Latest posts by bigolob

cleaning a greenhouse

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 12:36

In the days years ago when I grew Tropical plants in my then 10 x 18 foot GH I used Fumigation Cones available from garden centres. I assume they are still available and they were completely safe for plants but NOT for aphids!


Posted: 04/01/2014 at 12:35

For many years I have grown Moneymaker, Alicante, Ailsa Craig, Shirley, etc. etc and have found them all to be tasteless or only slightly flavoured. I object to having to grow these `Cherry` varieties as I cannot accept them as real Tomatoes although yes, they have a sharp flavour but try to make a sandwich out of them!

I also, thanks to Italophile,  will be sowing the seeds he sent to me a few weeks ago on my usual date of January 20th. The individual varieties will be sown in 4 inch pots in our heated conservatory, germination should be 5-7 days and when the first `proper` leaves appear in early to mid February, pricked out in to individual 4 inch pots. About 3 weeks later moved again in to 5 inch pots until early March and then moved in to the heated GH (55-6- degrees) Yes I know it is expensive but with our stunning Cheshire climate what else can you do? I want to be picking ripe Toms in mid June, not September! I do not know of many hobbies which are inexpensive these days with the cost of heating, etc!!

I will keep you informed of success or difficulties and hope to see any of your comments during the Spring and Summer so that we can compare notes.

Yellowing leaves on my Stephanotis

Posted: 17/12/2013 at 11:34

Good idea! Do not water the compost after re-potting. I used to grow tropical plants including Stephanotis and they must be kept on the dry side of waterlogged! Also minimum temperature of 60 degrees F.

How to heat a Greenhouse...

Posted: 09/12/2013 at 16:42

In my experience over years the only easy way is to use a GH fan heater set to whatever temperature you need to grow whatever you want. Remember, heating in winter will be expensive - I limit the time in my 6 foot x 6 foot GH to heating for the autumn rooted cuttings (Pelargonium, Cosmos, Penstemum, etc. from early March to mid may including my tomatoes.

Having a large heated conservatory, I grow all the cuttings and early sown Toms (around January 20th each year) in there until the rooted cuttings are growing new shoots and have been separated into individual 4 inch pots in late February and the Toms are in 5 inch pots in early March. They all then go into the GH at minimum temperature 55-60 degrees. If there are not too many plants I build a mini GH with polythene sheets inside the GH to reduce cost of electric - I did this with great results early this year.


Phaelinopsis oddity.

Posted: 30/11/2013 at 16:24

Thank you all of you, I will keep you posted on how it develops and what happens after I separate the Keiki.

Phaelinopsis oddity.

Posted: 29/11/2013 at 16:43

Thank you Sarah, I will try this when the first bud appears on the Keili - the shoot coming from the upper leaves is about 4 inches long at present.

Phaelinopsis oddity.

Posted: 29/11/2013 at 11:17

It looks horribly overgrown Landgirl and I can only suggest that you cut the stem below the roots at the top of the growth and allow those leaves in the pot to grow into the normal Orchid plant again. However, I can see the possibility of my plant looking like yours if I left it too long before cutting it off.

Pot up the growth you remove with the roots inside the pot and hope it grows the new plant I was told about.

Forester 2, how do you take a photo to display on the Forum? I would be happy to do so but it may be a problem at the moment as some idiot with an apparent `sense of humour` has scrambled my computer!!

Phaelinopsis oddity.

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 17:42

We have a large collection of Phaelinopsis (Moth Orchids) in our conservatory (minimum 65 degrees winter). One of the plants has produced an odd growth which I have found out is called a KEIKI. What appears to be a normal flowering stem has grown leaves not flowers but after 3 months has produced a flower stem above the leaves!

I am told that I should wait for 2 further leaves to grow with normal roots from the bottom of the growth, cut the whole Keili off and plant it in a small pot in Orchid compost to create a new `free` plant. Has anyone come across this? Apparently if the growth is not removed, the mother plant, a beautiful white with pink slipper will not flower. Its name is Zuma Camreal.


Is it too late too kill grass. Help with herbicide?

Posted: 10/11/2013 at 15:52

I have done this many times over the years and it works as long as you plant the inverted turf at least 1 spade deep to stop it regrowing through to the surface. When you have placed the turf upside down at the bottom of the hole, chop it into smallish pieces with the spade so not to consolidate the upper layer.

Leaves as a mulch

Posted: 10/11/2013 at 11:21

In our Cheshire garden we have just started out annual leaf fall with much more still to come down. As we have a large collection of Penstemon in the beds which as we know are not `fully` hardy, have any of you tried to cover the plant roots to protect them if we have a severe bout of weather (freezing, snow, etc.) this coming winter - we do not often have that problem for more than 3-4 days at a time but who knows what is coming?

Due to the cost of large bags of peat or bark chippings I have thought of using a 2 inch layer of Birch or Cherry tree leaves over the roots of the plants. Has anyone tried this and have there been any problems, eg. fungus growth or any other diseases?


Discussions started by bigolob

I just could not wait any longer!!

Replies: 7    Views: 1471
Last Post: 26/01/2014 at 17:32

Phaelinopsis oddity.

Replies: 7    Views: 1202
Last Post: 30/11/2013 at 16:24

Leaves as a mulch

Replies: 2    Views: 1135
Last Post: 10/11/2013 at 16:43

Tomato varieties

Replies: 5    Views: 1326
Last Post: 27/09/2013 at 15:47

Where did it go to?

Another summer, been and gone 
Replies: 12    Views: 1482
Last Post: 09/10/2013 at 12:54

More Tomatoes

Replies: 4    Views: 1266
Last Post: 06/09/2013 at 16:42


San Mazano 
Replies: 26    Views: 4000
Last Post: 11/09/2013 at 08:54


Replies: 5    Views: 1342
Last Post: 06/08/2013 at 23:35


Replies: 58    Views: 5030
Last Post: 05/06/2013 at 10:03
9 threads returned