Rosalind Riley

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since Sep 17, 2012
I live in a very old, mostly oaken house (about 1450 - 80) fuelled with woodstoves and some electric solar, but very much on the grid and in a village in a populated area.  Hedged about with planning regulations due to the house being "listed".  12 acres including 5 acres of lake (coarse fish), a few sheep in old orchards, a big garden (by which I mean yard I think) and a smallish vegetable patch.  I like growing fruit too, love a bit of woodcraft (a lot of trees on our patch) and am thrilled by ingenious low-tech solutions to anything. 
Kent, South-east England, UK
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Recent posts by Rosalind Riley

Lordy, I have alliums all over the place - decorative ones as well as eating onions.

Interestingly, a few of the plants seems not to have any rust on them, maybe I should keep the cloves for next year's crop!
2 years ago
Hi Patrick, thanks for your reply. Alas it is only the end of May and no garlic I know of matures before July where I am. I shall monitor its progress.
2 years ago
Holy Thread Resurrection, Batman!

I went away for 4 days and found my beautiful 2-foot-high garlic plants afflicted by rust. Some quite bad, but it hadn't spread to all of them and the centre of all the plants, ie the newest leaves were rust-free on the whole.

I took myself to the interwebs as I remembered reading somewhere that you could spray with vodka. Alas I didn't have any anyway, but I found a post on a UK gardening forum suggesting spreaying with dilute milk, which I've just done. Also I'm going to take off all the worst affected leaves, which I should have done before wasting milk on them, but hindsight is perfect.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

One suggestion was to soak the cloves in vodka before you plant them. Too late for me this year.

Other suggestions were that this happens more on sandy soil (which my topsoil is) but I've had it on clay too.

One thing to note is that we had a wet, mild winter with no real frost to speak of. We are very variable here, sometimes a mild winter, sometimes down to -10C/14F.

My ORganic Gardening Encyclopedia wants me to remove and burn all affected bits, suggesting it persists in the soil...?

2 years ago
Hello all, after many a summer.

I used to be a regular on this forum but haven't been around for a while.

I came back because Paul started sending emails, and also I've given up my job and am doing loads of veg gardening in our beautiful Spring, so my thoughts turn permie-wards.

This thread has occasionally come into my mind and I was pleased to see it appearing currently. I immediately rushed outside, took a few planks out of the side of the compost heap, spread everything as instructed above and... Wheeeeeee!

I feel liberated. There was a bit of dribble on the front of the bin but everything else hit the spot. I shall practise often. I used my hand to wipe, in order to see what was left - practically nothing, especially compared with usual outdoor squat-peeing, which I do by a big pond and dabble my hand in afterwards.

Here is a pic of the aftermath - main aim area to the right of the green stuff.

I feel I've returned with a splash.

2 years ago
Yes, that's it - I'm on heavy clay so we get waterlogged in winter and it dries out in summer (if we have a good summer, like this year). I have found that improving the humus in the soil helps in the long term, and of course watering in extremis. I often chuck a bucket of grey water on the roots of my big climbing roses - they tend to have dry roots as they're planted by the walls in order to climb up the house.
If you hurl in a few french bean seeds you might see results ... if you get a long summer/late autumn. You should get your first frost arriving quite late in that part of the world! The western edge of Europe is good for bean crops because of the rainfall.
Hi Scott,

I'm interested that you say "moisture is part of the problem" - I wonder if you are under the misapprehension I used to believe which is that powdery mildew is caused by moisture? This seemed sense to me as the kind of mildew you get on eg old clothes is certainly due to damp. However (and shoot me down if I'm teaching you to suck eggs and have the wrong end of the stick), the powdery kind of mildew is caused by LACK of water at the roots, as Leila mentions above ("water stress"). I have known roses have powdery mildew one year then not get it the next as there was more rain to water the plants.

I realise I'm only pointing towards prevention but hope this helps.

Rosalind
Can you imagine what that birch chair would do to your pantyhose?
I have a lovely book by Daniel Mack - just found his website. http://www.danielmack.com/portfolio/index.html

Lovely work and lots of good starter projects in the book with various techniques. Some chairs a bit too artsy to be sat in, too! But lots of inspiration there. The book is called Making Rustic Furniture.