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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

What do you do with grass clippings?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 21:38

Thankfully.  I did away with my lawn years ago.  In my garden.  I am the boss, not the lawn.  Actually, grass cuttings are full of nitrogen.  Very valuable to plants. Believe me, this works.  Scatter the cuttings in and around your shrubs and in fact, anywhere in the garden.  OK it might look a bit messy for a day or two.  It is far better than having a stinking slimy mass in the corner.  A good practice is to frequently get amongst the plants and shrubs.  Using a dutch hoe, simply chip away at the soil.  This will break up the soil surface and at the same time mix the cuttings into the soil.  Same hoeing method also applies to annual weeds.  Basically you chop them up and return them to the ground.  Also, grass cutting can be spread on areas that you are about to plant spuds or any other thing.  Grass cuttings are so valuable.  Even in the greenhouse, potting up etc.  Believe me.  I have, when I was working.  Added a handful of cuttings into the potting  compost.  Beats all of these chemical bits and bobs.  If you are digging over an area.  As you turn a spit over, you are left with a mini trench.  Befoer taking the spade to the next row.  Chuck a load of cuttings into the strench, then turn over the next spit.

Simples.. Click

Ground elder! Advise urgently needed!! Help

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 21:20

Sorry to learn of your problem.  There is something about some weeds, that still present a mystery.  My eldest daughter lives in the New Forest.  Keen gardener like her dad.  She has had the fight againt ground elder for yonks.  One common factor is.  I know of individuals who have had the money etc, to actually go as far as having loads of soil removed and replaced by fresh imported soil.  Then blow me down.  Next season.  There it is again.  Firstly.  It is difficult to eradicate, even with modern chemicals.  Might I suggest.  That you take a look over the fence, and your local/immediate area.  In some instances, plagued gardeners have practically got rid of it.  However it comes back.  For some unknown reason.  Growths way beyond your garden could house the source.  It is as though, similar to slugs and snails.  As if in some way, a kind of scent trail is left behind.  Honestly.  It is one of the mysteries of gardening.  I would be inclined to, if possible. Try burning.  This is easy on a blank canvas, however in a planted border, not so easy.  Basically, one would burn off the surface of the soil, with a flame gun.  Then dig the area over, and burn the fresh soil.  This helps to destroy bits of roots, which chemical wouldn't reach.  Sad to say.  Even then.  It is likely to return.

I wish all the best.  Frequent hoeing will keep it out of sight, but below decks, it will flourish.  Good luck.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 00:24

Hi Friends and FAMILY.

Yes all of a sudden Mike has gained, not only a vast number of new gardening friends, but as I consider it.  A new family.  Thanks guys and gals.  Yes when one hits the lows in life. That extra bit of TLC really does mean so much.  Especially when we look around the world,  not much peace and security, folks packin up and venturing forth to try and find a safe haven

Now Mike has some positive news.  However, I must admit.  All of a sudden the penny has dropped.  Mike is now feeling a bit scared, and frightened.  My OP date is 12 May. it will be done under a general, so thankfully I will be out of it. I trust in my grand creator so why should I worry?  In the meantime.  I have a CT Scan on Saturday.  Then on 2 My, an assessment to see if I am up to surgery.  Then it's count backwards Mike.  Mr Allen.   Wakey wakey, it's all over.  come on now.  What would you like for breakfast.

Thanks friends for all you good wishes.  Mike is proud to be part of this family.  Thanks again.  Plus. Thanks for the confidence in my posts.

Hardening Off Help

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 00:06

Tracey.  To be honest. Mike has had quite an eventful day.  It is now 1205 and I have entertained my favourite tipple.  Leave it to me.  Trust me.

How do you all know so much

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 00:00



LOVE.  Love for creation.  Love for plants.  Love for people.

Gardening, horticulture, plant sciences, plant pathology.  Check out my profile.  Now at the age of 74+  I am embarking upon a study of plant pathology.  For many.  Looking at creation or the world around us, truly delights us.  However unlike a famous painting say?  looking at it gives so much pleasure, delight and satisfaction.  Nevertheless, that same picture, when you look at it ten years on.  Why, yes you exclaim.  I know every brushstroke of the work.  Yes! it wa sthe same last year as it is this year and will remain throughout the comining years, So branching out.  For the enquiring mind.  More needs to be known.  So whatever our status might be.  We venture forth.  We start to investgate, well where did this plant come from?  whhy will it only grow in this soil? and many more questions.  My friend. As so with other subjects.  You olny get out of it......what you put into it.  For instance.  Many are confused regarding the latin terms etc.  OK.  Whenyou sow seeds of Forget-me-nots.  Add the botanical name.  Myosotis.  Then when pricking out  simply label up as Myosotis.  Believe me  everything falls into place.

So forums such as this.  Men and women of similar likes etc come together.  Thankfully, none of us LORD it over anyone else.  Neither do we criticise a fellows methods.  In the criminal world, there is a saying.  Honour amongst theives.  In the gardening world.  Perhaps, honour, respect, and appreciation..


My friend.  enjoy your garden.  Apprceiate the wonders of creation.  Hopefully it will strengthen your bond with the Grand Creator.

Turtle99 and Magnolia.

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 12:06

To be honest Sue.  I don't know.  Possibly the local garden center will have some proprietry feed containing Fe & Magnesium.  However I fear that probably the frost and winter winds might well be responsible.

If due to climate change etc, we can expect harsher winters in the future.  Then no doubt many well established trees such a Magnolia, will be affected.  Reason fo say this.  The magnolia is such a beautiful tree.  So when planting.  Folks tend to want to show it off to others.  So the tree is left to grow and flourish usually in the most exposed spot in the garden.  In fact, in their natural habitat.  Magnolias prefer dappled sunlight, and protection from winds and severe weather changes.  I am hopeful that our friend's tree will survive if a good mulch is applied.  I can list various possible causes for the damage in this case, but  I think I have covered it well.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 23:46

Thanks again you wonderful beautiful bunch.  Yes many happy memories of Val, my wife.  We were married for 48 yrs just coming upto 49.  Oh how I miss her. Perhaps in our, mu case.  Val and I both realised that her heart op, would be 'Goodbye' Thanfully due to our belief, we held/hold a grand hope for the future.  Hey friends. Mike has got an appointment for his CT Scan.  Saturday morning 11.30  Nothing to eat four hours before.  You can drink as much water as you like.  Mike can't stand tap water.  Can I have a few tipples of the scottish necter?  Anyway folks.  Now ny innards will be photograghed yet again.  Wowee!!.  Believe me guys and dolls.  I am trying to keep calm.  Please hold my hand.  Love and kisses to all.

Turtle99 and Magnolia.

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 23:29

Hi Turtle.  Thanks for the PM.  Mike is always so happy to help out.  Sorry about the misunderstanding.  I really did take it, that your magnolia was containerised.  Lokking at the pics.  I have to say.  Several different ideas, suggestions etc come to mind, plus a bit of personal research.  Yes I can understand your concern.

In brief.  The pics tend to show many different problems.  Don't worry too much about the dark spotting of the leaves.  In this case. The leaves really are the factors.  Magnolias like so many other trees etc.  Have over this past winter, sufferred very much.  Perhaps hard to believe.  Cold winds etc can actually cause burning.  Burning usually is associated with heat.  In this case the opposite.  So some of the damage might be due to burning.  Then there is a definite indication of Iron and Magnesium deficiency..  Also a possible contributor is Lime.  Has lime in some way been added to the soil.  Lime will change the pH balance.  These three components will individually or collectively produce chlorosis, a wishywashy appearance.  As I say.  Some of those winter winds have caused many problems.  In all honesty.  There is, as far as I am aware.  No, off the shelf cure. I suggest a very good mulch of acidic compost.  I can and will gladly research and offer further help. Best wishes and regards. Mike.

Plant biology.

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 23:01

Thanks friends.  However sad to say.  I feel that my question remains unsolved.  Actually I believe in creation, rather than evolution, another subject.  I am well aware of the genetics in breeding.  I used to keep canaries and British finches.  Like most fanciers.  I did my fair share of Muling and hybridizing etc.  That I feel is a diving point between evolution and creation.  Anyway back to the question.  Yes! I have studied under the microscope pollen grains etc.  Actually I am well into microscopy and plant pathology.  Thanks anyway for your valid responce.  I have a family friend who is an entomologist, working for HM Gov.  I'll give him a shout.  Thanks again folks.  Mike.

Japanese knotweed shoots & Mower contamination ?

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 19:14

Bindweed.  This presents it's own means of propagating.  Once it is cut or pulled.  It will double itself.  From your pics.  It looks quite young.  Try digging it out.  As I say, any breaks and it will multiply.  Otherwise you might try  something like  Roundup.  Give the leaves a good praying.  Be careful not to spray anything else.  The weedkiller will be absorbed into the leaves and travel through the stem, to the roots.  Any contact with the soil, the chemical is neutralised.

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Talk about daylight robbery!

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Have I overdone it?

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List of members.

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Concern over conifers.

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Good News for Mike

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Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 18:22

Makes you Wonder!

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Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 10:03
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