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Latest posts by Topbird

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 17:58

Sorry Phillippa - you snuck in there - didn't mean to repeat what you just said...

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 17:56

Bekkie - I've not yet grown JA's - but they make the most delicious soup - really, really easy and tasty - bit of a nutty, savoury taste - very difficult to describe.

They grow very tall so I'm not sure how well they would do in a container unless it was sunk into the ground for stability. I also don't know how much room the root & tuber system needs. If you plant them in open ground it is important to harvest them thoroughly (ie remove all the tubers) so you don't have unwanted plants popping up next year. I believe they can become a bit invasive if you just leave them in the ground.

They are a winter vegetable and are available in my local supermarket at the moment - so I suggest you buy a packet and try them first to see whether you like them or not. They are easy to grow but a very big plant - you might not want that if you don't like the taste of them.

The best way to avoid the flatulent  side effect is to cook them thoroughly...

Growing potatoes in bags

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:49

I was given some proper potato grow bags 2 years ago. Did it exactly as Kelsbels describes (about 3 or 4 potatoes to each bag) and I had a surprisingly good harvest (whole fruit tray full of potatoes). 

Homegrown Wedding Flowers

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:45

White cosmos, larkspur, stocks and anntirhinums perhaps? 

I might also consider some greenery. I don't know if some of the foliage plants used in hanging baskets would be suitable for any of your decorations? - plugs of those are starting to appear now in the GCs. 

Better luck this time! 

Wrong plants sent by mail order

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 12:32


Using mushroom compost...

Posted: 14/02/2015 at 10:15

Hi Ally - I'd wait a few weeks before doing anything too drastic. I also made the mistake of using mushroom compost to improve the soil in an area earmarked for raspberries. I used A LOT because the existing soil was on the site of a huge old conifer and the soil was really poor & depleted.

Anyways - long story short - my raspberries grew strong, well and healthy and highly productive. Maybe the conifer had made the underlying soil acidic and I ended up with a neutral mix, maybe the compost didn't have too much lime in it - I don't know - but I would wait to see whether or not your raspberries start shooting away quite happily before doing anything too drastic.

It's probably worth making sure the compost is pulled away from the stubs of the stems though. Good luck 

Novice in growing hellebores - advice, please :)

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 16:12

Have just checked out Harvey's website - looks like they are rejigging it at the moment so not much to see or order - hopefully will be better soon. They have an award winning tea room if you are visiting and need somewhere to leave someone with a book or newspaper.

They are still very much a nursery rather than a garden centre so they are relatively small - but the display beds are good, the event days are excellent and the staff are very knowledgable..

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 16:03

Hard pruned my very neglected quince tree and made some pea sticks / plant supports with some of the smaller branches. 3 hazel trees & 3 buddleia next week - then it's time to join Nut on shredder duty....


Novice in growing hellebores - advice, please :)

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:21

I am also starting my open carpets of hellebores in a new woodland style border.

I have recently purchased 30 plugs from Hayloft Plants (mail order) which worked out at about a pound per plant. 10 varieties - 5 single & 5 double (I think). They are all sturdy little plantlets - potted up in December and already sending roots out of the pot and new leaf growth.

I have a couple of mature flowering plants and will collect seed from them this year but you can also buy packets of seeds.

I shall also buy a couple of choice specimens from Harveys Garden Plants (Suffolk - but they do mail order). Fortunately they are just up the road from me and they do a couple of wonderful hellebore / snowdrop days late Feb / early Mar - worth visiting if you fancy a trip out. Roger Harvey is a regular at Chelsea & has gold medals for his hellebores. Not cheap - but worth it if you want a couple of special plants.

Nothing to add to Verdun's advice re cultivation - he knows his stuff! 


snowdrops and crocuses

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:04

Squirrels enjoy my crocus bulbs 

Discussions started by Topbird

Ideas of Nurseries and Garden Centres to Visit on my hols in the South East

Replies: 8    Views: 299
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

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Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 587
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 936
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 689
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 2147
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 553
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 2071
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned