Latest posts by BrummieBen

Watering Plants outdoors

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 22:25

The question is this.. the nice weather we've had last week might shift on, then 1 or 2 at night.. How is your soil, free draining or clay? Also look at the plants, especially shrubs, you can see from their leaves usually what they need. If you do water, sparsely, like less than a pint. Welcome to the world of gardening, where advice and books can help, but if you are an expert, you realise it's all a tightrope, and a very fine balancing act at that.. Therein lies the skill, to maintain your plants regardless of the curveballs nature throws at you!

Blind Daffodils

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 22:18

blind usually means no love!!! people are so averse to folliar  feeding in spring.. people plant bulbs and expect them to come up year after year with no love whatsoever.. There is only so many flowers that bulbs can make with no food people.. Usually I give my bulbs lawn feed (YES LAWN FEED) once a week, once the frosts aren't too bad, and especially after dead heading.. usually find a million 'blind' next year, but repeat, and the following year 5 million gazzillion flowers.. if you continue the feeding, even more the next year then it's time to start digging and shifting :P You can give your bulbs a massive home compost mulch (obv well composted stuff) when you plant as a sort of insulating food layer.. As long as you plant the bulbs on a nice 2 inch bit of gravel, as in under the bulb as you plant, you will be good to go. You will always get some blind, but this should indicate how well they are proliferating and you should ALWAYS have the original bulbs flowering, the blinds should be the 'extras' you have grown from being so great :P  Food folks, we all need it, especially bulbs.. I continue adding folliar feed after I've dead headed.. find the bulbs then get rather massive for next year. and the bigger the bulb, the more large the flowering.. 

Greenhouse Preparation Advice

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 20:50

I use 16 inch? maybe 18 inch pots every year in the greenhouse. The only compost I use is a couple of double hands to line the hole (I'm planting my small tomato plant) in the manure I buy in bags from homebase/b+q. I used to use broken up polystyrene as an aid to drainage in the pots, (they all are drilled with 3/4inch bits) but last year tried this one (ie with no 'drainage'), and boy it works good. The double bonus is by autumn through to spring, once the toms are gone, absolutely excellent mulch/ potting additive.. every year my flower/raised beds are topped up with this goodness, super for heavy soils, super for fine soils.. oh and you get a terrific crop of toms too.. what's not to like? Yeah.. NOT having the drainage stuff (crocks/poly) is such a headache saver when emptying the pots out.. I drill 4 or 5 of the holes in the bottom and not had a problem, if anything, I noticed in previous years with the drainage, half my feed was going straight through!!!! Just what my experiments have yielded, in amount of fruit and also time saving!!!

Rhino Greenhouse

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 20:19

When I was looking for a new greenhouse, I studied long and hard! Rhino are marvelous and the build quality is very good, BUT... they are very expensive.. Personally 2.5 - 3k was just too much for me, especially when you consider the size you could have and the options and still come in well under 2k.. I went for a 10ft wide by 12ft long greenhouse.. the adage is TRUE, get the biggest you can because it WILL be filled! Once you are past 8ft wide, if you choose to have toughened glass, trust me, the thing will NEVER blow away. With the size I had, I've had 40-50mph gusts 2 or 3 weeks back (tree fell on someone in a car in weorley castle bham 2 miles from me!), I had the damn doors open lol!!! The toughened glass is brilliant if you have kids too, but it weighs like 5 times as much as horti glass.. for the money you can save, get bar capping, toughened glass and then go for what size you can have with the same price a rhino will cost.If I had spent near 3k, I'd have had I think 10 foot by 8 foot rhino (a few years back) but for that money could have had my greenhouse as near 18 foot long not 12!!!  Please note, I had never built a greenhouse before or prepped the ground either!!! It's still there and the glass all still fits! People think bigger means weaker, when using toughened glass if anything it means stronger, something for folks to keep in mind!!!

I'm in a quandary -

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 20:00

Ok, I have a 12ft x10ft greenhouse, I insulate about 3/4 and then have bubble-wrapp 'doors' . I have two of these, on a stand I made out of some wood lying about, so they are back to back facing out in the middle of my 'tent'. These heaters cost like 3 or 4 pence a day to run continuous, so for me less than 10 pence a day!! Imagine my surprise a couple of years ago when first rigged up, to have over wintering geraniums flowering in march!!!! I then bought a mains plugin thermostat and rigged an extension off that to the 2 heaters.. ever since, no matter how cold, the greenhouse never drops below 6/7 C all for the princely sum of maybe 6 pence a day!!! Best way to heat a greenhouse ever!!! Very cheap to buy, very cheap to run, can't lose!! Best of luck! 

Old bought compost

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 19:49

just use as a soil structure improver, add a little rock dust and you're good to go!!!

Cheaper alternative to raised bed

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 19:20

I went with raised beds, mainly so it's easier to tend, the no tread idea is awesome for digging over at start of the season, also weeding, it's all so much easier. The work is at the start, also, an important consideration, well for me anyways was that my garden is almost all south-facing. The only place I can grow primulas is behind a windbreak lattice fence!!! Raised beds enable the soil to heat up lots quicker, hence allowing a small extension in the growing season, or much bigger if using tunnel cloche's or similar. Infact with a little ingenuity, some lengths of pvc pipe some pipe grips and some clear polyethene, you can easily convert entire raised beds into mini greenhouses. Again, where I live major problem with my 2 resident cats and also the urban foxes who seem to love marking and digging, with raised beds so very easy to net off. I personally have put decent quality anti-weed matting down and fine gravel all around the bed area. The gravel heats up in the day the slugs and snails really don't enjoy it, significantly less trouble there and less need for nasty pellets. Also no weeding!!! I have a border running around the outside that is planted up with some good stinky marigolds in the summer, and touch-wood the dreaded carrot-fly stays away. Raised beds are a lot of work to setup don't get me wrong. BUT the bonuses far outweigh the negatives, never worrying about root veg forking, honestly it makes things much more simplified. Just my tuppence worth

Long-handled bulb planter

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 18:33

I saw some in Wilkinsons, size of a normal spade and the foot pegs looked robust too, think they were £7.99?

Scaffolding Boards for Borders

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 18:19

I have about ten 8ft by 4ft beds made from scaffolding boards, thing I would do is line them on the inside with some polyethene or something only on the inside, then clout nail or fix down with strips on outside. I find giving this extra bit of protection will increase the life of the boards big time, and if installed when building, is well worth the effort.

atco admiral 16 with no grass collector :(

Posted: 08/04/2015 at 18:13

It might be the case of buying an atco 16 that's been destroyed but the grass collector is still great. Buying things as mundane as the collection box are usually very expensive from dealers. I've got a punch 43 cylinder mower, the previous owner had 'crashed' it. Aside from replacing some gearing and the throttle cable, I also had to replace the grassbox, it was close on 60 quid!!! As it was start of summer, I couldn't wait about for one I could rescue.. but that would be your best bet I'd think, having a quick look at the exploded diagram for that mower, it seems the collection bag at the back is made up of like 6 components, all of which will need purchasing, probably weighing in at a rather large bill at the end!!! Sorry!

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

Replies: 13    Views: 3213
Last Post: 09/08/2013 at 14:21

clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
Replies: 11    Views: 2772
Last Post: 11/06/2013 at 23:07

The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

It's back, trying biological control this time. 
Replies: 7    Views: 1577
Last Post: 14/06/2013 at 00:17

bulbs, daffs, tulips, hyacinths, alliums

Replies: 7    Views: 1889
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

Replies: 16    Views: 19234
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

Replies: 8    Views: 1193
Last Post: 20/04/2013 at 09:35

Back after a long slog

Replies: 3    Views: 1035
Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

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

as above 
Replies: 11    Views: 1542
Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

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

well not really 
Replies: 4    Views: 1246
Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 09:28

Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
Replies: 13    Views: 2567
Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

Replies: 9    Views: 1326
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

The ones you use most! 
Replies: 26    Views: 2542
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 14:56

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
Replies: 6    Views: 1378
Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
Replies: 5    Views: 1241
Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
Replies: 7    Views: 1181
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads