Gardening Thread

Started by: jo anne (33694) 

Carrying on from the lengthy thread - Jun‘16 - Aug’20

This free online event looks interesting:

Grow your Own and Encourage Wildlife Tips from a Farm near Wigan
Mon 28th Sep, 6pm till 7pm -

Started: 23rd Sep 2020 at 12:19

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Planted two different lots of potatoes Earlies Charlotte and Main crop Pentland Crown during the year,Got about 10-12LBS of potatoes from each crop(2LB bags) and could tell the difference in taste from shop bought potatoes. Will buy them again next year, Just getting to the back end of the tomato's in the greenhouse . Pear trees did not produce much fruit on either bush only about 6 pears on each will feed them over winter and hope for a better yield next year. Cannot make my mind up if I am going to plant any winter veg in the raised bed or just sort it out for next year.

Replied: 3rd Oct 2020 at 15:41

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

jo anne! this weather [:D
The only gardening I am doing is in the greenhouse..... painting garden chairs.

Replied: 3rd Oct 2020 at 16:26

Posted by: anniedingle (68)

Flowers are slowly going but still have a few in bloom .

Replied: 13th Oct 2020 at 16:36

Posted by: cheshirecat (207) 

I didn't get many tomatoes out of my harvest this year but l got a decent amount of cucumbers.
I'm not complaing though as it was an improvement on last year!

Replied: 13th Oct 2020 at 19:09

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Cheshirecat in the end we had ample toms and I was giving them away,My missus had a few fried with her breakfast or sliced on butties.I grow a few different veg every year but do not eat many myself( not ate most veg for nearly 50yrs

Replied: 13th Oct 2020 at 21:01

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

This November is the first ever Greater Manchester Tree Month.

To get involved follow the hashtag on facebook, twitter or Instagram #GMTreeMonth for fun facts, blogs, videos and more.

Replied: 5th Nov 2020 at 07:59

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

AgeUKWB (19th Jan):
#Foodactiontogether & #FFLGetTogethers would like to tell you about some great free training available to people in the Wigan area. Join us and Get Growing! Small pots of funding available.

For more information, email Sarah-Beth Cooper:

Replied: 19th Jan 2021 at 11:16

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

Age UK Wigan Borough - @AgeUKWB (29th Jan):

Replied: 29th Jan 2021 at 10:38

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Just come in after spending a couple of hours in the garden. Surprised I didn't feel the cold even though I wasn't working hard, mainly removing and raking rubbish off the lawn. Stood and watched buzzards sky dancing for a few minutes but best of all I do believe I have a resident owl. Not had an owl for years but over the last week I have heard one. As I went about the lawn seeing enormous pigeon droppings I soon realised they were regurgitated owl pellets. Very pleased about that.

Replied: 11th Feb 2021 at 16:33

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Anne you have the right backdrop for wild life.

Replied: 11th Feb 2021 at 17:24

Posted by: momac (11751) 

My garden is close on getting back to nature with things that happened since April last year,but as soon as it gets a bit milder I'll be in there getting it back to how it used to look..I'm a bit of a softie when it's cold.

Replied: 11th Feb 2021 at 17:38

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Tried to get some weeds out of the ground yesterday,The ground was that hard it nearly bent my hand fork.Crocus are well into flower and the daffs are growing ,bit early for the tulips thou. A lot of the shrubs are starting to get small buds on them

Replied: 12th Feb 2021 at 07:40

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Exactly Peter....I took note of the ground/beds being in ideal condition for raking loose rubbish without the danger of lifting or disturbing roots or bulbs. Will do so later today.

Replied: 12th Feb 2021 at 07:52

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

What a difference from my last post. Lots and lots of snowdrops in full bloom, daffodils well into bud, bluebells sprouting and best of all eight imperial fritillaries ten inches high. These have several stalks from one bulb, more than last year.

Replied: 26th Feb 2021 at 14:44

Posted by: JR (253)

My 100+ winter pansies took a battering by the snow and frost and are looking sorry for themselves unfortunately. Perhaps the change in weather may resurrect them! However, the many white crocus are looking great and the tulips are developing well. My winter Hellebores are in full bloom, the heathers look good and out of the blue a few snowdrops have appeared! It won't be long before the Azaleas start to bust into colour. Isn't it wonderful to be able to get such pleasure from our gardens during these strange and restricted times.

Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 13:37

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

If the warm weather holds then I can clean the greenhouse out and set it up ready for seedlings and plug plants.I want to plant a couple of shrubs or roses up against the patio base and get some manure for the raised bed. Lawns ready for their 1st high cut.Kept on top of garden best I could during the wet and cold weather,

Replied: 1st Mar 2021 at 08:32

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Waiting for the bins to be emptied tomorrow. Three green ones filled over the last fortnight or so and could easily fill them again. Leaves and rubbish blow into corners and nooks, stuff under bushes is unbelievable. My greenhouse is being used to re-paint wall trellis at the moment.

Replied: 1st Mar 2021 at 08:45

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Bought some plants and 2 shrubs yesterday. Planted them now I have read there could be freezing temp at the week end.Just hope the new plants are not killed off with the frost I want two/three house plants but not many garden centres sell them.Looks on B&Q site and one plant I want now selling for £25 was only a £5 last year. Bents is local to me but they have always been dearer than every where else so may need plenty of money if I go there

Replied: 3rd Mar 2021 at 07:05

Posted by: marsin (188)

PeterP When we had a ground frost-a couple of years back- in June, I covered what l could with cardboard boxes . I covered the new shrubs with bed sheets.looked funny, all survived. Good luck with yours.

Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 14:42

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

Give it a Grow Wigan -

A campaign to make Wigan bee-friendly and increase biodiversity. Set up by Ali and Victoria, who aim to help residents, and the council to focus on bringing bees and wildlife to our urban spaces.

Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 09:24

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Got a bag of Charlotte potatoes will wait till next week before planting due to the bad weather we are expecting.

Replied: 9th Mar 2021 at 10:41

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Our youngest son bought his mam a half whisky barrel for mothers day. We decided to buy a standard rose to put into the centre.Contacted a few garden centres but no joy, one said it may get towardsthe back end of April before stock comes in.Bents say it may be the week end when they get some in,Phone up and they will reserve one for us.

Replied: 15th Mar 2021 at 17:26
Last edited by PeterP: 16th Mar 2021 at 12:43:58

Posted by: JR (253)

Jo anne, Thanks for the link to the initiative to protect and promote bees. I’ve been personally endeavouring to protect/promote bees (and other wildlife) in my projects. Their idea of wild flower meadows certainly provides the nectar and I have recently been involved in 2 Council schemes in the borough to create wild flower meadows (more will follow as funds become available). I also have input into many environmental schemes throughout the country and there are some great initiatives that have favourably had impact. However, although I am a campaigner and champion for our natural environment, I was a bit concerned with the ‘campaign for bees’ targets. For instance, they mention Mesnes Park as having manicured formal lawns which isn’t favourable for bees and suggest wild flower meadows. This is rather uniformed thinking in respect of Mesnes Park being a Grade II listed historic Victorian Park and should be treated as such. Those huge lawns are over 150 years old and part of our unique heritage, locally and even nationally. Also, the huge funding from the HLF stipulated that the park was to be returned to the original intentions of its designer. In addition, what they have failed to acknowledge is the huge amount of annual bedding providing nectar throughout the year, along with hundreds of trees whose flowers are incredibly important for bees; particularly Lime trees. Mesnes Park in its present and indeed former state is providing much favourable habitat to an abundance of wildlife. Another of their targets is Alexandra Park – the park actually already has a sizeable flower meadow. However, there are many parks in the borough with neglected areas (due to budget restraints) and unresolved areas (former bowling greens, etc.) that could have the potential for bees and other wildlife if converted and managed accordingly. But there is great opportunity outside of parks too. Domestic gardens can attract bees with just a little thought; my shrubs, herbaceous perennials and herbs attract an abundance of bees. In fact last year they made a nest in my garden! Also there is an abundance of derelict land that could be temporarily adapted before developers move in. As I travel the country as part of my work, I see many derelict sites being cultivated by volunteer groups, plus some wonderful community gardens (the best I’ve seen is in Hearn Hill, London). I’ve seen places where local businesses put the funds up to transform spare land as it enhances the environment around their offices. What I’d really like to see is motorway verges turned into wild flora meadows… and there are thousands of acres of them. Anyone looking for good advice on bees and bee keeping should visit Manchester and District Beekeepers at Heaton Park, Prestwich. Their HQ is in the historic Dower House within the park and they are open to the public every Sunday afternoon (although closed presently).

Replied: 19th Mar 2021 at 15:59

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Over the last few days I have gone out into the back garden were I have pots with various plants and bulbs in them to find soil scattered over the gravel from the pots. Some of the bulbs have gone missing and I cannot make up my mind if its birds or a squirrel.Annoying not only because of the loss of bulbs but it is the mess on the gravel which is hard to clean off.I have to use a riddle over my raised bed to get rid of the soil. If it carries on I will have to net the pots.

Replied: 19th Mar 2021 at 17:33

Posted by: JR (253)

Peter, mice are the main problem for bulbs and I always put a fine wire mesh over my pots until they begin to grow. Squirrels can be a problem too, but mice are usually the main suspects. I have harvest mice in my garden, but lately they have moved into my workroom (in the house). The mistake I made was to store a big sack of wild bird seed there which must be like caviar for mice as they have devoured the lot!

Replied: 19th Mar 2021 at 18:01

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Covered the pots with fine mesh netting up to press everything ok Bought some peas and will start them off in the greenhouse. Still looking for a standard rose will phone the garden centres tomorrow.Decided I am not planting main crop potatoes this year will grow a small amount of veg's instead plus some tom's in green house. Will pot up some sunflowers in the next few weeks hope I get a better display than last year

Replied: 24th Mar 2021 at 10:47

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Got the standard rose today

Replied: 25th Mar 2021 at 14:54
Last edited by PeterP: 25th Mar 2021 at 16:51:43

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

TomPlum has some good little videos on his YouTube channel: The Brew Cabin

Replied: 5th Apr 2021 at 12:06

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

Replied: 9th Apr 2021 at 14:04

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Had a delivery of 24 perennials on Thursday, plug size. Yesterday decided to pot them up,and leave them in the greenhouse. Looks like a good idea, heavy sleet at the moment.

Replied: 10th Apr 2021 at 13:01

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Got two large trays of peas growing in the greenhouse now 2-3 inches tall will put in the raised bed mid week also got two trays of sunflowers poking though the soil. Doing a swap for 2 tomato plants giving them some peas

Replied: 11th Apr 2021 at 12:09

Posted by: momac (11751) 

I've got Tomato seedlings growing on the windowsill,plus Cucumbers..Lavatera seedlings for myself and a soon as it warms up a tad they will be going into the greenhouse...roll on sunshine.

Replied: 11th Apr 2021 at 12:53

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Outside temp 8c feels like 5c greenhouse 25c

Replied: 11th Apr 2021 at 15:56

Posted by: tonker (23931) 

As it has no chlorophyl it is totally parasitic on nearby plants and gets all its nutrients from them.  Any idea?

Would it make a nice soup?

Replied: 11th Apr 2021 at 17:45

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

looked outside at about 6-00am this morning and everything was covered in frost and ice. Too early in the week to start planting anything out doors. Did a swop with a neighbour got two tomato plants and give him about 20 pea shoots On our travels noticed tomato plants for sale at £1 each

Replied: 12th Apr 2021 at 07:55
Last edited by PeterP: 17th Apr 2021 at 18:12:55

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Saw a hack online about house plant feed made from banana skins brown sugar and water. Made a mix in a milk bottle will leave another week then try it

Replied: 18th Apr 2021 at 21:39

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Any recommendations for an all round all year gardening book,more so for plant/shrub identification.I am terrible at remembering plant/shrub names. The two books I have are dated and one most of it is in black and white. Readers digest all year gardening book 1974 and the RHS gardening book month by month 2011. Could do with either one book or two seperate books one for plants /flowers and the other for shrubs.

Replied: 2nd May 2021 at 10:08

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Peter,I know you don't live near Beech Hill,but the re-cycling library have hundreds of books on every subject,I'm sure you would find some up to date gardening books there.

Replied: 2nd May 2021 at 10:18

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

On Sunday 9th May, Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley is opening their gardens to the public.

Adult: £3, Child: Free, Book here

Replied: 4th May 2021 at 08:45

Posted by: marsin (188)

Spring has arrived here in Northern Ontario.
5 bluebells, 4 tulips-had approx 25 last year.
3 daffodils.
momac , did you ever get any plums on your tree?

Replied: 5th May 2021 at 15:37

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Marsin no I didn't,nor any fruit on pear tree, surprised to see three flowers on plum tree which I didn't have last year and thought I might just be lucky this year..but nothing so far...oh well God loves a trier.

Replied: 5th May 2021 at 15:48

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Momac you might get some pink heads on your pampas grass

Replied: 5th May 2021 at 15:51

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

momac ..... speaking of plum trees, I have had blossom for the last two years. Guess what, strong winds blown all blossom away, the year before the two windy years had lots of tiny plums. Guess what? Wind blew every single one away. Hardly any blossom left for this year as well.

Replied: 5th May 2021 at 16:03

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Peter..still praying for that to would be lovely.
Anne,sometimes it seems like a losing battle doesn't it.

Replied: 5th May 2021 at 17:02

Posted by: marsin (188)

momac. 2 summers back had some friends visiting -from Wigan- they butchered my plum tree and last year had 19 big, juicy plums. still in bud so keeping my fingers crossed for more success this year.

Replied: 6th May 2021 at 16:46

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Marsin,do you mean they chopped it right back?

Replied: 6th May 2021 at 17:48

Posted by: marsin (188)

yes momac, they chopped it down to 1/2 it¨s size.
Yesterday l bought a lovely lemon geranium . Growing up we always had one at the bottom of the stairs, when we would go up or down would have a nice smell.

Replied: 7th May 2021 at 16:23

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Thank you Marsin,I'm going to do the same with my plum tree definitely.....and re your lemon geranium,I love geraniums but don't think I've ever seen a lemon one,will look out for one though.

Replied: 7th May 2021 at 17:40

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

The wind took a lot of the flower buds off the pear trees but there does seem to be some sign of pear growth on each tree. Peas growing well in the raised bed along with the potatoes which I have started banking up with soil. Caulies onion and carrots poking throu in pots in the greenhouse.Overall happy with what is growing Put various sized Sunflowers into the garden.Hope for a better display than last year

Replied: 25th May 2021 at 14:11

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Sunflowers are doing well some already about 3 ft tall. Bought an outdoor grape plant hope it gets established and maybe will bear fruit.

Replied: 19th Jun 2021 at 08:10

Posted by: anniedingle (68)

Not seen a butterfly yet this year ..

Replied: 24th Jun 2021 at 14:42

Posted by: momac (11751) 

AnnieD,get a butterfly bush (Buddlia) and you'll have butterfly's every day.

Replied: 24th Jun 2021 at 15:05

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Lavender Lobelia Foxglove Montbretia all attract butterflies

Replied: 24th Jun 2021 at 15:39

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Lawn looking in a sorry state owing to lack of rain and recent heat. No growth for two weeks so no cut for two weeks. Last night I scattered blood, bone and fish granules following rain forecast for today. At the moment, hallelujah quite steady rain.

Replied: 3rd Jul 2021 at 10:06

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Anne the rain will help my crop of peas and potatoes and my newly planted Grape The lawns are covered in clover and are beginning to look like meadow grass than lush green lawns. Over the last few years used all kinds of lawn preperations weed/feed etc but to no avail. Has long as it is grass not concrete then I am not really bothered

Replied: 3rd Jul 2021 at 10:35

Posted by: momac (11751) 

When I planted tomato seeds early in the year I had a lot left so planted them in a trough which is outside,and they are growing just the same as the pampered ones in the greenhouse..and have flowers on,it makes you wonder doesn't it.

Replied: 3rd Jul 2021 at 12:18

Posted by: jo anne (33694) 

Wigan & Leigh Hospice
Garden Open Day
Sun 25th Jul, 11am - 4pm
Adult: £4, Child: Free

Links: /

Gardener Jim’s blog:
(Not up-to-date, but worth reading past entries)

Replied: 7th Jul 2021 at 11:12

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Lost both tomato plants after experimenting with the banana feedOne just rotted and the other seemed to shrivel,stick to feed I know next year. Peas nearly finished picked plenty of pea pods maybe I will get another container full before they die back. Think I may be loosing one of my pear trees,Very little fruit which looks stunted and the skins are dry and mottled. Next time I go to the garden centre I will take a pear with me to see if they can come up with some answersKept watered and they were fed over winter and sprayed against bugs and fungus.Plenty of growth which in general looks healthy,Odd leaf which appears to have like an orange spot in the middle but no sign of any bugs.

Replied: 7th Jul 2021 at 14:54
Last edited by PeterP: 16th Jul 2021 at 07:57:25

Posted by: ena malcup (154)

Comfrey (aka Knitbone) takes some beating when it comes to tomato feed. Usually, it is for free: grow it yourself.

Old-time gardening books oft have recipe for a comfrey 'tea', but it really stinks, and is hard work. Just a mulch of comfrey leaves and broken up stem around the plant, and LIGHTLY incorporated (id est dug-in) seems to work quite adequately.

Apply when tom's buds begin to form (when plant's need is for potassium), and happily this is also the time when your comfrey will be mature for cutting.

ps I have used banana peel around plants for decades with no problems. I would not use whole banana, or for that matter the fruit . Too much fructose (sugar), it will attract ants and other pests, which may well be a vector for fungal decay/rot.

Replied: 15th Jul 2021 at 21:42

Posted by: momac (11751) 

I'm going out weeding every three days now,as soon as I turn my back ..Mares tail is even growing through the middle of paving stones and the brown clover looking weed with little yellow flowers is growing rampant between the paving stones on the patio..I've never had to go out as many times and I've applied weed killer,but can only use roundup due to the fact that it isn't poisonous to dogs anyone else having as much trouble with weeds?

Replied: 24th Jul 2021 at 13:53

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Both lawn were covered in brown clover, Cut the lawns on Weds and the clover has started growing again. Mares tail can spread quickly and has a very long root system

Replied: 24th Jul 2021 at 17:45
Last edited by PeterP: 11th Aug 2021 at 18:09:37

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Me too... never known a year like it for weeds. Weeds of all descriptions growing between pavings in beds and the lawn. My worst enemy is nettles from over the garden wall, as tall as me. One good thing about them is they are a thick barrier against intruders. Pity they don’t grow in winter.

Replied: 25th Jul 2021 at 10:26

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Anne you will have to plant Blackthorn bushes near to the wall. With thorns up to 2" long and very sharp could be painful if anyone tried to climb over them.

Replied: 25th Jul 2021 at 12:40

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Anne,I too have nettles as long as my arm and got stung yesterday,I've sawn the pear tree and plum tree down,neither producing nothing but leaves..will see if as Marsin says by copping it down it will do it good. My green bin is full now so will start again tidying things up after Wednesday..oh and a cherry tree which Cliff had sawn down three years ago because of producing nothing was just full of leaves and nothing else so that has to's hard work isn't it lol...wish Alan Titchmarsh would pay me a visit..everything was so easy to manage when Cliff was here.

Replied: 26th Jul 2021 at 14:05

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Latest problem for me.....possibility of rats. I saw one running across my front and into next door a few weeks ago. The chap who cuts my grass disturbed one about the two hours ago. I know they are everywhere but not often seen. Will need to keep doors and downstairs windows closed.

Replied: 26th Jul 2021 at 14:30

Posted by: Anne (4002) 

Double post.

Replied: 26th Jul 2021 at 14:31
Last edited by Anne: 26th Jul 2021 at 14:32:36

Posted by: momac (11751) 

Anne,I'm just getting over that problem,I went the shed and discovered something he gnawed through the door of a discarded unit in there,then looked through kitchen window to see one rummaging in all the pots on the patio..both my next door neighbours have had trouble and had the rat catcher I had to call him,he put poison down in the shed but I see it has been you say just keep doors latest problem is fruit flies I put cider vinegar in a glass cellophane over the top and pricked holes in it,there was about a hundred drowned..then found them in the bathroom so I did the same thing there..I have had to cover everything even as I'm cooking or baking,think I've only a couple left I hope..the glasses must be full of about two three's been horrendous.

Replied: 26th Jul 2021 at 14:57

Posted by: PeterP (8789)

Peas and potatoes done with for this year. Very happy with the sunflowers waiting for 4 tall ones to flower at the side of the front steps.Will have to dig a lot of foxgloves out taking a section of garden over has they self seed

Replied: 14th Aug 2021 at 10:29

Posted by: jacks (358) 

I've been a keen gardener for many years now, and have an allotment as well as my own garden. Over the years I have grown all the usual veg' without any trouble at all. The thing is, for the last 4 or 5 years I have been unsuccessful at getting carrots to produce anything like a decent crop. I sowed two rows (about 15ft in total) this year and about half a dozen germinated!! I kept them well watered after sowing, as I always have, but I'm baffled about such a ridiculous germination rate. Anyone else had the same experience?

Replied: 22nd Sep 2021 at 14:48


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