Latest posts by Palaisglide


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.


Planting tomatoes outside, how tall should they be?

Posted: 29/05/2015 at 10:48

I live in Stockton and the outdoor plants can go out now, we should not get another frost, fingers crossed. You say a balcony, fasten a wind shield to the rail on the prevalent side and have some fleece to cover lightly on very cold days. Mix some compost with granular fertiliser and dress the top of the pot, water in. Use tomato fertiliser when the first fruits set. I have a greenhouse for the main crop but have outdoor plants too, with some shelter they always crop well, the grandchildren love to pick them straight from the bush.


re-using compost in containers

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 16:12

If you have some home made compost take of the top of the container and mix some in with a little organic fertiliser then put it back. You should get a season of salad crop, cut and come again or small roots, it is what I have done for years, it works for me.


Securing an unstable dry stone wall?

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 16:06

My point in my earlier post was to sort out the child's safety and keeping a young child back from an unsafe wall would be my first action, then sort out who is responsible. A few posts and possibly chicken wire is the quickest and cheapest way. Be safe not sorry.


Favourite gardening activity

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 16:00

Sitting on the recliner with a glass in my hand after a busy morning, at my age you pace yourself. There is a lovely sheltered sun tra p at the bottom end you can disappear from the world for a while.


How can I move mature shrubs

Posted: 27/05/2015 at 14:40

Moved mature plants many times in all seasons, moving them now gives them warm months to settle and regrow. Always did the circle, no harder than just digging out. Water well first, trim off any loose growth or reduce the plant without killing it. Have the hole prepared then get it onto a plastic bag and drag it to the new position. Bed it in usually at the same root height it was before and water well for a week or so. It always worked for me, some of the mature shrubs have been all over the garden and still going strong.


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