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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Basal cutting delphiniums

Posted: 26/04/2014 at 22:15

Usually the cutting will take three to eight weeks to root.  Then they should be roved from the close protection.  In your case, the polythene bag.  The cuttings should still be afforded good protection, ideally in a close frame.  Returning to your venture, and a tip for other gardeners.  When using polythene bags or cut down plastic bottles.   I would be inclined to each day, when the protection shows signs of steaming up, just raise the bottom of the protector enough to allow some fresh air in.  This will prevent the cuttings from basically damping off.

Also when dealing with cuttings, those of a slightly firmer/woody texture.  These should be placed in water until you have taken all you need.  Then apply a rooting medium, plant and follow up with a fungicide spray.

'With added John Innes'

Posted: 26/04/2014 at 19:41

John Innes . B 20 January 1829.  Died 8 August 1904.  He was a Justice of the Peace English property developer,philanthrapist  and benefactor.  He left a bequest for a horticultural research establishment to be set up, for the development and furtherance of scientific studies.  That institute still exists today, as the John Innes Institute.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 26/04/2014 at 00:12

Honestly and truthfully.  What can I say. Fair do's  for anyone. The thought of surgery.  OH No! Then the pronouncement...cancer.  Friends, may I be permitted, countless girl friends on this site. Mike has decided to go for it.  I have great faith and trust in my maker.  As my lovely ever loving Amanda says.  Dad.  The actual op, won't be any longer than the investigations already done.  This time. You wil be out cold.  Dad. Whatever you decide. I am with you all the way.

Hey all you lovely ladies. Hugs and kisses. I am all in favour of that. Please friends. Please don't wory about me. Truthfully. I did start to think.  Here I am. 75 this year. Free TV licence in the coming. Then all the chat, that this cancer is not a killer etc. Lets get on with it.  Actually the other night.  I dreamed that I had had the surgery, the results.  We couldnt find any cancerouse cells etc. Court case etc. No. These people are trying to help us.  Yes at the mo.  Amanda's probs are becoming a bit too much, but.  I am confidant that the good Lord will sort it out. Dear friends.  Once again . Thank you so much for all your support. Much sinsere love tgo you all.  Mike.xxxx

What do you do or what did you do at work

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 23:49

Mike is about to set the cat amongst the pidgeons.  At this point in time.  I am not going to tell of my qualifications etc.  Well perhaps a little. Long time ago.  London had an aurthority known as the LCC, and later the GLC.  I joined the parks dept.  Within five years, I rose to the rank of Dep. Supt.  I passed my first class gardening with them.  I also passed my first class groundsmanship, with the aid of the Ntional Groundsmens Association and UCL. I hold certs for science and practice of turf culture.  Athletic stadium and sports ground management, plus various other bits and bobs.  Whilst working on the parks.  From time to time, folks would turn up for the summer period.  I have had med students, horticultural college studendts.  Believe me.  The worst were the hortico's. Believe me.  This is 100 per cent true. Those who came to me. They didn't even know the names of many tools.. Take them out or partener them with a member of staff.  Simple tasks like. Mowing and edging.  Believe me. The poor beggars had no Idea.  On the other hand.  This guy and his wife became great friends of ours.  He was totally illiterate, almost to the point of signing himself.  X.  However. Ask him a question about horticulture etc. Bits of paper. Big question.

Garden hose

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 23:13

I live in an upstairs flat/ maisonette.  I took a supply from the wc cistern.  Thankfully, the young fellow who converted the bathroom, plumbed the cistern into the mains, at my request. So my fixed copper pipe goes through the bathroom wall, and down outside.  Well lagged. I fitted a none return valved tap with  hose fiiting.  To use a garden hose.  It must be connected to a non-return valved tap.  Why?  I don't know.  Permanantley I have a yellow half inch bore hose, bought from Lidle. This remains on the ground to the greenhouse.  Inside the GH. I fitted another non retun tap, to this, a duel connection. One for filling a watering can and/or to connect my made up timed spray system.  The other outlet, is to the garden hose.  I did have to join/extend this hose.  I spotted in Wilkinsons.  Dirt cheap.  This section always brings out the best in me.  Where I learned this new language from, I don't know, but.  This cheapy kinks so easily.  So perhaps the old saying still applies.  Penny wise and pound foolish.

What is this larvae?

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 22:57

Reason I said cutworms, is because this is the time for them to show up.  There are insect sprays etc.  Thankfully, you have come across them in a small way.  Other less fortunates can have vast areas infested by them.  No.  You probably won't find anything on the plants themselves.  What you are likely to find, if these little beggars are allowed to live etc.  These are basically soil borne grubs. The will ravish themselves on the tender roots of plants.  The 'Cutworms' are the offspring of a variety of moths.  Their territory is worldwide.  Sometimes they can be mistaken for Leatherjackets, the soil dwelling grubs of the Cranefly or daddy long legs.  However.  The leatherjacket will show up when veggie gardener's spuds start to swell.  They are the biggest ground living pest for the spud grower.

When compost is being made.  This include the common garden compost bin etc.  All manner of creepy crawlies find their way into the mire.  That is why so many gardeners are shocked when turning over the heap.  Althogh heat generates within the compost.  It isn't enough to destroy unwanted guests and seeds.  That is why, compost making firms and large institusions such a Kew, daily turn and saturate the compost heap.  The heat become so intense.  So much so.  Were you to stand in it.  Within seconds, you would have been boiled alive.  For the likes of us. We pop down to the garden centre and purchas the odd bag of compost. For many st-ups that are producing plug plants and the like.  They are probably attempting to keep costs down by making their own compost.  Sadly, time, expertise is not on their side.Hence the compost still is home for many aliens.  You might like to Google Cutworms.  I took a peek at it after my first post.  I think it confirmed my post.  However.  I could be wrong.  I did check the RHS book by Andrew Halstead.  Chief entomologist at Wisley.  I do hope that this information helps.

Shrubs in containers

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 22:03

The advantage of container grown subjects is.  Provided the ground conditions are right.  Not frozen etc. Then basically dig the hole, soak it then also give the container a drink.  Then plant.  Firm in and water.  You may notice a slight setback for a day or two.  Don't worry.

have you

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 21:58

Send the whole lot back.  Hollyhocks are so easy to grow from seed.  Well worth the effort.

What is this larvae?

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 21:54

Check out.  Cutworms.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 23:46

Thanks friends.

Oh Dove. Hug me a bit tighter please  It's now four years since I hads such a hug.


Busy Bee2.  Hi Val. Thanks so much for your post.  Sweetheart, Mike shares your loss.  My Val also died from Mital valve diseas. plus other probs. It is strange.  Val was allowed home for about a week before her op. Sorry but to describe our feelings.  Mike is lost for words. We both shared the same faith, and knew that this life wasn't the end of things. Duringthose few last days together.  Val wa sso weak. The downstairs neighbour, was toatally unaware of the seriousness of Vl'a codition. Door slamming etc.  Amanda had a word with her and her bed mate, both rael were, are as thick as two planks. That last evening together at home.  We chatted. With our christian belief. We believe that this world system is soon to end. That a brand new world will be ushered in.  Both Val and I, realised. This op was a one way ticket. Kerry and Amanda were at the hospital when their mum was wheeled downto theatre. From what was said.  Val said. Kerry, Mandy. Well this is it.  Take care of Dad please.   Goodbye. Love you lots. The whole day passed.  The girls were getting worried. Numorous calls to the hospital. Sory we can't fin Valerie please call again.  Thankfully my GOD was with me. I didn't panic.  Then  the phone rang.  The girls were out shopping.   Dad put your coat on quick.  We have got to get to the hospital.Urgent.  The way Amanda drove though rush hour traffic.  Had I still have been a trafic cop.  I would have given her an advanced driver's pass.  Despite all the urgency etc. We were kept waiting so long..  The surgeonturned up ful of regerets and praises respecting Val.  Turns out. She had such a tiny heart. The mitral vales were in a way, so corroded etc.  New entry holes had to be made in the heart wall.  In the end.  my lifelong mate, never woke up.  Now today. I am faced with Amandas problems. Hey this kid has had nowt but bad luck all her life. Disabled due to medical negligence.  Mum of two of the finest kids ever.  Now she is faced with being homeless.  Her house is owned by a local church.  The church now want to sell the house to rais money fo a building a social center. Folks.  Mike has no one to turn .  No shoulder to cry on.  Thank mateys for being there.  Truly.  Much love to all.  Mike xx

Discussions started by Mike Allen

To cut everything down, or leave.

Replies: 15    Views: 183
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Something of an apology.

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Last Post: Yesterday at 22:42

RHS Lily Group Bulb Auction.

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Last Post: 15/11/2014 at 22:59

Computer problems

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Last Post: 14/11/2014 at 22:45

Back to the Lecture Hall.

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Last Post: 07/11/2014 at 23:17


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Last Post: 04/11/2014 at 05:32


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Last Post: 03/11/2014 at 00:01

Hidden treasures.

Replies: 5    Views: 358
Last Post: 03/11/2014 at 11:41

Modern Technology etc.

Replies: 18    Views: 706
Last Post: 12/11/2014 at 09:49


Replies: 9    Views: 422
Last Post: 02/11/2014 at 09:22

Now't so strange as Folk.

Replies: 4    Views: 371
Last Post: 01/11/2014 at 08:56

How do trees come into your life?

Replies: 9    Views: 355
Last Post: 29/10/2014 at 21:43

YOUR view of music over the years.

Replies: 24    Views: 778
Last Post: 29/10/2014 at 07:26

Folk-lore. Any truth in it?

Replies: 9    Views: 504
Last Post: 14/10/2014 at 21:49

Tree problems.

Replies: 15    Views: 489
Last Post: 09/10/2014 at 09:32
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