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David K

Latest posts by David K

Hardening Off Help

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 18:24

OL, 'fraid there isn't a one size fits all, when it comes to this subject. It will usually have letters on the seed packets that represent the hardiness of your chosen plants i.e. sweet peas will have HA printed on the packets.....this indicates they are 'hardy annuals'...but we know they are hardy, didn't we?  ....others will say HHA, this translates to half hardy annuals, meaning they can be planted out after no more frosts are expected etc.

Tomatoes Cucumber Aubergines & Chillies are not normally hardened-off, because they are grown under glass for the duration. They can be grown outdoors, but this is something undertaken during the warmer days of summer.

Marigolds Lobelia & Morning Glory can be started under glass before being hardened-off by putting in a codframe for a couple of weeks before being planted into their permanent positions....leaving the top off during the day & replacing it at night.

Hostas & hardy geraniums no problem with those.


Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 17:50
Orchid Lady wrote (see)

TLC.....for sweet peas.....but my expert teacher said no TLC.  This must be someone else in disguise telling me to change my sweet pea care habits 


Yes, but now the growing 'n flowering is about to begin.....a different scenario need to hold them back/neglect now.

Camera Corner

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 17:42



 Went intending to take bluebell pics today, sadly they're not quite next week maybe.

Took a few random shots round & about.





Camera Corner

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 17:34

Is that a really butterfly??

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 17:33

Don't know how to break this to you, OL... but hereon your SPs do need plenty of TLC, keep well watered and when they start to flower, a weekly feed of high potash feed.

The reason for previous 'no coddling' was to stop them becoming leggy & weak.

I'll get me coat!


Gardening Book

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 09:59


Orchid Lady wrote (see)

Thanks David, I'll save my money and just keep asking you then 

Now, I need some tips on hardening plants off..........


Did I ever let you down, Old Lady???.....Serves you right for changing your name!

Gardening Book

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 09:53

It's my belief that you can't really learn gardening from books.....there is no substitute for experience and there is an enormous amount of that on this forum, available just for the asking.

I've been asked several times (including this forum) to consider writing a book about growing sweet peas, but the idea doesn't appeal.

Anybody watching The Big Allotment Challenge

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 21:17
cairnsie wrote (see)

Particularly wondering what David thought of the Sweetpeas. Thought most were disappointing.

Yes, I did watch it and (as I'm also interested in making jams, etc) for the most part really enjoyed it. Not sure about the flower arranging, but I did think the judging in the other sections were fair and that the right couple were voted out.

The winning sweet peas were grown using the cordon method, therefore they stood out against the others that were grown using the decorative that was to be expected. Not sure about the claim that early plantings were victims of 'frost', more likely being softened by too much TLC or possibly cold winds.

Look forward to the next episode.

Camera Corner

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 20:13

Ah great, Forester..... was hoping we may be getting a few bluebell pics about now.

With luck I'll be taking my camera to our own bluebell wood tomorrow.

Planting sweet peas and hollyhocks in pots

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 10:36
Kay8 wrote (see)

Ok thanks both . I'll try and find some pots then.... how many to a pot would you say??

Well, that would rather depend on the size of the pot (says I who have never grown sweet peas in a pot in my life).....however, I have planted them in wigwams in the open ground and I've found spacing 15cm (6ins) apart works quite well.

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