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Latest posts by Tomsk

Tall dahlias in pots for slug protection?

Posted: 08/06/2014 at 17:33

Is it safe to prune the lower branches off a dahlia plant, so that there are no low-hanging leaves touching the soil?

I know it's safe for tomatoes and roses, but what about dahlias?

Growing Mushrooms

Posted: 07/06/2014 at 18:59

I bought a chestnut mushroom box kit from the pound shop that didn't grow very well. I slid the tray out, emptied the spores from the plastic bag onto the compost and woodshavings and watered it, and a week later there was lots of nice looking fungus growing over the top, with lots of little dots forming which I assumed would become mushrooms.

The instructions said to spray water over them every day after this, but doing so seemed to kill the fungus, even though I mist-sprayed just a little water. In the end, two mushrooms grew, and they tasted lovely, but hardly worth a pound and a few weeks of waiting.

I tried to re-use the kit and was even more gentle with the watering, but nothing grew at all. Well, a few tiny 'buds' formed, but never continued to grow into mushrooms.

I gave up on the second attempt and stirred the contents of the tray and added a good bit of water, then left it in the box for a week. This third attempt resulted in a single mushroom growing.

So after all that, I'm not sure if I'll bother growing mushrooms again. Besides, they have no more boxes in the pound shop.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 07/06/2014 at 18:34

As an aside, what do people who casually grow a tomato plant or two do when they go on holiday? Mine are still small and in small temporary plastic pots, and they're already drinking like fish. So when the vines are big and the tomatoes are forming, I doubt they'd survive for a couple of weeks without water, even in a big pot.

If you don't have a neighbour who can do it for you, what do people do?

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 07/06/2014 at 18:30

Great to know they're OK and thanks for the video! I've been meaning to replant them in a bigger container for the last week or so, and really must get around to it soon. There's now at least 8" of hairy stem below the first leaves, so I'm losing time that they could be growing new roots from the stems.

I also see tiny buds (a millimetre or so across) forming at the top of a couple of them, so all the more reason to get them planted properly.

I also noticed the first buds forming on my dahlias too, so the first flowers should be appearing in a month or so. This year's been a good one in the garden for me. Lots of spring flowers and now the summer stuff seems to be going extremely well. In previous years, very little has grown.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 21:36

Does it stunt the growth or harm young tomato plants when you forget to water them and they droop over?

I have a few in small pots, looking just like the above photo from Bf206, and they've started soaking water up like mad. A couple of times I've forgot to water them or not realised how quickly they'd become dry, and the leaves have curled up and wilted, and some of the stems have even curved right over. Watering them and waiting a couple of hours seems to have cured them on those occasions, but does this do any long term harm?


Posted: 24/05/2014 at 23:03

If I grow some tomato plants in a large planter containing fresh soil, can I keep growing them every year, or does the soil need changing every now and again?

I know some vegetables need to be grown in fresh soil every few years because of viruses and bugs, so are tomatoes* one of them?


* I know they're not a vegetable

Help identify a yellow flower please

Posted: 17/05/2014 at 15:44

Thanks very much!

Do these come in multiple colours, or should I also expect different shapes, sizes and heights?

Also, are there any tips for making the most out of trying to get this flower to spread next year? It's growing in the ground, but I'd like to have a few pots growing them in the future.

Wilting Dahlia

Posted: 17/05/2014 at 15:41


I planted them in (whet I thought were) reasonable pots that are intended to be there permanent home. I don't expect them to flower as well as the one I planted in the ground, but with good soil and the occasional top-up, I expect them to be a nice addition to the garden.

It was a mild winter, so I planted them a bit early. They've grown very well since them and continue to grow quickly. It's just this one dahlia that seems different from the other. It's not dying or really unhealthy, it just has soft and slightly wilting leaves compared to the other one.

And I don't think over-watering is it either, because it started going a bit soft toward the end of a dry spell. At first, I assumed the wilting was down to a lack of water. But after watering it, it didn't spring back like other plants did. Then heavy rain came and it made no difference either. Everything else in the garden is doing remarkably well this year, to my amazement. I'm usually like the angel of death in a garden!

I was very happy with my dahlia planted in the ground last year, though perhaps it was a little leaf-heavy rather than being a sea of flowers. The soil it grew in is largely made from composted vegetable matter, and I added sprinkles of Growmore as it grew, so maybe it was all just a bit nitrogen heavy.

These pots contain Bowers multi-purpose compost with a bit of farmyard manure and a sprinkling of blood fish & bone mixed in. As I say, all the other pots are growing wonderfully and are a very healthy vibrant green so far (it'll be a couple of months before I get any flowers), but this one dahlia looks like it needs a hand.

Help identify a yellow flower please

Posted: 17/05/2014 at 15:27

Could anyone tell me what flower this is? I thought maybe it's a pansy, but the only ones I know I've seen before seem larger than this and have multiple colours. The leaves in shot are also from this plant. It's only just flowered in the last day or two:


Wilting Dahlia

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 18:19


The shoots are still relatively small (about 8" tall) at the centre of the pots, leaving much of the soil fully exposed to rain, so I really don't think it's under watering. There's been lots of rain in the last week so if anything, the soil has had more water than it needs! My flower beds are nicely soaked, though snails and caterpillars are starting to do their work. Luckily, nothing's climbed up the pots yet.

I'm hoping to keep them in pots so I can put them on a patio. They're not very big (one is about 1.5 cubic feet and the other maybe 2.5) but I'm hoping it'll be enough to grow and flower by the summer. Last year I grew a dahlia in the ground and it bloomed very well. When I dug up the tuber afterwards, its roots didn't seem to have spread very far, so that's why I'm hoping these pots will be enough.

I wondered if it's because I haven't added much fertiliser or plant food since planting them, but the other dahlia is growing extremely well with no signs of wilting. They were planted in fresh multi-purpose compost with a bit of farmyard manure, blood fish & bone. I then scratched-in a handful of rose & shrub pellets with added horse manure about a month later (now a month ago).

I used the same mix to plant other things in pots and they're all going very well, it's just this one dahlia that's showing signs of early wilting. There's no sign of any nibbling to any leaves.

Discussions started by Tomsk

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