London (change)
Today 28°C / 18°C
Tomorrow 27°C / 17°C


Latest posts by SMOKIN DONKEY


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 20:24


Firstly small apples falling all over the place is a sure sign your tree has to much fruit on it and the falling cooking apples are a sign of the tree's fruit not being thined out.

you'll soon see what im talking about when high winds appear and you've a grass area full of apples,

Also the branch will snap because of the weight of the fruit,

thin out the fruit when its young and the remaining fruit will be of a good cooking size with its full body firm.

You can buy an extending apple picker to help you thin the apples out from the ground,

But as you'll need ladders to prune and remove crossing branch's you can thin out via the use of a ladder.

I have two cooking apple tree's that really are old ones and i find even with good size apples ive far to much for my own needs so do as i do and thin out your fruit

And have only the best fruit the tree can supply.

New house, new garden, total newbie

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 20:09

My advice isn't whats been said so far,

You have to firstly ask yourself how much time do you want to spend gardening ?

Take into account the weather, ie you cant just say i'll garden every weekend and then come the week end it's just not gardening weather at all,

You say your a new person to gardening and as an older gardener who's now retired and gardens all day most days i can tell you three things that kill off a lot of people who think they want to garden,

(1) Patience "you really do need a lot of it, good gardens dont just happen "they're a well thought out plan and because we need certain conditions for verious seeds/ plants /shrubs to grow ie type of soil's for different plants, type of weather type of feeding etc etc ,

All this is wasted if all fails due to lack of patience.

(2) Understanding how your chosen  plants/flowers etc grow, what possition they need ie sun/shade/ woodland conditions etc

in other words do your home work read up on the subjects you'd like to grow and be ready in time to take the first step in growing knowing what your doing.

(3) Not trying to run before you can walk, "Dont take on to much at once,

Time is a very big factor in any form of a hobby, And gardening needs lots of it,

Mother nature wont stop weeds growing because you've not  been able to garden this week because it rained over your time off from work,

So again know how to slow weeds down!!

how to give yourself  a chance before it all gets to much,

Better to grow a few well grown shrubs /plants than to have your own home made jungle "because you took to much on,

Use the verious tools and machine's to help both speed up the task and help you not feel like your dead by the end of the days gardening "aches and pain are all part of gardening.

For myself the end of the day just sitting on the bench looking at the garden and all it has to offer is the best time of the day for me and my dog.

Good luck and welcome to gardening.

black fly and Green fly

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 18:58

I'd look a lot further ahead, ie next years greenhouse sowings etc

by this i mean start off before any seeds /plants even go into the greenhouse to do three things and keep these three things going,

(1) give the greenhouse a clean using "Jays fluid" this is all the greenhouse  "glass frame of the greenhouse and all seed trays /pot and tools you use in the greenhouse, And use a smoke grenade to get in the places you cant even see.

(2) only use clean compost in the greenhouse ie its a breeding ground for bacteria and insects (as you've found out)

I myself inspite of having three good compost heaps on the go "only use bought vacuumed packed compost" It's as clean as your going to get.

(3) Make sure the bought plants etc are from a good gardencentre, ie if you just buy and put the bought plants in the greenhouse you could be bringing in plants that already have the eggs etc on them,

I use tagetes in my greenhouse and have done for many years and have done all ive listed i dont have problems that your having.


PS I should have said, you can also use a nylon netting to cover window openings and the doorway opening if you finr a need to leave these open during hot weather,



Posted: 23/08/2013 at 12:56

Maybe its me and im not sorry "But all this american stuff is just not cricket in my mind from base ball caps, / hoodies and using that word "guy's"

Every other sentence,

My brother in-law moved to the states 18 years ago as a quiet sort of lad "now" you hear him long before you see him, he's more american than Mc Donalds,

He's three times the size he should be and thinks it's the right thing to do to complain when he eats out,

Base ball caps & hoodies and using the word guys for me is a sudden attack of going deaf.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:45

After  yesterdays question about statues i was thinking about some of the things ive seen here used as plant holders  such as a bath outside one farm house front window,

But the one the sticks out "and its still there today is a toilet, full of flowers and sitting under the post box at the end of this little cottages path, its even got a loo roll holder fixed to the fence,

On the little old wooden gate is a picture of a cat with the beware of "loulou" she'll lick you to death.

Can anyone beat that for a statement?


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 22:27

Thats a nice ending and im pleased your ok,

I dont honestly miss the uk and thats the truth, Here we do get a summer and we do have a chance with the bills, ie rates a lot cheaper, no road tax, and if you burn wood as part of your heating at least you can buy it "now" at todays prices for future use

you can't do that with the gas bourd or electric bourd in the uk.

Even my car insurance is cheaper here because im not insured via post codes.

We've not used any heating for months and again this is a saving and helps in the house hold budget.

As ive said before we dont have any crime except the drink drivers and litter just isn't there even after the weekly open market.

Its a nice place to live if you like the quiet life "so anyone thinking of coming here to retire all i can say is it's worked for us and a few other people.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 22:15

Hi and thanks for your help,

KT53? I nearly bought an old red telephone box to put outside the driveway gates but the cost of the box and transport put me off,

But so far the lions are in front they'll be put at the roman end of the pool,



Posted: 22/08/2013 at 19:30

I at last found a place here that has the large lions laying down (approx 2 feet high & 4 feet long, solid "concrete" and ver heavy,

Ive really fallen for two of these,

While i was inspecting these two my wife said come and see what ive found,

A male statue "nude" its called the thinker,

who the hell would want such a statue "hanging about the Lawn"  (excuse the pun)

I'd like your thoughts on this subject, would you like to spend your days looking at the thinker with all his bits on display, or a creature of pure leadership, mustle, no fear shown (and both have parts if thats what your after) ?

Replies please as soon as poss as i have to order the statue and wait for delivery.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 19:14

If you apply fertilizer to dry compost or soil your not doing the plants any good infact rather than feeding the plants it's the opposit re-action,

Its exactly the problem people are having by feeding their lawns on dry ground, the grass is burnt and bald patches appear in no time,

Grass is just a plant like a flower is a plant.

Not all plants like a lot of feed and like poorer conditions to thrive such as Lavender,

I was told many years ago feed little but offten and it works.

Ive said this time & time again, do your home work ref what you want to grow and you'll not only have a much better chance of getting what you want but you'll save money.

Seed pkts are a mine of information as to the seed care and after care and well worth reading.

When your next looking at pkt's of fertilizer note the make up of the fertilzer you'll see N.P K. And how much of each is in that particular fertilizer pkt,

now you need to know what of these N.P.K. your plants need or dont need,

Well worth knowing what NPK is all about and how it works ref the plant.





Posted: 22/08/2013 at 19:01

It's been a really hot one again today and ive been gardening all day,

Now ive always said gardening clothing should be as nice to wear "with lots of room" and fits the weather at the time your gardening, ie "T" shirt and shorts for weeding and general pottering about in weather such as todays.

No fashion in gardening clothing,

Ive a cheap cotton "T" shirt, very light and really nice to wear "but" it's falling to bits,

Her indoors thinks it's ready for the bin, but even when ive finished wearing it  it's days of use are still here ie for the workshop im always after rags for cleaing this or that,

My gardening hat is as old as the hills it's an straw one and feels right.

Do you dress to garden and if your of the same thoughts as myself?

Whats your gardening dress mode.

Discussions started by SMOKIN DONKEY

Im back

Replies: 23    Views: 1067
Last Post: 01/09/2013 at 18:33


Replies: 81    Views: 2876
Last Post: 02/09/2013 at 15:52


Replies: 7    Views: 446
Last Post: 29/08/2013 at 14:17


Replies: 3    Views: 292
Last Post: 27/08/2013 at 09:18


Replies: 22    Views: 955
Last Post: 28/08/2013 at 14:17


Replies: 27    Views: 1064
Last Post: 27/08/2013 at 07:51


Replies: 4    Views: 285
Last Post: 23/08/2013 at 09:05


Replies: 27    Views: 991
Last Post: 29/08/2013 at 19:34


Replies: 17    Views: 719
Last Post: 01/09/2013 at 18:09


Replies: 11    Views: 409
Last Post: 22/08/2013 at 22:27


Replies: 2    Views: 302
Last Post: 23/08/2013 at 21:05


Replies: 7    Views: 485
Last Post: 21/08/2013 at 07:07


Replies: 0    Views: 248
Last Post: 19/08/2013 at 08:09


Replies: 5    Views: 442
Last Post: 18/08/2013 at 17:08


Replies: 8    Views: 350
Last Post: 18/08/2013 at 13:17
1 to 15 of 38 threads