London (change)


Latest posts by BrummieBen

pruning Dianthus

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:08

I always thought they were basically annuals, flowered themselves to death, you can take cuttings (pipings) I suppose a little like geraniums (as in an overwintered plant isn't as spritely as a new cutting.)

Peonie help and cat issues

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:05

oi fred, I have two cats, and my cats love to use my garden!!! Also I have extended the curtesy to my neighbours that I will do a sweep every couple of weeks to remove offending articles.. To be honest though, I think they enjoy winding me up, seeing me sifting the soil adding compost and manure, I swear they do it on purpose! What annoys me the most is the fox poo, it stinks a hundred times worse and also the burying of bones! Cats are cats, they poo on turned soil, c'est la vie. Mind if we had a poll on cat poo in the borders or big fat rats, which do you think would win?

When will my asiatic/oriental lilly come through

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 22:57

I have tree lillies, but I have a really bad clay soil, and in particular where I wanted to plant was where all the water went! (The tree lillies were in pots for their first year) They are up against a retaining wall, like 6 ft high otherside is pavement, and at the bottom of my sloping garden. So what to do, bulbs rot in water, so here's what I did. I dug down maybe 2 to 3 foot. I then whacked in lots of manure, then a load of compost with soil on top, finally after I excavated the planting hole, I took an extra 3 inch off the bottom and filled with coarse gravel to the planting depth. I then popped the bulbs on top and covered as usual. This was last october, we have had plenty of rain and snow, yet all 12 of them are about a foot high so far. There is hope, you just need to be clever. They are actually roaring away this year, so I hope to get some great photos on here when they flower. Good luck, but remember, you can't control the weather, BUT you CAN control the soil!

Preparing to lay a lawn

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 23:45

Personally I'd dig in sharp sand, or horticultural sand. Aim for a 50/50 mix with the soil. You could add a little compost like 10% of the total, but you may have problems with worm castings. Most common problem with lawns is moss. Main cause is lack of drainage and shade. If you give the turf excellent drainage at it's roots, your lawn will be fairly easy to maintain and look wonderful. Ensure you take all the bigger stones out (anything 2-3" or bigger), this sounds like effort but trust me, if you do this, when it comes to aerating the lawn, (stabbing with a fork) no stones = an easy life. Good luck.

PS: you will need to give some attention every year for it to look great, however if you get the soil it has it's roots in sorted, it becomes a very easy job.

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

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 23:30

aye, sowed mine last week, 99% germination, most are now ready for moving on to the 4 inch polypots to be flogged to unsuspecting parents at my daughters primary school. I have 2 weeks left, fully confident they'll be filling them pots by then and nearing 8 inches in height.

Advice Needed!

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:52

Personally I use raised beds as they are easier to tend, you can keep conditions in the medium more easily, you can stop pests and weeds invading more easily, and the most important of all, they heat up lots quicker, something deep dug beds miss out on. Oh, and also it means you can add a cloche, or stakes for making a very strong pea/bean support. I personally use scaffold boards. I find that by digging down another 4/5 inches, then adding organic matter and the sifted soil, I can grow roots (parsnips, carrots) no problem. My soil is heavy clay with about a third of the soil being pebbles, so it just doesn't drain. My solution was to use raised beds and dig down a bit inside. Touchwood, very happy with the results. Yes a lot of effort to create, but prob will last 5 or 6 years. If you line the inside of the walls of the bed with polyethene maybe last a bit longer.

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!)

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

Replies: 13    Views: 2121
Last Post: 09/08/2013 at 14:21

clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
Replies: 11    Views: 1724
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

Replies: 7    Views: 1259
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

Replies: 16    Views: 18531
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

Replies: 8    Views: 837
Last Post: 20/04/2013 at 09:35

Back after a long slog

Replies: 3    Views: 677
Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

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

as above 
Replies: 11    Views: 1154
Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

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

well not really 
Replies: 4    Views: 876
Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 09:28

Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
Replies: 13    Views: 1758
Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

Replies: 9    Views: 974
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

The ones you use most! 
Replies: 26    Views: 1692
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 14:56

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
Replies: 6    Views: 891
Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
Replies: 5    Views: 874
Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
Replies: 7    Views: 772
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
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