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Gardening Tips And Ideas

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Following a suggestion for a gardening section from Jimbo here is my tip:

Geraniums can be stored over winter in a cool but frost free, dark place ie a garage. Take them out of the soil and leave them bare rooted somewhere dry until the soil around the roots has dried out. When they are dry shake any excess soil off the plants and then trim the plants by around a third and hang them upside down. In the spring loosely pot them up (I use a couple of old washing up bowls) water well and leave in a greenhouse until ready to plant out.

I used this tip last winter and was very sceptical but all 9 plants survived the winter and have flourished. I've now got 15 plants already hanging in the garage and another 9 drying out.

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A gardening section....oh goody :D

As you may or may not know i go a bit further than Geraniums. I have to do the same with a 6 foot tall red banana tree, but the shed roof has to be reinforced to take the weight. As it grows 5 feet per year, next winter is going to be a major challenge :huh:

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further than Geraniums. I have to do the same with a 6 foot tall red banana tree, but the shed roof has to be reinforced to take the weight.

Do you really hang it upside down?

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You don't have to but most do. If it's kept around 10c throughout winter and watering is kept to a minimum then it'll be ok. But they do suffer from aphids so has to be kept on the humid side. That is the option i am going for this winter as it's still a baby (at 6 foot lol).

The other option is to take it out of it's pot, cut off 75% of it's roots then cut off all it's leaves. You don't have to hang it upside down, but most do, just to make sure any excess water has drained out. When completely dry store it in a pitch black and cold area, such as a garage or basement.

banana.jpg

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How heavy is it? Do you have help? Without wishing to cause offence you are not 6ft 4 and built like a tank! B)

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Mine is at the stage where it takes myself and my 17 year old son to lift it. Next year i'll need a sack barrow and three people to move it. After that i'll take the drastic action and cut the trunk down. It'll regrow again in the spring.

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Do you get edible bananas from it yet, Speedy?

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I enjoy kitchen gardening and have found bar far the easiest and best yielding plants have to be fruit bushes such as black/white/red currants,blackberries,gooseberries etc.Once planted there is little you need to do other than prune them,add plenty of manure or compost around the base of the bushes,keep weeds down around them and them water them in the hot summer months and when they are fruiting.Seem to do well in our clay soil.I get many pots full of blackcurrants each year of just a few bushes.Even if you neglect fruit bushes such as blackcurrants and redcurrants you'll more than likely get a yield each year.

Here's some tips on pruning soft fruit:

How to prune soft fruit

That really is an impressive plant speedy.

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Do you get edible bananas from it yet, Speedy?

The red banana plant fruits are not edible, well they are but taste foul. The plant would need to be kept in a hot and humid glasshouse around 30c all year round. We don't get the right conditions in the uk, so it's grown for large foliage rather than fruit. It is a gross feeder, i have to give it chicken manure once a week and it needs 2 gallons of water daily during the summer months! It has been done but takes a lot of work to achieve, especially when a trip to tesco is easier :D

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It is a gross feeder, i have to give it chicken manure once a week

My parents use that on their potatoes and it really has a potent wiff. :)

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Following 2 winters with quite a large amount of snow my clematis plants are doing exceptionally well, as is a honeysuckle that had struggled since we moved it here from our last house.

Strangely plants that I would expect to do well ie. heathers have suffered, I've lost 3 this winter. I also lost a Ceanothus, which was extremely large and I thought would be totally frost proof but it was poorly after last winter and this year finished it off. However, I've got another one which I will plant in a slightly more protected area and hope for the best.

One Clematis that I've now given up on is Armandii, it just doesn't like our garden. I've tried it in various parts of the garden and it does ok over winter until March/April when it dies back, just as it should be coming into flower. I've dug it up and given it to someone with a more sheltered garden. :(

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Let me know the date and I'll let you know if I can make it, even if it has to be when I'm on my work rounds!

I've tried growing Dahlias from corms for the first time this year and they are going great guns, I've also sown some smallish sunflowers (they will only get to around 3 foot max) and they are coming up very nicely.

We should have a swap session! I'm sure I could find something that would suit your garden....

16th, 23rd, 30th july.

Only trouble i have with dahlias is the height of them. I already have plants that give height so am looking for ground cover colour. you have any suggestions? Like the primrose but summer flowering would be good.

I've lost my green phormium tenax this winter so looking into replacing it with a Rhododendron sun fire

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Can't do the 23rd but the other dates seem fine.

I'm fairly certain I have that Rhododenron in a pot, it's not overly happy and doesn't flower every year but that may be because I sometimes run out of waterbutt water and have to use tapwater. I'll check out the label tomorrow (if it's still there, my young dog does like stealing them and chewing them up), if it is you are more than welcome to it although I'd like the pot back.

I'm a huge fan of alpine plants. Hardy, good colour and nice and compact. Saxifraga, dianthus, aubretia, phlox are all ground cover which will come up year after year. Quite cheap to buy but also easy to grow from seed.

You can get small dahlia's which I prefer. I had a gorgeous one last year which was only around 12-18 inches high and I tried to overwinter the corm but did something wrong...

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How coincidental is that lol. I have been looking online for one of a half decent size and you have one already. Sorted.

I have two rhoddys planted in the ground. They flower much better in the ground than in pots so next year it should do well.

I cheat with the watering. I use one of these sprinklers so i can just leave it on for 15 minutes, and relax with a cuppa :)

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How coincidental is that lol. I have been looking online for one of a half decent size and you have one already. Sorted.

I may have one. It is definitely a rhododendron it just may not be the one that you want. If the label is missing I'll take a piccy and send it to you somehow to see if you want it. It's about 2 foot high and fairly rounded so not straggly.

I cheat with the watering. I use one of these sprinklers so i can just leave it on for 15 minutes, and relax with a cuppa :)

I have 4 water butts, one of which has a seep hose attached to it, unfortunately I forgot that I'd turned it on last week and only remembered 3 days later when it had run dry. The thunderstorm we had at the weekend only added about 4 inches of water to the butts so I'm conserving the water as much as possible but it's not easy.

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If you're about this weekend i could pop by?

One of the things with palms is not having to water them much. I would buy a water butt but when my Bananas need 2 gallons of water a day when the temperatures go over 20c, a butt would be empty pretty quickly :o

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If you're about this weekend i could pop by?

One of the things with palms is not having to water them much. I would buy a water butt but when my Bananas need 2 gallons of water a day when the temperatures go over 20c, a butt would be empty pretty quickly :o

I'll text you a photo tomorrow, although I doubt if it will be in flower by that stage but you may get an idea if you want it or not. It's one of those plants that you don't want to dump but it really doesn't do anything for me, or my garden, so I'd be quite happy to not have it!

If you are interested then of course you can pop around, you can have a wander around the garden and admire the numerous dead patches of grass courtesy of the dog. Although be warned our dog is not to be trusted with children!

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The only interest my kids have in gardens is the trampoline lol

I have brown patches in my lawn courtesy of my cat that keeps piddling on it grrrrr

I'll await your text :)

I'll be digging up a dead phormium tomorrow, oh how fun.

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I have been looking online for one of a half decent size and you have one already. Sorted.

Not the one you were looking for, or a half decent size but you took it anyway. B) I'll do my best to dig up some cowslips for you over the weekend.

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Well it's certainly growing well....

HPIM6788.jpg

And three more to show how it's all coming along...

HPIM6793.jpg

HPIM6789.jpg

HPIM6795.jpg

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That's the best that it's ever looked. Can I have it back please????

Incidentally do any gardeners out there know if you are growing potatoes in bags and they are frostbitten do you have to compost them or will they continue to grow? The potato bags that I have in the back garden were hit hard by Wednesday's frost and the leaves look atrocious!

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That's the best that it's ever looked. Can I have it back please????

Bring ya own shovel, mine is snapped in two halves :rolleyes:

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Bring ya own shovel, mine is snapped in two halves :rolleyes:

I'll bring the dog, she'll have dug it up in no time!

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edited

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Some nice looking plants you got there.Do they all tollerate frost well or do you have to run round covering them when frost is expected? :) What fertiliser do you use for your palms?I've only started them off on a very mild seaweed fertilser so far.

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