Latest posts by Bookertoo

1 to 10 of 1,308

Growing hyacinth in a glass vase help please

Posted: 04/01/2018 at 18:25

Take the flower heads off, let the leaves begin to die back.  Put them in the ground and they will flower at the usual time, possibly not next year, but almost surely the year after. 

Cosmos sturdy and full but no flowers

Posted: 29/08/2017 at 22:16

I suspect over watered, over loved and over fed - starve the darned things and they will flower away.  Why do they need to bother when they get to grow to that size without making the effort to flower?  

Orange alert, Orange alert

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 16:54

Yes friends, especially those who, like me, love to grow lilies and fritillaries  the lily beetle is alive and well and roaming in the gardens again.

There is nothing to do about it except to be alert, catch the dreaded beasties and jump on them from a good height.  My neighbours are used to what they once thought was a rain dance going on here.

Why a tea strainer?  well, we all know how the orange b******* turn upside down when they drop from a plant, then you can't find them, catch it in an old tea strained  (preferably not the one you use for the darjeeling or earl grey) and take the animal  to a hard surface where you can do above mentioned dance.  Be careful what shoes you wear, they can run away between cleats on boots and wellies.

No beastie killer deals with them, in spite of what is said on the bottle, except really nasty chemicals that I imagine most of us would hesitate to use in our gardens. 

So as I say, it's Orange Alert time.  

Is Vermiculite dangerous

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 14:57

Isn't that why many of us are gardeners?  So we don't eat quite so many processed foods?

I do so agree about the nanny state telling us how to live, my parents, grandparents etc. never needed a date on some food to tell if it was safe, they applied experience and common sense - something that seems to be a dirty word these days.  Keep us all quiet and under the thumb, much easier to control that way!! Guess what, too many of us won't be 'controlled' for that to work - than goodness.

Regarding vermiculite again, I'm off to sow seeds, with the use of vermiculite to aid the process - the sun is shining, that can be fatal too, but it is too lovely to ignore.

Is Vermiculite dangerous

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 15:32

In which case Victoria, we would or would not use coffee, tomatoes, and many other things we currently regard as OK - as these and many others have been declared either deadly or carcinogenic over the years - just use carefully and with alot of common sense as we said earlier in this discussion.

Vermiculite is great for the plant roots, for the tiny seeds that need a little light, reducing weight in huge pots - I've been using it for over 25 years and so far it has done me no harm - at least, no harm of which I am currently aware. 

Breathing in any fine dust is never a good idea, use your vermiculite in well ventilated areas, damp it down soon as you've made up the pots and just be a normal, sensible person as the vast majority of us are - enjoy your gardening.  

Hundreds of missing bulbs

Posted: 01/02/2017 at 17:30

I do agree with Hogweed, I do not find spring bulbs long lasting.  I suspect the hybridising that has occurred over the years has reduced the life span - I too replace daffodils, irises and just about all the little bulls every few years - which means some type every year.  The only ones that come back regularly are the snowdrops, and I think the birds resow those each year.

There are one or two old daffs and tulips that do return, just 2 or 3, but the rest just go.


Posted: 01/02/2017 at 17:26

Still might be a petunia, I had one that lived for 3 years in a trough in which garlic grew - it froze several times but came back smiling.  Eventually something ate it. 

Watching Seedlings Grow 2017

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 19:46

John Innes 2 is meant for more mature plants rather than sowing seeds, so is rather more lumpy - and it will depend upon whomsoever made it.  There is a John Innes 1 and a seed slowing compost which are finer and without feed, as you want for seed sowing.  Avoiding peat, I have found that there are several good composts about but if you want them for seedings you need to dilute with seedling compost  so mix and sieve it yourself.   Many of the supermarket brands are coarse as they are trying to reduce the use of peat too, but seem not to take the time to completely rot down bark etc., which takes time the peat did not.

I love vermiculite and have used it in my compost, tubs, baskets and pots for many, many years, I prefer it from perlite, it is a natural mica and does nothing but open the coarser compost and hold moisture when needed.  A nursery not too far from us sells it in huge sacks which makes it quite inexpensive.  I often sprinkle it over seeds that don't really need cover as it lets the light in, but stops those tiny seeds from being blown away!!   If used with compost in very big pots it keeps the weight down, and does help avoid compaction.

Whatever works for each of us I guess, we'll all have our likes and experiences and can share that and hope someone finds it useful - or not!!

Watching Seedlings Grow 2017

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 18:20

going back to labels, it doesn't matter what you make them of, from whence you buy them, or what you use to write with - the blackbirds will pull them out and scatter them all over the place anyway!!  One year I tried to grow what I thought was canary creeper up a fence and was surprised when they turned out to be dahlias, and I put lettuces where I wanted larkspur - thanks to the blackbirds!  Gotta love them though…….

Plant orders for 2017

Posted: 24/01/2017 at 14:22

Adore lilies, and have never stopped growing dahlias - cannot think why fashion comes into it  but such is life

Enjoy your shopping too -  we all will I hope. 

1 to 10 of 1,308

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Orange alert, Orange alert

It's tea strainer time again. 
Replies: 1    Views: 326
Last Post: 08/05/2017 at 17:41

What the ?*******? is doing this?

Replies: 8    Views: 1437
Last Post: 24/03/2016 at 18:09

watch out, watch out ……..

…… lily beetle about 
Replies: 2    Views: 777
Last Post: 23/04/2015 at 15:38

Odd corrections?

Use of the English language! 
Replies: 18    Views: 1186
Last Post: 20/02/2015 at 16:37

Happy seasons greetings to all

Be joyful 
Replies: 14    Views: 1189
Last Post: 25/12/2014 at 17:25

squirrels and their cleverness

the unending bane of my life 
Replies: 32    Views: 3059
Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 20:49

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 1832
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

For whom do we garden .............

Replies: 12    Views: 1838
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 1059
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1477
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 2708
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 2549
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 44    Views: 37368
Last Post: 28/08/2015 at 20:53
13 threads returned