Wallflowers in cells looked really good

Wallflowers
Wallflowers

BRIAN KIDD: From pom poms to cactus, dahlias just keep on giving

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I went to judge some gardens recently and saw that one of the competitors had sown some wallflowers in cells.

They had just put one or two seeds in each of the cells and they were looking really good.

The lady said: ‘I picked up this tip when I read The News a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was a good idea. What do you think?’

I humbly told the lady she had been reading my article and I was really pleased she had taken my advice.

‘What do I do now?’ she said, adding ‘I love wallflowers, can I put them in a spare part of the garden so that they will grow well and be ready to plant out into the garden in the autumn?’

The answer is yes. Just find a place where you can plant them out in rows with four inches between each plant and 15 inches between each row.

The reason for these distances is so that they can be weeded. Are you like me and find out that as soon as you plant a row of anything, hundreds of weeds come flooding in?

I have stopped hoeing, as I find it much easier to get a prayer mat, go down on my knees and take every weed out by hand.

At the allotment, potato blight has stricken every batch of potatoes even though they have been sprayed with Bordeaux mixture.

The great problem this year has been the excessive amount of rain combined with high humidity conditions. Bordeaux mixture or Dithane 945 works really well, but the spray needs to be reapplied again if it rains.

All is not lost though. I dug out five haulms of Red Duke of York potatoes and harvested over a bucket of lovely new tubers.

Some of them were a bit small, but my wife, Pam, will wash them off and we will eat them in their skins when we have a salad on a warm day.

Maybe we’ll also hire a little boat and go and fish out some prawns to go with the new potatoes. Lovely.

Now, a last little tip for all of you lovely readers and allotmenteers.

If you are disappointed with the size of your potatoes, just nip into any supermarket and have a look at the price of baby potatoes.

You will be astonished. They are expensive because they are on the menu of some of the best restaurants.

All they do is wash them, cook them in their skins and flatter them with butter and parsley.

Then they charge the earth plus VAT.

Now do you feel so bad about producing your own baby potatoes?