Latest posts by Palaisglide

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.

Is it too late...

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 09:23

Foodie40, Rain, the best time to move them, we are sitting in bright sunshine in the Northeast. Most plants can be moved at any time if you prepare. Decide where it is going and prepare the new position first. Then dig as big a root ball as you can manage lift the plant clean it up, loose leaves or debris then replant and yes even in the rain put a half can of water on it to settle the roots. Polyanthus need sun, the fern partial sun  and I grow the Japanese anemone in the worst bit of ground I have stony dry and part paved so it cannot creep but it does, the slightest bit of root left in the ground will grow again.

Good luck, Frank.


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.


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