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Allotment expert Peter Horrocks answers your questions on salad leaves and compost

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Peter Horrocks Peter Horrocks | 11:40 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Peter Horrocks, an allotment expert with the NSALG answers your questions about sowing Dig In salad leaves and more. If you have a similar story to share, you can add your comments at the bottom of this entry. You need to register first, which only takes two minutes.

Oksana from Surrey asks: I've sown my salad leaves three weeks ago, but without a clue of how many I should sow. I was quite generous and now have about 50 to 60 seedlings in a 30cm container. The instructions mention that salad doesn't require thinning out, but I'm worried with such a high population.

Answer: Hi Oksana, I would try thinning at least half if not more out now, water well and leave for an hour before you do this. Otherwise they'll crowd each other to allow very little growth at all.

Margaret from Swansea asks: I planted the Dig In Money Maker tomato plants from 2009 after finding them in the back of the cupboard. They are now about 7 inches high. They look slightly leggy. I can't see anywhere to pinch out the growing tips. I'm not quite sure if they are indoor greenhouse tomatoes, or outdoor bush tomatoes. Please help.

Answer: Use the wisdom of Solomon and assume they're half and half. Pinch out the growing tops on half and plant outdoors, leave the tops and pinch off the interleaf axils on the rest and plant indoors.

Fred Isaac from Newry, County Down asks: When growing the Dig In vegetables, in containers especially, multi-purpose compost is mentioned a lot. Can seeds be started and grown in home-made compost rather than multi-purpose compost?

Answer: No reason why not Fred, just add some fish blood and bone to the mixture at the rate of about 3 ounces per litre and you'll be OK. Compost made at home (or anywhere else for that matter) has very little nutritional value, it's main use is as a soil conditioner.

If anyone else has had similar with growing the Dig In veg, add your comments below.

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