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Latest posts by chrissieB


Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:26

Am sure I remember reading that the RHS had trialed some squash/pumpkin varieties to identify those that crop well in the uk. Also article in Telegraph gradening section today on growing recommended some varieties that the writer had managed to grow successfully in the Cotswolds (which is actually quite cold and exposed area). Can;t find the section but I think the varieties were 'Sunshine' and 'Sunspot'?. You should be able to access it online rather than relay on my failing memory...

storing bulbs

Posted: 24/10/2012 at 11:20

If you want to keep them but haven't got any pots you would normally want to use for bulbs or much compose remember that they don't need a lot of compost as they have all the food they need in the bulb so you could just plant them up in trays with a small amount of compost for support to hold the bulb upright.They may flop but you could use these ones for picking? They will need a good feed while they are dying down after flowrering so they can build themselves up again for subsequent years

Have any of you tried straw as a winter mulch ?

Posted: 24/10/2012 at 11:15

Some plamys are grown on straw to prevent heir fruit touching the ground (and therefore getting muddy/mouldy) - usually strawberries and squashes/pumpkins. It also helps prevent water loss from the soil in summer - as does any mulch.

But as the others say would not use it as a winter mulch, it will take forever to rot down and if dry(although unlikely!) could blow everywhere. Best thing would be to keep it for next year if you need a summer mulch for strawberries etc - if you've got somewhere dry and ventilated to keep it. Or dig it into your compost - mix it in to help it rot down rather than in a layer. It wont add any nutrients but it is a very good source of organic matter which is vital for good soil structure.

Can you recommend a shrub for this border?

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 16:31

What about this? the plant selector on the rhs site is quite good for ideas as you can tailor the search quite well. There is also a similar plant selector on the Crocus website. Berberis is lovely but not evergreen and depending on where you are the berries can also disappear quite quickly - ours always did but we are in the midlands.

The Eleagnus species are quite attractive and there is quite a choice from golden, cream and silver variegated leaves. They are also fragrant and some have berries - I think most of them are quite tolerant of dry soil.

Dogwoods wouldn't be evergreen but their stems would stand out well against the green background?

Hydrangeas are very thirsty so other shrubs may be more adaptable as long as you keep an eye on them in their first season.

Talkback: How to protect plants over winter

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 07:41

Are your cordylines very exposed? Ours have always survived quite happily outside without any protection (north-east aspect but some frost protection from trees). It's a tricky judgment to make as with or without can be risky just in different ways. 

Agree that if you do want to protect that you use breathable fleece which will hopefully allow some air to circulate and don't wrap it too tightly.

Bulb Fennel

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 07:34

It's lovely diced in casseroles. Definitely recommend roasting as suggested by Inkadog. It also makes a lovely addition to home-made coleslaw or any other salad as an alternative to celery.



Posted: 17/10/2012 at 18:04

You could start off some crops for an early harvest next year such as peas and broad beans. These can be started outside but need to be proetcted from frosts so would probably love life in a polytunnel.

There are also some cabbage varieties you can plant now.

Also sweet peas if you like cut flowers?

Is there anything I can't compost?

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 17:46

When I think about it, I stil often end up picking the ghost bags out when I use the compost - just like the odd bits of wrapper, plant labels etc which always seem to get in there however much I think I've being careful when putting stuff in .

Wallflowers and roses

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 17:33

Never heard that one before but wallflowers are happy in poor soil whereas roses are quite hungry. Maybe the theory is that if you are feeding/mulching the soil for your roses you may get more lush green growth but fewer flowers on your wallflowers?




Reusing clay soil to raise patio level?

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 17:27

I would have thought it was fine as long as the layer is not too deep as that might mean that it doesn't get properly compacted and you then get the problems when it settles.


Discussions started by chrissieB

Living Walls

Any advice/ideas on how to create one 
Replies: 12    Views: 825
Last Post: 01/10/2013 at 19:44

Protecting broad beans?

Advice please 
Replies: 10    Views: 907
Last Post: 26/11/2012 at 16:20
2 threads returned