Latest posts by Bookertoo

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

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 16:22

Keep the old teastrainer in your pocket - it helps to catch them, as they turn upside down when they fall you can't see their red backs, their underneaths are black/brwn so they virtually disappear.  if you want to use chemicals Prvado does work.  They come out in the warmth and then I have a great time collecting them up in their large numbers, taking them to the hard standing and then JUMPING on them - hard!! My neighbours have given up even noticing my odd behaviours so this is just one more they can ignore as well.  P.S. I wouldn't use the teastrainer you use for your earl grey, an old plastic one is fine!

Tomato Plant

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 16:44

We've all been complete novices at some point, and about some things we all remain so.  It is thus important to share whatever you can with new folk who may have all sorts of information to pass on to others - that's how gardening goes along!  Enjoy. 

Advice needed!

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:17

Yes, well, that's a 'how long is a bit of string' question nejaan.  You can grow absolutley anything in a pot provided it is of the right size and you are willing to do everything for the plant that it would do for itself in the ground.  We have 400 odd (probably in both senses of the word) pots in our garden, from 6'' across to three or four feet - and we never, ever go away in the summer because every pot needs attention every day.  Ok, you don't ned to be as besotted and silly as I am, but pots do take alot of attention  - depending what you grow in them  They need weeding, even with gravel on top, as they cannot cope with competition as there is far less soil available to each plant than would be in beds, watering is an art in itself as no two have the same needs.  Advantages are that, at least with somewhat smaller ones, you can move them around as each thing comes into its best. Our daffodil pots are now beside the shed till next spring.   Having said you can grow anything in a pot and you can, some things are easier than others.  Wild life plants are often natives and tend on the whole not to be as happy in pots as other things.  We have small (grown that way, not pruned) buddlea, which the bees/butterflies love, hostas which they lve for the flowers, oregans, mints, many small shrubs and grasses, trees - which may be more than you want - not everyone wants a 12 foor oak tree in a pot - small acers, bamboos, (not not native, but I like them), dicentras, sweet peas, peas, beans, other veggies, herbs,   foxgloves are surprisingly happy in a pot, all summer bedding can be grown there, iris's, especially the little ones, all spring bulbs etc.  There are some excellent boosk about container growing, try your library and see what they have?  Take a look around your area and see what is growing well, ask the gardener what it is, whether it is a perrennial (stays more or less as it is, comes back each year) herbaceous, (dies back but returns each year) annual (needs replaving each year) bulb, most can stay where they are - including lilies which are very happy in pots.  I could go on, but won't or  I  will wear your eyes out!!  

Bulb sizes?

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:04

Lilies are often good buys, the only thing you need towatch out for is if they are mold free and still hard.  Having said that, that is the ideal, but I have bought 'throw outs' for pennies, sprouting and soft, and many of them have done wll for years - still, it's not the best way to get them.  Get them planted, time is agoing for lilies.  

Clematis armandii - what is the problem?

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:01

I believe that Armandii doesn't get clematis wilt, only the big summer hybrids - this really does look like wind damage to me, plus amybe a bit more watering than is strictly needful?  My apples looked a bit like this on Sunday, but have picked up with rain and no wind - see what happens. 

Fertiliser types

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:00

Growmore is not an organic product, it is made of chemicals in a factory - nothing wrong with that, but that is why it smells of nothing.  One of the best general fertilisers is pelleted organic chicken manure, my whole garden, pots, hedges and everything else, gets a dose of that around now - often earlier, but everything was so late this year.  I use liquid seaweed diluted in a watering can for top ups if needed, and specialist fertiliser for the clematis ans they are such greedy beasts.  If your soil is reasonable you shouldn't need much more.  Sometimes if it has rained a huge amount and nutrients, in  pots especially, are getting leached out, a foliar feed with the seaweed liquid does well.  Ericaceous plants sometimes need a jolt of iron feed if they are not in ericaceous soild, either as a feed or a dollop of compost around them that the worms and so will pull into their roots.   Baskets and summer bedding appreciates a liquid feed as their plants have to do a great deal of growing and flowering in a very small space in a short time. 

metal plant supports

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 17:53

I've got a couple of those large hooks intended for bikes, and find they hlod all the metal supports very well all winter, and I can get them out when I need them - that is high over the window in my shed - not high in that they are hard to reach, but over the window - if you can make sense of that, have a buscuit as a reward!!

ID on Weed/Plant

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 17:50

Yes, I had a small patch of that, and now it is every where.  A few patches I don't mind, it is actually rather pretty - but in the wuantities it is trying to grow now?  Oh dear!!  Oh well, yet another one to contend with ....... 

hello from 'the newbe'

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 17:48

Hello, many (though by no means all )  of us here are getting somewhat older, but there is no such thing as a maintenance free garden.  It is keeping it going and loving the acts of gardening that keep us active and joyful.  Of course, there are easier ways to do things than there were 20 or - well, a great deal - of years ago - but maintenance free?  No, most of us would not want that anyway.  You will need to weed, to prune, to trim, and mostly just to love and enjoy your garden to keep it, and you, happy.  

Tomato Plant

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 17:45

Yes, that's what LG said, when it has nearly got as high as you want it to be, then pinch out the top shoot.  It will need to be a good bit taller than it is now if it is to have room to produce fruits.  Don't forget to nip out the little side shoots that appear in the axles of the main leaves too, you just want the main stems where the flowers are forming.  It needs feeding and watering regularly when the first set of tiny fruits has formed ( you will se reference to 'when the first truss has set'  - that  is what that means),  don't let it get dry, and keep the watering as steady as possible, rather then let it dry out then water - that is good or many plants but not tomatoes.  

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