Allotment News

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11/08/2008 at 13:31

Paraffin?!?

The nearest I get to chemicals is spraying water mixed with washing-up liquid onto plants to get rid of aphids.  Doesn't kill 'em, but the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters to cling onto.

11/08/2008 at 13:47

I kid you not!

I spray water mixed with lemon juice for that purpose LP,his solution is to spray them with Paraffin.

He dips his chitted spuds in paraffin before sowing them

11/08/2008 at 14:01
He dips his chitted spuds in paraffin before sowing them

no problem with that - the new tubers won't have any paraffin on/in them as they will have grown afresh

paraffin is indeed an old gardener's technique - my old man used it occasionally but never tried it myself..........

don't diss some of the old techniques - the majority of them work well but we have just become accustomed to using modern chemicals or nothing at all so have lost some of this knowledge....

the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters

errrm - no. it messes with the aphids breathing systems by wetting the surfaces of the trachea so effectively the insect drowns - the same method as paraffin!
Edited: 11/08/2008 at 14:05
11/08/2008 at 14:09

Actually, it's really interesting to read about old techniques, even if the seem odd!

Actually, my grandad (now dead, sadly) was a resourceful chap who probably would have made use of paraffin as well!  His veg garden was pretty amazing.

I've inherited - via my mum who's also a keen gardener - his obsession with not wasting anything.  Hence copious re-use of yoghurt pots as slug traps, egg-boxes as modules and a wide range of plastic food containers as improvised seed-trays.  M&S 'mini-bites' tubs make good plant pots if you drill holes in the bottom.

Need to read up on seed-saving as well.

I love gardening - given what a junk food-munching couch potato I used to be, a lot of people I used to know are shocked to hear about both the running and the gardening!

11/08/2008 at 14:10
fat buddha wrote (see)

 the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters

errrm - no. it messes with the aphids breathing systems by wetting the surfaces of the trachea so effectively the insect drowns - the same method as paraffin!


Nice! Oh well.... good job i'm not vegan anymore and don't really care that much about insects*!

I do keep on the lookout for ladybirds though as a method of aphid-extermination.

*Apart from the 'beneficial' ones that pollinate/kill pests etc!

Edited: 11/08/2008 at 14:23
12/08/2008 at 08:36

I reuse all the tubs that mushrooms & fruit seem to be supplied in.

Grow your own magazine is well worth look if your not already getting it & there is usually a packets of seeds attached to the cover.

Apparently watered down Jam works well in a slug trap with a dash of paraffin of course

Egg boxes/card trays also stop your compost heap from smelling.

12/08/2008 at 08:49

We shred all our documents with names & addresses on, and add them to the compost bins between grass clippings to stop them going slimy and smelly....bet the ID thieves can't get anything from us after they've been composted for 2 years .

Mr K found a rat nest in the allotment a few weeks ago...any ideas how to get rid of them? Apart from covering them in paraffin of course

12/08/2008 at 09:03

Parrafin deters mice. Mrs FR dips one bean seed in 5 in parrafin before sowing, it stops the little blighters digging up the whole row.

Kwilter ask around to see if there are any terrier men in your allotment society. Either that or ferret fanciers. Invite 'em round to your plot.

12/08/2008 at 09:06
Ferrets! Of course. I'm sure there'll be someone who has them. Cheers FR!
12/08/2008 at 09:51
Anyone got any tips for keeping cats away? Apart from netting and the Scardy Cat plant.
12/08/2008 at 10:06
A dog or another cat.....
12/08/2008 at 10:07
My peppers & chillies in last few weeks have just ground to a halt,we need some prolonged heat or I fear a failed crop
12/08/2008 at 10:10

I love my veg patch. We moved into where we are now about a year ago and I've turned the wasteland area of our garden into our own private allotment, together with a chicken coop at the end.

Biggest problem that I have had to date is going away and leaving a raised bed full of brassica only to return 2 days later to find the whole thing desecrated by catepillers....

12/08/2008 at 10:12

I use this plant-based cat repellent - it's a powder you scatter around the place and apparently they don't like the smell of it.

Can't say it works particularly well though - we have loads of cats around the place.  I tend to just protect the plants as far as possible and I still have to scoop up the odd piece of, erm, 'contamination' in an inside-out carrier bag. 

Our nextdoor neighbours' cat is fairly well-behaved though, and is actually an expert mouse-catcher and bird-scarer, so we've not had many problems with peas/beans being snaffled!

I do the whole thing of putting card, shredded personal documents etc in the compost - definitely makes a difference to the smell.  It's about getting the balance right between 'browns' (paper, card etc) and 'greens' (vegetable waste) so the moisture levels are just right.

Apparently you can put shredded up cotton and wool clothing in compost heaps as well (the fabric is natural and therefore breaks down) - never tried this though...

12/08/2008 at 10:15
BigRedToe wrote (see)
My peppers & chillies in last few weeks have just ground to a halt,we need some prolonged heat or I fear a failed crop


Bloody weather!

My pepper plants are pathetic - the one thing that's been truly disappointing this year (although tomatoes are a tad slow at ripening as well).

12/08/2008 at 10:18
yep - my chillies need some heat as they are all outdoor..

same with the outdoor cucumbers - pathetic so far

but toms are starting to ripen at last
12/08/2008 at 10:20

Sorry FR, should have said cat repellents not involving other animals.

Thanks LP, tried that kind of stuff already, made no difference for me either.

Anyone tried Wiggly Wigglers for composting stuff?

12/08/2008 at 10:21
yep - have a WW wormery....so far so good and a great way to use kitchen leftovers if you don't have a compost bin
12/08/2008 at 11:40

My toms are huge but sadly green.

My Pepper plants are about 2 feet tall & have golf ball size peppers on them, that not moved on in size for a couple of weeks,chilli plamts have loads of flowers but very few chillies as yet.

12/08/2008 at 16:50

Apparently you can put shredded up cotton and wool clothing in compost heaps as well (the fabric is natural and therefore breaks down) - never tried this though...

According to the Blessed Bob Flowerdew you can also put the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag in it. I put trimmings from my quilting in too...it's all 100% cotton so rots down really well. After I've trimmed the selvedges off fabric, I wind it into balls and use it as plant ties. When we first got the allotment, I used an old woolen jumper as a top layer on the compost bin. After about 3 years it had rotted down enough to turn it into the compost.

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