Gardening questions and chat!

Yes, useful for plenty of things, like slug control in the veg garden, use it for gritting paths when icy not that we’ve had much ice this year, if your soil is acidic you can raise the ph level by sprinkling the wood ash on your flower beds or veg garden, but before doing so I advise you to do a ph level test if you don’t know as you can raise the level too high unless you have alkaline loving plants. Here’s a method I’ve used you need 2 plastic goblets or a couple of glasses, some vinegar, baking soda, and boiled water left to cool. Take a soil sample from different parts of the garden, then put equal amounts of soil into each glass mix it with the water, stir with a stick or spoon, in one glass pour in some baking soda if it fizzes and bubbles your soil is acidic, do the same in the other glass this time with vinegar same if it fizzes and bubbles the soil is alkaline. The more they fizz the more acidic or alkaline. Most soil is slightly acidic.

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Burning your garden waste is now completely forbidden here. We compost what we can and take the rest to the déchetterie. The promised wood chipper at the déchetterie hasn’t turned up yet, but when it does, we’ll use that to make wood chippings.


Not in ours either, all the time. Unless you are a recognised farner when you can do what you like now,

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Nor here.

2 locals burned stuff last weekend and during this week. So I knew it’s permitted at least for March. And my neighbour followed me yesterday with another bonfire on his land after his earlier one this month. Next weekend I’m hoping to remember that the clocks will move. And luckily having taken careful note, next weekend is still March. So if the wind blows in a safe direction I’ll try to finish the job.

After having scraped up and stored a little pile of ash in my cleanup to use as slug barrier thank you @Wozza.

Obvs there are one or two disadvantages here being very rural such as a complete lack of public transport. Even with a vehicle the pile would have been very hard for me to shift. I don’t see anything wrong with working farmers and those of us in this kind of location burning stuff if it’s done carefully - farmers always have. That’s 2 years of clippings and deadwood cleared. Obvs in towns and centres of population, different.

Around here there is a paper-trail to follow. The farmer asks permission at the Mairie, I think 3 days in advance. . the form is completed and signed… the fire-brigade et al are informed that Mr/Mrs xyz will be blah blah blah… with all the safety regs being followed… and fire must be extinguished by xy o’clock… etc etc

But the wet weather has wreaked havoc this year… and many farmers are left with stuff sitting waiting to be chipped… or (in the autumn) back on the burner… :wink: :wink:

Do you need to shift it? We have been building a dead hedge for the last few years, and all the prunings that are not quickly compostable go on that. And it doesn’t seem to get too big as it slowly decays at the base and shrinks.

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Yes, that was what I was hoping. I wanted a tupe of super-compost heap and hoped it would gently decay down. But it turned out the type of wood was simply not decaying, or dead trees and simply too big and hard - a lot of that deadwood didn’t burn and that’s why if the weather is propitious and still in the right month I will have to have another try.

This morning, I knocked up a new planter out of pallet wood.


I’ve made a few planters out of scrap wood, but I’ve lined the sides with plastic (dpc) and a geotextile type membrane as a base. Hoping it will increase the longevity of the wood🤔, but it could just trap damp…

And slugs :rofl:

Looks fab @Wozza ! I wish I had raised beds!

Lots of gardening here between the rain, my seeds are more successful than last year, just waiting for them to grow enough to plant out!

I’ve mentioned this in other threads, and it does bear repeating. Pallets often contain highly toxic preservatives and should never be burned or used anywhere near food. Some pallets should only be handled with gloves. Each pallet should have a marking on them which can be looked up online to see what they contain.


Yes a good reminder as there are still a lot of chemically treated ones still out there, and best to check.
All the pallets I have have the HT (heat treated) and looks like a wheat ear marking on them.

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Transplanted sweet potato slips and first sowing of peas are looking good.


Not as impressive as Wozzas seedlings but thought I’d share. All started in little mini covered seed trays from action. I’ve then moved them into pots as they come and they sit on a sheltered east facing wall. I take them in at night if nippy.
Cucumbers, courgettes, butternut, tomatoes.


Random bits including flowers and slower germinating as above and some peas Remy planted in loo rolls.


So far I’m not doing at all well! I’m way behind on sowing stuff but the biggest disappointment is the sweet potato slips - I tried the cocktail sticks and half immersed in water technique over quite a lot of weeks now but to absolutely no avail. How long do these things usually take - does anyone know?

I wondered whether it was too late to try the half-buried-in-damp-compost method now but perhaps it’s too late? What do you all think?

Angela you have just saved me writing an identical post :rofl: I’m going to put 2 in compost today to see if I have more luck! Oh think we can see a few smaller than hair things but not sure. We don’t have heating so guess it is too cold in the house?


That’s just what mine look like except that a higher proportion is submerged. One was bought at a supermarket and two were ones I had grown myself last year (they don’t half store well!) I have a feeling we both started at the same time if I remember rightly…

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Maybe I should drop mine a bit! I think the water had dropped with the for weather last few days. Yes u think it was the same time. I’m not hopeful to have anything useful in the next month :sob:. You may have spotted a lone plant I got from the coop but at 2.99 won’t want to buy many. I’m crossing everything for lidl having them down here this year!