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Emma Crawforth


Latest posts by Emma Crawforth

251 to 259 of 259

Starting from scratch

Posted: 05/12/2011 at 10:08

Hello Warthog,

In my veg plot I have had to remove rubble, black polythene and many perennial weeds. The previous occupiers tended to lay new soil over the weeds and plant on top. This was surprisingly successful but in the long run makes for a very messy garden. As a result I've had to spend hours during my weekend simply digging up weeds and rubbish, putting it in a wheelbarrow and taking it to a skip/ compost heap. Unfortunately, it sounds as though you might have to do the same thing. Tenacious bushes can be got rid of by cutting them down and digging up the roots but it is a long job. If you have rushes and horsetail, they are there because, as you say, your land is boggy. Short of putting in a new drainage system, it is likely to remain that way and weeds that like those conditions will return.

Have a look at our advice on dealing with horsetail at:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/problem-solving/weeds-horsetail-field/

As you can see, constant cutting of the top will weaken the plant as it can't photosynthesise without leaves. This is a long term strategy  - you would need to keep coming back to it again and again.

As before, I do recommend planting things that you like if you can find space. Willows and Alders love boggy ground and are very attractive. The theory is that they could out-compete the things you don't like.

Please also see our list of plants suitable for boggy soil at:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/plant/collections/6/7/boggy.

However do make sure any plants you pick will be hardy in your area.

One thing that has made working in my veg plot more fun in difficult times is doing it with friends. I hope you can find some good company to dig and cart alongside you.

Please do let us know how it goes.

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team.

children and gardening

Posted: 05/12/2011 at 09:43

Hello Hedgehog,

It's heartening to hear that you kept your children interested with gardening activities.

On the website we have a project involving growing peanut plants at:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/peanut-plant-growing/

This is aimed at giving children a quick plant to grow - with speedy and exciting consequences. I have also found sunflowers a good bet. In fact I still get excited by them myself.

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team.

lawn edging shears

Posted: 05/12/2011 at 09:35

Hello Hedgehog,

It is good to hear from somebody who enjoys pruning. A lot of people are afraid of it in case they cut the wrong bit. But you can make such a difference to flowering and fruiting if you get it right. My favourite tip is to stand back and look at the shrub or tree before you begin. Sometimes you can see a whole branch that is not thriving and needs to be removed. If you cut that out at the base you can make a big difference in a short time. Does anybody have any favourite pruning tips they'd like to share?

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team.

sweet peas

Posted: 05/12/2011 at 09:28

Hello Hedgehog,

If you have trouble with mice, you can protect your crops with wire mesh. Putting autumn-sown seeds in a metal cage works well, as long as it doesn't have a hole in it, as they can get through a very small space. Also bulbs can be protected if you surround them with chicken wire. The biggest pest in my area though is red squirrels.

Emma,

The Gardeners' World web team.

Starting from scratch

Posted: 02/12/2011 at 15:47

Hello Warthog,

this is the type of situation in which you'll need to work with nature rather than against it. Don't rush into putting in bedding and shrubberies, but work on finding out a bit more about the kind of plants that will naturally thrive. Winter is the perfect time for a bit of research. I've looked for some suppliers of tough plants - have a look at this link - which I hope you'll find helpful - to get you started:

http://bit.ly/vs17KQ

Local gardening groups, colleges and organisations will also be able to offer advice - and maybe even help. I hope you find this helpful, good luck!

Emma

gardenersworld.com team.

children and gardening

Posted: 29/11/2011 at 14:06

Last time my young nephews came over, they made a request to visit our veg plot. I couldn't believe it as I thought they would find it boring. But they remembered enjoying their last visit. Most of the time they like buying toys, watching TV and playing video games.

Are there any gardening tasks that the children you know have particularly enjoyed?

Emma.

The Gardeners' World web team

lawn edging shears

Posted: 29/11/2011 at 14:00

I'm fond of lawn edging shears. There is a very satisfying sound as they snip through lush grass. The worst part of the job is picking up your clippings afterwards. Some people favour electrical devices, but they still leave you with the same problem - collecting up the cut grass.

Is there a gardening job you love to do?

Emma.

Gardeners' World web team

Mildew

Posted: 29/11/2011 at 13:42

I've got some hydrangeas in pots outside my front door. They're really tough and only demand decent watering to stay looking good. But this autumn I've been trying to ignore the little white patches of mildew on the leaves. I used to work in a garden where sometimes milk was used on foliage to counteract mildew.

Does anybody know any other 'unusual' methods for dealing with garden problems?

sweet peas

Posted: 29/11/2011 at 13:33

Some people say you should sow sweet peas in autumn. I've always found that gives you the added problem of keeping the plants alive for longer, without much benefit. I've tried soaking the seeds overnight and sowing them straight from the packet. There wasn't any difference in germination.

Have you tried different methods of growing things and have you seen different results?

251 to 259 of 259

Discussions started by Emma Crawforth

Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch 
Replies: 7    Views: 802
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 15:50

Hedgehogs

Do you want to help hedgehogs? 
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Winter pruning

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Last Post: 13/01/2012 at 17:00

children and gardening

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Last Post: 27/02/2012 at 15:44

lawn edging shears

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Last Post: 02/02/2012 at 23:47

Mildew

Replies: 4    Views: 635
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 15:41

sweet peas

Replies: 2    Views: 715
Last Post: 05/12/2011 at 09:28
7 threads returned