Latest posts by Palaisglide

New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 16:29

Rich, I watched good market garden land being turned into new build down the lane from me and was shocked to see the builders strip off all the top soil then sell it.
They hept a bit back as they were then down to clay and put around four six inches back on front and back and roll out the lawn. Those lawn area's last year were pure bog, the only good point being they did lay down a general purpose type grass, it can take a bit of knocking about.
My advice is stay off it do nothing until it is dry enough to walk on, then you will need to work on it over a couple of years. Lift high spots and level cut away the soil under the sod, lift low spots and level by adding compost mixed with sand and or grit. Go over gaps with a mixture of compost sand and seed sweeping it into the cracks as you go.
I put a new lawn down just before Christmas around four years back and it took then prospered, grass is tough. A young child will love playing on a lawn but they also dig and treat it a bit on the rough side so do not expect a Bowling green.
Next Spring (not the one coming) start on weed and feed twice in spring around six weeks apart then an Autumn weed and feed a much slower release type. In Autumn scarify the grass (gets rid of the moss and mat of old cuttings) then Aerate I just use a fork, good exercise and you can do it with your brain out of gear, just get a rhythm and go. Have a bucket of compost mixed with sand and sweep it into the holes. With the type of lawn you will have it will keep it tidy and possibly weed free, otherwise it is remove lawn dig down and put in drainage then good top soil and then sow, a long heavy and costly job so it will be make the best of what you have.


Tomato Growpots, any good?

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 16:06

Do not see the point as for years growing Tomato's in grow bags I used some throw away plastic pots with the bottom cut off.
It does work, the pots were nine inch ones set onto and just into the grow bag soil, put some compost into the pot and plant your tomato. As the plant grows slowly top up the pot with good compost and water the grow-bag. I stopped doing that when grow bags became more rubbish dump than good compost and now use the same 12 inch pots cleaned and planted up each year leaving plenty of room to top up with good compost as the plant grows. The pots sit on a gravel bed kept watered and the pot is watered lightly with feed keeping it just damp, over watering kills more plants than it helps. Do not crock the bottom of pots on a gravel bed and I open up the holes in the base a bit to let the Tomato plant tap roots find the water in the gravel.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 15:16

Not gardening weather in Stockton but come next weekend the heated sandbox will be fired up and the Tomato seed will go in plus the first pots of sweet peas.
I do not mess with them they go in deep pots out of the packet and left to set and grow on, then drop them out of the pot into position and sow some extra seeds around for a longer flowering time. I do not go with all the mystique for growing sweet peas.


Gardeners World new season

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 15:09

Dovefromabove, Gardeners are innovators, they cut the cloth to the size they have you do the same it would seem, make use of it all. I once saw a Yard with no soil which had been turned into a garden, all in pots boxes and almost anything that would hold a plant, it went up the yard and house walls with brackets and shelves not only producing Veg but also Fruit, the couple doing it were elderly but determined and that is what counts.
Some of the postage stamp new builds down the lane from me are suddenly producing food and they use every square inch of available ground fence and places to put a pot or a box. That is gardening, no point in having a moan about not having an estate or helpers, use what you have to its full capacity, it is surprising what you can produce and the satisfaction it gives having beaten the odds.


MOB rants

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 13:12

G/G, My Father grew masses of Daff's and Tulips as he could sell them and would tell me to trench the bulbs after cutting. In an un-used bit of the garden I would push a spade deep in the ground working along making a trench (quite narrow) put some grit in the bottom or sand and then dig up the bulbs often in clumps drop them in the trench and cover leaving the leaf to take in the goodness for next years flowers. It worked for all bulbs, once the flower is gone it puts all its energy into building up the bulb.
When I did not have room in my garden I dropped the bulbs into pots and found it works just as well, they can be left out as they need a cold spell to start them into growth, If like last year we have constant rain turn the pot on its side and chock it to stop rolling.
My Daff's on the front East facing curled up in balls through the bitter cold spell we had I thought them gone, they have uncurled and standing up like Guardsmen now, I had never seen that happen before.


Gardeners World new season

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 12:57

That would be a good idea putting the young mob on early, I could watch something else not seeing them make blatant mistakes or mishandling tools.
The small area garden was done so well by Geoff and could probably be repeated for the new gardeners.
What I like about Monty is his showing exactly what he is doing and why, fair enough he like myself  an old style gardener ready to learn as we all did last night with Carol's leaf curling, I had never seen that before and what a good idea for large plants instead of chopping the stems to a couple of leaves.
My sand bed will go on warm up next week end and the Tomato seed sown, the sweet pea seeds unchitted unsoaked will go in deep pots as Monty did last night and the whole pot full put into the ground when the time comes, I do not get show sweet peas but they show for months with a few more seeds sown as the young plants go in the ground.
Beans Peas Salad crops and carrots will all be started after Easter weekend and the Strawberries cleaned and sorted, in the North East spring comes late but then so does Autumn.


MOB rants

Posted: 16/03/2013 at 12:33

G/G. Joan as a bit of a joke at me retiring bought an expensive trowel and fork set with longer handles and blades. "Do not want you suffering back ache from bending do we" hm. I found it absolutely ideal for digging out bulbs when they went over but still had leaves to see where they were. Push down all round the bulb or clump and lift, I drop them all together into an old large pot fill it with compost and let them die down naturally in a sheltered corner, the bulbs can then be dried and bagged or just left and replanted the next year.
Another tip is to buy the pond baskets from a GC they come in all sizes and shapes, plat up the basket with bulbs, cram them in, sink in compost until ready then dig a hole and plant the basket complete, I do that for my Daughters, the baskets can then be lifted and left to die down naturally. It does not cost the earth as once bought they last years, the bulbs get a good start in shelter then instant flower garden. As with everything some planning ahead saves both time and money.

PS Yes G/G a rich and often colourful life none of which I would change though I do miss Joan..

MOB rants

Posted: 15/03/2013 at 22:33

My Mother taught me to cook because boys should be able to look after themselves. It was basic as rationing did mean you had to see what was there we had our own small holding and animals so never went hungry, bread was a basic and wash day with a hot steamy wash house was ideal for raising the dough.

Once we got away from base in the Desert fresh food lasted a day then it was all dry or tinned. No kitchen as such each section would look after their own food breakfast before sun up then an evening meal at sundown, to hot to eat in between. A soldier would cook the section meals but our lot dragooned me into doing all the cooking as it got me out of guard duties I got a nights sleep. The Officers of all the sections threw their rations in with our section and ate with us. I had a box of spices picked up in the Souk, we had dried everything from rice to fruit, Pom Dried Cabbage and of course Bully beef everything cooked on Benghazi burners.
My recovery truck would have fruit being re hydrated in water, cabbage being brought back to life all for the evening meal, which could be a curry, Panackelty, sheperds pie or any of many rice based concoctions and always a pudding. The Officers would wash all the tins as their input.
Three years at cookery when I retired gave me cake making and the one I really loved raised pies hand made. As with everything you make mistakes and learn from them now my Grandchildren want to come and eat here, well everyday if they could, now that does please me.


MOB rants

Posted: 15/03/2013 at 17:51

Tina in this family it is the girls who do not know where the kitchen is. Once staying with a Daughter I got a message saying "could you start dinner I will be home in an hour" Certainly what is it and where is it? "in the freezer it is the chicken you could start it off in the micro wave"??? When I recovered I went to the market and bought a cooked chicken and had everything ready when she came in. That was lovely how come your food is better than mine, there followed a lecture from me about chickens defrosting and micro waves, the dangers there off.
Their Mum was a brilliant cook it just did not rub off.


MOB rants

Posted: 15/03/2013 at 15:57

G/G, I did see the post that upset you and felt as you did, from experience on many boards from 2000 I did learn to leave those posts, not answering makes them angry at being ignored and in the end they vanish.

Tina you could rant at me all day, I would listen politely but my hand behind my back would have two fingers stuck up. Joking aside I am an old fashioned gent who was taught there are only Ladies in this world treat them as such. I am quite happy for a woman to be in her place!!! which is out of my kitchen. Daughters do not mind one bit, they demolish what comes out of it.


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