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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Horse Manure - When to Use

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 23:17
There are several schools of thought on this subject. Please bare with me. The use of horse/stable manure is good, also cow pats. I had a friend with a fuchsia nursery in Kent, and he confessed. All his stock was grown in neat cow dung. A quick take on the substance of horse or cow dung. In the main. The digested and then deposited remains, are full of natural pasture etc. With stable manure. Usually the bulk of it is straw. Quantity wise. Straw vs dung. Dung plays a small part. Now to time of use/application. The term, well rotted. I have to admit. I have never carried out a test to determine the best time, ripeness or otherwise. Well rotted. That suggests to me, that most if not all the goodness has drained out of the mass. So one is left with a fibrous mass. This added to the garden will help to add just that..mass, a form of binding etc. Useful as a mulching addative. So one must ask. Do I wish to bulk up the soil etc or do I wish to add loads of natural nutriments to the soil. Let's choose the latter. So on the plot. You have just harvested a crop of whatever. Now spread your manure over it. Leave it for some time. I say this because, if the manure is fresh, the animal acids can be quite strong. Give it a week or so. Then dig it in. Should you however wish to add a little flavour to growing crops. At whatevet stage. A minimal layer between rows will do no harm. I have practiced this and only found good results.

What is going on?

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 00:29
Now then. Reading forum threads etc. In short. So many strange things are happening. One member remarked that in retrospect. I shouldn't put new posters off, by being scientific etc. Water under the bridge. However, if I may. My inbox is daily filled with pointers to so many scientific papers etc. Soil sciences, biodiversity, climate change etc etc. Whether we like it or not. Our natural world is changing at a very fast rate. I am doing my best to keep biblical prophercy out of this. So from a scientific view. Not only us gardeners are experiencing so many strange things. Plants flowering out of season. Infestations of bugs etc. Plants growing to gigantic proportions. Despite the fact that I have been involved in horticulture for yonks. I have always addmitted that I don't stick to the printed books. For what is taking place now, yes here and now. OK. The basic teachings about digging cultivation etc. Yes OK. However. Things like. When to feed, when to wage ware on pests etc. When to prune. This is shall we say finding ourselves as having turned full circle. Please believe me. Not intending to default anyone but. I feel it is time for all of us to act on instinct. The hedge is too high. Then cut it back. The plant is dry. Water it. The plant loks ill. NO STOP. Don't feed it. To feed a sick plant is like giving a human patient, more morphine. The main requirements for plants is, and believe it or not. The same applies to us. Water. Light and air. So in short. Spotted leaves. Pick them off. Wilting plant, check the watering. Bugs etc. Simply brush them of or use soap and water. Time has come when we nust change the calendar. Take a chance.

Nasal Polyp OP

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 00:04
Fishy and friends. Mike bows his head. No joke. Thanks for the nice compliments etc, but this was my Dear Friend's Andy's thread. I do sincerely apologise for waffling on. As always. My kindest regards to Beth. Sorry Andy.

I've been a good girl

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 23:59
Hey lass. You got this old fella all confused for the moment. Sorry my smilies aren't working. I often vist a local GC just to get out and a but. Seldom do I buy anything. No. I'm not Scottish or Jewish.

Soil of the ancients

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 23:52
Count me out. I am confused


Posted: 09/07/2014 at 23:47
Rosemummy. Hi! Whitefly is usually associated with greenhouses. So having outdoor plants such as Lonicera covered with them, proves a point. You mention your plant has not/is not flowering. Loniceras do tend to have a varied flowering period. Is this unusual for your variety. Your idea of cutting the whole lot back. Well to be honest. I'd tend to wait until more into the autumn. The whitefly will perhaps help feed the birds. Despite the fact they will damage the foliage, the plant in general won't suffer. As things die down, then cut back. Once again the degree to cut back to, depends upon the variety. Forget chemical sprays. Mix up some washing-up liquid and water. That will do the trick. I will try and post a few notes later.

Great revival of British Gardens

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 21:49
To continue.
I have noticed recently that one or two of my manuscripts have ony partly appeared on the forum. I am back at the hospital on the 31st. I wish that I could go in the night before, then they wouldn't have to wake me up. My appointment is for 07.31 That time of the morning. Nowt to eat or drink for six hours before. When it comes to waking up. I think I will survey the scene through slitted eyes. If she is a good looking nurse, I will need a lot of waking up. However in all honesty. Talking this over with Amanda, my youngest. I might well decide to make this my last investigation. I still have another blood test to go for. Mind you. I have become so used to these now. Mind you. Let the reader use discernment. Those words of the plebotomist, just a tiny scratch. One or two say. Just a little prick. That's it. All done. Oh! the story of my life. Back to the garden. I have so much on. I must get out and take more photos for the book. I must stop growing so much. I must convince myself that, even though I don't feel a day over twenty-one, I am not getting younger. So a quick look at the tiny garden. Roses plenty of blooms, fantastic scents. Lilys as mentioned. Fuchsias, some just starting to move. Within the next month, I will probably take around a hundred cuttings, also of the geraniums, and to be honest. Anything else that takes my fancy. The syriga bloomed well this year, but most of it overhangs next doors garden so chop chop. Philadelphus has to move again. Cornus, Buddleja, Vibernum etc will have to come down lower. Penstemons are offering plenty of cuttings. Water lilies will have to raised and chopped about a bit. In the greenhouse. Primula seedlings slow but geting there. Alostrameria have been good. Benefit here of gowing in pots on a soil based staging. Seeds become available so do tubers, Thes form from roots that exit the pots into the soil bench, and then swell. What else? Yes, Cannas have done pretty well. Dahlias seem to have emmigrated to Oz. That's it for now. Enjoy.

Great revival of British Gardens

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 21:23
I had an email today from Rebecca. The lady in charge of the BBC 2 program. It seems I had posted somewhere, that I was a Lily enthusiast and was adding to my collection. OK True. However as like most gardeners. This year must now hold the record for slug and snail invasions. Believe me. We Brits are not the only ones to have suffered. I am also into other scientfic fields, and reports being circulated, don't paint a rosy picture. Back to the email. Rebecca, has asked me how I have got on this year. If only we could talk face to face. Rebecca, it has been a ghastly year. I spent a small fortune purchasing fresh lily bulbs. Planting and labelling etc. All of a sudden everything started to grow. Bulbs sprouting, seeds germinating here there and everywhere. Roses needing pruning etc, shrubs just going mad. Then Bang! Mike ends up in hospital. Not for long, but the after effects have lingered on. Despite all attempts. Messres slug, snail and partners, really attend to my lilies. Some had barely poked through the compost, and, gotcha. Not always by the firm, Slug, snail and co, but soilborne insects. So a lesson to be learned. When spraying the plant. DON'T forget the soil/compost. To be honest, and as a pro. I have to admit. I hang my head low. In all honesty. My lilies were a disaster. I belong to the RHS Lily group, so perhaps I might rake out the old begging bowl, who knows.

Nasal Polyp OP

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 20:58
WOOF, woof! So glad that things went well. Just my little way of helping out. The drawing of the donkeys are actually notelets I get from the donkey sanctuary in Devon. Val and I have supported it for several years. When holidaying in the New Forest, we used to muke a lot of fuss over these animals. It really is so sad that these animals are so abused. In the forest. All the ponies and mokes are owned by commoners. Soon after my eldest daughter took up residence there. Sounds, posher than, 'moved there'. She helps out at a rescue center. Soon after arriving she was so saddened by the lack of care and feeling toward animal life in general. Ponies and mokes getting killed on the roads. She suggested luminous collars for the animals. I'm sure her efforts have saved many lives and suffering.
Thanks O/L for the compliment. Strange really. No offence etc. but I have always dreaded being given anything. Mind you having said that. A hug and a smacker, goes down well. No. My problem has always been. I just can't show emotion. The appreciation is there though. Anyway. So glad that faces are looking that bit brighter. Andy all the best to the family.

Talkback: How to improve your lawn

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 20:39
Amusing to say the least

Discussions started by Mike Allen

Dare I say.

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A request or suggestion.

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Pernission to speak SIR!

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Caution..Spoof emailers.

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Arum Maculatum

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Monty Don.

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Childbirth at 65

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Interest fro across the pond.

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Last Post: 11/07/2014 at 22:35

What is going on?

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Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 15:17

Great revival of British Gardens

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Last Post: 08/07/2014 at 21:49

Just my luck

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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... 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 23:37

Collecting and Saving Seed.

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