Iain R

Latest posts by Iain R

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Tree Ferns

Posted: 28/04/2017 at 14:22

Cross fingers some new ones will emerge, some dilute  SM3 liquid seaweed tonic may help. It seems fleece is not as effective a frost barrier as we have been lead to believe. I have posted on another thread about frost damage to early potatoes being WORSE with fleece on than my allotment neighbours who didn't bother! Anyone else with experience of fleece actually working to protect?Perhaps you have to make a "tent" so it doesn't touch leaves/ fronds!

What tools does a new gardener need?

Posted: 28/04/2017 at 14:10

If you don't need the top area for a while you could cover it with thick black polythene sheet. Leave it on as long as possible, up to a year if you can. This will kill off a lot of weeds or at least weaken them a lot making them easier to deal with.  I agree with the tool suggestions, the wolf system is not cheap but very convenient, you can buy attachments gradually as you need them. Personally I think stainless steel is only good for trowels & some other small tools, the trouble with it as a material is; it is expensive, brittle, difficult to sharpen (because it is so hard). Good quality steel tools can be kept sharp, which it vital for best performance. This to me outweighs the benefit of stainless which is it stays cleaner as wet soil does not stick so easily. It is personal preference!

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

Posted: 28/04/2017 at 11:34

Been on Allotments every day this week trying to catch up after a much needed holiday. Frost was forecast  Tues & Weds  night so thought I would be clever & put fleece over my early spuds. Mine are MORE SCORCHED than those who left them exposed! I can only assume fleece held the damp in, which then froze.  Can't do right for doing wrong!! On a lighter note,  resident Robin keeping me company all day finding lots of wireworm, centipedes spiders plus small worms. Must be feeding a brood in one of the adjacent back gardens.

Buying trees online

Posted: 25/04/2017 at 22:30

I have only bought trees that were dormant in the past but I have bought plenty of other plants online and while they sometimes  they get a bit of stress, they are usually fine. You may loose a few leaves here & there but if it is a reputable supplier they should know what they are doing. You could give a foliar feed with dilute liquid seaweed after they arrive this will help them overcome any stress. Goes without saying to plant them ASAP when they arrive, if you can prepare planting holes beforehand to reduce delay. 

sweet peas

Posted: 25/04/2017 at 22:23

Yes if they have germinated then keep going, they will flower a bit later of course but sometimes that's no bad thing. Things have a way of catching up.

Too late to treat codling moth?

Posted: 28/03/2017 at 20:21

A pheremone trap deployed around end April early May should help too. In theory it is just to show when you should spray but as it traps males it also reduces the numbers of grubs even if you don't spray

Garden composte

Posted: 28/03/2017 at 20:13

I agree with Dove 

New gardening maintenance company set up

Posted: 28/03/2017 at 20:11

It not essential to have qualifications, in fact Monty Don is very open about the fact he has no formal qualifications but he is quick to point out that he has studied a great deal just not on formal courses & never taken an exam.

I was thinking even if you just looked at the syllabuses to see what they covered it might give you some ideas about what you need to think about.

P.S. Capel is unusual in that the RHS courses come under the department of design, but there is very little about design or hard landscaping until you get to level 3.

New gardening maintenance company set up

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 12:06

I don't know where you are based but it might be worth considering a short course at a local college. In this area of North London Capel Manor college run short courses (6-8 weeks) on many aspects including one called  the "maintenance gardener" it not only covers practical aspects of gardening but also other aspects setting up as a business, insurance etc. I think a number of the colleges round the country do a similar thing. They run a whole range of courses at all levels some more formal than others. Worth a look in any case.

I did the RHS level 2 diploma there (just for my own interest) but approx half the class I was in were either working in or started to work in Horticulture. 


Growing Veg year on year

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 11:50

 With the exceptions listed above. Most conventional veg we grow are annual ( grow set seed and die within one growing season) or biennial, such as  the root crops like carrot & parsnip etc grow a food store if left they then use that food store to produce a flower spike  set seed & die. That is what the plant naturally wants to do. We come along and interrupt that cycle by harvesting that food store before the plant can die off. Although in some cases we eat the seeds eg beans etc.

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Discussions started by Iain R

Seed Potato Accent

Lack of supply for 2017 
Replies: 0    Views: 264
Last Post: 06/01/2017 at 11:29

Another Vitopod question

How best to use it? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1847
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 12:34
2 threads returned