Latest posts by Tootsietim

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.

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 )

Discussions started by Tootsietim

cuttings from wallflowers

Does anyone have experience of taking cuttings from ordinary wallflowers? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1240
Last Post: 02/04/2015 at 17:44
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