Latest posts by Palaisglide

Pump for waterbutt

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 12:54

You could do what we did in the army to transfer fluids (petrol or water). Drop a bit of hose in the butt and suck, then drop it in the can. It worked for me though it took time to get the taste of petrol out of the mouth. As for water out of the butt it would never be as bad as some we had to drink in Desert conditions. I still say fit a tap at the base and lift onto bricks?


Monty's watering advice

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 12:45

Hi David, that with respect would not be with tongue in cheek I hope? Reading so many posts from new gardeners who plant with the hope of success and then fail breaks my heart, we have all been there though many of us came up through years of the old style gardening they did not. Years of decks grass playing fields for the children and those stupid garden make overs in a day gave the wrong impression. How do you tell someone that their new build lawn six inches of soil on a solid clay pan with thin rolls of grass will never be a bowling green. How can they know that GC's will sell them plants that need tender loving care to survive, time lots of young working house holders do not have. You will notice my posts are few and far apart now because they do not want to hear of the back break and the heart break gardening can bring before we reach the top. The gardening programmes do good though some jump on any bandwagon passing making it look easy when we old hands know it is not. Monty probably knows he will fail with some projects, that is gardening, I have a few failures, part of the process, the art is to learn from it, for new gardeners, it is not easy, there are no short cuts. My motto do it right, do it once.


Monty's watering advice

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 11:47

Monty for me in his own way deliberately way tries things that may work or not, it is saying the new gardeners try, it may work for you though we have all made huge mistakes and learned from them. The wild flower meadow? He did admit to failure, over the years other presenters have not. Hot boxes being brought up with them and knowing how they work methinks that will be fail too, hot boxes need time to heat up, ours would be assembled in February and the melon amongst everything else would go on in late May here in the NE. Dad's motto if you cannot eat it or sell it do not bother. Watering he is right my way for the large pots is a full can once a week, smaller pots half a can twice a week and little pots daily, I push a finger in, if it comes out dry water, also look at the leaves they show if they are stressed then water. The hose fills cans, four buckets and anything else I can find. Putting the water exactly where needed is better than a general sprinkle that barely wets the soil. I like Monty though as with all so called experts a pinch of salt is oft needed.


An invasion of you forum lot's privacy...

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 14:04

Having signed the official secrets act several times it would probably get me shot at dawn putting a photo on here. Besides that much like the Lernaean Hydra of lake  Argolip each selfy some how produces two heads? Cut one off (the photo) two more grow. Apart from that any one looking at me will turn to stone hence my large rockery .

Sorry folks better opt out.



Posted: 14/06/2015 at 17:04

The hot part of the hot bed is the raw manure. We started one every spring to get a good start, a large wooden box, very large, then a bale of fresh straw in the base, our own manure piled in and spread then another bale of straw. It would be topped with garden soil and the plants seed trays and anything needing heat stacked on the top, the heat this gives off is unbeleivable. You could use thin layers of grass cuttings plus anything you would put in the compost, we had straw and manure finding it worked well. After use and left the stuff coming out by now compost went on the potato patch for next year, nothing wasted, green before greens were invented, the old ways are still best.



Posted: 14/06/2015 at 00:30

Depends on the hard core. At one time we started with hard core under lawns as drainage, broken brick as a rule with maybe a layer of gravel then top soil and the grass. That has gone it seems, most new builds get six inches of soil on a hard pan and the grass rolled out on that. To us old gardeners it has no chance though some prevail. If you have loose hard core or can loosen it up for free draining then there is a chance it would be OK. If it is solid then it must come out. Most will say take it out, I would try to loosen it up first.

I should have said if it is concrete then it must come out


Pump for waterbutt

Posted: 14/06/2015 at 00:17

Before fitting a tap to the base of the butt and raising it on bricks to fill cans easily I used the pump off an old washing machine, easily modified and there was electricity near. It worked dropping a feed pipe into the butt the out let in the can and switching on. It worked too well, it could empty the butt in seconds hence the fitting of the tap, easily done and sealed, the over excited pump got dumped, we live and learn, but then I am an engineer, we never learn to stop tinkering. Plus of course H and S would faint with horror, what do they know?



Posted: 14/06/2015 at 00:05

My greenhouse is wall mounted and faces South. There is fairly heavy staging on the wall side then shelves above as part of it is a warming cable sand bed. I use only pots on the floor with trays and pots under the staging which can be turned daily and they get plenty of direct light. The other side is gravel and at the moment crowded with tomato's etc. some will be moving outside to a sheltered sunny spot. Above them there are more shelves, they need watching as the pots get direct sunlight so get moved around thE g/house. I also have two light aluminium stagings for that side and move them out for summer filling them with pots outside of the conservatory, I can sit in there with a colourful display outside to look at. In winter they go back in the greenhouse and filled with pots also under the stagings. With cold frames the maximum use can be made of the space, I do not do any other work as I pot on and sow on my bench in the garage thus leaving the greenhouse fit for purpose, to bring on plants only.

hope this helps, Frank

Rose advice

Posted: 01/06/2015 at 14:17

Cathy, like babies they need feed water and keeping clean. First check the plant is not pot bound drop it out of the pot and check root ball does not fill the pot tightly or the roots at the bottom are not curling tightly. If all ok then put it back in the pot water feed wIth a rose feed and leave. Should it need repotting only go slightly bigger a couple of inches. Clear some of the old soil from the root ball and pull some of the bottom roots free, repot with fresh compost around the root ball water well and leave.

Pruning is done in Autumn or spring, I cut about a third off the top of the plant in Autumn then prune to a bud in Spring removing any in growing or weak growth. Feed around every six weeks through summer, do not feed once dormant in winter though check the pot is not dry. Hope this helps.


Epsom salt

Posted: 01/06/2015 at 11:42

Working at ICI you picked up all kinds of useless knowledge .

MgSO4 Epsom salts, magnesium sulfer ( sulphur ) oxygen. Good for potato's tomato's roses carrots peppers even fruit trees, it is a trace element of chlorophyll  and takes in moisture from air hence the good effect it has on green leaves. It does not alter the PH of soil, only affecting the leaves of acid loving plants, as with all things there are a few myths connected to it.

Topping up my tomato pots every few weeks with good compost a spray with Epsom salts does wonders, easily soluble in water two tablespoons to a large watering can does the job.


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