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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Tree problems.

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 23:58
Believe it or not but. Trees are also plants, hence the reason I post this here. A while back, I posted, I think on this forum and probably another. Some information that I had come by from various scientific sources. Sadly most times the average gardener, tends ony to consider a nice garden lawns and flower beds. Usually the odd time a tree is mentioned, is when it's in the way. However we must take a look at the world around us. We were hit badly some while back with Dutch Elm disease. Then more recent.. Ash Die Back. In my previous posts I mentioned that other trees are now infected/affected. The good old english Oak is threatened. The Horse Chestnut and other well known trees are being attacked by viral, fungal and insect pests. Even in New Zealand. Vast areas of pine forests and evergreens are under attack. Here in the UK, it's not only trees that are falling victim, but also many everyday plants. There are pests affecting tomatos the otherside of the world. The now speedy transportation od plants are in many instances responsible. Sometimes it can be an infected/diseased plant, then other times the potting compost might well be loaded with bugs etc. So in general, trees and forest might be a bit out of you requsite but garden plants no. Even buying from your favourite GC. For a time. Keep the new plants away from valuable stock. Really keep an eye on them. Please believe me. Outside your garden a great war is raging in the plant kingdom.


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 23:20
Wowee! what an assortment of answers. Before going any further. I respect each and everyones replies, So hopefully no offence.
So here we have a hedge of a fast growing conifer. For various reasons the latter has become a much hated garden pest.
Philipper good answer. Bob old friend. Conifers are renound for being deep rooted. Think about it. The most damaging tree for house owners is the conifer. Why? Because it send s way down a root system that goes far beyound the foundations. Its drunken desire to survive, it is constantly in search of water. A simple basicx botany teaching. Picture any tree. So upwards it grows. Now check just how far out it speads. This is the important feature. The sprad of a tree dictates so much for surrounding plants etc. One. The spraed has an infuence upon the amout of sunlight that is available to close grown plants. Also the spread will also limit the rainfall to the soil beneath. In short. Some garden conifers might have a smaller root area, but it is good to consider the basics. So back to the original post. Here we are dealing with a hedge. So what does thatv equate to. Height shall we say five-six feet. Spread say max. three feet. So simples. Take an imaginary line downwards from the hedge. The perhaps allow say two feet. Go ahead and plant..

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 22:13
Lyn. What a beautiful Fuchsia. So many gardeners have had a bad year, this year. Well Done.

Artjak. Rosa Compassion. Really a fantastic rose. It is a very strong vigorous grower. Perfect shape.

how can I treat this, please

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 22:00
For infestations of Mealy Bug. The best treatment is Methylated spirit. Looking closely at the problem. If it is Mealy Bug, then you will see very tiny creepy crawlies. IMO the best and safest plan is. Cut out all stems/branches etc that are affected. Burn the waste. Then using a paint brush, paint the cut ends and a bit more, with Meths. This will allow the spirit to seep into the cuts and filter beneath the bark. Meths dries almost immediately so perhaps a few applications might be required.


Posted: 04/10/2014 at 22:08
Philippa, old luv. Your post really touched my heart. For quite a long time, I was a voluntary vetting officer for aan animal rescue centre, Foal Farm. OK basically the task dedalt with vetting suitable applicants for dogs and cats. I am concerned with not only plants, trees and shrubs but, I am also a lover of animals and FLS. Phil. this is outrageous. Firstly. When I helped my dad with his plot. In those days The plot was for growing, no summer house etc, no chucks on site. Phil. You have been up front with your fellow plot holder. Please take a clue from Mike. Contact your local RSPCA unit. Explain te situation. FReally get to gain their confidence. Believe me. They will bend over backwards to keep your identity confidencial. They will conive some chat etc . We have been doing a sudy..blah blah blah. Phil, beleieve me. You don't need this extra burden. Kindest regards. Mike.

Kalanchoe care

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 21:55
Totally agree with Philppa Mark. Kalanchoe's can be placed outside during the summer. Yes it is a succulent and this gives it an advantage to propogations. Beeing as the the stems, leave etc are fleshy, that indicate that each part has everything needed to go it alone. So just think. Buy a plant for say 2.50 Take it home and cut it up. Insert each piece into moist compost and keep moist. In no time at all. You will be the owner of many. All the best.


Posted: 04/10/2014 at 21:47
Much of the costfor most seeds is dominated by the number of seeds produced per flower. In the case of the geranium be it the Cranesbill or the popular pot/bedding plant. OK each blossom head can have several individual flowers. Many will not produce seeds. Those that do then what have you got. Each seed pod only produces what five to seven individual seeds. Then when sowing and germinating, the resultant number of fresh new seedings is believe it or not, very low. Therefore the outlet stage. A profit has tgo be made. So up goes the price. To be fair. The way postal costs have risen. WOW. No wonder many now shop on line. Back to the vast quantities of geranium/pelargoniums etc produced each year is. Micro -cell proporgation. This is a rapid process. It started off as an experiment to produce shall we say the most difficult types. Now with modern science etc, it's use has exploded and hence the initial setup cost has slightly fallen. So more are using it. For the basic amateu gardener, varying size garden. greenhouse or not. Dovefromabove gave a first class solution. I always aim at trying things out. OK the books say this and that. Just take a looke at nature. Take a chance. Have a go.

loved gardening quotes

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 21:28
Ah Wordsworth. Salino's quote. Might you be a fan?
A few years back There was a singer, Kathy Kirby. What a voice. The song that made her famouse inclued a line about golden daffodils. Anyone know what became of her?

Asthma and Gardening

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 21:56
I feel that we must listen to Punc Doc. Ok He's the pro. In my own rites I am a scientist, who once had designs on the medical world. As I have attempted to say in the past. Plants, medicine and life. Are all so closely related. I have a friend who is a Doctor. He's a nicro-biologist. Recently we were discussing the allied subjectsthat we study. He told me that, he became a Fellow of the ZSL. Zoological Sosy of London. He studied Botany, Physics and practically all the 'is-ics'. Times are changing, our vast enviroment is rapidly changing/

. For instance., I recieve daily pposts from all manner of conservation groups etc. To be honest. Evenn though I have all the time in the world. I just cannot answer all the questions.
So back to the original post. Sadly youhave found, or perhaps better spelled out. A factor of nature has found you and logged on... so asthma it isn't the end of the world. You, yourself have unwillilingly become a victim. So where do we go from here? Sit tight and think. Today when the affects seemed stronger. So. Today. Consider the climate, the dfay in general and.....most inportant. Try and recall just how your general feelings were. I hope my friend Punc Doc is tuned in. Sometimes a state of mind tends to play a hand. This I believe is under the heading. Psycosymatic. It is when something tends to asffect us, perhaps even a simple sneeze. The for some reason or other, the mind/brain gets to work. From my Med studies. For some reason or other. The brain when questioned, tends to go for the worst. So. Here we are in the garden. All of a sudden we start wheezing and sneezing. Hey man, hey lass. Stand aside.. If need be. Discontinue your present plans. Go on.. Pop inside and make a brew. Believe me. Many of these problems can at time be............self inflicted.

Trip to Cambridge University Botanical Garden 11th October

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 21:29
Sorry Dove. The 'TWIGS'?

Hey friends, perhaps tis might be a relief for some but. I really was looking forward so much to joining you all. As I say.. Members of this forum are truly great. My closet friend now tells me, he thinks it might be a bit too much for him. Sadly. The 11th is the first anniversary of him losing his wife. So, as Mike is a wee bit shaky at travelling too far alone. Sadly Mike will be left at home crying into his cuppa. Have a great time folks. Oh1 how I wish I could join you. Kisses and hugs to the ladies. To the guys. A strong hard handshake. Bless you all.

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Talk about daylight robbery!

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Good News for Mike

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