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Brixham

Duration:
43 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 27 July 2012

Peter Gibbs and the team are in Brixham. Matthew Wilson and Bunny Guinness appear alongside guest panellist Toby Buckland. In addition, Anne Swithinbank and Toby Buckland discuss how to heal a garden suffering from flood damage.

Questions answered in the programme:

Q. I'm a vegetable grower and artist. Which edible plants would complement the sculptures on my Shingle Beach Garden, which is susceptible to a NE wind in winter.

Suggestions included: sea Kale, Artichoke and Swiss Chard 'Fantasy'. Silver herbs including Sage, and Lovage; and Elaeagnus ebbingei

Q. I make my own compost but cannot get rid of weed seeds. Should I microwave it?
No. This would kill off 'friendly' bacteria in the compost.

Q. I'd like to use free, local seaweed to enrich my soil. Should I apply it as a mulch, compost, or liquid feed?

You generally have to ask permission to remove seaweed from the beach. Seaweed acts a great soil tonic. You can rinse off the salt before converting it to a mulch; you could create a liquid feed or add it to the compost heap. As a rule, the fresher the seaweed the better, as it will be less salty. Finally, you should collect your seaweed between October and March when there are fewer insects nesting in it.

Q I'm digging my potatoes out now. Shall I dig my late potatoes now to save them from the soggy soil? And if so, how should I store them?

It's better to leave them in and let the potato roots take up any extra water, provided you can keep the blight off.

Q. I've had an Agapanthus for two years. So far I've only grown narrow leaves and no flowers. Why? I've quick-draining soil, and my garden is South facing.

Tomato fertiliser generally encourages flowering. Another technique is to plant the Agapanthus in a pot dug into the soil. When the roots make contact with the flower pot, this encourages flowering too.

Q. Why can't I get my ash seedlings to germinate?

Q. I'm a retired florist who has moved to a larger garden. What can I plant in my 12x5ft garden to keep the house supplied with cut flowers.

Planting suggestions included: snap dragons (for early cropping), lupins, Delphiniums, Eucalyptus, lily of the valley and roses.

Produced by Howard Shannon
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

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