Latest posts by Busy-Lizzie

collecting and storing seeds

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 22:05

The tassels are definately the male part, needed for fertilisation. The female part is the cob, the seeds are the yellow niblets - which you leave to dry out. I would rather eat them and buy a new packet of seeds next year. You grow corn fairly close together in blocks, not long rows, so that the pollen from the tassels can fall onto the female bits.

It's best to buy beetroot seed. Beetroot can be stored in damp sand, but cut the leaves off to about 2 inches and they must be young. Old woody beetroot doesn't store well. The best way of storing beetroot is to cook them and freeze them.

Espalier cooking apple

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 16:23

The rootstock is important for espaliers. See this RHS link http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=319

Butternut Squash

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 16:07

Sweetcorn likes water. The farmers here have enourmous water sprayers and they use the water from the rivers.

clay soil

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 13:03

I had clay soil with stones in it 20 years ago. It was a nightmare. I did what obelix said. You needs lots and lots of manure and compost and some sand as well. I've given up digging. I rotavate everything in in the spring, but only as deep as I can manage and now, and for the last few years the soil is almost lovely. Apart from runner beans, I don't think veg needs deeply dug soil. It hardly has time to root into it before you're cropping it. It likes it nice and fertile and loose on top, like in raised beds.

Actinidia Kolomikta

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 10:59

As it has pink, white and green leaves I would stick to something soft like pink, white and blue. What about hardy geraniums? There are many different sorts in these coulours, easy to grow, different flowering times, some neater growing than others.


Posted: 27/10/2012 at 09:40

Congratulation! The next 30 should be a doddle after that!


Posted: 27/10/2012 at 09:36

If Monty managed to grow pumpkins in this wet summer then you should be able to grow them in a more normal summer. Trouble is you don't know what to expect in advance! Runner beans like wet, broad beans are quite hardy, so are brassicas. Spinach should be OK. Nearly everyone had a bad year this year. I wouldn't even think of sweet peppers or aubergines and if you specially wanted tomatoes then one of those cheap shelters with clear plastic or even a greenhouse may be something to think about - so long as it doesn't blow away!

Tree/shrub suggestion

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 09:28

I forgot to say that I underplant my potted roses with annuals in summer (like lobelias or surfinias that droop down the pot) and pansies or violas in winter, so the pots are never bare and empty when the roses are dormant.

Tree/shrub suggestion

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 09:25

Do you like formal or informal? If formal you can grow box clipped into various shapes. If informal you can grow fuschias, some hardy some not, but they die down in winter. Or caryopteris, but again not in winter. You say all year round, so does that mean you would like it evergreen? Euonymus is evergreen, several varieties - look them up on Google. They can be kept trimmed, but some are fairly small anyway. If you want flowers then what about a rose. I have roses in large pots. I mixed well-rotted manure with earth and topped it up with compost but they still need feeding and watering. They've done very well. Another shrub I have is a dwarf rhododedron which is in acid compost. It has huge flowers in late spring and is evergreen the rest of the time.

Stony Patch

Posted: 26/10/2012 at 21:36

I don't think there are many plants that would grow in stones without much soil. You could look up plants for rock gardens but they are usually on the small side. Sedums might manage if you gave them a bit of compost.

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