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Roger Brook


Latest posts by Roger Brook

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Add Ash to Soil ??

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 14:37

Of course you can use it after it has burnt, what is the world coming to when people imagine a burnt fence will be toxic! Mind you the ashes will be next to useless as timber has very little nutrient content as compared to for example burning smaller branches and twigs.

I burn quite a few fires and extinguish them with water not letting the the fire 'burn through'. That way I get lovely black charcoal which will improve the physical structure of the soil- as well as retaining the potash and lime that wood ash contains. Google biochar to find out more

The Mystery of NPK

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 17:28

I used to collect seaweed down on the beach at Seaton Carew when I was a kid sixty years ago. Excellent stuff.

Calcified sea weed is a superb product but It's not right to scrape up the ocean floor causing untold damage just for the garden!

Small tree stump in ground

Posted: 21/02/2014 at 17:10

I never dig stumps out and I have never had any problems- but then I am a no digger!

I have recently been reading about hugelkultur where people actually bury logs or create raised beds of wood covered by soil. It's quite fascinating and the rotting wood over the years creates wonderful 'organic' soil!

 

Rhododendron

Posted: 13/02/2014 at 17:33

You will get lots of helpful advice in this forum - and there are many possible reasons for your drooping leaves (even if it is actually anything wrong at all sometimes leaves do point down)

Is there any chance your plant is getting too much water and the drainage of the pot is not too good?

Rose Pruning

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 15:01

An expert rose grower once told me "you can prune them hard, you can prune them light, you can prune them early, you can prune them late, they will still flower!"

 

What can I start sowing now in an unheated greenhouse

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 21:43

I am with nutty cutlet and that some hardy plants might not get their necessary winter cold. Many gardeners get seed from the hardy plant society, alpine garden society, Scottish rock garden society and many of the seeds  can be sown in a cold greenhouse on arrival. Things like hardy cyclamen and hellebores need that chill!

When seed germinates in a cold greenhouse with natural sunlight it is rarely 'forced' as is the unhealthy growth in February often suffered  by those gardeners who heat their greenhouse.

Overwintering lilies

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 21:27

Don't worry about the dead stems KT they will do no harm. Cut them back with the secateurs if you want.

Surprised  no one had suggested back in Autumn popping them in the ground to   naturalise. 

Baby bulbs are a bonus. When transplanting lilies I am always happy to pop them in around the parent bulbs to bulk up and give future flowers a year to two hence!

What 2 plants would you put together in the herbaceous/perennial border?

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 23:57

Brodea amongst agapanthus will fool every body but it works!

A colleague naturalised hardy cyclamen amongst golden creeping Jenny.I have my doubts, but she liked it.

Lawn revival got me thinking

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 16:53

I confess to being rather precious with my own lawn and am old fashioned enough to think it is important to have a nice one to set off the much more important garden plants. In another life I would love to make an ecological lawn but for many gardeners a weedy lawn is just an excuse for neglect.

If it might give Red Dahlia hope I have seen many beautiful lawns achieved just by regular mowing and careful management. I am featuring my friend Peter's lawn on my blog this Wednesday. It was never sown or turfed, he just mowed- and fertilised, controlled weeds and things!

I do like Higgy's lawn!

Cleome - garden revival

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 15:36

Lyn's advice is spot on. Sow them in a cold greenhouse in April. I seem to remember I potted mine in small plastic pots and planted them out in early May.

They are fantastic,. Don't be put off by Bex's bad experience- if I had cabbage white on them  I did not notice and I always have lots of butterflies

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