Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Monday, 28 April 2008
They are pretty easy to grow from seed and once you have some they are easy to increase by division. The main thing to remember is when sowing from seed, the temperature must not exceed 18°C. Sow the seed in a tray on top of the compost and aim for a temperature of around 15 to 18C and they should start to germinate in two to three weeks. Once the seeds start to germinate cover with a thin layer of Vermiculite as this will help the seed to root in to the compost. You can sow them from March to September planting out from September to October to flower March to May the following year.
Polyanthus are a hardy perennial so will grow for many years and more plants can be obtained by splitting the plants in Spring or Autumn. Just lift the plants and wash off the soil so you can see the rooted off shoots and then just take a sharp knife and cut away the off shoots and plant on as a plant in its own right. They will thrive in any garden soil but prefer one that is rich and moist. If possible they also like some shade although the ones I have in are in full sun at the moment but these will be moved for the summer to somewhere a little cooler.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
This next week I want to try and get some weeding don't as they are growing really well now even if not much else is. I also have some veg to sow if it dries up enough. I sowed some cabbage, cauliflower, brussels, climbing French and runner beans and letuce in the greenhouse on Friday but there are somethings like carrots that I really need to put straight in the ground.
Friday, 25 April 2008
Thursday, 24 April 2008
I then finished off the day by getting one of the window vents working in the far greenhouse. The roof vent in there works okay but none of the side vents did. It was just a matter of fitting a couple of new hinges. There are no proper catches on it as yet but it works fine. I bet its been a few years since that window opened.
The problem was that the old hinges had rusted or broken through neglect. They aren't worn out or anything, just rusted solid. Its hard to see how that could happen if the houses had been used properly because they are in use nearly eveyday doing the spring, summer and autumn.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Did I hear Monty (Don) say on Gardens World the other night that Aphids are not a problem as rarely do they kill anything. Well anyway whether I did hear that or dreamt it, it doens't really matter as I can still show you the effects Aphids have on young seedlings. You could be forgiven for thinking that the seedlings you see on the right in the picture are older than the ones on the left when actually the reverse is true. The tray of seedlings on the left are some three weeks older than the ones on the right, the difference being that the ones on the left have had a persistant Aphid problem. The ones you see are some of the better plants, I've had to throw many away as a result of trying to cure the problem by natural means, none of which worked for me. So today I got violent and gave them a jolly good spraying, lets see how they like that.
So if you have seedlings that aren't doing well and their leaves look distorted check for Aphids, don't expect to find big juicy ones though because they seem to be able to scale themselves to fit the plants they're on, you may even need a magnifying glass to see them.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Vicki is away at her wednesday even chuch meeting tonight so I'm home alone with the dogs, everyone is very quiet.
All the best,
Bob. (As you will see my own computer has now stopped sulking hence the pics and weather report).
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
What I've also done is cut marks along the edges to mark out the distances. On the side you see the plank is marked off in 6 inches, every other mark being full width of the plank so its easy to measure either feet or half feet when planting. See the picture below, my finger is pointing out the foot mark and then you can see the 6 inch mark at the top of the picture. Then if you turn the plank over one edge is marked at 4 inch intervals which is the distance I plant my oinions. There is a free edge with no marking because I find the three that I have cover everything.
As I say it works better on the shorter rows, if you have long rows then I think the line is better.
Anyway I'd better be getting off now, take care.
Monday, 14 April 2008
In about three weeks you will have lots of lovely new plants like the ones I have below, I think I have 40 babies so far from the two plants which I'm really pleased about, especially as they're almost for free and from two plants that nearly got thrown away.
There are quite a few plants that you can root this way, I usually root Impatiens this way and I also find that Fuchsia's root easily in water. Anyway I hope that is of help to someone and if you need to know more just ask - okay.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Did any of you see ‘Gardeners World’ last night? It would be interesting to know what you thought about Joe and his allotment. I was worried last week when I advised anyone with an overgrown plot to just be patient and then spray it off, I needn’t have worried myself because after watching Joe rotovating couch grass I feel quite an expert. Believe me rotovating any such weeds as couch grass, bind weed etc. is one of the worse things out as it chops up all the roots and each chopped up piece becomes a separate plant. It will be interesting to see how that all turns out for him, I hope he has a plan.
Those of you who look in my sidebar will have seen a little tip telling you to pot up a few potatoes in pots, well below is a picture of how mine are getting on. As you can see there are potatoes starting to develop, it won’t be long now before there will be a boiling of new potatoes and apart from my time they are free because the potatoes were some that I found when I was digging over the veg garden, the soil is from mole hills on the green and then there is a bit of compost in the bottom.
In this next picture you will see my lettuce that I have growing an a grow bag. There are ten plants and they are looking well. I have some more coming on, they are in three inch pots and will probably just get planted out in to the garden - that’s if winter ever ends! Everything seems so far behind this year, even the grass isn’t growing as it should. This time last year I was getting five grass boxes full of grass out of the walled garden every week, this week when I cut it I got one and a half, I didn’t even bother doing the main garden or the courtyard.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Another thing that Woody brought up was about taking on a new allotment. This is something I’ve often thought about because I’ve known several people take on allotments, usually they are overgrown and they spend all winter breaking their backs digging out couch grass and nettles etc. but you know how that one goes, come the spring and all the bits you’ve missed start coming through and its easy to get disheartened by what seems like a losing battle. I know to the purists amongst you this might be akin to swearing but the way I see it I think it would be better to just wait and let the weeds start to grow that first year and then spray the whole lot with ‘Roundup’ or similar, the only thing it hurts are the weeds, it doesn’t stay in the soil or hurt animals and then at least you have a clean sheet to start with, you don’t need to spend back breaking hours picking out roots, stripping the sitting room of its carpet or anything like that and once dead the weeds can be dug in. I don’t like using sprays myself but if it meant the difference between heart break or happiness then I would do it just once that first year. Its commendable to be truly organic but not at the expense of failure. I think it would be better to have a plot full of non organic veg than one full of organic weeds.