Latest posts by BrummieBen

fence panel type

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 01:14

I replaced 30 metres of fencing last year. Use google and find local fencing companies, the horizontal rubbish at homebase and b&Q is rubbish and expensive. I got 6ft x 6ft shiplap fencing (vertical) all preserved and mounted on 2x2" batten for 20 quid each. Vertical last much longer than horizontal. Also the boards were 1" thick and the whole lot was heavily treated. £5 a board cheaper than the fly-away rubbish that rots after a year or two from the regular places, mind it weighs a bit so get a mate to help. But then that's the quality.. I never understand why people buy balsa for a fence at silly prices!

Organic Solutions?

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 00:51

They'll eat the lot, by clipping off the soft young growth the idea is you remove most of the sawfly. However, when push comes to shove sawfly eat ALL the leaves.

Good Evening FORKERS

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 00:41
Verdun wrote (see)

Tina, then do it.  Do it tomorrow.  I'll be asking you and there's a whole bunch of others here will be waiting for your response.

I have a feeling you are good at it.......

So this is where you all hide!!! Wish Brumbull would come back, was a top fellow. And the reason I have quoted Verdun is because Tina, you are one of 'those' people, and I 'am' one of the 'bunch of others' waiting for your response. You're a caring sort, to empathise is completely different to sympathise, go and help folk, I certainly don't get up at 6am or work nights for the money (I'm a nurse), I do it for the way it makes me feel, and the way I make people feel. Making a difference, far more powerful than any paycheck..

Planting a hedge - help!

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 00:24

lol at FG, naughty? I never mentioned ugly neighbours !!! Holly, hawthorn, blackthorn, berberis, pyrocanthus, all of these really aren't that much more aggro than a conifer hedge, but you'll be rewarded with birds and lots of wildlife. Loads of insects that eat greenfly will make their home there, and don't forget stunning flower and berry displays. Birds will nest there, and also the roots won't turn the ground sour and suck the moisture and goodness from everything else.

The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 00:17

Patience is the key, Lord knows how many times I've said that under my breath!! Esp last few days when this lovely gusting wind has seen fit to flatten and break sunflowers and dahlias grrrr. They are just under a foot so would have put support in next few days.. Always the way, anyways, I have to devise a better way of distributing the critters, like most bugs they want to go up, the pee tube they give you is next to useless. I'm thinking along the lines of making some paper pyramids or cones that touch the leaves of the plant. Have a type of gutter around base so they rush up and onto leaves at base of plant. Trying to sprinkle on the plant was a real pain tbh, sure some paper option is the way ahead.

Bolting onions....

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 00:08

minute onions bolt it's the end for storing them at all. The flower spike is integral to the bulb so you end up with 'bull necks' which mean it allows easy access to fungus if you try and store them. Start using them as salad onions if they are mild enough or use in casseroles etc. My autumn onions got hammered, loads died so I shifted them all to one bed. I saw in home bargains some stuttgarter for a pound and bunged them in the free bed, several already bolting, goes to show, put them in the right time or it's disappointment. If they have bolted start using them, then stick in your leeks.

What's your Flower of the moment?

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 23:14

you are the second to say that, and reading and looking again I think it is. Same scent, same bush habit, same type of thorns too. I think what threw me was the colour, most pics show a very dark pink rose, whereas my first few pics it's light pink. It is southfacing for most of the day so chances are the colour bleached to a very pale pink on my first photos, these ones today are markedly deeper pink, so I'm very happy that mystery has been answered. The big problem now is in doing the research, I've seen about 20 other types I need, lol!


Posted: 13/06/2013 at 23:03

Have they got wet? Did you get them from homebase or similar? These places tend to water from the top down all over flowers and developing flowers, in the case of pets, too much water from above can result in them rotting off at the bud stage. My advice would be to remove all of the 'green spongy effect' to half inch below where it ends, give the plants a liquid feed once a week and you will find if we have some sun and temps stay up, plants should come back strong and flower their socks off. Good luck.

When to remove shoots from tomato plants

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 22:56

Your tom is an indeterminate, ie in ideal conditions it will keep growing, rather than a bush that will reach a size and stop when full grown by itself. With these 'vines' they will grow a main stem, along this stem you will get branches with leaves, and branches with flowers that turn to fruit. Now vine toms or indeterminate have a natural way to grow, which means you get loads of fruit, but they are all tiny. So you want to limit the plant to one main stem so it puts all it's energy into the fruit growing on that stem and so you get decent sized toms. What these plants do is grow secondary 'main stems' which appear directly between the junction of the leaf branches and the main stems. They can also appear between the trusses (the branches the flowers and fruit grow on) and the main stem. You need to pinch them out when you see them. Simply use your thumb and fore finger and pinch them off. They are sneaky though, some get past you and end up a foot long!

Just pinch them off and you are done, check everyday, when the weather and food are good they grow like stink. Interestingly in places like the phillipines, they let them grow to about 8-10 inch then cut them off and shove in a free draining mix. After a few weeks and the mother plant has produced the last truss, it's ripped out and replaced by the new cutting which is already producing trusses. Perpetual if you have the temps.

Good luck and I hope you now have an idea what they were talking about.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 21:44
artjak wrote (see)

Brummie Ben; I have been sitting here for 5 minutes, figuring out how to say this without causing offence, but it has to be said; that 'blue' rose is mauve, not blue. I am so fed up with buying aubretia that says 'blue' and it turns out magenta and so on... In every other area of design, colour is described accurately, why is it that plant nurseries get away with mis-describing colour?

This is not an attack on you or your lovely photos, but this whole 'blue rose' thing that has been going on for years does slightly smack of 'emperor's new clothes'


Not at all artjak, this is part of the reason why I posted it, to see what others thought. Personally it's light purple in my book, but the photoshopped pic in the T&M catalogue was definately blue. I'm undecided, but the fragrance is fantastic, I'm hoping once the plants get established, maybe the colour will deepen? I got them cheap as one of the 'you've bought 50 quids worth can we tempt you with these at half price?' deals they put on. There is a reason for garnering opinion, this is the same T&M that I paid £40 for 20 bulbs of replete and 20 of shrike. As my better half loves pink so I got these for mothers day. I'll show you what they all turned out as :

20130524_153542_1 by BrummieBen, on Flickr

20130524_153558_2 by BrummieBen, on Flickr

20130524_153649_2 by BrummieBen, on Flickr

in the last photo I made sure some very light pink tulips were in shot to give a contrast.

now here is what T&M say they should look like :

Replete is a few down and shrike a little bit further. As you can see, shrike looked nothing like what I grew in form or colour, replete are similar 'tissue-paper' daffs, but all 40 of mine were apricot. They are resending entire order again, after I sent them these photos and said the 40 you sent me were in diff bags labelled differently, but they all grew the same? Yes artjak, you certainly won't offend me, old hand at calling a spade, a spade.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

Replies: 13    Views: 3174
Last Post: 09/08/2013 at 14:21

clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
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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

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Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

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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: 2533
Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

Replies: 9    Views: 1312
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

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

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
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Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
Replies: 7    Views: 1157
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads