Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Challenge hapless

Dear readers,

In the past couple of days I've been asked to help two people out with two very different challenges. Now, I admire my friend Fraser and the brave @FrenchCathy for approaching me for gardening advice - I can only assume they have more faith in me than I have in myself.

However, rather than risk ruining their changes for a summer full of juicy fruit and hearty veg, I thought it best to pass on the challenge to you. These really are ones for the experts, requiring speed of thought and instant ideas to tackle two very different pressures.

Let me introduce them


The boy has a bit of time on his hands, and with the sun shining has been let loose in the garden. Here's what he asked:

Dear hapless,

On a lovely day, I  decided to dig a new veg patch, alongside a current one. It's seven paces long, and two paces wide.

It has been just grass for at least the previous five years, but has quite a crumbly texture soil once the turf has been removed.

I've no idea how notorious the soil is, and realise its fairly late in the year, especially as I have no plan what to do with it.

Quite keen on having stuff for the stewing pot.

So, what should Fraser plant, recognising he has itchy fingers and we probably only have sun for one more day..?

@French Cathy

A rather different challenge, somewhat urgent!

Argh!! Need help! Got a great white currant bush but dreaded GREEN caterpillar are munching away!! Any tips??

I would say "squish" but I appreciate that is probably not going to solve matters. Slugs and snails I understand, but caterpillars are a new beast to me. Are there any pest experts out there?

Get cracking with your comments or tweets and hopefully we'll have two very happy gardeners, along with a rather nervous BBC Radio 4. It's about time Gardener's Question Time faced a young upstart!

1 comment:

Chants Cottage said...

My advice to Fraser, as someone already established elsewhere on this blog as having officially virtually no idea about gardening stuff, is this: a) I think there are a few things that you can sow direct in late May and June for stewing... turnips, swede, carrots. I planted some potatoes yesterday. Probably a bit late - a first for me. I'm usually months too early. Chard and spinach. Er, lettuce, radishes... probably not too good in a stew mind. There is option b) cheat - buy small veg plants from garden centres / markets / people's gates for things like tomatoes, leeks and squashes. Blag some off your mates or swap...

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.