Malcolm Harrison

Latest posts by Malcolm Harrison

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Posted: 09/03/2014 at 16:45

Its generally a good idea to add mulch to the soil during the winter months when plants/shrubs are in their dormant phase (no stem/shoot growth). I always use old compost in large quantities as a mulch and spread it liberally over the surface of the soil which in my region is heavy clay. The organic matter helps improve the soil structure and aids drainage and nutrient uptake by plants when Spring arrives and today feels like Spring is here.

dahlia tubers in ground through winter question.

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 16:30

I always play safe and dig the tubers up at the end of the flowering season just after the first frosts have blackened the foliage. I clean/trim the tubers and then store them wrapped in newspaper in a cool, dry and frost-free place over winter. Rot can be prevented by dusting them with sulphur powder.  Using this method I recover 90% plus of the tubers ready for potting up now or planting out in late April. 

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:29

In general, sweet pea seedlings should be grown 'hard' to establish strong roots over the winter. There is no problem in bringing them outside now and putting them in a cold frame. Also the weather is going to be much milder with higher temperatures from next weekend.


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:12

Hi Marie - What are the conditions under which you are growing the seedlings? If the temperature is too high water loss from the young leaves is more than can be provided from the roots via the stem and the leaves lose their turgidity ie they droop. I would put them in a cooler place uncovered and place the pots in a shallow tray of about 1 cm of water.

Hope this helps.

Re using last years patio pots

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 16:57

In general I always fully replace old compost which I spread over the open soil each winter to improve its structure and drainage. This also improves all plant/soil interactions eg nutrient uptake and hence better root growth and plant health.  I feel you can always continue to improve the soil quality and the results show up in the summer.  


Posted: 05/03/2014 at 12:44
I use a Stewart electric propagator without
any capillary matting. I just place trays or
pots on a shallow bed of sand in the base
of the propagator. Keep lid on to give a
humid atmosphere then remove it after
germination of seeds or rooting of cuttings.
Temperature range 16 - 25 deg C.

Use of Ring Culture for growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 17:19
Has anybody tried using the Ring Culture Method - original or adapted - to grow sweet peas successfully?

Viability of Collected Dahlia Seeds

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 17:07
Yes - I just need to wait another week
or two.
Thanks to you both.

Transfer of seedlings

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 16:53
I also grow seedlings on using mpc for the same reason.
It's a good idea also to put them singly into
small pots/modules first to establish the roots
before moving them into their final larger
pots or the open garden.

Viability of Collected Dahlia Seeds

Posted: 02/03/2014 at 16:23

I collected Dahlia seeds last October 2013 from ripe seedpods (brown/black). The seeds were brown/black after drying and were then stored over winter in packets in a cool, dark area of my garage.

I have just sown my first batch this last week on seed compost in an electric propagator at about 15 - 20 deg C. So far none have germinated. I am wondering if they have all died and if so what is the most probable reason. Has anybody else had the same results?

Thank you for any advice you can give.

21 to 30 of 36

Discussions started by Malcolm Harrison

Stratification of Seeds

Replies: 22    Views: 2442
Last Post: 28/04/2014 at 17:29

Use of Ring Culture for growing Sweet Peas

Replies: 3    Views: 1025
Last Post: 04/03/2014 at 08:26

Viability of Collected Dahlia Seeds

Replies: 3    Views: 1483
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 17:07

Storing Dahlia Tubers

Replies: 27    Views: 5878
Last Post: 16/11/2013 at 14:22
4 threads returned