Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Moving peony

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 22:09

Have to admit.  I have never grown them.  Fantastic flowers.  Actually there is or was a tale/theory.  That a paeony will not flower until seven years have passed since planting.  Like I say.  I have never grown them.  All the best Peanuts.

A test for those with rhodo knowledge

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 22:05

Peanuts old friend.  Great piccys but they all look a bit on the green side.  Strange and sad that R. ponticum has been given such abad reputation over the years.  It really is a wonderful subject, and let's not forget.  It might well be the original source of all our present day Rhod's.  It is fast growing etc, so I certainly wouldn't rule it as a baddy. The successive breeding over the years has resulted in various shall we say, venturous habits of the subject in general.  If you grow it.  Then keep it under control.  Not  such a task.


NB.  For anyone thinking of pursuing gardening to the full.  Often a sneaky question.  When is the best time to hoe around rhododendrons?  DON'T be fooled.  Answer.  You don't hoe or disturb the soil.  Rhodos' are surface rooting.

A differnt Q about Lily Beetle...

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 21:54

I do believe that there is so much more to be learned about the Lily beetle.   As already posted.  The beetle overwinters as an adult.  I had several on my Rhododendrons a few years back.  They looked so pretty against the snow covered leaves. However my thumbnail and index finger swiftly bought them to a halt.  The furtherance of the population is via, those dirty black poos or whatever you wish to call them.  This excreta is deposited on the stems and leaves.  Easily destroyed by simply squidging it off.  If you care to actually take a peek inside this mess.  You will find a tiny grub, that is growing and will soon emerge as the bright red huntsman of your lilies.  Yes.  This beetle will also attack other plants.

A routine daily inspection of your lilies is advised.  Spraying usually causes the beetle to drop to the soil, usually landing belly up.  The underside is black and so so often hard to find.  A good Tip. 100 to 1.  When spraying any plant.  Give the surrounding soil/compost a good soaking as well

I have a birthday this year so what are ŷou going to get me?

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 21:39

Ah! GROWMORE.  What an excellent choice.  Needless to say.  GROWMORE is my nickname on another gardening forum.  Hasten to say.  I think we would get on well together.

In the meantime.  What would you really like.  Tell me and quote your credit card number.  I will make certain your wish is granted.

Howevr jokes aside.  Have a good one.

Seed sowing

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 14:11

Simply passing on some 'historical' methods, compare to todays.


If your methods work for you.  Then keep going.  As my thread ended.  Our family never went short of veg etc.

How do I take cuttings off my busy lizzie.

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 23:20

Yes.  Impatens and Saint Paulias, will root well in water,  Take your cuttings, with a leaf stalk.  Then using a glass or jar. Fill the container with tepid water.  Cover the jar /glass with cling film, secuer.  Piece the film and poke the cutting through.  Keep an eye on the wate level.  Top us as required.  When a good bunch of roos have develped,  Remove and pot up

Seed sowing

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 22:44

Having read most of the forum posts.  I have whiled away the time.  Look, Mike is not in any way being critical.  It appears to me that the majority of our forum members are of the, 'gentler sex'... hows that for a bit of grovelling?  But NO.  The ladies do seem to be taking the lead in the gardening hobby.  Why not?  Well done,  girls.  Now then. Mike has noticed over the past couple of years.  The market has tended to create a new line of thought to gardeners.  For instance.  At one time.   Growing spuds in a bag.  Don't talk rubbish.  But now.  People living in high rise flats with a tiny balcony.  They ca do this.  Perhaps the final harvest might be small, but.  To the individual, it has been a bit of fun and look. New tatties for lunch.  So todays adventures go on.  What I have noticed not only on the forum but also the garden centers.  More and more veg plants are being marketed in pots and trays.  Truly the commercial world has jumped in head first.  I remember with loving feelings.  My dad and I, on the plot.  Sowing runner beans, cabbages etc direct into the soil.  Then in time as each grew, we would transplant.  In those days.  There were no garden centers.  No pots trays of beans, peas or what have you.  Yet believe me friends.  Our family never went without.  We had spuds throughout the year plus all that we needed.  So. I suppose it still remains.  Do I sow direct or do I ponce around with pre seeded plants.

Allotments-Raised beds or traditional planting?

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 22:23

Hi Scroggin.


Like you, but with a few years added.  I worked the plot with my dad.  Sadly he passed away in the seventies.  No we never resorted to raised beds, and fancy pathways.  Our plot was the size of a football pitch.  The runner beans were always grown in the same place.  A small selection of soft fruits, red, black and white currants along with goosberries.  These had the own space.  A few flowers and that was that.  The spuds took up most of the area.  The the cabbages, sprouts and all that, plus the root veg, carrots, swedes turnips and parsnips als mangles for the animals.  Each year a space was left fallow.  But laying down boards etc.  In those days. Such a venture would have cost the earth.


Posted: 24/03/2014 at 22:12

Hi Edd.

Forums are a wonderful modern day means of communication etc.  So much in the line of advice, friendship etc can develop.  Howevr, sad to say.  I have found to my cost.  It is so easy to be at times, misunderstood.  So now and then someone might take the huff.  I like you mention of creation and mother nature. Especially creation.  Back to basics.  Gardening offers us such wide range of interests.  The chance to take chances and experiment.  As I have said so many times in the past.  Fair do's.  The classroom and the vast libraries are good and needed, but once you have grasped the basics.  Venture out.  OK some you win, some you lose.  But is is our trade, hobby, interest whatever.  Enjoy.

Quick GH question

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 22:00

Hi Tracey.


As said by others.  Roof vents are best off-set.  Likewise side windows, otherwise you get a blow thogh.  Regarding the auto openers.  Try and persevere with them.  They really are worth their weight in gold.  My GH is cedarwood framed, so fixing this and that is no problem.  I have two roof vents.  Only one has an auto opener fitted.  Sometimes I might not go into the GH for days, even a week or more.  Thanks to the autovent, my faithful slave.   I find all is well.  The weather we get in this country.   One minute it can be freezing the next, even just an hour of extra heat, can sometimes cause problems.  Good old Autovent.  Opens and closes when needed.

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