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Latest posts by Palaisglide

Ailsa Craig and free strawberries

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 14:54

It is a glorious day here in the North East and green house wide open. Spent time side shooting the Ailsa Craig tomato's, the ones I was brought up with as a lad and far superior in taste to Money maker or Shirley I do have others as I love a yellow and  the cherries, the Ailsa are picked once ripe and few reach the kitchen.

I potted the runners on the Strawberries a lot of them so doubled my plants for next year if they all come, they are in a John Innes number two compost they need some drainage. It was nice working out in the sun making new plants giving others TLC I never thought I would say this but I am turning into my old Dad, he was a gardener from the old world and I still think he was right all along.

Happy Gardening Frank.

Repairing a hose

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 12:34

Mark, No is the short answer. Most supermarkets with a garden section have hose to hose connectors for a couple of pounds, cut the bad bit out and fit the connector job done.


Just getting started and had several garden thefts

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 12:17

Nin, in this day and age money is a problem for many, there are ways, tying old tin cans to the gate with a pebble in is a simple method we used in the army, usually a Camel or Goat but on the odd occasion did the job. You cannot put barbed wire in the garden it is against the law but the odd tripping hazard also works, you have to remember you put it there. Boxes or crates can be picked up for nothing if you look and pots packed in and a couple of batons screwed on is simple, these people do not hang about it is in and gone in seconds, easy pickings.

I would say I was surprised by the hang them high posts, you do have to prove guilt and it is very often the last person you would suspect and not the obvious person you thought. Once hung the witch is dead guilty or not.

As my insurance tells me it is up to me to take all positive steps to secure my own property, leaving your keys in the car and the engine running for some reason says neglect so put away or out of sight anything worth money, some areas are much worse than others so more care needed.


Just getting started and had several garden thefts

Posted: 12/05/2014 at 15:59

It is to be assumed you do not have a place the pots can be stowed with secure locks, you can get Boxes bins and containers cheaply in local adverts or e-bay. These would hold a lot of pots stacked and then chains and locks added. As with all things you are the one who bears the cost to protect your property and thieves will not go to a lot of trouble, if they find stuff locked away then they will wander off to a place where it is easy pickings.

Years ago around me there were a number of garage raids, mine was not touched because I had added a secure side lock, I did show a couple of people how easy it is to slip a garage normal centre lock, they then fitted extra locks and it all stopped.

The time to watch for this sort of thing is not at night but just after dawn, it is surprising how many people are wandering around who will pick up anything that will turn a pound says he who hammers a stake into the ground then wires his large pots to the stake after losing a couple from the front of the house and this is a good area.


Conposting - really need some advice

Posted: 12/05/2014 at 14:37

Amme, Compost needs three things, a good mix of stuff, Air, Heat Dampness not wet. OK four things then A bin size will not be big enough to get the heat needed over a short period so you are looking at months before compost is made.

The ideal is two large containers one to fill one to use, a good mix would be green stuff woody stuff vegetable peelings paper straw grass cuttings although only a thin layer of that, also the odd pot gets emptied into it. My containers are wood with air slots in the side, they get turned on a monthly basis and I have compost in four months during the summer. As it is turned a handful of fertiliser and a damping with a rose on the watering can is enough to start the heating. Placing them in direct sunlight and out of the wind will help heat up and I have lids on mine to keep direct rain from soaking them, you lift the lid and can feel the heat rising if not then it is not working.

Never put meat of anything cooked in the compost though some do, I would not risk it there is plenty of stuff you can add without that. As I said use some of your grass clippings too much will turn into a dark gluey mess so that goes in the council green bag along with brush wood which is too thick. Compost takes time, a single bin can take a year if it is a cold summer, when I load up a bin in Autumn it is with the knowledge it will take a good six months to compost. The only fast way is how the council does it build it high and wide, they shred everything and turn it weekly with JCB's it will still take six to eight weeks.


Confused with Coleus

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 10:26

Coleus is one of those plants that put a smile on your face, they do need a little help. A minimum temp of 55F or 13C in new language (which I do not use) so will need some shelter and cover until the end of May.

You need to keep potting them on in a John Innes number thee mixture until you reach six or eight inch pots nip out any flowers and take out the growing tips every two or three weeks to get a large bushy Plants. Feed the plants weekly adding liquid fertiliser to the watering can they are greedy.

Keep them in the pots and put the pots where there is sun (do you get any in Scotland) probably up against a sheltering wall or fence A patio is usually a good place if you sit there then the plants will.

So important things, Pot on, Pinch out, fertilise once a week, remove flowers. As Dove says you can over winter them indoors then take cuttings, the colours will fade they need a little water then in Spring trim them and take fresh cuttings.


Standard Geraniums

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 19:42

Let the stem grow, pinch off any seed head and dead flowers trim into shape with scissors in other words be gentle just adjust the head shape . Quite often if you have a South facing brick wall out of the wind that will be enough to keep it with probably a bubble wrap when frost is on the way, I put pot plants next to the wall to over winter and it works.


A Few Questions....

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 10:05

1) If the feed is organic (made from plant material) I would not use it. Tomorite inorganic give the bottle a good shake and use as normal I do and it works.

2) Far too early to put out Morning Glory, end of May June, keep and eye on it take off any bad leaves and hope.

3) Seed sown where? in trays pots in the ground? if in trays you do not feed you pot on which is why sowing little and often is the best way, they have to be potted on. Seed compost has no feed, the first move has very little feed and the final potting on has about half to two thirds compost. Feed when they are in the final position and settled not before.

4) Buy a yard or so of blanket from the Garden Centre and if it is going to be a cold night then wrap some round the outside plants and take it off next morning, we have short sharp frost in the Northeast to the end of May, like the Boy Scouts be prepared.


Standard Geraniums

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 23:37

I did not know there was such a thing and after seeing the post bumped decided to look it up and yes there is a nursery doing standards.

I can only assume they will be able to take the cold though not heavy frost so a greenhouse would possibly be the best winter cover for it although heating a greenhouse is a very expensive business. The only special treatment I imagine would be water and feed the plant dead heading as needed.

This is all guess work from my experience with Geraniums and Pelargonium of which I have many, just never thought of making a standard.


North, South, East or West Facing

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 10:32

Fairy Girl, I can see I will have to come back up to Inverness, the sun shone hot and bright on my last holiday, rained when I got home.

Why worry count our blessings that we can grow almost anything in this country, my Herb Bed hot and dry would be classed as North facing yet it gets more sun than most. I rest my case.


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