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Talkback: Sowing vegetable seeds outdoors

Can you please tell me this - i know this is probably a stupid question - i know its a good idea to cover carrots with either a plastic run or use fine garden mesh. I though you were not supposed to then disturb these physical barriers or the carrot fly would detect it asap. How though do you water the carrots that are beneath the barrier. Is it just a case of simply taking it off really quickly watering and then just replacing it - or am i missing something v obvious??


  • Hi I'm new to gardening, but I'm going to have a go at growing my own veg. My question is I want to give the soil a boost what should I dig with it, to give it & the veg I want to grow a kick start?
  • Hi Jean, you can improve your soil for growing vegetables by adding compost and well-rotted manure to it every year. For a quick fix for this year, try adding comfrey pellets to each planting hole before you pop your vegetable plants in. You can also add an organic fertiliser, such as seaweed, to your watering can to water the plants with, which will improve the plants' uptake of nutrients without damaging the soil's structure. Good luck, Kate.
  • I planted my peas nearly three weeks ago and there is still no sign of anything coming through, should I start again with a new set?
  • I built my raised beds in Feb' and had cabbage, runners and broad beans in them by March. I also have small pumpkin, courgette and even melon plants out and doing great. I constantly feel as if I'm behind but every time I read the blogs I feel good as it seams I'm ahead. WooHooo!
  • I'm doing my Beaver Scout Bronze Award and wanted to plant my own vegetable garden. The seeds are growing but keep falling over. They look really skinny and weedy. Can you help me please. They are in plug pots at the moment. Thank you
  • I had a bad problem last year with snails too, which cost me a lot of money in lost seedlings, this year I bought all my seeds from the £1 shop, I thought this will be fine until I get more experienced.

    I got 6 lots of veggies in one packet great value for money if they seed I thought, well so far all are looking terrific, sturdy, lovely colour, strong stems and good foliage.

    Is this a one off as I have always read buy good quality seeds, or is cheap not necessarily bad:) or maybe I have been lucky? Thank you. Kind regards Linda Irvine.

  • I have been trying to find the seeds of Artemisia apiacea Hance (Artemisia caruifolia) and have been unsuccessful in locating viable seed which is essential for my study. Can you help?

    It is native to China, but also grows in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. It is sometimes confused with Artemisia annua L and this can present problems. Regards, Rupi Vij

  • Hi really exited, my daughter Jessica and I have just been given an allotment. It needs a lot of work, no problem. But is almost mid may. What can we plant now, veg/salad to get good results. Hope you can help. Cheers Alex. P.S we know very little
  • Hi Alex, you can plant a lot of crops right now, and it's the perfect month to sow seeds directly in the ground. I don't know how much work your plot needs, but if it's covered in weeds, dig over a small patch at a time, removing all weeds and traces of weed roots. It's a bit late for certain crops, like potatoes and tomatoes (although there's never any harm in trying), but you should certainly be able to sow runner and French beans, peas, beetroot, lettuces and salad leaves, winter cabbages, Brussels sprouts and courgettes directly into the ground now. Start off with easy crops, like courgettes, peas and beans, then when you're more confident, try branching out and growing your favourite veg. Good luck! Kate
  • We have taken on an allotment this year and I am uncertain of how many of each plant to try for. For example how many courgette plants does a family of 5 (3 little children) need? We don't eat them every day! I've planted loads in pots and am thinking perhaps the children should sell some to friends. HELP!!
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