London (change)

Chris 11

Latest posts by Chris 11

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Sap or pest?

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 15:09

I'm pretty sure it's a Corn Palm, aka Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana').

Natural predators

Posted: 14/04/2016 at 23:18

Limnanthes douglasii -Poached Egg Plant is thought to be particularly good at attracting hoverflies, one of the best predators for aphids.

Chili plants indoors

Posted: 09/04/2016 at 21:17

It's quite common to read about people hand pollinating with small brushes or cotton buds, but I don't really think it is necessary. Chillies easily self pollinate or cross pollinate with other plants, depending on growing circumstances.

If you think they need any extra help, just give the plant a gentle tap every day or two after flowers have started forming and that will usually be enough to stimulate movement of pollen and self pollination.

Free T&M Experimental Tomato seeds

Posted: 02/04/2016 at 12:27

I grew them and had poor germination and problems with the leaves not escaping the seed casing, others here reported something similar.

I believe they are now on sale as Mountain Magic F1, although if you emailed T&M they would probably confirm for sure.

When to move tomatoes/peppers/chillies/aubergines to the greenhouse?

Posted: 30/03/2016 at 22:54

Tomatoes will tolerate cooler nights than the chillies or peppers, so if you need to make room, put the tomatoes in the greenhouse first.

I've got a similar problem with limited indoor sunny windowsill space, and have already put some tomato seedlings out in an unheated greenhouse.

No doubt somebody else will say it's too early, but so far mine have been ok.

An unheated greenhouse with doors closed overnight will give protection of about 5*C compared to outdoors.

Tomato seeds

Posted: 26/03/2016 at 12:29

I'd agree about not over feeding too early, or plants will be focusing all their energies on lush green growth and getting bigger and might delay fruiting and flowering

But don't go too far the other way, I don't agree with some people thinking they should let the plants wilt and starve to provoke them into last ditch survival attempts to produce fruit and therefore seed. Get the right balance, no need for physiological damage that will harm the plant.

'Treat them mean' seems to have become a regular view here, but not in the majority of growing guides you will read elsewhere. Yes, letting the compost nearly dry out helps the plant experience a natural cycle and get oxygen to the roots. But letting them dry out completely could contribute to both splitting and blossom end rot in tomatoes. And risks damage that the plant may not fully recover from.

(Chillies are more drought tolerant, so you could let them get closer to drying out, as Mel M suggests.)

Little and often is best for feed. Reduce the the dilutions and increase the frequency when watering heavily in hot weather.

Cost effective moss killer

Posted: 25/03/2016 at 11:32

Will take a bit more effort and planning, but you could try Iron Sulphate if you don't want to use any weedkiller. Just have to be careful working out the dilutions and keeping off it to prevent any shoes or animal feet transferring iron stains. Will be more economical and environment friendly in the long run.

Otherwise agreed about Wilkos being the cheap and cheerful option:

battery powered lawnmowers

Posted: 23/03/2016 at 19:42

Battery technology is improving all the time, but a cordless mower will be 3 or 4 times the cost of a similar corded mower.

The environmental impact of both the battery production and greater overall electricity consumption is also something I'd consider.

Weeds in lawn

Posted: 22/03/2016 at 19:32

'mine is low maintenance and cut twice a week' sounds like a contradiction in terms. I'm pretty sure most people would not see cutting their lawn twice a week as low maintenance.

Personally, I would also take in to account my electricity bill and carbon footprint as well as the environmental impact of using unnecessary weedkiller.

And all credit to OP Lucid for trying to avoid weedkillers.

Weeds in lawn

Posted: 22/03/2016 at 18:36

Agree with Watery, no need for weed killers, and certainly not as a first choice solution.

A lawn is a living thing. It doesn't need to be perfect unless you're planning to charge people to play crown green bowls on it. Dig the weeds out according to time and inclination, and the grass will spread and grow back in to it.

You can always reseed patches if the initial weed removal has left big enough gaps.

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