Latest posts by Lokelani

Easy to look after House Plants

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 19:55

Forgot to say, leaves turning yellow could be overwatering. Water when needed, ie when it feels really light, or the compost is dry, rather than just weekly whatever. If it's warm it may need more often, if the weather has been cold & grey it may need it less often. 

If not then maybe the wrong light conditions for that plant. 

Easy to look after House Plants

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 19:49

Temperatures matter, although less at this time of the year. Our house is really cold & I have tremendous difficulty keeping anything alive. Our flat used to be like a jungle, so I think it is temperature rather than a lack of green fingers! 

Aspidistra & mother-in-laws tongue (there are a few varieties nowadays) are meant to be the hardest for novices to kill. 

Phalaenopsis (moth orchid), is surprisingly very easy. They are usually in bloom when you buy them & those blooms last for months. Easy instructions all over the internet on how to look after them.

Aloe vera I grew from seed survives even through winter in my cold house, just don't overwater, very easy. Jade (money) plant seems almost indestructable. Weeping fig survives just.  

Personally I've always found all palms & ferns very tricky. If you really mist & look after them & have a warm enough house they are beautiful though. 

Rhododendron help

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 19:31

Not all my rhodies are out yet, everything is about a month behind this year.

I can't look closer at the picture, but from what I can see they could just be healthy buds that aren't out yet. If they'd failed to open I'd guess they'd probably just shrivel up & drop off. 

Don't know about the leaves I'm afraid.

chillie pepper seeds

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 18:55

Ideally it's really too late. 

I'm in the south & usually start toms & chillis mid March. They go in the greenhouse as soon as the temps are up a bit (with night time heat if necessary).  My greenhouse only gets sun after lunch & in the evening, so I'm lucky if they're fruiting & ripening much before the first frosts!

So I vowed to sow them in January this year, but didn't. So mine are playing catch up.

To a certain extent things do catch up, but I think you might be really pushing your luck. It's not even as if they are that quick to germinate. If you have a really sunny greenhouse & time, pots & compost to spare, so you won't be too cross if they come to nothing, then as the seeds were free maybe you have nothing to lose. Perhaps we will have a very late hot summer, who knows.

I'd probably save them for next year though...

Moving tomatoes outside

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 19:07

It depends where you are in the country.

I'm near the south coast & have started hardening things off, still with some trepidation. It has been such a late start this year.

Last night was meant to be the last really cold one according to the weather, the minimum is showing nearler 10 degrees from now on, but only just. 

Further north I would guess there could still be frosts, so just start out in the day & in at night for a bit, or covered with fleece. I don't think tomatoes really like being much below 10 degrees. 

Small flies can be a sign of overwatering, although I think they are very common, so not necessarily the case. 

help: bindweed is coming over from neighbour!

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 10:11

I think a root barrier maybe the only answer. Not all neighbours can be bothered to  resolve problems they are causing, if it costs them time or money! 

We get bindweed under the fence from one neighbour & ground elder & bamboo from the other! 

We have twice tried emptying the borders, digging every trace of root (or so we thought) out before replanting. Pointless, as others have said. Loads of the weeds still pop up & more grows under.

The funny thing is both sides have well manicured looking gardens with paid gardeners, who obvioulsy only tend the front of the border & what goes on at the back or behind the shrubs gets ignored! 

I get so fed up with glyphosate looking like it hasn't worked, or it raining, or being too windy to apply, it needing to dry before the dog can go out... I now just tend to pull them out when I see them. 

It seems so unjust that we will probably end up putting root barriers along all the fences both sides at our expense when they should be our neighbours problems, but that's life.

Or back to the glyphosate. Beware of strengthening the concentrate, that can apparently just kill the plant before it has time to take it all the way down to the roots, so is counterproductive. 

Pesky ants

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 09:39

They've found their way into the enormous pot I have of lilies & agapanthus. I was looking for lily beetle & instead found loads of aphids, then spotted the ants.

I squished the aphids as hard as I dared as they were all over the flower buds. 

I remember someone on the old BBC gardening forum suggested watering in clove oil. You can buy small bottles of it from chemists, as it's an old fashioned remedy for toothache! I think the bottles are usually about 10ml & the suggested dilution was a bottle to a full watering can.

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 19:46

Last year I bought a small bag of Westland Multi Purpose with added John Innes & it was the best I'd ever tried, really fine & no large bits at all. 

This year I bought J Arthur Bowers MP with added JI, 5 for £15 as it came in 35 litre bags which I thought I'd be handle more easily. They are so wet they weigh more than some of the 60 litre ones I've had in the past!  I was also swayed by the  fact it stated Which best buy compost 2012....

As other say, it is full of fairly large twigs & has a really rough texture. I'm not happy as I bought it to pot on seedlings & then fill all my greenhouse pots for tomatoes, chillis & my outdoor pots for everything else. 

As for taking compost back, I agree people should, to help solve the problem of rubbish compost being sold.. It's often so hard to do though if you need someone to help load the car up at both ends etc. I guess suppliers know this, hence why the continue to produce/sell it.  It would be so much better if only decent stuff was sold in the first place. 

So what to swap it for if I do take it back. We seem to have one good & one bad review about the Westland, are you both talking about the MP with added JI? Nothing worse than going to all that effort of swapping & getting home with one worst still!

Help to find Narrow Weeding Hoe.

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 18:57

I've been looking for a narrow hoe too. Mr Lokelani said he would cut one down for me, but I'll buy one if I find one in the meantime! 

That border hoe doesn't seem to have an angle on it, unless it's above the bit in the photo? I can imagine digging small things out with it as it looks like it goes straight down, but without an angle I can't imagine the traditional hoeing action of just slicing the tops off things level with the soil?

I've only ever used a push hoe & what I mostly see in the garden centres are pull hoes I think. I guess it's what you're used to.


Posted: 19/05/2013 at 15:05

I have a beautiful white hybrid tea called Jeanne Moreau, it has large flowers & what I found hard to find in a white HT, a strong fragrance.

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