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John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding


Posted: 20/06/2013 at 22:40
AndytheScientist wrote (see)

Believe it or not but i killed a lobelia, i put it in semi shade, in a moist ruch soil, and it died.. I guess they don't like clay. I think last year (1st in garden) i killed 4 plants, the lobellia, a delphinium (eaten by slugs), Blue Verbascum (eaten by slugs), a tree heather (not sure what killed it to be honest just went brown, cheif suspect was the cold easterly winds). 

I can't complain too much 4 from dozens and dozens of plants can't be too bad.

I suspect the tree heather died because clay soil will most likely be alkaline (PH7 ish) Heathers like acid soil and in my experience don't survive let alone thrive in alkaline soils.


Posted: 20/06/2013 at 22:32

Soiund advice from KEF - keep picking when they are small but big enough to use. This will prompt the plant to produce more. If it's taking all its strength to grow that huge one you haven't noticed under a large leaf the rest will slow down, then when you do pick it the plant will produce more and by the time you've eaten the big one you'll find you've got 5 more big ones that have replaced it.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 22:02

Artjak, Weedkiller is potentially more dangerous than pesticide (having had a brother in law who died from weedkiller poisoning 30 years ago it's something I know about only too well). OK weedkiller formulas have changed over the years and what you can buy in the Garden Centre is totally different to that which was available 30 years ago, but what is available to professionals and commercial people today may be a whole different issue, and what comes over into a residential area (accidentally or carelessly) may be another matter. I would certainly follow it up, but, as 'Dove' says, it may not serve you best to go in with all guns blazing.

I would ask first what chemicals were used in the spraying?, can he/they supply you with a copy of the COSHH details relating specifically to the chemicals used?  who carried out the work? is it likely to happen again and if so when? and what safeguards has he/they put in place to protect third parties and their property?.  This will do a number of things: 1). It will demonstrate you have very real concerns over what happened, not just as a matter of inconvenience but on H&S grounds. 2). It will show you are asking reasonable questions, 3). That you expect reasonable answers: 4). that you are prepared to investigate the Health & Safety issues relating to the product he/they used. It may also pay to ask for a copy of their 3rd party liability insurance. Every business is legally obliged to have this and it will indicate you are sufficiently aware of his obligations and are prepared to follow through with legal representation if he/they refuse to comply.  Hope this helps. John H


Posted: 20/06/2013 at 08:49

You say you live near woodland but not where that woodland is. If it's anywhere near Gloucestershire/ Forest of Dean it's probably wild boar which is a real problem at the moment - but then again, if you do live in the Forest of Dean you would probably know all about that. Residents lawns and gardens have been totally destroyed. Roadside verges look as though they've been very untidily ploughed up with an excavator, otherwise Badgers but they are nocturnal and it is unlikely they would be the culprit during the day.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 09:09

I agree that JAB doesn't look good this year when the bag is opened (I haven't noticed an odour!). I've used JAB for many years and bought some earlier this of their growbags this year though I have changed to Westlands for MPC. At the end of the day it is the results that count and I have to say the tomatoes in my greenhouse are doing really well in the JAB. I have 2 types of growbag in use: 1 is a "GroSure Tomato Planter" t'other 2 are JAB and all the plants are very healthy. I haven't started feeding them yet so all they've had is water + whatever nutrients are in the growbags. I also hose the floor down every day to keep the atmosphere in the GH humid as well as ventilated. I noted yesterday that some of the toms have set so feed is imminent now. Pics follow...

1st is GroSure Tomato Planter with 2 x 'Apero' (cordon) & 1 'Red Alert' (bush type) in Middle

Below is JAB with 2 x 'Red Alert' + 1 'Apero' in middle

 Just inside the doors either side are 2 Chilli plants also in flower at present in John Innes No 2. The Toms on the right (pic 1) are also in JAB - these 3 are 'Country Taste'

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 13:06
artjak wrote (see)

John H, why not do some 'before and after' photos of the patio?

I may do, I'll take few today & see how I feel when the job is complete. JH

Please help me identify what is eating my strawberries!?!

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 23:46

My immediate thought is gastropods, i.e.slugs and snails. They are nocturnal and love soft fruit like strawberries. Go out with a torch when it's dark and do an inspection: I'm guessing you'll find the critters have a good feed. You could put a dish of cheap beer down on the ground near the plants. Slugs & snails love that more than they do strawberries and you'll find them drowned in the amber liquid in the morning.

Sick Tomato Plant

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 23:39

Be careful not to overwater tomatoes. They don't want to dry out obviously, but too much water can be detrimental to the plant too and also to the quality of the fruits. Irregular watering will lead to blossom end rot and other maladies. It looks as though you are growing them in the greenhouse soil rather than growbags or pots, If so then the tap roots which will search for the moisture they need will go deeper to find it. The feeding roots will be much nearer the surface. Don't make the mistake of using Tomorite or any other feed until the first truss of fruit has set or the plants will grow foliage at the expense of fruit.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 22:59

We're having some more work done outside the conservatory in a few weeks. Another stone walled raised bed to compliment the one we had done a couple of weeks ago plus replacing the whole patio because the ants have undermined the existing one so much its sunk in various places and become too much of a trip factor. When it's finished I'll put some more pics up (I'd be ashamed to show the existing mess close up!)

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 22:28

Ah! fairygirl (& q_r) this greenhouse is new (my birthday present to myself last year and built in January this year so currently my pride & joy). It hasn't always been tidy (I refer to a previous greenhouse), I have to keep it tidy now though because at 69 in October I am not as steady on my feet as I used to be and if I leave anything out on the floor you can bet my feet will find it. You'll notice too from various pics posted that the garden is also very tidy! I can't claim credit for that though as Eileen (OH) has a very tidy mind and everything has a place and should be in it!

Discussions started by John Harding

What's eating my winter Spinach?

Replies: 9    Views: 265
Last Post: 19/11/2013 at 09:12

Email notifications

Replies: 14    Views: 286
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 06:34

Is it me?

Replies: 5    Views: 271
Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 22:42
3 threads returned