Latest posts by Bookertoo

Anyone know the identity of this plant please/

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:32

If you don't want this to happen, there are treated bird foods that will not germinate, or you can cook the bird seed for 2 minutes in a microwave which stops it germinating and makes no difference to the birds - as long as it is cold when it goes out!

Can Jasmine go in a pot?

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:30

Anything can grow in a pot, provided the pot is large enough and you are prepared to give it all the care and attention it cannot give for itself in the open ground.  Which kind of jasmine did you have in mind?  There is no reason why not, but you will need to treat it with care and attention all year round - we grow much of our garden in pots, somewhere between 400 - 450, and so I know they can be time consuming - but great fun as you can grow all sorts of unlikely things apparently together, and move them around as they get past their best or come into full glory.

Which evergreen shrub

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:26

Whatever you plant here is going to have to compete with some pretty greedy plants taking water and nutrients out of the soil.  It might be better to put something you like in a pot or trough than expect it to compete with leylandii and hawthorn?

It may be possible for rosa rugosa to do here, or pyracantha (prickly which may be a no no for you), maybe some ground cover like periwinkle - the newer ones are better in flower and not so invasive as thier earlier cousins.  Early spring small bulbs may do well, flowering before the canopy thickens.  Spindle shrubs are nice, good autumn colour - possibly wigelia?

Boston fern from spores ...

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:23

Although I have never done this, I hve read that it can take quite a long time, sounds as if you are off on the right track, keep the trays moist and quietly wait - all will be revealed in natures time I imagine. 

Lupin growing advice needed

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:20

 ............not only slugs and snails, but the dreaded lupin aphid.  If your area does not have these, then go for it - they are lovely plants.  I used to grow them until the lupin aphid reached here (east midlands).  The aphids are huge, grey and disgusting, and the birds ignore them - they lay waste to lupins in avery short time.  I tried a tree lupin but they liked that just as much.  I no longer grow lupins, but love to see them where they are well grown. 

weedkiller in peat-free compost??

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:18

Basically this is nonsense, unless he has been buying some very dodgy compost!!   I have been using peat free for a few years now, it is a bit more difficut to get on with but once you work out it's watering needs, and possibly sieve it for tiny seeds, it is fine. All of my plants grow well in it. I do use JI2 with it for some potted plants, as much for weight as anything else. 

Plant ID required

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:16

At a glance I see nothing in that pot that looks like mint, and I grow several varieties of it.  The seedlings I do see look like weeds, possibly rose bay willow herb, but at any rate, not mint.

Often it is better to buy in a small plug of mint, as it can be difficult to grow from seed. It is widely available.  Better yet, if you know someone who grows it, ask for a cutting, it roots very easily.  Suggest you keep it in a pot as it spreads worse than a forest fire!

Hello I'm a Lily Beetle, come and get me!

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:13

Aha Zoomer, they caught you out too huh?  No, although they do go into the compost for the winter, where they hatch out into the following years red horrors, the eggs are laid on the leaves of the lily.  Each egg becomes a first stage larva, and then coveres itself with its own excreta, sticking it to the leaf.  If you look under the leaves, you will see black sticky spots, slightly irregular in shape, each is a lily beetle larva.  They need removing to reduce the numbers that will grow over the winter and hatch into full beetles next spring.  Use an old cloth or something to wipe it off with, it is all quite disgusting.  Some of my leaves were so full of  it that I just took off the whole leaf.  So far, that has not been necessary this year.  The beetles themselves come out less when it is cool, and in numbers when it gets warmer.  If you have found 4, there are many more somewhere.  Sometimes you see them on other plants on their way (I assume) from one plant to the next.  They eat fritillaries as well, but not day lilies which are not a member of the true lily family.  Some people have had such infestations that they have moved over to day lilies from asiatic or other lilies.  You do need to keep yur eyes open, they're there, the little perishers!

sowing seed .

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 18:23

It is  surprising what can do well even when sown now - and anyway we are all weeks behind, and we will (Hopefully) have a glorious late summer as well as the one we are currently enjoying, so they will have plenty of time in which to grow.  Hope that doesn't come back to haunt me as a  ' whoops ' remark. 

Another Mystery Plant thread

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 18:21

That could be aloe 'pheasants breast' - I inherited one when my son went to live in America and passed all his succulents and cacti on to me - being a softie and his mum I agreed to keep them - and I don't really like those type of plants!  Anyway, there is one like that, one of the few I do like, and that is its name. 

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