Latest posts by Tomsk

Forcing a flower to bloom

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 21:46

Ok, I thought sticking it in soil may draw up some nutrients as well as water. I've just moved it to a small glass vase with water and a drop of tomato feed, in case that helps feed it.

Is keeping cut flowers in direct sunlight a good idea, or is that only of any use to the bulb rather tan the flower?

Forcing a flower to bloom

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 19:54

I have some tulips growing out the back and somehow one of them was completely cut off at the base. I don't know if a cat jumped on it or the wind snapped it, but it was a clean break.

Anyway, I sliced the end off at 45 degrees, stuck it in a pot of soil and watered it, and it seemed to recover. But even though the stem has remained stiff, the bud looks like it's starting to wilt without opening. It's a bit small, but the tip had gone red so it can't be far from flowering.

I fed the end of the stem with tomato feed, but is there anything else I can do to keep it alive and get it to bloom? I see plenty of cut flowers in supermarkets that are completely closed and only open a few days after you get them home, so maybe there's hope?

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.


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.


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?


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?


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?

Discussions started by Tomsk

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Daffodils Disappeared

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1 to 15 of 63 threads