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AndytheScientist


Latest posts by AndytheScientist

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Help, I'm young and completely clueless.

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 12:44

Find a good garden centre and visit it regularly throughout the year, what you will find is that at any specific time of year they will be promoting those plants which provide colour and look their best. Therefore rather than doing one visit and buying lots of stuff, visit every month or so and buy smaller amounts. That way you will end up with colour/interest all year round.

The other bonus of doing things slowly is that you can correctly space stuff. An easy pitfall to fall into is to cram too much stuff in too close together. Which when it grows it becomes too crowded. It's easy to do this as we naturally want things not to look too sparse, but sparse is good when starting out.

 

Lawn treatment

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 10:32

It's way to early to be applying weed and feed. I'd say you have at least a month before you have to worry about it. They usually say apply from april, but not sure where you are but up in the north east the weeds are never growing vigorously till may really and i usually get much better results by applying it then. 

Most weed/feeds work by over fertilising the weeds, so they grow more foliage than their roots can sustain and they just die. So if you apply them too soon the weed part isn't effective.

Selecting trees for a mini orchard

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 08:11

From what i understand, all crab apples are universal pollinators. It's basically all about the blossom time, and crab apples usually have a much longer period in blossom than most edible varieties, hence they will be in blossom at the same time as all the traditional apple "groups". 

I think they main varieties of crab apple are red sentinel and golden hornet, depending if you want red/yellow fruits. 

 

Holes/burrows in new allotment?

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 10:43

Looks like my lawn lol.. I had loads of moles last year, and managed to keep them out this year with lots of mole bulbs, but instead i've been infested with voles instead this year.. hey ho comes with living in the country.. At least i've seen a weasel knocking around so hopefully it'll eat some of the voles, as the kestral clearly isn't doing it's job!

Selecting trees for a mini orchard

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 08:08

The only thing i'd say is that the braeburn is a group 3, and the bountiful is group 4 so they won't really pollinate each other. You may want to also stick a crab apple in to pollinate them both. 

The best multi purpose compost this year

Posted: 12/03/2015 at 13:35

Have to admit i've given up on non peat multi composts, for anything other than adding to boarders. So i pretty much exclusively use either my own stuff, or B&Q verve peat based based. I would use non peat if they were any good but they all are just full  of twigs and plastic, not what i want to be using on my veg beds for example.

Selecting trees for a mini orchard

Posted: 11/03/2015 at 11:09

My family tree looks fine, but i did chose it at a garden centre rather than an internet purchase so it's a really nice shape. You could argue it looks odd when different branches have slightly different blossom/apples on it, but generally i don't have a problem with that. 

Selecting trees for a mini orchard

Posted: 10/03/2015 at 08:50

Blueboots, I decided to do the shortest at the top and tallest at the bottom, as the sun comes mostly from the high side, so there was a danger the taller ones would shade the shorter ones. The way i've done it the canopy should be the same hights so that should not happen now..

Something else to think about, is the possibility of family trees. I've got one in the garden with 3 types on it. So technically i have 7 types of apples now If you have a limited space this might give you more variety. 

One interesting thing i read in james wongs new book.. he recommends not adding compost to the planting hole for bare root fruit trees. As he says this forms a kinda pot of nice compost within the hole and the tree is not encouraged to send out roots outside this which kinda goes against what you are usually taught but makes sense to me. 

Selecting trees for a mini orchard

Posted: 09/03/2015 at 09:43

Don't forget Blackmoor, I've had some great trees from them. 

I recently did a small orchard area near our stables, I got their special 3 pack of apples, with 1 cooker and 2 eaters, as well as a plum and pear. I already have 2 victoria so went for a mrjorie's seedling as i'd heard it recommended on gardeners Q time, Similarly i went for a beurre hardy based on the same recommendation. I already had a concorde so that will pollinate it. 

That's one of the main things to consider is if they are self fertile or not, as that makes a difference, for apples though you can generally stick a crab apple in as that'll pollinate most others. 

Mines on a slope too, so i made sure i put shorter trees at the top of the slope, and the less dwarfing ones at the bottom of the slope. I did this due to the sun direction so i didn';t have the tall ones at the top shading the smaller trees at the bottom. But that might not be appropriate for you. 

 

Dwarf Buddleia Buzz - how easy to buy?

Posted: 04/03/2015 at 11:57

If you check your GW magazine regularly these are always on offer every year from T&M, usually as free plants just pay postage ie 3 for a fiver. They are actually pretty big plugs usually, and as buddleja are tough as old boots i would not worry so much about them being small, unlike the usually tiny perennials.  

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