Latest posts by Dinah

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.

......the good guys

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 13:06

http://treeseedsonline.co.uk/ is one of my favourites. Jackie always sends good seed in good condition, and sends it out well wrapped and very swiftly. No sooner than I have a project planned, it is on the window sill soaking/sprouting ready for planting/stratifying.

She also does a few pre-stratified seeds which are great if you've missed the planting season or can't wait.

Am I allowed to be disappointed?

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 17:06

I think most people give the benefit of the doubt when they get something that wasn't up to a reasonable standard. People really don't like to complain. What I am thinking of is a way for people to see if there are lots of instances of seeds, or plants, arriving in a sorry state. If it does happen a lot, then the distributor or the supplier needs to be informed that there is a problem, even if it is with the postal service.

I'm sure, for example, that any magazine supplying free seeds wants to know if they are arriving in good condition, because if they are not, folk will stop being lured by free seed offers and may not bother to buy the magazine again.  I know that this is how I think about free offers, if they are no good, my opinion of the product they are supposed to promote drops.

Hey! I'm getting all market forces orientated here! I'll be talking about invisible hands, futures and hedge funds in a minute! The only hedge fund I want anything to do with is saving up for a few nice copper beech trees at the bottom of the garden!

Any problems scarifieing hard seeds?

Posted: 06/02/2016 at 21:58

If you are one of us who has problems these days with fiddly things, I've found something that helps with scarifying some types of seeds. My problem was skewering or cutting myself while trying to make a small nick in them, or digging too far in to the seed out of clumsiness. 

The item is part of a clock menders tool kit called a "clock maker's broach" and it is held in a "pin vice". It's original purpose is for making very small holes in brass sheeting. You can adjust the length, tightening it up as you do with a conventional chuck-keyless drill. You use it by gently twisting the handle with your hand. The broaches come in a verity of widths too - so you can adapt to purpose. Both components are cheap to buy second hand on ebay. The second hand ones are better quality.

I saw my husband using one on his clocks, and tried it first on camellia seeds. I'm now trying it on smaller seeds. As long as the seed isn't so small that it disappears down the neck that grips the broach, it works very well.

Am I allowed to be disappointed?

Posted: 06/02/2016 at 21:28

How about if we had a thread devoted to reports of purchased plant and seed disappointments, where-so-ever they come from? Then if someone gets some shoddy seed they can have a look and see if it's happening to other people with that particular product, and add their own experience to the list.

Am I allowed to be disappointed?

Posted: 06/02/2016 at 17:06

I have had packets of seed with magazines that didn't germinate at all, and I've often wondered how they manage to transport piles and piles of magazines with packets of seed attached or enclosed without breaking the seeds up. If I purchase seeds by post they nearly always arrive carefully warped. I imagine a delivery van full of magazines, and at some point some hefty folk heaving bundles of 30 or 40 in and out, doping them with thump on the new pile each time. I wonder that any of them grow.

I've seen some shops stack the magazines in silly places too; without any thought for the seeds under, above, or in front of heaters - or on a stand that is near the door, getting rained on. Maybe if clear instructions how to handle, store and display were put on the front of each bundle? 

I hope you get some replacement sweet peas sent out to you jekylandhide.

Discussions started by Dinah

To erradicate - flatworms so far, so good.

I used the following method with success for catching flatworms 
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A protective growing tray for very tiny seeds

Re-using Frerro Roche trays - it works! 
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Gu pots and pringle lids.

Only for those who know a teenager 
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Any problems scarifieing hard seeds?

Kit fans - there is a thing that might help. 
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Mid-winter roses

My rose bush produces strange flowers in winter 
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Stratification and species tulips?

Tulip seeds. Do I need to stratify and how long. 
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What on earth is doing this?

Something sinister in my yard! 
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Indelable marker pens for real?

A marker pen that won't be wiped away outdoors. 
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Species roses

is anyone collecting species roses? 
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My mum's Sweet Peas didn't happen.

WANTED! Annual Sweet Pea Plants 
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Poppy disease

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Block paving - How do I weed it?

In dispare over perennial weeds between paving blocks. 
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Is this idea safe?

three elexctric propagators inside a big plastic dome. 
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Last Post: 29/01/2015 at 21:45

How to make a free hedge - for real!

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Hierochloe odorata v/s leather jackets

Does Vanilla Grass resist cutworms and leather jackets? 
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Last Post: 07/06/2014 at 16:03
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