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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

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!!!!

Plant or weed?

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 22:37


Cheap veg seeds

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 22:34

Hi Althaea.  Holly hoc.


What do you call, 'Cheap' Seeds.  Just a tip.  Under British rules and regs.  Seeds must be tested and reach certain standards before they can be marketed.

As some members have posted.  Usually the lower priced packets, contain less seed.  Might I suggest.  Take a llok at the various catalogues and lists.  Most, especially in the case of veg seed, will give a content number.  As you get the hang of it, you will find it good to let some plants go to seed, and save.

I no longer grow my own veg.  However I have this year purched plenty of flower seeds.  All at .99p per packet.  No fancy packets, just seed.  Most I got from Premier Seeds Direct.  A small point of interest.  Veg seed compared to flower seed.  The germination rate is...veg is best.


Enjoy your growing.

Help for flooded gardens

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 22:18

Friends.  I do hope that I haven't upset anyone by my previous post.  I did say that I thought the idea was great etc, and certainly showing that shoulder to shoulder spirit. To date I have hd nothing via the scientific teams.  I note form a member's post.  Information that some enviromental samples etc have been taken and tested, resulting in high levels of bacteria over and above the usual levels, have been found.  Truly.  There would be something very strange had the tests showed, less bacteria.  Our planet has a wonderful way of getting over problems.  The gist of my original post was.  Hold fast to the idea of helping out.  Problem is.  No one has any absolute ided asto how long, even once the rain stops.  Just how long it will be, before the top couple of feet of soil, will be workable.  The matter of excess bacteria.  Anyone in the flodded areas should exercise extra care.  However once again the soil has it's own unique way of dealing with bacteria.  A brief point about plants etc.  We all know how we can kill a plant by overwatering, in the case of some plants water is best kept off the crown of the plant, otherwise it will rot.  Consider the scenario.  When these heavy rains and flooding began. For many of us.  Our plants were in a dormant state.  Enviromentally, very little harm can come to a plant in that state.  It has shut down for a period.  [I often wonder why some folks feed their bulbs and tubers etc, once the growth has died and the storage has closed down]  During that close-down period. The plant, bulb or whatever is no drawing in anything.  Back to the garden plants.  More than likely once the waters subside.  The old faithful perennials will once agin sprout forth. For most stock, a bit of a firming in will help.  The hardest hit will be the farmers.  Because their fields were already full of 'Growing ' plants.  It is these new plants that probably by this time, would have rotted.  So be prepared for shortages in the supermarkets and a hike in food prices. Returning again to folks who sadly have been flooded out.  I ask you all most sincerely.  If you personally were one of those victims.  Picture it.  Your home now stinks to high heaven due to the dirty water that has invaded your lifetime treasure.  Furniture etc is now only fit for the dump.  Please believe me.  I know you and I want to help, but please spare a thought.  Let's be honest.  There you are all washed up, heart broken.  Lost everything, and someone hands you packets of seeds or plants.  Be honest, what would your thoughts be.

That is why I say.  Great idea, loving thoughts and concern but, let's wait a while, until the great soakaway takes plce.  Let's examine the effects, then all chip together.  Probably this might be best done, by contacting local gardening clubs etc.


Once again friends.   My original post was well meant.

Ornamental Grasses

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 23:58

I have to admit.  I haven't fully read each post.  Slap my wrist by all means.


I have always thought that Carex is a sedge. Not a grass.


I stand corrected.

However.  Take a close look at your specimems. Especially the crowns...the centers.  Judge for yourselves.  If you were part of this plant.  Truly.  Would you be happy living here.  Translated.  The very center of your plant.  Does it appear far too closely bonded.  In the grass world various species do form clumps.   This is in fact an area within horticulture that has had very little attention paid to it.  Ask yourself.  Does this clump of grass seem to be stifeling its self?  Be drastic.  Chop it in half and replant.

rotting daff bulbs

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 23:45

Sadly my friend.  Once a bulb begins to rot.  BIN it.  As to the compost/soil.  If the rotting has taken place in such a confined space as a pot or container. Chuck the compost out.  Let the elements take over.  Please don't ask me to provide a more scientic answer.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

Future Time Team

Replies: 16    Views: 304
Last Post: Today at 01:06

More about using Coir

Replies: 2    Views: 139
Last Post: 11/09/2014 at 09:38

Talk about daylight robbery!

Plant prices. 
Replies: 33    Views: 900
Last Post: 13/09/2014 at 20:02

Have I overdone it?

Replies: 65    Views: 2261
Last Post: 05/09/2014 at 11:37

Growing with Coir

Replies: 12    Views: 284
Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 10:55

List of members.

Replies: 14    Views: 500
Last Post: 01/09/2014 at 16:35

Concern over conifers.

Replies: 0    Views: 106
Last Post: 31/08/2014 at 22:08

Good News for Mike

Replies: 31    Views: 1204
Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 18:22

Makes you Wonder!

Replies: 13    Views: 546
Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 10:03

A Wee Bit Cooler

Replies: 6    Views: 441
Last Post: 11/08/2014 at 22:10

Our Silent Fliers.

Replies: 28    Views: 877
Last Post: 25/08/2014 at 19:18

Would members be interested?

Replies: 35    Views: 1628
Last Post: 09/08/2014 at 07:14

Dare I say.

Replies: 83    Views: 2984
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 23:36

A request or suggestion.

Replies: 7    Views: 412
Last Post: 03/08/2014 at 20:40

Pernission to speak SIR!

Replies: 151    Views: 2542
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 11:22
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