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Frank Davidson

Latest posts by Frank Davidson

1 to 10 of 14

Recently Manured ?

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 09:26

Look up the dormancy type and germination inhibitors with a reference such as Baskins & Baskins or an appropriate journal for the seed you want to germinate.

Urease or nitrogen in animal manures may inhibit germination of seeds of some species. 

Gardening Books

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 09:13

The Internet was a great reference back in the eighties and early nineties until the web came along. The university library, botany, biochemistry, soil and plant science, zoology and agriculture sections are far more reliable.

I bought one of those D G Hessayon books in the local charity shop. Though well-presented it is full of archaic units and practically unusable. I have no clue or care what a degree Fahrenheit, a gallon or an acre was. I assumed with Hessayon having a Ph.D the book would be a bit more academic and expert. Oh well it was only 25p. Of course with buying old horticulture books one risks that the plant systematics is out of date as phylogenetic techniques have moved on.

The charity shop of which I speak has fairly new academic books cheap and the money doesn't leave town. I got Life-The Science of Biology (7th, Purves et al) and Chemistry-The Central Science (8th, Brown et al) for £1 each to replace my oldr copies which fell apart with use.


The web is handy for sourcing items, far easier than traipsing to the central library for a specialist business directory, writing down a list of potential suppliers and telephoning them.

Best Base for Greenhouse?

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 08:43

Trench dug the area of the greenhouse. Block on its side around the footing. timber shims at either side of screw hole to level it then the gap mortared up. Soiled up to the blocks inside and out paving slabs laid on top of soil at each side in the greenhouse and central passageway sunk below that.

That's not a recommendation:

Timber shims rot.

The soil settles so

Blocks at footing move,, gastropods get in by the dozen 

Slabs are off level making all the staiging off level making watering into trays uneven resulting in a a disproportionate number of infant mortalities .Nothing is plumb square or level. I didnt install it.

The hardstanding (reclaimed bricks) around the greenhouse is nowhere near flat and  a far from ideal surface to work off steps with glass panels and fiddle clips

Once it's installed it's always much more of a faff, more expensive and more labour-intensive effecting repairs and sorting things out than doing a good job in the first place in a vacant space.

When I come to replace the greenhouse with a bigger one duct in utilities then get some concrete guys to vibrate in MOT1 then shutter in poured concrete.  I'll fabricate a base to give 2degress runoff for rainwater if that is not designed into the guttering or the guttering angle is not adjusable.

One feature I'll use again is storage heater bricks for the central passageway for thermal mass to stabilise the day/night temperatures. 

Hostas as a delicacy !

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 12:40

Oh my, I'm rather disappointed at the lack of culinary knowledge on a horticulture forum. Tsk! Get thee to a Japanese restaurant.Order the urui 

I guess you won;t be eating that specimen even if you sluice the cervine sliver off. If my hostas brought deer into the garden I'd be planting more. 

Music in the Garden

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 06:46

I can't stick music on the wireless, I listen to the Home Service (FM).


Talkback: Gardening makes you happy

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 06:38

If one's seedlings get killed to death everything is late and the harvest is worse than Ton Good's ten it's not such a happy lot.

Hostas as a delicacy !

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 06:27

Just harvest them and wash them as you need them get in before te deer, freeze the rest at the end of the season. That's what groing is about - some for them, some or you.


Making your own hoops for netting

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 06:18

10mm galv rod, old curtain rails from the upholsterer's skip, PVC trunking lid, deprickled bramble canes. 25mm alkathene pipe would do but they are bulkier to store.

I don't use netting though, it stops the birds getting in.


Talkback: How to choose secateurs

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 02:36
I'm undecided between bypass Felco 2, 7, 8 or Okatsune 103 (will use different anvil ones for woody material). I'll be using them a lot, including for chopping up green stems for compost. There isn't a stockist near to try them. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the conical and flat holsters for the Felcos?

Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 13:17

Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

What shall i plant
I've taken on some voluntary gardening on a 5m by 15m back garden for another building which is a converted  east facing terraced town house

There's an empty basement flat  which used to be the caretakers flat below the main building which has quite a lot of damp ingress.They are saving to get it tanked properly but  can't really afford to heat the place. In the meantime the major cause of the damp the leaky guttering and downpipe is under repair and I'll have a look at the drains once there is some fine weather

Behind the flat, for a few metres the 5m x15m  garden slopes up from basement to ground level with flowerbeds at each side of the slope. Behind that there is s a 3m x 5m lawn in very poor condition.due to poor light and an abundance of leaves, behind that some flowerbeds in poor condition and at the very back some mature trees. There are borders running the full length of the garden at ground floor  level

I think the holard / water content of the ground is contributing to the damp problem.

Anything I could plant in the borders and flower beds which would use up water from the soil

I was going to reseed the lawn once I can enlist some help to set out and level. Is there a grass mix which is hardwearing, takes up a lot of soil moisture, is tolerant of shade in an already dire Aberdeen climate yet is reasonable decorative? Would A4 A6, A19 be suitable?

The garden is going to have to be worked anyway. Thought it would be a good opportunity to plant stuff that will reduce the holard of the ground and it's potential contibutory effect on the basement flat damp while I'm at it.

The soil is good, low clay content.

1 to 10 of 14

Discussions started by Frank Davidson

Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

What shall i plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 642
Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 18:05

Recycling compost from last years tomato growbags

Can one re-use growbacg compost? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1132
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 20:30
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