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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:06

Well, I was right, and we sent our rain across the country.  But it is now dry, the sun is shining, although it is rather windy.  So hopefully the weather in central and eastern parts will gradually improve, too.

Janet 4 - thanks for the info.  We are making no headway in the moving lark, since the housing market seems to have stalled, and there is very little interest being shown atm.  It hasn't helped that Porlock has had some building work and a new relief road built, so it has looked like a building site!  Oh, well, perhaps it'll settle down and if we get some better weather, people will think more readily about moving.  Until then - we're rather stuck waiting for things to happen this end before we can seriously put in an offer on anything in Tiverton

sweet williams

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:01

Gardeningfantic - if you set seed this year, then you can look forward to blooms next year.  So be patient, nurture you little plants, even if they seem a bit on the weak side, and, fingers crossed, you'll be well rewarded this time next year.

Perhaps I confused things by referring to my "last year's plants" - by that I meant they had been sown in 2010, bloomed pretty well in 2011 and are going strong now in 2012.  But I wouldn't expect much from them next year.


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 15:56

I'm not sure that I would put them under a cloche now.  Although the temperatures have been pretty low, the wind will strengthen the roots if they aren't staked and the rain will do them good.  They will be checked a little in growth when it is cool, but should pick up pretty quickly in the warm.

Hope that helps.

sweet williams

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 12:23

As sotongeoff says, they are usually treated as biennial.  However, I remember my mother having them in her garden, and not planting freshly each year, so I have experimented.  This year, I have a wonderful display, and they are last year's plants.  I suspect that two years (or three at a stretch) is the most you can get out of them, so I shall renew the plants next time.  But I don't think they would be suitable for dividing.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:51

It's chucking it down.  And the rain is moving east, so we'll share this cold, wet misery with as many of you as we can

Talkback: Unpleasant plant smells

Posted: 04/06/2012 at 17:51

There can be nothing worse imo than privet flowers.  They smell like cats wee, and it is particularly sickly on a warm day.  Needless to say, I have no privet hedges in my garden!


Posted: 04/06/2012 at 17:48

Have you inspected the roots?  It could be that they have been waterlogged, even though you say they look as if they need water.  Waterlogging would cause the roots to rot.

The other possible culprit is the dreaded vine weevil - the grubs, which look like white "C" shapes with a brown head, eat the roots, and plants will suddenly keel over.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/06/2012 at 11:18

Sunshine and clouds - and it looks as if the sun will win the battle today.  At least it's dry, although quite a bit cooler.  I felt sorry for everyone watching the pageant in London yesterday - we had a bit of rain late afternoon, but nothing like the soaking in the capital.

Autumn sown sweet peas

Posted: 03/06/2012 at 19:18

Mine are blooming now (sown last autumn) and I look forward to many pickings, and the wonderful perfume in the house.  They are planted in very deep troughs, with lots of compost added, which seems to suit them.


Posted: 03/06/2012 at 19:12

It sounds like a classic case of cold temperatures.  Cold can cause the leaves to turn white.  It may delay plant growth, but, providing the temperatures pick up and return to normal, it ought not to prevent further development. I presume, of course, that the plants that you bought as well as the ones that you raised from seed, had been hardened off before being planted out.  If not, then the cold would have been the result of temperature shock.

With regard to "pinching out"tomatoes - it all depends on the type of tomato that you are growing.  Those which are best trained to prevent them from using up their energy in side shoots, should have the shoots that develop where leaves branch from the main stem removed.  Bush varieties can be allowed to develop naturally.  (I find that such tomatoes, Gardeners' Delight, for example, benefit from a bit of training at the outset, so that side shoots are removed, and allowed to develop naturally later;  this makes it easier to ensure that watering reaches the roots and splashing of lower leaves is less likely.  Others may disagree:  gardening is not an exact science!).


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