Latest posts by Verdun

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 12:58

Muddle up, I think maybe it inhibits beneficial wildlife to nearby plants.

never really knowing exactly why, I have always kept fennel isolated from my veg patch.  

If in doubt don't tempt fate so plant with the possibility fennel may affect nearby crops.  

similarly I never plant lupins next to hostas.....lupins attract snails esp after flowering and these would affect nearby hostas.  some plants are good companions; others are detrimental 

How best to plant my Astilbes in sandy soil

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 12:42


astilbes LOVE damp soil.  I would reconsider your strategy .....multipurpose compost and perforated plastic bags are not the way to go 

my soil is sandy loam.......enriched over the years with plenty of manures, composts, bulky raw seaweed etc., etc. so it now holds moisture well and is rich.   I grow several varieties of astilbes, including the dark leaved beauty Shogun but all are where soil is richest and where I can provide some shade.  My plants are large and floriferous

get dried farmyard manure, pelleted chicken manure and mix well and generously with your excavated soil. Dig a generous hole.   Put manure in the bottom of the planting hole.  Loosen roots and plant with mixed soil.......add fish blood and bone to your mixture.  Plant so your plants are in a slight recess to create a reservoire and water really well.  Repeat the watering then mulch with compost enriched with pelleted chicken manure.   

Never let the area totally dry out and water generously during dry spells

planting in poor sandy soil is far from ideal but enriching it generously will help dramatically 

the astilbe shown has been flowering for many weeks and now beginning to go over but it is a metre high and more wide.  It has been superb.  Long after the flowers have gone the foliage will look good......IF given the moisture it needs 

Last edited: 22 July 2016 12:44:27

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 09:29

let us know how you get on jane.........plants don't get a reputation without some basis for it.  

Thought for the day!  who believes in companion planting?  Why?  Is this rubbish too?  

much of my horticultural "wisdom" was gleaned from chatting to guys on their allotments years back (Never had an allotment myself) they know a thing or two and I was cautioned then about where to grow fennel 

Let's see how Monty does ........hopefully he is aware of our comments! 

Like your jungle garden Jane...........I grow cannas, watsonias, colocasia and a lot of tender stuff down here.  (Far better than those wishy washy annuals 

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 08:05

Yes, I was a tad surprised Monty planted fennel so close to his beans jungle jane.    In fact I have always regarded fennel as not being good with anything!  With beans I think fennel inhibits pollination

I grow fennel as an isolated ornamental in the corner of the garden.

i must confess to not knowing really why fennel is such an unwanted resident in the garden so will watch this space.

What's this colourful leaf plant?

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 21:28

Ah! Ok.   So it is smaller than it looks then?  It should certainly be outside though and it should grow fast.

a couple of years back I "bought" 3 tatty barely there coleus plants for 50 p.  They looked almost dead.  They were potted and then planted out to make large foliage plants by the middle of August.  Admittedly it was earlier in the year but there is no reason why yours wont make a decent size plant. Water and feed it weekly. 

As already said coleus really is best grown as an annual.......cuttings took for me but eventually suffered over winter.  Seeds are the way to go if you want several different coloured forms

let us know how you get on.

zebra grass

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 21:13

ricky, dig it up, break it up.  burn it.  Cut up the stems into smaller pieces and use in compost bin.    How big is it?  Can you divide the clumps and take to the dump?  

Could you advertise it for someone to take pieces away?  Family or friends want some? 

I divide zebrinus every 3 years to keep it manageable........last time I dug up a huge specimen I gave clumps away.  

New lawn

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 20:14

Dave, I acknowledge that but turning in the top regardless will bury weeds and make for a clean clear space to work with but I think we agree basically about top soil 

What's this colourful leaf plant?

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 20:12

Wakeshine, plant it outside asap or into a large pot.  water it well and feed it.  It will grow fast....and flower too.  

What is wrong with my plants?

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 20:09

Beat me to it Dave.  Totally agree with you.

those plants have run out of steam, and water, and food and space 

New lawn

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 18:39

Mark, simply turn it over and place the turves in trench..grass side down.  no need to kill it off.  It will rot down nicely.     Nice and tidy too 

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