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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 18:14

Not today, too cold, but yesterday cleared some perennials, picked up branches and twigs fallen from the trees, took dead leaves off day lilies and so on - that's about as far as it went, but it was good to be out there for an hour or two. 


Posted: 18/02/2015 at 18:12

Often the packets of seeds give the earliest possible dates for sowing, and they do often specify indoors.  For those of us who live north, very far north, of the Watford Gap, later is better than earlier!  You may have to start again as it is likely to be a while before they can go out - but keep pinching out the tips to make sturdy bushy plants and you may be lucky.  Much depends on where you are in the country, and the weather to come - plenty of space for winter yet. 

Earliest gardening memories?

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 18:08

My dad growing vegetables, cabbages, carrots and all the things that we grew in the early years after the war. Him bringing in an armful of something for dinner.   He had no truck with flowers in the garden, but did allow my mum to grow sweet peas around near the door, and he did love the wild flowers.  There were plenty then, cowslips nearby in huge swathes, kingcups in a wild pond, primroses, especially on the railway banks, daffodils, often where people threw them out and they colonised the roadsides, sweet violets - those flowers he liked, but not ones grown by us - waste of food space he thought. I do so wish now - he's very long gone  -  that I had paid more attention then, but when you are young and foolish you sometimes think your parents are old and foolish - just as I am now I guess!!

idle curiosity.....

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 18:03

Ah yes, now you say that I do recall that  - I knew it wasn't a case of putting them in like spuds - thank you Mark499 (Are you nearly an emergency worker? Sorry, you must get that  all the time!).  I might be tempted to try - we ate such alot of them when we lived in Zambia, the local market had them in for a short time each year - yum!  The ones we get here are OK, but like everything else, much nicer fresh.

Polish Spirit pruning

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 18:00

Get out the secateurs and show it who's boss!!   Seriously, assuming it's not freezing, then prune away - top dress and feed - stand back and admire in due course. 

Possible pest...

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 17:58

You are most certainly not an idiot - if you were, you would not have asked!  We all started out knowing little or nothing, and learned from friends, misadventures and here - that is what we wrinkled old fogeys are for - and we learn lots from the fresh faced young ones as well !  No such thing as a silly question, only the one not asked that causes your lovely things to die - that IS silly!!

Mystery purple plant identification

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 17:55

If you make elderberry cordial with the berries, it will be the prettiest pink colour.  Looks great with lemonade or fizzy water if you want a nice drink for an occasion, that is not alcoholic.

If you keep the cordial long enough, it will become slightly alcoholic, and is still nice diluted as before.  I think the black elderberries do not flower, and thus fruit, quite as generously as the plain ones - but they are lovely with that dark serrated foliage. 

idle curiosity.....

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 17:51

I have a feeling you can't grow sweet potatoes like ordinary potatoes, so I have my doubts about that one.

 Ginger does grow well in a pot, you'll need to give it lots of warmth and light (it comes from the tropics after all), but they can make handsome indoor plants.  They won't flower here I think, but it's worth trying just for the fun of it - go for it. 

plug plants

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 17:49

No, you do not put them in the garden straight away - though doubtless the company would love you to do that, so that you can buy them all over again April - May, when they should be sold.  You will need to keep them warm, repot them into slightly larger pots, then again later on,  water and coddle them for several weeks before you can even think about outdoors for such little babies.  I've not even sown my seeds yet, never mind have plug plants ready to pot on.

I'm sorry, but I really think this is just a cynical ploy on the part of the vendors to get your money out of you twice!!

If you have a greenhouse, or huge warm light windowsills, and time to deal with lots of baby plants, then go ahead - if they all do well it will have been a bargain indeed. 

Wrong plants sent by mail order

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 16:25

I really don't know how they still get away with it after all the years I've read complaints on here - are people not complaining to them?  Or is it lots of new gardeners who are getting conned, and then think - probably wrongly - that they can't garden, or they did something wrong?  Baffles me to read this every year. 

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