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Man of Kent

Latest posts by Man of Kent

What veg and salad can be grown in clay-flint-chalk soil?

Posted: 04/04/2013 at 02:14

Hi Bob...The first thing I would do is to incorporate as much well rotten compost or manure that you can get hold of. You could also try growing a green manure and then dig that in. These will all help to break up the soil and give it a better structure. Then try to get a form of crop rotation going. You say that growing in tubs of organic compost works...well all you will be doing is copying that form of gardening to the open ground.

Keep root veg off  recently manured ground as they don't do well on it. Try to get them about third in line of your crop rotation so that most of the manure is used up by the time they go into that section of ground.

Wildflower bulb planting.

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 15:57

As suggested the celandine will not need any encouraging to spread. It can be invasive but if you are happy to have it grow in a wild area then you should be ok. It tends to die away after flowering and rweturns the following Spring.

All the rest will eventually spread either by seed or by splitting but that will take at least a couple of years for the clumps to build up enough for you to split them up. If you want more any quicker then buy in bunches in the green in Spring after they have flowered. Fritts are in the nurseries in flower now. you can also grow your own from seed. Mine are in their third year and I will probably plant them out this year into the garden.

narrow border

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 15:38

Agree with sotongeoff...aspect/soil/size? Do you have to keep them that shape as they might benefit from reshaping. It will give you more scope to do something with them.

new border for boring garden

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 15:34

A new border with plenty of Sun!! Sounds like a treat. Agree that you should perhaps take your time with the planning. Work on the soil structure first and then go from there. You are right to start with the structural evergreens and any deciduous plants that will give height. How do you feel about that new fence? only you can plump for climbers on that aswell as long as you can support them.

Then work down to the sub shrubs and perennials. It'll take time and effort but will be worth it.

Choosing plant for birds

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 15:11

If they are container grown plants then most times of the year when the soil is 'workable' ie not when its frozen. Spring and Autumn are the best times to plant trees/shrubs.

Sounds like you've got a bit more scope with the trellis aswell. If the pot you use is big enough you might get away with a climber aswell? Although i wouldn't encourage you to overcrowd it.

Good Luck

inherited plants

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 11:09

I would say that you can move most perennials now if the soil is workable (not frozen) including those Japanes anenomies Chilli Lover. The peony may take a while to flower but remember not to plant it too deep as it will sulk and not flower. If you are moving the tulips and hellebores soon make sure you get a decent amount of soil around the root balls when you dig them up and replant at the same depth.

fig tree

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 10:55

Hi Louise...If it were me I would start to take it into hand now and over the next 2 to 3 years start to get it back into shape. Start now by taking out any dead, crossing or diseased branches. This in turn should start to open up the canopy for those roses. Next year start to aim for a good shaped plant and then see if you can just improve it in year three. By then I should think you might have it somewhere to your liking. I wouldn't take out more than a third of it at any one time and try to avoid doing it if there are prolonged frosts forecast. Hope that helps a little.


Choosing plant for birds

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 10:43

Is the balcony covered.i.e has a roof and therefore shady? If so you could try Sarcocca or Daphne laureola. They both have small fragrant flowers in late Winter/Spring and black berries in the Autumn.


If the balcony is very light what about a crab apple grafted onto a dwarf rootstock?

Creating a wildflower garden

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 10:34

Hi Wild about flowers....a little tip about the Cowslip seeds. They are part of the Primula family and need a period of coldness to break the seeds dormancy, therefore you should not be putting them anywhere that is heated. They are usually sown in the Autumn and left over Winter and should then germinate the following Spring. Not sure how cold your part of the world is at the moment but I would keep them cold for the next 4 weeks approx. I have left seeds out in the coldest of Winters and they have still germinated. Hope that helps.

planting broad beans

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 10:52

Not sure where you are planting your seed i.e. allotment? but another cause could be mice. They like this sort of large seed. Unless your seeds that have sprouted have turned into vigorous plants already then its not too late to fill the gaps with more seed replacements as they`ll soon catch up.

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