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John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 22:16

Are you going to Gardeners World Live at NEC on 12-16th June? If so you could put a question re this to Anne Swithinbank or Matt Biggs. I've booked and received an email form to put questions to Anne & Matt prior to the event so if you are going too you could submit the question. If you're not I could submit it for you as I'm booked to see Anne & Matt's 'Grow Your Own' presentation on the 12th June. (I'd be interested to learn the answer in case my tree suffers the same way). I'm guessing but it could be the really bad weather we had last year - We had hardly any apples last year as frosts in late April early May killed off the blossom on the Apple and Cherry tree. It also killed of a miniature Peach tree.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 15:47

Plus a couple more:

This is of a Coldframe box I made 2 years ago. Initially to grow 1st Early potatoes, then last year Parsnpis (they did brilliantly). This year I started with carrots but something ate them just after germination. I found some vine weevil grubs so sifted the whole lot & got rid of them. Have re-planted with Dwarf French beans which seem to be doing well: you can just see them through the front perspex glazing. I made the hinged glazed tops this spring as the weather was so cold and used some toughened glass 500mm x 4mm sq sheets I had doing nothing except collecting green algae.

 Another pic of the new bed. Planted up with some lettuces around edge & a Cougette in the middle and a clump of Chives which have to be moved anyway. Managed to lift them complete with the whole soil ball so they should survive


Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 15:33
artjak wrote (see)

John H, I love the angles that you have created; they work very well. I can'y enlarge it, too techy for me, would love to see more pics of the veg area.

Hi artjak,

Here are a couple of photos of the veg patch you asked to see (hopefully they'll upload) I'll just do 2 at a time as yesterday I found they wouldn't upload unless I reduced the file sizes dramatically - these are about 1.2mb each

 Closest are 3 rows of Parsnips. I sowed 3 rows of Countess F1 1st week in April & only 3 seeds germinated. Bought these 'Duchess' at a garden centre last weekCloche isn't doing anything at present except keeping soil warm ready for B.Sprouts & Ppl Spr Broccoli (seedings currently in greenhouse) - there are 1/2 a doz Br Sprts t'other side of cloche.

2nd bed has runner beans this year (made a polythene canopy last year to protect some plants)

3rd bed is Broad Beans & Peas (Aquaduce Claudia & Meteor) Not sure if they will be successful this year as there don't seem to be mant bees about

 Closer view of the BrdBeans/Peas bed

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 08:35
Salino wrote (see)


thank you for that information... I've just tried it and yes I can enlarge that, quite fun actually if rather messy,  although no zooming in though, ... I think this was what another member called 'Blackest' was trying to tell us on another thread recently....

clarity is compromised a little, as you say, but I can see you have what looks like a small tree with flowers in a blue square pot... amongst others...  I shall try this method again if need arises...

Hi Salino,

The shrub in the square pot you can see in picture 1 is a Rosemary (in fact it is 3 Rosemarys twined together to create a 1/2 standard) currently in flower. The other side of the patio there is a bay tree of similar size. In the third picture there are 3 trees: on the right is an apple with 3 varieties [Bramley Seeding, Cox's Orange Pippin, & James Grieve] the tree in the middle is a Cherry I planted in the Autumn of 2011 [loaded with Cherries this year] and the tree on the left is a Japanese Salix we bought at Chelsea in 1994. 

artjak I will take a few more pics of the veg area and post later on today. 

The new raised bed created yesterday with the slate effect walls [see pic 1] will shortly (planned for July) have a smalled semi-tirangular bed to compliment it on the opposite side of the garden to be used as a herb garden and then a new patio because ants have undermined the existing one & the slabs have sunk in places making it unsafe to walk on. When that's all done I'll post some more pics. John H

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 23:54
Salino wrote (see)

..beautifully laid out for ease of access, John...  these older semi's [1950's??] often have big gardens like that... used to live in one in Kent...'s a pity we cannot enlarge your photos as I wanted to zoom in... but never mind, it's an ongoing problem for many here...

There is a way you can zoom in: just right click on the photo and select 'copy image' then open Word and paste (= Ctrl + V on a PC). You can then click on that image in word and drag the corners out to enlarge the picture but you will lose a bit of clarity the larger you make the picture. Incidentally, Yes,  the house was built in 1953 - we bought it in 1967. John H

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 21:41

Hi again all, as requested I have uploaded some pics of my garden to the garden gallery 2013. I've had to reduce the file sizes considerably as they wouldn't load at first try. I hope they will open. Regards, John H

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 21:22

Well, the builders have gone & the new bed is in place so I've been out and taken a few shots with my camera: let's hope they load OK


To make the raised beds I bought some lengths of steel channel and welded them together & set them in concrete. I was then able to cut the boards and slot them in 'till I got the height to where I wanted it. Each bed took just over 1 ton of top soil to fill which I bought from a company in Solihull. I originally had Railway sleepers until I learned about the Organo-Phosphates (sheep dip) used as preservative and I got rid of them, disposed of the soil and started again. It was expensive but I thought eliminating risk to long term health was more important to my family. PS. The garden looks bigger than it really is because of the wide angle lens on the camera. Garden is about 24 feet wide and about 80 feet from conservatory to rear wall behing the shed.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 20:01

Hi artjak, I do use a PC most of the time but I made that reply from my iPhone hence the problem with the predictive text. I usually notice the garbage it puts out and make corrections but that doesn't always work, I mean it's me that doesn't always work! 

Fertiliser types

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 19:46

Fish, Blood & Bone is a slow release fertiliser whereas Growmore releases its nutrients into the soil at a faster rate. For flowers you should be OK. For vegetables such as Courgettes, Cauliflower etc that are greedy feeders FB&B will not be at all adequate and I would recommend Growmore. For plants that are not so varacious FB&B should be fine. For fruiting plants/bushes use Super Phosphate which will assist the plants to produce their fruit. For plants that produce green edible foliage i.e. Brassicas such as Cabbages, Br/Sprouts, Broccoli, Kale etc. these will benefit a great deal from Epsom Salts. Always read the instructions, don't overdo the recommended amounts, and avoid letting the fertiliser touch the plant stems. Personally I tend not to use a lot of manufactured fertilisers, preferring to use good old home manufactured compost from my compost bins as this also conditions the soil and keeps it nice and friable. Don't use manure or compost under root veg though such as parsnips, carrots & the like as the foliage will look fantastic but the roots will fork in all directions and be of little use for the table.


Posted: 30/05/2013 at 12:01

I have a Hozelock timer I bought at Chelsea nearly 20 years ago and it is settable for up to 4 sessions (variable) per day with a minimum time on auto for 1 minute. Water Computers/timers can be expensive & I have a cousin who says his experience nowadays is that they only last about 2 seasons & break down so he's given up on them. I don't know how many plants you've got but an alternative I have just tried is a new product from Hozelock that supports a grow-bag. It has 4 serrated spikes that carry some capillary matting which you thread through a slot, then position the grow-bag on top & press down. This pierces the grow-bag and the tray underneath holds up to 15 litres of water - sufficient to keep a bag with 3 tomato plants adequately watered for a couple of weeks. The tray has a gauge which lets you know how  full/empty the tray is and all it takes to refill is to empty a can of water into the filler hole. There are also some fittings to accept canes for supporting the plants as they grow. First impressions are that it is brilliant - I'm trying one at present with 2 other grow-bags using the drippers on a timer. Cost? at my Garden Centre they are on offer @ £19.99 each but on the internet I've seen them at around £27 - £30 so internet/Ebay isn't always cheapest (& those prices didn't include carriage charges which were significant and extra!)

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