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Latest posts by Pete8

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Flippin' pigeons

Posted: Today at 09:42

I also loathe these flying rats. I have a beautiful mature acer in my front garden and the bu**ers snap twigs off for their nests. As they breed all year, that's a lot of twigs and my beautiful tree has lots of holes in it now.
I researched ways of preventing this damage, but from all I read, they're are basically x number of pigeons per acre or whatever. If you kill 100 of them, 100 from elsewhere will take up the slack. When I moved here 30yrs ago, there were some pigeons, now they are everywhere  as are their piles of droppings.
Short of a major cull - of which I would be a big fan - there's not much that can be done, sadly.

Plant detective needed!

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 15:28

I'd also say aquilegia. Some of mine will be in flower very soon.
Is it a single plant, or are they a load of self-sown seedlings?
If they're seedlings, I'd say sort them into individuals and transplant them soon as you can. They're not keen on being disturbed once they're settled. They may not flower until later in the year, or you may have to wait for next year. They're lovely in the spring and disappear during the summer so other plants can take over.

Growing tomatoes indoors

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 10:48

I very much agree with Italophile and Dove.
As said, it's a lack of light which is due to the time of year that's making them spindly. Best time to sow is mid-march-mid April i.e. after the equinox.
Leave the top off the box as much as possible to allow fresh air and more light.
I've done similar to you in previous years, and you may find that with spindly plants the first truss of toms forms about 3'- 4' from the ground and the thin stalk may not be able to support the weight of fruit.
I'd be tempted to buy a few plants when they available to grow alongside your plants, just in case.
One of the best performers I find are the tumbling toms. Just one plant in a hanging basket facing south produces an amazing amount of toms - I've had well over 100 from a single plant in an ordinary hanging basket, and they're usually ready to pick from late July.
Take note of the feeding schedule though. Don't feed tomato fertilizer until the first tiny toms form on the truss. Before this time the plants are in a vegatitive state and do not need the nutrients in tomato fert.
Good luck

Plant 2

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 20:52

At first I thought of salvia, but the bigger pic does look quite hydrangea 
wait and see..

Eucalyptus gunnii

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 09:02

I planted a gunii about 20 yrs ago at about 3'

5 yrs ago I had 50' removed from the top which cost £650
Then it started growing sideways and upward with even more vigor.
I finally had it removed to the ground last year when once again it had reached nearly 100'
The final cut cost £1100 - the tree cost about £1.99
Be warned!
Good luck

plant ID please

Posted: 09/04/2014 at 09:39

Looks a lot the oregano that I have growing in every crack and crevice in my garden. About the same size too. But there are several other similar looking herbs

lemon grass

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:56

Generally with seedlings, when the first true leaves appear, it's time to pot them up. With lemon grass, over time the older stalks die-off (or get used) and new ones appear and they form quite a good clump. I can probably get 10-12 stalks/year per 10" pot.

Never grown them from seed. I buy some from a supermarket, pop em in a glass with some water,wait for the roots to grow then pot them up.
I've kept a few 10" pots of lemon grass going for years. You can also divide the clumps in the spring.
We don't really get lemon grass weather here, so they spend the winter months in an unheated bedroom, but they still require water quite often.
The results are OK, but no better.
There are a few new shoots appearing now, but I often find that even over the course of spring/summer/autumn I don't really get the thick stalks that you get in the supermarket, nor are they as lemony, but still work really well in Thai, Malaysian etc cooking. Save the long leaves they make a lovely cuppa.
Good luck!

Seed Packet Design

Posted: 05/04/2014 at 16:57

I ordered petunia seed from T&M for the last few yrs - the seed arrived loose in the big packet - no inner foil packet. Supposedly there were 25 seeds in the packet.
I always wonder how on earth they measure out these minute seeds??
I ordered from Mr Fothergill this yr and the seed arrived in a small vial - same petunias, double the amount of seed and cheaper.

When I were a lad, it was easy to peel open the top of the packet, but I guess these days it's all hermetically sealed - what they call progress I suppose...
These days I wiggle a small paring knife into the overfold gap at the top and slice the top open.

Grow bags

Posted: 05/04/2014 at 16:48

May be worth a look at 'creative garden ideas' or CPL as they were.
They do bulk offers sometimes.
I usually get my seed/potting compost delivered free from them as it's cheaper than a lot of places.
B&Q Levington is in 50L bags, CPL comes in 70L bags
Can't suggest which grobag is best as I usually mix my own.

Amelanchier lamarckii

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 10:37

They are lovely trees/shrubs, but you need to keep them in check if you have limited space.
The flowers will be followed by fruits loved by birds and in autumn the foliage turns beautiful shades of red/orange.
The flowers on mine look as if they'll be open in a few days.

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