The groovy Grove Gardeners

Post comments on local Hazel Grove issues or reply to others.

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zzippy
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Location: The rough end of Poynton

The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby zzippy » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:21 pm

Right you thread hijackers seeing as your all into gardening is it worth sliding all your tips and ideas on one thread because us complete amateurs but expert weed growers need your tips and advice, 10 years later and i've still not managed to sort out the flower/veg patches for the kids :cry: they'll be at uni before i finish :oops:

I last managed sweet peas 17 years ago when i got married to try and impress the missus with my gardening expertise, it's all been downhill since then :cry:

Question 1. Whats a good conifer for my back to grow quickish to about 14ft and stop :D pref something lighter more golden than Leyandi.

2. Little un no.2 would like an apple tree and i was moochin around brookside earlier are these smallish/ornamental grow in pot type one's any good, i would prefer an orchard but the gardens too small and what's all this banding and washing about i want an easy life.

3. What are the easiest things to grow preferably to eat, even my attempts at tomatoes and cress for the kids have been a disaster :oops: :cry:. (Someone at work is going to donate some spring onion seeds to try next :? )

4. Is there anyother colourful plant apart from a plastic one that is easy to look after ?

5. Following point 3 i don't fancy covering everything in chemicals, i recently had a plan to compost all the kitchen waste stuff, peels, bits of kitchen roll, teabags etc and noticed it just rotted and stunk :shock: is it worth the mither beacause i've gone back to good old binning the waste :oops: .

Ps i'm that sad i'd even like my own pet worms in a wormery :ugeek:

Any suggestions you chitters or whatever it was because spud growin seems a good idea as well :mrgreen:

Adora
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:48 pm
Location: Near the park.

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby Adora » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:36 am

Blimey Zzippy, that's some list!

Compost - there is some stuff you can get from the garden centre which speeds the composting process up. You do need to turn it though - that is, dig it over, to get some air in it and get it going. I compost all my chicken stuff but to be honest, it's such a fag, I stick everything else in the recycle bin <lazy git emoticon> :lol:

The worms would help too - wormeries compost stuff but actually, you can just buy a load of live worms, chuck 'em in your usual compost bin or heap and let them get on with it!

Apple trees - I am an EXPERT! We bought this apple tree from Brookside years ago. It was a gift to each other to celebrate a wedding anniversary or birth of a child or some-such <can't actually remember!!!>. Well, this poor tree has been re-located 4 times and still, we haven't killed it off. It bears fruit every year, regardless of how we've mis-treated it. So - as with peas - neglect and abuse ensures a good crop!

Kids and gardening - the idea is far more appealing than the reality! Container gardening works for us. We bought two massive, plastic pots. Filled them with stones and compost and the children planted some radish and herbs in them. They were then in charge of looking after them. They also helped with spuds-in-a-bag. The trick seemed to be that each child had their own 'space' and the results were down to them. Bit of responsibility, Zzippy - that's what these kids need. And National Service when they're 18! Anyway, the radish were dead easy and we got loads. Kid's were thrilled. Bad news though - turns out, neither likes ruddy radish and by the end of our bumper crop, I'd eaten so many, NEITHER DID I !!!!!! :lol:

Colour - bedding plants! Buy from http://www.1hgscouts.co.uk and I'll deliver them for you! Quick, easy, no hassle and you're not stuck with anything you don't much like the following year, coz they die off at the end of the season!

NETTI - used to do lovely hanging baskets at the Rising Sun pub. Also, I remember some nice planters/window box type arrangements! We need her input here.

zzippy
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Location: The rough end of Poynton

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby zzippy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:44 am

Adora wrote:Blimey Zzippy, that's some list!

Compost - there is some stuff you can get from the garden centre which speeds the composting process up. You do need to turn it though - that is, dig it over, to get some air in it and get it going.


You mean you have to pay for it and do exercise :shock: That's a no goer then :cry:

Adora wrote:The worms would help too - wormeries compost stuff but actually, you can just buy a load of live worms, chuck 'em in your usual compost bin or heap and let them get on with it!

That's sounds like podding out and exercise in the same sentence again :o

Adora wrote: Apple trees - I am an EXPERT! We bought this apple tree from Brookside years ago. It was a gift to each other to celebrate a wedding anniversary or birth of a child or some-such <can't actually remember!!!>. Well, this poor tree has been re-located 4 times and still, we haven't killed it off. It bears fruit every year, regardless of how we've mis-treated it. So - as with peas - neglect and abuse ensures a good crop!


Nice one :clap :clap

Adora wrote: Colour - bedding plants! Buy from http://www.1hgscouts.co.uk and I'll deliver them for you! Quick, easy, no hassle and you're not stuck with anything you don't much like the following year, coz they die off at the end of the season!


Nice one thanks for the tips but did you mention BUY :shock: again, i neglected to mention i'm 1/2 scottish, 1/2 yorkshire a bit of a terrier and really tight :lol:

I thought there were loads of gardeners down t'grove as there seems nowt else t'do :mrgreen:

Adora
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:48 pm
Location: Near the park.

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby Adora » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:27 am

:lol:

OK Zzippers, here's Plan B :-

Send the children round to knock on your neighbours' doors. Get them to ask the neighbours for copies of their gardening magazines before they get put in the re-cycle bin.

Next, ask the children to cut out their favourite garden pictures from the second-hand (free) magazines and stick these pictures to the inside of your sitting room window.

Ask your wife to bring you a cup of tea. Sit back in your comfy chair and look upon your miraculous garden now!

Job done! :lol:

zzippy
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Location: The rough end of Poynton

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby zzippy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:49 am

Quality Adora, :lol:

Bit like the film total recall with arnie where you could just change the view out of the window at a wim by pushing a button.

There's only one fatal flaw with your plan Mrs zzippy would put the cup of T over me after bringing it :cry:

John Ellis
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:52 am
Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby John Ellis » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:21 pm

zzippy, if you began with sweet peas, you were really starting the hard way - they can be quite temperamental and need encouragement and effort to get a good display. Our elderly neighbour when I was a kid had a fantastic show, but used to spend hours on them. I hope Mrs z was duly impressed by your efforts and dedication! But, to deal with your queries:

1. There are no good conifers - at least in my opinion! People buy 'em because they grow relatively quickly, but that's all that can be said for them. As they get bigger, they pull huge amounts of moisture and nourishment out of the ground around them, so you can't grow much close to them. You can, with effort, trim them into a hedge by lopping the tops off them when they reach the required height, and trimming their spread; but conifers don't naturally grow that way, and, when so treated, tend after a while to develop, in protest, ugly brown dead areas which don't regenerate. If you want a (relatively!) easy care hedge, go for privet or hawthorn - slower in growth, but less hassle and more successful in the long run.

Or (2.) kill two birds with one stone, and grow a line of small apple (and/or cherry, plum or pear?) trees instead of a hedge. If you were a purist, you'd prune, paint and delouse them regularly, but, as Adora says, plenty of trees will, with a bit of luck, produce fruit without such constant, and expensive, attention. In time, though, a bit of pruning generally helps, and you need to know what you're doing.

3. Easy edibles? Early potatoes - tasty! - cabbage - broad beans - radishes; leaf beet (otherwise known as perpetual spinach); turnips; runner beans (though you have to build a wig-wam or a framework with canes); most herbs - be careful with mint, though, which spreads everywhere; jerusalem artichoke; horseradish - though grating it for sauce is agony to the eyes, and tedious work!; and onion - but buy sets, not seed.

4. Colourful flowers ... do you want annuals? - lots are easy to grow from seed each year - try candytuft, clarkia, love in a mist, nasturtiums ... If you prefer perennials, they're less work as they come up year after year, but read the label before you buy, to see if your garden conditions suit the plant. Then you shouldn't be disappointed - and feel you've wasted your brass - because it dies!

5. Easy composting: get a chunk of wire netting about 6' by 4' - make it into a circle, and wire the ends together so it makes a sort of tub shape. Then sling in it all your lawn cuttings, dead leaves, veg peelings, annual weeds - not dandelion and couch grass roots, which will just spread everywhere! - the contents of your vacuuum cleaner, old fruit, old carpet, even newspaper, as long as you rip it up small. Mix it all in so that the air can get to it and there aren' t layers of just one thing. Have the base on bare earth if you can, but even if it's on a path, the worms will find it and break it down. If you want, you can spread the dead leaves over the beds in the autumn, and they'll have rotted away by spring.

Last of all, swallow your Scots and Yorks reluctance to spend, and buy the "Expert" series of gardening books by Dr D G Hessayon. Most gardening books aren't geared for beginners, but his are - they start from scratch, and are simply laid out. You can get them in any garden centre - and they're cheaper than the coffee table sort of gardening books. Well worth the outlay, if you want to be successful!
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...

zzippy
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Location: The rough end of Poynton

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby zzippy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:14 am

Thanks John, taken a bit of time to get through that lot,

1. Conifers are a pain, but living in inner city Poynton i need to hide the house behind now after 4 years it's driving me nuts, many houses by/around us have got conifers and i've been putting it off 4 years as i don't want to "ruin/spoil" the view for the other house of our lounge :mrgreen: . They've resorted to planting some kind of tree after i think i killed their screening clematis by accident :oops: :o :cry: , unless they did it of course :mrgreen:

2. The tree front :geek: , preferably apples the kids are telling me 8-) minature ones are they ok, eating ones unless i slide in 2 and have some cookers as well :) the garden isn't big, a boring square 36ft long by 30ft across and i've got to do the conifers along the bottom end :? £40 Brookside, £45 woodford :o , i should have got the ALdi special about £7 the other month but i thought that was expensive :cry:

3. Rooting about woodford yesterday before going to do a bit, they seem to have this new range of veg/herbs etc in small plastic pots, £1.50 a pot buy 2 get 1 free so a £1 each really, cucumbers, peppers, toms etc seems like you grow them in the pot on the windowsill then move them outside and repot them, anyone else seen them yet or should i buy them quick before they sell out. I was hoping they would just grow on the kitchen windowsill in the pot :? .
There was something else (i forgot it's name now :oops: ) but according to the pot it just keeps spreading, can stuff be left in pots to prevent constant spreading and it taking over the garden ?

4. :clap Taken on board, and i've rooted out my old Hessayon bedding plant expert :D

5.I think i'll have to consider where that goes, don't want it near where i put a shed in case it gets smelly :( , so somewhere near the kids trampoline may be good :twisted: , do they get too smelly and as Adora say's is it too much effort for the outcome :?: We have loads of stuff that could go in it but i don't want to upset the locals with the smell/vermin (i don't think they like the guinea pigs running about, but you've got to farm your own food, tastes a bit like Adora's chickens so i've heard ;) ) and it could end up the size of Gowy landfill :?

Ha, not as tight as i thought i've got 3 of his books under the rest, i may clear the dust off and take them into work and have a flick through them this afternoon but they're about 17 years old from when i was trying to impress Mrs Zippy, (and no it didn't work :? )

John Ellis
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:52 am
Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby John Ellis » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:56 am

1. zzippy, if you seriously want to entirely blot out the house behind, maybe conifers are your best bet, though even quick-growing leylandii will take quite a few years to achieve the complete effect; and you'll have to accept that you won't be able to grow much within three or four feet of them - even grass struggles against the mat of roots and the dehydration of the soil. And your neighbour may hate you for planting them - as a result of such neighbourly outrage, there's even fairly recent legislation that people can appeal to if they don't like whopping hedges. Got to admit I have an aversion to them - there were 18 in my present garden when we moved in. I wanted them all cut down, but the other half insisted I kept one stand of four of 'em until the "proper" trees I planted along the boundary as a replacement had chance to grow. So I still struggle with their effect!

2. Sure, you can eat the apples from miniature trees, though inevitably you don't get that many of them; I should think that in a garden of your size, you could easily fit in two or three. As you've found, they can be costly to buy, but look around different garden centres; I use Wyevale at Otterspool, next to the Goyt bridge on the road between Offerton/Marple and Chadkirk/Romiley, and, during March only, they're selling small apple, pear and plum trees for £9:99, reduced from £24:99, which is a real saving. You can only buy them at this price if you join their gardeners club, but this gives you significant real savings. The scheme works like a Tesco Clubcard - you get cash vouchers every quarter. And Wyevale's not that much further from you than Barton Grange at Woodford.

3. It can be worthwhile buying veg. plants in pots and strips at the start of the season, especially when there's a cold spring and a consequent late start to growing, as is the case this year: the plants have got off to a head start before you plant them. And you can certainly keep them on inside window-ledges to get a greenhouse effect, until it's warm enough to plant them outside. But it's an expensive way of doing it - you pay for the container, and the "nursery care"; much cheaper to grow from seed yourself. Except for herbs, perhaps - most of them are perennial (they come up every year), and just one specimen each of the ones you (or Mrs zz!) like is often enough. You can keep the smaller specimens in pots permanently if you prefer, as long as you keep the pot moist and use feed from time to time - and transfer to a larger pot as they get bigger. Mint, particularly spreads appallingly - I've got to dig quantities of mine out this year; because I didn't then have a confined space to plant it in, it's spread all over the place. If you haven't got a small bed surrounded by concrete to put it in, it's probably as well to plant it in a big pot.

4. Get yourself Hessayon's "Vegetable Expert" - I bought mine in 1974, and still use it every year ... so easy and informative. I think there may be a "Herb Expert" now, too.

5. Ordinary garden compost doesn't smell, nor does it attract rats - as long as you avoid putting cooked food in it. Hot kids after trampolining will smell worse! I think Adora's wrong - always worth while to compost and feed your soil - and your own home-created compost comes absolutely free, so why chuck out your compostable stuff and then spend money buying packaged compost or artificial fertilizer. If you've got guinea pigs, you can compost their old straw bedding - their little bits of waste won't smell significantly, and will soon break down.

No reason why you shouldn't become an efficient grower - as long as you can prevent the kids from crushing your plants with feet or footballs! Who knows, this time you might really impress Mrs zz with your skill and productivity!
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...

Belvoir
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:53 pm

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby Belvoir » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:53 pm

I have planted out my Broad beans :clap (just a little tip! I had planted seeds in plastic plant pots and also into polystyrene cups which I had punched drain holes and slit the sides.. the plants grew a lot better in the polystyrene with better roots! ) :D
I have also cleared my American land cress trough ready for re planting.. :)

oscarsmum
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:36 pm

Re: The groovy Grove Gardeners

Postby oscarsmum » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:01 am

Any hints on transplanting/moving raspberries ?


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