Gardening Tips

We hope this will be a growing section as members send us their own gardening tips (and corrections to our tips!). We are looking for ideas that people have tried and that really work for gardeners here. There is a list of fruit and vegetable varieties that work well here, as well as some that don’t.

  • Good Varieties for Hollin Lane Here are some vegetable varieties that do well here. Please give us your own favourites with a few words saying why you like them.
  • Not So Good Varieties for Hollin Lane Some fruit and vegetable varieties just don’t work here. Please give us your own experience with a few words about what the problem was.

  • Peat Free Composts A report by Rosie Hall for Hollin Lane Allotment Association
  • Making Compost Here are the slides from the talk on Making Compost from the 2011 AGM.
  • Pea and Bean Weevil The pea and bean weevil is a horrible little creature called Sitona lineatus. It is quite small (5mm) and hard to spot, but its damage to peas and beans  is easy to see:  neat half-round notches cut out of the edges of the leaves of young plants. They overwinter in the soil near peas and ...
  • Make Your Own Seed and Potting Compost You can make your own organic, peat-free seed and potting composts using leaf mould, garden compost and loam. You can make it up as you need it, in large or small quantities. Leaf mould needs to stand for two years. Loam is basically just good garden soil. If you are bothered by ...
  • Compost Heaps Use lots of nettles or comfrey to activate and provide extra nutrient in the form of trace elements. Layers of shredded bark also aids decomposition. Intersperse with grass cuttings. Gillian North
  • Potatoes Plant just one short row of earlies as soon as conditions allow in order to get your first new potatoes of the season. Then plant maincrop and second earlies so they have a long growing season before blight strikes. Continue with the rest of the earlies, staggering the planting so not all are ready at once. Gillian North
  • Sowing Seeds Sowing: It is necessary to sow three seeds, or plant three plants – one for the slugs, one for the weather and one for yourself. If the first two survive, they can go to the annual bring and buy sale. Gillian North
  • Onion Sets Always buy twice as many as you think you will need and either plant all closely or plant half in a separate bed one inch apart. Thin out or pull when large enough to use as spring onions from late April or early May onwards. Continue using as large spring onions and young ‘green’ onions. Delicious at ...
  • Eating Nasturtiums The Nasturtium is said to have sprung from the blood of a Trojan warrior. The blossom symbolised his golden helmet and the round leaf his shield. It is a close relation of watercress, which explains why its leaves make such a tasty addition to salads. The seeds of this creeping, twining plant when pickled make a good substitute ...
  • Greenhouse glass For replacement greenhouse glass, try Leeds Glass 401A York Road Leeds LS9 6TD Tel. 248 8433
  • Slug Slime on Fingers Yuk! Even soap and water won’t shift slug slime on your fingers. Next time try rubbing the slime with something mildly acid: rhubarb juice, gooseberry juice, lemon juice, vinegar. Magic! Joe Foster
  • Unused Pesticides Leeds City Council provide a free collection service for pesticide waste. Collections are normally arranged within a month. Call 0113 398 4760 . For information on pesticides and alternatives go to Pesticide Action Network UK Joe Foster
  • Disposing of Weeds There is no need to ‘dispose’ of weeds at all. You can compost them. Even couch grass and bindweed roots can be composted if you know how. Either bury them deep (60 cm) in your compost heap or suffocate them in closed black plastic bags with a bit of water. You end up with some ...