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Latest posts by Bookertoo

New gardener new raised bed

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:40

I did wonder if you hardened them off before putting them outside?  If they went straight from your nice warm wndow sill to the raised bed, that could be a very big shock for them.  it is a good idea to put the pots, trays or whatever, outside by day for a few days, then at night but covered with a fleece or so, then plant them out into their final growing place.  Keep a bit of horticultural fleece by the door, so if it looks cold on the forecast, you can nip out and gently cover them over.  In fact, if you are growing carrots, you can keep them covered all season, the water and air get in but the dreaded carrot fly doesn't. 

Sad Eucalyptus Tree.

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:37

Wouldn't you, if you were bred to live in dry tropics and got brought here to a wet, dark, windy place?   Actually you have done brulliantly to keep it alive for 30 years, I have read that they do not have very long life spans, and I do just wonder if yours is coming to the end of its natural life?  The dead branches do become very brittle, and if large, could be a hazard to anyone walking nearby, so I would indeed get those cut off.

The last two winters have been dreadful for eucalyptus, one desperately cold and the next very wet and still dark up to now, maybe the roots are waterlogged? Although it does take up alot of water when it can, it does come from very hot Australia where the water supply only comes ocasionally.  I'd give it a good haircut and see if it recovers, but don't be too surprised if it does not - sorry if I sound unsympathetic, I'm not at all!


Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:31

I think that very tall aquilegias are par for the course this year, I have many which are well over a meter or more.  I suspect it is due to dark days, no sunshine, they are trying to grow up to where the good light should be - but there is none.  This afternoon it has turned sunny, and they are popping open even as I look - and are indeed very, very tall. 

Whats the secret to beautiful hanging baskets ?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:28

There are really only a very few rules for great hanging bakets, but you do need to follow them for the best results. I have found:

1) Use as many plants as you can stuff in them, and then a few more.  Ensure you do get good trailing plants with a good central unpright one.  I use around 20 plants for a 16 inch basket.   Buy 'em small and let them fight over root space, they will manage, they're only going to be there for a season.

2) Plant them up and keep them indoors until they are growing well - I have a small cool greenhouse and hang the baskets from the roof for about 6 weeks before they go out.  I have a friend who hangs them in her bathroom ......... old house, wooden beams.

3) Feed and water far more than you imagine needful.  Use some loam compost and vermicuite in the mixture to give the basket weight and ability to hold on to the water.

4) Deadhead, daily, twice a day in high summer (if we get one). 

5) If it rains, take them down and put them out in the rain, they will do better for that than any watering you can do.  If it is very windy, take them down anyway or they will end up ratty looking, it rarely lasts so long here.

6) Enjoy them, they can be stunning if well done. 

Talkback: Dealing with lily beetle

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:21
One of the most useful items when trying to catch lit beetles, is an old tea strainer. Preferably not the one you use for your Earl Grey - but one that is no longer used in the kitchen. You can knock the red terrors into it, put your hand over the top and carry the beastie to a hard surface where you can jump on him howling with glee - the last part is optional, but my neighbours are used to this, and know I am rather odd anyway so ignore my howls in lily beetle season. (come to that, at any other time as well ..... .) Seriously, a strainer really does help catch the beetles, and is easily popped into your pocket or tool bag as you go about the garden.

Lat year we were away for most of May so I did that which I don't normally do, and doused the potted lilies with Provado ultimate bug killer. This was sad as I have been non-chemical in the garden for years, but was not happy to come back to around a hundred or more dirty black sticks. I must say it worked very well indeed, nothing else got touched, and I can see it happening again. The trouble is there is nothing that will recognise these beetles as prey, as they are not native to the UK, but another aggravating import. Red means means danger to most insectivores so they are not likely to try it and see if it is delicious or not.

Talkback: Ground elder

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 17:14

What a good idea inverglen, may well try that on my troublesome patch, thank you

Is Vermiculite dangerous

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 14:41

I reckon you are right there lucky3, I'll stick to vermiculite as I have been using it for years and am used to it - seems the best way to go about anything really!

Is Vermiculite dangerous

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 14:07

Interesting, seems I need to check more, thank you - I thought vermiculite was, is, the natural one and is volcanic - better information need methinks. 

Rasberry Canes

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 13:20

Raspberries are remarkably tough, leave them where they are, given some light and warmth they will develop nice strong root systems, then new shoots.  Next year you should get flowers and fruit.  Patience is a virtue in gardening but raspberries are well worth waiting for.  

Just a warning, they can be very invasive - some of ours have come up several meters away from where they were planted - not something that many suppliers tell you about either.

Lack of Apple Blossom

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 13:14

Interesting these posts, as we have had more apple blossom this year than at any time in the last 10 years or so.  What we have not had is very many pollinators, the bees sensiby stayed in their hives when it was cold and wet, so whether we will have any apples is more likely to depend upon them, than any amount of blossom. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

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8 threads returned