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Latest posts by BrummieBen

A garden full a weeds!

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:18

It is all a matter of time and effort, easiest is to cover the whole lot, cut the light for 12 months will see off just about everything. If I was in your position I'd prob do what fidgetbones said for the slow easy method. Once it's all covered up, buy a load of grow bags and recycle containers or buy large pots, and grow stuff on top of the covering. Can grow salad crops etc in grow bags no problem. Then next spring, take the cover off, dig plot over and you are ready to start. Good luck.

Re-planted Sunflowers - Leaves wilting, generally not as expected

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:10

They should recover providing we don't have any cold nights. Quite normal for plants to look a bit sad for a day or two after planting out or repotting. Sunflowers are pretty tough, they deal with slug damage etc quite well. One word of advice to you though, I've grown many different types of sunflowers, almost all WILL require some form of support. If you've just planted them now is the ideal time to shove a nice big cane, 8ft normally for the 6ft+ ones, just to the side of your plants roots. Tie the plant in every foot or so and you should be good. If you grow the very large ones, I personally use a cane, and also plant close to walls or fence where I have support wires that I can attach it to as well. Haven't lost any big ones in a good few years. Also, don't forget the ground, when they get bigger, sunflowers are greedy, so I plant mine on a big load of manure in the planting hole. I also feed them tomato feed every week, and twice a week once the flower head is formed. It sounds a lot of work, but the results are always worth it. When  the head of your sunflower is over a foot across, it's well worth it!

update...greenhouse on breezeblocks..attaching base???

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:34

Honestly, I've been there where you just wish you'd thought of something before you did what you'd percieved as the way forward! The easiest way around the whole step 'problem' is to fashion a ramp that takes the path to level with the step. The longer you make the ramp, the less angle it will be. I find I tend to hit the step on the way in, as opposed to on the way out. Greenhouses are very exacting things, if you want them to stay up, they have to be level, and they have to be square, otherwise the glass won't fit, or they run into problems after a year or two. It really is totally worth taking twice as long to start with, because then you don't have to worry about stability etc in the future.

Cutting the frame full stop is plain madness. It is suprising I know that a GH derives it's strength from the base, but it is the rectangle that indeed maintains the vast majority of the stability. I have an aluminium base which when I was constructing was shaped like a banana and was bendy as hell. However having been inside during 20mph+ winds, the frame and the base act as 'suspension', it allows the GH to move a little, this is why cutting it in my book would be asking for trouble.

Anyways good luck mate, you'll be glad when it's all done and you're inside pottering about while it's hammering down outside. (just like me today!)

help: bindweed is coming over from neighbour!

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:11

I buy the concentrated glyphosphate that makes say 15 litres. I think it's resolvor or something. Instead of mixing 10ml in a litre and using a spray, I mix 10 ml with 100ml of water in an old marg pot. I then use a small artist brush to apply to the weed leaves. The trick is to be vigilant, granted, against bigger docks and dandy's and bindweed bramble, it doesn't kill it immediately. BUT, it puts them on the back foot. With things like bindweed and bramble, very very tough to dig out. If you get it when it starts to sprout, then I apply every month or so, make sure it's dry for 12 hrs after application, you will control it. I'm finding in my third year here, there's very few bit's coming up now, so I think I'm winning! (BTW it's coming from next door too!)

Expensive perennial plug plants

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 20:54

I find with perenials they will always be poor from mail order. I keep an eye out while on my trips and if I spy something nice, I'll knock the door and ask for a root cutting in autumn. It always helps when I tell them the stock I can offer too! This year I've really gone mad with the seeds, everyday I'm primping, watering, pricking out and potting on. Running out of space, so hopefully make a good few quid at table-top sales and carboots over next month or so. Use the cash to spend on pots, exotic equipment, compost and poly pots! Oh and I made the mistake of offering to grow 200 russian giant for my daughter's primary school to sell!

update...greenhouse on breezeblocks..attaching base???

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 10:23

The spikes are to go into the ground either in soil or concreted in. You could still use them by drilling out appropriate holes in the breezeblocks then making up a fine grade concrete filling then fitting spikes in. I would be more tempted to cut them off and use screws and rawl plugs every foot or so. 2" screws will be fine. Regards to the door, is it on hinges? Or does it slide? If it slides does it not require the 'step' for it to be correctly supported and guided when closing? If it's hinged, then you will essentially be leaving that '2 ft portion' as a hole? What's your plan to keep it sealed?

The step is a pain granted, but if you have the space how about making a gradual ramp of maybe 3 or 4 foot up to the lip of the frame? It would be very gradual and there's no step and less headache than cutting the frame up! Also not sure what that will do to the stability, the greenhouse gets it's strength from the box frame at it's base, which you plan to compromise. Think very carefully before cutting the frame, there's no going back !!!!

Hope I've helped you have a few more thoughts. Oh, I have a dremel so I use that to cut aluminium. How ever I'm sure a fine toothed hacksaw blade would do as well. Wouldn't recommend a junior hacksaw, you'll be there for weeks! Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Buying compost online?

Posted: 23/05/2013 at 17:25

Usually the cost of courier is prohibitive. If you are worrying about the weight in your car, think like this, a 120litre bag (provided it's not sopping wet) probably weighs a third of an average adult. Well that's what I find when lifting them. So if you have a 4 seater, then should carry 6 or 8 bags easily. When creating raised beds it's important to dig down maybe 6 inches, I also sift this through a half inch size sieve. Then start filling the bed up, I start with compost/manure first, a few inches, then a couple inches thick of soil. It is important to mix soil with the compost otherwise when the compost dries, it's difficult to wet again, also the soil gives the mix 'weight' meaning when dry it won't be blown away!.

When you are about halfway full, tramp lightly over the whole bed, then fill to a couple of inches from the top. I always tramp down at half full otherwise after a few weeks when the soil settles with watering, your level will drop by 3 inches! Good luck.

Right Plant Wrong Soil !

Posted: 23/05/2013 at 17:10

You could make a raised bed, but dig down about 2 or 3 feet as well then fill with ericaceous compost. If you use ericaceous feed that will help. Pretty sure you can buy a product to mix in a watering can to help maintain a more acidic soil too. Have a gander at this :


Posted: 23/05/2013 at 17:05

probably better off knocking up a trough from pallets or decking planks. Line the inside sides with gardening polythene (except the bottom!). I'd go for a foot to 18 inch high, and as wide as you like, you also can then plant up with bulbs for spring and bedding for the summer . Make sure you have good drainage and remember to water! Building a trough is not only satisfying, but also you can make it exactly the right size for your garden. Good luck!

pruning clematis Montana

Posted: 23/05/2013 at 11:56

prune as hard as you like, provided you give it some feed every week it'll soon recover and take over again.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

Replies: 13    Views: 1422
Last Post: 09/08/2013 at 14:21

clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
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Last Post: 11/06/2013 at 23:07

The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

It's back, trying biological control this time. 
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Last Post: 14/06/2013 at 00:17

bulbs, daffs, tulips, hyacinths, alliums

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Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

Replies: 16    Views: 17192
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

Replies: 8    Views: 612
Last Post: 20/04/2013 at 09:35

Back after a long slog

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Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

anyone else think this 'extended' winter, means a good summer

as above 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

So lyon, change your name back to Gary, wondering why?

well not really 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 09:28

Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
Replies: 13    Views: 1160
Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

Replies: 9    Views: 794
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

The ones you use most! 
Replies: 26    Views: 1227
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 14:56

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
Replies: 6    Views: 607
Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
Replies: 5    Views: 621
Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
Replies: 7    Views: 561
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads