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Latest posts by Tomsk

How long do bulbs take to sprout?

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 20:05

I just planted some lily (6" deep) and gladioli bulbs (4" deep) and am wondering if there's a general length of time these are likely to reach the surface?

I've placed a box on top of the soil to protect it from cats, but will have to remove it when the bulbs hit the surface so light can get to them. Hopefully by then, the soil will be settled enough for the cats to leave alone. They love freshly fluffed-up soil.

I'll remove the box during the day when it rains so the soil doesn't dry out.

Blood Fish and Bone

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 19:34

I can't remember the brand of FB&B I bought the last couple of times, but it was like saw dust.

I've just tried Aldi's and it contains a lot of crystals and other particles I didn't see in the last stuff I tried, so is this still proper FB&B or have they cut it down with artificial fertiliser?

Does this also mean it's likely to burn plants if it's in direct contact with them, like Growmore does?

Planting a rose bush

Posted: 24/02/2014 at 20:23

Can anyone tell me what the symbol on the left of this photo means:

 Is that supposed to be a plant pot? The wavy line confuses me.

Blood Fish and Bone

Posted: 24/02/2014 at 19:42

Aldi are doing 3kg boxes for £3 on Thursday, along with 7kg tubs of chicken manure pellets for £6.

Planting a rose bush

Posted: 23/02/2014 at 21:05
Dave Morgan wrote (see)

Are they bare root? If so you really need to get them in now.

They came in a plastic-wrapped 'parcel' of soil around the root. Rubber bands close the wrapper around the stem, and the rest of the stem comes out from there, waxed. Judging by the smell, I think they've been grown in soil fertilised with human waste!

I don't expect them to last for months in that small packet, but is there any usual shelf life for them?

Luckily I found a bucket with holes in it already, so one bush will go into that for the time being. The other one I'll have to find a container for at some point.

Planting a rose bush

Posted: 21/02/2014 at 14:34

I bought a couple of hybrid tea rose bushes from Lidl and wonder if anyone has general advice for planting and looking after them.

Would putting them in a builders bucket of garden soil be OK at this stage? And how long can they be kept in those packets? My soil is good, with lots of home made compost in it, so I'm sure it's packed with nutrients. Are they likely to flower this year and is fish blood and bone a good fertiliser for roses? I see Aldi will soon be doing boxes of that along with chicken manure pellets.

The stumps are covered in wax (presumably to protect people from thorns) so do I need to remove this or let it all fall off on its own, in which case will flakes of wax be bad for the soil?

I'll want to keep one permanently in a planter, so how big does it need to be? The other I might eventually put in soil when I find a space, but I'm not completely sure yet. For the moment, it'll be a bucket or pot.

I like rose bushes that have quite a bit of a trunk before the leaves and flowers start. Any tips for pruning them to achieve this look, and is it a good idea?

Can I plant daffs, tulips or crocuses around the base of rose bushes?

Any idea how long these bushes might live or other general tips?


Tomato Varieties

Posted: 16/02/2014 at 12:32

I forgot about having to drill holes in the buckets, so perhaps I'll save them and just wait until I have a proper planter.

If I made a large oblong planter for various tomato varieties, in good soil with fertiliser, what about growing plants around the edge for decoration? Small flowers like pansies could hang down over the planter and not interfere with the light or air getting to the tomatoes. Would there be any problem with them being so close or with their roots mixing?

I've read that some plants really don't like being next to others.

Tomato Varieties

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 13:16

I've been searching about how far apart tomato plants should be, and it seems 2 feet is a common figure, though a small number of people seem to be happy with just 1 foot.

I don't have much soil, and bought a fair few pots to get some plants where all the concrete is (and that's where I'll grow tomatoes). So would a standard builders bucket be large enough to grow one Moneymaker or Marmande plant? They're about 1 foot in diameter and 10" deep.

Ultimately, I want to build a planter box for them, but I don't know if I'll get that done in time for this year's plants, so I thought maybe buckets would work, and if I do ge the planter built by the summer, I might be able to carefully transplant them from the buckets. If not, I'll just tip the soil from the buckets into the planter next year.

If I build a planter where I'll only be leaning over it to pick tomatoes from a small number of vines rather than having to walk between lots of vines in a field, how far apart can I get away with planting them? And is it a good idea to mix varieties in the same planter?

And on the subject of planters, is it a good idea to line a planter with something like this? I wouldn't want to use preserved timber that comes into contact with the soil, and putting soil directly into an untreated wooden planter may make it rot quicker?

Tomato Varieties

Posted: 11/02/2014 at 10:41

Thanks for the replies,

These will be grown outdoors. I don't have the room for a greenhouse, although I'm thinking about buying one of those £2 'indoor greenhouses' from Aldi, which is basically just a tray of 3" plastic pots with a 3" tall clear plastic lid.

Cats and foxes do run around the small amount of soil I have (and occasionally any plant pots), so I thought I might grow the seeds in a tray and then transplant them to soil or a large planter when they're big enough for the cats to avoid trampling. If I grow the seeds indoors in the warmth, and then transplant to cold wet soil, will this be a bit of a shock to the shoots?

I take it the light from tungsten, fluorescent tubes and CFL energy-saving bulbs doesn't help plants grow?

Tomato Varieties

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 16:07

Lidl are currently stocking a load of flower and fruit/veg seeds.


They have a few cherry varieties, but their normal sized ones are Moneymaker, Marmande and Harzfeuer.

I only grew tomatoes once before, and that was by accident, so can anyone tell me what the differences between these are in terms of how well they'll grow in London, and taste?

I'll eat them mainly cooked (fried, pizzas, pasta sauces and possibly soup if I have space to grow enough) but also in summer salads.

I thought of taking a supermarket tomato I like the taste of, scooping out the seeds and trying to grow that, but most of them seem to be grown in Spain, so I'm not sure if they'll grow well here. The 'normal' and baby plum tomatoes that grew by accident last year (from scraps thrown into a compost bin) certainly weren't as juicy, nice-tasting or developed as whatever supermarket fruits they grew from.

 Also, is now the right time to be planting seeds?

Discussions started by Tomsk


Are they harmful to plants? 
Replies: 7    Views: 137
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: 199
Last Post: 15/07/2014 at 10:59

Lidl bulbs and plants

Nice plants, but often wrong colour/variety. 
Replies: 17    Views: 343
Last Post: 11/07/2014 at 11:41

Compost smells of Jeyes fluid or bitumen

Is this a problem for plants and fruit/veg? 
Replies: 6    Views: 192
Last Post: 04/07/2014 at 21:10

Using compost early

Is it OK to use home compost before it's completely rotted? 
Replies: 4    Views: 194
Last Post: 23/06/2014 at 22:43

Removing leaves from unknown bulbs

Can I remove large leaves that are hiding flowers 
Replies: 4    Views: 230
Last Post: 19/06/2014 at 18:56

Plant feed for flowing plants

Can I use up the products I already have? 
Replies: 10    Views: 1125
Last Post: 13/06/2014 at 14:39

Dead rose

Any chance of it rising again 
Replies: 4    Views: 189
Last Post: 11/06/2014 at 20:16

How many frogs?

Nothing to do with light bulbs 
Replies: 4    Views: 156
Last Post: 12/06/2014 at 08:49

Snapped lily - Will it grow?

Top of a growing lily snapped off 
Replies: 3    Views: 135
Last Post: 09/06/2014 at 22:20

Help identify a yellow flower please

Possibly a pansy or similar 
Replies: 5    Views: 215
Last Post: 17/05/2014 at 15:55

Wilting Dahlia

Planted two tubers, one is going soft 
Replies: 14    Views: 586
Last Post: Today at 19:02

Larvae on tomato shoots

What to do with white larvae around the base of a small shoot 
Replies: 2    Views: 150
Last Post: 30/04/2014 at 20:37

Identify a yellow flower from a bulb

3-4 yellow & red flowers on each stem 
Replies: 11    Views: 335
Last Post: 20/04/2014 at 23:04

Flower colour fading

Red tulips fading in warm weather 
Replies: 3    Views: 164
Last Post: 02/04/2014 at 20:00
1 to 15 of 36 threads