London (change)
Today 5°C / 1°C
Tomorrow 5°C / 2°C

John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding

Apple tree

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:30

I would say the Apple tree is far too close to the Salix whether or not it is causing a problem. My wife says the Hydrangea prefers an acid soil (she knows more than me about flowering plants!)    My daughter bought me an Apple tree for my 50th birthday - a family tree with 3 varietys on the one tree. It too was about 4 ft high when I planted it - after 18 years it is now about 7 ft high (after pruning) and about 8-10 ft diameter. Nearest tree to it is a Cherry planted autumn 2011, about 10 ft away, doing well but I wouldn't dare have put it closer than it is. Think when planting what it will become in a few years.

Apple tree

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 16:47

Salix is a willow and willows like water - plenty of it - that's why you often find willows thriving on the banks of streams & rivers. It may be that the apple is taking water the salix would prefer to have - depends on how close it is. Remember, the root system below ground will pretty much mirror the canopy of what is above ground for size. I'm not sure about the Hydrangea though, not a plant I have had much to do with. I wouldn't have thought an Apple planted last Autumn though would have established its root system sufficiently yet to have caused the problem with either Salix or Hydrangea.

Seed Sowers

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 16:28

I bought one last year: looked good on the TV screen in the garden centre advertising it. Found it was fiddly to use and it's stayed in a plant pot in the greenhouse ever since! As Little-ann says "fingers are better"

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 10:44

We spent a couple of days in early April in Sherringham, Norfolk and visited a brilliant nursery near the village of Holt. They have been trialing various compost brands and told us they have found the best to be a brand calld 'Clover'. I've tried to get it in Bristol but cannot find any stockists here. They do have a website so I've emailed the Clover Co. for nearest stockists but not received a reply as yet. Will carry on using Westland for the time being at least as that seems to be the best I've come accross to date.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 08:15

Interesing: if that's the case then maybe that's the reason my local garden centre isn't stocking it any more. As I put in my earlier post, I've been very impressed with the Westland MP compost with added John Innes.

cow parsley and hogweed

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 23:08

If you can spray or paint just the foliage of the plants you want to eradicate with Roundup this weedkiller is very affective on most broadleaved plants. Problem is it will also take out any other plant that it touches. Roundup takes a couple of weeks to work. It is taken down into the roots which them kills the plant. It is easy to get despondant having treated with Roundup to think nothing is happening after a week but give it time, I've found it very effective. Don't though use a sprayer that you will subsequently use for pesticides (for blackfly,greenfly etc). I made that mistake once, washing the spayer out very thoroughly and pumping plenty of clean water through the sprayer too before spraying for cabbage caterpillars. A week or so later my cabbages all keeled over & I lost them! I keep one sprayer now exclusively for weedkillers & where I can have resorted to hand-picking caterpillars.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:52

I should have added that the Westland promotion is on their 60 litre bags: buy 2 @ £5.99 ea & get a 3rd free.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:50

I've used J Arthur Bowers for some years and it is good quality. This year though my local garden centre hasn't got the J Arthur Bowers range so I've started using the Westland John Innes seed, + Nos. 1,2,& 3 which seem extremely good. Also Westland are doing a promotion at present on their Multi-Purpose Compost with added John Innes. I've tried this and find the texture of the compost one of the best I've tried for some years. It also has a good percentage of genuine peat and certainly my plants are sowing the benefit this year with Tomatoes absolutely romping away & I'm very impressed. I've bought some Westland veg growing compost today to see how it does with Courgettes in large patio containers but am adding a bit of Growmore into the mix to give a bit of a boost.

cow parsley and hogweed

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:38

Please be very careful handling Giant Hogweed. The sap does something to the skin that allows the rays of the sun to cause serious burns and there have been cases where people have been badly scarred. The same goes for Rue. A very good friend of mine (now 91) is an MA and has lectured around the world in horticulture for many years: even she made the mistake of ripping out some rue in her garden on a sunny day without wearing gloves and next day her hands looked as though she had puit them in a fire! She knew instantly what she had done and acknowledged that even very knowledgable people can slip up at times.

planting out runner beans and courgettes

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 12:02

I planted my runner beans out over a week ago & they are doing well, but we are in Bristol & the weather has been reasonable (no frosts). One thing about runner beans (I've been growing them every year since 1967) they do love plenty of moisture: I always dig a trench 2 spits (spade depths) deep and at least 1/2 fill it with organic matter, even shredded newspaper, anything that will hold water, then backfill with the soil tread it all down to firm it all and rake to a fine tilth then put the canes in (in an 'A' frame formation using 8 ft canes, then plant out the beans. This will prevent accidentally damaging the roots if you put the canes in afterwards. Don't forget to use whatever slug/snail deterent you prefer as your crop could be decimated, particularly if it rains hard as this will bring the little critters out in their droves.

When the plants reach the top of the canes pinch out the growing tips and this will cause the plant to send out more runners increasing your crop. Also, keep picking when the beans are big enough to use, if you let the plant set seed they will have 'done their job' so to speak and production will slow right down.

Discussions started by John Harding

Signing in problems

log-on keeps dropping out 
Replies: 2    Views: 169
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 20:12

Signing in problems

log-on keeps dropping out 
Replies: 0    Views: 142
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 19:57

What's eating my winter Spinach?

Replies: 9    Views: 484
Last Post: 19/11/2013 at 09:12

Email notifications

Replies: 14    Views: 425
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 06:34

Is it me?

Replies: 5    Views: 468
Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 22:42
5 threads returned