Latest posts by Topbird

Newbie to this site. Hello to all you green fingers

Posted: 29/05/2016 at 12:56

Welcome Poppyred

Only forum for me too...

Very friendly, lots of knowledge out there and not a small amount of silliness.

Hosta - are you playing hookey at work?  


Posted: 29/05/2016 at 12:23

Sorry Katy I'm a bit confused - is it a wall or a fence you want to train things on? and how high is it? what sort of condition is it in? how strong?

raised beds

Posted: 28/05/2016 at 19:38

I have raised beds made of pressure treated soft wood sleepers. They come in 2.4m lengths and have an approx 20cm square profile.

Some of mine have been in situ for 4 years now and are as strong as the day they were made.

I would recommend using new sleepers rather than the old railway sleepers traditionally used. These can ooze bitumen (?) which will get into the soil and also on your clothes. The new sleepers ooze nothing other than the odd bit of resin.

Advantages of using raised beds for veg are: less far to bend down, easy to fill with the compost / soil mix of your choice, the soil is usually very workable (unlike my heavy clay) and the soil in them tends to warm up quicker in spring (again important if you garden on clay). Easy to use 'no dig' methods.

Disadvantages (for me): - the soil dries out much quicker so more watering if there is no rain and the voles decided to set up home in the base of two of them and devoured the root crops from the base upwards! 

Last edited: 28 May 2016 19:39:24

Quick cut

Posted: 28/05/2016 at 18:31

For lighter tasks I really like ARS snippers - they are very light, very sharp (& easily sharpened to stay that way), cheap (abt £10) and used by quite a few professionals. They will tackle jobs up to regular rose stem thicknes (about 1/4") very easily.

For thicker wood (1/2 - 3/4") I like Wolf long handled loppers.

For in-between jobs I use Wolf by-pass secateurs - but they are no better than many other secateur ranges on the market. A friend has a weak wrist after breaking it in a fall and she now uses electric powered secateurs which work a treat and take a lot of strain out of the cutting. Like the one in the following link. Hers is a Bosch but I can't see that for sale anywhere now.

Last edited: 28 May 2016 18:32:44

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 28/05/2016 at 09:01


Today I shall be digging out the stump of a buddleia. I may be some time.....

Dove - do you have a sheltered, shady spot where you can sink the pot into the soil up to it's rim? If you then give pot and soil a thorough soaking it should be ok. The pot can draw moisture from the soil if it needs it but is also somewhat insulated so reduced water loss anyway.

I do this all the time with small pots in the nursery bed where they can be left for 2 - 3 weeks without additional watering unless it's baking hot 

Otherwise, plant it, water it, mulch it....

Last edited: 28 May 2016 09:02:32

Intercropping and square foot gardening

Posted: 27/05/2016 at 13:51

Personally I'd divide the area into 4 and just plant 4 different varieties into each of the 4 squares. 

If just one bag is the only area available to you I would only grow stuff which is expensive to buy in the shops, which you can harvest nearly continuously and which is lovely to be able to use extravagantly. So I would grow herbs - perhaps chives, coriander, parsley and dill - they will all tolerate the same sort of conditions. Or you could go for ones which prefer drier / better drained conditions such as rosemary, thyme, oregano etc

With the exception of the coriander and dill I would buy in some plants in to ensure an early harvest. One supermarket parsley plant will divide very easily and give you 3 or 4 plants which is plenty. Same with thyme. Coriander and dill germinate quickly from seed.

Another expensive supermarket purchase are salad leaves and you could have perhaps 2 squares of leaves, a square of beetroot and a square of radishes.

Within each of the squares you could sow (thinly) half the area now and the other half in about 4 weeks. Beetroot and radish leaves can also be added to salads. Most salad leaves (lettuce, rocket, mizuna etc) can be treated as 'cut and come again' - so cut a few leaves and the plant will regrow new ones. Maybe 3 or 4 times per plant. 


Posted: 27/05/2016 at 13:32

Isn't there a garden at Chelsea this year with lots of plants used to produce dyes and a tapestry style backdrop made from wool dyed with said plants?

Quite on-trend Muddle-Up 

A friend has a jumper made from spun cat fur 

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 27/05/2016 at 11:51

Morning everyone.

Hugs for Kitty and Mynx and all those suffering with insomnia. I don't have insomnia but I do have a cat who likes to wake with the dawn and expects catering within an hour of waking...

Have just booked tickets for a Blues and Beer festival in a couple of weeks time. It's an outdoor event so fingers crossed for sunshine. Added bonus that it's within cycling distance so we can sample one or two local ales.  

Off out to plant out some herbs then a trip to buy some pelargoniums for the front pots.


HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 25/05/2016 at 18:52

Those dandelions are so clever and they look simply amazing in your garden Fidget. Very green with envy here.....

Lovely sounding lunch Dove - could eat any of those dishes - bit hank marvin' just now 

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 25/05/2016 at 16:51

Afternoon all - quick pop in to say Hi.

Hazel - re updates with iPad. If it's OSX 9.3.2 you are not alone... Not sure if there are any quick fixes yet. Some people have had their iPads completely locked with this update and apparently Apple are talking about replacing them because there is no answer. Think that applies to iPad Pros only - but how dreadful if you have important work stuff on there. Hopefully people using them professionally have everything backed up elsewhere....

SGL - re OH and Chelsea - You gotta love the simplicity of boys' minds haven't you? 

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