Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

who is sowing what this spring?

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:34

I seem to be the odd one out.  Being on my own now.  For me to grow loads of veg etc would be such a waste.  At the moment the supermarket prices are low, mind you.  Have you noticed, especially with the tatties (scotch for murphy's Irish for spuds)  You no sooner get them home and they are sprouting right left and center.  I had a few such one recently.  So filling the odd long tom, I popped them in.  Truly I have no idea what variety they were but, within a few weeks I pulled them.  Great spuds, reasonable size and good flavour.

Regarding seeds in genereal.  I have loads to sow.  Annuals, biennials perennials and greenhouse subjects.  Truthfully if onlt ten percent grow.  I have no idea as to where I will plant them.  All of a sudden my tiny garden is already full.

This Strange and Wonerful Weather System

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:15

Thank you all.  As I live upstairs.  Val used to keep an eye on me from the kitchen window.  So often she would say what a pretty garden we had.  Plus our tiny visitors alway seem to feel safe in here.  I wonder what she would say now, to the new design and her favourites, the roses.  I must sort some photo's out.

Favourite vegetable to grow?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 22:08

To be honest.  Mike has skipped most of the replies. Somehow I feel that this is a bit of a tricky question.  Let's depart from the singular to the multipla.  So you have a plot.  You wish to grow provide as much as possible of your daily needs.  So top of the list.  Spuds.  Take stock. of the UK's populace.  Even the Welsh use spuds in their soups.  Potato and leek soup.  My friends the Scotties.  Haggis and tatties, tatties and whatever.  Without doubt. The humble spud must be top orf the list.  Now take stock of your sunday roast, whetherornot you eat in or out.  The sunday roast.  Meat, spuds, boiled and roast, followed by peas, greens (cabbage)  perhaps onions.  I think these are the basics.  OK in the case of cabage.   The world is your oyster,  Basic cabbage, cauli, Brocklie etc.  Onions, shallotts, leeks.  Definitely, carrots and when in season parsnips.  For the latter.  Parsnips are best after a frost.  Then fo a more valid pot.  The old favourite swede,  Several other veggies might be added.  But as starters.  I stick to the above.

Wisteria problem

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 21:50

If it is growing away merrily.  The problem has to lie elseware.  As that old timer used to say.  The answer lies in the soil.  Back now to the mystery of pH.  If you can.  Test the surrounding soil.  If my chemistry serves me correct. I would say that the lack of flowers is due to a deficiency of Potassium in the soil.

Will primroses grow in full shade?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 21:37

IMHO.  The main requirement for Primulacea is.  Moisture.  Not soaking but moist.

pea supports

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 21:33

Of course, plastic netting is so easy to use.  However. I grew up learning the hard way.  Take a stroll in the local woods or an area where there are bushes.  You will find loads of twigs etc no longer bearing leaf or bloom.  Even perhaps in your own garden, there might be twriggy bits lying around. Gather these up and then poke them into the soil between your rows of peas.  The same can be said for dwarf beans.  Trust me.  It works and it's free.

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 21:26

If I may?  As already mentioned.  Caulies are about the hardest of this family to grow, well to grow to the point of finally getting a good harvest.  We all wish to attain perfectio for our efforts, but in this field, might I suggest.  Until you have trialed your expertise for a while.  Be patient with perhaps a smaller head, rather than plumping for a head of show quality.  Believe me, each will reward you.  one point I learned from my dad.  Who was just an ordinary guy with a plot.  Make use of those long leaves.  Fold them over to protect the head.

Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 20:44

I think I had better avoid replying to threads dealing with TV programs/personalities.  Michael me boy, says I to myself.  Let's hope and pray that other TV progs are ever mentioned.  Casualty, Corrie, East Enders etc.  I can understand how viers become so involved with the screen in the corner.  My wife used to watch most of the regulars.  She having been an avid follower of the hospital series.   I sometimes sadly ask myself.  I wonder what her thought were, on the way to heart surgery?  She never came back.


Posted: 16/03/2014 at 20:32

Perhaps I have mentioned this before.  Fuchsias are among the easiest of plants to propagate. Taking cuttings.  No need to cut just below a leaf joint.  Even the smallest piece of stem can be used.  If running short on material.  Take atypical cutting, stem with at least two leaves.  Cut the stem in half lengthways.  You now have two cuttings each with a single leaf.  If you find getting cuttings to root in water, ok, but honestly, they do root well in the usual way.  If you want to experiment.  Sometimes parts of the plant might get damaged.  Just sever it from the main plant, even if it now looks like a seperate plant, stick it in a pot.  Due to lack of space, I often stick cuttings around the edge of the pot containing the original.  Should you wish to try growing standards or haf standards.  Select a shoot that has three leaves at the tip.  Don't ask me why three leaves are better than two, as I have produced standards using two and three leaved cuttings.  I have to admit.  The three-leaved cutting does tend to get going faster.

Which annual and perenial seedlings should be 'pinched out'?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 00:39

Much depends on choice.  The annual basically has a very short life cycle.  The seed is sown, it germinates, it grows.  If it were possible to get inside, what might be called it's brain.  Here I am.  I must grow.  I must flower adn set seed.  Then my task is over.  There is however a variation in annuals grown or started off inpots containers et on the windowsill.  We all know how quickly and leggy these seedling develop.  So to pinch them out will, firstly slow them down, and atv the same time, enable them to develop side shoots etc.  Thus in the long term giving more seding prospects.

The perennials.  Have similar inbuilt plans,howeverthey have this added furtherance of life.  Here we the gardener wish to have the best.  Strong healthy plants,bushy full of flowers.  Our intervention therefore is to pinch out, to stop upward growth and direct  it to go where we want it.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

Future Time Team

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Talk about daylight robbery!

Plant prices. 
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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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Makes you Wonder!

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A Wee Bit Cooler

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Would members be interested?

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Dare I say.

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A request or suggestion.

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Pernission to speak SIR!

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Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 11:22
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