ABC Wednesday 4: Q is For...
The questions that hit our blogs are often unintentionally hilarious: it's their juxtaposition with our particular sites which make them so funny. Take these latest examples from Veg Plotting's statistics:
- I want to go to the Isle of Wight on Monday, where do I go and what time is the ferry
- Park Keeper Custard Rhubarb Joke
- Car Rally Peas Holiday Weekend
- Where is Monty Don
Sadly I don't think anyone found what they were looking for on here, but a near neighbour blogger at least knew the answer to where Monty Don is a couple of weeks ago as she was standing next to him at a Bob Dylan concert. And whilst I'm often amused, I must admit I do feel guilty when I find perfectly good questions on my site's hits which weren't answered for the person who pitched up on here. My inner imp also wishes Chester Hunt could be a regular contributor just to liven things up a bit.
Well, I'm going to feel guilty no longer as I'm introducing a new occasional theme called Question Time. I'm afraid it won't be as expert or learned as radio's Gardeners' Question Time, but I'll do my best to provide answers to some of the things I've found in my site statistics 'postbag'. I'll also say if I don't know, but of course someone out there will, and with any luck will leave their pearls of wisdom in the comments. And Chester, if you're reading this anything you'd care to add is most welcome ;) Here goes for the first batch of five questions:
Will we have a hot summer this year?
I do hope so and the Met Office seems to think we will. I have of course made arrangements to maximise the likelihood of this happening.
Does forced rhubarb die?
It depends. If you're digging up rhubarb to do 'proper' forcing indoors, then this will weaken the plant sufficiently for it not to be worth continuing with after cropping. If you leave it where it is - which is really blanching, not forcing - and it's been well established for a couple of years, you give it a good mulch of manure in February and you only blanch part of the plant, then all should be tickety boo.
Eradicate Spanish Bluebells
Either spend lots of time digging every scrap of them up, swearing an awful lot and find they still come up next spring, OR try the method I saw on The Guardian blog recently, which is to trample them down. That's what I've done this year.
What do earthworms do for the allotment?
Well, they effectively dig and aerate the soil for you by moving through it bit by bit. And compost would take a lot longer to make if they weren't in there. That'll be quite a lot then.
Can you plant raspberry and asparagus together?
Seeing my 'Autumn Bliss' raspberries seem to be on a mission to spread through the rest of my plot and asparagus needs a weed free area, I'm going to say no to this one.
BTW if you're a little disappointed I'm being a bit serious for once and providing a real service for my readers [Shorely shome mishtake - Ed.], I must point you in the direction of my sister 'publication' - You Ask, We Answer - aka YAWA - where the usual fun and mayhem reigns supreme.
For other Quintessential articles on the letter Q, do have a look at the ABC Wednesday blog.
Update: I had further questions in the comments on flowering but beanless broad beans and when to prune ornamental quince (Chaenomeles).