Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

New petrol mower

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 00:54

Mowers.  So many to choose from nowadays.  OK. Each to their own and  the controlling factor...the purse strings.  It really must be a prblem for many.  Thankfully.  Mike has no grass to cut.  However I am still interested in cutting/mowing.  I was at Kew, a few days ago.  Bright sunny day, much activity with the groundstaff.  In front of the Palm House, the troops were cutting trimming and titivating in general.  I was so shocked.  Kew Gardens.  The epitomy of horticultural whatever.  A member of the groundstaff, going back and forth with a rotary mower.   Hey mate.  This is a display bed. BANG goes my membership.  Truly what I am attempting to get over is.  What kind of grass area do you wish to cut.  Then choose your mower.  Big boys love big toys.  So if you have a large garden and lots of grass. The big boy will want a ride on mower.  Fair do's.  It will get the job done quick and easy.  Stand back and consider.  Yes,it is a large grass area.  Now compare.  Had te same expance been cut usuing a Dennis 36.  The the comment would have been.  Wow! what a fine lawn area.  For the smaller area say a bowling green.  A Ransom certese.  That really gave the ultimate cut.  It was a cylinder mower, having sixteen cutting blades. The maximum.  Mind you.  If you had a lawn cut by this machine.  KEEP OFF.

Holly hedge from cuttings

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 00:31

Strange plants hollies.  They always seem to appear where you don't want them.  Try growing them, and you are wasting your time.  Might I ask.  The dimensions of your intended hedge.  Why just a holly hedge?

There are in fact several nurseries that specialise in hedging plants, and strange to say.  The prices are reasonable.

gardeners world presenters

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 00:24

Now then Mike.  Bridal your tongue.  I say that, because i tend to get a bit of hate mail for being critical.  In fact.  I admire anyone who shares gardening/horticulture with me.

Perhaps I would, yes, like to see more of gardening on TV.  It would make a change from doctors and nurses,  Auctions, police chases etc.  I think that the program planners tend to 'dress up ' gardening.  For instance.  Just within the bounds of forums such as this.  I try vto pass on my practical and theoretical experience to others.  Even at 74 with what amounts to 69 yrs experience.  I am still learning.  This is what I would like to see on my TV.   There are so many youngsters coming into horticulture.  TV offers the ultimate teaching spot.  Even short programs.  I'd like to see a series where you are taken through the basics, gradually widening out.  Where perhaps at the end of a six week series.  Applications would be pouring in, for individuals wishing to engadge in gardening.  It is very pleasing to see more young women entering the field, but please.  Program casters.  Look at the real life.  Gardening can be mucky and wet, soggy and nasty at times.  Please stop showing us young ladies, almost dressed in their Sunday best.  Hi Guys.  Do you like it.  I got it from M&S especially for the show.  Now to do some planting.  Please stop the camera play to.  I have supervised park staff.  I have had some very strong hard tough women working on the parks.  They knew their job and they worked hard, and in those days, they worked for a damn sight less than girls work for today.  Stop the playing to the cameras.   Then to the male gardeners, well TV stars.  Please programers,make the programs more real.  OK.  Not knocking the chap.  In fact I like him.  Monty.  Here he comes, wellies on, wheel barrow etc.   I used to be a copper so I tend to look close.  Wellies.  To me they look as if he's just bought them from the high st.  That barrow.  Fresh out of the garden center.  Then today, we will transplant this shrub.    Long pregnat pause.  Sound off.  Hey, how do you pronounce that?  In all honesty.  What really is the purpose of these gardening programs?  I remember Monty was doing another program, and although I try to avoid bad language, yet I admit to failing at times.  Anyway, in this scene.  Monty was enacting some kind of team leader, exiting a large wooden building, he exclaimed in no uncertain words, for the team to get their act together.  I am not saying that I wish to hear foul words etc, but can we have programs taht are more true to life than portraying some sexually titivating experience or basically making grown men look like a load of idiots.

Iris Reticulata. Gordon Fletcher

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 23:47

Bilje Hi.


This is the special part about gardening.  There is such a vast playing field.  OK, I am not disagreeing with Carol, she has vast experience.  So, what's stopping you from placing your pot in full sunshine and seeing what happens.  Without getting too scientific.  Due to climate change.  Many of the weather changes etc are also starting to have effect here in the UK. Take a chance.

Irrigation systems

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 23:40

Thankfully.  Having been born and raised within a poor family.  I learned at a very early age to, 'make do and amends'  Over time I have developed many skills.

So watering.  Val and I along with our two daughters, used to caravan in the New Forest, sometimes being away for three months at a time.  One yar, I asked a friend to visit the garden etc and water.  Returning home I found all my hanging baskets of fuchsias etc.  DEAD.  Bone dry.  My friend assured me, he had watered a few times, but most days it was pouring with rain.  He didn't realise that the baskets were hanging under the spread of trees.

I have electric and water piped to the greenhouse.  So I fitted a timer to one of the greenhouse taps, gradually adjusted the flow.  Then made up a line system.  I used a standard half inch plastic hose pipe.  Then with the aid of saddle clips.  They consist of a flat plate plus a shaped piece that fits around the pipe.  The parts are then screwed to the underside if the roof bars.  The pipe was connected to the timer unit, just inside the GH door. It then ranthe length of the GH fixed about midway from the side wall to the ridge.  Across the end of the GH and back along the other side.  The end was then bent over and secured with a jubilee clip.  That blanked it off.  Then I simply punctured the pipe at about eighteen inch intervals...not right through.  Just half way.  Having purchased a handful of mini-nozzles, I simply pressed these into the punctured holes and screwed them in.  Returning from holiday that year.  My greenhose resembled the tropical house at Kew.  The watering system had done a much better job than I would have done.  I was well pleased.  However Mike had fogotten all about the timer.  There i was boasting to myself, when, click and YES,  Mike had his first shower in the greenhouse.  Believe me.  You can save yourself pounds, simply by having a go.

Any problems.  Just give me a shout.

Ask Alan

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 21:44

My apologies if my post has been misunderstood.  I tend at times to write as if I were chatting face to face with the other person.  Perhaps I did fail to propose a question of AT.  However I feel that we both share a similar sense of humour.  Perhaps I should make more use of 'smileys'

Believe me.  I think he and I would get on well together.

The mystery of pH.

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 21:27

Actually I have been reminded by a member on the RHS forum, that the latter have some info on the subject.  Give me a while to re-read my draft.  At the least.  I will compile a list of most plants etc and match them up to a pH chart.


Thanks for the vote of confidnce.

Seedling help needed

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 00:05

Apart from anything else.  Might I respectfully point out.  When using modules, cells etc for deed sowing.  Level off the soil to the top of the cell. At this point, the enreging green shoot will be surrounded by light.  It will have a great effect upon it's growth.  The comparison being.  Only half or part filling the module with soil/compost.  You are creating what basically is termed.  'Forcing'  Just think.  OK. Rhubarb. To force tis to grow faster, one might place a tube of some kind over it.  In your case.  Leaving tghe cel/module half empty you have done just that.  In effect your seed has germinated, then been forced gto grow toward the light.  Don't panic.  Been there, done that.

mascaraed rose

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 23:27

Find that rose.com


If no luck.  Get back to me.

The mystery of pH.

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 23:23

The mystery of pH.

Now and then members raise questions that at the end of the day, relate to the pH scales etc.

Might I ask each and everyone using these forums. Would I be ‘out of place’ posting a whatever dealing with the mysterious pH scales etc.

Has anyone any objections?






Discussions started by Mike Allen

Future Time Team

Replies: 19    Views: 499
Last Post: 16/09/2014 at 22:17

More about using Coir

Replies: 2    Views: 151
Last Post: 11/09/2014 at 09:38

Talk about daylight robbery!

Plant prices. 
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Last Post: 13/09/2014 at 20:02

Have I overdone it?

Replies: 65    Views: 2282
Last Post: 05/09/2014 at 11:37

Growing with Coir

Replies: 12    Views: 290
Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 10:55

List of members.

Replies: 14    Views: 515
Last Post: 01/09/2014 at 16:35

Concern over conifers.

Replies: 0    Views: 112
Last Post: 31/08/2014 at 22:08

Good News for Mike

Replies: 31    Views: 1224
Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 18:22

Makes you Wonder!

Replies: 13    Views: 551
Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 10:03

A Wee Bit Cooler

Replies: 6    Views: 444
Last Post: 11/08/2014 at 22:10

Our Silent Fliers.

Replies: 28    Views: 892
Last Post: 25/08/2014 at 19:18

Would members be interested?

Replies: 35    Views: 1641
Last Post: 09/08/2014 at 07:14

Dare I say.

Replies: 83    Views: 3005
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 23:36

A request or suggestion.

Replies: 7    Views: 416
Last Post: 03/08/2014 at 20:40

Pernission to speak SIR!

Replies: 151    Views: 2562
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 11:22
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