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Latest posts by Bookertoo

tomatoes-growbags or not growbags?

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 12:52

Over the last few years I have gone back to growing tomatoes in arge plastic pots, and have had consistently better resuts than I did with grow bags - except last year which I think was just too dark.  I am very afraid that on current readings that this year might be so too.  Someone said give them 6 - 8 hours sunshine a day - where?   I do not know of anywhere in the UK where that would be possible at present.  Anyway, I shall grow mine in their large pots in the greenhouse, unheated, this year and see how we get along.   I suppose I could always buy a day light bulb for the house if it stays as dark as it has been of late.

The 2 litre bottle in the soil for top up watering is a very good idea. 

Why Miss Bateman?

Posted: 17/05/2012 at 19:08

Yes Lilyfan, my 'red' clematis is Rebecca, I bought it from the breeder, which made it partiularly disappointing.  It is gorgeous, but real red it is not.  Maybe I should mention it to them? 

Lupins laid low with infestions

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 15:54

Yes, these large, juicy, somewhat greyish disgusting ones are specific for lupins only,  if you want to grow them you will have to consistently resort to chemicals as far as I know.  As I said, I'm afraid I just gave up & grew something else, those aphids just disgusted me!!  Hope your lupins are gorgeous, you can share them with a picture maybe ?

Protecting plants from frost

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:47

Keep some fine horticultural fleece near the door, it is then quite easy to pop out and cover the sensitive items when frost is forecast - though it is amazing how many tender things do in fact recover well, or not even notice it at all.  At this time of year it is less likely to be a penetrating frost, and a few ice scorched leaves are not deadly for the plant.  I imagine icy roots are though, so fleece should help there. 


Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:44

Interesting that Wintersong found the organic pellets useless, here they have been helpful - nothing will eradicate slugs and snails, neither do we want that to be so, too many things eat them (Uggghh).  Copper tape on pots really does help, I nearly gave up my hosta collection a few years ago until discovering that, plus taking out the top inch or so of compost every Spring (that's where the eggs are if there are any).   I have not found that grit, eggshells etc. helps, they just creep over it, albeit possibly more slowly. 

No experience of the pellets you mention Botticelliwoman (another wonderful name), it probably works on the same principle of dryng the area out so they won't cross it - but they do, here at least. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:40

Bright and cheerful looking today in the East Midlands, as long as you don't go outside! When you do it is cold, with a nasty lazy breeze that goes straight through you instead of around.  In spite of the cold it is surprising to me  ( an abject hater of all things cold) how many flowers are out, and how well veggies are growing.  Some of them however I am too cowardly to put out - I tell myself it is for their protection, but I know the reality is that I will not spend so much time in the cold if I can help it!

Carrot fly

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:35

Keep a layer of fine horticultural fleece over them, my friend has had wonderful carrots since she started doing this.

It is said that growing onions nearby helps, as the onion fly and the carrot fly get confused about the smells.

Don't thin out until late in the day, as they can smell that from a very long way away.  A physical guard like fleece does the trick very well. 

Talkback: Ground elder

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:32

Yes, ground elder was known as Bishops Wort.  It was brought here by the Romans, who used a tea made from the young shoots to ease the pain of, among other things, gout.  Only Bishops could afford to eat well enough to get gout it was thought, hence Bishops Wort.  it does make a good tea for anyone with pain from osteoarthritis, as it is mildly sedative and really does help with the aches after a good day weeding it out.

We cannot get rid of it as the garden backs onto an old quarry - where ground elder reigns supreme.  it is quite satisfying to drink the tea, some slight revenge I suppose.

Ground elder tea: Take a good cupful of very young leaves, steep in boiling water for two or three minutes.  Strain well, sweeten with a little honey if liked, drink warm just before bedtime.   It tastes and smells a bit like cabbage water, but is not actually revolting, I think they were on to something there.  Pity it became such a detested weed. 


Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:26

Heucheras used to be grown for their flowers rather than their leaves as they are now.   The deep geen one with tall, deep red or coral flowers was, and indeed still is, one of my favourite flowers - we always call the flowers the 'firework flowers' as they leap up above everything else at this time of year.   I do not grow the multicoloured ones, but still try and get more of the red flowered ones, so indeed, no matter what colour they are, please do enjoy the flowers. 


Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:23

Majorum from your pots will seed itself everywhere - I love it so have no problem at all with that.  Even in a courtyard garden it will find the tiniest windblown soil and grow.  

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 611
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

For whom do we garden .............

Replies: 12    Views: 691
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 309
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 553
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 1254
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 844
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 22    Views: 4413
Last Post: 18/04/2014 at 14:51
7 threads returned