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Latest posts by SFord

Tiny garden plot

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 15:50

Dont forget to make your own bug houses - these can be wall/fence mounted approx 60cm high - so won't take up any valuable ground space!

Decorative Stones = Wet Garden

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 15:44

When you say laying stones, do you mean paving stones or gravel?

I have used the water permeable weed membrane topped with gravel which does the trick really well.  Any weeds that do seed are very easy to pick out.

One word of warning though, if you use a gravel which is quite small, dont be surprised if the local cat population look on it as their own personal litter tray!  Larger sized gravel should prevent this.

Another thing to consider - gravel is not particularly comfortable to walk around in bare feet in the summer (and also not pleasant especially if you have a cat problem - see paragraph above!!).  Believe me, I speak from personal experience! Eurgh! (I would say that I have two cats of my own - gravel has now been replaced with other materials!!!!

Spring Onions

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 15:02

I agree with others on White Lisbon.  There is also a similar variety to these but red and look fantastic sliced in salads - just got this variety from my local garden centre so pretty likely to be sold by the likes of Thompson and Morgan or others.

watering carrots that are growing in pipes

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 14:52

We grow all our carrots in a raised bed on the allotment but last year the hubby grew some in 'cores', embedded in bins of sharp sand (bin had drainage holes and we hollowed out 'cores' in the sharp sand and refilled with growing medium and sowed the carrot seeds).  Hubby had a bet with a friend about who could grow the longest carrot.  We watered from the top regularly (especially in the dry weather) and as the carrot grew, ensured that enough water was given to reach the bottom - we were pretty successful with long and very straight carrots. 

We used a growing mix featured in a Gardener's World segment with Joe Swift and a champion veg grower.  It appeared on the A-Z of Gardening so likely to be on YouTube if you want to have a look for it.

BTW - Hubby won and also won 1st and 2nd at our local produce show because they were so uniform and straight and a decent size - cant remember the variety - the same one as recommended on the programme. (my allotment carrots came 3rd! - they were the Rainbow variety).

Teach an Old Garden New Tricks???!

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 17:23

Hi  - I also have a manic dog but dont actually have any lawn.  Its a medium sized terrace garden and I have designed it to consist of deep shaped borders surrounding paved stone circle, path leading to decking, stepping up onto a patio etc.  The borders are deep and well stocked so the garden is very green and doesnt look sterile at all and the hard landscaping and seating areas mean that you move through the garden and dont really notice any lawn.

Hubby's only proviso with no lawn was that he had an area to sunbathe so there is some decking (with a very large palm tree growing through it) where he can set up his deckchair!





New allotment OMG...

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 17:05

Congrats - I agree with GWRS about clearing a small bit first to start growing some manageable crops so you can appreciate some veg/salad fairly quickly, all the while planning about where you want beds/paths/sheds etc.

We did this with our allotment for the first year (growing salad crops, spring onions, runner beans and beetroot etc, and only in our second year finished making the beds and also a planting plan of what was going to go where.

Good luck!  Just need this weather to improve now, its getting boring!

Plant ID please

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 13:47

I can confirm that Loostrife can grow/flourish in a dry, south facing garden.  I inadvertendly introduced some into my garden on a plant that was given to me and haven't been able to get rid of the darn things since!  They re-seed everywhere!  However, easy enough to pull up and get rid of!  Good points are that it does look fairly attractive and the insects and bees love it

Kitchen Garden

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 08:19

You can use small seed trays and plant varieties of lettuce and 'cut and come again' varieties and grow them on the windowsill now, cutting them as needed.  One of my essentials each year is to grow peas for their shoots.  Any old container will do (last year I used a couple of butler sinks and a couple of polystyrene boxes),  sow the peas fairly close together and wait.  Cut the shoots for salads and stir frys.  Sow a new batch every 3 weeks or so to ensure an ongoing supply, each batch will last for at least 2-3 cuttings.  I cant see any reason why this couldn't be done inside.  Also try rocket, basil (lots of varieties avaialble - dont over-water), mint, corriander and don't forget chillis and peppers etc!  Good luck!

christmas cactus wont flower

Posted: 20/12/2013 at 08:25

My friend gifted me a tiny christmas cactus a couple of years ago and now its HUGE!  Its in my conservatory (very light and with full sun and very hot in the summer) and when the heating is off overnight in winter it does get cold.  However, the flowers on it earlier this year were absolutely spectatular and lasted a good few months (it did not flower at Christmas though, more like March!).  I stand it in a bowl of water for about a hour, once a week or when I remember.  The only problem I have is with red spider mite, but other than that, it doesnt really seem bothered by my general neglect!

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 25/10/2013 at 09:54

Will definately grow Munchen Bier again - although in a different place, didnt realise how tall they grew!  Great to eat a handful at work as a snack or in a salad.

Other successes, red salad onions, climbing french beans, beetroot and multicoloured carrots (sorry, cant remember varieties)

Tenderstem broccoli a disappointment this year but definately trying again as last year it was fab.

Will officially give up on Butternut squash now.  Have tried it for three years on the trot.  Plants healthy and produce lots of squashes (up to 25 on one plant!) which I faithtfully prop on tiles or stones to ensure they don't lie on damp soil but every year, without fail, they rot from the bottom upwards and the whole lot has to come out. Thats it, am done with them!

Discussions started by SFord


Woodlice are finding my strawberries tasty! 
Replies: 10    Views: 405
Last Post: 28/05/2014 at 05:41

Dream Potting Shed

What would you include? 
Replies: 21    Views: 1613
Last Post: 08/09/2013 at 19:13

Talkback: Carnivorous plant pot display

I bought a carniverous plant (trumpet pitcher) as an 'experiment' earlier this year and keep it in my conservatory. It obviously loves wher... 
Replies: 0    Views: 330
Last Post: 20/01/2012 at 10:08
3 threads returned