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Latest posts by obelixx

Monty Don

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 10:18

Monty is absolutely right.  Why should the gardening public waste its time and money on plants and sowings doomed to failure while the soil and weather are still to cold for the majority.    The commercial growers just have to accept it's been a bad spring so far, take their losses and find ways to turn it round.  Over here in Belgium the nurseries and garden centres aren't selling much either because it's just been too cold to garden.

What they are doing though is organising a national "Open Doors" event this weekend with extra opening hours, demos and special offers to attract punters and an advertising campaign in the press and on local and national radio and TV.   Sharing the costs and spreading the benefits instead of apportioning blame.

Beechgrove Garden Goes National.

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 09:49

verdun - People grow giant veggies for competitions as a hobby, like some people grow prize daffs or roses or sweet peas.    It's all about plant husbandry and is a harmless way of having fun unless you're into sabotaging the competition's leeks.

I'd rather grow interesting and tasty veg I can't easily get in the shops but I'm not going to knock gardeners who like the big ones.

Fairy Girl - GW does indeed need to look at its focus and get a plan for being more relevant to ordinary gardeners or esle hold up its hand to being just an entertainment  gardening show and not intended to inform, educate and advise would be gardeners or gardeners with limited experience and/or resources.   The size of Monty's composting area is bigger than a lot of people's entire garden.

purple loosestrife and ragged robin

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 09:38

I had purple loosetrife on the margins of my unlined pond and have had to work hard to eradicate it.  It's invasive and not especially attractive.    Try growing eupatorium instead as it's excellent for insects and better behaved.

I have yellow and white (gooseneck) loosetrife growing elsewhere in dryer soil and happily expanding.  I keep the yellow one under control as it's not my favourite and I regularly dig up clumps of the white to give to friends.

Beechgrove Garden Goes National.

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 23:30

Another good programme with loads in it but no hurry.   I won't ever be trying to grow or propagate begonias or giant veg but some people do and the advice on getting long root veg by giving them a tube of soft compost to grow in could just as easily apply to anyone just trying to get a crop on ground that is otherwise too heavy.

On Saturday morning, Beechgrove and GW will be repeated back to back on Beeb 2.   I think GW will be found wanting in such close comparison and needs to up its game.

basic newbie problem

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 23:22

Half hardy actually means they can't cope with forsts and should be hardened off by day but brought under cover at night till teh frosts are over in mid May for most of mainland Britain.  They will die with the first autumn frosts.

Hardy used to mean it could withstand frost but there are, of course, degrees of cold so the RHS has recently revised its hardiness definitions to take account of this.  Se ehere and click on "hardiness ratings" in the text for a full list -

Tender plants need to be kept indoors, in conservatories or in heated greenhouses as they can't stand cold, let alone frost.   Most houseplants are in this category but can go out for some fresh air in summer.

Feeding Clematis

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 19:12

Pete - I have between 40 and 50 depending on how many come through this winter.  Until I found the clematis food on sale here recently I'd always fed mine with BF&B or pelleted chicken manure and liquid tonics of rose or tomato food.  Works well for me.

Twisted Willow

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 18:31

Yes, prune the straight stems out now from the base of each stem.

The weather

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:20

I've been leavibg plants out for the past two nights but all usually hardy such as hellebores, primulas, hemerocallis and new shrubs waiting to be planted.

I wouldn't risk busies just yet, not till it gets a lot warmer at night so mid May.

A little lost

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:17

Thanks Matty but, as you say, it's too much of a faff.   Don't see why they can't do a simple fact sheet like Beechgrove does.

Feeding Clematis

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:15

I feed mine in early spring and then again at intervals till they flower.  Never had problems with bud drop.

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