Latest posts by Bookertoo

Fork Handles

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:50

No, they probably don't need watering indeed, but they may want feeding as the rain may have leached all the nutrients out of their compost?  Look for beasties in them too, I imagine any port in a storm for many garden pests, the inside of a dahlia may be great hiding place while it muches on the roots & tubers. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:48

Not actually raining today, but no sunshine either - just grey flat skies that will not encourage anything to grow, nor get anything to ripen.  Ugggh, fed up!

Cotinus cogg

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:47

My dear fellow gardener Julieh2, I did not mean that I objected to answering a question a hundred times, only that some people don't quite believe you can grow anything in a pot, and as I am a passionate believer in it, I keep banging the drum about it.  I would be saddened if  you thought I was being harsh to you, that never, ever, entered my mind - and if it happened I sincerely aopolgise. 

You are quite right that potted plants do not reach their full potential for growth in a pot,  however big that might be, though some certainly try!  If you leave a pot with a potential tree in one place for a long while, the roots will find their way out into the ground below, unless you use sauscers or plates inderneath, I never do that so several of my trees are probably rooted far away from where I think they are!  There is an acer that canot possibly be growing only in the pot is has been in for the last 15 years, but that's OK, I don't intend to try and move it anyway.  The other thing is that it often means you can grow something that if it did grow to full size would be too much for your garden, but in a pot is more manageable - we have a 12 foot oak tree in a huge pot, I know it will never each the size of a woodland oak, but we love it as it is - so do the birds.

please keep asking questions of everyone as much as you like, we all learn something from eah other, and we all had to start somewhere- most of all, enjoy your garening. 

Don't forget with hostas, that their natural growth as far as size is concerned, is very variable. I have some that are 2 inches high, and some that are several feet high and across - yours just may be a smaller typpe than that of your friend?  Hostas are very satisfactory plants to grow in pots as you can keep the dreaded slugs off with copper tape around each pot, which reduces thae amount of damage those horrid pests do to them otherwise.  

Please do keep asking questions, as much as you like, we all learn something new from these posts, and we all had to start somehwere, and were/are very glad of tips and help. Most of all, enjoy your gardening, 'tis the best thing ever!


what feed?

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:37

Been feeding our hostas with organic pelleted chicken fertiliser for years, it really is good for them.  In fact, thw whole garden gets a shower of that in April or thereabouts.  I use specific fertilisers for s few things, such as clematis which are permanenetly hungry, tomatoes, their feed is good for most flowers, and grass feed for when it is not being washed out of the ground, or deep yellow from drought, depending whaich year we are talking about!  For a general boost for anything that looks hungry, I use liquid seaweed diluted according to the plant - also good for indoor plants as well.  Also used for hanging baskets, and floral containers, especially this year when they are having all the nutrients washed out of them with the rain. 

What is your kind of garden?

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:33

Mine tends to the 'let it all grow all over each other' style, with an attempt at some repetition of colour and variation of shapes, but basically it does what it wants.  I think it does keep down weeding, and gives a more naturalistic look.  I do have some friends who don't like the way I do it so much, and that is fine, they are still friends!  I don't want to see any bare ground, but if there is some, then a pot of something will go there to keep the growth fairly solid. It is not necessarily the easy kind of gardening some people think, but that was never the point.  My original aim when we came here, was out small 'lawn' should be secluded and surrounded by huge amounts of flowering plants and trees - we are getting there.

I find the herbaceous clematis very good in this kind of garden, as they happily creep over just about everything without actuually climbing.  Lots of hardy geraniums,  grasses and so on. 

The second part of the garden is the working part, veggies, fruit cage, strawberry beds, shed and greenhouse, just as lovely in its own way. 

There are pots absolutely everywhere, including what would be a patio if we used it as such.  Our predecessors put it where it is, but it is the cooler, shadier side of the house, so as a place for many hosta pots, and other  things it serves our purposes well. 


Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:24

If the rain continues as it is suggested, then ground drying isn't going to work.  If you buy veggies or fruit, or anything else for that matter,  in those  'string'  bags they come in sometimes, they are very good to hold onions or garlic and you can hang them in a garage, spare room or wherever to dry. 

Hazel nut queries

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Thank you, just ethe kind of information I was looking for.  I do so agree re green hazel nuts, my sister in law grows them which is why we wanted to start - yummy!

Cotinus cogg

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:18

As I have probably said on this site a hundred times or more, you can grow anything in a pot if you are willing to supply all its needs 52 weeks a year.  I grow trees, shrubs, bulbs, hostas and many, many other things in pots - over 400 of them, but it does take alot of work.  This is not a complaint, it is after all a self inflicted injury.

Yes you can grow cotinus in a pot, if the pot is big enough.  Start with as small  a pot as needed,  depending upon the size of the tree you buy or get given, and move it up to bigger ones each early spring until it has got as big as you want it to.  You will need to prune the shrub annually, and feed it regularly.  The red one does better in a pot as it is naturally slightly less vigorous than the green one, but both are possible. As with anything in a pot you must do everything for the plant that it would do for itself in the open ground, weeding is essential, feeding and watering (though not this year much!), drainage and general care.  Enjoy, growing things in pots can become an obsession, but really is a great way of having things wherever you want in the garden without having to depend on soil alone. 

Isn't a thankyou in order?

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:13

The amount of emails generated does get ridiculous, there should be an easier way to find out if anyone has replied to your comment or advice.  It was one thing the old site did well, kept a list of your discussions and then you could check that.  Any interest in that idea GW? 

baffled by strawbs and a mystery plant

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:11

Be careful where you source your straw for your berries.  I had some trees delivered a few years ago, well wrapped in nice dry straw.  So I used it - on the grounds of waste not want not - and grew the most incredible amount of weed grasses I had ever seen. Some 7 years later they are still pesting the area, no matter how much we dig and pull to get rid of them.  Sometimes cork type mats are a safer option as far as not introducing weeds is concerned.  You can also cut up some weed suppressing membrane, makes good collars for strawberries and other crops. 

Wood lice cannot eat your strawberries unless something else has started the damage.  They have extremely small mouthparts which only allow the ingestion of liquid food, they will suck out the juices once the dkin is broken on the fruit, but cannot do that themselves.  There really is no need to kill them, they are harmless - but can be a bit horrid in vast numbers.  You could brush them up in a dustpan and take a bucketful to the local woodlands for release.  I expect they will get eaten by the birds, but that is natural and I can live with that. 

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