Latest posts by Topbird

Celeriac info

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 15:24

I grew celeriac successfully last year but I cheated & got some plugs off ebay at the end of May - so somebody had done the difficult bit of getting them started. Worked out at about 30p per plant.

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 14:29

I'm on Primrose Ward - where are you??

Clearing nettles

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 14:11

I think it probably is SBK as suggested by MMP above. I bought some last year to use on brambles. Was going to use it on some bamboo until I  noticed it said it would not kill grass (I assumed bamboo is a form of grass & I would therefore be wasting my time).

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 14:05

The nice men said that hadn't come to get me because I talked to my plants but because the plants were reassuring me that it was OK, they understood and they loved me too.... in fact we had a whole scale 2-way conversation for a couple of hours.....

Here comes that nice nurse with lunch now - hope it's spam fritters - haven't had those since my last visit here ....

Digging a vegetable Plot

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 10:46

Hi Jayn - know what? - we all get it wrong when we start - I've done much worse than you (but I'm not saying what!). As Verdun says - you've already done more good than harm by just working the soil.

Agree with the advice about trenching - or you could make a turf stack in a disused corner if the garden is big enough (gather the grass sods and stack them soil to soil / grass to grass) - in a couple of years you'll have a nice pile of lovely loam.

I would add a load of bulky organic material (spent mushroom compost or well rotted farmyard manure) if you can get hold of it. Dig it in (or rotovate? - you can hire a rotovator if the plot size warrants it) and, while you're at it, why not add some grit to improve drainage. You can then plant into the mix. Over the course of the next year I would dig the soil a couple more times to keep mixing the organic material in and breaking the clay down.

Please don't be disheartened if your harvest is not great this year - it is asking a lot of young plants to battle their way through clods of clay and sticky manure etc. By next year the organic matter will have boken down into the natural soil and you will have a really lovely soil to plant into. Hard graft this year will reward you for years to come - honestly!

Good luck & welcome to the world of veggie gardening - it really is worth it!!!


Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 09:53

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Gave the plants a good drink both Saturday & Sunday & they've perked up no end! (but was it the water - or was it the long chat I had with them Saturday evening when I apologised most sincerely for disturbing them & explained I only did it because I loved them & didn't want to lose them to the man with the digger...)

Oh oh - have to go - van with men in white coats is here again......

Thanks again 


Posted: 20/05/2013 at 09:36

Dotty - agree completely with Italophile re watering. Give them a nice drink before you leave & make sure they are not in full blazing sunlight for hours at a time (although it is a Bank Holiday so you're probably safe on that second one!!) & they'll be fine.

I garden in sunny Suffolk & have been leaving my toms and other tenders out at night for the last 3 or 4 days. I leave them in a sheltered spot where they won't be damaged if the wind picks up & keep an eye on the weather forecast to put them inside if the temp dips below about 7 - 8C. They are fine & you could probably start doing the same.

I would check the Met Office 5 day forecast before you go. If it's set to be balmy - no worries - perhaps dig holes in a spare bit of border to stand the pots in to make them more stable (and also absorb a bit of moisture from the soil).

If it looks as though it could get chilly I'd think about the mini greenhouse - perhaps with the door open so the structure just provides a bit of extra shelter but the plants don't bake during the day. The open greenhouse option might also be a good bet if your area is forecast for windy weather - I've had more plants damaged by strong winds (whether drying out / knocking over or snapping stems) than I have by lack of water.

Enjoy your break!!


Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 15:22

Hi Everyone - can somebody help a dumbo who didn't plan properly?

I know it's definitely the wrong time to do it but I HAD to move some 2 - 3 yr old delphinium plants yesterday (17th May) as this clump was going to be in the path of some landscaping work (a smart person would have figured that & moved them some weeks ago)! The plants are about 2' tall with the very first signs of flower spikes.

I moved them to a nice spot with enriched soil, gave them a good soak and put in a support system. Weather yesterday & today has been still, cool & overcast.

24 hrs later and the tops are looking limp and floppy (but not completely keeled over). 

Do you think these might perk up in the next few days? - if so how long should I give them to do so?

Or should I cut my losses and cut the stems back now & hope for a late summer show of flowers? Also any views on watering? - my soil is heavy clay & is wet and sticky after several days of heavy rain last week. I was planning to make sure the plants do not dry out but assume that I need to make sure the soil isn't waterlogged?


Posted: 17/05/2013 at 20:37

Hi Sazac

We inherited bamboo when we moved to this house. We used a combination of digging, digging and yet more digging using garden forks / spades and pick axes (I can see that the kit used by Rainwater Fanatc would be good as well). I think the overall dimensions of the rootball / rhizome mass eventually turned out to be about 4 metres by 3 metres. We also used glyphosphate as soon as little bits started to show their heads above ground.

It was a bit of a nightmare but we did defeat it in one season with a bit of help from our neighbours. The bamboo had spread under the fence and was lifting their patio so they lifted the patio and dug and sprayed for a whole season like us (bless them).

Just the odd bit sprouting in the second season which was easy enough to pull out / dig up.

Good luck - it's worth the effort - I hate the stuff!!!


Posted: 08/05/2013 at 13:55

I too have been gardening with a bad back for years - nowhere near as bad as yours Joel (so definitely follow medical advice) - but there are times when mine is pretty unbearable.

Best advice I can give is to keep up the exercises and also to take an alarm clock out gardening with you! Set it for 20, 30 minutes at a time (or whatever interval works for you to stop you before things even start to hurt). When it goes off - change to a different task that involves a different working position (you are allowed to go back to the earlier task later!). It was doing a straight 2 - 3hrs of hand weeding or digging or shovelling compost or any other task without a break that was a killer for me. 

We gardeners all know that once we get started with our heads down and our bums up that an hour passes in the blink of an eye - hence the alarm to keep you on the straight and narrow and stop you over straining any one set of muscles or part of your body. Mind you, that alarm will drive you crazy - it'll go off everytime just as you're getting a nice rhythm going!! 

Good luck & take it easy out there - & remember - gardening is our hobby - we do it for fun - for pleasure - it is not a chore - we should not take it too seriously - yeah yeah - and who exactly am I kidding at this time of year (especially on this forum)????

Discussions started by Topbird

Wasp nest - potential problem

Replies: 2    Views: 273
Last Post: 26/09/2017 at 14:56

Plant ID please

Replies: 3    Views: 325
Last Post: 18/05/2017 at 12:31

Views on Plant Combination - Black Elder & Clematis

Replies: 17    Views: 823
Last Post: 01/03/2017 at 14:12

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

Replies: 8    Views: 1138
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

Replies: 10    Views: 1182
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 13:20

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 0    Views: 812
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 5    Views: 1978
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 3827
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 1703
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 1960
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 1552
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 6977
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 1441
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 5225
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
14 threads returned