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Emma Crawforth

Latest posts by Emma Crawforth

Bamboo Dying

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 16:15

Hello Kiredoryor,

I am sorry to say that is a strange part of the biology of bamboo that it tends to flower en masse (after decades of growth) and then die. In the wild, the flowers that were produced will become seeds that drop on the ground and sprout into seedlings. I have heard that bamboo does not always die after flowering, but unfortunately it usually does.

I do hope you have some life left as your garden does sound spectacular.

Emma team

When How In Out

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 15:59

Hello Percy-Grower,

The clematis types that you name are hardy. At this time of year you would often only see new green shoots coming from clematis because the woody stems have previously been cut back. They should be fine planted out now, but do watch out for attacks by slugs and snails, as they can nibble the young stems. It sound like you have a lovely collection.

Emma team

Talkback: How to make compost

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 14:48

Hello Flora3,

The best way to speed up the rate at which your waste composts, is to keep turning it over. To do this, you need either a bin you can turn, or a bin that's large enough for you to get into, with a fork, in order to turn it yourself (like one made from pallets). It's a good idea to have two bins, then you can transfer material from one to the other. Make sure the compost is not to wet and not too dry, either state will prevent it from rotting down well. Good luck, it's really worth keeping going as compost makes a great mulch / soil conditioner, and your plants will grow so much better for it.

Emma team

Fastest growing climbers

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 14:23

Hello ipec,

I love morning glory. You can start sowing it now under glass. It's cheap as you grow it from seeds. In the summer it will cover a few feet if you put some strings up for it to climb. Sow plenty of seeds then plant a few plants along the base of your fence, giving each one a string to climb. Do make sure you water your plants frequently, and they will give you a great display. Unfortunately they will die off in the winter, but by then you could have started to establish a perennial, like a clematis.

I hope your fence is looking great in a few months,

Emma team

Talkback: How to grow sweetcorn

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 14:09

Hello Kgosi,

It's still a bit early to sow sweetcorn. You can start in mid-April, and at that time you need to do it under glass as it needs warmth to germinate. 'Lark' , 'Earliking', 'Golden Bantam' and 'Earlybird' are all tried and tested early varieties. Pick one variety to grow at a time. You could be harvesting the crop from around August / September.  Have a look at our project on growing sweetcorn and Adam's blog for some tips.

Enjoy it!

Emma team

Welcome to the plants forum

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 10:52

Hello Lucy3,

It's actually John Innes! Anyway here is an explanation of the John Innes numbers .

As you can see, they have a seed compost as well as the numbered ones.

Enjoy your propagation,

Emma team

Foxtail lillies

Posted: 16/03/2012 at 14:58

Hello Green fingerd will,

I've grown quite a few varieties of foxtail lilies. Some rootstocks produced many flowering shoots by their second summer in the ground. Others only one or none. I do hope you get a lot. They can be really spectacular.

Emma team

Green Pond

Posted: 16/03/2012 at 14:49

Hello Oz,

For an interesting take on algae in ponds, read Richard's blog. Remove what you can by fishing it out. Leave it by the pondside for a while so that pond creatures can crawl back into the pond. If you have a large pond, the traditional method of dealing with algae is to put barley straw in there in spring, taking it out in the autumn. However for small ponds, you can buy liquid barley straw extract from garden centres, which does the same thing. It's good to remove dying lily pads, but living ones can help promote the shady conditions that you need. If your pond is in the sun, try planting shade-giving plants around it. Good luck!

Emma team

Which plants for pot?

Posted: 16/03/2012 at 14:32

Hello northchiel,

aubrietas come to mind. They enjoy free-draining soil like agapanthus, and are capable of growing out 'sideways' forming a nice clump. If you find them getting too pendulous, they are very easy to trim. I used to have them in my old garden, but don't in my current garden, which is making me think I must get some myself!

Emma team

Bizzie/Busy Lizzies!

Posted: 16/03/2012 at 12:31

Hello lilwead,

The first problem bizzie lizzies suffered from was the downy mildew, which came to the UK early in this century, and does not affect New Guinea impatiens. The virus, necrotic spot virus, has been around a bit longer and affects a wide range of plants, not just bizzie lizzie. It is a real shame as they are great plants for shade. Fortunately, begonias are also good for shade. Our begonia and fern pot display looks great.

Emma team

Discussions started by Emma Crawforth

Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch 
Replies: 7    Views: 805
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 15:50


Do you want to help hedgehogs? 
Replies: 26    Views: 2112
Last Post: 15/05/2012 at 21:27

Winter pruning

Replies: 2    Views: 1064
Last Post: 13/01/2012 at 17:00

children and gardening

Replies: 7    Views: 704
Last Post: 27/02/2012 at 15:44

lawn edging shears

Replies: 5    Views: 1620
Last Post: 02/02/2012 at 23:47


Replies: 4    Views: 637
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 15:41

sweet peas

Replies: 2    Views: 718
Last Post: 05/12/2011 at 09:28
7 threads returned