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.
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
I also took you this picture I have of the Arum Lily growing in the conservatory. Things are starting to come on a treat in there now. I have a standard Fuchsia in flower which I will try and remmeber to take a picture of for you sometime soon.
We had Jo's dad over doing a few DIY jobs in the house for us today. I have to confess to being particularly useless when it comes to DIY jobs. The trouble is I don't have the ability to make a good job so I then get frustrated, followed by anger and a lack of motivation so I've got now that I just refuse to even make an attempt because I know it would just lead to me being in a bad mood. Anyway Charlie has been over all afternoon and has made a good job of everything, he still has a few things to do so I think he will be back tomorrow. Because we were all at work we left the door open for him to just let himself in, apparently all three guard dogs were easily bribed with a dog biscuit each which I thought was quite funny.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Hello everyone, did you have a good weekend? Me and Tommy had a great time. On Saturday we went for a walk over the moors, we walked about 10 miles, that’s just a guess as I didn’t bother to measure it. I didn’t take many pictures because as you will see below there wasn’t a lot to see at times although it did clear up later. Anyway here are a couple of pics from Saturday, there are a few more on our ‘Misunderstood Dog’ blog just click on the following link.. http://peakdistrictwalker.blogspot.com/
We arrived just in time for a mini blizzard.
As we were part way to my mums we decided to go and spend what was left of the weekend with her and my dad. This next picture was taken from their garden on the Sunday morning.
At work today I've spent most of my time transplanting seedlings and taking cuttings, its been another pretty cold day so I think the potting shed was in the best place - well the greenhouse would have been better but its not very handy for potting stuff up.
I was pleased to find that one of the Orchids has come in to flower. I have several plants that they've had in the hall and then passed on to me when they were finished the first time around. I wasn't really too fussed about having them but then I thought if they wanted me to try and grow them on they would have to keep the greenhouses well heated through the winter which for me was good so with that in mind I said I would look after them. Anyway below is a picture of the one that has flowered. There is a whole flower spike of course but so far this is the only flower that's come out. I will take another picture sometime if the rest of them come out okay.
Well I'm going to go now as I want to put the other pictures on the 'Hiking Gardener And His Misunderstood Dog' blog.
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.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
On Tuesday I got the mower out in the afternoon as it was a nice day. For some reason people seem to think that checking over and preparing the mower for the summer is a nice job for a wet winters day. All I can assume is that they have a better place for doing this than the cold draughty old barn where my mower is kept. There is a lot to be said for doing this job well before mowing time as you never know what you may find when you start removing guards and covers and I must confess to not following my own advice on this matter as I've only just got around to doing it. I didn't expect to find much wrong as it was a new mower last year, there was an oil leak that I knew about, I removed the cover and cleaned her up but couldn't see anything wrong with the pipes so just nipped the connection up a little, I can't see any oil after using it for a couple of days so hopefully thats sorted that. I did notice a small cut in one of the belts so that could do with replacing sometime, it doesn't look to be very serious though. Everything else was fine and I just changed the oil, cleaned the filter and made a few adjustments to the controls and we were ready for our first cut which I did yesterday and today. It was nothing more than a roll and taking the tips off the grass really. I will gradually lower the cut over the comming weeks.
Woody asked when I sowed the Tomato plants that I showed you. Well those ones were sown just before Christmas, there were more than that but its not easy to get them right from that early, mainly because of the short days. I had the heat for the Orchids so that was okay but I could have done with more light as the Tomaotes tend to go leggy. I have another lot sown in January and then a few more sown in February. The thing I have to watch out for now are the whitefly, I have real problems with them and of course as you noticed yourselves the plants look nice and juicy - just the same as they do to a whitefly so I reckon they are all queing up somewhere just waiting to get stuck in.
I managed to get the scanning done for Vicki, by the time I'd done though it would have been quicker to copy them out by hand because first off the scanner wouldn't work. Its like that, everything works fine with it until you really want it for something and then it starts quoting this 'Code 9' thing at me - like I know what its talking about! I plays its game for a while before I eventually get angry with it and start deleting drivers and stuff at which point it gets worried and starts to suck up to me by promising to scan whatever I want. So I forgive it because really I like it, its a very nice scanner. So I'm all happy and set about making the copies for vicki only for the printer to start making little yellow triangles and telling me that it's off line and to check the cables. It has me under the desk banging my head, Tom things its a great game and soon realises that he has me cornered and the only way I'm getting back out from under the desk is to give hime a fuss - and then some more fuss, and so on... Of course by now I've realised that the printer is a liar and is well and truly connected every way possible and is just having a laugh at my expense. In the end I did the usual trick of turning off the computer and restarting it and it did the trick, everyone was speaking to each other again and Vicki got her papers copied - finally after a whole night of messing around. Actually I like my scanner and printer, I think my computer is the main problem, its getting old like me, and like me it gets a bit confused when you ask it to do to many things at the same time - maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas - I think I said that last year didn't I?