Latest posts by Palaisglide


Posted: 07/05/2014 at 14:40

Busy Bee 2, put it this way, in its best form fire ash would contain less than one percent of Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash. where as Growmore would have 7 percent of each. With commercial fertiliser you know exactly what you have, with ash it is guess work

My question is it worth risking valuable plants just to use something which even back in my childhood Dad said were old wives tales. He did use ash from the fires and soot the sweep left from the chimneys but it was put into a brick box and left for a year then never put directly on plants, or else into the midden with the fresh manure for a year.

As a check Potash K or Kalium is certainly not Phosphate and most certainly not Phosphorous, we played silly tricks with that in the school lab not realising just how dangerous it was, no H&S back then.

My last word honest, Frank.


Posted: 07/05/2014 at 10:21

All I say is be careful, my Daughter was burning old brush wood pruning's etc, went out and left it and on coming back found her husband burning old fencing. we know not what we burn. Ash can concentrate the metals found naturally in some wood. Potassium is a natural occurring acid in Bananas and other fruits also in wood, I cannot eat Bananas and some plants hate potassium. Is it worth risking your plants for something which could or not be harmful unless we did a full test who knows what it contains, bin it.



Posted: 07/05/2014 at 09:22

Be very careful, wood ash can contain metals from paint, Potassium which with added Calcium becomes Caustic Potash or Soda Ash once used in soap.

Would I add to my plants no says an ex-ICI man. Look at the packet your bought fertilizer comes in and you will see N-nitrogen, P- Potash, K-Potassium, usually the N will be the higher number apart from Tomato feed when the numbers will be closer.

In the days we could burn old wood and anything else to get rid of it we put the ash into a midden with the fresh manure which meant it would be a year or more before it went into the ground. Burnt wood ash can act like lime on a garden so not for Rhododendrons then or any acid loving plant. Today I would add it to the green bag for the corporation to deal with, I would ask is it worth risking your plants.


Patchy & Bumpy Grass!

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 21:46

Daniel, OK so now I have the picture DO NOT ROLL it as already said give it a good raking and cut it, a bit hit and miss obviously but do your best, if you can hire an aerator which will take round divets out leaving holes.

Get a long plank and run it from a point across the lawn and check the high and low points, Have a mix of washed sand and compost ready and start by throwing shovelfuls  across the lawn and brush it in with a bass broom filling  the holes. Keep running the plank across the lawn filling the dips but not above the growing grass, if you do this several times over the season you will get a reasonable level lawn. On the bald patches scatter a heavy duty lawn seed mixed with compost and water it all in. I did learn all this helping with our club bowling green so do know how it is done and even bowling greens have problems with dips in level. Keep the grass cut at medium level for a couple of years so the grass can thicken and set, I never set my mower at low level as cutting it often is good for it.

It will take more than one go and probably more than one season, there are no miracle fixes just hard work and keeping at it, good luck.

Thanks for the PM, Frank.

Patchy & Bumpy Grass!

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 18:07

Two words Daniel, "Oh Dear" I do wish I could say do A-B-C and it would be fine, no such luck.

Question, is it a new build? If so get them to relay it, if not is money restricted as it could be a long and costly job.

The obvious way is to rip it up and start again, then I would ask do you need all that area as lawn. You could plan a new garden altogether, three different sections with borders properly laid lawn and a play or patio area all with trellis dividers, think three rooms all for differing purposes. It would need you to sit down and watch where the sun rises sets and which area would be best suited for a warm seating area.

All that depends on your likes needs and cash flow although split it could be developed in sections as time and cash allows. It will not be a short or easy project although if you treat it as a project in sections then it will be easier than trying to sort out a battlefield. Talk about it draw up some plans and look at the design sections on the internet, ideas will come.

Best of luck, Frank.

Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 15:34

Jon, that is good, real gardeners never give up, I sometimes wonder if we are sane.


Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 15:30

John, A couple of squirts of Domestos in half a bucket of water then put the pot or pots in it for ten minutes or so, I can get a lot of three inch pots in half a bucket or one large. Then rinse well and dry, it works for me. Same bucket one squirt of Domestos plus water and then do the midnight snail hunt, the little blighters do not come back from that. Water down the drain and what is left in the bin bags, never fancied eating them myself.


Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 14:34

Jon, ordinary domestos is what I use, cannot stand the smell of Jeyes, as long as you rinse the utensils well after. Buy a bag of washed sand and mix your seed compost half and half for now this will reduce the feed potential. The advice to buy some Tomato plants is good it is late for sowing seed, other Veg can be sown in sequence, tomato's need the early summer sun and warmth (if we get any).

You show me a gardener and I will show you some one who has made mistakes, we all do it so worry not. If you cannot move that frame then cover the base in plastic and pebbles if you have any. Not being able to get to your frame during the week is not good, if you cannot train your partner with a whip and chair then remove a glass away from the plants and away from the prevailing wind, that should stop over heating.

Hope this helps Frank.



Posted: 05/05/2014 at 13:02

Cler, way too early as yet. If you want them outside then get a stout box cardboard will do put it against a wall and put your potted on plants in there away from cold wind and with some cover from rain, a bit of blanket over the lot at night or even news paper will do and plant out in June. Even then a few sticks around them with a wrap of bubble wrap round the sticks will help. It is rapidly falling temperatures and cold winds that kill outside tomato's.


Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 12:53

Jon, that looks a perfectly viable set up to me and your seeds should set OK, Try using John Innes type seed compost, (that by the way is a recipe used by other makes of compost) new compost should be sterile, if not complain, I have and won.

At night if it is cooling fast use blanket or bubble wrap as extra cover and remove next morning when things warm up, those first weeks of effort will pay off in healthy plants.


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