Latest posts by Tootsietim

Stainless Steel

Posted: 18/10/2015 at 20:32

When I worked in Garden centres I found that cheaper s/s tools were terribly badly made, so you do have to be careful what you spend your money on.

I generally use my old (second and sometimes third hand ) carbon steel tools, and if the soil is too sticky I keep off it.

Having said that, I bought my daughter a children's size s/s steel spade and fork and they are brilliant to use and I wouldn't be without my s/s trowel.  ( the trowel is by CK and hideously expensive but I think justified).

Gardeners World taken off air

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 00:58

But St Andrew's is famous for its lawns, water features, all those sandpits for the kids to play in....

Holly leaves

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 00:49

I have been using mine to keep cats off the Nepeta when it first comes into growth and used to use it to protect peas from mice.

The mind boggles

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 00:47

Not veg related, but a few years back we stopped at a garage on a hot day to get some drinks. I as usual had milk (cheap and UK produced ) my wife bought the cheapest still water they had, ( still dearer than my milk ) and it came from CANADA.

I do admit to buying a lot of dutch strawberries this year as so far they have been much tastier than the local Norfolk ones. But mine are now ready, and they are better.

bees nest

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 00:29

For the third year in succession I have a nest of tree bumblebees under the tiles of my Bungalow roof.  They are often described as aggressive if their nest is attacked, but I have had no bother with them at all.  Three years ago I planted my whole front plot (4m x 4m) with a green manure called Phacelia tanacetifolia and allowed it to flower. It attracted 7 species of bee and in numbers of up to 100 per square metre.

The only drawback was that it seeded everywhere and is still coming up this year, so I am now much more restrictive in where I let it grow.  Brilliant plant for bees.


Posted: 17/06/2015 at 00:19

I have also heard that it is to do with drainage in terracotta pots, but what evidence there is for it working I don't know.  I find that cutting around the pot edge can form lop sided root balls, with all the roots obviously heading to the centre. I also find with some soft cuttings that those around the edge come into contact with the polythene bag I cover them with and get too wet encouraging the leaves to rot.

I may have to have a search and see what research has been done.

ID on giant wasp

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 00:10

I believe it to be a common hornet and therefore quite safe if unprovoked.

The pattern on its' abdomen is wrong for Asian hornet.

The visitor centre at Hickling Broad nature reserve in Norfolk had a nest inside a display barn owl nest box. So long as you were quite and calm you could get right up close and watch these fascinating insects from about 18 inches away.

Please don't let media hype about alien invaders colour our attitudes towards our native fauna. Hornets, like wasps are great predators of garden pests.

New weedkiller

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 23:40

I was told by my lecturer whom I believe was involved with the trials, that around £1m were spent developing paraquat and around £15m on failing to find an antidote to what was a nasty poison. It was originally formulated as a growth retardant for cereal crops, to reduce the height of the stalk, but worked rather too well and reduced growth to nothing.

The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 23:27

I'm also happy with the winner and if you look on the RHS website you can get an idea of the brief the winner was given for his show garden.

I must say though that is a sign of the times that TV show winner gets a Chelsea plot to launch their design career. Surely a designer should have the  career first and their body of work is what should qualify them for a Chelsea plot ?

Apple tree cuttings

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 17:07

In my college days we were taught that as apples are nigh on impossible to root ( and, as explained above, need to be grafted onto a rootstock to determine the growth of the tree)  it isn't done. Commercially, the rootstocks were produced by stooling or layering, and these are then used for grafting.

I would be interested to know whether anyone has ever grown their own rootstocks.

Discussions started by Tootsietim

cuttings from wallflowers

Does anyone have experience of taking cuttings from ordinary wallflowers? 
Replies: 4    Views: 2624
Last Post: 02/04/2015 at 17:44
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