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Latest posts by Bookertoo

What should I feed?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:59

Thank you for a very useful post Italophile - I have often been confused about potassium and nitrogen, which is fruit and which is leaves, no longer!!  I find liquid seaweed a very good all round fertiliser, and give the whole garden a shake of organic chicken manure early in the season, just for a jump start.  After that, I try and use what is appropriate for each thing, knowing that eg. clematis are hungry and greedy, but other things need very little help.

I shall print your post and keep it to hand. 

Talkback: Growing cut flowers on the allotment

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:54

An allotment is, as far as I know, a piece of land you rent to grow upon whatever it is that you wish to grow.  I do not think your committee member can tell you not to grow flowers - most people do as far as I know - that just sounds like high handedness for its own sake.  Of course if you are growing commercial crops, or ferocious weeds, or illegal things that is different, but as far as I have found, flowers are not (yet) illegal!!!  If it is a council site, check with them if you may grow flowers - besides, if you hav e done so for 6 years, why the fuss now?  Do you have a new broom who wishes ................

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:50

cold with grey skies as ever this morning, but now it's late afternoon, it is warmer with some sunshine - not as it should be, but the plants already look happier for it.  Lack of light the biggest problem for everything this year methinks? 

Talkback: Planting out tomatoes

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:48

Beans, climbing french and broad out, look ok but not much growth, cold and dark here as ever, courgettes out, some growth but not much - everything else struggling for light in the greenhouse or cold frame.  They will have to go out, bar the tomatoes which I grow inside anyway, as they are all just outgrowing their pots, the greenhouse and frame, and are getting some mildew due to overcroweded conditions.  Keep fingers crossed for some light ................

Star Jasmine with red leaves???

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:44

Its been cold indeed, leaves get red like our poor noses do in the cold!  New leaves will be normal if it ever gets warm enough ...............

Help Identifying a Flower

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:42

I too think it is lantana, you can grow it here if you have a southwards warm garden, otherwise it is often grown as a conservatory or patio plant, put out when warm and kept under cover when not.  They are lovely, but here alot of trouble to keep going well. 

New gardener new raised bed

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:40

I did wonder if you hardened them off before putting them outside?  If they went straight from your nice warm wndow sill to the raised bed, that could be a very big shock for them.  it is a good idea to put the pots, trays or whatever, outside by day for a few days, then at night but covered with a fleece or so, then plant them out into their final growing place.  Keep a bit of horticultural fleece by the door, so if it looks cold on the forecast, you can nip out and gently cover them over.  In fact, if you are growing carrots, you can keep them covered all season, the water and air get in but the dreaded carrot fly doesn't. 

Sad Eucalyptus Tree.

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:37

Wouldn't you, if you were bred to live in dry tropics and got brought here to a wet, dark, windy place?   Actually you have done brulliantly to keep it alive for 30 years, I have read that they do not have very long life spans, and I do just wonder if yours is coming to the end of its natural life?  The dead branches do become very brittle, and if large, could be a hazard to anyone walking nearby, so I would indeed get those cut off.

The last two winters have been dreadful for eucalyptus, one desperately cold and the next very wet and still dark up to now, maybe the roots are waterlogged? Although it does take up alot of water when it can, it does come from very hot Australia where the water supply only comes ocasionally.  I'd give it a good haircut and see if it recovers, but don't be too surprised if it does not - sorry if I sound unsympathetic, I'm not at all!


Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:31

I think that very tall aquilegias are par for the course this year, I have many which are well over a meter or more.  I suspect it is due to dark days, no sunshine, they are trying to grow up to where the good light should be - but there is none.  This afternoon it has turned sunny, and they are popping open even as I look - and are indeed very, very tall. 

Whats the secret to beautiful hanging baskets ?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:28

There are really only a very few rules for great hanging bakets, but you do need to follow them for the best results. I have found:

1) Use as many plants as you can stuff in them, and then a few more.  Ensure you do get good trailing plants with a good central unpright one.  I use around 20 plants for a 16 inch basket.   Buy 'em small and let them fight over root space, they will manage, they're only going to be there for a season.

2) Plant them up and keep them indoors until they are growing well - I have a small cool greenhouse and hang the baskets from the roof for about 6 weeks before they go out.  I have a friend who hangs them in her bathroom ......... old house, wooden beams.

3) Feed and water far more than you imagine needful.  Use some loam compost and vermicuite in the mixture to give the basket weight and ability to hold on to the water.

4) Deadhead, daily, twice a day in high summer (if we get one). 

5) If it rains, take them down and put them out in the rain, they will do better for that than any watering you can do.  If it is very windy, take them down anyway or they will end up ratty looking, it rarely lasts so long here.

6) Enjoy them, they can be stunning if well done. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 687
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

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

Replies: 12    Views: 776
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 362
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 626
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 1387
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 1003
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 32    Views: 5591
Last Post: 15/08/2014 at 12:57
7 threads returned