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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Van Meuwen

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 22:30

Mike W.

In my experience.  Overwintering fuchsias isn't all that difficult. If being kept under cover during winter time.  Preferably they will require light.  Just keep them ticking over by a minimal amount of water.  Keep the dead or dying foliage cleared away.  Even under cover in an unheated greenhouse or shed.  You should be alright.   Once I had several standard types, all propagated by me.  Some were hardy and others required some winter protection.  Might I add.  The youngest was some eighteen years old.  It had ben my practice for many years.  To stand the tubs amongst other garden subjects.  Then come winter.  I'd store them in the greenhouse.  Then my worst enemy caught up with me.  I became too ill to venture into the garden.  The less hardy ones fell victim to the frost and snow, and never recovered.  The hardy ones suffered wind damage and were blown over.  Since then I haven't bothered with standards.


A wee tip.  For fuchsia growers.  You can take cuttings from plants in a semi dormant state.  Just bare sticks/cuttings.  Pot them up and continue to grow them on.  This method will provide you with early young plants.

Hope this helps

Van Meuwen

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 22:17

I could write a book based on such experiences.  Please stop and think before buying.  Read the small print of all adverts.  Usually you will discover that the plant stock being offered is below the expected size and standard.  OK a guarantee is included.  Usually that should the plant fail etc. etc within three years.  You could get a replacement or have your money back.  For most gardeners including experts.  You buy a plant etc and you automatically look forward to seeing it mature, bloom etc within a very short time.  Not have to wait three or more years.  Ask yourself.  After a three year wait.  Honestly, would you bother to complain.  Tankfully our forum member did complain and appears to be satisfied with the firms responce.  Just think about all those thousands who don't complain.  Even if our friend had received a thousand pound refund.  To the firm, that is chicken feed.  Sad to say.  Several of the better trusted firms have jumped on the band wagon, and simply to make a fast buck.  Their quality and standards have dropped also.  Be wise and don't be in too much of a hurry to spend your hard earned money.

Can containers have spring and summer flowers in them?

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 22:56

Charley D.


Seeing that name, tends to remind me of Charley Dimmock from that onetime TV gardening series.


Charley.  If your container is lage enough, why not.  Let's face it.  Each container and in the case of those specializing in alpines.  The sink garden.  All of these containers, pots or whatever.  They are all extensions of your graden or growing area.  Treat them with respect.  Perhaps I might be able to offer a tip or two here.  For example.  Suppose you have a round pedestal type planter.  To produce a good display of, shall we say daffs, or tulips.  These can be mixed.  The usual guidline of bulb planting is.  Plant the bulb double it's height [root base to growing tip]  For a much fuller planter.  Plant a number of bulbs one and a half times their depth, even if large bulbs, go do going deeper.  Cover with soil/compost then plant your main layer.  The results will speak for themselves.  In a like manner, By all means plant your spring and summer subjects in a similar way.  Apart from the fact that your container will always be full.  It saves you the job of removing and replanting.

slug clear liquid metaldehyde

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 22:40

I am afraid to say.. However so many, shall we call them Sunday gardeners.  Similar to Sunday drivers.  They garden by sight.  OOOh I've got this that and the other in my garden.  Mankind is the biggest destroyer on the planet, and so blind at times, not realising that we can be destroying ourselves and this beautiful home called earth.  Do in part to the inbalances bought about by our ill conceived ideas of balancing the books so to speak.  Years ago, many of our native birds took care of the snail problem.  Birds such as thrushes.  The slugs always proved to be gigh on the menue of Mr Spikey.  Aka the hedgehog.  Todays chemicals were not needed.  Now that an imbalance has developed, chemicals tend to be order of the day.  PLEASE.  If you find yourself resorting to their use.  Then thoroughly read and follow the instructions.  Most chemicals if applied early morning or last thing at night, will in most cases be absorbed into the plant system.  Many on the otherhand are made up with added constiuents, that caus the chemical to neutalise upon contact with the soil.  The odd ones out.  I think it was Edd, who informs us that he contacted the company whose product has raised this thread  Thanks Edd.  This is where forums such as this one can truly come into their own.  Please friends. Don't hesitate to post athread about some new idea or whatever that has come to your notice.


Might I say with the greatest of humbleness.  Thank you so much, for the kind comments, about my posts to this forum.  Mike has been at it for ages, but I am still learning.


Enjoy your gardening.

Help with plant identification

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 22:02

Can't speak for others but.  Out of all the Viburnums.  I find that V. tinus has a somewhat unpleasant smell.  Nevertheless, it is a valuable shrub to have around.

Saving a fuschia!

Posted: 17/02/2014 at 23:14

Loganberry Hut.

Mrs Popple.  A really oldie.   So you consider it dead.  If so.  Please feel free to pass me you address via pm or email.  I will send you some rooted cuttings of Mrs P.  In the mean time.  Cut your specimen downto a few inches.  DE-pot it  Lay it on it's side upon a base of compost.  Then gently cover it over.  If life still exists.  New growth will soon apear.  Otherwise. As close as possible to soil level,  gentlty usung your thumbnail, Tease away the thin bark.  If the underying tissue be green.  Your plant is still alive.  Cut it back to a few in ches above soil level.  Watch an learn.

Wow! Sunshine at last.

Posted: 16/02/2014 at 22:28

I awoke this morning to sunlight streaming through the bedroom window.  My first reactions were.  BH! the sun's out. and it's not raining.  Mike could walk about indoors with all the lights being on.  Eventually I ventured out.  Three bags of seed compost and a bag of vermiculate was taken from the car boot.  Then into the garden. Opening the greehose door,  Woweeeeeee! That fragrance. Several pots of hyacinths were in full bloom.  Talk about a beautiful woman.  The fragrance sent my head into a spin.  Such a gloriouse day.  Even a neighbours cat came to see what I was up to.  I took the opportunity to chech the greenhouse stock. Then to plant up some new bulbs etc.  Outside, the garden is still far too wet to take to task.  My roses are far too far advanced.  I am considering leaving some to grow on without pruning.  In all honesty, the garden world has been turned upside down. Perhsaps concentrating upon the soil wettness.  Try and keep off the land.  Wherre posible, perhaps using a dutch hoe or a long handled fork, prick over the surface,   A very small helping hand agreed, but tilthing the surface,  You will be aiding the entry of air.  Please.  Take things gently.

RHS London Shows.

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 23:10

Dove. A joker after my own heart.  Nevertheles, it would be great to meet another forum member.

Talkback: How to practise crop rotation

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 23:07

What can I say.  Crop rotation goes way back to what most people call.  Bible times.  Should anyone wish to have a Bible Study, then speak  up.  Actually  My dad and I for many years practiced this crop rotation.  We managed a plot the size of a football pitch.  All work was carried out by hand.  No mechanical assistance.  We grew potatos, various brassicas, salad crops, beans and peas. Turnips, swedes, mangols, carrots.  Also a few fruits, gooseberries, strawberries, a few red, white and black currants.  OK. The friuts stayed in place.  The beans, the runner beans.  Thes stayed put.  In fact to be honest.  It was always the root veg that was passed around.  Believe me, on a plot of that size.  To leave a planting area to grow fallow for a year.  It truly paid off.  Reverting back to Biblical times.  The Grand Creator certainly knew best.

Onions sets in modules

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 22:48

Just my practice over the years.  Learned from my dad.  Plant veg in the ground.  Even sowing seed.  Sow into the open ground, then thin out.


Yes I know.  Pop down to the garden center or B&Q.  If it grows. You can now get it in a pot or tray.  OOOps another theme I've messed up.   Sorry!!!!

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Pippa. I love your blogs and your general writings. Might I pick your brains etc. I am an oldie. 75 in fact I bagan gardening as the bomb... 
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Collecting and Saving Seed.

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