Latest posts by Calendula

Alternative lawn

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 09:36
Joanne Shackleton wrote (see)

I'm not anti grass by any means, but we have a huge garden with a huge lawn, I'm trying to cut down on the amount of time my husband spends mowing it as he's taken up golf!!!!!!!!!

Hang on a minute. YOU are trying to cut down on the time your HUSBAND has to spend mowing the lawn because HE has taken up golf? Two soutions: do it yourself or tell him HE has to find a solution. He's the one causing the problem!

Mangetout seedlings: 'pinching' and dying

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 09:16

I' an experienced veg grower but haven't encountered this before. I planted some mangetout seeds undercover a couple of weeks ago (I don't plant veg seeds straight into the ground because the slugs would have them practically before they appear) and they quickly produced strong healthy plants. Since then almost all of them have developed a tough 'pinched' area at the point the stem emerges from the compost. They still look healthy but gradually keel over and die because clearly water isn't getting from the roots to the rest of the plant.

They have been kept well watered but have been subject so some fairly extreme diurnal temperature changes in the greenhouse. Could that be the cause? If not, why is this happening?

Pruning a Privet hedge

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 13:51

Im my experience it is impossible to kill privet and it benefits from really hard pruning. Now is probably not the best time to do it (there may be birds nesting) but you certainly won't do it any harm in the long run.

Help with Sweet peas

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 13:31

Im my opinion they would look odd just one plant per pole per pot - is that what you are planning? If your containers are big enough I would create a wigwam of at least three poles and then plant one at the base of each pole - pinching out the top to help it develop more climbing stems.

weed supressing membrane

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 13:24

1 month is certainly not long enough, and in my opinion it will never kill an established lawn 'stone dead' on its own. I used it on very lush grass on my allotment, but it only kept the light out to weaken the top growth. I still had to dig out all the roots to stop them resprouting. Once your ground is weed (or grass) free membrane will help to slow regrowth, but don't rely on it to kill the lawn altogether.

Border edging

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 14:46

My garden is all paths and borders (no lawn), all with curved edges, and all edged with logroll. I have just pulled up and replaced it for the same reason. I looked for an alternative but couldn't find anything that didn't look horribly artificial or could be made to curve successfully. I'm resigned to do it all again in 5 years time!

Help needed: robust rain protection

Posted: 17/04/2013 at 13:20

Thanks Swiss Sue - I shall investigate further.

Help needed: robust rain protection

Posted: 16/04/2013 at 18:08

Am I allowed a thread completely unrelated to gardening here?

Can anyone recommend a make of really robust folding umbrella? One that collapses down so you can put it in a rucksack or large handbag. I must have got through about 5 in as many months - first gust of wind and they turn inside out, spokes get bent, fabric rips and they are only fit for the bin.

I know the full size ones are stronger, but I also know I will leave them on the train - a folding one has a reasonable chance of not ending up in the black hole that is Lost Property at Victoria Station. 

I'm prepared to pay a bit more than the usual £5-odd for one if it lasts longer than 5 minutes!


Wild Garlic

Posted: 15/04/2013 at 13:39

"Wild garlic is a weed in the domestic environment, best treated with glyphosate"

Not in my garden it's not. It was a deliberately sown plant, one of the first harbingers of spring, delightful white flowers and a welcome addition to omelettes and salads. I'm fully aware of it's tendency to spread but it is easily managed by ensuring it doesn't set seed, and by digging out the bulbils (which DOES work if you do it properly).

Fewer sweeping generalisations please.


Posted: 12/04/2013 at 12:59

I use my own home-made, sieved finely, and it works great. I just have to be sure I know what the seedling is supposed to look like, as everything else already in the compost bursts into life at the same time!

Discussions started by Calendula

Mystery stowaway

Replies: 10    Views: 978
Last Post: 24/08/2014 at 17:53

Pepper problem

Can anyone help with what's causing this 'rotting' of my bell pepper skins? 
Replies: 3    Views: 944
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 18:34

Escallonia 'Apple Blossom' - few flowers

Replies: 3    Views: 3769
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 01:07

ID please

Replies: 17    Views: 1508
Last Post: 26/11/2013 at 12:48

Mangetout seedlings: 'pinching' and dying

Replies: 7    Views: 1689
Last Post: 06/05/2013 at 09:43

Help needed: robust rain protection

Can anyone recommend a good folding umbrella? 
Replies: 2    Views: 1249
Last Post: 17/04/2013 at 13:20
6 threads returned