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Talkback: Sowing seed indoors

Very productive; I'm jealous. I took over an allotment in September and have since been clearing it of weeds. I've managed to get in some onions and garlic, but now the weather seems to have turned and the light's dwindled, there's not much to do there - perhaps daydreams of pottering in a smallish polytunnel should be made a reality next year!


  • Pippa, I bought some pansy plug plants and i don't use chemicals. Potted them up to grow on window ledge before putting them in large containers. They are covered in whitefly and some greenfly, I'm fighting a daily battle spraying them with soapy water as I don't use chemicals. I think I'm fighting a losing battle, help!
  • Well, with a 16 month old, washing, cooking, shopping, it's not so easy to get around, but by and by, things get done, usually when toddler is asleep! Bulbs planted, lettuces, kohlrabi and cauliflowers ("All year around") growing in garage, and in bit tubs.
    Got the beans dried, and the best of them chosen for seeds next year. (The rest will be cooked into a Hungarian bean and ham soup, hot and hearty, yum!) It was so much fun cleaning them, and didn't wait this time, as last year I had the few (that I fought with the slugs so hard for) eaten by weevils...
    I could only save a few for seeds! But this year it was a joy - all those sizes, colours, patterns just like in my childhood!
    I wish I had a greenhouse - the only window in the garage doesn't let much light in, but no space in a small garden, and no money - still, every available space is full of plants - and my little boy loves to go out into the garden, and demands the raspberries (still got some one Autumn Bliss!)
  • If you could possibly squeeze in a greenhouse, why not ask all your friends and relatives to contribute to a greenhouse-fund for perhaps Christmas and Birthday combined? They need not be expensive and then you too can join in the greenhosue season-extension!! Fingers crossed you manage it!
  • I buy a lot of the packs of large mushrooms and save their plastic trays, about 30cm x 12 x 7 deep - smaller, but deeper than your average seed tray. They're great for sowing or plug plants; and when you want to plant out, cut off the end of the tray and slide the whole thing out without disturbance to the roots. Free and handy.
  • The shed is the best place to garden from at this time of year.
  • Fantastic. No matter what the weather, isn't there always something to do in the garden/allotment? This has been such an eye opener for me since getting our allotment this June. One thing that has amazed me is that broad beans and onions planted in October actually come up in November. I had no idea vegetables could grow at this time of year. Talking about rain, our whole allotment got flooded last week. The story is at if anyone fancies a read!
  • Have managed to sow lettuce and peas inside the house on a windowsill, followed Alys Fowler,s advice. Have taken hardwood cuttings from some trees today, so fingers crossed that they will root !!
  • hi i have been asked to do are garden were i work,i have been doing gardening for about 11 years at home,but at school we have done some veg last year which the kids like doing but the school would like to make over the garden so the kids can grow veg but we have problem with birds in the gardens so any help you can give me thanks...
  • Birds can be really troublesome. A combination of taut-net (Taut so birds do not get entangled) and a range of different scaring devices such as humming tapes, moving objects, scarecrows and hanging glittering objects, rotated so that the birds do not get too used to any one thing, is what I would suggest.
  • My greenhouse has been insulated with sheets of bubble wrap and is full of overwintering pots and tubs of tender plants and shrubs.
    Since potting up the pelagoniums from the garden they have put on a lovely show in the "warmth" of the greenhouse.
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