Latest posts by Bookertoo

Kilmarnock Willow

Posted: 01/02/2015 at 18:11

Hmm, which large plant were you considering - doubt it will fit in a hosta, the roots….

Oh you meant a large plant pot didn't you?  Yes, you can, and I have,  As I always say in answer to any question that starts 'can I grow it in a pot', the answer is always 'yes', but you have then to do everything for the plant that it would do for itself in the ground.  As we have 400+ pots in our garden, this means no summer breaks longer than 3 days - no. I'm not suggesting anyone else goes down this route, only saying you can grow anything in a pot if you put enough effort into it.  The willow will need a large pot, you will probably put it into  increasingly larger pots as it grows till you reach the point where you do not want to go further.  A thick layer of gravel on the top of the compost helps to keep moisture in, and weeds out - besides improving the appearance.  You will need to feed and water it well, keep it entirely weed free, and find the correct type of position in your garden for the pot.  I kept mine in a pot for around 8 years, then gave it to someone who wanted to transfer it to the ground - don't know if it survived the change, they don't always as a different root system is grown in a pot than in the sol. 

You will need to use a loam based compost for weight, with something like perlite or vermiculite in it to aid drainage.  You will need to prune it carefully to keep it in shape - but you can have a lovely plant at the end of it all. 

Favorite apple

Posted: 29/01/2015 at 20:18

I love  'James Grieve ', but there are so many good apples.  Much depends where you live, when the late frosts might be, and - maybe the most important - what kind of apples do you like to eat?  Do you only want eating apples, or would you lie cooking apples too?  

When Should I be planting my seeds?

Posted: 29/01/2015 at 20:11

Seed potatoes are especially treated to be just that, eating spuds are not a good idea to use for growing more spuds.

Much depends upon where you live Lucy, the further north, the later the sowing time. I live in the East Midlands and will do the bulk of my sowing in late March to April - though a few things can be started now, sweet peas, broad beans etc.   Root plants, like carrots, do not want to be transplanted, so you will want to sow those where they are to grow, once the soil is warm and dry - so not yet.  

Patience is a virtue everywhere, but nowhere more so than in gardening.  Many shops sell tiny little pots of annual and basket plants very very early, knowing that people will buy them, they will die as many people do not have the place or knowledge as to how to keep them, and it is plain too soon, and then those same people will buy them again - two open purses for the price of one!! 

One warning you may not get, is that raspberries can run like mad, so be careful where you plant them - but they are the most wonderful fruit to grow, the taste of them fresh is heavenly.  Red-currants are good too, they make the most wonderful sauces, look stunning on the shrub and need very little care.  Blueberries are great too, but do need ericaceous compost - many folk grow them in large pots. 

Do enjoy what you do, try not to take on too much at first, little and often is a good way to go - if you try to do everything at once you may wear yourself out and feel overwhelmed.  Give it time and enjoy it all. 



Posted: 22/01/2015 at 10:33

AW Dove says, it is fine to do it in the early Spring - the new bits won't appreciate being put into cold soil, but will run away when things are warmer  - well, would you?

Hope the leg improves, and that you can get on with the gardening in due course. 

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 09:27

Always try to buy the best organic and free range food and drink I can afford.  The rare times we buy meat it must be free range and organic - that way, I hope we are abusing farmers and animals a bit less.  Of course the price of milk is an obscenity, but as long as the supermarkets have the power they do, it is hard to avoid it.  There seems to be no place of which I am aware that you can buy farm milk at a proper price - even our localish farm shop sells it at less than the price it takes to produce it.  I was brought up on a mixed farm, we used to sell fresh milk - properly cooled and so on, at the farm gate - it was fresh, good and we charged what it cost to produce plus a penny or two.  Of course the EU stopped that, and the supermarkets were hard on their heels.  You can do the best you can to buy decently, but when the product is unavailable, what do you do?  No, I can't keep a cow!!

Tree Planting in border in tubs/buckets

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 14:31

There is also a root bag made by a company which restricts roots on trees/shrubs that you want to plant in soil but not to get too big.  Can't real who sells it, but probably search engine 'root bags' will find it. 


Posted: 09/01/2015 at 13:59

We did try that, but all that happened was that they ate what they had then started on anything else.  We do have alot of squirrels, and anything that woks for anyone is good.  I find chicken wire and holly cuttings over pots useful, this year laid alot of very prickly hedge cuttings on the ground over areas of newly ground planted bulbs which seems to have reduced the digging.  Will know more in a couple of months I guess. 


Posted: 08/01/2015 at 12:30

Snowdrops in sheltered areas near the hedge very much up, while spikes but not dropped over yet - soon though.  Other areas, the grey spikes of leaves show, some not at all yet - but they will.   They have been spread wonderfully by the birds over the years, lovely patch below a road sign just outside our drive where the birds sit and digest their meals!


Posted: 31/12/2014 at 16:26

Feeding the squirrels is fine, till they empty their feeder, when they come back to the bird feeder and empty that as well!   If I let them, they could cost me a small fortune, but I will go on as I really want to feed the birds, especially in this colder weather. 

Happy seasons greetings to all

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 16:15

We're at the stuffing and nips stage too - such a great meal and such a delight!  Let's all enjoy whatever we are having and be thankful to whatever you believe in that we are lucky enough to have it all, and each other.  Raising a glass to all …………..

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