Jim Macd

Latest posts by Jim Macd

Perennial Planting

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 17:21
Verdun wrote (see)

 … I have experimented with the Chelsea chop before it became fashionable,  

 Fashion has nothing to do with it. It's a technique that has been used, well before there was a Chelsea, to make plants flower on shorter stems rather than having to be staked. Perhaps people talk about the 'Chelsea chop' because of mentions on GW, GQT  and in the papers but I can assure you it's an age old technique not a fashion.; and nothing to do with the other separate technique of 'pinching out' used to make plants branch.  


Posted: 23/05/2014 at 15:44

It's very good ground cover so will prevent weeds from growing. It spreads very quickly but I've never had a problem clearing it away. Nothing is ever perfect.

Perennial Planting

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 15:32

Yes, I know what you mean, I am a trained Horticulturalist and have been gardening for over forty years. Some people get snippets of advice here and there and it is right in context but not always the broader picture. A bit like a blind man describing an elephant from behind. Sometimes it's good advice if you're a professional grower or growing for show but a bit over the top if you're growing for your own pleasure. Many things will work in Horticulture and what's best really depends on what conditions you have, which is why when I give advice I try to give a rounded view. I now only work in an advisory role. Make up your own mind what you want to do. Keeping them in pots could well give bigger plants in the end but that all depends how much work you want to put in and the comparable conditions in the ground. As I said at first if you have room to put them in the ground then they will fair better with less fuss, and cutting off the flowers is really only going to make a small difference as long as you don't let them seed and even them I'd challenge you to see the difference. 

As for pinching them out, they're herbaceous plants not shrubs, what a plant needs is to grow a big root system. For that it needs to get light so really pinching them out isn't going to aid that. Unless your plants are very highly messed about by breeders then I would let the plant do what mother nature 'designed' it to do. There's no 100% right answer or wrong answer though, and cutting them back could well be the best thing if they're leggy from too little light which they will be if you hide them away to stop you having to water them three times a day when it's hot. 

Perennial Planting

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 15:01

Hi OL, well, you can faff about repotting and protecting from frost, slugs, vine weevils, making sure you don't forget to water or they'll be dead completely, pinching out and cutting off flowers, don't forget feeding, OR you can get them in the ground and ejoy their beautiful flowers and leaves. It's up to you of course. 

Perennial Planting

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 12:43

I can't disagree more, Dave. The earlier you plant out the long the plant has to establish. If you don't plant out you're going to have to re-pot. As long as the plant has room when you plant out it is better than putting it in another pot every time. Obviously not if the plant won't have room. Planting out early means the plant will not be disturbed again.

Hazels looking for a home

Posted: 22/05/2014 at 15:07



Perennial Planting

Posted: 22/05/2014 at 11:45

How big depends where they're going, if you're going to give them lots of space and look after them, then plant them sooner. If they're going to have to fight it out then plant them only when they're in a 1 litre pot or bigger if it's really crowded with aggressive neighbours. I planted plugs of cowslips in grass three years ago. They are only a little bigger now than when they went in. Where as ones I left in pots and potted on for one reason or another are huge.

Hazels looking for a home

Posted: 22/05/2014 at 11:36

Don't forget Dove, you will need two for pollination, have you already got another or another near by? There's nothing to stop you planting them very close together to make a good sized clump like you would with herbaceous plants.

what pond plants are these

Posted: 21/05/2014 at 11:16

It's Myriophyllum aquaticum and it's very invasive something you should never under any circustances allow it out. The other is not flag

Bumble Bees

Posted: 19/05/2014 at 11:10
Fishy65 wrote (see)
Hi folks, Today has seen a gathering of Bumble Bees close to our back door.They are above the kitchen window,probably about 8 or 9ft off the ground and are entering the brickwork through a small hole in the mortar.The mortar is lime mortar so quite soft. I'm pretty sure they'll be fine and certainly don't want the cute fellows wiped out by 'pest' controllers. I know Bumble Bees are peaceful but I don't want them to think I'm too close and a threat...the much-used outside tap is directly below. Any thoughts?

They won't they'll leave you alone, I've got lots of nest

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