For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Mar 30

Your Questions About Gardening

Paul asks…

How to buy foods without artificial food coloring additives?

I was just reading an article about the affects of artificial food colorings and behavior changes.. (E102,E110,E122,E124, & E129). These colorings are found in a number of common foods and medicines, peas, squash, meats, capsuals and colored flavoring used in meds., etc. How do we as consumers make wise healthy choices considering the possible side affects and how can we be certain of what is additives are used in the products we buy?.

How do you cope w/ this issue?
Are there any “reliable” resources on-line to research ingredienats of products we consume?
What works for you?

Thank you in advance for your replies. I am a concerned Mom and just want to be reassured I am doing the very best I can when feeding my children (outside of growing our own vegetables.)

GardenersCardiff answers:

Aside from growing your own, the next best alternative is to buy, as much as possible, from local growers or find a “farmer’s market” to buy from.

Nancy asks…

When is the best time to grow tomatoe seedlings/plants in NSW, Australia??

My husband i would love to start growing some of our own vegetables, but firstly we’d like to start growing tomatoes. Does anyone know when is the best time to grow tomatoe seedlings or plants in Western Sydney of NSW, Australia??

GardenersCardiff answers:

Spring just after the last frosts have finished.

You can grow them from seed but buying seedlings is quicker and they’re hardier, if your just starting out.

You could try now but it is so hot they may not fruit and you won’t have enough time to get a decent crop before the autumn frost cuts them down. Better to prepare a bed with plenty of manure and organic matter and wait till early next spring.

Chris asks…

How do I grow vegetables in containers?

I want to grow vegetables in containers or pots. I need advice on what types of veggies grow best in pots and what size pots to use. I also do not know what type of soil to use, I though of mixing dirt and fertilizer?

GardenersCardiff answers:

Don’t use garden soil in container gardens, unless you have a nice, sandy loam. Garden soil contains clay and silt particles, which settle and pack too densely in containers, squeezing out all the air. This creates container garden drainage issues, and often results in root rots that kill your plants.

Use a “soilless” mix instead. You can buy pre-bagged mixes, or make your own, if you’re doing a lot of containers. There’s a recipe here:

The size and type of containers depends on what you’re growing. Lettuces, spinach, and Asian greens can grow in shallow 4″ trays–see

Peppers, chiles, eggplants, and cucumbers grow best in 5-7-gallon pots. Tomatoes do better in 10-gallon pots. It depends on the root depth of the vegetables you’re growing–see this page for a table of root depth matched to container size, with recommended varieties:

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