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New Gardening Topic!!
Started by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac suggested a gardening thread and so here it is!!

Anyone at all, with any growing tips or photos of their current efforts, please post.

I am not an expert by any means, but I love growing fruit and veg and this year, I am having a crack at growing some bedding plants from seed because the cost of buying plants is killing me.

I have my name down for an allotment, and so while despairing at the waiting list, have decided to give over my back lawn this year to raised beds thus hoping for some lovely carrots and parsnips.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
I also love growing fruit & veg. Not an expert, trial & error type. My list is plum, pear, damson and 2 apple trees. Red currant, black currant & goosberry bushes. Raspberries & strawberries. I've got a cherry tree but the birds get all the cherries as it is far to large to net over. Grapevine, but not got the time to tend to it properly. Put in my onions and potatoes, will do peas and runner beans later. Pricked out and potted on some tomatoe seedings. Had a disaster a couple of weeks ago - thought I would be clever and mixed some fertilizer with compost for pricking out and potting on tomatoes. Too strong - killed the seedlings - lost 50 plants. Lucky I had a tray of seedlings that I hadn't potted up. Live and learn.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hello to you all in the greenfinger club ..this is lovely to be able to have chats on gardening..good for you Veggie for starting it off..bit of initiative eh! well to start off,the other week I hunted around for some potato growing bags..and they were all a bit pricey but....Poundland shop have them for guess how muchthey measure 18"high by 45" circumference and they have handles as well, I got three,the potatoes I got from B&Q,but saw them in Poundland as well but I don't know how good they would be...whatever the outcome it's all good fun but I hope mine do taste good.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Nighchap - I am pretty much trial and error myself and I am also lucky to see a ripe cherry. I always seem to do well with pears for some reason, just Conference, but for the last three years they have done really well.

momac - you clearly have an eye for a bargain, I have seen some seed catalogues selling them 3 for £10! You will be able to grow plenty in those and homegrown spuds taste far better than any you can ever buy.

For anyone who is interested The RHS have a great website on flowers, plants etc and in the gardening section there is a bit dedicated to 'Grow Your Own' Here

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse

love your veg

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Keep your Kilmarnock willow well trimmed!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Is that one you grew earlier mache?

Seriously, do you do any gardening then?

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I did but my hens do it for me now

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Chicken poo makes a good fertilizer!

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
and they dig up things that time team would'nt find

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
Mac and momac and veg grower

Well done for starting this thread. Our garden has got overgrown but we have been pruning some trees and bushes today with the loppers and the hedge cutters. My arms are killing me.

Twenty years ago I dug all the grass up and made two big curved borders with a gravel path between, but I wish now I just had a big lawn to mow.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Hope your arms are feeling better this morning Mswigan - I know that feeling only too well

I've tidied up the strawbs and put them in tubs and hanging baskets this year. I had them all round the lawn, in between the flowers, but the Blackbirds and Collared Doves seem to like them more than we do.

I have planted a couple of extra Gooseberry and Redcurrant bushes, I seem to do alright with these, but I have to net them or the birds would strip them given a chance.

Temperatures are set to fall, crazy isn't it? Some days in March have felt like summer and I've caught the sun! Will do as much as I can today - who knows, it may be snowing tomorrow.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Bought a tomato planter Yesterday. The Mrs, in her infinite wisdom, gave my greenhouse to the neighbour, but still wants me to grow her vegetation.

More grated Laburnum on your salad, dear?

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Mornin` all..have strewn poppy seeds around in tubs this a.m.put petunia seeds in pots on windowsill..cucumber seedlings are coming along nicely..I was looking at the young apple trees down at retail park yesterday full of blossom..I would love one ..owd dave brings me some from his garden but I would love my own..might pop down there tomorrow..my problem is when to stop planting.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Our greenhouse which we bought towards the back end of last year will soon be full of seedling and plants which we overwintered.Trying to grow strawberries from seed this year

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Free Tomato Seeds from Dolmio Here

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Tomato Seeds is innocent!

Posted by: farrie50 (1525)  Report abuse
hope all you gardeners are using Bulldog Tools and flying the flag for British workers

Posted by: greenfingers (855)  Report abuse
did,nt no i had a club very busy on the atlotment at this time of year hope you all keeping up with jobs to do , i grew some kale last year never done before still eating it its just like spring cabbage but a bit stronger very nice , give it a go parsnips are in as well as onions and schlotts, i never could spell spuds are in . all plants bought from farmer in southport about 3 inch high caulies brocli sprouts kale cabbage swede beetroot and toms oh and sweet corn . i have red current white and black cherres pear rubbarb , i like to try somthing different every year this year is black salsify any one tried it got any tips , good luck to all you giant veg growers i have no tips for you

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
greenfingers - Black Salsify is listed in my gardening books as Scorzonera, something of a delicacy Here

Well folks, I'm going to do as much done as poss - The Met Office are forecasting snow for us on Tuesday....

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Good thread,we have planted onions,carrots and spuds,a good tip is to grow onions and carrots close together,helps to keep onion and carrot flies away,and save your seeds for next year,our flowers are either from seed or from very small plug plants and grown on,marigolds also help keep onion and carrot flies away,and if you grow rhubarb,split it up every 5 years and replant some more,or give some.
Our flower and some runner beans waiting to go outside.




Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
looked at my climbing roses earlier got greenfly already

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Spray with soapy water,use washing up liquid,it sorts the greenfly out and won't harm owt else.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
My word spud..you have been busy..and yes I agree with the washing up liquid,according to the news there are quite a lot of ladybirds this year,that should sort the little devils out.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Had to keep stopping mowing the lawn to move ladybirds, there were loads all over the grass.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
spud1 - Great pics - you are very organised there. Good tips and the seed of marigolds are very easy to collect.

I have greenfly on the roses too, I always get a lot on the raspberries too, and whitefly.

Mac - I remember you saying you had a big garden last year when one of your trees blew down. What sort of stuff do you grow? Are you a beds and borders type of chap with a potting shed?

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
It's the Missus who does all the flowers,I do the veg,and spray the weeds,that's another tip,only buy weedkiller in concentrate form,not ready mixed,I use glyphosate,and not the roundup brand,I would.nt be surprised if this isnt banned soon,most other gardening chemicals have been.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Little now she has given away my greenhouse

I will plant some tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers and the like though.

No potting sheds (I usually sew seeds in the pots they will remain in throughout their lives).

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
spud1 - I was surprised that they banned Derris (organic mite buster) I don't use anything at all myself, the weeds are a nightmare, but thats what I get for being stubborn. On the upside, its great to watch the blackbirds hunting out snails - of which I have many.

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
Those small yellow flowers, I don't know what they are called, and they are not buttercups, are taking over my rockery, growing through all the plants and I don't know how to get rid of the little blighters.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
mswigan - there are a few different types of buttercup, creeping etc. but I don't think any are flowering yet, maybe this would help you identify your plant.Here

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Have bought a little cherry tree this a.m...Morello..does anyone have one,and did you have any success with it...not a day for planting out though is it?.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
aye grand, lovely cherries

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta mache..I meant to get an apple tree..but I just love cherries,suppose I'll have to wait until next year though.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
Warning! guard it against blackbirds and wasps

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta again mache.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
momac - I have two cherry trees, but neither of them are Morello, I had a google and found this Gardeners World

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks veggie..I'd better make sure the soil is fertile hadn't I..tree growing is a bit new to me,but I'm looking forward to getting a couple more..maybe a plum tree next,have you got one?and how long after planting was it that you got fruit please.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Just had another look on google,and it says that it's best planted in cool weather..so that's smashing isn't it.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
momac - the Morello will be fine. I only have one plum, and it is probably only a couple of years old, so I haven't had fruit yet, Victoria is the best one to choose as it is self-fertile (should give details on label that they usually put on trees) Apples and pears are also very easy to grow.

Posted by: bluesman (246) Report abuse
Momac,
Morrello is an acid or sour cherry.It is only suitable for cooking.It is one of the easiest to grow and is suitable for growing in our local climate.I've found that Victoria plum requires annual fruit thinning or it starts biennial fruit bearing.The experts say that it as poor disease resistance but i've got one that is over 20 years old and still going strong.Try growing Damsons, they are easier to grow than Plums .A good variety is Merryweather.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta for that veggie..the reason I didn`t get an apple tree is it wasn`t a self pollinater...I`m on a mission now planting trees..at least they won`t need watering as much as all the pots of flowers....ta to you too bluesman..I honestly thought morello was a sweet one..I`ll dip them in honey when I get any..I`ve just planted it now..I never thought of damsons but will have a go at anything including plums and pears...ta both of you.

Posted by: bravo (1143) Report abuse
hi momac,we have a cherry tree,2nd year still no fruit,must be doing something wrong,!!!waiting to hear from you

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
I love horseradish, has anyone every grown it and if so does it grow from seed?

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
I pruned the blackcurrant bushes last year for the 1st time,I read what to do,Prune 2/3rds off the branches,we got hardly and fruit last Summer,it should have said,Prune 2/3rds of the branches.

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
Spud A friend of mine drastically pruned their b'currant bush three years ago, he didn't get a lot of fruit the year after but the 2nd year there was a vast abundance of fruit. So not to worry,you may well be rewarded this year.

Posted by: john joseph (3197)  Report abuse
organicjacks allottment red rock august 3rd 2011

copy and paste

google or go to u tube you may call and visit me
all are welcome put the sound on for the video 6mins long

jj

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse

erontquay,I now know that they fruit on the 2nd years growth,so there should be lots this summer,I took cuttings,dead easy to do every one took,I don't know the variety but the berries were as big as small grapes.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
erontquay - Horseradish - when I had my plot, I bought small cuttings and planted them in the ground. If I grew it again though, I would grow it in a deep container as the plant can spread as it is perennial.

Link

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
JJ's Link

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I'm thrilled to bits..For years my favourite shrub has been Wisteria,I think it's just beautiful,I got one about four years ago but it never flowered..however my son told me how to prune it...I did exactly what he said and lo and behold this morning just glanced at it and it is full of buds.. yippee..I'm really looking forward to seeing it in full bloom.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
That's quick momac,they can take up to 7 years to blossom,and your Sons right about the pruning,our Blackcurrants are full of blossom now,lots of fruit this summerI put 3 types of spuds in this year,Rocket, Pentland Javelin and Red Duke of York,since found out that Rocket is'nt much good

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I was over the moon with my rocket last year

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
spud1..it`s my first attempt to properly grow spuds..have only played at it before and I have maris piper and maris peer, I have two bags of compost ready..I hope I have some success.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
I've never grown these momac,I only have earlies,usually pentland javelin or ulster sceptre,I have had red duke of york before,their good,very bright red skins,maris peer is an early,maris piper is a late variety

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
Don't you just feel the urge to get bedding plants in the pots but it's too early yet.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Yes mswigan,am dying to get these seedlings off the windowsills and into pots but as you say it`s too early..I learned my lesson years ago through impatience..we could have frost in April and lose them all..but it will be worth the wait.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
After years of dithering I'm trying some Jerusalem Artichokes, anyone grown any of these? A bloke I know has given me some tubers - so today I'll be planting these

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
'A bloke I know'. (nudge nudge )

Never tried artichokes,

Posted by: rbilly (10536) Report abuse
my little grand daughter planted some apple pips about a month ago. 5 all told and we put them in a yogurt pot in the kitchen window and we now have 4 little plants growing she is thrilled to peices dont no if they will come to any thing but every time she comes she looks to see how big they have grown ..

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Mac - no wonder They aren't artichokes as you know them they are completely different - a bit like spuds.

rbilly - experts reckon that trees grown from pips won't come to much, but my brother did this with his son and they have a couple of small apple trees (amongst their other few) and they seem to be doing well.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Jerusalem Artichokes,reminds me of Blazing Saddles.
A good tip if you have Moss or Litchen's on your soil,get some Sulphate of Iron and sprinkle it on,it can stain Flags though,it's fine on soil,and kills moss very quickly,and it's cheap.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
We have been watching Monty Don's series on Italian gardens..absolutely beautiful..think I'll set fire to my garden..ha ha only kidding..I'm quite happy with what I've got.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I've been watching that every week. Such a huge difference in all the gardens he visited. I thought the water features were stunning, nothing like that wil ever be built again. I like Monty's style of presenting too - prefer him to Titchmarsh.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Yes veggie..I'm so glad he got over his stroke..I don't think Titchmarsh would have as many followers.

Posted by: ann-spam (2854)  Report abuse
Momac I used to buy all my seeds from netto wilkinsons arent to bad on prices .

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
momac

Maureen if you want a cherry that is sweet there is one called Stella.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hya Ann..how are you flower,I seem to get seeds from all over the place,as long as they're not too cheap..have had some good results from Wilkinsons too.

Ta mswigan..as I said further up this thread,I always thought Morello's were sweet,serves me right for not googling beforehand..I will keep my eyes open and probably get one of those as well.. ta again both of you.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
As an addition to the usual Courgettes, I am trying some Summer Squash this year 'Sunburst F1' a patty pan type - says they can be picked when very small. Anyone tried any of these? I'd be interested to know what they taste like?

Posted by: james (178) Report abuse
This is an excellent thread from which we all can learn a lot.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Sorry veggie..am not a lover of Courgettes..so I don't know much about them...but it takes all sorts doesn't it,hope someone else can help you.
James..we're glad you are enjoying this thread..and if you have anything to tell us about your garden,we would be interested.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Reminded me of this - til we give our foes a wiggin

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Harvester pubs are giving away free seeds For Kids

Hozelock are giving away free Marigold seeds Here

The Big Lunch (order free info pack) also gives free Salad Leaves seeds Here

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Companion planting...Plant marigolds in with your vegetables to stop Aphids ravaging them.

Basil drives away flies and mosquitoes.

Chives are often planted among roses to keep aphids away and to resist the disease, Blackspot.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks for that veggie...have sent for marigold seeds..and will take some round to Owd Dave.
Mac..First I've heard about chives..and I have a pot full in garden...ta.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Companion plants - a list

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Thanks Mac - thats more detailed than all my books put together.

All those can help reduce the need for chemicals which can do more harm than good.

Having a bonfire tonight to burn all the prunings/rubbish - might throw a few spuds in - pass the salt.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Mmmm!

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
I don't know what other retailers are selling growbags for this year, but Morrison's have them at 2 for £2-50 (14.4.12). I bought some and they seem good quality unlike some I have had in the past.

Update 15.4 The brand is J Arthur Bowers. I don't use them as grow bags I use the compost in pots for tomatoes etc. I find this easier to control the watering. Tip - for tomatoes fill the pot about about 1 inch shy of the fill level when potting up. When the plants are about 3 foot in height top up the pot to the full fill level to encourage new roots to form ready for fruit growth.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Thanks for that nightchap, not been to Morrison's yet this week. Good to know its good stuff - I despair sometimes with the amount of coconut/conker matter in compost.

A couple of nice days are forecast - then it is back to the rain - so hopefully I can get something done. I've got flags to lay a patio that have been sat there two years - I really need to get my finger out.

Posted by: jo anne (23719)  Report abuse
There's a new website of Wigan's Inspirational Growing and Allotment Network:

www.wiganallotmentnetwork.org.uk

(From WW Forum )

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Have to wash the greenhouse out yet..a couple of years ago Had tomato blight and lost the lot..so used Bordeaux mixture last year..and will use it every year.

Posted by: bentlegs (3940) Report abuse
A tip an old Irish man gave me, if you like baby carrots, fill a plastic bucket with builders sand & sprinkle the seeds as thick as you want, then cover over with half inch of sand, when the leaves are about 6" high pull them & replace with more seeds,he said you never get carrot fly,but keep watered,Dont forget to put some holes in the bottom,

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
What's the earliest we can put bedding plants out in the pots.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
The beginning of June really - although it is possible to get a touch of frost then. Start hardening them off at the end of May ie: stand them outside during the day and then bring them in before you go to bed for approx 10-14 days and you should be ok. Fleece helps too if you are worried once you have planted them up.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
bentlegs - thanks for the tip on the carrots, I haven't tried sand yet. I know lots of people that have trouble with carrots.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Veg grower,plant some marigolds or onions near your carrots,helps keep both onion and carrot fly away.

Posted by: bluesman (246) Report abuse
Carrot flies can only fly about 2 feet high.If you sow your carrots in a tub higher than this you dont get carrot fly grubs in your carrots.You can erect a small fence made out of fleece this will also help, as does sowing them on a windy site,the flies can't cope with the wind.I know it sounds like a wind up but it's not.
.

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
Not strictly Gardening but in todays Daily Mail. A free copy of Home and Gardens. Telephone 0845 286 3265 Quote 118s for a free copy. No obligation no postage to pay.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Thanks for the posts.

Birdseye are giving veg seeds too on their facebook page Here

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
I was doing a spot of gardening yesterday when I noticed some of my flowers had died.

As a mark of respect, I went out and tied a member of my family to a lamppost.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I thought I would ad my two pennorth worth, weather being a bit cold and wet:

I say, I say , I say, Why do potatoes make good detectives?...

Because they always keep their eyes peeled.


A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill in the book - except for learning how to grow in a straight row.


What do you get if you cross a four-leaf clover with poison-ivy?..

A rash of good luck.


What does the Jolly Green Giant wear to a posh do?...

A three peas suit!


Badum Tssshhhh



Posted by: zippydadoda (835)   Report abuse
got an amarillis at christmas,whitch as just finished flowering, can i save it for next year ?????????????

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I'm not well up on them myself, but I found Sarah Raven's site Here

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Zippy there is plenty of info. on Google as well.. just type in.. Amaryllis after flowering..

Posted by: zippydadoda (835)   Report abuse
thanks for the info,veg grower n momac.i will have a go.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
tom - aww I was posting at the same time as you Looks like you got lost/overlooked.

Do you grow them yourself tom?

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Did you get those jokes off, 'dead funny johnny', VG?

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
No Mac - as predictable as ever - I googled 'gardening jokes'.


♫ ♫ 'This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus, Age of Asparagus' ♫ ♫

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Leaf it aaaat!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I know the weather and forecast aren't great but I think I will have to move my butttomorrow and get something done

Weeds are doing a roaring trade in this weather and I am behind anyway from last year when I had a bad shoulder. The dog has been running all over the place and so I am gonna have to buy some small picket fencing or something similar to keep her off. Found a few strawberry plants I had missed and still have to clear the area for the patio, oh and a load of seeds yet to sow.

Anyone doing anything great this weekend?

ps not a one to use chemicals, I was googling 'organic' and found Garden Organic they have free 'how to' guides to download.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie,I've been doing a bit of weeding this afternoon,not too keen on cool weather though..I must be soft[:D..you sound like your garden is all veggies..all I've got in the veg line is..toms waiting to go out..cucumbers..too many!!and as I said before, potatoes..now it's new to me how to get going with them so I googled it,got some chitted potatoes and waited for them to sprout..kept them in the greenhouse didn't do much sprouting, anyway I've put some of them in the spud bag,and then got to wait for them to start off,then add more compost and put some more spuds in..as I say It's a bit new to me this veggie growing, but am having fun waiting to see what happens..am glad it 's been raining though..my gardens nearly all flagged so there are a lot of tubs to water..am back out the morning..if my stupid back don't play up again.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Hi momac! I wish my garden was full of veggies, roll-on summer eh? Some potatoes take longer to sprout than others - I usually put mine on kitchen windowsill - but some people don't bother chitting at all and just plant them, they still grow, I can't imagine farmers chitting millions of potatoes for weeks before planting can you?

I wouldn't put tomatoes and cucumbers out yet if poss - its a bit early, and they are forecasting cold weather. Also potatoes and tomatoes should be kept away from each other, if at all possible, as they are the same family and share the same diseases - in particular blight - although this doesn't usually affect early potatoes.

Apologies for banging on, but it will save you hassle later

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hi veggie don't apologise..your'e not banging on at all..it's nice just to talk to someone who knows what they're on about..as I said my love of gardening has always been flowers, roses,clematis,dahlias lavender astilbes etc,so veggies of course are new,I have grown tomatoes this last couple of years..I don't keep them anywhere near the potatoes by the way..they're still on the windowsill with the cucumbers 'til the weather warms up..and ta for that site..will have a stroll through afterwards,when we come back from AsdaI have been making my own marmalade for a few years now but from the concentrate..cheat..but have made wine for a long time..mostly banana.been thinking to get my finger out lately and get cracking with some more..elderberry is delish,but very hard to find around here..made raisin and potato wine which if? you get it right is as strong as whiskey..oh, and I paint as well..I will tell you what happened when my toms got the blight veggie later on..must go now.m.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Here I am again veggie..a couple of years ago,I'd gone into the greenhouse to water the toms and everything was fine, went back in the afternoon to check and they had all shrivelled up..straight away my arms started itching because I had touched them..later on I had a rash everywhere except my face!!to cut a very long story short it was Lichen Planus..from the fungus and it lasts for eighteen flipping months and lowers your immune system so if you have any signs, get wrapped up before you touch them and don't breath on those spores.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
That sounds nasty Momac - hope it hasn't left you with any scarring. Funny you should mention it as I don't like touching tomato foliage because it stinks and the smell stays on your fingers.

I'm not big on flowers, so you'll have to let me know what you do with your dahlias, I have my Grandad's old gardening books, but it is always good to hear advice from others. I have sown quite a few and I'm goin to pot them up but not sure after that, anyway thats a few weeks off yet. I'm also growing petunias for the first time. The cost of them at garden centres is a killer so I am hoping to save quite a bit of money this year.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hi veggie...no to your question on leaving any scarring thank God...Dahlias,the first time I got dahlia corms I thought looked like something out of quatermass..anyway after reading up,the corms go in and the woody stem has be uppermost..it seems that a lot of people have ask..mind you it's my first year at growing them,so I'm still hoping..I do try and keep seeds from whatever plants I can..have just planted nasturtiums in window box and given some that were grown from last years seeds,they can get a lot of black fly though..poppies are just showing so.....clematis is my favourite,there's montana around the front door and climbing round the shed,but the base of it has got very woody so it's probably the last year I'll keep it..last summer it was around the archway in back garden but it was that heavy all the lot collapsed,we could not untangle it so it all went arch and all..just got a new one..only the metal one and a couple more clematis that seem to be thriving,do you like houseplants as well veggie?.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks for the vegetable gardening too, I have bookmarked it..it looks very interesting.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
momac - house plants aren't really my thing, thats not to say I wouldn't have them - I guess its just a matter of finding the ones I like.


Right, definately need to get a move on with the back otherwise it'll never be done. My brother said he will give me a lift with the patio - which is good because I wasn't looking forward to dropping the flags myself and he's done it before.

I have been sowing sunflower seeds and sweet peas in loo rolls, finished potting up the strawberries. Planted the last gooseberry bush, and stil got loads to do.....

ps - has anyone grown Aubergines successfully?? I manage to grow them but I have never had any fruit off them

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..hope you got your patio done,it's jolly hard work but I bet it looks lovely.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
momac - no patio yet - I've not even cleared the area. My son is on about getting someone in to do it - I said yeah if you're gonna pay for it.

Just fed the birds, got a large bag of seed from Poundstretcher £1.79 - just hope the cat next door stays away.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..that is a shame..and it's difficult to find anyone who will do it at a low cost..am sorry about that.
As I said on a previous thread we have a cat..luckily he's more content being indoors,than go after birds..but he once got a mouse..I shouted at him so loud he dropped it..I just cannot see any animal hurt and in pain..it just disturbs me..if you can get the chance when you see the cat throw some water at it or have a water pistol ready, they are cruel little buggers I know.I hope you get something sorted soon as regarding the patio.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Mi spuds are showing,this rain will suit them,then Sunshine in the merry month of May.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

how deep should l plant my potatoes?- The frost is just leaving the ground here in Sudbury On. l enjoy this thread.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
That's great spud1..I'm still waiting,it's my first time really for spuds and I planted them in a spud bag..I keep having a peep every morning to see if there's anything happening.

Marsin..veggie will tell you how deep..she's been growing veggies longer than me.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Spud..showing my ignorance you can tell Marsin how deep to plant them can.t you..

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Anybody got any water lillies - my garden is just one big lake after all this rain. Spuds - mine are breaking through now.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - if you are growing them in the ground then dig a trench, not too deep, about half a foot deep and pop them in with their eyes (tiny shoots) point upwards, you can do a double row and stagger them zigzag fashion. Fill in the trench, and then as they grow, earth up the soil around the stems - you usually do this two or three times - although you can use grass cuttings instead.

If you are growing in a bag or tub, fill it a 3rd full of compost or good soil and pop a few potatoes in and just cover them, then when they have grown abit, same as before, pack more compost/soil around the stems without actually covering the tops. This exludes the light and prevents potatoes going green.

Toby Buckland In The Ground

Monty Don In A Bag

Prefer Toby Buckland meself...

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Do as Veggie says,if you have more than one row,leave about 2ft between rows,seed spuds are best about as big as an hens egg,any real big ones can be cut in half,I don't take any eyes off earlies,because I like plenty of small spuds.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Nightchap - you could diversify and invest in a few ducks and geese......

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
tom - I agree, Rachel de Thame is a Toffee Nosed Tart I have never seen her get her hands dirty yet.

To be fair, I don't mind Joe or Monty, but Toby was so enthusiastic and he knows more about veg growing and anything else for that matter, than all the others including Alan Titchmarsh. He was very practical - a bit like Geoff Hamilton was.

I was glad when Alys got her own show 'The Edible Garden' a few years ago, it was like a breath of fresh air.

Do you like growing anything then?

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Veg grower - don't think the ducks and geese would survive for long with my dog !

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

thank you momac, veg grower and spud1 just plant some in a tub, will plant some more in the ground next week-when it gets warmer. l have a lot of jerusalem artichokes, they multiply like weeds. they have a nice yellow flower, l use them as a back border. makes a nice cream of jerusalem artichoke soup.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - Here is a link for Ontario planting dates - as you are in a different climate to us. OMAFRA

I don't know if you are able to access that link, but if you can't - OMAFRA is the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and their site gives a guide of last frosts etc and what to plant and when.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Joe Swift drives me bonkers with his overuse of the word !Designer! it's practically every other word he uses..and yes bring Toby back..and Alys,even if she does eat everything she grows.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

thanks veg grower..l called the Ministry and ordered the planting guide.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, I can see nowt is gonna get done today....

Blowing a gale all night and I've been awake since 4am, its not good is it?

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hope you've had your feet up veggie..I've not done so much today either with this miserable weather..the sunshine should be just around the corner..yippee.

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
It's a good forecast for tomorrow. 17 apparently.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
inches of rain or temperature

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
mache lol

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Good morning guys and gals.

I am currently writing a list of jobs for my son to do when he wakes up - I WILL have my patio before weekend! Well, I can live in hope...

Doesn't the sunshine make you feel so much better?

A forecast for the week ahead - doesn't look too bad BBC Weather

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Good afternoon veggie..what a gorgeous day it's been..hope you can get your son to help you with the patio,let's hope this sunshine carries on throughout next week as well..I must be soft..I do not like the cold at all.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I know what you mean, its been freezing the last few days, especially with that wind.

For anyone interested Friends Of The Earth are giving away free 'bee friendly' wild flower seeds..

Here

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I've read that somewhere else

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
I Have a Beautiful Patio...I go and sit out there when I want to remember the ex.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I'll tell him

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
You'll have to shout through the patio flags.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I'm really getting bored with this weather now..think I'll flit.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I'ts raining these in Japan

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
momac and everyone I am dying to get out in the garden but the weather is shocking. It's so changeable.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Got a greenhouse full of seedlings ready to put into garden but too cold and wet yet.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I remember in March, it was beautiful, I was out in T-Shirts.

Just glad that wind has dropped, its a beautiful morning and a forecast for 17C later on.....

Posted by: james (178) Report abuse
Was feeling quite under the weather this morning-until that is I read the jokes from Mac and Veg Grower and now I've had a thoroughly good laugh I feel much, much better. thank you.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
You're welcome james. Please feel free to add any gardening tips, jokes, or indeed, anything else, we'd love to hear them.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Well that's it..tomatoes potted up in greenhouse..and cucumbers..hope and pray now for the the weather to stay something like..if I'm jumping the gun it's my own fault..spud bags all sorted-4 of them..will be eating them til next Christmas..hopefully..hello sunshine good bye rain.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Weather

A few cloudy days and then rain to start next week. It is forecasting a frost tonight I had the fire on last night, I were freeeeeezin

Hopefully I'll get a lot done this weekend, got lots to sow and pot up.

Just been watching the birds in the garden, they were chattering away and flying about, none of them going for the food, its as if the mother is telling them what to do, because they only go for the food after everything has calmed down - its like they're at school and quite funny to watch.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Oo-er,frost and cold nights forecast,what was that about it being my own fault for jumping the gun..I think the fleece will be coming out again.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I would imagine you would be fine with the fleece. The temperatures they give can vary, and the worst places are open fields and allotments. Built-up areas are considerably warmer. Have you got anything good planned for the weekend? At least it should be dry.

I have some Gladioli coming up but the dog is jumping all over the place - miraculously they came up last year - so there is a tip for dog proof plants folks.

Not done anything, I've had too much paperwork, but will crack-on tomorrow - before that dreaded rain on Monday...

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..nothing planned for the weekend sadly, except going to Arbour Lane garden centre to find some begonias for a couple of troughs in the back garden,I usually get them there..not too expensive and always give a good show..if I had more room I would grow everything from seed,but alas I've not.
Yes I think it will be ok with fleece, as you say it's pretty much warmer in built up areas.

I once read that lots of plants actually thrive the more they are buffeted about..it imitates the wind or something like that..so I wouldn't bother about your little Collie..as I said before,wish I still had mine.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
♫ ♫ 'Oh, What A Beautiful Morning...' ♫ ♫

Well, I think we missed that frost...

Fed the birds - that seed is going very quick this year, but we have had it mild, maybe there has been a surge in the avian population....

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Jeyes Fluid on sale at Lidl,£5.49 a litre,very cheap that,you will have to be quick,it won't last long at that price.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks Spud..I just love the smell of that...great for putting down the outside drains and many more purposes.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

daffoldils are my favourite flower. Went to the garden center yesterday and bought 5 big plant pots full.
My favorite time to visit Wigan is march when all the daffodils and bluebells are out.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Yesterday at 6-00am outside temp 1c ground full of frost but seedlings ok in greenhouse not planting out yet

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
spud1 - thanks for that, I've told folk I know who use Jeyes to clean their greenhouses. I remember the first time I ever smelled it, talk about clearing your airways...

marsin - daffodils are beautiful and are a great investment as they spread a little further every year. They come in so many different shades and sizes too.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Marsin,daffodils were my Mams favourite flower..I've never had any growing in my garden but the display this year around the countryside have made me think twice..they look beautiful when they're in clusters.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - how are your plants in the greenhouse, I didn't think there was much of a frost. Wish I had a proper greenhouse - my brother may be getting rid of his so fingers crossed.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie,so far so good..I'm keeping an eye on them though..I got one of those little weather stations last year from Lidl's and it's been very handy for keeping an eye on the temperature,as for greenhouses..I never seemed to be able to afford one but my eldest son bought me one about four years ago,it's only a small one from B&Q but it's fine by me..A pity we didn't have this conversation a couple of years back,my brother-in-law wanted to get rid of two big ones..but my garden wasn't big enough to hold one..alas I can't ask him now,he had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed his car..but if I hear of anyone getting rid of theirs I will certainly let you know.. fingers crossed.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

momac, my mother also liked her daffodils, she kept an eye on them the day and night before Mothering sunday and still people would manage to pick some for their Mothers. l have tried for years but somehow have had no luck in growing them.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
marsin,did you plant the Daffs deep enough,they need to be at least 4inches deep,otherwise they will come up blind,no flowers only leaves.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

thanks spud1, usually -every year- l keep the daffodils in the pots, in the shed, until the onset of cold weather in octoberish, then l plant them deep, l maybe planting them too deep. We get winter temps of -30/-40c so put about a foot of leaves on all my plants. should l be taking them out of the plant pots after flowering? Have absolutely no luck with garlic also!!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - I had a good google and I think they would probably be better left in the ground - after dying down, as it may be a shock to their system being put into cold earth. It seems that daffodils grow wild where you are, I hope you can see the link Sudbury Star

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
Are you buying more garden chemicals than you actually need? We’ve found some weed and bug killers that claim to be for different purposes, but are actually identical in all but name.

So the Which? Gardening team headed for a garden centre and picked up three products from William Sinclair – Nettle Killer, Bramble Killer and Deep Root Ultra Path & Patio Weedkiller.

Despite nettles being rather different from brambles and deep-rooted weeds, all three of these bottles contained exactly the same concentration of the active ingredient, glyphosate.

Next to come under scrutiny were two products claiming to rid your beds of pesky bugs – Growing Success Fruit & Veg Bug Killer and Growing Success Shrub & Flower Bug Killer. Both contained identical amounts of pyrethrum, according to the labels.

Continuing with this trend, we found that big-name Bayer’s Path Weedkiller Concentrate and Long Lasting Ground Clear have the same formulation. And it’s the same story with RoundUp Weedkiller and RoundUp XL Tough & Deep Root Weedkiller ready-to-use spray

Taken from Which magazine March 2012.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
erontquay,Rosate 36 is the only weedkiller you need very concentrated glyphosate,and a lot cheaper.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

ver grower, thanks for article..l will definately go for a drive to see the daffodils.
Kagawong is 110 miles west from me.
we have a camp on Mc Charles Lake just 30 miles from here and l have lots of daffodils growing there.. but in town no luck. will have a chat with the lady running the daff show on the Island.

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
marsin Where do you live? Just interested to know.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

Hi mswigan, Have lived in Sudbury ON. for 46 yrs.

Posted by: mswigan (inactive) Report abuse
marsin Just Googled Sudbury. It looks lovely. -30 in Winter. Is it hot in Summer and can you grow anything that you like. Do you grow any veg.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, its a beautiful morning, but there is a forecast of rain for later.

I have noticed a thrush in the garden the last few days (I assume it is the same one coming back) she was eating some grapes I had put out that were past their best. So I'm hoping to get a pic of her today, along with all the others of course

PS: The RSPB, besides being a brillint site, has a free booklet of garden birds that you can send for Click Here

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
I don't use chemicals on my veggies or flowers. I heard a gardener on t.v. (can't remember her name, but she has a very broad Lancashire accent) say that the secret to weed free beds is tight planting. I've managed to achieve this over the past couple of years in my raised beds in my garden, and they look full and healthy! I have fruit bushes planted in these beds too. The best fruiter is a Worcester Berry bush. It is laden every year, but is also a favourite with caterpillars (cabbage white I think) which have already started munching on the leaves! A neighbour kindly lets me use his allotment.My spuds are coming along well. I've started off loads of seedlings - planted some rainbow carrot seeds this year, so can't wait for them. Love this time of year when everythings starting off again!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Maxine - great tip about the tight planting. Great to hear you have the use of an allotment - I despair that I ever gave mine up. I've never tried Worcester Berries - am I right in thinking that they are thornless?

Rainbow carrots are great if you have kids - really gets them interested.

I think the lady you mentioned was Christine Walkden, she is so enthusiastic about gardening, its a shame she isn't on the telly more...Christine Walkden

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Yes that's her, I love her she's a "real" gardener and you could relate to what she said. I did have my own allotment at Bamfurlong but it was a council one and when we took it over it hadn't been worked for years and the weeds were literally shoulder height. The council would do nothing to help get it started for me, the ground was so hard even a rotovator was difficult to use on it! I worked hard on it for four years, I made it totally organic, even putting in a little pond for frogs and a wildlife friendly hedge, but it was really, really hard work keeping on top of it, and I made the sad decision to give it up as I could not put in the hours that were needed and the council were really quick to send you warning letters if you let it slip a little. I made raised beds in my back yard, all around the circumference and filled them with allsorts of plants and put my fruit bushes in there.I put my strawberries in hanging baskets and my herbs in old chimney pots. My neighbour said I could used his massive double greenhouse and the area in front of it. I made five really big raised beds and one smaller one for the area outside and to be honest I got as much produce from the greenhouses and raised beds as I did from my old allotment. It is so close to my house that I can make a cup of tea and take it with me! For me that has made the difference, being able to "nip" for ten minutes if I want to,instead of HAVING to go there for three hours at a time. The Worcester berry is very thorny, but the berries are absolutely beautiful.I'm totally addicted, and with the job I do I deal with a lot of old Irish men who give me advice and tips on what to plant and when!!

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
I use washing up liquid in my sprayer,it kills greenfly and other bugs,but does no harm to other things.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
I have enormous potatoes!

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Maxine..I thought she was great too..from East Lancs,she's still going around doing lectures..and her old chum and neighbour Reg died ..I really looked forward to her series,wish she'd come back..except for Monty Don I'm a bit bored with the ones on now..Christine used to tell us about gardening with a big 'G' not fripperies as is the norm now.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
The problem with TV nowadays is that everyone has to conform to a certain stereotype - heaven forbid if you gain a few pounds or forget to put the lippy on.

Christine did have a show on BBC2 a couple of years ago - I remember laughing at her siphoning the water from her bath to the garden in an effort to conserve water - you wouldn't catch Rachel de Thame sucking on a piece of hose in a million years...

Posted by: kyliecarter88 (55) Report abuse
tip for getting seeds started if you dont have a greenhouse..
old glass fish tank with cling film over the top with one or two small holes in it.. leave it in the sun (high up if youve got animals that like digging) and within the week you will have lovely sprouting. i did this n within 3 weeks my flowers were ready for the hanging baskets...

remember if its hot thought to keep watering you dont wanna cook the plants :)

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Hi Kylie - thats a great tip, thanks for posting.

I was reading earlier of how you had managed to trace your family - congratulations.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Kylie..only just noticed,you live in County Clare..that's where My grandma came from..I believe it's beautiful.

P.S. thanks for the tip,that's a good one.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
"you wouldn't catch Rachel de Thame sucking on a piece of hose in a million years."

I will pay her extra.


Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Pffft...

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
I mix very small seeds with finely sifted soil,you can also mix seeds into ordinary wallpaper paste,put it in a polythene bag,cut a corner off,and squeeze the mixture where you want.

Posted by: kyliecarter88 (55) Report abuse
thanks veg grower im super exited to finally be in touch with her :)
momac is beautiful here just very rocky so not fantastic for growing plants lots of baskets n window boxes in order lol :)

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
spud1 - thats a good idea, most seeds are fiddly at the best of times. I'm trying spraying the greenfly and whitefly like you suggested - they're all over the roses and raspberries.

Morning Momac

Looks like we're all in for a nice weekend.......BBC Weather

Posted by: bluesman (246) Report abuse
If you are using wallpaper paste as an aid to sowing seeds.I've seen it written somewhere that you should use paste without a fungicide in it. Fungicide probably stops the seeds germinating.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
bluesman said,

If you are using wallpaper paste as an aid to sowing seeds.I've seen it written somewhere that you should use paste without a fungicide in it. Fungicide probably stops the seeds germinating.

That's why I said ordinary paste,this does'nt have any fungicide,it says on the packet if it contains fungicide,I should have said without fungicide,not everyone knows what ordinary paste is,at one time there was'nt any fungicide in wallpaper paste.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I know how to grow dried peas

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Afternoon Veggie,,it's a bit blowey now but tomorrow I'm putting petunias in a couple of baskets..and begonias in window box..it's time we got some nice warm sunshine..I'll tell you a little true story about sunshine,there's a shop near us run by Mr& Mrs Singh..they've just come home from a holiday in India,and when I called in asked Mrs Singh if she'd had a nice break..yes she said rolling back her watch on her wrist..see I got a bit of sunburn..you can tell where my watch has been,I smiled about it for ages afterwards..she's as brown as a berry to start off with...back to gardening..looking forward to tomorrows planting out.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
monster mache - have you been watching Alys Fowler on the telly? When she had that edible garden programme on BBC2 she used a packet of dried peas for growing. I was shocked - I thought those peas were only fit for mushin

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
I grew my peas from a packet of dried peas last year! I placed them on damp kitchen roll in a dish until they started to sprout, then planted them. They did very well, and were really tasty. It was an experiment really after I found a packet in the kitchen cupboard. I'll be doing the same this year!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Right, thats it - no more Mr Fothergills £2.89, I'm buying boxes of dried peys...

I think you can buy them loose too in greengrocers...

Might be an idea to compare sowing, growing and tasting - I think I'll give that a go.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Just on the off chance that somebody may want it before I chop it up. I have a sycamore tree about 12 feet tall that was pot grown ( some roots escaped ). Could possibly be transported on a large car with roof bars. Also a couple of conker saplings that the local squirrel planted in my garden pots about 3 feet tall.

Location Abram

]

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
nightchap - I would have them off you, but I'm not sure I have the room. I hate to see trees die... I hope someone will take them - let us know if they don't.

Well, its a beautiful morning, and it feels warmer than yesterday already. Potted up some tomatoes and aubergines last night and sowed some final sunflowers. I'm a bit late with everything this year, but the later sowing seems to have produced, bigger and sturdier plants. If I have a successful year I may do the same next year.

Last year, I tucked a small woven basket into the centre of a holly bush that grows through the fence from next door, hoping a wee bird would make use of it. Yesterday I had a quick peek and saw that the basket had been covered with grass and twigs, so we may have a family in there.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
nightchap - I've just had a thought, would a school not like them or maybe they could be planted in a park. A bit of a long shot I guess...

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
VG - I don't like destroying trees - it seems such a waste. I will hang on to them for as long as I can in the hope that they may be of use to somebody.

It looks as though I will not have any damsons this year - first time in 20+ years that it has not fruited. I think the late frost that we had did it, as many of the cherry flower blossoms have failed to set.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Shame about the damsons. My cherries have just finished flowering, so I will keep my eye on them. I had a strange spring last year in that it seemed as if the apples, pear and cherries all blossomed at once - but we had a harsher winter before the spring...

My Raspberries have died back from the tip this year, they often fruit until Christmas and they have been great fruiters, so I'm gonna have another look at them this afternoon (they are less than 5 years old, so it isn't the age of them) a bit gutted about that. I didn't prune the Blackcurrant last year, and so that isn't looking its best. The Asparagus that I planted last year is nowhere to be seen - the dog's paws I think.... On the plus side my redcurrants are doing a roaring trade, the Gooseberries are doing well and the apple blossom is beautiful.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
I've managed to put a photo of the tree on the first post I did.

Here are some other random photos.

Veg patch



Raspberries


Red Currants



Currant Bushes (red/black)

[IMG]

Fruit trees



Strawberries (greenhouse )



Grapes



Tomatoes



Well thats my patch, hope to see others on here.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Nightchap..your garden looks great, and enough work to keep you out of troubleI'd love to have a go at grapes if I had a bigger greenhouse..I just love 'em,you seem to have an allotment all of your very own in your garden..good on you.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Thanks momac - Too much work to keep on top of it all. Just don't have the time to look after the grapes as I should. It can grow as much as 15 feet in a year and my greenhouse is only 7' 6" long ! It usually escapes through any gaps and has broken a number of panes of glass over the years. The variety is Black Hamburg.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
my black hamburg grows on a north faceing wall and is excellent put it there for summer decoration only but still produces super grapes

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hi Nightchap..I'll have a look out out for those..grapes that grow that much are not to be sniffed at,thanks very much.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Nightchap - those are great pics, thanks for posting them, given me one or two ideas there.

Posted by: kyliecarter88 (55) Report abuse

can any of ye tall me what these flowers are i found d seeds planted dem n dont have a clue what they are

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Hopefully Momac or someone will be along in a bit and let you know what they are - I'm not great with flowers. I bet that basket will be beautiful when in full flower.

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
They look like petunias to me!

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
nightchap, love your garden!

Posted by: bluesman (246) Report abuse
They look like Busy Lizzies {Impatiens]

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Yes, I agree with bluesman, ignore me .... lol

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
They are right Kylie..they are Bizzie Lizzie's..They need a lot of watering.. and when in full flower are very pretty..

Posted by: kyliecarter88 (55) Report abuse
thanks guys my eldest grew them in school 2 years ago and the plant left seeds all over my window sill so i scooped them up n put them in a bag planted them this year and have them again :)... the old ones mite have still been living if my chickens didnt get to them lol....

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Oops..just noticed I spelt busy wrong.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Wear nott bovvered bowt spellin mstakes on eer Momac...

Morning Campers...Hi-De-Hi..

Hammered it down last night so glad I cut the grass. Hoping the rain will bring it back to life - its all lumpy and bumpy after winter, I think it needs a good aerating and top-dressing.

Had a nice surprise yesterday, I thought my wild garlic had died off, but found it flowering in a couple of places - miles away from where I planted it in the first place, and the tiny white flowers are beautiful..

Sunshine and showers today....

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
i-grow

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie,your wild garlic won't go away now..this time next year you'll be pulling it up from everywhere ..it grows like there's no tomorrow..I know of some chefs that use nothing else but the wild stuff..but it does as you say look very pretty..got ours from a trip to Yorkshire so you can imagine what the boot smelled like for ages.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Mac - I wonder if that is aimed at rich folk? They don't mention the price. It is a great idea though - especially for those who don't have a garden or can no longer manage to do any gardening, or would like an idea of what is involved.

Momac - I have been looking up Wild Garlic and apparently you can eat the whole plant - not that you would all at once like. A great Garlic substitute, not quite as strong. The flowers are beautiful and I was tempted to cut them, but I don't have enough of it yet.

Well, its been lashing it down and we have had hailstone too, still, its a lovely evening....

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Today I potted up some Nasturtium seedlings and decided to read up about them when I came home from the allotment. Can't believe I did something good by accident!!

http://igrowveg.com/2010/07/5-reasons-why-you-should-grow-nasturtiums-near-vegetables/ ..... sorry can't do links!

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Nasturtium link

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Thankyou Mac

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Great tip Maxine - I have grown them once or twice and they are the easiest thing to grow - will keep the blackfly off your beans. I knew the flowers and leaves were edible, but I haven't tried them yet

Starlings are making a right racket in the back, as I have just put some food out - noisy beggars

Glorious sunshine for today folks, so make the most of it because its back to rain tomorrow.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I will keep putting Nasturtiums in the window box.. and I don't know why as they get full of black aphids ..I should just put them near a rose tree, they will keep them from going on the roses.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

Just dug up about 5 lbs of Jerusalem Artichokes.. will make some chips for our tea with them and the rest in soup tomorrow. My potatoes are 'up' about 6". l will put some compost round later. they have beautiful dark green leaves. will plant some more later today...temp only 10c today with a cold wind.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - - do you leave a few in the ground to carry on growing, or do you plant them in a different place every year?

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

veg grower, l just leave some in the ground. they will grow about 5' and have a nice yellow flower. My next door neighbour just washes them and eats them raw- like a raw potato!!!

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Raw?? I have only ever heard of people roasting them. I daresay you can do anything that you do with a potato. I can't wait to try some of mine. Luckily they don't get the blight that potatoes get.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
That's something I've never thought about..but they sound jolly good.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, the weather is set to pick up from tomorrow BBC Weather

Planting a few tumbling tomatoes in a window box with some flowers, I haven't grown that many this year as there is only me that eats them. I used to sow far too many things years ago, now I just sow what I know I will use and a bit extra - that way I have room for everything. Growing potatoes in bags/tubs saves a lot of room in the garden too - best thing I ever did.

For those with a tiny garden or beginners who aren't sure whether to take the plunge into growing veg in their garden there is Square Foot Gardening

Another Example

Free Seeds For Kids

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
I am growing an upside down tumbler this year for the first time.

It is suffering from lack of sun light so this years performance is probably not a good indicator: it has rained here every day since 1st April, and May temps are below January's.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Priscus - I've never tried those, I see a lot of them about, you'll have to let us know how it goes on. They have said the weather will pick up, so hopefully we'll all see some sunshine.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
may interest readers of this thread

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I reckon a couple of those in a greenhouse would go down well.

Well, its not warmed up yet has it? Cold with only a T-shirt on...

Sowing some carrots, Autumn King which will be a bit longer than I usually grow. I usually stick to Baby/Finger carrots or Chantenays, but my son bought me these Autumn King - they were going cheap at Poundstretcher.

Also sowing some peas, beans, mixed salad leaves and radishes.



Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
A technique to use with long carrots, (comes from John & Sally Seymoor: 'The Self-sufficient Gardener')

I have used it with the variety: 'Valery'.

Drive a crowbar, or similar into the ground. Move the top in a circle, to leave a conical shaped hole upon removal. Fill with mixture of compost and sharp sand, into which carrot is planted.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I will give that a go Priscus, when I moved in here it was heavy clay and although I have managed to grow carrots, these ones are a bit longer so will benefit from growing as you suggest.

Posted by: baker boy (10599) Report abuse
whats best for getting rid of nettles ,my neighbours "garden" is full of em and they have crept under the fence

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I agree with TOM it is always best to dig them out. A lot of people spray - only for them to return.

Personally, I keep a very small patch for the bees and butterflies in a corner where I don't mind digging away at now and again. Only a small clump, next to a few other native wild plants, such as dogrose and I also leave a few buttercups and dandelions too.

ps: young leaves on dandelions are nice in salads and their roots are useful too....

BBC Dandelion Recipes

and nettle soup

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
dandelion and burdock

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Been looking on google at nettle wine,it sounds very nice and easy to make..am going out with a couple of bags and gloves in future just in case I see some.Mind you it's time I shaped meself and made the normal banana wine.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - don't get me on the wine.. You will have to post details on that banana wine.

I'm thinking of trying Elderflower Wine, the flowers will be out in a bit. I meant to give it a go last year but I was having some work done in the kitchen and didn't get round to it. I will look up that nettle wine you mentioned. Never get nowt done at this rate...

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
tom - thats a great tip, I saw Alys Fowler mauling about with the stuff on her 'Edible Garden' programme - her eyes were watering when she tok the lid off the tub.





Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
BBC Weather Forecast

Well, last night was the first night I didn't have the fire on. Back door open til it went dark.

I'm shifting some soil today in preparation for my patio, will dig the surplus into the borders at the back which are looking decidedly flat with the dog jumping all over the place.

Nightchap - the majority of my cherry blossoms didn't set either, I can only see the odd one here and there, won't have as many pears this year either. The apples look more promising though.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Well saying that at one time I only had flowers in the garden..I'm chuffed now..got potatoes in bags..rhubarb on the go first planted last year..strawberries in hanging baskets..toms and cucumber in greenhouse.. only one runner bean planted this year,and yesterday planted carrot seeds..wish I had more room now..have enjoyed reading this thread so much..I realised not just to stick to flowers..mind you I still love growing them..don't work too hard today veggie.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I've just watched the Chelsea Flower Show and I try my best but after watching that and listening to you gardeners on here I feel inadequate and I am just playing at it.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
MarieM - I think we are all just playing at it. I'm not into flowers that much - I prefer fruit and veg - though I am trying to grow my own bedding plants this year. I don't watch Chelsea anymore - I think its become too commercialised - but that could be me being boring.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well I could have sworn yesterday, did quite a bit in the borders at the back, nipped in for a glass of water and when I went back out next doors cat was using my fine soil as a toilet

Same again today, but this time I am armed with a giant, pump-action water gun...

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Found this tip in one of my gardening books:
" Water Plants Thoroughly .... Make sure the soil around them gets a good soaking so that the water can work it's way right down to the roots. A light sprinkling with the hose everyday is worse than useless.In fact it will probably do a double dose of harm - encouraging roots to come to the surface and helping weed seeds to germinate."

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
MarieM..as veggie says,we are all just playing at it..I had to go on Google and watch a video on how to earth up potatoes..I keep coming back to my veggie growing book and as I say go on Google..as you know I've only ever grown flowers and had a dab at strawberries and only a bit at tomatoes..and as for the flower show well!!!only saw a snippet last night and what with pretentious Titchmarsh and bullets and buttons in gardening..I don't care if I never watch another one..anyway,don't ever feel inadequate..you've got the world at your finger tips with Google lass.

Veggie,as for the cat...the problem with cat owners(and I'm one) is from the very beginning they should get the cat to use a litter tray indoors..hence no need to use other folks gardens for toilets,it cost me a fair bit for litter but at least he doesn't bother other people..I know because I have asked my neighbour,our cat was eighteen last week so you can guess how many times the flipping tray needs doing..and yes cats do not like water if you can just catch it at it...but you have to be quick.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
I purchased something from the pet shop, cannot recall the name, but it was a jar of green crystals: quite inexpensive.

You place a little on a stone, which placed on the border soil, or wherever required: it keeps cats off for about two weeks. Works well.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

l was reading Wigan Evening Post last night-first time- and read that there will be the Annual plant sale at St Marie's church car park Standish. Sat 10am.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

MarieM, you asked what l grow here in the North..well..l have Concord grapes that grow outside, plum trees. not had too much luck with apples, then your usual salad greens.
only growing 1/2 doz tomatoes this yr. Tiny Tims and giant beef steak. will plant aubergine, courgette and peas. When l see cats around the veg or flower beds l sprinkle a bit of hot chilli powder..

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Maxine - thats a good tip about the watering. I have fruit trees in my borders at the back and the soil was very dry yesterday, so I am giving everything a good soak today as well, I might get some bark this year too, to help hold the moisture in.

Momac - not seen the cat today

I asked my son would he pick me some compost up and when he came back he had some netting with him as well, so I am going to construct something which will hopefully keep the dog and any cats off.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie, let's hope it works eh..pity all cats are not like mine..he 's never been one for the great outdoors but if he whats to go out he uses his tray first...fingers crossed for you.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, its been a hot couple of days and not done as much as I would have liked, can't stand the heat. Just sorting out the borders in the back. Planted a few extra Gladioli and keep finding strawberries everywhere. I must have fed them well last year because they are better than ever.

Separating and re-planting, I don't know what they are but you see them in loads of gardens, they are like a very fine orange iris type plant. I know lots of people hate them but I like them.

Was sat on the lawn (if you can call it that - it needs serious work) with the dog, and a bird landed on the fence separating us and next door. As soon as it landed, next doors cat reached up from behind the fence, luckily the bird flew off, but that was it, on seeing the cat my dog went mental....

No end in sight....BBC Weather

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
veg grower, I think you mean montbretia, I like that plant also,the flowers are beautiful!

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Montbretia grows like wild fires,your garden can get overrun with them.last year i dug hundreds up and half filled my green bin.A few weeks later went to garden centre saw them for sale £2 for about a dozen could have made a fortune selling mine

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Thankyou both - they are Montbretias, I wasn't aware of the name. They are a bit invasive so I have separated them with the spade and replanted them, I think they look nice in a vase by themselves. There are better pics to google but I posted these as it shows them close-up.



Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
How nice to sit in the garden and listen to the breeze rustling in the trees(I love that sound)and leave the weeding 'til the evening when it's a bit cooler..all's right with the world on days like this..if only all the world was as peaceful.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
Spent coffee grounds: I used to put them in the compost heap, but noticing how much they attract earthworms, I have started to use them directly on garden soil. Being finely ground, they decay and incorporate rapidly, and I have noticed no problem of them locking up nitrogen, which is the usual problem if vegetation is applied whilst still decomposing.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
Can't let go by these promotions of celebrity gardeners without putting in my nomination of Alan Gemmell

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Priscus - I guess it makes sense to tip the grounds straight onto the earth - there isn't a lot to break down, and as you say the worms will work it straight in.

I hadn't heard of Alan Gemmell before today - but I will certainly look him up.



Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - its too damn hot! As you say it is cooler late on and the breeze is lovely - I didn't get much done today, the sweat was running off my forehead Had my nephew too so that was an excuse.

The house is too warm I might sleep downstairs tonight, the dog has been up and down the last few nights she's that hot. I brought some water up for her so that she didn't have to go downstairs - she won't stay downstairs on her own, she likes being near me.

Footie tonight and beer, that reminds me I might try making my own...

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..at least you think about your dog in this heat,how many people do you see out with their dogs and the poor things panting for want of a drink..do they not realise it would be like having a fur jacket on all the time..and of course as you know dogs can only keep their temp down by panting..anyway I'm putting the fan in the bedroom tonight,it's only a small one but anythings better than none..as I said before it's lovely having a dog..and I'm strongly thinking of starting with the brewing now.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
Ah beh thowdeh gardeners on ere ull recaw Alun Gemmell.

I still grow the Ailsa Craig variety of Tom, as recommended by him, more than half a century on!

mache:

Your success with Black Hamburg against a North facing wall, is tempting me to try the same. I gather there are sub-varieties of BH. Do you know which you have, or which is best for such location?

Posted by: maxine (979)   Report abuse
Re : spent coffee grounds .... the cafe in the Range have a notice near the till advertising free spent coffee grounds!!

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
What the hell I have planted my pots up outside today. I know it could snow next week but I don't care.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marie M - I'm sure they'll be fine, the night temperatures have been quite high too. What have you planted?

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, at least its a little cooler (only a little) that breeze has been lovely the last day or so. Still shifting soil for my patio, hope to have that done today with the help of my son and then my brother is coming this week to give us a lift with the flags - so hopefully THIS week I'll be sorted.

Potting up some parsley I had sown, its organic seed 'Giant of Italy', also planting out some sunflowers which always seem to get attacked by slugsso I've sown extra just in case. Still finding strawberry plants - thats what I get for growing them in the borders.

Its set to be a little cooler this week with chance of thundery showers, but I don't think anyone will mind that, another week like last week and they'll declare a hosepipe ban I'm sure. I remember this time last year when growers in the South East were struggling because of lack of rainfall and many crops were lost. So glad to be living in the NW.

BBC Weather

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
One of my tomato plants leaves is turning yellow between the veins..looked it up, and seems like it's magnesium deficiency..so off to garden centre we did go but wanted a fiver for and I quote a box of Epsom Salts..so off to chemist tomorrow..I'm sure they won't cost a fiver..if they do,so be it...Veggie..don't know about you but I just love the thunder.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
Had a search on ebay for you, but magnesium additives there are very expensive.

You can gather sea-weed for free, if you can get a trip to a suitable beach in: it is good for magnesium (And organic)

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
Also banana skins! (used mostly for potassium, but they will add magnesium also)

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Boots 200g £1.25

Momac - don't mind the thunder - its the lightning that scares me. I do love a good storm though - so long as I am inside.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks priscus and veggie..am off to boots tomorrow am.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
veg grower My pots are dead simple - begonias and geraniums

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

had my first 2 strawberries from the garden today mmmmm
rec 2 emails last night about discouraging flies..put 4 bags out today and seems to work.
Put some water and 4 pennies in a zip lock baggie, seal and hang them around your patio. we left some jam, crackers, banana skin, apple core and not one fly .....wish it would work with mosquito's

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
In The Daily Mail today, Legionnaires found in compost Doesn't say which compost, just warns to wear gloves and a dust mask when handling. Also to wash hands thoroughly after use.

Posted by: priscus (2991) Report abuse
The Legionella bacterium is widespread and commonplace. It will be in your average puddle.

Breathing it in, is when problems occur. (Hence assoc with air con showers and etc)

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Erontquay - thanks for that.

I know they have been warning about this for a few years. E-Coli is another. A lot of composts are steralized, although I doubt if this would kill all bacteria - and you need bacteris for stuff to grow in the first place.

I have often just rubbed my hands on my jumper and then had a cup of tea and a biscuit without thinking. It is an important warning though.

BBC Scotland

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
MarieM..I love geraniums..they never let you down and will tolerate going without for longer than other plants..if need be,but if you keep taking dead flowers off you will gets double in return..and there are some beautiful colours..begonias I get every year because you can put two or three in a tub or the ground and they will multiply like there's no tomorrow,but they need more watering than your average plant.
Veggie..got my Epsoms salts yesterday and done the watering so here's hoping eh? and as for compost holding bacteria..I use the anti-bacterial spray after I've been handling compost..you can't be too careful. without sounding like a scaremonger..just think of the vermin that could be going over the ground during the night..and we all know what rats carry don't we..I'm sure that none of have rats in our gardens but better to be safe than sorry.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - funny you should mention it, a lady told me that when she was opening a bag of compost once - a mouse jumped out.

I forgot to mention, I'll get myself some Epsom Salts, last year I had a small cucumber plant that turned yellow, almost white, even had a small cucumber on it that was yellow/white - never seen anything like it.

Gee its warmer this evening than it was earlier on. Its supposed to rain tomorrow, and the temperature will be lower for the rest of the week/weekend - not bothered about that though, its been too hot for me last few days.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
The rains here..thank God it might go a bit cooler veggie..it has been a bit too warm for moi as well..I'm like a hen on hot bricks so that don't helpanyway roll on the thunder eh.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
A few years ago a relative gave us a few bluebells and they have spread all over. They are going over now and I want to give a friend some, when should they be lifted.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marie M - I think you are supposed to wait until the foliage has died down, so that all the goodness is returned to the bulbs. I have moved them at different times though, and accidently dug some up - but they are very hardy things.

Well, thank heavens for that rain - amazing how cool and fresh everything smells after a heavy downpour.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
The odds are Marie that the bluebells are Spanish,I have been tying to get rid of them for ages,they grow like weeds,the English ones are very nice but getting rare,I would'nt give anyone the Spanish ones,and if they are English,they are not supposed to be moved,they are easy to tell apart,the Spanish are tall and straight,with flowers on both sides,the English are small,with flowers one one side,and a curved top,the photo shows an English bluebell.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
Thanks spud and veg, and momac for the info about geraniums. These bluebells are straight up so they will be them Spanish buggers.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Mine are the Spanish ones too, I also have a few that are white. I just assumed yours were the same. English bluebells are beautiful and some are very blue (as opposed to lilac) I know it is illegal to dig those up as they are a protected species. Although you can buy blubells....will have to google.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
What about this weather. I am dying to get into the garden but it is unbelievable. Still we should be glad of the rain.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Well welcome back everybody..the rain has been brilliant for the spuds etc but the flowers are sulking..mind you I've had a sulk while WW's been on it's hols so..aren't we all glad it's back..yaaaaaay.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
We've got pebbles in some parts in the front and the back garden and there are petals and leaves all over them. You can't sweep them up. Has anyone got a garden vacuum cleaner and is it worth buying one.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Just noticed today that a blackbird has nested in one of my greenhouses. It just sits there on the nest watching me go about tending to things. Given everything a good water today and moved a few bits out so that I need not disturb it very much.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Thats great about the Blackbird. I have Robins nesting in holly - though I think the babys have fledged over the weekend. There are Collared Doves and Blackbirds nesting in the Fir trees that belong to the people at the back of us. Its funny watching the Doves attacking the feeders and fat balls - I thought they only fed on the ground.

For anyone interested...Springwatch Web Cams

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Not like June at all is it? Well everyone, I'm gonna get as much done as possible over the next few days as heavy rain is forecast from Thursday onwards. BBC Weather Forecast

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Something got my robins - they hatched and were being fed for a couple of days, then no sign. I checked the nest and it was empty.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
MarieM..I'm afraid it'e just down to bending down to get them,if you use a vacuum,it will just vacuum up your pebbles as well I should think..petals if left on pebbles will shrink to nothing I should think but leaves will have to be picked up manually.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac Thank you. I will get down on my hands and knees tomorrow if it is not raining.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Fastening my blackberry to the fence today - it is a thornless variety and grows like a triffid. I've dug it up and allsorts and now I have several in the garden. The flowers are beautiful white/pink and the berries are very big when they ripen - at least twice as big as wild ones.

Transplanting some sage and thyme - I snip small bunches of these every so often and just hang them up in the kitchen to dry, also planting some alpine strawberries, sweetcorn, last of the sunflowers and some patty pan baby squashes.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
A Tip From Lezgee

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I got some lovely plants for my pots at the back from Asda today and they were very reasonable.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I'm off to Asda today, so will have a look around. The bedding plants I started off myself are nowhere near ready, so I'm afraid I will have to spend some dosh.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
veg grower Did you get any plants from Asda today.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I've not been, I was waiting in for someone and then my brother came round, so hopefully today.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well that rain last night must have done the gardens good, it was hammering it down at one point. Pulling slugs off everything - they are everywhere, it has been a good year for snails too...

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, its been a bit of a wash-out, didn't do anything yesterday. Much the same today, but the weather looks ok Sun/Mon and Tues. BBC Weather

Anyone done/doing anything good at the moment?

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
I've just finished doing something good.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I've done sweet fanny adams this last couple of days..due to the rain..but the spuds are growing wild,can't wait to taste them!as soon as it stops there's weeds everywhere to be sorted ..Mac..pray tell us what you've done..don't keep it to yourself.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

just made 4 jars of strawberry jam..strawberries from the garden. l call that doing something good mmmmm

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
God Tom..that would have been a big let down,I hope that's not the case..did you try again this year..I think I would lose heart...I might have a little prod later on to satisfy my curiosity.

Good for you marsin..are your strawberries early,or are mine late?.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - do you use half fruit and half sugar?

Momac - same here done nowt, the lawn at the back is developing little ponds No strawbs here yet either.

TOM - I think that is more the exception than the rule, I know if you grow in containers you may not always get as many as if you grow in the ground - usually better to feel about for the first few.

PS - Did you ever do that grafting on that pear? My gardening books cover budding and graftin but I have always been reluctant to try it.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Man plants forest


my Sources never lie.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Mac - No wonder...etc..

That bloke should be recognised for all his hard work - its a really inspiring story.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Brilliant innit, VG. Try that over here on council land and they will build on it as soon as it looks anything like.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Aye, they already make a point of chopping down any tree they can - they don't seem to realise that we need trees to breathe

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Just read that story Mac..he can't be praised enough can he?,you don't get many teenagers with that much foresight either..he deserves a medal...it's a pet hate of mine,every time all we get junk mail through the door..more trees going down..the Amazon forest is quoted as the lungs of the world and it's believed that many cures for Cancers, Alzheimers, Parkinsons etc can still be found in the lush vegetation that is in the Rainforest..but man will always interfere with nature I'm afraid.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well today I had a nice surprise, I find that I have got a good few Apricots on the tree, I've also found some Cherries too, so that daft frost we had obviously didn't do too much damage. Pears and Apples coming on nicely too.

I put some tomato plants outside the other day, stuck some tall canes in, but when I went outside this morning they had toppled over - I'd only forgotten to tie the stems to the canes D'Oh.

My strawberries seem to be taking forever...

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
Has anyone got a yucca. We have one in the back and the flower that comes out of the middle of that is just a miracle.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
@ TOM

Marie - does it flower every year? I heard that in foreign countries spiders nest in them. A bit too ornate for my taste but I bet its lovely, if you post the full name of it maybe we could put a pic of it up on here.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
MarieM, I used to have one,and yes it was beautiful when it was in flower..couldn't believe how big the flowers were..but..it got too big,it was in the back garden and it seemed to take over,and as you know the spikes can be dangerous..tried cutting them back but it kept on growing..which meant there was one area of the garden I couldn't even go near,so it too had to go,gave it to my neighbour..put in a massive pot for her(they don't have a massive root system)but she never watered it in the summer and it died..but the flowers are gorgeous.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac, how is that Morello Cherry tree doing, did you have any blossom on it at all?

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
veg and momac I don't know which it is. A neighbour gave it to us years ago. I cut a lot of the points off. They are dangerous really.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..I had a couple of blossoms on the cherry tree but that was it,so suppose I will have to wait until next year before anything real happens..and also the cucumbers haven't grown much at all yet,am sure this time last year they were growing a lot quicker..I'm just going to have a look on mr.google to see what he says.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
tom I might burn it next year. Whereabouts are you.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
tom When you said "over here", I thought you were in some exotic place in the world.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

sorry for delay in replying
Momac, strawberries are approx 3 wks early this yr due to a warm spring.
veg grower, yes,l use 1/2 fruit and 1/2 sugar.
for 4 cups of strawberries l add 4 cups sugar,mix, leave in bowl for 2 hrs. boil for 5 mins, add 1/4 cup lemon juice, boil again for 5 mins, take off stove, remove scum. stir for 5 mins so strawberries don't settle on the bottom of pan. pour in hot jars.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - thankyou for the reply and the recipe. Me and my brother both grow fruit in our gardens, and we are thinking of making our own jam this year.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Well, what a washout! I won't complain as I know there are people worse off and some flooded out of their homes. I don't know about global warming, but I've had the fire on the last few nights.

The birds are bathing in the puddles on the lawn and the dog doesn't know where to walk

Hoping to visit a couple of garden centres this weekend as my bedding plants are nowhere near ready.

Did anyone watch Gardeners World last night? Monty Don showed 3 lots of sweet peas, some sown in Autumn, some in the New Year and some in March and the difference was amazing, those sown in the Autumn were flowering well - I suppose its ok if you have the room. They also visited a beautiful garden, belonging to a big house, forget the name, that was very natural looking - I'm not keen on formal gardens. Its on iPlayer so I'm gonna watch that again.

Weather set to be much better and warmer the next few days...BBC Weather

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..I'm getting a bit fed up with all this rain too, but as you say there's worse off than us...the flooded streets that were on t.v.last night aren't that far from us,but seeing as we live on the main road that is on an incline it won't happen to us..thank God,when there's a downpour here it looks like the Amazon gushing down..I don't envy those poor folk..as for watching Monty last night,only saw it on and off (was a bit off myself)!!!roll on Mr sunshine is my motto.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

it's a lovely day here in Sudbury.. just spent a couple of hours puttering around in the garden.no plums on one tree and 1/2 doz on the other, last yr both were loaded. all veg are coming along well..rhubarb is ready. will make a rhubarb crumble for later..with custard.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Just lost the last of the flowers off an orchid,cut stem down to a nodule and put in greenhouse hoping it flowers again maybe next year now.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Peter..I have a thing for orchids as well..have just cut two back after they lost their flowers,early this year I had one grow back after only a few months of resting..so you never know..I also get orchid food..they seem to thrive on that,the ones that are cut back are now on windowsill upstairs..that's where I put the other one after being cut back..so lets see if yours comes into flower first eh?..we'll know then..they can be complicated can't they,I've had to go on mr google to find things out,have you been keeping them a lot time.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Momac no the orchid was given to my wife earlier this year.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Marsin..how old is your plum tree,I got one earlier this year..it's a miniature one and it's planted in a very big tub,do you think I'll get some plums next year? my rhubarb is doing okay and I did a crumble last week..but runner beans and cucumbers are still struggling..the runner beans are only about a foot high and have flowers on already,almost like the growth is stunted,cucumbers are the same,so not much luck there.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Just picking the first of the redcurrants and strawberries....yippee

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
TOM - why get rid of the strawbs? Are you changing the garden then?

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

momac..my plum trees are about 10 yrs old. they are planted in the ground. had plums after 2nd yr on one and about 4 yrs for the other., almost tossed it out, but, l can't seem to be able to throw any plant or tree out...like TOM l feel like getting rid of most of the strawberries-they are so invasive- but haven't got the heart to.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Marsin..so I can look forward to mine next year then..lovely..as for your strawberries..why don't you put them in hanging baskets so you can contain them better..it is very hard isn't it to throw plants away.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
TOM - as Momac said to Marsin earlier - its a shame you couldn't have put them in tubs or whatever. Strawberries cost a fortune at the supermarket.

I know a lot of folk putting down the weed suppressant and covering with bark or stones - never have to weed again.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I keep getting fooled by this early morning sunshine - once again rain is forecast, and for the next few days too.

I grew a few Malva perennials last year, they can grow quite tall, but if you cut them back after first flowering you get a second lot by autumn - I can't remember the actual name of mine, but they have come back even better this year - here is a pic of one that looks virtually the same as mine, its a Purple Zebrina:





Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
D'oh!Apologies - messin about trying to post the above pic.

Posted by: susie q (1610)  Report abuse
I was given a really good tip last week regarding slugs and snails.All this wet weather brings them out in force I hate them they have even got into my kitchen the little sods. Anyway WD40 solved the problem. Just spray at the base of any planters etc and they won't go anywhere near.I've sprayed it along my back door step and not seen any sign of them since.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
loganberrys

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

on some main branches on one of my rose bushes are some 'things' that look like small beehives!!! does anyone know what they are..

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

no.l just cut into one, inside is like the inside of a flower stem..the older ones have black holes in them. they have thorns on them. some are a bit smaller than a golf ball.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - I have only ever had problems with Aphids and Blackspot myself - I just wondered if any of these conditions matched yours...Click Here

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse
thanks vg..l think that they are the rosehip family, looking at the rosehip in the picture they are similar but mine have thorns. some have small branches starting to grow out of the end. thanks anyway

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - when you mentioned Rosehip - I think you mean the seedheads? I'm probably wrong again but thats all I can think of.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

veg grower, thanks..looking at pictures l think you are right. l am going to cut one off and plant it in a sandy/soil mix.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Has anyone grown any stone fruit from an actual stone/seed? I bought some Apricots from Morrisons the other day and I was thinking of planting the stones in a pot.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..had a toot on Google and it looks very interesting, and a bit more complicated than I would have thought..worth a try though.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I've had a good look, and there are differing versions, I will try out one or two of them. I know it will take ages for them to grow, but I thought I would be worth a try - my brother has successfully grown a couple of apple trees from pips. I'll report back next year if they have sprouted.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

raspberries are ready..l picked a couple of bags today and froze them, l make a trifle every Christmas day with raspberries from the garden.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Been clearing a lot today and weeding..right now at this time of year it's looking a bit crowded..and I want the shed in a different colour to brown..does anyone have any ideas..Cliff says I can't just use any paint..but has anyone else used an ordinary paint.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thanks very much tom.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac I got stuck in today clearing some of the ground. On the weather forecast last night it said it was going to be raining all day and it is one of the nicest days we have had. I planted some pots up about two months ago and I have only watered them twice and they are thriving.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Marie..it's certainly raining today..we did quite a bit of clearing yesterday while the sun was out..are your pots the geraniums you mentioned the other week?..I have some Dahlias in a pot that are throwing a lot of leaves out but no buds..so that's been moved to the back of the class so to speak,alas no gardening today in this rain.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac Yes they are the Geraniums and I won't be watering them again today.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Been picking and freezing redcurrants, strawberries and rasberries - seem to have lots more this year.

I have some nice spinach too which I sow a little bit of every week with the rocket and other salad leaves.

Planted out a few cucumbers, squash and sunflowers that were sown a bit late.

Weather forecast doesn't look good for the next few days, but they have said that a few times recently and we have had one or two nice days. Enjoy whats left of the weekend - I'm off to watch the tennis.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Been to B&Q this morning,and was chatting to one of the staff about the poor show of tomatoes due to all the flipping rain..and he told me about tomatoes pretty new to these areas I think called Black Russian..they are dark in colour and said the taste was something else..a bit like cherry brandy soooooo I'm going to have shufti on Google right now.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I've heard of those. If you can't find them Thompson & Morgan sell the seeds. Seed companies develop lots of seeds now to cope with cooler conditions.

I'm off to B&Q myself, I've got some vouchers to spend from my birthday.

I've been freezing fruit every day for the last few days - Red and Yellow Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackcurrants, Redcurrants - we often still have some well after Christmas.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..he said they were Thompson and Morgan and he got them on line..and see you've been busy with your fruit..good for you.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Tomorrow I'm going to lay a lawn in my small front garden

Pics to follow if it's any good

Posted by: redtop19 (527) Report abuse
i have about 20 roses in the back garden. all types and sizes. all are doing well apart from one, for the last three years the flowers are rotten when they open. any solutions?

i am thinking of digging it up and trying it elsewhere in the garden to see if it fairs any better.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac I have still only watered my pots twice since I planted them two months ago and they are thriving.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Redtop19 - I don't know what type of rose you have, but it doesn't seem to affect single roses quite as much.

Monty Don mentioned this on Gardeners World a few weeks back, his solution was to just snip off the whole head before flowering as it obviously wouldn't amount to much. However some people peel off the outer petals in order (or an attempt) for the rose the bloom, although I guess you would have to do this before things got too bad.

Wet weather and no sunshine are ideal conditions for this, as they reckon roses need a good spell of dry weather. Also, avoid over-watering, spraying/misting those that are susceptible.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Tom,I do grow under glass..but when after seeing owd dave's tomatoes mine are pathetic,so next year I'm trying the Black Russian ones..as you say they will tolerate being outdoors which leaves me more room in the greenhouse for peppers etc..I do give them a spray tom.

MarieM..brilliant,I bet your geraniums are looking great.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Managed to lay some turf this week-end


Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Cordyline..that looks absolutely beautiful.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Mostly terracotta; some plastic, bought here and there over the years
Not many flowers yet from the few bedding plants we bought recently
It doesn't show in the pics but the white concrete fence is a tad shabby; need to get some masonry paint

There is a hypertufa trough which I forgot to put back in place after fixing the grass

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
cordyline It's lovely. Where abouts are you based?

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
cordyline It's lovely. Where abouts are you based?

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Pemberton

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Cordy - thats a fantastic lawn, it doesn't look as if was just laid - but I read somewhere that you used to be a landscape gardener. I did one in the back a few years ago. Gardening on clay is quite a challenge, and I obviously spent more time on preparing the top end of the garden - as it nears the bottom end it dips a little and I need to work on this.

You got it done at the right time as the weather is forecast rubbish for the rest of the week.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
The grass came from
Here
It was tiles but they were looking tatty; I skimmed it all over with mortar to fill in the joints and pattern indents etc
The grass is bolted down, later will apply glue for security
They often have roll ends at a good discount

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
WHat kind of mower do you use, Cordy?

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Chuckle, the base still needs good level preparation or it doesn't look right
It comes like carpet; on a roll
Our back 'lawn' has been down since Spring last year
Might photo it if the rain ever stops

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Cordy - I admire your honesty. I just assumed you knew a few tricks when laying turf to get it looking that good.

Ideal for those who don't like or aren't able to do gardening.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
VG
Yes I was a landscape gardener;
I've laid many many lawns to turf and seed
The preparation is just the same, the ground needs to be level with a thought to drainage

As I go away for a few months every year a natural lawn is not an option
I am going to take cuttings of the Hydrangea in the pic; might try to layer a branch or two into pots as well
Do gardeners still use rooting hormone ?

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
aussies do

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
cordyline That would be brilliant for anyone who wasn't able to do any mowing.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Not keen to use chemicals myself, but I know lots of other folk who use rooting powder.

I don't know much about Hydrangeas apart from they are pretty and can change colour depending on the soil, but apparently now is the right time to take the cuttings.RHS

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
From memory.... Hydrangeas like iron in the soil to give a rich colour to the flowers

If you apply lime to the soil; a regular practice in the old days for clay type soils, it will neutralise the iron needed for Hydrangeas Rhododendrons etc, lack of iron produces pale washed out flowers; sometimes blue in colour

When I was making wrought iron work for the garden several years ago I always collected the iron filings metal dust etc and put it round the base of Hydrangea and Rhody
This may have helped to give the strong colour

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Cordy,I used to have a Hydrangea that used to flower pink one summer then blue the next..went to Birkacre garden Centre this morning and there was the biggest blooms I've ever seen on one and it was vivid blue,but a little bit too expensive at the moment.
Townofmemories..snap..my potatoes were nearly all foliage too..just a few tiny ones which were good but a big let down.

Thank God the sun's here and hopefully for a few days, runner beans have stunted growth, so have cucumbers..ah well gods good.

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
Something is eating my petunias, cant see anything obvious, any pointers

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Slugs love 'em - they get mine everytime. Petunias don't stand a chance in this wet weather we have had, shame cos they will flower for months if dead headed.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I have some lilies in pots out of the way but can you tell me how those red lily beetles home in and know where to find them. They have eaten all the leaves.

I have just heard on the Tatton Flower Show that a garlic solution keeps them off. Does anyone have a recipe.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
MarieM..here's one..2 cups water..10 drops of washing up liquid..5 tablespoons garlic powder,put it all in a spray bottle and use every 1-2 weeks..I'm not sure if you can get garlic powder from supermarkets but "The Range" sells it.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac They are all gonners now but I will use that next year. Thank you. The little blighters.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
I have planted some sunflowers this year and they are growing like rockets, the heads are just forming and i am wondering if there is someting I can do to encourage the heads to point in a certain way,
In pots, (as some are) I can turn the pot, but two are in the ground, and i want them pointing to my side, and not over the fence,
so any suggestions please?

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Sorry tom..I have no answers to that one except go up to them and say "now see here,I'm having none of this".

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I have read many times that they always face the sun, but on googling there does seem to be a difference of opinion. Whenever I have grown them it has been against a south-facing fence that gets the sun for most of the day, and then only a few.

I found this on Youtube which shows them all flowering the same way Click Here

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I turn my houseplants every day because of their leaning towards the sun..or light,so that's why I can't figure out why toms (sunflowers)won't turn.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Sorry, I may have misread Tom's post - I've been up since 3 this morning my brain's tired.

How are your tomatoes doing Momac - I know we haven't had much sun have we? Never known it so cold in July.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
I put some tomatoes outside, because there was't the room in the greenhouse, and they seem to be going OK even without sun

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
thanks for that clip veg grower, my sunflower's defo don't move, there's only one flowered proper yet, but its'a always facing the same way?

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
here's a clip. I can't do photo's yet
sunflower

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Sunflowers growing well there, and you are obviously feeding the tomatoes well - the foliage is very lush.

My tomatoes are outside and I think I need to feed them more because of the rain washing through them, hopefully next year I will have a greenhouse or lean to, I have a small plastic one but haven't bothered putting it up.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
its my first year at growing from seed, I've let the tomatoes grow without 'suckering' so thats why they're bushy, So I'm on a learning curve, There's 6 varieties of tom's in there but I don't know which is which, guess I'll find out when they fruit,

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..where do I start..the tomatoes are small and still green..the cucumbers are a foot long and believe it or not have small flowers on them..you can just see how big the cucs are going to be eh? the runner beans are about a foot high and they also have flowers on them..the peas have been eaten by the slugs but they weren't growing anyway..think I'll save up and flit to SpainTom,I put a tomato plant outside due to lack of space in the greenhouse and it's doing okay,it makes you wonder why we mollycoddle 'um..In B&Q last week they had patio toms and I've never seen as many toms on one plant..think I'll go along those lines next year and use the greenhouse for growing something else.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Tom - well, you have done very well first year growing from seed. I haven't bothered cutting off the sideshoots of my tomatoes either - I don't think I'll bother again actually, I've always wondered if it puts the plant at risk of disease. It would be interesting to know what other growers do.

Momac - my tomatoes are small too, heres hoping for better next year. Glad that your other stuff is doing well - I wish I was as successful with cucumbers.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..normally the cucumbers are about 6ft high and the runner beans the same ..this year everything seems stunted..but watched Monty last night and he had the same problem so..I was beginning to think it was my bad luck.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
my very first tomatoe, hope this photo works

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse
hi again..went to Lowes today and bought 2 gooseberry bushes, haven't had gooseberries for about 15 yrs. these are a red berry, Mother's were those nice big, hairy yellowish ones. would appreciate some tips for growing them.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
hi marsin, I planted a gooseberry bush last year, It did't produce last year but is looking good this year, its quite green and healthy looking, loads of thorns, but as yet no goosberrys, I let you know if any come.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - yeah, I saw Monty the other night with his 'pitiful carrots' but, like he said there is still time to plant stuff as its only July.

Tom - those first tomatoes are so cute aren't they?

Townofmemories - I know what you mean about the B&Q toms - they are often grown in warmth under glass then shipped out to the shops, which can be a shock to the system and then they don't progress much afterwards.

Marsin - Gooseberrys are probably the easiest thing to grow - only problem is the birds love 'em and often strip the bushes before they are ripe, so you may want to net them next year. You can plant them anywhere, mine do as well in the shade as they do in the sun, a bit like raspberries and they are fine for clay soil too.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
a more detailed look amongs the plants revealed

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
does anyone know what this flower is called, I grew it from seed but forgot what its called, its a very nice flower and I will want to grow it again next year, thanks if you can help;

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
look like dahlias from the piccys

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Tom; they look like Single Dahlias, often grown from seed
The double Dahlias are usually propagated from tubers

Take the dead flowers off to prolong the flowering
From the dead dry flower heads you can save the seed and sow under glass next Feb

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
thanks cordyline and mache, I'll do that

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
An excellent thread veg grower,I will stay tuned in.I have been growing my own seedlings for years to keep costs down although compost aint cheap if you don't make your own.Another money saver is to buy late June when the garden centres are clearing out.I recently bought fuchsias and geraniums at B&Q for 50p a tray of 12 and with a bit of TLC I will have a good show this year and next.Finally a plea,all the bugs are meant to be there treat them with respect.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
is those cheshire carrots Mac? ,

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Love the carrot pic - no doubt we will see some more funny photos now its harvest time.

Tom - those Dahlias are lovely. I sowed some in the garden, similar to yours, but I think the dog must have trampled them, I will have to put a small picket fence round the lawn to keep her off.

Dave Marsh - I agree about the bug treatments - I don't use anything at all - I think everything is there for a reason. I have countless snails and everything else, but its OK by me. You're right about the compost too, I tend to buy organic compost and it can work out pricey.

Looks like a nice week ahead folks....BBC Weather

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave..I usually save as many seeds as I can for the following year..I've just cleared the window box of Nasturiums,they really put on a good show this year and lovely colours..they even climbed up the wall..have got an envelope full of seeds.
I got Dahlia tubers early this year Tom ,and have waited ages for them to flower one tub has just started but one of the other tubs with them in seems to be all foliage,but hopefully now we have some sunshine they might kick in to flower.We have privets growing over the fence from next doors garden which can be a nuisance at times but the smell from the blossom at this time of year is gorgeous every time I go in the garden.Tomatoes are doing well but not the cucumbers yet..I keep doing a Charlie and talking to them but it's not working.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Nothing to do with gardening I know but...we went to the cemetery this afternoon..and I felt a sting on my bum..then on my waistline..I kept fiddling about where it was sore put hand down the waistband of my trousers and out flew a bee or wasp..I'd been bit 3 times..so whatever it was lives to pollinate some more flowers..the little tinker.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
similar thing happened to me momac, I was aerating my compost and loads o bugs and flys came out at me, anyrode later on there are bite marks all over my back, big red bite marks, itchy as owt, I dunno what it was but it a meal outa me

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Tom..whenever I have anything for the compost I throw it in for that reason and stand well back..thousands of them come charging out...and I found out off google that it was a wasp..only they can sting muliple times..a bee would die after it's first one..I'm chuffed about that,'cause I keep a jar of honey and a chopstick to help any bee that's in trouble..I would hate to be the reason for one dying..anyway a rub with vinegar did the trick for the stings.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
I think only honey bees die

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta mache.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I remember reading that males don't sting. Mache is correct about honey bees, even then its rare to be stung - usually only if they think their nest is threatened. Worse still IMO is horseflies - they get me every year and I react by my sking blistering - worse than any wasp or bee sting.

Bees

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
I agree about the horse fly, one bite from them and I turn into elephant man

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Nasty pasies, are Horse flies

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
ney lad, ney

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Once when being attacked by horseflies, they followed me over a mile from the horses field. I was bitten on my legs and arms, even through clothing. The blistering and swelling is unbelievable - insect repellant makes no difference.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
'Whatever Happened To The Honey Bee' is on BBC4 now - will be on iPlayer to catch-up for anyone interested.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
momac,have you tried Canary Creeper,I grow them from last years seeds (like nasturtion)and they really are spectacular.If you plant them under a foliage shrub they cover the shrub in delicate yellow blooms through the Summer.Glad you're with me and the bugs veggie.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac Local honey is supposed to help hay fever sufferers but last year something wiped out the bees, I hope they are thriving this year. See July photo a day by Tom Walsh where a local bee keeper saved a nest in Tom's garden to transfer to his own.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave..I will certainly keep an eye open for that.thank you..I do like creeping plants and that one sounds very nice..am going to have a look on Google in a minute.

I saw that programme a year ago..They always say like someone quoted last night that bees are the barometer of our planet..it's a sad state of affairs..pesticides are going to polish us all off.

Marie..yes my youngest son always suffered with hay fever and I got him some local honey from the health shop in Standishgate(it isn't there anymore) anyway it worked..it's like treating like with like..I wonder where that saying comes from-that when someone dies in the family they have to go and tell the bees or else they will all leave...going to have a look at photo a day now.

veggie..bet those horse fly stings hurt..they're horrible things...my wasp bites are putting on a lovely show this a.m.but bet yours were lovelier.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
momac Did you look at the photos of the beekeeper. I couldn't believe how many bees were in one nest.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - yes, the horse fly bites were amazing My skin swells and it looks like someone has put a hot cup on me, and after a day or so a blister appears in the middle - have to dab with vinegar as nothing else is any good. I have some right scars too.

Summer seems to have come all at once - hope you all got your sun cream on.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Update on this years efforts. Spuds, first earlies all drowned, main crop full of worm holes. Onions nearly ready for picking and drying ( good yeild ). Peas, total disaster. Strawberries, raspberries, black & red currants, good results. Plums - can only see 3 plums, usually over 300. Damsons - not a single one and I usually have buckets full. Pears - can see a few high up but nothing like normal. Apples - only about half the normal quantity appear to have set. Greenhouse toms doing OK but nothing special.

My grapevine is making a bid for freedom again.



View from my back door to patio area



Over all a poor year this time.

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
It is the first time in 25+ years that I've not had any Damsons. I have never had such a poor overall result on the fruit trees before.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Nightchap I hope my grapevine does as well as yours..I could be making wine forever.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Nightchap - sorry that you haven't had such a good year, I think everyone has suffered.

Those purple flowers above your patio are beautiful, are they Clematis?

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
VG - Yes the purple flowers belong to a clematis which is growing up a tree that had died. Momac - the grapes are a lot of trouble to look after. The vine is probably about 30 years old now and I have cut it back to just a stump on more than one occasion. For some reason the stalks that the grapes hang from are only short and if I leave the bunches to do their own thing the grapes burst against each other having no room to grow, then it is just a bunch of gunge. I have read that the grape bunches need thining, but it takes so long to do and I don't have the time. Every now and again I'll fight my way in and thin the odd bunch.

Posted by: tomplum (3764)  Report abuse
nightchap, I fancy a vine next year, which would you recommend and when to plant?

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Tom, The one that I have is Black Hamburg. It is supposed to be an easy all-round vine ( greenhouse or outside ). If this one is easy I would hate to have a hard one. On the whole if I had the time to look after it as I should, it is a good choice. I can't tell you what they taste like as I don't eat grapes - my dad usually takes them all to eat and make "jam". It will take a few years to bear decent fruit. There are a few golden rules in vine keeping otherwise disaster. Read up first and see if you wish to go ahead. I could take some cuttings at the end of the season, but it would be a few years before any grapes. I don't know what time of year is best to plant - usually most pot grown plants can be planted anytime - it is bare rooted things that can be fussy. If you do get a vine I would be more than happy to give you a few pointers on cultivation etc.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Tomatoes not doing too good outside. Onions have rotted with the rain we had and potatoes haven't been as good this year - carrots the same as Monty's. I have sown some late betroot and carrots - I have a feeling these will be better. Salads lovely were the slugs haven't been.

I'm keeping my eye on the Apricots - the one or two that I have As last year I picked them a little too late and they had to be eaten soon after being picked.

Pears are pitifully few, the birds have eaten the cherries -I have die-back on one of my cherry trees so I need to deal with this.

Apples not much better, still picking blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawbs and raspberries - though only a few a day.

I don't think I have ever seen so many birds in my garden, going through 2 fat balls a day in the feeder, a bag of peanuts and a bag of seed per week. I bought what I thought was a giant seed ball, turns out it is a large pinecone smothered in lard with seeds pressed in £2 I paid - so I have decided to make my own.



Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..it's been a real let down this Summer..no runner beans no peas, a few strawberries no cucumbers..a few tomatoes but still green..but loads of growth in the privets which is great for the birds...speaking of privets,those white flowers on them..the smell when I go in the back garden this time of year is lovely..I'll be sad when they drop off!!!! getting back to the disappointment of the non- growth...think I'll flit to Spain.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
My toms are full of fruit momac but very slow in ripening this year.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave..I really thought your fruit and veg would be lush living where you do..but I think you will get more sun than us before too long.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Anyone ever taken Geranium cuttings?

I know it can be done, I just wondered how successful you found them. I bought some going cheap the other day from the garden centre, kept them indoors for a few days as they looked a bit sad and bedraggled, well they have improved enormously and so thought I might take some cuttings to over-winter.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
veggie..I just love geraniums..but have only ever had them in the house..if you've already taken all the dead stuff off them..I would leave them indoors all winter..if you've got a spare windowsill that is..I've never had any luck with cuttings from them ,I never have problems with anything else..there are some good tips on google..and geraniums as I've said before are very good to look after..anyway good luck.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
We have had much warmer weather the last few weeks,momac,so that should help.I never grow roses because they are never ever as good as the ones you see in a Wigan garden.

Posted by: erontquay (11236)   Report abuse
eat your weeds

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I have Lilies in three pots. Those blasted lily beatles have devoured all the leaves but the flowers have still come out and they are so beautiful.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Be careful if you have cats..I believe they are toxic to them.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Suddenly the toms are ripening.My first cherry tom.was as sweet as a ripe strawberry.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Time to plant some lillies methinks. Only messin.

I have found that a drawback of feeding the birds as much as I do is attracting the local feline population. I have had a dead bird left at my back door, and a nice little pile of poo which I found my collie eating the other morning.

My girl is on a mission now whenever she goes out the back -twice this week she has found a black cat hiding in the bushes waiting for the birds - its hilarious watching her trying to catch it, obviously the cat is too quick.

My tomatoes are beginning to change colour, though I am not hopeful of heavy crops - I'm debating whether to plant them in the beds (out of the sacks) for the rest of the season.

Ooh - and just as the strawberries are finishing I find that I have some Alpine Strawberries ripening - tiny things but delicious.



Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Tom..methinks we've covered this before re-cats..I agree with you ..they're cruel little so and so's..I love the birds..and luckily our cat isn't a bird catcher..we feed a cat that comes into our garden,wish we'd never started it..she is a terror watching birds..am I'm always watching her..I would love a dog to keep an eye on her..keeping dropping hints but so far it's not working.we could stop feeding this cat but don't know if she has a home..I have been all around the estate asking but so far no joy.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I have just read your post and re-read mine. I hope I didn't upset you with mine about the cats - I type before thinking sometimes - I'm really sorry. It was meant light-heartedly.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..of course you didn't upset me..it would upset me to know the cat got a bird..as I said earlier they are cruel little sods..and just torment the poor little things sometimes..when we first got ours we got one of those collars that emit a sound to let any bird know that he's near but as I say he's not really bothered..we have a photo of him just sat near the birds as they fed..it's this other cat that's doing my head in..she's very lithe and agile whereas ours is a Persian with short legs and is now 18..so let your girl out in garden as often as you can..'til the cat gets the message...thanks anyway lass.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Regarding cats,they do what comes naturally and I am surrounded by the little blighters.I shoo them out of the garden and they do learn to scarper when they spot me.Also I am careful where I place the bird feeders and make sure the cats have no cover near the feeder.A feeder on a tree is an easy cat target.I use thin spiral metal poles to hang my feeders.They are unobtrsive in the garden,they sway like a branch and cats can't run up them

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
As I said, my dog barks and chases the cats, same with the birds - but she wouldn't touch them - its not in her to attack anything. She cornered a cat one early morning on the field - she stood in front of it with her tail wagging while the cat was swiping her claws at her - so funny.

She's the same with other dogs - she will chase them and jump all over them but she is just playing - which is why I have to be careful - not all dogs have her temperament.

Well, my son is back from his hols so I think I will put him to use in the garden Make the most of today and tomorrow because the heavens are set to open all next week BBC Weather

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Tom..obviously I knew it wasn't me you were aiming at..I have never ranted over anything let alone a cat..it was just another mode of conversation.

Veggie..I seemed to do nothing yesterday except pull weeds up in between flags in the back garden..they're everywhere..but don't you just love this sunshine.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Moving on from cats to spiders,I thought this question would get a better response from the gardeners.Often when I go into my garden first thing in the morning there will be a single thread of spider web from point A to point B and the distance from A to B can be 4to 5 ft.Even after a very calm night I notice this phenomena,just how does a tiny spider lik A to B 5/6 ft. above ground.I have never been able to fathom this engineering miracle.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Ah - saw this on the telly not long ago. They dangle on the end of their silk and wait for the wind to blow and then wherever it catches it is just a matter of them running back and forth weaving their web. I hate bumping into their webs because it destroys the work they have done.

They give me the creeps, especially those that are brown and fat and marked like a tiger, but house spiders are the worst because they get to grow so big. Aargh!

I found one on the landing wall last night, only a spindly one but its body was white - never seen one of those before.

Got the shivers now.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave,I have never been able to fathom that out either,mind you it's one thing I look out for when I go in the greenhouse..I would never harm one but I do not like spiders..and the thoughts of one on me would give me the creeps.Have you ever noticed in the Winter how many webs there are..the frost makes them look like Irish lace.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Tom - thats what I meant. I was right really - just without the spider on the end as it blows.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Momac,try and identify what it is that puts you off spiders.I think the main thing is that they either walk or run quickly without seeming to have an acceleration phase.Crabs do the same.They would make good athletes.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave,I've often wondered why a mouse is the same colour as a bird and a bird can scuttle across the floor like a mouse,and yet seeing a mouse is enough to make you run but a little bird is endearing and you wish you could hold it in your hand..and why does seeing the long tail on a rat give people the creeps..there you go Dave..a couple more of the wonders of the world.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

Veg grower, momac and spud1..had my first potatoes yesterday -for our tea- they are tiny reds. delicious. cucs slow this year, maybe because of the heat- lots of tiny tim tomatoes and spinich. some kind of bug ate the green peppers and bean leaves-disaster! the grapes are turning a nice dark blue.my grapes are 'concord', they only sweeten after the first frost.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Marsin..I've thrown my cucs out,they were doing nothing but attract slugs etc..toms are still green..thinking of making a chutney with them,Only got my grape vine this year Black Homburg, but it's growing like the clappers..lets hope next year is better.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
Did you see that National Collection of water lilies on Gardener's World tonight. Fantastic.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Yes I did Marie..I would love a pond like that to put lilies in,they look beautiful..and it would attract the frogs etc..to keep the slugs down..I think everybody's fed up of the slugs and snails this year..I am but don't like to kill them with pellets for a few reasons.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Will have to do something,they've eaten just about everything.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
momac,I have noticed a sharp decline in many of my garden residents.Bees well down,wasps none at all,butterflies fairly rare,greenfinches none,general insects well down.However our slugs and snails are abundant,so are the toads.Sparrows are on their second hatching.Anyone notice similar trends.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hello Dave,we haven't done so bad with bees..in fact late yesterday afternoon sat out and watched the bees on the lavender for ages..been to garden centre this afternoon to look for a white Buddleia..as you know the bees love them and plan to get more Lavender next year to keep them going..without the bees we're all doomedright now it's absolutely throwing it down so there will be slugs and snails all over the place again tonight..we never see any toads though,but a few butterflies have been around lately.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
I have a Buddleia close to the back door,momac,and right now it is at its best especially when looking down from the bedroom window.This is the first year I haven't seen any humming bird moths on it.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
dave It's like the tropics here, boiling hot and then lashing it down. I have not seen any bees so Maureen I am going to get some Lavender and Buddleia.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
thank you tom

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Marsin - glad you enjoyed your first spuds. It sounds as if you are having a better harvest than a lot of us lot this year.

Dave - I have also noticed a drop in the insect population. All insects to be honest, I don't think I have seen a wasp and I have had more bees fly in through the back door than seem to be outside - strange because there were so many about in March when we were actually having better weather. As you say, slugs and snails are everywhere - though the birds love 'em. I have been feeding the birds none stop - all the locals who come everyday but there is definately a drop in the starlings IMO.

I am assuming it is the relentless rain we have had this year that is the reason we aren't seeing them - obviously not sat out as much.

Picked a lot of Blackberries yesterday and froze them as I wasn't in the mood for baking. Good thing about these cultivated ones is that they don't have the thorns that the wild ones do and the fruits are huge.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Shall we have a contest to see who can measure the longest slug? Come on lets have a play, put your macs on and go outside....

Detail to include length and colour, although you can measure the width or circumference too:

I had one this morning that was Orange and 3.5inches in length and I would guess 3 inches the way round - yep it was that fat! Who's next...

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..I think that was an orange eel you saw tell you what I found this morning at the back..a little dead bat..poor little thing,I've never seen a bat except on telly..felt so sorry for it..as for the slugs veggie with all this rain I bet even they have wellies on.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Aw poor bat.

This year on Springwatch they had a lot of reports about bats being seen in daylight hours, and they reckoned it was because of the poor weather when they came out of hibernation, they were struggling to find food at night time. My brother is a postman and he saw one on his round and he said it looked to be struggling.

Everyone is having a bad year this year - hence me trying to liven things up a little.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I found a great big orange slug on our work top this morning. I put it in the Green Bin where it would have been in heaven.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I rarely wear shoes in the house in Summer..last year,just on my way up to bed I trod on one at the bottom of the stairs..guess who checks the hallway every night now!!!.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I have often seen slugs creeping under or over the back door when its raining. We have draft excluders too, so I don't know how they manage it.

What I can't bear at the minute is the spiders that keep coming in through the doorways and the vents. They're huge and you can see the hairs on their legs.

If no-one is up for measuring slugs - we can do spiders.

Eurrgh - I'm shivering now...

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
The other night..On going in the bedroom Cliff said"just seen a spider" oh my good God,he might as well have said there's a tiger in the room..I really didn't sleep well that night..and I'm still looking when I'm upstairs..I put conkers down last year which did keep them away but I think I need some fresh ones..spiders I do not do..won't kill any insect though..they have the right to live like anyone else!!!!but not in my bedroom.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I won't kill them either, but I hoovered one up the other night because I needed a wee and it was above the loo and I couldn't wait.

I read not long ago that a woman saw a big spider run across her husbands face while he was asleep, but she didn't have the heart to wake him up. It might have been on WW come to think of it.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
I heard some while back that a lot of people swallow spiders while they're asleep...now I'm frightening myself to death..think I'll buy a mask.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Or mosquito net.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
I read the other day that a lady who had earache for several years had the head of a ladybird fall out in a piece of wax.Her local hospital retrieved the rest of its body and the earache stopped.

Great crop of tomatoes this year.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Dave,I read that story..but the best or worst one yet was some years ago..we used to watch a programme (forgotten what it was)Matthew Kelly was in it,and it took place in a a hospital going round to talk to the patients..he got to the bedside of a young man whose job took him abroad at times.. he was asked at short notice to go to Uganda or somewhere like that..and therefore didn't have time for his injections etc..on reaching home he found a biggish lump on his chest so finished up in Hospital where after some prodding about with this lump it popped open and out crawled loads of tiny spiders that the Mum spider must have laid while he was asleep...Enjoy your tomatoes Dave.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
'Enjoy your tomatoes Dave'.

Thats it, I'm getting a four poster bed with a mosquito net.

Mac - love that Owl.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Have it, but start anoother sodding gardening thread. part deux or something!
(Ask this one be made a sticky)

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Eh? Mac, have I offended you - I don't understand.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
No you most certainly haven't
I was offering you the pic should you wish to use it, repost it, etc.
The start another sodding thread (With the extra 0 for good measure) was becaues it's taking that extra half second to get to the end of the thread, and I am an impatient blighter.
Email brian and ask this be made a sticky, then start a part two Gardening thread.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Ah I see.

I know Tomplum has asked several times for a Gardening Board. I will have a bash.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
After you have had your 'bash', email Brian.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
People will think I'm a thug.

I have emailed and asked him to consider Tomplums proposal - as I think it may make it easier for others.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
Easier to make this a sticky, but good luck.

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
aye and do it quick before somebody has it pulled

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Why Mache, who would do such a thing?

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
We are certainly enjoying the toms, veg grower,along with 3 of my neighbours,which gives a very pleasant feel good factor.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
mac If you press the 'End' key, it takes a nano second to get to the end of the thread. What you on about.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Have a rockery at the end of the back garden..if you can call it that,overgrown wasn't the word, anyway we've weeded it and put the rocks in order,but will need to get some cream outdoors paint for them..had a look at alpine plants but they're so expensive..soooo will have a look at seeds for next year instead of buying plants..does anybody have any ideas which would be the best...ta.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - You can get small bulbs for rockeries, hyacinth grape are nice as well as primroses and primulas (in spring) as well as seeds such as Eidelweiss (not sure when to sow though) alpine strawberries are also very nice - they don't spread like ordinary strawberries, they are a compact plant and the fruits are tiny but lovely.


I have just found my first tomatoes, all ripened and deep red - not like the shiny orange rubbish you get at the supermarket. I got some roast beef and so I'm having nice salad and sandwiches the next few days.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
The bigger the thread, the more nano seconds it takes, Marie. Some people haven't got PC's with the Processing speed of ours.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta for the info Veggie..I like grape hyacinths so looks like being one of the plants I'll be getting..will have a look at other bulbs as well..have put all fresh compost on so it's all ready, as for toms ,mine are still green,but September is forecast to be sunny so we shall see..'cause as you say supermarket ones are tasteless.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
Sorry mac They should be grateful they weren't born in Wallgate

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
That's the reason I said VG should start another thread.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
I can endorse veg growers recommendation of alpine strawberries also try Spanish strawberries.They make ideal pot plants and although they don't bare much fruit they do have lovely hanging pink flowers the whole Summer through and they are very easy to propagate.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
Hi,I have made some liquid feed using comfrey leaves,it's supposed to be very good,and it's free,dilute it 3-1,they should bottle the aroma,it would sell well.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
thanks for the tip spud1,I've just started composting for next year.

Posted by: spud1 (1176) Report abuse
It absolutely stinks Dave,it was a tip on gardeners world,they said it stank,and it does,just cram a load of leaves in a container and fill with water,put a lid on it,there are plenty leaves at present,ours is only a week old,and it pongs.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
You can do the same with nettles apparently - Alys Fowler steeped nettles in her garden. The smell nearly knocked her over when she lifted the lid off. I've never used either - but could do with some for feed next year and of course it is free.

Well, I have counted all of 3 apricots on my tree - I think I had better pick them off before they fall off.

Pears and apples coming on alright - the few that I have that is.

Posted by: Mac (inactive) Report abuse
VG, to make more apples appear on your tree, simply go to Lidl, get a nice bag of apples, (I would suggest a similar colour to the ones already on), and use green wire to tie the apples to the tree. Hey presto, a bountiful supply that your neighbours will be envious of.

Posted by: i-spy (8423)  Report abuse
who's eaten all the blackberries.
have they been and gone or didn't they appear this year.
my jam making plan has been sabotaged.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - forgot to say, Alpine Strawberry plants grow from seed (they are tiny like a speck of dust) and they grow quick - you could sow in Jan to March and have fruit the same year, T&M do them but I think I got mine from a garden centre - much cheaper.

Mac - good tip about the apples.

For anyone interested - I just found this new BBC page about seasonal food with tips on picking, storing and cooking month by month BBC Food

Elderberries are ready for picking in some parts too.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta veggie..I will look out for those,they sound interesting..have been painting the rocks...looks nice and tidy..at last.

Spud..also don't throw away your rhubarb leaves if you have any..they're great for the compost too.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Got my grape hyacinths today veggie,plus anemone bulbs,not found Alpine strawberry plants yet but will keep on looking oh and got some Silver Dust (Cineraria) plants from Lidl so I'm made up..next spring it should look like a rockery..

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse
momac, l had heathers and creeping thyme in my rock garden, l plant some of the creeping thyme in the lawn as well, when l cut the grass or walk on it it smells lovely.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Ta for that marsin..will have a look for that as well..creeping thyme sounds very nice..I love anything that smells nice in the garden.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Saw this Hydrangea Lacecap in Menai Bridge, Anglesey last week


The park gardener said they will never grow in Wigan; however he let me take a couple of cuttings

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Cordy - is that a genuine photograph?

I've never seen different colours on one hydrangea before.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Yes it's the same plant; photo not altered in any way

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
I've never seen one flower like that before, the colours are beautiful - so good luck with the cuttings.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Another Lacecap; same location

It appears to be the same plant as the first photo
There were 2 plants in the little park, got cuttings from them both
In August I took cuttings off my Hydrangea Hortensia and put them in a jar of water with a handful of builders sand in the bottom
There are roots starting to grow; fingers crossed !
Also I layered some Hortensia, they look healthy but I won't cut them from the parent yet

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
VG
We are going back to Menai Bridge at the week-end; I will try to check if there are 2 Hydrangeas planted together or if it actually does have varying flower colours

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Cordy,we were in Crosthwaite the other Sunday and the Lacecap seemed to be everywhere..and that same colour too..the soil is obviously perfect for them,they are beautiful though..my neighbour used to have one,but she's not interested in plants..I think she just cut it down..what a waste eh?.Good luck with your cuttings..keep us updated please.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Cordy - it may have been bred that way - they do tri-colour allsorts these days.

Perhaps the gardener had bred it himself and thats why he said it wouldn't grow in Wigan, also the soil will be different too.


Posted by: zippydadoda (835)   Report abuse
my roses havent done well this year,the leaves was full of black spots.i did spay them,they seem to be all roses and no leaves. help please?.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Zippy - I tend to get Blackspot and have lost a few over the years. I don't use chemicals myself, but here are one or two links here..

RHS

Gardeners World

Posted by: zippydadoda (835)   Report abuse
veg grower,thanks ,will try harder next year.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Those Hydrangea cuttings that I took a couple of weeks ago,
I put them in jars of water with handful of sand thrown in

I put a leaf in on it's own; so far it is not wilting, it will be interesting to see if Hyds can be propagated by leaf cuttings - can't see anything on the 'net about it

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Good luck cordy..would the cuttings not be better in compost with a polythene bag over them..I don't know really,it just seems the better of ideas..anyhow as I say good luck,am dying to know if you're successful.
I've been after a white Buddleia..but got a cutting from Rivington Saturday so I'm waiting to see if that takes.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
From what I can gather layering and cuttings are the easiest way - I have never propagated from a leaf before - I would imagine the sand would keep the moisture, ah well as Momac says good luck.

RHS say some hardy herbaceous plants can be propagated by leaf From Here

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I took a Buddleia cutting (did about 3 but only 1 took) about 4 years a go. They grow very quick after the first year in the ground - they grow like Triffids.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
I layered the Hyd in our garden in summer; seem to be going well
Did some cuttings in pots with plastic bag & cane too which appear to be OK

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
Cordyline That lacecap is beautiful. I am getting one this week if I can. It will have to go in a pot. I have no room in the garden.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
MM or wait til next year; you can have one of mine if you are close enough to Pemberton

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie-I took a piece of Buddleia from Frog Lane a couple of years ago..it grows out of the walls there..and of course it grew as you say rampant..but it got very leggy..my next door neighbour finished up with it,I just got it in my head that probably the white one might be more cultivated..I'm more than likely wrong,but if it starts to grow like the purple ones I'll just keep cutting it back..it will be interesting to see what happens..I'm only doing it for the bees...but have no more room for leggy shrubs.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - I chop mine back early spring. I read about it in a gardening book first because I am not well up on shrubs and I think this helps to keep it in check a bit. Although it is getting a bit big now - I whipped a cutting from a neighbours bush, and I'm glad I did because they have since got rid of it. There is one growing next door and that is quite huge, it is also very sturdy yet its had no care whatsoever. Like you, I wanted it for the bees and butterflies - I bet yours will be beautiful, I've never seen a white one before.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Well.. looked for creeping thyme in Shevy Garden Centre today with no luck at all,but will carry on looking..can you remember where you got it from Marsin.

Posted by: marsin (128) Report abuse

momac..l got my creeping thyme from a church garden in Nremarket Ont. l was walking on the lawn and could smell this heavenly thyme smell.. took my comb out and dug out a few plugs!!!! the roofs and cars white with frost this am.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Regarding buddleia's,they do indeed 'grow like triffids'.I cut mine back to the stump each Spring and it's back up to 15 ft. within a few months.Cutting it back keeps it bushy and full of Summer flower.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thank you Marsin..so seeing as I can't nip over there..I will carry on looking..and won't be happy until I find some,it sounds just what I want.

Posted by: MarieM (3111) Report abuse
I have not seen one bee this year. I will have to re think my planting I think. What are the best plants for bees.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
I planted a bit of borage this year,MarieM,and the bees loved it.I find that there has been a general decline in winged insects this year,especially butterflys and bees.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Same here, although the weather has been mostly terrible and so most folk won't have been outside to see them.

There were many about in spring, that I do remember.

PS - They also love flowering privet and laurel - both native shrubs.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Talking about flowering privet,veg grower,I have a bush in a pot and it is a much underestimated beauty.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Dave - you're right, and they cost a fortune now - especially if you get one that is well established and pruned a certain shape.

My sister in law is a gardener and she put two spiral ones out (one either side of her front door) and next morning they had gone.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Here are some hydrangea cuttings I took from my garden in August; good root formation


Potted today and placed in cold frame
At the time of cuttings I layered 3 shoots; they are growing really well, might do a photo tomorrow

The Laceheads cuttings that I got from Menai Bridge seem OK so far

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
I planted some Mirabalis seeds early Summer and they have been flowering through September forming individual plants about 30 inches high.Quite spectacular at the end of the season when you need a bit of fresh colour.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Dave
just looked up Mirabilis
They look OK; do slugs snails eat them ?
If i can remember i will sow some next year

Posted by: ann-spam (2854)  Report abuse
Cordyline do you sell any hanging basket plants by any chance or any plants at all .

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
ann spam
No I don't sell any plants; we only have a small garden

In Spring we should have some Hydrangeas going for free [I took about 20 cuttings this Autumn] if they make it in a cold frame through winter

It's just 12 months since we met you and yours at Southport
Remind me in May
cordy

Posted by: ann-spam (2854)  Report abuse
Ok thanks yes you did meet us but it was september at the fireworks display was on and im going again this weekend has i enjoyed it last year .

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Hi,cordyline,the snails and slugs don't appear to like Mirabilis and the leaves look in very good condition.Each flower produces one single large seed for next year.

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Cheers Dave; I've made a note to buy some seeds next year

Posted by: cordyline (2922)   Report abuse
Was in Homebase [near Sainsburys Wigan]at the week-end and saw some really nice artificial grass if anyone is looking for that sort of thing

It appears to be much superior to ours in looks, and is very heavy duty

Posted by: nightchap (258)  Report abuse
Cordyline, veg grower - I have a lacecap hydrangea that can have the two colours on at the same time (red/blue). When I first bought the shrub it flowered blue all season. These days the early season flowers tend to be blue and the later ones pink. Too late this year to get a photo (all pink now & dropping ). If I can remember I'll try and get a photo next year.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
You must have good soil then Nightchap.

I have never seen different colours on hydrangeas before - thats why I thought Cordy's pic was doctored - especially after he posted the one of the fake grass.

Well, I am still harvewsting blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes and I am picking pears today because you have to get them before they completely ripen. I also have cooking apples and dessert apples too.

Dave Marsh - those Mirabilis are beautiful, I think I've seen them in a T&M book. Good that the seed is easily saved and that the slugs don't like them - as they remind me of Petunias.

Well, I saw my first wasp of the year the other day as I was hanging out some washing, whilst slugs and snails have had the best breeding season ever.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Talking of wasps..we got one in the car this a.m..saw it go out through the open window..then got another..saw that go out..then another..think they're on a mission around Wigan..the little flowers are also called 4 oclock plants Googled it of course..they will only start to flower once it goes dim..pretty aren't they..Veggie,as regards your harvesting that's whats known as the fruits of your labour,isn't it..I would live an apple tree,must see if I have room for one next year.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Momac - you can get patio apples (and other fruit) that grow on a single stem, they take up hardly any room at all and don't need a huge pot either. Lots of places sell them now - though I think local garden centres would be cheaper than the likes of T&M.

Glad you didn't get stung.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Veggie..I will certainly look into something like that next year.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Don't think I've been to that one Tom..we usually go to Golden Days which is always expensive or Birkacre which is not much cheaper..Arbour lane is about the best around here but not very big..could do with having a trip to Pimbo.

Posted by: cindy (5111)   Report abuse
Weedkiller Sometime ago someone put a recipe for making Weedkiller, I think it consisted of,
1 Bottle vinegar
1/4 Cup of salt
1Squirt of washing up liquid
Top up with warm water
I tried it the other day & the weeds are still Thriving.?
Did I miss something out.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Thank you Tom..I will keep that in mind.

Posted by: cindy (5111)   Report abuse
Weedkiller Sometime ago someone put a recipe for making Weedkiller, I think it consisted of,
1 Bottle vinegar
1/4 Cup of salt
1Squirt of washing up liquid
Top up with warm water
I tried it the other day & the weeds are still Thriving.?
Did I miss something out.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Cindy - don't be mithering with all that palaver - you will end up killing all the beneficial insects as well.

Let nature take its course man.









I am sort of kidding - the only thing that gets rid of perennial (recurring) weeds is digging, followed by hand weeding.

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Cindy..don't kill the worms..they keep your soil in good order.

Posted by: cindy (5111)   Report abuse
The weeds are growing through the stuff that is under the gravel, So I cant dig them without lifting the pebbles & the stuff under it.

Posted by: cindy (5111)   Report abuse
Its like hessiom.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
You will have to work in stages, and probably have to slice the hession as you go as it isn't practical to pull it all up. I would do six foot at a time - slide the pebbles over and then cut the hession, the weeds underneath will be weaker than most and so pull up easily, and then replace the hession and pebbles. Winter is upon us and with any luck it will finish them off.

Posted by: dave marsh (3324)  Report abuse
Lets face the fact that weed killers are for lazy gardeners and only work temporarily.Some weed killers have been known to harm people including children.Weeds is just a name given to plants that arrive naturally in the garden.Just keep them under control with a hoe and all will be well.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Help wanted Where is the best place to buy INDOOR plants around the Wigan area thanks

Posted by: mache (inactive) Report abuse
try a supurmarket or that place down hunger hill

Posted by: r.fisher (373)  Report abuse
Weeds, i have them in front and back lawns,but also in my newly laid drive of asphalt,they also grow thru concrete,what do you do after cutting the edges of the lawns,when the grass falls in the flower beds do you scape it up,i have them on the pavement outside my property,which the council have just laid,it's totally never ending. Any suggestions.
Roy

Posted by: momac (4110)  Report abuse
Hi PeterP..Golden Days in Back Lane Appley Bridge have a good selection...it's not too far from Wigan.

Posted by: PeterP (3874) Report abuse
Thanks mache&momac got fixed up at golden days

Posted by: ann-spam (2854)  Report abuse
Lovely gardening weather today even done a bit of gardening myself .

Posted by: scoop (3060)   Report abuse


Been in the garden myself today,starting to tidy up and reduce the size of the perennials and pruning.Hard work but well worth the effort. Busiest time of the year i feel, but you are rewarded in spring when the better weather comes along(I hope).

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Just eaten one of my pears - a lot better than those you get from the shop. I'm going to buy a different variety next year as the couple I have are both Conference.

Can anyone recommend a sweeter variety of pear?


The leaves on my Cherry Trees at the bottom of the garden have turned yellow and they look beautiful. My son is going to cut the grass one last time before the winter for me.

The birds are chirupping away in the back, I'm gonna stock up on bird seed - they are destroying it at the moment.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Might go for that, it is mentioned in all my old gardening books.

Conference are alright for easy growing but the better tasting ones are the old varieties of course.

Posted by: scoop (3060)   Report abuse


Mares tail.

Got this all over the garden cannot get rid, hate the stuff.

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Is it Horsetail or Marestail though? There is a difference - but the RHS seem to be considering them the same here - RHS Link

Horsetail

Mare's Tail

I assumed they were one and the same until I clicked on Scoop's piccy.

If you go down the chemical end, you may have to constantly re-apply. I read somewhere that the roots have been found deep below the earth and it has been around longer than anything else - but was that Mare's Tail or Horsetail?

Posted by: hindleyite (3752) Report abuse
Any tips for improving the drainage of heavy clays soil would be greatly welcome.Thanks

Posted by: veg grower (inactive) Report abuse
Hindleyite - Clay soil is very rich in nutrients, trouble being it can often be unworkable depending on the weather - if it is 'heavy clay'. Lime can help to break down clay and is often added when dug over in the autumn, to work in over winter - although if it is around existing plants this isn't really practical as it could have an adverse effect.

Frost has a similar effect if you dig over in the autumn and leave it rough the frost helps to break down the clay and make it more manageable.

I garden on clay and I have thought of putting a drainage system on the front lawn because it is boggy for most of the year. I wasn't sure what part of the garden you meant, but here is a link from the RHS which may help.

RHS Advice

PS - avoid walking on the soil as much as possible as it just compacts it even further and you are back to where you started.

Posted by: hindleyite (3752) Report abuse