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Latest posts by Palaisglide

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.

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.


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