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Latest posts by BrummieBen

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.

cala lilys

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 21:22

They need frost free conditions, so a heated greenhouse or conservatory for the winter months is a must. They also like it damp, and not in full sun. good luck.

Evergreen Flowering climber

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 21:19

watch the pyracantha when pruning, particularly heavy duty gloves will be required, also, if you dump the trimmings you'll be pleased to know even when dead they actually get more lethal! It hasn't put me off though, I'm going to be growing a hedge of the stuff, the flowers and fruit are something else, well worth a bit of extra caution.

Potateo's 1st early's

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 21:13

Yeah, I'm the same, although I've made a mental note to put the planters in the greenhouse til it warms up, then we wouldn't be 4-5 weeks behind

growing brassicas

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 21:12
BobTheGardener wrote (see)

I believe the main reason for firming the soil is to prevent wind-rock damaging the roots (particularly on tall brassicas like brussels and broccoli.)  If growing in naturally soft soil like compost etc, I would suggest that staking them might be a good alternative for those plants where it is possible (again, brussels and broccoli spring to mind - not sure how one would stake a cabbage!)

why it's obvious, like a vampire, straight through the heart, sorry couldn't resist.

Planting a hedge - help!

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 20:54

With archie on this, a native british hedgerow supports thousands of times more wildlife than a conifer hedge. When you consider the stress of keeping the conifers trimmed, not really different to a proper hedgerow, plus you can enjoy all the extra visitors as well as flowers.

A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 20:50

Personal bug bears would include in no particular order, crocosmia, lucifer is right as I used to scream to hell most times weeding in my old place. I DO like it, but it'll be in a trough if I have it here, under lock and key! Sweet william, forgetmenots and violas. My mum helps out in my garden, and she just can't compost anything!!! I'm trying to grow something on in pots and there's 3 inch deep of this gubbins smothering it!! All of it self seeded and unwanted, but try telling her that! I'm quite fortunate that I usually read up on something before planting if I've been on a mad impulse buy. Table top sales and boot sales are the usual culprits for things that take over.

I know what people mean about aquilegia too, another that self seeds ten a penny in the wrong place, yet in a heated propagator take an age to come up, and then are tiny seedlings! I too have sycamore every year thousands of the sods! I also have a next door neighbour who has a hazel that overhangs, fortunately I've neglected to tell them it makes the nuts on this years growth so as it isn't pruned significantly less hassle last year! Mind, I still have seedlings trying to survive in my lawn, and that's being cut every week and feed and weed and lawn weeder spray !! Goose grass? (sticky bobs) it grows everywhere on my neighbours gravel, the local wildlife and cats ensure I enjoy it too!

Oh and clematis tangutica, lovely climber, I gave a seedling I grew to my parents who planted it at their static caravan against an arch. The site was next to a river that flooded regularly. The outdoor garden bit was gravel, when I went there the next year, to my amazement you couldn't see the gravel for tangutica seedlings, all about a foot high, literally 100 a square foot!

It's funny though that what I struggle to grow is a menace elsewhere, I'll try to keep it in mind. Afterall, if everything grew easy, now where would the fun be in that?

Pruning/Shaping my plum tree?

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 20:03

If you are aiming for a more rounded shape, take top leader down to the bend. Keep taking the top leaders back to the next set of buds until the tree is filled out to the required shape. When taking the top out, be very vigilant for all the new growth on the lower branches, prune out the crossing stems etc. Depending on the weather, you may well find you have a nice shaped tree with lots of space around the internal structure by the end of the season and next year you will be rewarded accordingly. Good luck.

The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 19:26
Verdun wrote (see)

At last a gardener with patience to train his tree properly and be prepared to wait for the fruit to come once the tree is ready to,provide it.

Just makes sense to sort the shape firstly, in the longterm it'll mean better fruit, healthy tree and probably much better harvests year on year.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

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water those poor souls!

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

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

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This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

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Your Favourite Tools

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Needing old mouse or vole nests

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While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Most famous moment with your plants?

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