Latest posts by bigolob

Raising a lawn area

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 18:32

The more you deeply disturb the soil on which you are going to re-turf or sow seed, the more difficult it is to produce a flat `bump` free surface. As in my previous note, the problem is time for it to settle before you can get the level you want - it takes weeks even after treading over and over again. Patience is a virtue! The best approach is to kill off the old grass with weedkiller (one which will not harm the soil) or strip the grass off with a mechanical grass stripper. You can hire these from some garden firms.

Raising a lawn area

Posted: 30/07/2013 at 21:11

Oy, what are you letting yourself in for?? Yes it can be done but it is not a simple job.

1. Decide what size the new lawn is to be. If the same as at present obviously use the turf - if of good quality.

2. To raise the area for the new lawn you will need to work out how much soil and sand will be needed to raise the leval to that required - ask for advice from a soil supplier - you will be much better off if the soil is ACID not Lime to give a good turf. Ask whoever your supplier is where the soil comes from. If he says it is from limestone areas do not buy.

3. When the soil is laid to your satisfaction, it must be `trodden` with their feet (heels) and consolidated and then raked as level as possible. It should be left to settle for 3-4 weeks and then `trodden` again and raked again. Only then, when flat and without humps or hollows it can have the turf re-laid. It seems a very laborious methed but it is the ONLY way to have the perfectly level lawn.

4. Water thoroughly until the turf has knitted and avoid walking on it. The best time to turf is between October and Aprill.


Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 17:13

My reply was intended for people growing tomatoes in the UK not southern Europe and I maintain from my 50 years experience of Tomato growing that what I wrote is correct.

I have never seen sunburned Toms in all those years even when occasionally we get a warm summer at this year.

Fruits for Tropical countries

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 12:00

My wife and I spend a few weeks in the West Indes during January and February and as a result know a little about Tropical fruits. However, I cannot imagine a Banana plant growing in a pot or a Mango tree or Pineapple. You could grow Oranges and Lemons (sub-tropical) quite easily. I used to grow them in my heated conservatory but for a decent crop, you would need a few plants. Re growing Berries, try and see what happens.

General advice is don`t bother!

Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 11:43

The latest research from the US re Toms is that all but for 3-4 leaf stems should be left in tact or you are growing and feeding leaves instead of the fruit. I grow mid sized Toms mainly with a couple of cherry varieties and I have done this for years with no hardship to the plants.


Posted: 28/07/2013 at 17:07

You do not say what type of Orchid you have. Most  common are the Phaelinopsis (I am sure that is not spelt quite correctly) but also know as the Moth Orchid.

I have a large collection and all stems which have finished flowering should be cut right back to their base - inspite of some advice you may receive. However, if any new shoots are coming off the old stem, only cut the old stem to above the new shoot so that it can develop and produce more flowers. If there are no shoots coming off the stem, cut it right back and put the plant in a bright position and water when necessary. All you need to do then is wait between 2 amd 6 months for new stem/s to develop between the leaf joints.

Bindweed :(

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 16:06

Similar to my suggestion Addict. The weed killer must be in contact with the leaves and osmosis will do the rest. Only 5 days ago I had another growth of Bindweed through the fence, immediately unwound the stems with the leaves (not touching the roots) and `blasted` them with systemic weedkiller. In 5 days the Bindweed is dead - as quick as that!

Why won't my tomatoes ripen?

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 15:59

The banana skins give off a gas called Ethylene which helps Toms (in theory) and other fruit to ripen. I have tried it for many years with no success. When they are ready to ripen, they will do so without this attempt to force them to do something which they are not ready for.

I think your problem is that your Toms as yet are too immature (small) and too early to ripen. Keep feeding them according to the instructions on the Tomato fertiliser every 4 days.

My Passion Flower is wilting... Help!

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 19:23

Mention of Passion Flowers always reminds me of a hillside village in Tuscany called Monteriggioni. A typical Tuscan on the top of a hill, built for the summer breeze to keep the village and vinyards cool `down below`.

The surrounding walls of the village in summer are covered in Passiflora and what a wonderful sight it is. If you can go there, there is a fabulous long view across the vinyards of Chianti Country looking towards Sienna. What a place!!

The weather, limited rain, much sun and warm long days - a bit like what we are having not but they have EVERY year. 


Posted: 19/07/2013 at 19:00

Just think of the fun and satisfaction of growing your own veg. and forget the money cost. My Tomatoes (Unwins - `Gourmet`) are cropping wonderfully and inspite of the early year (March to late April) heating costs of our 6 x 6 ft. GH, the satisfaction is fantastic each year.

Our cougettes this year are a disaster due to the March and April freeze and dryness - we win some and lose some!! Previous years courgettes have been super, but this year "What do you think of it so far?"  



Discussions started by bigolob

I just could not wait any longer!!

Replies: 7    Views: 1545
Last Post: 26/01/2014 at 17:32

Phaelinopsis oddity.

Replies: 7    Views: 1233
Last Post: 30/11/2013 at 16:24

Leaves as a mulch

Replies: 2    Views: 1185
Last Post: 10/11/2013 at 16:43

Tomato varieties

Replies: 5    Views: 1384
Last Post: 27/09/2013 at 15:47

Where did it go to?

Another summer, been and gone 
Replies: 12    Views: 1529
Last Post: 09/10/2013 at 12:54

More Tomatoes

Replies: 4    Views: 1339
Last Post: 06/09/2013 at 16:42


San Mazano 
Replies: 26    Views: 4187
Last Post: 11/09/2013 at 08:54


Replies: 5    Views: 1394
Last Post: 06/08/2013 at 23:35


Replies: 58    Views: 5266
Last Post: 05/06/2013 at 10:03
9 threads returned