Latest posts by Palaisglide

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.


how much water for my tomatoes

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 23:02

Ray, if the compost in the actual grow bag is very wet then the water in the trays will not feed down, if they are the ones I am thinking the water will only release when the compost dries enough to let air into the container releasing the water.

I do not use grow bags now only twelve inch pots which can be topped up with fresh compost every few weeks. Using a large coke bottle with a hole drilled in the cap, filled with water then upended into the compost works on the air release system thus feeding water into the pot when required. When I did use grow bags cutting slits along the side stopped them from getting water logged as the spare water leaked out. as Dove says over watering is not good although I would not let them flag either. One way is to dip a finger in the compost if it comes out muddy too wet, if it comes out clean too dry it should have some compost sticking to the finger just right.


North, South, East or West Facing

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 22:48

Scott, Garden terminology can be very frustrating more so with plant names, I was brought up with all the old names, then it all went posh. Latin names were the vogue until some one discovered many separate plants were actually of the same genus so it all changed again. By then my brain said enough, I am back to all the old names and terms I knew of old. My garden is South and West facing apart from a section behind the Southern fence which gets little sun so you could say North facing, my front is East facing and partly South facing, confused?? well I am so I ignore the lot and say, sunny, very sunny, sometimes sunny, and wear an anorak, works for me.


North, South, East or West Facing

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 19:33

Scott, all that matters is which parts get most sun. Spend time on your patio and watch where the sun rises, does it shine on part of the garden if yes then that part is East facing. does the sun then pass behind the house with no sun reaching the garden then that is North facing. Once around the house does the sun then shine on the garden until sunset, then it is west facing. If it shone on the garden all day it would be South facing.

Think of your garden as a diamond with facets, each facet will have a different aspect, houses are built on every point of the compass all will differ as to what sun they receive through a day, (when we get sun) and most gardens will have parts in full sun some partial shade and some shady parts which is why we can grow such a variety of plants. Sit and take stock you may be pleasantly surprised at how much sun your garden gets in a day.


Changing colour of Lilac

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 19:11

Nanjan, a new one on me and I grew up with large Lilac bushes still have some. They come in all colours from delicate pinks to every shade of purple mauve and lilac to white and even a red.

There is one called Syringa Oleaceae "Isabella" with single Lilac flowers which are nearly white inside the flower and as the flowers go over the white shows more.

At the moment I have in flower deep blue Lilac and a white, had them years and never  had a colour change, put it down to a mixed memory.



Posted: 08/05/2014 at 13:33

Harriet 3, the real secret of good compost is pile it high and make it hot, bins will do the job over a period of time but one or two large bins will be better. I have two one to load one to use, they are made of wood and tall, side by side one will help heat the other though turning aerating and damping the compost once a month is the key.

Brought up on a small holding with animals everything went into a huge brick midden and my job was get in there and turn it, when you could take a handful and it was dark crumbly and smelt nice then it was ready to use.

A hot box is a different matter, My Father used them and would prepare in early January to bring on soft fruits and salad stuff also to start his seeds in boxes. I do not think chicken poo will work, we built the box put bales of straw in the base piled it high with raw horse manure, hot and steaming, more straw bales then a covering of well riddled garden soil, no compost in sacks back then. He had glass frames for covering part or all of the hot box and it worked. If you have the room think big for compost, Monty on GW has four in a row he shreds all the material then as it rots he throws it from box one into two then on until he has that lovely compost he uses from the last box although sometimes some of the rough stuff can be used as mulch.

Hope this helps, Frank.

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