Latest posts by Ian4602

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Welcome to tools and techniques

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 15:43

@Maria7 : search www.toolstation.com for 'mattock head': I bought one a few months ago, and it works really well for lifting turf, and digging up stony or compacted ground.

@GrandBob : gravel boards are (roughly) 6"x1" boards that go along the bottom of fences. Try looking for fencing laths, perhaps: but that's about the size of what you want.

@Reg Simpson : I bought bags of sharp sand from Wickes, instead of pricey horticultural sand. Sharp sand drains better than builders sand, which is too round (I believe), and doesn't help drainage. You have to be careful of lime and salt: they're the risks with non-horticultural grit, but I've been ok so far.

@WeedFairy : I really like Joseph Bentley forks & spades, which haven't bent on me yet. They've got nice ash handles, and are a good length.

Buying new apple trees

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 08:52

Oh: another thought, which occured (typically) to me as soon as I'd posted. Get some mycorrhizal fungi ('Rootgrow') to help your bare-root or pot-grown trees establish. I can't claim to have done a proper controlled trial, but I think it helps.


Buying new apple trees

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 08:51

I'm in a similar position to you, James: I planted about six fruit trees last winter, and am about to order more. They were one year maidens, on MM106 rootstocks, and were between two and five feet tall. They've established well, helped no doubt by the copious rain. I accept that they'll take longer to fruit; I balance that against stronger growth, and considerably cheaper prices (about £12/tree) -- and I can train them to the form I want (half-standards, for these).

I can recommend the nursery I got them from, if you'd like, along with an alternative that can supply a staggering range of apples. I note that you're in Tunbridge Wells: if it appeals to you, there are lots of varieties that originate in Kent, and which might be ideal for your conditions?



Posted: 08/10/2012 at 09:22

Mediterranean herbs like it well drained and not particularly fertile, which is why Monty was re-using tomato borders in the greenhouse, and had previously had them potted in gravel-rich soil.

By contrast, I think garlic (elephant and normal) like quite rich ground.

The difference, I suppose, is that for herbs, you want concentrated oils, etc, and a minimum of wet, lush growth: for garlic, you want nice plump bulbs.


Posted: 05/10/2012 at 09:11

I've been growing Germidour for a couple of years, which has done well. It over-winters up here in the Pennines (where it's reliably cold and wet...), and is a nice mild variety.

As imcg says, you really should not try to preserve garlic in oil at home. Commercial producers have to put preservatives/acidifiers in, as botulinum is unnoticeable, and potentially fatally toxic. There are other ways to preserve garlic, but in oil isn't one to try at home!

With regard buying growing garlic, rather than food garlic -- food garlic may have been treated with chemicals/etc to prevent it sprouting (ie, to store it longer in the shop), and may not grow as well.

I can also recommend elephant garlic, which is great fun, and produces huge mild cloves!

Subscribers' club discounts

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 09:55

Hi Kezza,

As MuddyFork says, it's at odds with the advert: the advert order form specifically reminds you to use the discount code -- but if you do so (with any of the offers), you get hit with an extra P&P charge that more than wipes out the 10% discount.

The offer two months ago (Mont Rose of Guernsey clematis) allowed you to use the subscriber code; and the advert this time tells you to -- so I should be able to: it's the T&M website, allowing only one code at once, that's preventing it.

Subscribers' club discounts

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 09:06

I liked the look of this month's free plant offer (36 lavenders, £4.90 P&P), so went over to T&M's website and added them to my basket. The printed order form in the magazine reminds you to use the subscribers' discount code from a later page, so I've tried putting that into the T&M website, but although it then takes 10% off, it also causes it to add a further £4.95 P&P! (Which is a -100% "discount"...)

This is rather frustrating: the discount code page specifically says 'online only', but it can't actually be used online with the offer.

What am I doing wrong?!

Talkback: How to force daffodil bulbs

Posted: 24/11/2011 at 15:29
I'm really enjoying my paper-whites at the moment. How can I make them flower at Christmas again next year?
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Discussions started by Ian4602

Subscribers' club discounts

Replies: 9    Views: 4291
Last Post: 01/07/2012 at 14:00
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