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Tomsk


Latest posts by Tomsk

Exposing roots to sun light

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 14:59

Is it OK to grow bulbs in clear plastic pots so that people can see the roots growing under the soil?

Or will the sunlight they're exposed to damage them in some way?

Storing bulbs

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 18:44

I bought a load of spring bulbs last autumn and forgot all about them. last week I found the bag and not only had they all sprouted shoots despite having no soil or water, but some had even managed to sprout flowers!

I've put them all in soil just to stop them dying, but my intention is to give most of the bulbs to someone else. What's the best way of doing this and when? I'd like to dig them up, wash off the soil so that they look like they did when I bought them, and give them to someone in a bag to take home.

I assume now that they're in the soil and are very rapidly sprouting roots, I should leave them well alone until the bulbs have 'recovered'? So is it OK to cut the stems down to the bulbs, cut off the roots and wash them? Perhaps in the autumn.

Carrots

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 23:12

How come you can plant them 4" next to each other one way but they need to be in 12" rows the other way? Is this a suggestion they print on the packet for simpletons like me, or could I average the distance to a fixed 6" grid, and maybe plant hexagonally, etc?

I have the planter full of soft, fluffy soil (although it gets harder over time as it settles) and can't afford to change it or mix it with sand, especially if I'm going to plant other things in it next year, so I'll just have to suffer any forking. Given that this is my second year of planting things, I don't mind it all being a learning experience. My tomatoes did taste nice last year (although the early ones were rather acidic) so I expect these carrots to beat the supermarket ones.

Carrots

Posted: 16/02/2015 at 23:20

Thanks for the replies. Today I bought a packet of 'Jeanette' seeds, on the basis that the description on the back said they're especially sweet whereas the various other varieties in Lidl just say they're either early/late ripening or that they keep well rather than mentioning the flavour. These were also the most expensive, at £1.49 rather than £29p, so I'm hoping they'll turn out OK.

I also got a packet of 'Stuttgarter Riesen' onions for 29p, which I intend to plant with them.

The carrot packet seem to suggest they grow in 80-90 days, whereas the onions just have a germination time (15-20 days) and say to harvest them when the leaves die. Is there an optimal time to pick carrots to get them big and full of flavour? If they really will grow in three months, I should be able to grow two crops this year before the summer ends.

Also, I take it slugs and snails are a problem for carrot and onion growing?

Carrots

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 22:10

I want to try growing carrots. Last year I grew tomatoes in a planter, which was my first attempt at growing fruit/veg so this year I thought I'd try something else.

The planter is 18" deep and gets very reasonable sun in the summer months.

I was looking at some carrot seeds in Lidl and they say to plant 4" apart in rows one foot apart, which means I could potentially fit 20 carrots in my planter. That's a much lower yield than tomatoes, so how long do they take to grow and am I likely to grow more than one crop in a year?

I also read that you should grow onions with tomatoes to stop bugs eating them. Does this really work, and should I grow an equal number, because that means I end up with just 10 carrots (albeit with 10 onions as well).

I do use a lot of carrots in soups and meals, so maybe I'm wasting my time growing them in a planter that's 18" deep, 18" wide and 1 metre long, and should stick to tomatoes?

Daff & tulip shoots already?

Posted: 04/12/2014 at 21:01

Between October and November 2013 I planted some Tulip and Daffodil bulbs, which then flowered later than I was expecting in late spring 2014. I assumed at the time this was down to me planting them much deeper than normal (about 8")

Well imagine my surprise when yesterday I went to clear up the garden and found 2" shoots all over the place! It's barely December and they seem to have already made their way up through 8" of soil and 2" beyond.

Has anyone noticed the same, and does this mean I'll now have a longer baron period between my spring and summer bulbs? Perhaps it's down to the long hot summer we had in 2014?

On an unrelated note, I had some dahlias that had a good summer, but as soon as the weather became colder and damp, got completely covered in mildew. The flowers have now all gone and there aren't even any buds on the plant, but the mildew has completely disappeared and there's still a lot of green leaves. I'm leaving them as they are, assuming this is all feeding the tubers for next year?

Wasps

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:31

I'm in London and have seen very few wasps this year. Just a handful in the last few weeks (none during the summer), but really not many. I've had plenty of bees buzzing around my dahlias and other flowers. The wasps seemed to sniff around the dahlias but not stick around.

Now I think about it, I haven't had a single wasp in the house either. They usually get in the roof somehow, make their way down to the ground floor and end up either buzzing around a window trying to get out or you find them dead on the floor beneath one.

I don't see many bumble bees these days either.

Lifting Dahlias

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:25

I have what looks like mildew quickly spreading all over my dahlias. They've flowered well this year, but they're clearly approaching the end of their cycle now. I don't think any of the buds will reach flowering.

Should I also leave my foliage until it dies of its own accord, or could the mildew poison the tubers?

Protecting a planter over winter

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:19

I got a planter earlier this year and grew some tomatoes, which are now all cut down.

Within a couple of days of cutting the old vines down, cats have started jumping into it and messing. The light, fluffy soil doesn't help.

I intend to pull up the dead tomato roots in a few weeks (once they start to decompose) so that the planter is ready for next spring, but are there any tips on how I should protect the planter over the winter? I could cover it, but I'm not sure if that will create a good breeding ground for bacteria or fungus over the winter that could ruin the soil come next spring?

I also thought about laying sticks across the planter, but I think the cats will simply stand on the stick and drop their mess between them!

What do other people do with large planters full of soil over winter?

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 20:21

My vines look like they're done for the year, with rot and blight creeping in everywhere.

Is there a right way to handle vines once you're finished with them? Since you don't grow the same vines again the next year, I don't suppose it matters if you cut down all the foliage, unlike bulbs and tubers?

But within the soil will be a huge tangle of roots, so should I just leave them to rot or do they need manually removing if I want to plant things in the same planter next year?

I remember trying to plant new flowers in an old window box once, and in the end I had to empty all the soil into the compost bin because it was just a mass of roots from previous flowers. There's too much soil in my planter to empty it, so I have to work with the soil already inside it.

Discussions started by Tomsk

Curly dahlias

Dahlias growing curled and folded. 
Replies: 1    Views: 73
Last Post: 28/07/2015 at 20:23

Too much leaf, not enough flower!

How to reduce the amount of leaves but keep plants healthy 
Replies: 3    Views: 315
Last Post: 13/04/2015 at 15:34

Multiple daffodil shoots

What are the extra non-flowering shoots on my daffs? 
Replies: 3    Views: 263
Last Post: 11/04/2015 at 19:05

Forcing a flower to bloom

Any way of forcing a cut flower to open up? 
Replies: 6    Views: 217
Last Post: 02/04/2015 at 22:15

Exposing roots to sun light

Transparent pots - good or bad idea? 
Replies: 3    Views: 378
Last Post: 20/03/2015 at 16:23

Storing bulbs

Best way to look after old bulbs and remove them from temporary soil 
Replies: 2    Views: 306
Last Post: 20/03/2015 at 02:38

Carrots

Any tips for growing carrots for the first time? 
Replies: 19    Views: 991
Last Post: 11/05/2015 at 20:52

Daff & tulip shoots already?

Replies: 2    Views: 603
Last Post: 04/12/2014 at 23:07

Protecting a planter over winter

How to protect from cats' mess and anything else? 
Replies: 8    Views: 414
Last Post: 26/10/2014 at 13:01

Tomatoes - End of season

What to do with vines once they're finished for the year? 
Replies: 3    Views: 395
Last Post: 21/10/2014 at 13:03

Pruning tomato vines

How much is too much? 
Replies: 5    Views: 442
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 21:29

Unknown spiny-leaved plant

Help identify this non-flowering green plant? 
Replies: 12    Views: 818
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 17:26

Split tomato vine

Unsupported plant collapsed, leaving split vine branch 
Replies: 6    Views: 328
Last Post: 25/07/2014 at 17:55

Spiders

Are they harmful to plants? 
Replies: 7    Views: 369
Last Post: 16/07/2014 at 22:49

Growing basil and other herbs

What time of year to plant, how long do they last? 
Replies: 9    Views: 640
Last Post: 15/07/2014 at 10:59
1 to 15 of 49 threads