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Dave Morgan

Latest posts by Dave Morgan

shrubs for shade

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 15:30

You could try a rhododendron/azalea's or one of the skimmia's as a small shrub, geranium, epimedium. polygonatum, i'ts a difficult spot for sure.

Seed prices

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 14:48

I'm sorry to say it but all retailers of whatever you buy are doing the same thing, from chocolate bars to groceries to fags, all the manufacturers and producers are reducing the size or quantity of whatever we buy and charging the same price for it.

It's a reaction to how price conscious everybody has become since the recession.

If everybody actually checked the size/weight/average contents of whatever you buy, you will see we are getting less for our money now than ever before.

For the smokers I came across a producer who was selling gigs not in 20's but 19's and saying they were cheaper! A distinct con as there was no real printing on the packet to say it was only 19 instead of 20. A clear breach of the law.

In fact all the major supermarkets are doing the same thing, and very subtle about it too.

Advertising great value, but selling less in the packet. Some supermarkets have moved good selling lines into their luxury ranges, even thought they are the same products as were sold 6 months ago at a slightly lower price, and charging more for it.

Being price conscious does pay dividends by using the so called no frills stores(aldi,Lidl, poundland to name a few), but even they are at it.

We do have a choice, pay more or shop smart and use seed swaps or plant swaps as everyone normally buys too much seed, and we all have plants we can take cutting from or divide, and for the cost of a stamp it makes sense. Local plant swap groups can be set up, allotment members can club together.

We don't have to put up with these rather underhand selling tactics, we just have to be smarter in how we go about buying.

The rise of the no frills stores is evidence that we are getting better at it.

If we want to pay even less, then we need to get even better at what some are doing already. 


Posted: 23/03/2014 at 22:24

I think you need to find what the subsoil is like. New build land is often compacted by heavy vehicles.

Most builders aren't gardeners and lawns are thrown down to please the new purchasers.

I'd start by getting a fork out and digging down about 2- 3 feet and see what you come across, one test pit, not the whole lawn.

You will find plenty of rubble and builders waste. if it's hard work, then you have a lot of work in front of you to improve the drainage, as the only way to break up compacted soil is by breaking it up manually, and removing the builders waste.

Importing top soil wont work as water will still have no where to go.

I can't offer an easy solution, but someone on here may have a different solution.

How to improve my water retention

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 22:11

blairs is right really, if you can't improve the moisture level with soil improvers, then create a dry area. My garden has 3 distinct area's. I have  moist area, a slightly dry south facing area and a dry bank again south south/west facing. I have had to choose my plants carefully to cope with the conditions in each area.

As the slightly dry area is bounded by a leyllandi hedge, I have created raised beds, for veg and plants which can cope with the drier conditions.

You have to work with your conditions, especially if there is little or nothing you can do to change the situation you are in.


Garlic Crop

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 22:49

I have had some rot off this year, but I put in another lot last week and some are showing now. Maybe mice had them, I know two of my early ones moved 30ft, so mice could be the culprits.


Forsythia hedge

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 22:37

Wait till after flowering, Forsythia puts on all it's growth after flowering and can grow several feet after in a good summer, even in a bad one it does well, so have it cut to about a third of the height you want it to be. By next spring you will have a neat hedge and plenty of flowers.

school pond - what to do ?

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 17:09

Same as above really Jo, refill keep a bit of sludge from the bottom. I'd keep it open when the kids aren't about, close it unless it's supervised, nail some wire mesh over the top to stop kids falling in, and you can leave it open full time. The wire mesh allows the wildlife in, a piece of drainpipe at an angle stuck into the pond will allow access for frogs, very entertaining for little ones.

Two maybe 3 plants would suffice.

Greenhouse Virgin

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 13:42

Jeyes fluid is a good greenhouse cleaner, it doesn't need to be strong a weak mix will be fine, followed by a sulphur candle just in case. It does smell bad, but it works and will do no harm if diluted enough.

school pond - what to do ?

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 10:55

First thing you need to do is empty it.Then test the integrity of the liner. Is it filling to the top or leaking? If it's leaking you need a new liner. If you need a new liner you'll have to lift the edging stones, lay the new liner then re-cement the edging in place.

Make sure its not leaking before you replace the edging.

While the pond is empty look for shelving as this is where your pond plants will go.

Whilst the pond is empty save some of the sludge at the bottom of the pond as this contains all the organisms which give the pond it's natural balance. You'll only need half a bucket of sludge, so don't e tempted to save the lot.

When your'e happy it's water tight, refill, pop the sludge in and leave it for a few weeks to settle.

You can put your water plants in as soon as you fill the pond, this will help the pond cycle to start.

Keep checking the pond every few days and you'll quickly see life arriving, it can happen in days. 

It's not a hugely technical job, but it can involve some some muscle.

I can't see properly the mini ponds at the top of the picture, but one seems to be a blue container of some sort. Again you need to check it's water tight. If not replace container and check again. Same procedure as before.

Try not to let any mortar drop into the pond as it's bad for the ph.

Don't rush it, check and recheck as rectifying any mistake will double the work load. If you get it right first time then maintenance will be minimal.

Best of luck. 


Rose cuttings - leaves turning yellow - HELP?

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 00:00

Roses can take up to a year to root, so don't expect results too soon. Most roses are grafted onto new rootstock, so cuttings may not come true to the original.

I'd put the pot to one side or put the cutting straight into garden soil.

Patience is the key with cuttings, the leaves yellowing will be the food supply in the stem running out and this will encourage the cutting to take root and it won't need feeding or if you keep it in a pot not too wet either.

Discussions started by Dave Morgan

Clematis for a dry bank

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Invasive roots from a neighbours garden

Can I remove invasive roots from my garden, 
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Hold in invasive roots 
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5 threads returned