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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Globe Artichoke

Posted: 26/04/2012 at 14:18

Either way, yoou should be aware that they are huge - albeit beautiful.  I used to grow them on our allotment but now I am only gardening at home, I cannot find space for them.


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 12:35

Going back to the wooden sticks, lollipop sticks are good (nice excuse to eat ice lollipops, especially those rich chocolatey ones!), a soft lead pencil works best and lasts well - but stuck in a wet pot they will eventually rot away. 

seedling compost

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 12:28

I think that white coating comes when the compost has ben damp, maybe it is salts of some kind? Like you I have not found it does any harm, and so far it hasn't occured on the seedling mix. 

I'm not sure that all GC's are quick to return stuff to the manufacturers, but I do think they need telling that the stuff just is not fit for purpose - it just takes longer to rot down properly I think, whereas the peat based stuff did so quite quickly. 

seedling compost

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:29

Have had horrible experiences with compost too - the first few years peat free came on the market it was good, and we used it quite happily.  Then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and most are awful. I have had very bad Westlands, so glad that Gold1locks has found good stuff.   The best I have found so far is B&Q's multi purpose, whih sadly is with some peat, but even that needs watching for sticks and lumps.  I sieved it for seedlings as the small bag of seed compost I bought was so rough that very few seeds could have germinated in it.  Hope the broad beans will manage.

Last year I bought a tonne of bark chippings to cover the ground in our fruit cage, and some of this years compost looks almost exactly the same!

A few of our bulbs.

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:23

WE grow vast amounts of evrything in pots, and find that bulbs are really very sucessful grown this way - but as with so many modern bulbs, they do not have long lives.  Miniature daffodils have come up year on year for about 7 years, but have now become overcrowded and split - good value as they were inexpensive.  Tulips do well, but I tend to agree with Minty, these daus treat them as annuals, though there are a few in the garden beds that do come back, it is not the rule for us.

You can gow anything in a pot as I have said many times on threads over many years, as long as you are willing to put in the effort it takes to supply all the plants needs - we have and do grow everything from tiny alpines to an oak tree in pots - but we don't go away all summer because of it!! 


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:18

Ceanothus are always described as being short lived, but for us this has not been so.  About 12 years ago I bough one with variegated foliage and lovely blue flowers called 'Zanzibar', being assured I would get 2 or 3 years out of it.   It is still going strong, has never become a huge bush as some can do, but flowers beautifully each year.  I prune it very hard in autumn, which is why it has never become big I suppose, and off it goes.  Mind, having said this I have probably put the kiss of death now


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:11

It really depends upon the drainage you have added to the compost in which you sowed them.   If you added things like fine grit, vermiculite or similar, they should be OK, as long as the container also has good drainage holes.  Lifting it up is a good idea.  Covering carrots with horticultural fleece is always a good idea, as it keeps the dreaded carrot fly away - they can't find the carrots then.   If the seeds have got pushed too deeply into the soil by the rain, they may not be able to germinate - but there is plenty of time to resow if this does happen. 

sowing veg seed in plastic guttering

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:08

Never heard of doing things with tap roots in guttering, I imagine it will rapidly become too shallow, and tap rooted things don't much care to be transplanted on the whole.  Peas and probably some beans respond well to this as you can just slide the gutter full of seedlings and compost into a ready prepared trench. Let us know how you get on?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:06

It's pouring again, has been all morning, at least no hail thank goodness, soft hosta leaves did not respond well to that! Everything is green - including me - the robin has developed gills,  the grass is as high as an elephants eye, and there is not way to get out there to cut it.  On the other hand, the reservoir is filling, we never had a hose ban and surely won't now - now it is getting windy.  I can't swim, and hate water -  please let the sun come out. 


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 11:02

They do need lots of good drainage so it sounds as if you have that right.  They need as much light and warmth as they can get, the harder you grow them the better the oils in the leaves and thus the better perfume and taste you get.

When we visit our friend in the very south Spain we walk among hot dry dunes and so forth, where the rosemary just is stunningly good - no soil to speak of, no rain for most of the year - the perfume is glorious.  Guess that is what they like then. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 618
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

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

Replies: 12    Views: 702
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 312
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 560
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 1269
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 856
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 22    Views: 4530
Last Post: 18/04/2014 at 14:51
7 threads returned