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Man of Kent

Latest posts by Man of Kent

Pruning Neglected Bay trees

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 10:11

Hi tracey. Are the trees to stay in pots and if so can you put them into slightly larger ones? If they are to stay in the same pots and have plenty of root then i would be tempted to lighty root prune them aswell. This will encourage new root hair growth which will help the plants to feed themselves. As for the pruning I would leave the strongest new shoots then cut out the weak ones and those that might be crossing or rubbing on each other. Then any larger, but old and tired stems I would reduce down to the lowest best new shoots that are on the plant. It might not be pretty at first but should help them on the road to recovery. Hope that helps. Gd luck.

Rhubarb allowed to die down naturally

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 09:57

Hi. Rhubarb leaves are certainly poisonous to eat but i have never heard that you should not let them die back naturally. They need to be left alone near the end of the season so that they can use their leaves to build the crown up for next year and so not to let them die down naturally would be a mistake. I always put the leaves straight onto the compost. Can you tell me why I shouldn't?


Posted: 14/04/2012 at 09:46

Yes I think it is down to personal choice. Its to create one stronger growing stem instead of several smaller ones. It might mean,as has been said , that you get less but larger spuds this way. Whichever you choose to do i hope you get a good crop.

Wood to use for raised veg beds

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 09:33

Untreated wood will certainly slowly rot but i believe you will get a good few years out of scaffold boards before they will have to be replaced. How about if you have the time and inclination to cover the inside face of the boards with any plastic or butyl just to help prolong the life of the boards?

New veg grower and advice needed pls

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 09:24

Agreed. Seeds sown indoors will almost certainly grow quicker than those sown outside, purely because the conditions inside will be warmer. Once planted outside they will slow down a bit and the others will catch up. The green moss like stuff is because the soil is probably too wet or your new raised bed is in the shade. I would ease off a bit with the watering and if you` can get some more sunlight on the new bed.

dwarf apple tree

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 03:16

First of all i would cut out any dead or diseased stems and then those that are crossing each other. Cut above an outward facing bud so that the tree grows out rather than in. Also cut out any weak stems or if you can`t afford to lose them cut hard back to an outward bud. Then with what you have left you could probably leave and do a Summer prune taking the leafy stems back by about half. This will hopefully induce fruit bud for next year. Also don`t forget to feed with a high Potash feed as this will also encourage flower bud. Then mulch to hold in the moisture. Hope that helps and good luck.

Forcing Rhubarb

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 03:02

You should at some time let the plant come back to normal growing conditions in the light. If you don`t then over time the plant will become weak. If you can have about three plants on the go then this would be ideal as you would force one plant every three years, letting it recover in the years that you are not forcing it.


Posted: 21/03/2012 at 02:53

Not to my knowledge. Both mine did well in the same greenhouse last year. They probably would have liked to have their own growing conditions slightly tweeked in their favour but they seem to do well enough.


Posted: 21/03/2012 at 02:45

I would say that in general once they start to flower they are getting close to being ready but it won`t matter if you leave then until the flowers have finished. Once they start to flower see if you can find tubers just under the soil surface. That usually gives an indication of some of the smaller ones. If they are not very big leave them a bit longer. Another tip is to know which variety you grow, i.e. is it a first or second early or a main crop variety as the latter take longer to mature. Another sure sign that they have reached their peak is that the haulm (stem) will start to die back naturally. Hope that helps and good luck.

Encouraging birds to the garden

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 02:27

What about trying Rugosa roses? They are robust, generally flower for long periods and are thorny enough to keep the cats at bay. The flowers will encourage the insects first and then the birds can feed on the hips in the Autumn.

Or how about Cotoneaster.Grow a variety that will spread up a wall or fence. the bees love the small flowers and the birds can feed on the berries later.

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