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Latest posts by Verdun

What perennials are ŷou currently obsessed about for next year?

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:38

That sounds quite exciting bob.  You may have a gem or two there.

Happy Xmas to you too.  


Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:33

Good luck tomorrow John.   Dove is quiet...hope she's had good news

Storm is now here after a relatively nice day.  Wind howling and heavy rain.  Yet we are supposed not to get the worst of it...! 

we are used to gales and mild temps and no sign of really cold weather yet 

Small Dahlia Tubers

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:28

Watch out that those small tubers dont dry out too much.  Larger tubers have enough moisture in them to survive winter but those tiddlers should be potted up in early spring.  It's a fine balance ...keeping them alive with some moisture yet not letting them get wet     Small tubers that totally dry out will usually perish

Talkback: How to winter-prune trees and shrubs

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:17

Early spring smiler

Sieving A Bed for Carrots

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:11

I have done the steel rod method advocated by John.   I called it my "crowbar" carrots.  Did it years ago as an experiment.  Deep holes were made and a mixture of sieved soil, compost and blood fish and bone were poured into them.  Two seeds per station. Then one removed after germination.  

I had great fun when harvesting them.  If people were about I would go to my crowbar carrots and simply pull one out of the ground (they came easily). They were huge.  They were just as tasty.  They weren't those long thin roots you see from those competition growers.....they were long, full edible carrots.  My remark when pulling was "oh, it's just a small one" as I dangled my giant carrot. 

So, Newboy, ??ou could do this too for fun and for food.  Your worries about "forking" carrots etc would disappear.  But more work though than simply sowing carrot seed.  I would miss out on my baby carrot thinnings though too.

Tidy or mulch?

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 18:02

I tidy up.  Removing old leaves helps prevent disease and overwintering pests.  Mulch tho if you can.  Clean ground discourages slugs etc.  new growth ...ESP flower buds from soil level as with hellebores......can be seen and enjoyed.    Old leaves, if not diseased, are best on the compost heap.  Clean soil helps birds "see" their food supply too.....maybe control future caterpillar damage.  For me?  I like to see clean ground over winter whether mulched or unmulched.  

Sow Some Veg Together - Confuse A Carrot Fly !!

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 11:50

The finer your soil the better your carrots will be Newboy ....hmmmmm, I can taste my carrots already 

Just moved - horrible garden

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 11:48

All very true folks but don't forget the low light levels at,this time of year show off those plants that enjoy these conditions.  Hellebores, for example, simply just don't look as emchanting when flowering in summer.  Many summer flowerers take on a new lease of life when the autumn, with it's lower light levels, comes.  

What perennials are ŷou currently obsessed about for next year?

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 11:42

I have got the helenium's ok its dangerous only to your bank balance.  It's not my only plant obsession but I grew heleniums for the first time last year....put off by their not too attractive foliage before......and they were fantastic.  I'm growing more next year.  Got maybe 6 varieties but will add another 6 I guess, or 7 or 8!  

Hooked on agastaches too....have at least dozen varieties of those......amd hellebores, maybe 35 varieties of those and then there are the salvias and the.........

but I feel the urge to be botanically obsessed about something else.   Must be the cold dark melancholy of these winter days but spring beckons. 

Sow Some Veg Together - Confuse A Carrot Fly !!

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 11:28

Hello newboy

Carrots will not like freshly manured soil....they "fork" meaning they form fingers trying to divert away from the manure.  Stones in the soil too make carrots "fork"

For those carrots I would dig in your that it's already in the ground......and try to break up every lump.  Try to get at least 9" or so of the top soil as fine as possible.  Even on my sandy loam I cultivate further to get well crumbly soil.  I would do this 3 or 4 times before you sow carrots.  Also apply fish blood and bone prior to sowing and rake this in well too.


Ideally, carrots are sown on ground manured the previous year.

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