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steephill


Latest posts by steephill

Grape Vine Care

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:47

What size pot is it in and how old is it? I guess that it is Sauvignon Blanc, a white grape rather than Cabernet Sauvignon which is red. Not the easiest grape to try in the UK as it is a late ripening variety and will need that sunny sheltered position.

Grapes grow in very poor soil which isn't much good for anything else so don't be tempted to feed it often. You will only create a monster as it will respond by producing lots of lush growth, up to 5 metres a year.

You can expect grapes in the third or fourth year but should limit the number of bunches in the early years, only one or two per plant in the first fruiting year. Get it trained early to get the best out of it. If the trellis is wide enough (2 metres minimum) try the double Guyot system. Sounds complicated but basically you have 3 shoots produced each year which you train the following year. Two shoots go horizontally left and right and one goes straight up. The horizontal shoots produce vertical side shoots and this is where the fruit comes from. Grapes fruit on new wood. The vertical main shoot is used to produce three side shoots which become next year's horizontal and vertical shoots and replace this year's.

You might also have to thin the bunches to get decent grapes, remove about half of the grapes in a bunch when they are about pea sized. This gives you bigger grapes, less congestion and less disease.

Treat the pot every year for vine weevil, use nematodes not chemicals.

Pak Choi

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 14:05

I think it is too early for pak choi. It shouldn't be sown until after the longest day to avoid it bolting. It looks like your's are indeed bolting.

Watering tomatoes

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 12:25

http://www.tomatogrowing.co.uk/html/watering___feeding_tomatoes.html has some useful info. Lots of other helpful advice too on that website which I found through a link posted on the forum.

Irrigation

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 12:11

I started with a Hozelok kit which included a range of drippers from single flow rate to adjustable types. It included a pressure regulator for tap connection. It even has a mini sprinkler on a spike which is a bit much for use on the greenhouse but would be more useful on a veg bed.

I also had a couple of Hozelok timers but they both failed after a few years. One was left out too long and froze so user error there but the other developed faulty switching on the solenoid valve. I tried opened up the broken one for spare parts and found out how cheaply made they were and gave up on them.

The Galcon stuff looks good but may be overkill for watering a few tomatoes in a small greenhouse. Had a look at the Antelco website too, lots of bits for making a custom setup but looks to be a business site rather than for retail sales.

If you could have any plant / tree in your garden

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 22:42

A Singing Ringing tree. Probably just gave away my age!

Apple tree

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 17:32

How close are they to each other? If the Salix and Hydrangea are mature I would have expected the apple to be suffering rather than the other way round.

Chilean Lantern Tree - crinodendron hookerianum

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 11:40

It isn't really a pot plant as it grows into a large shrub, mine are around 12 feet tall. I expect it would be OK in a large pot for a few years before it outgrew it though. I get some dieback on the tallest shoots in a hard winter but otherwise they are very tough. I have acid soil and a reasonably damp climate for the Surrey/Sussex borders. 

First thing to check when any pot plant dies is for signs of vine weevil. These horrible little blighters will destroy anything in a pot.

I need help! Base for Greenhouse

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 16:13

Depending on the size of the concrete slab I would suggest topping it up with another layer of concrete to get a level surface. Alternatively lay a couple of courses of bricks to form a new base for the greenhouse, taking care to make them level and square. In either case simply screw the greenhouse onto the base using Rawlplugs in the holes you drill in the concrete/brick or fixings like these http://www.screwfix.com/p/multi-monti-flanged-hex-head-shield-anchors-6-x-50mm-pack-of-100/84748. You could lay a bead of mastic under the frame before you screw it down for added security and sealing.

Tree advice

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 12:05

Crab apple on M9 rootstock - flowers in Spring and fruit for jelly and for the birds.

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