30 healthy Asparagus(Connovers Collosal) seedlings but I don’t have a permanent bed ready for them.The seedlings are now about 10 weeks old.Is it possible to plant them temporarily(possibly but not necessarily until next year),allow the crowns to develop and them plant them on permanently.I suppose the question I am asking is the … read more

Last year I commenced a three year rotation plan in my raised beds. The ground was not used for veg before and was covered in docks with some nettles spread between them indicating quite an acid soil. In the first year of crop rotation my kale did well, cabbage less so, and swede not good … read more

Can i grow potatoes, carrots and leeks in a glasshouse?

is it possible to grow onions in a hot house successfully?

my early potatoes are up about 2 inches but the heavy frost on tuesday night has turned all the leaves black are the potatoes ok or do i need to start again?

i planted some potatoes for the first time and i think i may have not left enough room between the drills. it is roughly a foot between each drill. will this affect the quality badly? i am earthing up the drills as the shoots are now growing. i saw on gardening programme on BBC last … read more

We have just completed planting our new veg plot. We shielded it off with lettuce wire aprox 1.5 foot high to prevent rabits from entering, only to discover all our young veg eaten this morning! Any suggestion on how to prevent this happening??

As Nemaslug contains microscopic eelworm will it cause a problem with eelworm in my potato crop?

I have started some sweetcorn off in small pots in greenhouse now are 4″ tall can i put them in bigger pots and how many can I put in?

Is there cabbage that you can leave in the ground and just pull the leaves off as you need them? The same applies to lettuce,

I bought some rhubard which was red in the advert but it is very green. What can I do to make it red?

I have some main crop potatoes King Edward. Is it too late to plant them? There seems to be so much frost around and very little growth here in Kildare.

I want to grow potatoes and vegetables organically, whats the best way to do this and how do you fight potato blight with out using chemicals.

I have never grown garlic . Where can i buy bulbs. What do you recommend i buy any tips.

I grow on a balcony and am growing “Hestia” dwarf runner beans, as well as sweet peas in containers. Being members of the legume family, they will leave the soil enriched with nitrogen when they are finished in late summer/autumn. My question is how I can harness this enriched soil to grow plants in these … read more

I want to plant get going with my carrot seeds however I keep reading about adding sand to the soil but what kind of sand. Obviously not beach sand but can you use sand they sell in woodies and the like for kids sandpits? If not where do I get it and what is it … read more

Is growing potatoes in barrells or bags a success and less streneous. Where can I obtain barrells or bags at reasonable price.

Can you please identify this insect. I live in Lanzarote, soil is very hard, virtually no water retention. This insect does not appear above surface, what solution is required. Eats root veg?

We are preparing a small area of garden to put raised beds in to grow some vegetables for the first time and have found numerous June Beetles in various stages of development. Should we continue to prepare the ground or is it a waste of time. Is there any control we can apply safely given … read more

What type of spray can i use for weeds on potatoes planted about 3 weeks not up yet. I have 1/4 of an acre of them

Very well established pampas grass killed by frost. Have almost killed myself, removing all the base plant. Thinking of siting a raised bed here now for vegetables . Any danger of any roots re-shooting into my veg? would you consider cardboard or black fabric on the base?

We’re working in school garden of special school, Glasnevin. Have just planted bean plants and worried about slugs. Was at seminar a month ago in Botanic Gardens and heard Nemaslug recommended. Please advise if this is a good option to use in 1 metre square vegetable plot for controlling slug?

I’m being invaded with millipedes, what can I spray on them or how can I prevent them coming into the house & going up the outside walls? Please help!

I found this while digging over in my polytunnel and cannot find an ID for it-can you help me out?

I have a 2 acre field which I would like to use for growing vegetables but I’m not sure where to start. It’s a level field and good grass. I want to grow potatoes, carrotts etc. There was corn grown in it 3 yrs ago but nothing since. I’m not very green fingered but really … read more

What is your advice with regard to light ploughing (8-12 inch), rotavating and then planting vegetables over a percolation area?

how is 10-10-20 used on potatoes and veg garden in general (before or after planting, is there a need to turn over soil after spreading) and is the procedure repeated during the growing season.

I have been growing potatoes in this garden since 1978. I have got good tields for some time but recently the yield is down a lot. I have found that the stalks wilt at a time when the the potatoes would normally be good. I have rotated them every year and have sprayed them with … read more

When planting garlic do you plant the whole bulb or do you devide the cloves and plant individually ?

I bought 4″ tall local Brussel sprout plants but am unsure when to put in ground since it has been so chilly here in Zone 8 East, NC. When would be best and what do I do with them in the meantime?

which is the best layout when sowing potatoes – ridges or drills and why?

Can I sow carrots seeds and put down early seed potatoes now or should I wait until the weather improves. Still frosty in mornings

I’m going to start plating veg from seeds in the back garden. I’ve already dug up weeds and grass and am just wondering can you give me any advise before I plant the seeds.

I have had my rhubarb under pots for the winter to get them to come up early..there is signs of shoots now..would it be ok 2 take covers off now or should i wait til frosts are completely gone?

I want to grow my own mushrooms. Can you tell me what i need and i how i can start? I want to grow field mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms.

What yield do you get out of one potato haulm?

What is a good fertiliser for potatoes apart from farmyard manure?

An unusual problem. My cat has urinated on my seed potatoes. I have put them out in the air to dry. Is that ok or will I need to buy new seed potatoes?

i am a beginner and started broad bean seeds off in the greenhouse, they are now 4″ tall and looking well but they have got black shiny spots on the stems, the greenhouse has been heated, dont know what to do.

I have early potatoes sprouting for the last three weeks. Is it to early to plant them due to the current cold weather

My Turnips for last two years have been hollow in center .look perfect untill you cut. I have been told to use boron on them when young .what is Boron ,Where can it be got and how do you apply it. My other root veg are perfect

I’m planning to grow onions for the first time. I have grown other veg, and my approach is to protect the crop from the problems it suffered in previous years.While I see that onions can suffer a number of problems including white rot, onion fly, etc, I’m wondering which problems are common in Ireland or … read more

Can you advise regarding moss growth on tarmacadam driveway? Also what is the best time to plant seed onions?

Am looking for some old fashioned seed potatoes, any suggestions?

We have grown chicory Witloof for many years. We bring the roots in pots covered with garden soil into a warmish , dark kitchen cupboard. We get lovely salad leaves after about 3 weeks but would love to know how to produce hearts. By mistake my husband planted a root upside down and this produced … read more

Is there anything that can be sown outdoors in the soil now in February? parsnips or cabbage or carrots etc i have it in my head that parsnips can be sown outdoors even in January

What type of fertiliser should i use for my veg patch i have my own compost i don’t think that is enough though

My garden soil is very hard, in dry weather it is like concrete hindering the growth of vegetables, my potatoes failed last year, the onions sets didnot grow in size. Tilling this is difficult even with a mechanical tiller. What can I do to make his soil gardenable as the gardening season is about to … read more

I have been making my own compost in a bought plastic bin…but have discovered the hatch off and compost thrown around at the base. I am guessing it is rats as we live in the country…was planning on using it for the vegetables and fruit as a mulch/feed…is it now safe to use at all? … read more

My allotment has bog/peat soil and has been really wet so it’s been impossible to dig up over winter. Is it too late now to dig over and spread manure?

I am doing a bit of landscaping to put in new vegetable beds, First time gardener so a little clueless. In my lawn there are areas near trees and the grass is missing in patches replaced by some weed. When i dig it out it goes very deep with long thick tuber like roots. They … read more

A proportion of our onions, last year and the year before, bifurcated, making them a real pain to prepare for cooking! We have very good soil which we feed with seaweed, compost and well rotted horse manure. No-one else in our local GIY group had experienced the problem or could suggest a cause. The red … read more

We are going to be away for the months of June and July. Is there any point in planting early potatoes. What variety potato and time should we plant to have potatoes when we come back in August?

It is recommended to tie together leaves of some vegetables. I tried that with Chin. L. as well as with End. But the C.L. started to rot in the heart, perhaps because of the water trapped inside. The End. became a victim of slugs, wilting and rot under the bucket I put over them. (Covering … read more

Is it to late to plant garlic,if not should i plant them in a polytunnel or outside?

Can I build a raised bed over gravel?

I live in a town with a small back yard with graveland i want to sow some veg. in it. How do i do it?

I have acquired a load of old used mushroom compost and don’t know which areas of my garden it is ok to use in or what ratio to soil to use it? I have raised beds, spuds area, greenhouse, fruit trees and ornamental garden

Built a house in 2005 put lawns in 2006.Site is at top of slight hill, but site .6 of an acre is relativeely flat, land falls towards front. Mole drained the lawn area following fall of land. There still seems to be a flat area that remains wet. This area is at rear of house … read more

I have been plagued in recent years with the fly & I wondered if the deep freeze we have experienced would kill the fly larvae, as the ground was frozen to such a depth.

Where can I buy top soil for delivery in Dublin.How much do I need for a raised bed 6 feet by 3 feet?Will i need to add compost before I grow vegetables in it?

Can I add fresh horse manure to my compost bin or should I store it somewhere else for a period? I make compost in a purposemade plastic bin but find that it is very slow to turn into compost even though it is composed of grass, old plants, veg etc. Would the addition of the … read more

Every year my brocolli is invaded by caterpillars, I have dealt with this previously by picking them off or using a spray to kill them.However, i would prefer to try to keep them at bay using a net (if possible?), what mesh size would the net need to be in order to be effective?

What can I do with the stalks from cabbages and sprouts which have gone to seed? The leaves and the sprouts are fine for the compost but the stalks are too strong to break down.

We have a large garden with heavy marl soil that water sits on after rain. In dry weather in summer it dries and cracks. Is it worth while trying to drain this?. The soil can be dark and sticky and is difficult to dig. Last spring I tried to grow vegetables and fruit bushes in … read more

This year gone by was the first year i had a vegatable garden. I had a lot of dock leave weeds, should i spray the garden now in preparation for next spring. Also due to bad weather i did not get a chance to dig out 2 ridges of potatoes, what should i do with … read more

what organic fertilizer can you use to(a) increase potassium levels(b) increase phosphorus levels(c) increase nitrogen levelsApart from using farmyard manure of course!

I purchased small celeriac plants from a garden centre and planted in raised bed. They grew very well – went to seed…. but when I went to pull them last week, there was a healthy root structure but no tuber to cook with? I pulled five .. but still have one in the veg. plot? … read more

Is it a good time to move rhubarb now to different location? Read somewhere that its good to leave crowns/roots exposed to frost for more tender, red stalks. Is this true?

I am having problems with my sprouts in my allotment. They have lost a lot leaves (spotted first and fell). They are like minature loose cabbages. They fall apart when I remove from stalk. Any ideas?

I have always grown veg like onions potatoes peas and such but now my hubby has concreted our garden for his boat , I can find info on growing a few toms and lettuce peppers but I miss eating peas fresh from the pod. Can you advise me if growing large veg in pots is … read more

I grew four varieties of potatoes this year-sarpo mira

Can I grow butternut squash in Ireland and when would I plant it.

I put down a good few potatoes this year for myself and the rest of the family, about 550 metres of drills. It is completely planted with Roosters and they are excellent to eat. They got the blight after 4 months despite intensive spraying with Dithane and I was advised by a gent in Teagasc … read more

I am new to your site and I am really learning a lot from it. My question is I am putting in some raised beds to grow some veg and need advice on what I should be doing to have them ready for planting in Spring and is it too late to plant winter veg … read more

I was reading an answer to a question about turnips I also have this problem (Hollow centers & bad centers) have tried different soils to no avail . Can you tell me what type of fertilizer is BORON would it be in 10-10-20?

New to veg growing this past year and only started in May 2009. I didn’t use raised beds nor did i use manure. My carrots & parsnips didn’t mature to the size that i would have expected, while my peas were difficult to hold up the stems. Any tips how to improve for next year.

Pumpkin grew great but the fruit is very small. Can it still be used at halloween? there’s 3 weeks left

My pumpkins are growing very well. however the foliage was severely affected by the frost yesterday morning. will the pumpkins themselves be ok?

Last year my butternut squash hardly germinated. this year they grew fairly well but then suddenly died off. is it a weather issue?

Attempted to grow Turnips for the first time this year. Harvest two and found when i cut it down the middle there was a hole in the middle. It looked like it never developed. The looked fine from the outside.I did cut a smaller turnip in half and found the middle looked ok.I would have … read more

I had Egyptian tree onions in a veg garden some 20 years ago and would like to know where i could find some more . I have tried a lot of garden centres but to no avail. If you could help me I would be greatful.

recently picked onions have a little milldew on the inner skin what has caused this . I suppose there is no cure for this year . How can i prevent this happening next year?

My questions are :Is it okay to use dead grass cuttings as a fertilizer on raised beds in my vegetable garden? Would leaving your grass cuttings on the lawn aid fertilization of the ground?

Do you know any Irish suppliers of the natural insecticide “diatomaceous earth” ?


This might be a silly question but … my brocolli plants are no longer producing heads, main head and side shoots have being picked, can I pull up the plants and grow something else in its place or is there something else to come!

what plants can I put in the allotments this time of year? (I have planted spring cabbge)

My fennel has bolted and gone to seed thanks to the wonderful mix of weather we have been having. If I cut back the flowers will the bulbs fatten up or is it a lost cause. My first time growing them.

It is obviously too late now to save my Brussels sprouts and broccoli from the ravages of caterpillars. We used netting, but it was apparently not a fine enough mesh. But what about next year? I do NOT want to use the insecticides you suggest… a bit surprised that you did! Am always concerned about … read more

I am looking for advice on how to create a compost heap, i have lawn cuttings, also this year i have planted a vegatable garden. Can i put old potatoe stalks, cabbage leaves, carrot leaves etc in to a compost heap. Should the compost heap have a concrete base.

I have been told that RATTE potatoes are very very good. Where can I purchase some RATTE seed potatoes.

I am thinking of taking an allotment I have just seen. It is in a bawn field It has been ploughed I can get farm yard manure and bark I will grow spuds carrots onions etc on it What can I do from now till spring Should I put on plenty of manure now or … read more

I’ve made and used nettle manure, but I believe dandelions and borage can be used in the same way – is this so, and do they complement the nutrients in nettle mixture or are they to be used separately?

Considering purchasing a garden composter, one that can be ‘turned’ daily by a handle on the exterior.Adverts say compost would be ready within about 6 weeks, how can this work if only one ‘chamber’ inside and each day new vegetation etc. would be added.

Can you tell me when the best time to grow welsh onion seeds and plant out are?

I’m a first time veg gardener and was wondering how long I have to keep spraying my potatoes with Dithane? There is some blight in the crop but I’ve been removing those plants as far as possible. Will the healthier plants give me bigger potatoes if I keep spraying? I’ve been getting conflicting advice from … read more

I was watching Gardeners World a few weeks ago and was interested in the section where, once the vegtables have been havested, I could plant some seeds which would prevent weeds growing and then could be used as fertiliser later. A friend of mine has suggested mustard seed but I think the presenter mentioned other … read more

Potatoes(Queens) have been very small this year. some stalks have very little under them. need to dig a few stalks for dinner. potatoes are lovely and floury. 2nd year growing spuds here. put in farmyard manure before setting, then after few weeks added organic fertiliser. trying to use as little chemicals as possible. any suggestions … read more

My neighbour’s potatoes have been attacked by wireworm over the last couple of seasons and he has been told that growing mustard seed and ploughing it into the ground would get rid of them.He is keen to try it but would like more information before he does,also is mustard seed available in Ireland and are … read more

The compost in my compost bin is very wet, I tried to put it through my garden rotary sieve but it was just muck. Any suggestions?

my sharps express potatoes are starting to turn green after two weeks in storage. they are in a dark house with little light and some are covered but they are also turning green. They are seed that I kept from last year.

I purchased a coriander plant from the supermarket and have kept it watered and and in the sun (on a windowsill) however it’s begining to wilt quite badly.What am I doing wrong?

I have grown Butternut Squash for the first time this year. How do I know when they are ready? Do they turn yellow once they get picked or do I have to wait for them to turn yellow before picking? Any advice would be appreciated.

I have a small allotment and I think I have blight .There are some good people on the site but all have different ideas one says yes another says no is there some place I can send a sample to confirm if I have same.

What vegetables, if I sow them now, will be ready for Christmas?

Because of this inclement weather i brought my two varieties of runner beans into my polytunnel.they have developed a pest which is making the pods mold. how can i treat this pest?

Having difficulty purchasing garlic seed for autumn planting. germidour white pearl can you help.

I am planning ahead re growing veg. and have come across idea of using ‘seeds on carpet’. Do you have any advice re same…good or bad…advantages or diadvantage..

We were told not to use Basic Slag on our allotment as it can spread CLUB ROOT in the ground Thank you

Surely by now someone has invented an efficient tool to dig up potatoes without damaging them? I feel so disappointed when I accidentally slice or prong a spud when I’m digging them up. Do you have any ideas re: a non-damaging way to dig up spuds? This question refers to small scale potato production in … read more

It is called that around these areas, but it enters the spud and eats it way thru. It can devestate a crop in no time. Tell tale signs is a hole in the spud and its hollowed out. probaly some fancy name on it but I don-t know it. Informed that I must cease to … read more

can you please tell me what vegetable i could plant in the garden now?

My carrots are splitting just as they are getting to a good size. Almost as if there was an explosion.

I was just wondering if there are any weedkillers out there that can be used on an organic allotment. if not what is the closest to organic available. We went away for 2 weeks and things have been completely swamped. Thanks michael

Where can I purchase Hative de niort Shallots for showing 2010

My cauliflower plants have all gone to seed. I bought them as plants and planted them in the garden in May. Is there something I should have done to prevent this happening?

Some of the leaves of my potato plants are turning yellow, in fact one or two have shrivelled up and died. I dont think it’s blight because I’ve been spraying them with dithane regularly. Could it just be bad seed? Thanks M

I would like to plant some cabbage SEEDS in August, that will give me bare Root cabbage transplants for sale and planting next Spring.Is it possible to get the Traditional Early York Seeds and where ?Or what would be a suitable alternative that you would suggest ?

What causes premature courgettes to drop off the plant when only about 1 inch long

You have touched on mustard as a green manure. Are there others and which best for a veg garden in your opinion?

Can you recommend a variety of Florence fennel that will form proper bulbs instead of long thin leaf bases?

I was told that a great way to protect cabbages was to place rhubarb leaves in water and bring to the boil. Once boiled, allow for the water to cool down and then add a small amount of washing up liquid. You then spray your cabbages with the water and the washing up liquid allows … read more

What best to spray with used to use dithane, gone off market

We had a problem with green fly on our small patch of potatos so we sprayed them with Rose Clear. We later read that this should not be used on vegetables. Is that direct contact eg lettuce or should we discard these potatos now.

This years project is grow as many herbs as possible Only one failed me –Basil — I tried seeds and I bought some plants but no luck ANY TRICKS iS IT TOO LATE TO TRY AGAIN THIS YEAR iS IT AN ANNNUAL PLANT ONLY Thanks kay

I have read your advice about where to plant leeks but at what time of the year should I do so. Also is it possible to get starter leeks or would I be better to plant seeds. I don’t have a greenhouse but do have a shed that is very light.

I set up 3 raised beds and planted plugs and seeds early April, mixture of onions, celery, cabbages, broccolli, carrots, etc. most of the veg (cabbages & onions excluded) have bolted. When I set up the beds I dug up soil well and added 1 bag “Gee up” manure and 2 bags of moss peat … read more

I am having trouble with small maggott type creatures that appear between the top and bottom surfaces of the leaves and leave white tracks along the leaves of cabbage, brussells sprouts, kale, brocoli and even geraniums and other plants. What is this and what can I do to get rid of them?

Can you advise if it is normal to have a very bad smell from a wormery, if not how do I avoid it?

Cabbage grew to maturity. Within 2 weeks the centre of the heads burst and produced green shoots. What would have caused this and how can I prevent it?

What causes a plant (chard, lettuce) to bolt? Or: how to prevent that?

My broad beans flowered but now seems to be dying off, what is the cause what can i do for future prevention?

Is it ok to put ashes directly into earth where veg would be planted? Is it ok to put ashes into a compost bin?

I would love to see a pig composter in situ before investing. Any ideas or information on same would be appreciated.

I have a raised bed and have grown a number of different veg plants, however the courgette plants are huge, stalks and leaves are over shadowing the other plants and blocking their light. Is it possible to trim back some of the stalks and leaves, they look very strong and healthy.

Where can I buy nematode preparations for slug control?

I have small tomato like fruits growing on potato stalkswhat does this mean?

I have been composting household waste in a bin for about 9 months.In recent weeks the worms appear to me trying to migrate from the bin.They are coming out the top in droves.What is causing this?

I planted some strong spinach plants, but they have all gone to seed very early, what is the reason for this?

My problem is that on the cabbage leaves there is like white or grey spots and the following morning they leave big holes in them,i have a net and slug control in place it also effects lettuce and turnip leaves,thes are like stains on the leaves,thanks.

purple sprouting brocolli ,how to grow

what veg can i sow/plant fom july forward(as i have just prepared a small patch now

my broad bean pods and stems are covered with black spots. some of the beans are also infected what has happened them should i remove all of them mow and what should i do with the stalks any solutions please many thanks

what is the best way to store white turnip. can it be frozen as is, or does it have to be cooked first?

On some of my potatoes the flower has developed into what looks like a green seed ball. does this mean i have to dig them up immediately, can i use the seeds for sowing and lastly what is the best way of storing potatoes once i’ve dug them up or should i leave them in … read more

I’m using a good quality John Innes for growing veggies and it’s very successful this year. Can I reuse this compost next year if I remove roots and add some nutrients. If so what fertilizer would you suggest I go for and how much per sq ft.

Is it safe to keep using rhubarb after july ? or is this an old wives tail! mine is just 2 years old but has exploded in the last 2 weeks? seems a shame to waste it.

Planted Sarpo miras over 8- 10 wks ago , first time on this soil. Have noticed yellow leaves onthem for the last 10 days or so. What has gone wrong , do you think? I have only used farmyard manure in very small doses.

This year I have tried growing some vegetables in a raised bed off the ground about 2 feet. The seeds were set in a north-south orientation. I find that the growth rate in the centre of the rows is much greater, with the growth rate from the centre of each row tapering gradually down to … read more

The onions on our alottment the leafs turn GREY and floury like powder. What is it and is there a cure for this problem.

I planted a globe artichoke this year – bought plant , two artichokes have grown biggest about size of tennis ball, other golf ball; conflicting advise on whether 1. to allow to grow and eat or, 2. cut off as soon as it appears or 3.let grow and go to seed – am i too … read more

I’m a complete beginner at growing veg and the site has been great help. I’ve got some sugar snap peas growing and they’re about 1ft high but they’re starting to flower already. Is this normal, I thought they might grow a lot taller before they start this?

I have an allotment and have started to harvest cabbage and other things and was just wondering what i could be planting now to continue the growing season as long as possible.

I sprayed my earlies with Dithane once how soon can I harvest them after this spraying. It has not stopped the blight and I now want to harvets all the crop affected to prevent the blight getting to the roots.

I have been growing Courgettes for a number of years now and have some success, but some failures. Some of the courgette form and start to grow, but then begin to rot from the flower end when they are quite small. Out of about 10 courgettes this year, so far I have had three that … read more

I planted “early potatoes” in a potato barrell in late March. Looked after it, watered it etc. I have a lot of foliage but only one flower. Is this OK? Have not grown them before so am unsure if they are flourishing. Should I give them tomato feed? How often should they be watered? I … read more

should i lift my onions when they seem to be about to seed?

I’m growing cabbage and having major problems with caterpillars, how do I kill them organically or without poisoning us all?! I’ve tried salt but thats not working?

I have cauliflowers planted out from trays, in a newly created garden from a lawn, in early May.The leaves look healthy but the cauliflower is going discolored with green and pink. This appeared early in the growth of the cauliflower. Most plants are affected.

I have been told this could be blight & if I cut away affected leaves I can save the potatoes I am an organic grower so what do you say ?

We just closed off and put top soil into raised bed, we did not kill grass before hand, as we are new to vegetable growing, I am wondering if we can now start off some vegetables in our raised bed, or do we need to put in manure on top of the top soil. please … read more

I have great rhubarb stalks on first year rhubarb…about one inch thick…large leaves. can I use these as I heard they are not to be eaten until the second year. Also, can I cut it back due to the size at the moment ?

I’m planning to start a raised bed for vegetables this autumn/winter for planting next spring. I have lots of garden compost, but I’m worried about introducing slugs into the vegetable bed – they’ll find it quick enough anyway. Does Nemaslug harm worms, or does it only affect slugs?

I have made liquid feed from nettles, how long will it stay good for in plastic milk containers?

Last year some of my potato plants developed (what i can only describe as unripe tomatos green in colour) after flowering can you tell me what they were and was i right to throw them out.

as my cabbages etc are now maturing nicely is it safe to remove the netting covering the plants or are they still at risk?

My potato stalks have been eaten, leaves etc and just the stem left. I do not think it is slugs?

Is there anything I can buy to protect the cabbages and brocolli leaves being eaten by pigeons?

I’ve been spraying my potatoes with the bluestone mixture (copper sulphate & washing soda) but have noticed that the leaves near to the root of the plants are turning yellowish with brown scabs…is this blight? If so, is there anything further I should be doing?

I have a variety of cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi growing but they are succumbing to some kind of worm, I think they are cutworms but they are very small and white like tiny maggots. Any description I see of cutworms mentions one or two but there seems to be 4 or 5 per plant. is there … read more

I have been told that if i grow vegetables such as carrots the actual plant only lasts a year. I dont want to have to re-plant every year. im also not that experienced. I use my chicken manure as fertiliser as i like to be organic. i have sandy soil. what vegetables would you advise … read more

I planted my rhurbarb in a sunny/shady site in my garden,a few weeks now the leaves are being eaten away and the plant is wilting. What could cause this and is there any cures???

what is bolting? i’ve seen it in a few answers relating to growing veg…

I planted young pea plants in a raised bed and returned the next day to find most were eaten.I covered the remaing plants with plastic bottles for protection leaving the tops open for ventilation but still the plants were eaten.I thought at first it might be snails but there were no slime trails .Could the … read more

Rhubarb was growing o.k. Put organic compost around it 2 weeks ago and the leaves are turning yellow and stems are withering

I want to spray for Potato blight but would like to use the bluestone & washing soda remedy. How effective is this in comparison to newer remedies such as Ditane and do you know what the proportions of each (bluestone & washing soda)should be used?Many thanks

I have planted carrot seeds about 3 weeks ago , they had all started to come up and were about 2 cm, in the last couple of days they have disappeared, can you tell me if you think this is down to carrot fly or do slugs like to munch on the young seedlings? Do … read more

I planted runner bean seeds directly into the ground and 90% have come up quite strongly but all came up with yellowish leaves. Is this ok or is there a problem that I need to deal with.

just wondering how high up the stems do i earth and do i do it just once or a few times. first time growing spuds and want to get it right.

I planted onion sets last sept and last week I noticed that some are going into seed, what should I do should I harvest them or dead head them or are they ready to harvest.

This years Rhubarb has gone very thin and it was well manured with horse/household compost as it is every year. It was also split about 3 years ago. What can be done to improve it?

any tips on this you can see photos on my page

my broccoli(which were mistakenly sold as cabbage)are growing well but they have yellow flowers like rape seed flowers. they also have very small purplish broccoli-type flowers. is this normal?

I bought calabrese plants and planted them in my polytunnel , about 4 weeks ago. They have grown well but the leaves are loosing colour, becoming spotted and slightly pale or yellowish looking. Is this normal, are they thriving or dying?

I erected a 60cm white fleece around my carrots to prevent carrot fly. Unfortunately, where the carrot bed is situated, the white fleece is a bit of an eyesore. Ignoring the fleece, I have a timber wall surrounding my carrots (as a result of a raised bed) about 6” high which obviously won’t prevent carrot … read more

We are about to build a raised herb bed and wondered what type of soil is best. For years I have tried to grow parsley and thyme in pots with not much success. I have heard grit should be used?

Durham early? i bought a nine pack of cabbage in feb and planted them out. they are growing well, i think, but they dont look like cabbage. there doesn’t seeem to be any heart forming. to my eye they look more like brocoli. some of them have yellow flowers on them-could they be bolting

I planted seedlings in Dec that were said to be cabbage. The below picture is what i have now. Is this broccoli? Yellow flowers are now coming from it. Has it gone to seed?

You just answered my question about potato drills and spraying for weeds.I also have other drills with carrots, onions, lettuce, radishes, cabbage etc. These also have not yet surfaced and have weeds. Can these drills also be sprayed with Weedol? Thanks.

I planted potatoes on April 1st, about 10 drill, 50 m long, 100 kg of seed. I did not spray the ground before rotavating and drilling and now the drills are getting weeds. The potato plants have not yet surfaced. Can I spray these drills now and not kill the potatoes? With what should I … read more

I have Young Cauliflower plants where something is eating or sucking the Sap out of stems of the plants but not the leaves. This causes the leaf to fall down.Plants are in a Tunnel and more outside Tunnel both infected.

how do i get frogs into my garden ? they seem very scarce gerald

whats the best way to keep slugs away from my vegeatbles?

Is seaweed a good vegetable fertiliser ?

Do you have any advice on how to deal with these chafer bugs? Our greenhouse is infested with them and we need to get rid of them soon as we have tomatoes etc. which we planted in the ground. Any advice will be much appreciated.

what’s the best feed to put on my new allotment. is there one that will do the lot or will i have to get get many different ones? i have a wide range of veg in my allotment.

I notice this year in particular that there is a scarcity of cabbage plants coming through for planting in the traditional method (i.e say bundles of 100 plants ready for sowing) What is the reason and when were these plants originally planted to be ready for Spring. Some say it’s the last week in July … read more

I used an organic bug spray from Tesco (contains 20g/l natural fatty acids and HEXAHYDRO-1,3,5-TRIS(2-HYDROXY-ETHYL)-SYM-TRIAZINE) on parsley, thyme and other herbs that I have growing on my balcony. They were covered in greenfly. Would it be ok to eat these herbs within a few weeks?

I am growing lettuce from seed in small pots inside. The seedlings have long stems with small leaves. When I transport them to a larger pot the stem continues to grow and the leaves do not get much bigger ? I have transplanted them outside and they die,

I planted my potatoes over 2 weeks ago they are slow coming up will they be ok ?

my green beans have been eaten by something is there an organic fix gerry ?

We have a small garden. We would like to plant strawberries as before. Every year Rhubarb that was planted by the previous homeowner over grows out of hand. How do I terminate the rhubarb from growing?

I have the opportunity to plant a veg plot in my parents back garden. It is however very shaded by very big conifer trees. Would this inhibit growth? I hope not as am very anxious to get started and have no space of my own.

I have watermelon seedlings and would like some advice on how to grow them on.

Is it possible to grow sweet potatoes in Ireland? In poly tunnel or outside?

If slugs pellets are placed on top of vegetables or one cm away is this dangerous for the plant or to humans who will eat this plant. Doff Slug Pellets are the one that we used

winter , summer etcthe method of when to sow and plant each type confuses me ie sow winter in spring etc

I harvested my onions last year, and then stored them in the garage. Now a lot of them are producing new growth. Did I not dry them out thoroughly enough, or what might I have done wrong? They’re now shrinking, and no good for cooking, is there any point in replanting them?

I bought cabbage, spinach and baby gem seedlings yesterday and was wondering when I can plant them out. Is it still too cold?I have a mini greenhouse so would you advise putting them in that for a few weeks? Or perhaps putting them in the greenhouse/indoors at night time and outside during the day? Either … read more

Can I do anything to restore this bitter, red, very dry rhubarb.It’s been like this since I moved it from another part of the garden. I’ve added lots of manure but it,s still the same.

I hear a lot about not using tanalised timber in raised beds where vegetables will be growing. My question is, is it safe to use tanalised timber for raised vegetable beds and if not can I make it safe by seperating it from the soil with polythene or another non permeable membrane? Thanks

Is it safe to use seaweed as a fertilizer on dug ground for a vegetable plot?Does the seaweed contain the necessary minerals needed to enrich the soil? Should I dig seaweed into the soil if it is okay to use?

Think the bottom layer of my ‘can o worms’ wormery is ready to use, but it is still FULL of worms, even though many have moved up to the next layer. Any advice on how to move them on!!

Hi Gerry, I planted carrot seeds 3 weeks ago and I’m happy to announce that they germinated about a week ago (ie. small green leaves appeared over the ground about a week ago). I was inflicted with carrot fly last year so I’m going to erect a 60 cm while fleece around my carrot bed … read more

Hi Gerry, a lot of your advice on growing vegetables (which I’m interested in) suggests adding Growmore or other type of fertiliser, depending on soil conditions or crop. I don’t use the artificial stuff. I’d like to be more organic. I use my own garden compost. Is this good enough?

Hi Gerry, I want to start a new vegetable garden from a rough lawn. The problem is that the garden is used by 2 dogs and it is contaminated with dog poo. Can I ever grow veg there (I have obvious health concerns) and if so how do I prepare the soil? Many thanks, josephp

My first foray into vegetable growing, my onion seedlings, sown a month ago, in a seed tray filled with multi-purpose compost, on an indoors windowsill , where they still reside, are now about 4 inches long but refuse to ‘stand up’.Is this normal or what have I done wrong ?

Is there a product which encourages root growth in young vegetable plants? Super sulphate was recommended, but can this be ussed in conjunction with other feed?

Hi Gerry, I have been sowing peas for years and have never had a problem but this year I think they are being attacked by birds because all the little shoots coming up are being broken off and it looks like the pea itself is being eaten. I have put up CD’s on twine to … read more

Do you have any idea where I can buy pea straw? I have been sent a link from Gardening Australia which shows a method for growing spuds which uses pea straw amongst other things, but I can’t figure out where to buy it in Ireland. No one seems to mention it.It is commonly used in … read more

I want to plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, turnip, onions, mangetout and lettuce in the one raised bed, in what order should i plant them, eg cabbage at back.Your advice would be appreciated.

My khol rabi plants which i planted last november, have small bulbs now, but are beginning to flower. Will they continue to enlarge, or is it eat-up time?

I was given beetroot plants last october which i planted in my polytunnel. They have overwintered ok, and are growing. Will they produce beets this year, or should I take them out and plant new seedlings now?

Hi Jerry, Can you advise about bean seeds grown in seed trays which are now showing nothing only mould we used growing compound and followed instructions. Thank you Trish

I would really like to find some organic Jerusalem artichoke for planting this season. Ive been unsuccessful finding any source online. do you have any ideas? thanks much

hi gerry, i have just rented a new allotment and was wondering how best to prepare the soil for veg and some fruit bushes. it’s brand new and already rotavated size 20m x 6m.when i’ve preped the soil should i leave it for a while or can i start planting immediately. Thanks michael o’ donoghue

How about using my compost for potato barrels ?. What kind of a mixture would you recommend ? I have sand and turf mould available . Richard

we have bought untreated sleeper size pine to make raised beds for vegetables. It was expensive so we want to protect the wood but are unable to find a safe product for the job and wonder if you can suggest something.thank you

Can I put rhubarb leaves in my composter?I understand they are posionous to eat but does that change when they have rotted down with other garden waste? Many Thanks, VReid

hello Gerry.where can i buy a worm composting system i tried online from wormeries .ie they seem to be expensive compared to similar products available in the uk.is there other mail order company that sells the worm composting system worms and all in Ireland.i tried google. Thanks in advancere gardsnemo

I would like to know what family the vegatable Pak Choi belongs to, so as to plant in the right area?

Hi Gerry, I am sowing vegetables for the first time and using crop rotation. I have 3 raised beds with Root crops in one, Legumes in another and Brassicas in the 3rd. My question is in which of these categories can I include onions, leeks, garlic, cucumbers and courgettes. Thanks

Hi again, what can you tell me about (sapro mira) potatoes, all I know is they are blight free or so I have been told, when is the right time to plant, and any other information you can give me please.

Hi Gerry, having ploughed part of my garden for potatoes mainly, would it be ok to spread used strawberry grow bags to mix into the soil, as a friend has told me to get as much as I want for free. Regards Bigfoot

I would love to grow vegetables but my garden is too small is there another way to grow them.

I have trawled through the web looking for York Cabbage seeds – the family favourite. We usually buy the young plants, but this year I was hoping to grow from seed, and save seed for following years. Is it possible to buy York Cabbage seeds, and where might I find them?

Having got a new greenhouse last year, for first time I tried to grow my own lettuce, I was very excited about it. They didn’t gow very well! I was very disappointed. I think (a) mayybe I transplanted the seedlings too early, they were very tiny, or (b) maybe I overwatered them?

my grand father had a spade with a narrow curved blade it was ideal for turning over the sod to make ridges .would you know of a supplier .it would be very useful for me since i hurt my back.he called it a ridging spade and a one eared Kerry spadethis is my first postregarde … read more

I would like to know what to use to keep greenfly and caterpillars away from my container grown vegetables and herbs. I,m worried about using anything that may be harmful to eat.

What type of preservative is appropriate – and safe – to use on wood used to construct raised vegetable beds? Tks

Dear Gerry,I have a vegetable patch that is one year old, at the east side of a new house. I grew some vegetables it is last year but the soil is not good and nothing has been grown in it since last last autum, its now quite weedy with the remains of last years vegetation … read more

Hi there, I just taken over allotment plot which hasnt be dug over for at 3yrs. I just wondering what fertilizers would be the best to use to dig into it.

Hello Gerry, I’m new to Ireland and I’m looking for suppliers of Rooster seed potatoes, either online or local. Could you also recommend a good Irish salad potato. Thanks.

Hi Gerry, I am preparing a veg. garden for the first time. How do I get rid of the grass and roots, presumably I cannot use any weed deterrant, is it possible to cover the grass area a few weeks before digging in order to let the grass roots die off a bit? Thanks , … read more

Gerry, I have new ground that was never gardened before and was wondering where to start. It is now basically a field. Should I spray it first to get rid of weeds and grass or plough it up or what? I intend to grow vegetables on it.Conor.

Hi Gerry, I have been keeping roses Graham Thomas and lavender in a raised bed for about 6 yrs now. I want to convert this raised bed to a vegetable bed is this a good idea or should I start from scratch elsewhere. Thank you. Bees

I am trying to grow vegetables with children at primary school. We had some sucess last year with lettuce and potatoes. I am finding it difficult to find suitable crops that will be ready for harvest before the end of June when the summer term ends. Can you suggest any crops that might be suitable … read more

Dear Gerry, I have horse manure that’s approx 18 months old.It was kept in bags for that time.What I’m wondering is whether I can put it straight onto my raised beds.It seems quite wet and I’m not sure how to recognise if it’s ready to use?? Thanks

large veg garden needs fertilty,texture boost,no manure avaible

Can you please tell me how to grow potatoes in a black bin liner or a tub? Thank you

i have a steady supply of horse manure and as i think my veg plot has enough added i was wondering could i add manure to my compost heap for use later this year or next year?

Could you advise the easiest way to kill grass to make way for new raised beds for vegetable growing. do not want to use roundup etc. and hubby would prefer not to dig out old lawn. Would cardboard or mulching work and how long would that take? Or could the new topsoil/manure be just put … read more

Are there any veg i can sow now(jan) outdoors?

Growing potatoes in a bin for Christmas, I forgot to protect against frost. The tops withered away, but there seems to be small potatoes still growing underneath.Can I let them grow on and can I eat them?

I was just wondering if you or any of your subscribers heard of any allotments been giving out by the Co. council .In Bray the green party are looking for anybody interested to let them know. I live in carnew Co.Wicklow and i would be very very interested. Thank you very much in advance for … read more

Are turnips also called swedes..and could you elaborate on the differences. Thanks

own grown carrotts how best to store over winter months- in bags of peet straw or soil. thank you

I have a sage plant indoors. It has a white powdery deposit on the leaves but is still growing. I cannot see any insects on it. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks.

small black slug attacking potatoes this year it gets right into potatoe can i prevent it next year

I would like to enqiuire for info on the use of caliente mustard seeds as an organic manure ,also research studies undertaken

Gerry,Hello again. I have a number of questions so will send separately.My uncle currently wishes to rotate/turnover his back soil patch now the rubob is nearing the end of its growing season.He has a problem with running climbing weed. Basically an ivy type weed that grow on to anything it attaches itself to, with rampent … read more

because my garden is brand new I wont be sowing any veg until the spring but I wanted to have lettuce variety over the winter. sowed couple of varieties of spinach and lettuce 2 weeks ago in flat boxes of seed compost and have them in a sunroom at around 19/20 degrees. seeds have germinated … read more

I am about to plant onion sets for overwintering.What are the initial and ongoing fertiliser requirements?Any other things to watch out for?

Hi Gerry, I have a sage plant in a container. The top of it has lovely green leaves, however, the bottom 3/4 of the plant has black leaves and looks terrible. Can I prune the plant back to encourage fresh growth lower down or should I take some slips to start again with a new … read more

Hi Please can you tell me whether the Ornamental Gourds (which I have grown from seeds) namely SPERLING’S Lohengrin, are edible?If they are, am I correct in assuming that they are cooked as for courgettes/marrows?Kind Regards Kathy Jukes

This year I successfully grew several plants of Capsicum annuum ‘Heatwave’. They are huge and very healthy with lots of large dark green peppers. The seed packet described them as a mixture of red, yellow and orange cayenne peppers. There is no sign of any of them turning colour. Will this still happen? It seems … read more

I have been told that it is possible to overwinter Sprouting Broccoli as you would Spring Cabbage. I haven’t been able to find an overwintering variety in the shops.The best I came across was one for sowing in February.This is not bad but it is not what I am looking for.229Do you know of an … read more

I have a well-established artichoke (globe) bed which I am in the process of tidying up. They need splitting and thinning which I have never done before. Is it OK to spilt them at this time of year and what is the best and easiest way to do this? Sharp spade or something more subtle?

Hi Gerry, I have a couple of tomato plants growing outside on a small sheltered patio. They are producing a good crop of tomatos which are still green. Over the last few days I have noticed some leaves turning brown and yellowy and dying and also brown spots / stains on the fruit. Is this … read more

tomatoes were growing very well but are now starting to go brown

Hello,As per previous posters, I am also growing “Gardeners Delight”, the plants are healthy and are producing a lot of tomatoes. However, they are no signs of the tomatoes ripening. I am watering them regularly and feeding them once a week. I am pinching out the new side shoots but I am wondering if I … read more

I have a glut of broad beans. Can I pick them and freeze them directly without blanching?

I recently transplanted winter savoy cabbage plants grown from seed. Half of them have club root and are failing to thrive. What might be the problem and what can I do about it?

I discovered today that about half my potato plants have shrivelled up and wilted. There is no sign of mould or rot just dry brown crispness. It seems to start with brown crispy patches on the leaves – but it doesn’t look like blight. We had that last year. What is this and what should … read more

Gerry, I am trying to figure out what kind of caterpillar I have chewing up my vegetable plants.They are fat green ones with white strips on their sides, any help would be appreciated.

I have been told its a good idea to dig in old ashes from the fire, coal, wood, briquettes etc, is this true?

Is there a recommended size for raised beds in a vegetable area. The area available is 17ft wide x 54ft long. Neutral soil. I would like to set potatoes (any suggestions?), cabbage, carrots, turnips, parsnips, lettuce, chives, spring onions, herbs etc.

Runner beans are about 12-15 inches high and are being attacked by slugs. On an RTE programe a liquid control for slugs was mentioned do have the name of this please.

Gerry, all my broccoli plants went to seed this year, not producing any heads, only a few side shoots. The plants are on raised beds with good soil and well drained. Any ideas on what went wrong?. Thank You

hi gerry my maincrop potatoes have devoloped blight despite 2 sprays of dithanei have first noticed them about 3 weeks agocan i eat them?funnily enough my earlies seem ok so far despite being quite near them

a few of our potatoe plants have died, the stalk has gone black at the bottom

I have a big problem with my vegetable garden in relation to animals. my broccoli and pea seedlings have been repeatedly attacked by pheasants and other birds. I have put up a net covering all of my vegetables but the plot needs expansion and the net will no longer cover the area. I also had … read more

Our runner bean crop is riddled with what appears to be casid bug damage , plants are about 30cm now and 60% of leaves are very badly effected. How can we get rid of the problem?(French beans elsewhere in the garden are fine)

Hi Gerry, in my flower garden i have planted a dozen broccolli plants which are growing well, but this morning i have discovered at least 50 to 60 caterpillars working their way through the leaves.I’ve been trying to develope a wildlife garden and bring in insects,but i don’t want to lose the broccolli either,will leaving … read more

Hello Gerry, I am an oap and have just started to try to grow a few veges for myself. I brought 3 runner plants and put them in a grow bag. They were doing really well until a few days ago I notice that one plant completely died and the others look as though they … read more

I transplanted several courgette seedlings into a bed about a month ago, and one after another, three of them were sliced through the stem at soil level and were left lying there.Would a cutworm be likely to be the problem here? Would it attack these two plants? Can you think of anything else that might … read more

Hi Gerry – we have lovely cabbbage plants coming along but the rabbbits are eating them. What can we do. Regards Majella.

Congrats on the new website,something like this was long overdue….I am attempting to grow turnips on a small scale,last year i found the tops were constantly been eaten by some fly,(full of small round holes)This year the growth is emerging well,should I spray this growth ,or would the potato spray (Diathane) be any good..i cannot … read more

there is a mould on the green parts of my onions.It started in the shallot bed and is slowly spreading to the other onion beds.I have pulled up all the shallots and sprayed the rest with Dithane.Is it too late,have I lost them all or is there something else I can do?Help!

i had vine weevil killer (sachet type that you mix with water) and used it on rhubarb and herbs which are grown in large containers. Is it ok or not to use the herbs and rhubarb ?

Gerry, I really miss you off the radio, but it’s great to be able to ask you questions directly. I have so many…..I planted potatoes on 9 Mar. The British Queens which are described as 2nd Early are flowering, ahead of the Duke of York, which are supposed to be early. Is this alright? And … read more

Hi Gerry, last year I had potato blight. I dug up the potatoes and covered the ground with a layer of manure and newspaper, then black plastic last autumn. That ground is still covered and I wonder if there is blight still in the ground. What can I plant there?

Dear Gerry, I am growing Cordon tomatoes – Gardener’s Delight – (outdoors) for the first time. I am confused about what bits of the plant to “pinch out”. Could you explain what I am to do? Many Thanks for your help. Barbara Mulcahy

Hi Gerry, I’m a new member here, so forgive me if I have put this in the wrong place. I am also new to veg. gardening this year.I have planted 6 or 7 different varieties of potato but one of my 1st earlies (Ballydoon) is showing a few brownish patches on a few of the … read more

I got two packets of Nemoslug and used them on my veg plots, but I am wondering will the slugs travel from the untreated parts of the garden to the plots. the garden is large and I couldn’t treat it all.

Have a small section of town garden measuring 3 yds. x 6 yds. Soil ..heavy clay. Was part of lawn for 15 yrs. I dug it in April and turned 5 times to date. Can you suggest vegetables other than spuds please. Gets sun in late afternoon.

I planted carrot seed in rows in a rasied bed 3 weeks ago. I put put clear polythene over them with about 6 inches from the top of the soil. Only 2 rows germinated and a small few in the other rows. why was germination so low?

Can you advise if there is any vegetable allotments available in Cork please.

When is the correct time to dig first early potatoes which were planted mid March

do you recomend chicken feed see them alot in garden centres

Hi Gerry, I recently got an allotment in north county dublin. Good soil and location. My issue is that I am going to be very time poor this year but will have plenty of time next year. I want to plant veg now but those that require the least amount of maintenance i.e. no salads … read more

Hi Gerry, I’ve been trying to get an answer to this for ages, but nobody can tell me for definite: How safe is food grown near a busy road? I’m thinking of my local community garden (on the SCR, Dublin 8) and my own back garden (on a main road in Dublin 12).

Gerry, I have British Queens potatoes growing in a steel barrell, if I put fleece over the top will it protect them from blight attack

I believe there are blight-resistant potatoes now that you do not have to spray for blight. Do you have any names? And where would I get these?