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Latest posts by Lizzie27

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family fruit trees

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 14:34

Hi Vic,


Rootstock MM106 is a rootstock for making dwarf apple trees - not as small as MM9, but good nevertheless so may be okay in a large pot as long as you keep it well watered (a couple of gallons a day in hot weather)  and well fed. I would use a slow release granuler fertiliser pellet such as Miracle Gro, which you can just stick in the compost in the Spring and then forget about it for 6 months.  When you plant the trees in the pots, put them in John Innes No.3 or Hillier's Shrub & Tree compost which are a bit beefier than ordinary multi purpose composts. They will need to stand in a sunny spot, but are perfectly hardy and will cope with winter cold/wet, although to be on the safe side, in their first winter, I would be inclined to put them in a sheltered spot if you've got one.

family fruit trees

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 13:21

Hello vic14.

I have a family apple tree planted 4 yrs in the ground. It's now getting on for 10ft high and 4ft wide (despite annual pruning). This is the first year we've had a good crop from one side - an apple called Elstar. The other side, is Golden Delicious which has hardly cropped at all, despite getting slightly more sun. Staking is recommended all its life, which I didn't do and now the two halves are leaning outwards, away from each other and I suspect will pull apart soon and let diseases in.  I'm not sure they will do well in a large pot, as apples need an awful lot of water. Do you know what rootstock they are on?

I don't think I would get one again but wish you every success with yours.


Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 12:40

I grow aconitums and am thinking of about getting more but have always known the roots especially are deadly poisonous, so I wear gloves and am really careful around them. As Obelixx says, many plants are poisonous, like laburnum seeds which I would never grow if children are around. Deadly nightshade and lords and ladies are others, although they are more native hedging plants than in gardens.

A more common hazard I think is septicemia from scratches & cuts, especially from the roses/manure combo. They used to vaccinate against tetanus as well but I can't get a top up any more - presumably the cost of so doing outweighs the risk. 

Winter Readings

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 22:36

I  love Helen Yemm's "Gardening in your Nightie" and the follow on ones. She's very hands on but funny with it.

Also have just acquired 1001 Garden Boosters (Readers Digest) and their Seasonal Guides (Early Spring, Spring, Summer, etc) quite useful.

Have actually just nipped downstairs to look at my bookshelves, got 3 just on gardening and have over flowed onto the carpet!  Charity shops are a brilliant source of gardening books as you can pick them up at reasonable prices, read them and recycle the ones you don't want.

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 22:25

Bookertoo, I sympathise as I'm having the same problems. Are your feeders suspended from a tree/bush or are they on a pole?  I ask because my brother has a pole with feeders and uses one of those clear plastic pudding basiny thingies at the bottom third of the pole which apparently the squirrels can't climb over - says it works for him. They are expensive though about £20-£25.

My feeders suspend from a pole but are near to a magnolia and a rose arch which the squirrels jump from - can't move it as won't be able to see the birds from my chair.

I suspect it's a case of learning to accept them and the fact they'll eat a lot of bird feed and thus keeping your blood pressure down!

Creating a wooden seat in a grassy mound. How?

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 11:09

Hello Simon,  I wouldn't worry too much about rotting if you're using seasoned oak and cedar, they are both pretty tough. What would be sensible though is to give the mound at least 6 months to settle before you start to excavate a recess. How high is your mound and how will you get up to the seat?  Will it be shallow enough just to run/walk up to the seat?  You're unlikely to want to sit there over the winter months when it's more likely to be wet and you could always give the wood several coats of wood protector solution.

A small bag of ready mix fence post cement is probably easier and good enough for the footings for a small long bench.

Gardeners World Magazine

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 10:34

I'm pleased to note that some of you have won prizes, I, too, enter most of the competitions so can live in hope after all!

Bamboo or tree screening? Suitable bamboos?

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 16:11


I'm just thinking that one tree per 6ft panel is too many, most of the trees you mention will quite quickly grow more than 6ft wide, and probably up to 24ft or more high. I would suggest using your liriodendron and amelanchier and perhaps one other with maybe some taller shrubs not more than  8-10ft high in the gaps between? Maybe evergreens to give you more screening in the winter.

If you have other garden areas, I'm not quite sure I would want to draw attention to the childrens play area - they are often not the most attractive.

Hope this helps - I've got a similar dilemma and I keep dithering too! It's worth taking your time though if you're planting relatively expensive trees.

Gardeners World Magazine

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 20:12

Has anybody ever won any of these competitions?

How many people enter them each month?

I live in hope 


Posted: 04/09/2014 at 19:55

I'm really pleased with my tomato crop this year for the first time. Planted 4 plants, two from seed - Maskotka, which have done really well and been cropping for about a month now, one plug plant "Red Alert", also okay and one I lost the label from.

Maskotka was grown outside in pots (although they're in the porch now the nights are colder) Red Alert was in a small greenhouse and the unknown one in a hanging basket, which I won't bother with again - needed too much watering. Red Alert is now finished but the two Maskotka doing fine so I will definitely grow these again and am actually going to enter some into our local Flower Show on Saturday!

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