Gardeners' question time with Brian Kidd '“ Jan 6

From the mystery of old carpet on allotment plots to cyclamen trickery.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 2:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:30 am
jpwm kiddo old carpet at allotment gv An allotment plot covered in old carpet to suppress weeds.

Q: I read your tip about using old bed sheets for greenhouse shading and I have been doing this for years. It would be a good idea to let readers know the sheet will stay in place if wires are fitted to the glazing bars. Difficult, but it keeps the sheets flat. VH, Lee-on-the-Solent.

A: Thank you Victor, I have included your letter as it will help our readers.

Q: I am new to allotment gardening and on our site lots of plot holders have covered the soil with all sorts of carpets and covers. Why do they do this? I have not been able to ask them because they are not there at the times I go. NC, Copnor.

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A: The reason is that most of them have already dug the ground and they hope the covering will prevent weeds emerging. The other reason is that the ground has not been dug and they hope the carpet will kill off the weeds as light is unable to reach them.

Q: My granddaughter bought me a cyclamen for my birthday in November and the bloomin' thing died. I bought another one exactly like the first as she was visiting me at Christmas and she made me laugh by telling me she was amazed it was still alive! Thought this would make your readers laugh!!

A: I read your letter to Pam and she told me to put it in this feature. We did laugh, thank you for letting us all know.

Q: There is a naughty boy and he keeps opening the tap on my water butt and there is never any rain water. Any ideas? Silly thing is I don't use the tap as it is too near the ground. PJ, Fareham.

A: Now the butt is empty unscrew the tap and insert the tap on the inside of the butt. You won't be able to use it but it will solve the problem. Someone at our allotments opens taps on water butts and I find it annoying as I use a lot of rain water.

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