Steve 309

Latest posts by Steve 309

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Posted: 24/09/2016 at 16:59

Stand by.......

(those of a nervous disposition may wish to vacate the premises)




Last edited: 24 September 2016 17:01:23

Daffodil and tulip bulbs

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 22:41

Daffs look like elongated small onions; tulips have a smoother, shinier outer layer with some flattish bits and usually some white bits showing through.

Leave the leaves

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 21:08

Exactly so, Onopordum.

Several years ago I nearly got a job as a technician at a municipal composting site.  My duties would have included scaling the 10m-high heaps every morning and thrusting in a thermometer to measure the temperature at various points.  Once it fell below 60 deg. C, the bulldozers were called in to turn the heaps and make them heat up again.  SO they get pretty hot and do indeed kill everything in there.

BUT there's no guarantee it's free of bits of plastic, glass and metal.  That depends mostly on what people put in.

Leave the leaves

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 17:20

If you have a far-sighted and sufficiently green council, you can probably put the leaves, along with all your other garden and kitchen waste into their green bin and let them do the composting.  Then they'll sell it back to you in the form of well-rotted garden compost, which you could make yourself - but probably not as well - if you had the space.

Weed Flame Wand

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 17:13

You can barbecue them, but it's a lot quicker and uses a lot less gas just to cook them gently.  As soon as they get hot they'll die and will then dry out in a day or three.  If you're the pyromaniacal type - or if they're particularly resilient - you can go back over them then to destroy the evidence.

Last edited: 18 September 2016 17:14:14


Posted: 18/09/2016 at 17:09

In my (limited) experience of these, they're unkillable!

A few years ago I took over a neglected greenhouse where there were many houseleeks, large and small, in pots of dried-up compost.  They all looked like ex-houseleeks.  Nevertheless (always the optimist) I watered them and, by the time I came back the following week they'd all (well, mostly) perked up and looked green and reasonably healthy.  I potted up some in fresh compost, and some went in the ground outside.  All did well, most of them flowered and most also had offshoots,

So I don't think it matters much what you do with them!

Strawberry Runners

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 12:41

The greenhouse is fine Char - it will give you an earlier crop and as you say, keep many of the slugs and probably all the birds out. The same applies as outdoors as far as cultivation is concerned - they'll do better in beds if you have them in there, but will do fine in pots or other containers.  Don't water much in the winter, but the summer's another matter.  If they're in beds (Indoors or out) put a plastic or cardboard mat under each plant during fruiting to keep the fruit off the soil.  And remove the slugs that hide underneath, every day!

Ventilate the greenhouse very well on sunny days.  Strawbs are perfectly hardy (although the other contents of the greenhouse probably aren't!) but are very susceptible to fungal diseases if they're in a warm humid atmosphere.

Strawberry Runners

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 11:50

If they're surplus to requirements, cut off the runners where they leave the parent plant and chuck 'em on the compost heap.

All those you pot up should grow into healthy young plants in the next few weeks - until the weather gets cold.  It's a bit late for this (August is the usual time) but it'll do.

Use 3" or 4" pots; if you're going to keep them in pots you can move them into bigger ones (but they needn't be very deep) in the spring, otherwise they can go into the beds then.  Official policy is to remove all the flowers in the first summer to allow the plants to develop a good root system and build up their reserves without fruiting, but most people don't bother, and are content with a smaller but quicker crop.

Next year, don't allow them to make any new runners (i.e. cut them off as soon as you see them) until they've finished fruiting, then allow only one per plant, with only one plantlet on it.  This will double your crop, and do the same in subsequent years.

After each plant's third year, dig it up and compost it; let the youngsters do the work.  The old ones get less productive (don't we all?) and tend to get diseases.

They respond well to lots of compost, both in the soil before planting and as a top dressing every spring.  Kill slugs mercilessly and net well against birds.  Enjoy with cream.

Leave the leaves

Posted: 17/09/2016 at 17:07

If you can mix them with the soil at the back of the beds, that would help them rot - they need to be wet, or at least damp.  And warm - which is why they don't rot much over the winter.  I bet if you were to leave them over the summer, the plants would grow up and hide them and the worms, fungi etc. would get busy and they'd all disappear.

Better yet, if you can find or produce an odd corner, you can heap them up there and stop them blowing about with some wire netting.  They'll turn (eventually) into wonderful leafmould.  It can also be done in big polybags (again, if you can find somewhwere to put them) but they need to have lots of holes in them to let the rain and the beasties in.


Posted: 14/09/2016 at 13:50

Thank you. ladies    <swells with pride> 

The chairs have been bought - they're second hand old school chairs - the stacking wooden ones that everyone had.  The counter may be made by someone else - not sure yet.  Certainly, others are going to do (actually may be doing as I write) the finishing jobs - fill the nail & knot holes in the tops (otherwise spilt coffee will end up on customers' legs) and varnishing.  The boss (well, the Curate - who wouldn't like to think of himself in that role...) said varnish, so varnish it is.  It needs to be smooth and wipe-clean.

The café is in Crosby (Liverpool) town centre, 150 yards from the church.

(I might point out at this juncture that I'm a devout atheist and am only associated with the church through good friends - and they're all nice people!)

(I missed out the second 'o' in 'good' then.  I wonder if that's significant?!)

(Am I using too many brackets?)

Last edited: 14 September 2016 13:51:41

1 to 10 of 2,772

Discussions started by Steve 309

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chat amd discuss the possibilities here 
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