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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Pot bound house plant

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 14:00

It's many years since I did anything so drastic with my African Violet - and had forgotten about their temperament!  Good advice Alina.  I have found the leaves in a glass of water to produce roots more reliable for propogation btw.

Pot bound house plant

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 21:54

I have always found that spring is a perfect time to sort out houseplants.  Just as they need a bit more watering and feeding in spring, it is the time to re-pot as necessary. 

With three plants now a bit overcrowded in their pot, I would leave it for just a few more weeks, and then make sure that the compost is nice and damp.  Remove the complete rootball from the pot and gently tease out the roots.  (A bit of patience may be required here if they have grown into each other!).

Re-pot into separate pots, and place where each one will be happiest.  (South facing windows are generally too hot in summer, but reasonable levels of light and warmth will usually be OK).

My African violet does exceptionally well on a north-facing windowsill.  The other plants, I'm less sure of any specific requirements.

Unknown Beastie in the garden !!!

Posted: 10/02/2013 at 21:40

I agree with others - looks like the entrance to a rats' den.  I had just such a thing at the end of the garden near the "dalek" compost bins.  They had burrowed from the garden into the compost bin, creating a spiral run to the top where I added kitchen waste! 

I put down bait and dug the compost over.  Haven't seen Roland since - but no doubt he and his like are around . . . . . . somewhere!    

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 26/01/2013 at 17:05

Having had a beech hedge which took years to get rid of you will gather I'm not a fan!  They shed their leaves all in one go in the spring, grow at a rate of knots (I once planted a delphinium "in front" of the hedge - by the time it bloomed, it was inside it!)and they suck the moisture from the soil.  They are the devil to keep under control, and the trimmings take some getting rid of! 

What about considering a trellis fence with climbers?  Clematis Montana grows very fast - but is very tolerant of hard pruning after flowering, in my experience.  It's beautiful in flower. 

btw in Somerset we, too , have found it less cold, thank goodness.  But there's still a lot of snow on the moor! Rain predicted for tomorrow - but I have daffodils in bloom already and crocus in bud.  Spring is on the way, I hope.

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 18:05

Geoff - you know only too well that your expertise is respected on this board.  I think that Leorna read more into your post than was intended. 

For personal reasons I have been in the background on this board for a while.  I hope that it doesn't end up resembling the worst of the old Beeb nonsense!

So - come on guys - we don't need to take offense where none was intended.  I tried to offer advice based on personal experience.  That's be beauty of these boards - we offer advice that we have found works for us, even if it's not exactly textbook!


Pax!  Peace!  Shalom?????

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 17:44

Leorna - it depends on the variety (sorry not to have a simple answer!)  Rule of thumb that I use  is about two and a half times the size of the bulb for the depth of planting.  So - for the large daffs, that would probably be a lot deeper than the tulips.  But rockery daffs are smaller - so far less depth (if you see what I mean).

I think I would separate the daffs and tulips for now and see how things work.  Lift and store the bulbs for next year, and plant them a bit earlier, arranging the depth of planting according to the cultivar.  But - if you have unplanted bulbs now, it's a case of "nothing ventured, nothing gained".  In other words - doing nothing means the bulbs will wither and be no use next year.  Planting them now gives you at least a half-decent chance of getting some sort of a result!



Bad lawn

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 16:45

Do you have a local lawn maintenance company?  I was totally against going down this route - until a couple of years ago.  I found that the moss and weed were just such hard work that I would see if the local chaps could do anything.  Well - the lawn is now a lawn (as oppossed to a hopeful patch of grass) and the cost is cheaper than the cumulative costs of seed/weed/feed etc.  And a darned sight easier, physically, so for me it was a no brainer.  Maybe it would work for you?  (I know it wouldn't be right for everyone - but sometimes, it does pay to invest in a bit of expertise!)

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 16:40

Lead Farmer - let us all know how things turn out!  It's always interesting to learn from others' experiences.

For the record, my "saved" bulbs and corms have been planted into tubs in December.  There's a lot of healthy growth, and I am ever hopeful! 

I love the new shoots - they really are so promising.  Locally (in Minehead, Somerset) there are early-flowering daffs already in full bloom.  Now that's enough to brighten any dreary January day!!!


Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 16:20

Hi kins557:  best advice forall new owners of gardens is to make haste slowly!  You should wait to see what the roses are like - they may be "tired loooking" right now - but a bit of a good prune and a feed and you may be pleasantly surprised next summer.  If you do decide to replace them - don't plant new roses where old ones were situated - you need to find a competely new space for them.

Give it time for the new compost to come good, and any enrichment of the soil is bound to do it good. 


Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 15:07

I have found bulbs that have been overlooked in the past.  Plant them - now!  They will flower, albeit a bit later than it says on the packet.  But they should perform for the spring season - but will wither if you keep them unplanted.

Best advice after flowering is to dead-head them and then to give them a good foliar feed and allow the foliage to die down naturally.  Then lift and dry the bulbs (if you can't leave them where they are) and remember to plant them at a more appropriate time in the autumn!

Oh, and if you lift them and store for next season - it's quite a good idea to remove dried foliage and pop the bulbs into old tights/stockings and hang them up somewhere cool - the air can circulate, and they're out of the way in a cool garage, for example.  And don't forget to label them.  (If you can't remember the name, then label them as "pink/med. height/April" for example).  You may think you'll remember what they were.  But then, you may have a better memory than I have . . . . .



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