Latest posts by gardenjeannie


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 23:50

Hopefully you can see the placement of the cuttings and canes and how I have tied them in.  I have just tied them all in again, so will show more pics in the next day or so.  They need to be tied in quite often while the new growth is still soft as it is easy to break once it starts to harden, and you may need to bend it quite far to acheive the look you want.


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 23:41











 Here are some pics as I was potting up the new ones. Unfortunately, I cannot now see each pic to describe until I post this!  The last pic is the twisted stem I started form cuttings taken in March this yr, the rest were potted on from later cuttings in july. The tall one is only in flower 'cos I was away. I removed all the flowers after this pic was taken..



Posted: 31/08/2013 at 23:02

I start in small pots with equally sized well rooted cuttings, which I place around the sides of the pot.  I then position small canes where I will tie the cuttings, depending on what I am attempting, then just keep tying in and removing side shoots and any flowers that form until I get the height that I want.  I started like you, but with bay trees, but found that the stems just grow into each other. The one above is my first attempt at twisting it around something (in this case, an old broom handle!), but this yr I decided to use more canes, held together with a cane topper, and so far this seems to work.

Will try to send the pics of my newest ones.


watering cans

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 03:55

Hi, Clueless. My last job was interior gardener. Rainwater, or water that has been standing long enough to lose the chlorine is always best for most plants, but temp can be crucial.  A temp change in water can shock a plant into slowing it's growth, or cause it to bolt/ flower, or even increase growth. We mostly used tepid water on our indoor displays, as many plants were tropical, in bad conditions, and cold water at the roots could kill them quickly. They wer also gradually trained to need less water, as visits could be 3 wks apart. NEVER water your greenhose plants in summer with a hosepipe.  People often ask why their houseplant has died. Overwatering kills many plants, but many people don't realise that repeated watering with water that is too cold, (or hot), will kill them just as surely.  If you always fill enough cans or containers as soon as you have used them, and keep them in an area near your plants, wherever they may be, the water will be at the same temp as the soil/compost, and will not shock the roots.  Conversely, I am told that if you DO need to shock a plant into opening buds in time for a show, then watering with colder then warmer water can fool them. Plants that WE need to set fruit or flower at a certain time can be coerced into this by variations of temp, as, if they feel threatened they need to set a flower to reproduce, as will e.g. lettuce, beetroot, onions, in a hot summer, when you don't want them to. 

So, not only is the amount of water and its quality critical, but the TEMP of the water is, too. If we insist on growing plants in un-natural conditions (which we all love to do), and they reward us for our efforts, then an understanding of how water temp can help or hinder our efforts is important, too.  I am not aware of any scientific studies about this, only the wisdom of old plantsmen, and my own and other more expert, gardeners' experiences.  Unless you have a specific reason to, NEVER water your indoor plants with COLD water straight from the tap


Revitalise spent compost - how??

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 02:46

If really set on growing carrots there nxt yr, you could try interplanting them with onions, chives, garlic or the like, but most advice, as Verdun's, is not to plant a crop in the same soil two yrs in a row. This is how crop-specific pests build up in the soil. Avoid growing plants of the same family in the same place again the next yr.  If you are growing all the same plants again, and re-using the compost/soil, use a crop rotation system as you would for beds.  re-vitalize the compost as verdun suggests, then put the plants into different pots than last yr.  Remember that toms and pots sre in the same family, so don't put a tom into last yrs potato container unless you have completely changed the compost and cleaned the pot.

However, having said all of this, all of my fruit and veg growing used to be in containers as i had a concrete yard. I used to mix in some home-made compost and a little growmore each yr, then feed as neccessary and never had any probs.  Containers can be more work in watering and feeding, but easier to control pests and diseases.  I am finding more probs in my raised veg beds than I ever did with growing in containers.

help identifying plant

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 02:12

Don't pull it!  maybe move it carefully if yu don't want it there, but don't kill it. Look up Berghill's suggestion, as cyclamen can be hard to grow.


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 02:07

My first yr of greenhouse growing, so HAD to try toms.  Have most yrs outside but with little success.  I grew Roma, Moneymaker, Red Cherry, and tried 2 from supermarket fruits that I had liked, San marzano, and an un-named Morrisons value cherry tom.  Have had excellent ripening, and still have some growing that will stay on plant as long as poss as everyday some are still ripening, although it has slowed down now.

Strangely, my best crops came from the seed of shop boughts from last yr. Although the San Marzano were hge fruits compared to the tiny plum cherries they were taken from, the flavour was actually better, and they made a lovely pasta/pizza sauce.

Re ripening, I have read that you should firstly remove the plants from the supports and lay them along the ground.  Can't figure how this can work, ( I like to know why something works!) and presume that is for greenhouse ones.  You don't say whether yours are in or out.

Another reliable way is to place them in a drawer, box or sack with a ripe banana, as the ethylene gas released by the banana causes ripening. This is why you should hang bananas well away from your fruit bowl unless you have fruit that needs to ripen. Most fruits release this gas in varying amounts, once picked, but the banana has most.  I have tried this in the past with my few outdoor toms, and it does work, although like most forced fruits, the flavour is inferior. If indoors, I would leave them on the plant as long as poss before resorting to the banana method.  After all of that, there are many excellent recipes for green tomato chutney on the web, and if you put it in a nice jar it makes a great present!

Birdy, could the variety you had be 'Sungold?'  They are available from T&M and are advertised as being very sweet.  I believe that at one time they were advertised as the sweetest 'or your money back'.  I intend to try them next yr to try to get my boys to eat them!


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 01:31

P.S, as Daintiness says, freecycle is great.  I have got rid of loads of the kids stuff on there, and picked up tons, too, for garden and house.  Even got a whole solid wood kitchen for last house, including a working dishwasher. Was 25 yrs old, but far better quality and easier to fit than a new one.  Hate to see anything re-usable go to landfill, and that is how most people on there think.  A little more hassle than taking to tip, but givesa nice feeling when you can help someone else for a little more effort and know that you've done your teeny bit to help save the environment.  Every little helps!


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 01:21

Wish I was closer, in desperate need of one, and I could supply you with as many hostas as you could wish!  Could you courier it?  I could courier plants, too.

Large Canvas

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 01:13

Oh, Wow.  So much you could do there!  I would never be able to decide on a plan.  I'd just keep sitting there changing my mind every day.  My garden has evolved gradually due to lack of money, time, help etc, and has had to fit around things.  Although I sometimes wish I had had a blank canvas like yours to start with, I think I would still be sitting here designing, 4 yrs later!  My suggestion is to go to the bit on the forum where everyone is showing thier gardens (can't remember the thread name).  There are loads of lovely gardens on there to give you ideas, and I totally agree with both Sara and Gardengirl's ideas, too.

One of the posters had built a fantastic bottle wall.  Will go back to that thread and forward shortly.

You lucky person, no major work removing things before starting!

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