Latest posts by Palaisglide

starting a new garden

Posted: 15/03/2017 at 10:15

Kev, clay can be hard work and you will get many ideas for making it lighter but my way is this. Stop looking at it as one whole section. Decide what you wish to grow. Either buy or grow your own plants and then plant them. Do this as a separate entity. Dig a hole larger and deeper than the pot, put plenty of grit in the base and bring to the correct height with good compost, put the plant in the hole and back fill with a mix of what you dug out and compost mixed then water in.

The idea of making the whole garden friable will take years planting as each separate item takes little time but works as in time the whole garden will get the treatment. A friend of mine lived with solid clay and had a good garden in the end by doing things that way.

For vegetables make a slightly raised bed so that a good compost can be spread on only the sections you need to grow in this will in time become friable as the compost works down into the clay, that is where occasional double digging comes into its own.

For the rest one of the suggestions above is good make a rough green waste mulch, a shredder comes in handy, spread that over the sections not planted up and let the worms do the rest. It is a long term project as is all gardening but killing yourself trying to make the whole area good at the same time will put you off gardening for life. Fancy pots full of flowering plants trays or any container put on the bald sections will give colour and can be moved about mean while your planted up areas will come good given time. Good luck.


Soil-based peat free compost

Posted: 14/03/2017 at 11:30

Hostafan, There are some people in this world who see things from a high pedestal. We must all live this way or the world will end. It has existed for eons and pottered along the same old way until suddenly those people appeared. On the news last night it showed children dying from lack of water and food and the figures are mind blowing, I saw such sights sixty years ago and thought things would be much better, now they are now much worse after Politicians have interfered then left the mess. I wonder how some people can close their eyes to what their so called saving the world from itself can do for so many others.

My time is over having seen fads come and go and nothing really changing for the better I will leave it to the youngsters, when they reach the age I am now things may have got better though I doubt it.

second rant over i will stop now.


Soil-based peat free compost

Posted: 14/03/2017 at 10:17

Hostafan, the answer is that after reducing our peat supply to nil putting people out of work and closing some industries they now import it from Eastern Europe. It is still the best seed medium and the big plant growing firms still use it by the ton. It appears others take advantage of any bans put on and they can manage to circumvent the ban but it costs. 

The result for us gardeners is a very poor type of potting soil from so called green plants where it is heated to higher temperatures than we can manage in our Compost bins then bagged complete with sticks stones plastic and anything else that gets in the mix.

I riddle the compost removing extraneous matter then mix it with washed sand and grit. One third compost one third sand one third grit for seeds. One half compost and one half sand and grit mixed for potting seedlings then two thirds compost and one third sand and grit for potting on, it has worked for me for donkeys years but I much preferred peat it is what I grew up with.

Rant Over.


Last edited: 14 March 2017 10:19:11

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 13/03/2017 at 11:48

Hi Guernsey, nearest I got was Jersey a wonderful holiday, my wife booked it fly from Teesside direct, that never happened. Jet Teesside to Gatwick then on to Jersey in something I think they knocked together in a shed, never been so glad to get off a plane in one piece and I been on some real beaut's.

Got up to lovely sunshine and blue skies, the coastal weather front was well inland, it apparently did not like inland so it is back overhead blocking out the sun. Cannot win them all.


Gardeners' World

Posted: 13/03/2017 at 11:24

How attitudes change, way back my Dad a real old style Gardener made his own sprays for various uses, Bourdeaux Mixture which was copper sulphate and slaked lime, sprays of soap mixtures his own invention, slaked lime on the soil where brassicas were to be grown and torching, going round at night with a bucket and picking slugs and snails off the plants. After the war there was a severe shortage of food, things were rationed that had not been during the war that went on into the 50's. The idea then was the same amount of land growing much more produce hence the Chemical explosion. You cannot blame Farmers and Gardeners who 'saw the increase in foodstuff from the same acreage but had no idea it was lethal. I personally saw DDT sprayed on people coming off boats from Europe, luckily I was the man on the machine gun well back from the noxious clouds of dust the other lads were puffing over everybody, we had no idea though I knew it could not be good standing there for hours in clouds of the stuff. Farmers were rewarded  for producing more by any means people needed food, those who raised voices against it declared weirdoes'. PT was giving out the message we all took for granted at the time, you must remember the UK had been importing a large percentage of the food we ate from even the first world war and suddenly it was not there. I saw hedge rows torn out woods chopped down for extra land to grow food and that was PT's generation.

I read an article this week where to feed the mass of people on this earth we have to go back to chemical agriculture, Organic growing takes up too much extra land and costs too much extra for the very poor struggling to eat, where do we go from here then.


Ultimate Alphabet 'R'

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 13:34

Rustic names of Plants, you may not know most of these, I grew up with them.

Regal lily, Rosa Mundi, Rose of Sharon, Rue, Rain Daisy, Red Hot Poker, Red Hot Cats Tail, Rouen, Rose of Sharon, Reflexed Stonecrop and many more now renamed and reclassified and not forgetting Rhubarb.


Lunch arrived already cooked today so I am replete with a well cooked repast and may refrain from eating the Rice pudding until later.

Ultimate Alphabet 'R'

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 12:14

Rampage rapidly and ravage recklessly ready to reign responsably this rabid region.


Gardeners' World

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 11:27

Paul, at times it is not even relevent to us old timers who gardened from a time producing food was more needed than growing flowers though we did. Having watched garden programmes from the earliest ones where dressed in Sunday best complete with tie cuff links and jacket they would proceed to double dig a vegetable plot, it was not the way we did things. GW does show beginners various beginners needs, Carol with her cuttings and potting, Monty seed sowing pruning how to plant out which is an art not dig a hole and drop it in, Beth Chatto's right plant right place. Some of it is eye candy to make our mouths water some instructional as any ballanced programme should be. What I see is suddenly people with an open space have decided naff decking paves and gravels cover area's that could produce food. Be it a vegetable patch raied beds or even buckets and boxes surely that is a better way.

Only my opinion Paul among the many you will read on here but "hey" we are all entitled to one.


Is this fair?

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 10:41

While eating my Porridge this morning complete with hedge row compote I cast my thoughts to that dastardly Chocolate thief who was by then doing Porridge. As my old Sergeant used to say, the punishment is not for what you did it is for getting caught. Wise words I took to heart and forever covered my tracks from then on. Take a tip from an old hand Verdun, never admit to anything even if they catch you covered in chocolate, tell them you are a messy cocoa drinker.


Gardeners' World

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 10:33

Agree with Obelixx, Joe Swift is the epitome of how not to do it especially for beginners. Monty explained he was showing us how he pruned his Grapes because he got it wrong last year, he like most of us admits their mistakes we all make them. The Beth Chatto section for me was wonderful but then I always did like her approach to gardening which was her trade, those of us who have to earn a living outside of the garden can only take parts and shape them to our own needs or wants.

GW for me is about right, the mix of sections nicely weighed and I agree Monty goes with what the weather is like on the day as we all would, there will be a plan A and B probably a C in case they are snowed in on the day, I know that setting up the gear, the preparation the rehearsals and retakes take hours then you move locations and do it all again well we did, it took hours. Give the technicians their due plus the Producers and Directors don't forget the interviewers, it takes a full team many hours to put your half hour on Screen I think they do a good job.


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