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Latest posts by Tootsietim

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.

Monty and his Kniphofia

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 16:55

I usually pronounce it 'red hot poker' at least until the other person uses the latin and I then copy them. ( yes I am a wuss), Mind you, I have had some very odd discussions about Chaenomeles, Eschscholzia and Clematis. (coming from Norfolk, Clematis doesn't have a 'T' in it however you pronounce it) and just bear in mind that Buddleja  (buddleia ?) was named in honour of Adam Buddle.

ask a silly question....

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 00:39

I dig both ways, Right hand on top, left hand on the spade shaft and left foot on blade when I dig from right to left. Then , when I reach the end of the row I reverse everything and dig back the way I came.

New nest?

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 18:07

looks like a robin nest to me and the location would be about right. It does feel a bit early but they pair up around Christmas time and I think they are nesting late march. They can be a bit flighty when the eggs are newly laid and easily desert. (technically it is illegal to destroy the nest or eggs at this time of year whether abandoned or not so all you can really do is leave it )

cuttings from wallflowers

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 17:44

Thanks for your thoughts, I shall give it a go later in the month and see what happens. I'm hoping that I shall get some decent sized plants, in the colours I want, in good time for planting out in the autumn.

cuttings from wallflowers

Posted: 01/04/2015 at 23:56

I have some bog standard wallflowers in my garden which are now two years old and starting to flower again. My question is, if I take cuttings from the ones I like, will they make decent sized flowering plants by next spring?

If anyone has experience of this I'd be pleased to know how it went.

Cheaper alternative to raised bed

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 00:13

What is this trend for raised beds? I suspect it is encouraged by garden centres and online retailers to get us to buy overly priced, ready made, deep bed kits.

What I find important for growing veg, is good, well prepared, fertile soil. If there is a depth of soil so much the better, and if you arrange your plot into narrow beds so that you can access from the sides without treading the soil, well then you have just created  deep beds.

A deep bed doesn't need edging, it just needs a good depth of untrodden soil, but without an edge it tends to spread about and loose definition, so I would recommend a low edging, just to define the area, keep the soil from the paths, makes it look tidy, and help the soil at the edges stay moist.

If edging is your thing, then  1" x 6" treated timber from the timber merchant is probably as cheap an option as any. (untreated timber if you don't like the idea of chemicals near your edibles) Drive stakes into the corners. attach the boards, and then dig the plot deeply adding whatever rotted organic material you can and hey presto, a deep bed. Simple and cheap.

Sorry if this has become a bit of a rambling rant, but I work in a wood yard, and every year we see more and more gardeners, especially newbies, who believe that veg only grows in raised beds. When I discuss their needs and in particular how they are going to fill them, it is almost always apparent that this hasn't been considered or budgeted for. If you have to buy in a lot of topsoil and compost on top of the cost of the timber or ready made kit, then it makes for some hellishly expensive vegetables.

Rant over..

Good growing and good eating.



Posted: 19/10/2014 at 00:46

 A swarm of ladybirds (or bishy barnabies as we call them in Norfolk ) which occurred by the coast a few years ago. Theory was that these were immigrants flying in from Europe, but latest thinking seems to be that they a British insects, looking for new food sources, becoming trapped against the sea.

Discussions started by Tootsietim

cuttings from wallflowers

Does anyone have experience of taking cuttings from ordinary wallflowers? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1084
Last Post: 02/04/2015 at 17:44
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