Latest posts by Dinah

Gu pots and pringle lids.

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 13:36

Wonderful innovations people! I like the jam idea, a nice, low sugar preserve for me please. 

For those not familiar with Gu pots, they are, indeed, a desert in a glass jar, but have no lid - just plastic film. They are fearsomely deadly-sweet though, which is why I think they only suit the metabolism of a teenager.  Children too, but parents can step in when they see a child living on Gu and Pringle. Can't do much to deter a teenager. A box or jar would probably kill me off - strange how bodies loose the ability to deal with these things. "Extreme eating" I think it is called.

For seeds, however, packaging is perfect!

Gu pots and pringle lids.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 23:54

This is a technique tip only for those who have a resident teenager.

Plastic Pringle box lids fit perfectly onto Gu pots. Snap! Sterilisable, re-usable, airtight seed soaking/stratifying jar. Stands up to boiling water well, does fine in the fridge and microwave too. You can write on the plastic lids with a waterproof pen, or on the side of the jar, to rub off when you've finished. Sorted.

Remember to rinse and aerate them twice a day with cooled boiled water to keep them fresh - the seeds I mean, not the teenagers

Where to start???

Posted: 17/02/2016 at 14:09

I started reading up on gardening by dipping into the "Reader's Digest" New Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers. I found it to be better than the RHS Encyclopedia for me as a beginner, because they spent more time explaining terms and propagation methods. But wow, they are both so useful and exciting. Actually I had a copy of the "very old" Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers, because I am not so new now, but I still use it a great deal. You can get old copies from ebay and Amazon very cheaply indeed, along with lots of special interest publications - if you have a particular specialism in mind already

Mid-winter roses

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 11:41

Yes, it needs pruning very much. I tend to wait till after the winter flowers have finished, because I find the flowers especially welcome at this time of year. I will photo an open one if I can - maybe cut one and bring it in the house. I don't feel that it is winter until a yellow rose appears

Mid-winter roses

Posted: 14/02/2016 at 16:06

Hurray, at last, it's a bit late but I've managed to get some photographs. Most of the buds have gone over, but there are still about five waiting to break, and it's a sunny day so I may get more, and I'll find a fully open one later.





Where to start???

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 18:24

Great! You'll know the turf (so to speak)

Where to start???

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 17:38

The worst weeds to look out for to stop them taking over before they spread are nettles, thistles, dandelions and brambles... There may also be a few that are local to you specifically, so look at other people's gardens as well as your own, and see what unwanted plants have moved in and taken over. We get lots of hog-weed and ground elder here, but these are only problems in some areas. Fairygirl's insight could be very useful, since she will know which are the worst and first to target if they appear. I get the impression that she knows your area? Just amended that because I looked back and couldn't find the bit that gave me the impression Hope I said right fairygirl!

Where to start???

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 14:32

You can try the supermarket composters, but you will definitely get a better one if you wait and get a council approved one second hand, or your local council may sell them, or point you towards ones that are like it. They are generally very tough, are recycled plastic, and have less design problems (they have to go through a selection procedure before approval - not a certain guarantee, but some plastic bins on the market are quite fragile/flimsy). Hope that helps

Oh, and yes, you can only compost things that don't have a fairly high fat content, and that don't smell so delicious that rats get the idea they will be in heaven if they can get into/delve under your bin. Meat products also tend to rot in ways that can produce harmful bacteria - and smell very bad in the vicinity. Fish, blood and bone mix is OK for the garden since it has already been processed.

Where to start???

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 13:27

Steve is right in every detail apart form the dog issue. What he recommends would be great with a less determined dog. My dog is mad, MAD about egg shells. She would do anything to get at them.

I think the most child/dog proof compost bin is the conical, admittedly rather ugly recycled plastic ones that the council sometimes supply. They are not at all perfect, since getting in to mix the compost, and getting the compost out is awkward, but they do work, especially if you put them in a warm spot. Tipping them over occasionally and mixing from the bottom seems to be the best way - better than the fiddly mixing/accessing from above or through daft little doors.You can sometimes buy them on ebay or gumtree second hand, or you might try converting the blue, plastic barrels that are used on farms if you have means to cut both ends off them and perhaps drill a few holes. Anything that covers the top will do as a lid as long as it doesn't blow away.

Your place sounds wonderful, a real treasure!

Where to start???

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 20:49

You would be surprised how little "expert" gardeners know about all sorts of things in gardening. This is because it is such a huge, broad subject. People tend to specialise in the things they like most, or they want out of a garden, so it is never silly to ask, even about something very straightforward. You will probably be asking questions that other people want to know the answer to too. Gardening is great fun, and best of all if you just poke away at it, bit by bit.

Discussions started by Dinah

A protective growing tray for very tiny seeds

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Gu pots and pringle lids.

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