London (change)


Latest posts by Tomsk

Wilting Dahlia

Posted: 22/07/2014 at 19:02

Just to show off again, one of the flowers grew all redish-purple with no white stripes. No idea why as all the others have white stripes, but it still looks lovely:


Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 19:23

Overall, my tomatoes seem to be going OK, though I think they're very late in developing because I was very late in transplanting them from small pots into proper soil. But tiny tomatoes are now forming and I'm hopeful that this year's wonderful summer will last.

However, I've noticed that recently new leaves on most of my plants are starting off shrivelled up and then grow into leaves with the tips shrivelled up or under-developed. is this because I had them in 3" pots for far too long or something else?

I searched Google for this and the only suggestions I can find are that my plants were exposed to weed killer, but I am certain they were not, especially in the spot I kept the 3" pots.

So any other ideas? The plants are continuing to grow, and the stems all look healthy. It's just the tips of the very top leaves that are growing shrivelled. Here's a photo of some leaves that appeared completely shrivelled but then grew into almost normal leaves but the further toward the tip they get, the more shrivelled they remain:



Posted: 16/07/2014 at 19:16

Thanks for the replies. I noticed that the spiders are usually found under shrivelled leaves, and wasn't sure if this was because shrivelled leaves provide a good canopy, or the spiders were biting into the leave to make them shrivel.

I was sad to see a bee caught by one, but I suppose that's nature.


Posted: 16/07/2014 at 16:11

I notice various small and spindly spiders living in my plants. Do they harm them in any way, either by damaging the leaves or something else?

Today I noticed a spider had caught a bee in a flower of a gladiolus, though they never seemed to have an effect on caterpillars throughout the year.


Growing basil and other herbs

Posted: 15/07/2014 at 00:05

Thanks for the replies. I have an ideal pot that has no proper use right now, but is small enough to take inside when the season gets cold.

I read that it's good to grow basil in the same soil as tomatoes, but I can't find out for sure why? Is is too late in the year to sow basil seeds outside in the soil my tomatoes are growing in? And is tomato feed OK for basil?

Also, to speed things up a bit, I notice that Asda are selling small pots of growing basil for £1, intended to be kept in the kitchen and used as needed. Do you think they would grow into bigger plants if I bought a couple of them and transplanted them into my garden soil?

Growing basil and other herbs

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 21:54

Is it too late to plant basil, here in London? Assuming the great summer isn't going to turn back into floods and rain for the rest of the year!

I saw some basil seeds in a supermarket and wasn't sure whether to get them in case it's too late for this year. When is basil ideally planted, how long does it take to grow from seeds, and do you have to regrow it from seeds every year or does it grow into a big perennial bush like rosemary?

And what about other herbs like oregano, thyme, sage and mint. Do they all grow at the same time of year and for as long?

Lidl bulbs and plants

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 22:02

It's not being too fussy at all. We're talking about the mislabelling of products, not nature's own variations in colour and height.

If someone has a yellow front door and buys a decorative yellow standard rose to go next to it, only to find it grows bright red, that's an annoyance and a waste of time and money. It's not as though there's a good reason for it to grow red when it was supposed to be yellow.

In the case of my yellow dahlia, I have two dahlias in identical pots with another plant in the middle, so it's supposed to look symmetrical. It's not the end of the world, but the two dahlias not being the same spoils the look I was trying to achieve, and that's down to Lidl's supplier being very poor labelling things correctly. The problem's more obvious when you only have a tiny garden.

It's like buying cod only to cook it and find you've been given plaice.

Lidl bulbs and plants

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 16:13

I bought a load of bulbs and other plants from Lidl this spring and last autumn to plant in my garden. I went for the premium bulbs over the normal ones, and a couple of rose bushes too.

Overall, they've all grown into very lovely dahlias, tulips, daffodils, gladioli and one infant rose bush (the other one died), however there's a bit of a recurring theme that what grows is not the colour shown on the packaging.

My surviving rose was supposed to be peach and yellow with quite dense petals but is bright red with just a few petals per head. Two dahlia tubers out of the same packet, showing a nice peach and pink combination on the wrapper have produced one dahlia as expected but the other is bright yellow.

I planted various gladioli that should have resulted in lines fading from red to orange to yellow to white, but now that they're starting to flower they mostly seem (so far) a solid yellow colour.

And my daffodils were supposed to be yellow with an orange middle bit, but grew just yellow all over.

As I say, they're very nice plants, and you definitely get superior plants from Lidl's 'Premium' bulb ranges, but it's annoying when the colours are wrong.

Is this a problem in most supermarkets and garden centres, or just Lidl?



Posted: 06/07/2014 at 15:56

I'm in London and have just noticed my first tomato fruit forming this year, probably due to them being transplanted into the soil late.

A few flowers grew when they were still shoots in small pots, but none produced fruit.

The tomato is less than 1cm across and I can't see any others yet, but I'm sure they'll come. How far behind from where they should be are my plants, and is there still time to get a good harvest this year?

Compost smells of Jeyes fluid or bitumen

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 21:10

By the way, the quality of compost, even amongst the big brands, seems to vary a lot each year. Do you think this year's warm but wet winter, and an exceptionally warm summer, will lead to good or bad compost next year, or is it not that simple?

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