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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen


Posted: 20/07/2014 at 23:46
Suddenly you find that you have a garden. Possibly a very large area is taken up with a lawn. Now then. There's room for another thread. So. The lawn, grass patch whatever. Perhaps you spent ages preparing the site. Then sowing the best seed. As with most seed sowings. Be prepared for all sorts to emerge. So jumping ahead. The now established lawn. Hey, what's this. Lots of dead grass, and look. Surely that is moss and loads of other unwantables. The dead grass is what is called, 'thatch' This really is in most cases, lawn mowings etc that have avoided picking up. In some cases, they will rot down and help the spoil. In others. They can build up. Then moss and other strange plants. So what can the lawn owner do. OK books TV etc all offer so much info. Naturally if you have a lawn, you want it to look good, at least from a distance. Suddenly the topic of scarifying the lawn is bought to your attention. Oh how the commercial side of horticulture starts rubbing it's hands. Buy this feed, weed and kill. Try this perfect tool etc. Despite the fact that garen folk usually are a great bunch. Believe me. We all can be so gulliable at times. So what is scarifying? Basically it is a method, means of actually raking out the dead stuff and the mosses etc. If I had the power to ban a certain garden tool. It would have to be the bladed rake. I can't give it any other name. Much better and loved is the basic wire lawn rake. An assembly of steel wire set in a fan shape. The purpose of scarifying. To loosen, dislodge unwanted plants etc. Now sadly. The tines cannot sort out the wheat from the tares. So at time some grass plants will get gathered up. The basic idea is to rake, dislodge the unwanted. The wire tines do this to perfection. The dreaded blade type simply severes and chops up everything. The actual act of scarifying, compared to basic lawn raking. The angle and pressure applied to the rake varies. For basic lawn raking such as leaf clearing. Very little effort is required. For scarifying, a wee bit more pressure is needed. On large areas. I suggest using a string line to divide the area. On smaller lawns. Just walk over the area and spot the enemy and scrub them out. Collectin the waste. Small areas cane dealt with using a wheel barrow etc. Larger areas. The mower can be used, if it has a collection box. To be honest friends. So many ordinary everyday gardeners suddenly become. Over involved.. Take each day as it comes. Listen to advice etc and the form your own way. Remember. After scarifying. Use a roller or mower with a roller to press down the grass roots.

Green Potatoes

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 23:03
Good point Paul. Also Bob's reply is top hole. I don't grow spuds anymore now, being on my own. OOOps sorry, correction. I have stuck a few sprouting ones in long tom pots. Quite true. Grfeen taties are to a degree poisonous. Remember the common spud is a relative of the, Solanum family. The reason for the greening is that the tuber hasn't been covered by soil. Whilst in the growing situation. Should you notice the odd greenie, then chuck a spadeful of soil over it. In time it will ripen up.

scarifying rake

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 22:29
Pauline. PM Sent

My tropical garden

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 12:35
In Eltham. SE London. Friday & Saturday outside temp. 34 deg. C. For the past few years. The feeling amongst those keeping an eye on things is. That soon, due to climate change etc. Many of us will changing over to Mediterranean style gardens.

repairing my lawn - the right order

Posted: 19/07/2014 at 23:18
Hi Tracy. Welcome to the forum. Take a look at recent posts on like subjects. Then take a look at my profile. No I am not a big head. At vthe present time. England is going through some very unusual climatic conditions. Can you hang on for a while. By all means. PM me if need be. I will help you.

Lawn Care Query

Posted: 19/07/2014 at 23:10
If I may. I have no idea what your location is. In short. This tiny island of ours is gettin a belting of very hot weather. To keep it short and sweet. Until temperatures calm down. Forget feeding of any kind. In fact. Forget the moss etc. The heat and sunshine will help you in this respect. Please always remember. Despite the fact that the supermarkets and garden centers are loaded with 'medicines' Please. Never attempt to treat a sick plant, lawn, shrub, or tree with 'off the shelf' remedies. Not wishing to delve into the scientific realms. To be as simple as I can. So your plant, lawn or whatever. This is your tiny baby. Suddenly babe is sick. Poor colour, to your thinking, on the brink of death. In fact. Most human , 'baby' disorders relate to digestion. The main remedy is. Keep the patient hydrated. Natures ale. Such treatment will keep the body tissues alive and kicking and in a simple way of explanation. The veins, rivers and streams will remain open. Result. The whole plant/subject remains fed. During this lapse of time. The subject continues to 'tick over' The when supporting conditions vere toward the norm. A keen eye will espy the rich t time. Then take your pick at the many offerrings. For goodness sake. Read the instructions. Misuse of many products can actually do more harm than good. Oxidisation can be a problem. Burning, bleaching etc. Although there are so many feeds and helpers. Be warned.


Posted: 19/07/2014 at 22:48
I am somewhat surprised that our vetenary member, tends to remain quiet at times. No, my frined. Mike is not having a go. However something that I find very good at times with online forums, and that is. A whole wide world of knowledgeable individuals so often join the forums. I think it would be nice and certainly beneficial, if and when a particular subject/question arises. To hear as it were, from the horses mouth is really to be desired.

Where's Mike?

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 21:51
Verdum. Back on form!.. To be honest. NO. This hot weather is doing me in. Today it was just over 34 deg C My friend and I had planned to visit the Garden of The Rose Nr. St Albans. Due to the heat, we plumped for Greenwich Park, very close to home. I wanted more photos for the book. Sadly the park has changed so much, since my days as a foot copper. The roses beds left a lot to be desired. The flower gardens are home to a wide collections of Cedus. There is a Sweet Chestnut there believed to be over four hundred years old. In passing, I said to my friend Rob. Good job trees can't speak. Why's that, he asks. Val and I did most of our courting in here. I got a strange look from him. Honest folks. Even in those days. Mike was respectful. The question. Why am I writing a book on gardening. Well despite the fact that. Yes, I have read many publications etc. As I admit. I don't always stick to the rules. Theory is good, but practice is better. I have in the past attempted a book about police life. I have a mate. Ex CID from Merseyside. He did his 30. We both got as far as chapter four and that was it. Writing about a much loved topic has really taken me. As I have mentioned in past posts. I would have loved to have been a doctor. Sadly education let me down. Although my final school report read something like. Maths. 98per cent. English 92 per cent. Geography 84 per cent. Tech/Drawing 82 per cent Science also was a good mark, but at the time the studies went under the names. Engineering science and atomic science. Now at this late stage in my life. To attempt to lighten the feeling of loneliness, I have turned back to the natural love of my life. Horticulture. My studies have revealed just how close, human biology is related to plant botany and, as being my latest interest, plant pathology. Strewth. There I go again, boring everyone. Our main bedroom, the larger of the two. Once the girls left home. It becam a study, music room etc including junk. Many features remain, however it is now home to two microscopes, one biological the other a disecting one. Loads and loads of books. To be honest. I amaze myself. Nearing the latter days, and I find myself so involved in scientific activities, sorry couldn't spell pursuits. Something I have realized and must accept. This year has to be my last, for sowing and growing seeds. It really breaks my heart when I see the two gardens next to mine. What I would give for more ground. However due to various reasons. New plants will be buy-ins. I do hope that I haven't hugged the forum. Who else can I share my thoughts with?

Where's Mike?

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 21:13
Edd, are you a M/C enthusiaste then? Bye the bye. I missed a bit out with that previous tale. Returning to work after the bike fire. I was using another bike. Whilst making out a Memo, to advise a the owner of a parked car, to get the audible alarm fixed. [It sounded each time a car passed it] The bike was across the road. Suddenly some kind woman driver spotted me. Paying more attention to me and what I was doing. She gave the bike an almighty ram up the back, knocking it under the rear of a parked car. Got to give it to lady drivers, they don't do things by halves.

Pauline7. How sweet. Thank you.

Where's Mike?

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 23:51
Edd. Actually we had all types of M/C's. Nortons were heavey and at times could be buggers at kick starting. Remeber in those days, electric straters were not in. I had, jobwise. A Triumph Thunderbird 650, bathtub version. One day en route to court, having just filled up with fuel. In a oneway system just off Marylebone Rd. NW1, the engine petered out. Thinking I hadn't turned the fuel tap on. I parted my knees so as to reach down and turn on. The flames just shot up. Most of the fleet bikes had been converted from coil ignition to Mag. Mine was still coil. A leaky fuel tap had allowed fuel to drip down onto the coil and hey ho. The bike burned out. My Inspector who hated my guts, indirectly told me to take a few days off. The left side of my face had been scortched. Back at work. I took delivery of a 6T. This was a Triumph 650 but of the Bikini class. The rea end was cut away. No radio etc, even dual seat. Fantastic machine. 0-70 in first in no time. We had Triumph Trophies etc but the thunderbird ruled the road. One evening. Whilst talking with the owner of a Rover 105R, on the Outer Circle of Regents Park. A motorist blasted past on the otherside of the road. I kicked the engine over and that was that. Google the map. Northgate Bridge to Marylebone Rd. I clocked this car at 89plus MPH Booked him for speed dangeraous. Turned out. He'd only just that day got his license back. Banned again.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

Dare I say.

Replies: 72    Views: 1541
Last Post: Today at 09:51

A request or suggestion.

Replies: 6    Views: 273
Last Post: Yesterday at 17:00

Pernission to speak SIR!

Replies: 150    Views: 1968
Last Post: 29/07/2014 at 23:12

Caution..Spoof emailers.

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Last Post: 23/07/2014 at 23:02

Arum Maculatum

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Last Post: 23/07/2014 at 22:17

Monty Don.

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Last Post: 24/07/2014 at 20:44


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Last Post: 21/07/2014 at 22:02

Childbirth at 65

Replies: 7    Views: 357
Last Post: 24/07/2014 at 07:51


Replies: 60    Views: 934
Last Post: 24/07/2014 at 18:22

Interest fro across the pond.

Replies: 11    Views: 347
Last Post: 11/07/2014 at 22:35

What is going on?

Replies: 5    Views: 326
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 15:17

Great revival of British Gardens

Replies: 1    Views: 110
Last Post: 08/07/2014 at 21:49

Just my luck

Replies: 9    Views: 333
Last Post: 08/07/2014 at 01:51

Talkback: Yellow leaves and slow growth

Pippa. I love your blogs and your general writings. Might I pick your brains etc. I am an oldie. 75 in fact I bagan gardening as the bomb... 
Replies: 0    Views: 63
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 23:37

Collecting and Saving Seed.

Replies: 26    Views: 492
Last Post: 07/07/2014 at 22:22
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