• Do grass seeds become sterile and become "less potent" after so long ? (if sitting in shed etc )?

    Best answer: All seeds have increasingly lower germination rates as they get older, and this is magnified if the seeds aren't kept in great conditions. That said, seeds have been germinated from the Egyptian pyramids, where they kept in very dry conditions, which has preserved them for potentially thousands of years. I'd not be bothered... show more
    Best answer: All seeds have increasingly lower germination rates as they get older, and this is magnified if the seeds aren't kept in great conditions. That said, seeds have been germinated from the Egyptian pyramids, where they kept in very dry conditions, which has preserved them for potentially thousands of years. I'd not be bothered if seeds were kept from late one year, into the next, unless they were stored in very damp conditions, which could make the seeds deteriorate, and many of them may not grow next year. Cold conditions are potentially good, such as in your shed, and there are seedbanks now starting around the world, where they're storing rare plant seeds,in case any of these ever near extinction - they're using extreme cold and dry to help preserve them for many years. I'd encourage you to keep your seeds dry, cool and dark, as these conditions will inhibit the seeds from wanting to grow, and also slow down any decomposition of the seeds. If possible, try to keep your seeds in an airtight container, which should also keep them dark. Animals like mice may also eat them in the shed, so beware of these too. Seed producers will ship small packets of seed in airtight containers, but don't normally do this for bulky grass seed, but you can mimic their idea, by using your own airtight container. Growth in a few months time should then get almost the same results as if the seeds were planted in the right conditions today. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    5 answers · Garden & Landscape · 6 years ago
  • How do i prune back my corderline?

    Best answer: Largely Cordylines don't need pruning, unless they've outgrown your space, or are damaged. Damaged leaves can be removed at any time. If it got damaged, such as overwinter where frosts have killed some, and knocked others back, then prune to below the damaged area, into healthy tissue. This prevents disease from spreading... show more
    Best answer: Largely Cordylines don't need pruning, unless they've outgrown your space, or are damaged. Damaged leaves can be removed at any time. If it got damaged, such as overwinter where frosts have killed some, and knocked others back, then prune to below the damaged area, into healthy tissue. This prevents disease from spreading from damaged plant tissue, into the healthy area. They can also grow back from below ground level, when severely damaged or pruned - depending on age - the older the plant, the more easily it will grow back this way. Cordylines are generally single trunked plants, until they reach several years old, when they'll start branching. If yours is single trunked still, then it can be pruned to the height that you want, but it will still typically re-sprout, though with several growing tips, rather than one. Overall, I'd prune in spring time, so that new growth can be made, and it will mature before winter time - the hardier that season's growth, the easier it is for it to withstand winter freezes. Cut diagonally across the stems, if possible, as this will allow water to drain off, and not remain on a flat cut. You can protect plants in severe weather, even if just placing some horticultural fleece over them - it still lets light, water and air through, but keeps temperature below a few degrees warmer. It's fairly cheap stuff, available from B&Q, garden nurseries etc. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    2 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • What are the best native English or European flowers that best attract butterflies and bumblebees?

    Best answer: In addition to what you have, I'd go for some plants that may help one or both of the bumblebees and butterflies. Butterflies are very varied, and ideally need plants for juveniles, as well as adult feeding, which may be different. If you've got some specific butterflies in mind, I'd recommend looking at their needs, and... show more
    Best answer: In addition to what you have, I'd go for some plants that may help one or both of the bumblebees and butterflies. Butterflies are very varied, and ideally need plants for juveniles, as well as adult feeding, which may be different. If you've got some specific butterflies in mind, I'd recommend looking at their needs, and getting plants that are uniquely focused on these, in order to attract them. For bumblebees, you'll ideally have plants that will feed them throughout the whole period that they're active, from early spring, through to winter. Harebells are a lovely blue flowering plant, that are in the Campanula group of species - you could widen this, to have other Campanulas, which they love too. These range in height from just a few inches, to around 3'. These should be loved by both the bees and butterflies. There's a photo of a gorgeous Harebell here - http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/pictur... This will flower June/July to September. Betony is a lovely wild pink flower, flowering from around June to September, and will be loved by both the bees and butterflies. Its botanical name is Stachys officinalis. Definitely have some Foxgloves - Digitalis purpurea. These are biennials, which you can sow now to flower next year. There are mixed colour versions, that are more interesting to see, and still loved by bees, or just go for the fully wild pink/purple, that occasionally has a white. Very easy from seed, and will re-seed itself for years to come. They're flowering now in my garden, and will have some flowers for a month or two. Bluebells are also great, as an early flowering bulb - aim to get the native UK species, as there are more invasive Spanish plants that are interbreeding with the wild plants in the UK, after spreading from gardens, and threaten our own native plant. Blackberries are also a great source of pollen for both bees and butterflies - and the birds or yourself, could enjoy their fruit, later in the year. Bugle, Ajuga reptans, is a blue flowered wild plant, that forms a lovely low carpet, that can grow in sun or semi-shade - it will flower early in the summer, April to around now, in June. Wild daffodils, or even some of the bred varieties, are a good early source of pollen for bees too. Dead Nettles, or Lamiums, are another easy to grow plant - they won't sting like their scary cousins would. Lamium maculatum is a good pink flowering plant, that will spread, and is a fairly low plant, to around 18'', flowering now, May to June. Wild marjorum is a great plant that both will love, and you could even use some of its leaves in cooking. Origanum vulgare is the botanical name. Flowers from July to September, purple flowers. See it here - http://wildseed.co.uk/species/view/98 There are wild hardy geraniums, or Cranesbills, that flower through the summer, in pinks mainly, and these are easy to grow, and loved by both bees and butterflies. Look for plants such as Geranium pratense. Knapweed is a good robust plant for both types too, with purple flowers in summer. Wild honesuckles grow in hedgerows, and whilst there are bred versions of this plant, you could have either, and these will be loved, flowering all summer. I've focused on plants growing in the UK, though there are more plants that could be introduced to add variety. Hope these ideas inspire and help. Good luck! Rob
    5 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • How can I fix my lawn?

    Best answer: The hardiest lawn types are Rye grass, which take much more wear and tear than the other types, in places such as the UK. Whilst you'll likely get grass species mixed, I'd go for something like 80% Rye, 20% Fescue, which is finer, and will help knit it together, as it's more of a creeping fine grass. Your approach partly... show more
    Best answer: The hardiest lawn types are Rye grass, which take much more wear and tear than the other types, in places such as the UK. Whilst you'll likely get grass species mixed, I'd go for something like 80% Rye, 20% Fescue, which is finer, and will help knit it together, as it's more of a creeping fine grass. Your approach partly depends on your budget, as well as available time and size of the lawn. One option is to in-fill any bare patches, after preparing the soil below it, to improve future growth, or just to add seeds to the bare parts. If I was laying a new lawn, I'd not want such a large amount of stones there, and what may also be builder's rubble, below the surface, and I'd also incorporate good organic material, which will both help retain moisture, as well as nutrients over a long period. As it's already almost June, laying a new lawn will mean that you'll be watering for several weeks, potentially during a hose-pipe ban, depending on where you live. If it had been earlier in the year, then new grass would have had longer to establish itself, before potential drought - this spurs me to think of lighter repair now, to allow it to regain some vigour, and possible fuller repair/replacement at a later date, if it's needed. Seeding a lawn, versus turfing, is the cheaper option, and allows you to have fuller control over which type of grass species is planted. Turfing provides a more instant lawn, but again still needs watering frequently. It's hard for me to say what I'd do, without seeing it, and knowing your budget and available time, but as it's almost June, I'd try the lighter repair and see how well it works. Once growth is underway, I'd also be feeding and watering through the growing season. Deeper less frequent watering is ideal to spur good root development, which is better for the grass resilience to drought in the longer term. You could of course get local professionals in, who will give advice on what they'd do - but they may plump for the most labour intensive option, to increase their quote values. They'd likely have it all removed, rotovated and stones/debris being removed, before it being relaid as turf. I do all of my own work though, and think in terms both of the short and longer term timescales. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    4 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Young sunflower drooping?

    Best answer: I'd allow your Sunflower plant to grow a full root system, unrestricted by pot boundaries, such as in the open ground, if the weather is suitable in your area. The better the root network that it develops, the easier it is for it transport all the water and nutrients that it needs to grow, even on dry days, when it will lose lots of... show more
    Best answer: I'd allow your Sunflower plant to grow a full root system, unrestricted by pot boundaries, such as in the open ground, if the weather is suitable in your area. The better the root network that it develops, the easier it is for it transport all the water and nutrients that it needs to grow, even on dry days, when it will lose lots of water through its leaves. It's better to have a stake in place around your plant when it's young, as putting in a stake later could result in damage to the roots - adding when young will allow the roots to grow around it, instead. The roots growing through/at the edges of the pot show that it does need transplanting - you could repot into a larger pot, or tub, if you can't do this into the open ground, but a pot grown plant will have a smaller root system, and you're likely to get a larger healthier plant if it's growing in the open ground, where its roots won't be restricted. Overall, if a plant is moved from an indoors location to outside, it's better to transition it gradually, so that it has time to adjust over a period of time - there will be different humidity, light and temperature levels, and it takes a few days to complete this - I usually do it for a couple of hours a day, increasing the time each day, over about 2 weeks, until it can remain in the new place all day. This transitioning may not be needed for your plant, if it's already growing outdoors all day long, but I've added it in case it's of use. Doing this with any plant reduces the stress it gets, when moved around. Add some organic material to the planting hole, if you're able, as this will help retain water and also release nutrients slowly, through the summer. I'd also encourage you to feed your plant regularly through the summer, as this will promote strong growth. With potted plants, I generally water when the pots are dry, or almost dry, though young seedlings are more susceptible to roots drying out, as they don't have a large root netwok, so I probably do it at least twice a week, depending on which type of plant it is. Sunflowers are fairly strong robust plants, though they can still get stressed, infections, and slugs and snails will eat them very readily too, so watch out for these, as well as insects, such as greenfly. It will be a great project for your child, so hope you all get a lot of pleasure from its development and later beauty. Hope this helps. Good luck to you all! Rob
    5 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Lawn problem, what should I do?

    Best answer: We all do things in our eagerness like this, but it's likely to also be a situation that will help you strengthen your lawn. I'd hand remove the weed seedlings, and also over-seed with a good grass seed mix, that's appropriate for the level of wear and tear as well as light levels on your lawn. The aeration should improve... show more
    Best answer: We all do things in our eagerness like this, but it's likely to also be a situation that will help you strengthen your lawn. I'd hand remove the weed seedlings, and also over-seed with a good grass seed mix, that's appropriate for the level of wear and tear as well as light levels on your lawn. The aeration should improve the drainage of your lawn, helping to improve root health and above ground growth. In a couple of months I'd add a selective weed killer, that only kills broad leaved weeds, but doesn't harm grass. This will remove any weeds that are taking hold, but are hard to hand weed etc, and will allow the younger grass seedlings to continue to grow. I don't know how much water your lawn is likely to get, but I've suggested the grass seed option as spring/early summer may still be feasible for these to take hold and get enough water. The newer grass will help provide the cover and be a barrier against new weeds/moss in future. Feed your lawn well this year too, and apply a fall/autumn lawn feed from around September, which only promotes root growth, not top growth. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    5 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Is there such a thing as durable lawn, (grass), My dog has ruined the lawn and its more soil than grass.?

    Best answer: Some grass species are more durable than others, and will take more wear and tear for example. The issue with the urine is that it can burn the leaves/roots of grass, and it will kill the plants. As suggested, if it's immediately washed off, then it can have less of an impact, but this does require constant surveillance, which... show more
    Best answer: Some grass species are more durable than others, and will take more wear and tear for example. The issue with the urine is that it can burn the leaves/roots of grass, and it will kill the plants. As suggested, if it's immediately washed off, then it can have less of an impact, but this does require constant surveillance, which isn't always possible. What you could do to rejuvenate your lawn, would be to re-sow an area, and keep the dog off for some time, whilst it establishes itself. If you feed a lawn regularly, it will also allow the lawn to become thicker, and better able to stand up to wear and tear. If you're in northern Europe, I'd recommend getting a seed mix with some Rye grass in it, as this is tougher than the finer grasses, grown on bowling greens etc. Wilkinson's stores sell loose and boxed grass seed mixes, and are fairly low priced, compared to garden centres - look for the tough mixes, and it will usually state that they contain Rye grass in them. I'd recommend trying to keep an area from being used by the dog regularly too, as this will give them a breathing space, in order to recover from some stress. If you keep feeding regularly, this will help it keep in good condition. Aim not to mow too low down, as cutting too much leaf off at each cut will stress and weaken your grass. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    2 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • What has happened to these plants?

    Best answer: I don't know which plants you have, though they may be related, even if they are different species - such as from the same plant group, or genus, or even related, but not quite so closely. As such, they may have very similar flowers, leaves etc, at some points in their lives. It sounds a little like they may be types of Pieris,... show more
    Best answer: I don't know which plants you have, though they may be related, even if they are different species - such as from the same plant group, or genus, or even related, but not quite so closely. As such, they may have very similar flowers, leaves etc, at some points in their lives. It sounds a little like they may be types of Pieris, which have coloured juvenile leaves, and small hanging white bell type flowers. The leaves are often confused with flowers, and this can make identification more confusing, when this happens. You can see some photos of this type of shrub here - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co... http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5185/5612... There are quite a few differing Pieris, including flower colour, such is the extent to which they can differer, such as this one too - http://www.dungevalley.co.uk/Pieris%20ja... Whilst they may be similar now, when they've settled in, become a little more adult, they should become truer to their normal characteristics. I obviously haven't seen your plants, which would allow me to identify them, so this is just a guess at the moment. If you upload photos, then this would allow me to check more thoroughly. Even if they're not Pieris bushes, then the same may be true for other species too. If related plants have branches that touch, then they can also do a form of grafting, whereby one will knit in with the other, and thus create a hybrid plant, with both colours growing on the same root stock - this is less likely in this instance, as I assume they're a little apart from each other. Otherwise, some shrubs are grafted, onto a hardier root plant - the top being the main plant that is wanted, the roots just used to supply nutrients. If ever the roots develop shoots, then they will flower and grow differently to the top part of the plant, that has been artificially grafted on. Still guessing it's just the plants being genetically similar, and having some characteristics in common though, such as differing species/varieties of Pieris japonica. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    3 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Is it too late to sow sweet peas?

    Best answer: They will still flower, if you sow them now. I'd sow them indoors, as it's likely to lead to quicker germination, and plant them outdoors later, after hardening them - acclimatising to the outdoors conditions, that is. You'll get best results if the ground is really well prepared - dig it deeply, and incorporate tons of... show more
    Best answer: They will still flower, if you sow them now. I'd sow them indoors, as it's likely to lead to quicker germination, and plant them outdoors later, after hardening them - acclimatising to the outdoors conditions, that is. You'll get best results if the ground is really well prepared - dig it deeply, and incorporate tons of organic material, such as fully composted material or animal manure is ideal. This helps to retain moisture as well as releases nutrients, aiding growth. You could get the soil ready, whilst your seeds are germinating indoors. Pinch out the young plants, once there are 3 or 4 sets of leaves - take out the growing tip, just above a leaf pair. This makes the plants branch out, into multiple stemmed plants. Once flowering, dead head the old dead flowers away, as they'll sap plant's energy into seed production, instead of new flowers. If you have seeds left over, you can sow some in the autumn, ready for earlier flowering next year. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    2 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Tips on starting a garden from scratch on a budget!?

    Best answer: I'd see if friends could help you get the most important areas cleared, maybe a party, and everyone does a little bit - this would allow you to get what would have taken 1 person weeks, based on a couple of hours at a time, and will be a fun thing to be amongst. You can always have an indoors party afterwards. The cheapest plants... show more
    Best answer: I'd see if friends could help you get the most important areas cleared, maybe a party, and everyone does a little bit - this would allow you to get what would have taken 1 person weeks, based on a couple of hours at a time, and will be a fun thing to be amongst. You can always have an indoors party afterwards. The cheapest plants would be some divisions or cuttings from friends. Whilst any plant would fill a space,it's ideal if you have some plan ahead of getting everything together. Next cheapest is seed raised, and there are some near-instant colour, from hardy annuals. These are sown now,and grow flower and die this year, but would give you lots of summer colour. Great and easy annuals for lots of colour are Nasturtiums, which come in mixed or separate colours, and are either trailers/climbers, growing 5' or so, or smaller bushes, to 12-18'', and Californian Poppies, 18'', both of which prefer poor soil, which yours may well be, as it's been neglected. Also easy and colourful are Calendulas, 18''-2'. These can all be sown where you want them to flower, and the Calendulas could be spaced out, after germinating, or sown in pots, as the Nasurtiums could too - but not the Californian Poppies. Some plants to sow for colour next year are the hybrid Foxgloves - Digitalis. These are in mixed colours, and grow 4-5', so are good for backs of borders. These could be pot sown, or sown in the ground, and moved to final positions later in the year - they'll flower early next summer. These seeds can be bought for less than £1 a packet, often less, such as at Morrisons, or Wilkinsons. They will all re-seed themselves, so you can have lots of flowers for years to come. Just remember not to feed the Nasturtiums or Californian Poppies, as they prefer poor soils. The main thing with young seedlings is to ensure that they don't dry out, as they won't have root networks, to provide enough water, if it's dry for long periods. Once they've grown a bit, less frequent deeper waterings are better, and many of them will be fine without much attention. One of the problems I would expect is that there will be lots of weed seeds around, and these are likely to germinate and be a problem for some time, so repeated weeding will likely be needed. As a way to focus attention, away from a larger cultivated area, you could use some cheap tubs, and cram some plants in. They'll need watering and feeding through the summer, as their roots will fill up the soil, very easily. You could use some different plants for these, either annuals, which could be bought as plants, or some that you could raise from seed - the cheapest option. I'd decide on how much lawn you want to keep, and the cheapest method of improving it, is to over-seed it, with new grass seed - much cheaper than turfing. It'll need watering regularly, to stop it drying out as grows, and then regular deeper waterings that are less frequent, if we get long periods of drought this summer. If you expect your lawn to get a lot of wear and tear, use a blend of grass seed with Rye grass in it - this is tougher, and all seed mixes are blends anyway, but some are more aimed at luxury fine grasses, that can't take as much foot traffic etc. You could over-seed it now, as well as add further lots in the autumn, and next spring. I live next to Derbyshire, and if I can think of any good suppliers, I'll let you know, but not really any spring to mind atm. Obviously the county's quite large, from Swadlincote, to north of Chesterfield, south to north, as well as into the Peak District etc, and ideally you won't want to travel too far. My overall advice, is to keep it simple, and not overburden yourselves with too much work, aiming to get maximum benefits from some easy to achieve goals, and then improving things bit by bit. The seed raised plants will be fairly easy, but clearing the ground will be tougher work, that would need doing first, but just a few areas, as well as some tubs - maybe second hand tubs that some friends don't want, would help focus attention and make things look a lot better, than if it's all bare. As time goes on, you'll likely be able to pick up some cuttings and small plants from friends - go for what's easy, as well as fits in. If you had unlimited time, I'd suggest really starting from scratch, and planning it all, but think that could be too big a job for now, and maybe by next spring, you'll have some great ideas about how it could all look. Here are some photos of the plants I mentioned - Californian Poppies - Escholzia : http://images.marketplaceadvisor.channel... Calendula - http://www.thompson-morgan.com/medias/sy... Nasturtium - http://suttons.s3.amazonaws.com/p/FLSNAS... Foxgloveshttp://www.thegardensuperstore.co.uk/acatalog/Foxglove_Excelsior_Mixed_Large.gif Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    6 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Pond Lillies Not Growing?

    Best answer: Unless the lower leaves are decomposing, they don't pose a threat to your water lilies, as they'll be photosynthesising and helping the plants gain energy - they won't be a barrier to other leaves growing up. If you're in the UK, my water lilies have also been slow this spring, and only have 3 or 4 leaves on the surface.... show more
    Best answer: Unless the lower leaves are decomposing, they don't pose a threat to your water lilies, as they'll be photosynthesising and helping the plants gain energy - they won't be a barrier to other leaves growing up. If you're in the UK, my water lilies have also been slow this spring, and only have 3 or 4 leaves on the surface. I think the likely reason, other than a very poor April, when temperatures were lower and there wasn't much visible sun in the UK, is that they could easily be in need of division, if their roots have completely filled the baskets that they're planted in. I'd normally divide them when they're dormant, but this could still be done now, if they're bursting at the seems with roots, as they're growing minimally. As others point out, feeding them will also spur strong growth, as there is minimal fertiliser left in the soil, after several season's growth. Use specialist aquatic feed, which you'd insert into the baskets, and will dissolve less in the water, to feed algae, which would give green water conditions. If you do re-pot, then the new soil should contain fresh nutrients for growth, so this won't be so much of an issue, but will still promote stronger growth. The water depth can be a problem, but if they've grown very well in the previous 2 years, then I'd be less concerned. The pygmy water lilies don't need such great depth as the standard type does - one of the issues with shallow planting is that it can force leaves to rise above the water surface, where they will get dried out. Watch out for shade on your pond, as this will reduce the light intensity for the plants too - where possible, give them maximum light intensity for as great a part of the day as possible. If you do divide them, it can be a major job, as roots often burst out of the nets, and they could be pretty hefty. Have a large container with water in it, ready for this, as you won't want any plantlets to dry out, whilst you're finishing the job. One option would be to do one of them, and move the other one to a deeper level, if this is possible, so that you've got both options covered. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    2 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Does it help fescue & warm season grass to let it grow out a bit more before cutting it in the spring?

    Best answer: You'd generally not let your Fescue or other grass get too high, before cutting it, as you'd likely be removing too much when it's mown. Ideally you'll take offf about a third of its height at each cut, whether it's the first cut of the season, or thereafter. Taking more persistently can weaken your grass plants. ... show more
    Best answer: You'd generally not let your Fescue or other grass get too high, before cutting it, as you'd likely be removing too much when it's mown. Ideally you'll take offf about a third of its height at each cut, whether it's the first cut of the season, or thereafter. Taking more persistently can weaken your grass plants. You're right to think that the first cut shouldn't be too severe though, and generally there are too many people that scalp their lawns, which is often a recipe for disaster. Drastic cutting will weaken the lawn, potentially also opening it up for moss and weed infestation too. Overall, it's better to have regular light mowings, which may be weekly, depending on how quickly it's growing. During very dry weather, especially if you're not watering much, if at all, then I raise the cutting height and reduce the frequency to get the best results. It will be very stressed from the drought conditions anyway, and severe cutting will stress it further, and this can lead to weakness and/or death of some of it. To help recover it now I'd be over-seeding with an appropriate grass seed mix - choose a suitable type, dependent on how heavily it's used - Fescues will form a finer lawn, that's less able to withstand very heavy wear and tear - a small amount of Ryes in it would help counter that. I'd also be feeding it, as this will help sustain good strong growth. Beware of dry fertilisers that can dry it out, scorching leaves, especially during dry weather though, so I prefer a liquid feed. I don't like the weed, feed and mosskiller all-in-ones though, preferring to attack any problem individually, if they ever occur. A slow release feed is ideal, as it will sustain growth over a longer period, but the balance here is about using a liquid feed, which are typically instant feeds, versus a dry feed that's slow release. As it's already dry and hot, the liquid feed could help it regain some vigoour. The precautions to watch for are feeding young seedlings too early, if you're over-seeding it. Check manufacturer's recommendations on your feeds for the timescales. So, overall, yes it's ideal to do a light cut, but don't let growth get too high, as it will form weaker lower growth that you'll be cutting in to, eventually having to take off too much growth height. It's ideal to light cuts, and reduce the frequency during hot dry weather, as well as ensuring that these are also very light trims. Deep less frequent waterings are better than light waterings - deep watering will encourage roots to develop to a deeper level, helping withstand drought better. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    3 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • What does "fertilizer for acid loving plants/shrubs" have inside it that is special for acid loving plants?

    Best answer: Fertilizers don't just contain pure elements, such as Nitrogen N, Phosphourous P and Potassium K, the NPK ratio you'll see listed on each feed's packaging, but they will be chemical compounds of these with other elements. Ericaceous plants are only able to access/use these major elements in certain chemical compounds, ... show more
    Best answer: Fertilizers don't just contain pure elements, such as Nitrogen N, Phosphourous P and Potassium K, the NPK ratio you'll see listed on each feed's packaging, but they will be chemical compounds of these with other elements. Ericaceous plants are only able to access/use these major elements in certain chemical compounds, which are not the standard compounds in the more usually sold feeds, and thus it's almost as if they have none of these essential elements, needed for their growth. For this reason, ericaceous blend feeds have alternative chemical compounds, still with N, P and K, in them, but they will be different compounds that are accessible for this type of plant. A sulfate will lower the ph of the soil - the ph is the scale of acidity/alkalinity, the lower values being more acidic. Nitrogen sulfate would also be a source of available Nitrogen for plants, which promotes green growth. Lastly, a fertilizer will have more than these 3 main nutrients within it, as there are other micronutrients that plants need - the ericaceous feeds will again have these in forms that ericaceous plants can uptake and utilise for healthy growth. Overall, if your soil is acidic, this is the best start; if it's not acidic then you'll need to constantly add appropriate feeds to plants. Even with an acidic soil, feeds will stimulate enhanced growth rates and health. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    6 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Need To Grow A High Hedge?

    Best answer: A great dense hedge that will grow to 11' and beyond is the Cherry or English Laurel, which is a broad leaved plant that also has white flowers in late spring. Its botanical name is Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia, with shiny deep green large leaves, and it can be pruned annually to contain its growth and keep the shape that you... show more
    Best answer: A great dense hedge that will grow to 11' and beyond is the Cherry or English Laurel, which is a broad leaved plant that also has white flowers in late spring. Its botanical name is Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia, with shiny deep green large leaves, and it can be pruned annually to contain its growth and keep the shape that you want. There are some photos here that show how it can be used and form - http://www.planfor.fr/Donnees_Site/Produ... http://www.pracbrown.co.uk/media/1037649... http://hedgestrimming.com/cherry-laurel-... It's very fast growing, and adaptable to most garden conditions, whether full sun or shade as well as pretty much any soil type. It doesn't suffer the brown die back that many conifer hedges do, particularly when they get drought or other problems. My ideal hedge is one with mixed plant species, as these can seem more interesting, but a Laurel hedge is hard to beat, due to its quick growth, dense foliage and attractiveness. It's available from most nurseries, and is an inexpensive plant. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    4 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • What is the NPK for "starter fertilizers" and how they compare to 13-13-13 fertilizers?

    Best answer: N:P:K represents Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium respectively, and these relate to the following types of growth - Leafy green growth, root growth and flower production, again respectively. Lawns largely will need leaf and root growth promoted, but not flowering. As such, I'd opt for a feed that's got more of the first... show more
    Best answer: N:P:K represents Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium respectively, and these relate to the following types of growth - Leafy green growth, root growth and flower production, again respectively. Lawns largely will need leaf and root growth promoted, but not flowering. As such, I'd opt for a feed that's got more of the first two, and less proportionately of Potassium. A starter fertiliser is likely to have weak fertiliser components, whereas an established lawn will be growing strongly, and doesn't need minimal amounts of fertiliser, it will generally need a stronger fertiliser, that's balanced for the type of growth that you want. Unless you're growing a meadow, where the grasses will flower, you don't need to stimulate flower production, so look for a feed that's not equally promoting flowering, with the K element, to a similar extent that is promoting leaf and root production. The root growth is important, as the better the root network that a lawn has, the better it's able to withstand the stresses of summer, such as drougth, and it's more able to support lots of strong leaf growth. As you're growing young fescues, which are the finer grasses, I'd encourage you to use a fertiliser that's not too strong - generally I'd have fed the planting area before sowing, with a slow release feed. Applying fertiliser after sowing, whilst the plants are young, has the potential for scorching the seedlings, potentially stunting or killing them, due to the stress. If I was going to feed a young lawn, I'd probably use a liquid feed, compared to a dry feed - the liquid feed is less likely to scorch the plants. As a test, I'd probably use half strength feed, to check any effect that it has on the plants - if there's no damage, I'd then try the full strength feed. Too strong a fertiliser, and it will draw moisture from the plants, which is visible as the scorching, and this could occur at root as well as leaf level - worst case, it could kill some of the seedlings. You've done the right thing by watering every day, as this will ensure that the seeds as well as soil remains moist, preventing any of them drying out. If the soil is generally in good condition, I'd hold back from feeding for now, and wait until they're a little more established - sometimes, less is more. This will prevent your lawn from becoming stressed. As the plants start to get established, add a feed that's lower on Potassium, in relation to the N and P, in the feed mix. Ideally, I prefer to use liquid lawn feeds and those that are slow release, which gives more even growth rates, and feeds over a longer period than instant feeds, much of which will get leached from the soil. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    2 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Why, how does it damage grass to cut it at normal height when it has grown very long?

    Best answer: Grass that has grown very long will have weaker leaf stems in the lower, shadier areas. Cutting grass always adds some stress to grass, and reducing its height significantly will load enormous stress loads to it, that will shock it, significantly more than a light cut will. The immediate impact, other than stress, is that the... show more
    Best answer: Grass that has grown very long will have weaker leaf stems in the lower, shadier areas. Cutting grass always adds some stress to grass, and reducing its height significantly will load enormous stress loads to it, that will shock it, significantly more than a light cut will. The immediate impact, other than stress, is that the overall leaf surface that is available for photosynthesis is drastically reduced. This means that it will reduce the rate at which it is able to produce energy, in the form of sugars, and thus the plants acceleration of development is stunted. At this point, its root development is also going to be minimised, as it has reduced need to support an extensive above ground leaf network. At a superficial level, the point at which the cuts are made will be exposed to the environment, a potential source of infectious agents. The grass will seal this cut area, to lessen the potential for attack, and some die back may occur at these points, and some browning may be visible. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    3 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Cottage Garden Ideas?

    Best answer: The first plant that conjures up images of cottage gardens that would be suited to the part sunny area would be Lavender - these love lots of light, but will grow/flower in part shade too. There are many forms/species of Lavender, so you could have a range - their colours differ too. The taller Old English Lavender, to almost 3',... show more
    Best answer: The first plant that conjures up images of cottage gardens that would be suited to the part sunny area would be Lavender - these love lots of light, but will grow/flower in part shade too. There are many forms/species of Lavender, so you could have a range - their colours differ too. The taller Old English Lavender, to almost 3', is great, if this is appropriate photo here - http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=Lavandu... this is the standard form of Lavandula angustifolia. Otherwise my favourite is the Hidcote Lavender, which has wonderful dark blue flowers, see a photo here - http://www.hickmansnurseries.com/wp-cont... So, Lavender's - in every sunny spot where I live, and not quite the norm for shady areas, but I get it to perform well, as long as it gets some sun. Aquilegias will grow and flower well in part shade, starting in early summer, with some repeat summer flowering, if you cut back. These are easy to grow, including from seed, and are trouble free. http://www.sciencephoto.com/image/105882... Dicentra spectabilis - bleeding heat - is nice in partial shade too, as is Phlox paniculata, which comes in a range of colours - http://transatlanticplantsman.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834515e3169e2015390fddff8970b-500wi For the shade, I'd probably add a Heuchera or a few of them, such as Palace Purple, which has leaf as well as flower colour/interest. http://media.growsonyou.com/photos/blog_photo/image/32610/main/Heuchera_Havana_1b_1_.jpg Hope this helps Good luck! Rob
    4 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Can you save a aloe Vera plant that has root rot?

    Best answer: They're a fairly easy plant to root from cuttings, so I'd remove the top of the top, and use this as cutting material. If there's root rot, then the fungal spores will be in the soil and around the roots, so I'd not want to save those, and discard of the material where it won;t affect other plants. I had one plant... show more
    Best answer: They're a fairly easy plant to root from cuttings, so I'd remove the top of the top, and use this as cutting material. If there's root rot, then the fungal spores will be in the soil and around the roots, so I'd not want to save those, and discard of the material where it won;t affect other plants. I had one plant that my neighbours over-watered, whilst I was on holiday, which was done with their best intentions, to care for my plants, and it got root rot. I managed to get it to root, and I have 2 other species of Aloe growing too - one that's hardy in my badly drained garden, outdoors in England (Aloe striatula) - thankfully this one doesn't suffer the wet as badly as Aloe vera can do. Just ensure that when you take the top of the plant off that there's no decay at all in the leaves or in the center of the stem - keep removing the bottom of the stem until the stem is completely healthy and doesn't have any dark discoloration in it. I'd treat the the cutting from your plant with some anti-fungal treatment, such as sulfur powder, which will kill spores - it might be helpful to leave it to dry for a day or so, before planting it too. Use a sterile blade to take it off from the stem, just above soil level. Remove any leaves that seem in poor condition, and use a really well draining potting mix, with lots of grit etc, to ensure that it doesn't get waterlogged - possibly even root it in mostly sand/fine grit. Use a hormone rooting powder or solution, to encourage rooting, but sunlight strength right now should encourage fairly quick rooting. Whilst I know this is more work than just trying to save the plant with its own roots, I feel that doing that is likely to still result in the whole plant dieing, whereas taking the top of the plant as a cutting for propagation will give closer to 100% success, as long as the rot hasn't spread into the bulk of the plant, but is yet to show itself as decay. A systemic fungicide treatment could also be given to the plant, which would strengthen it against decay for a few weeks too. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    4 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • I planted sunflower seeds last month! First time ever growing anything!!!?

    Best answer: Assuming that they have not grown really thinly and become weak, due to lack of light, then they need to go through a couple of stages, to lead to healthy strong plants, growing outdoors. Firstly, if there is more than just 1 seed per pot, then separate them, as their roots will be getting entangled, and pulling them apart will stress... show more
    Best answer: Assuming that they have not grown really thinly and become weak, due to lack of light, then they need to go through a couple of stages, to lead to healthy strong plants, growing outdoors. Firstly, if there is more than just 1 seed per pot, then separate them, as their roots will be getting entangled, and pulling them apart will stress them. If they're singly planted in pots, then their roots at some point will likely fill the pots, and this will stunt their growth. I wouldn't worry about root damage from being disentangled, as they'll be growing vigorously and their mass of roots are yet to grow, as they're still only tiny plants. After they're transplanted, which would normally be done when they have their 2 seed leaves, when they're moved to separate pots, they would need 'hardening off' - this means acclimatising them to outdoors growing conditions, where they will have different light, temperature and humidity conditions. Suddenly moving any plant to a completely different growing culture stresses them, which can retard their growth, kill them or make them more likely to get an infestation, as weaker plants are targets for insects, fungi etc. Normally you'd give your plants an hour or two outdoors each day, increasing this over a couple of weeks, before they finally spend all their time outdoors. Potentially put them in a slightly shady spot the first day or so, as direct outdoors sun would be very different than from behind a window. With sunflowers, it often pays to sow seeds every 2 or 3 weeks, which helps you get a succession of flowers, so if you have some seeds left, these could be partially sown now and in May too. Depending on the variety as well as summer weather and your location affecting results, you could expect flowers from sometime in July, though these may continue until the autumn. Some sunflowers have one main flower, whilst others are more branching and have tons of flowers per plant. Feed and water your plant well, as they don't have really deep roots - you can add a mulch, of some well rotted compost etc, as this will help retain moisture. If you prepare the soil well before planting too, incorporating lots of organic matter, this will help retain moisture as well as release nutrients slowly through the summer. I find it best to add a tall stake at the time of planting, as adding one later can disturb or damage roots. As they grow tall, they are often blown over by wind, and a stake will help keep them upright and from breaking in strong winds. Final tip is to watch out for slugs and snails, as they will happily bite off the top of the growing point, as well as decimate leaves. There are natural, animal safe ways of treating for slugs/snails too. When flowers are finished, you are likely to get a ton of seeds produced, which many birds, including Gold finches, Blue ****, Robins and others, will love to eat. Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    3 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago
  • Plants/flowers/shrubs for dark wet areas?

    Best answer: Aim for a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants, as well as variety of leaf/stem and flower colour, with the right heights for the border. Fairly easy plants are Brunnera macrophylla variety Jack Frost - this is a beautiful light blue flowering plant, like forget me nots, and its leaves are variegated, green and cream -... show more
    Best answer: Aim for a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants, as well as variety of leaf/stem and flower colour, with the right heights for the border. Fairly easy plants are Brunnera macrophylla variety Jack Frost - this is a beautiful light blue flowering plant, like forget me nots, and its leaves are variegated, green and cream - stunning! Foxgloves, which come in a range of colours and species, incl the wild purple form -some are dwarfer now, most will grow 4-5' in height, so good for back of borders. There are tons of spring flowering Hellebores too - from white to pink/red/purple. The white Helleborus niger flowers from December and lightens up a dark shady area - http://www.burncoose.co.uk/site/img/prod... Coloured Helleborus orientalis - spring flowering, colour range, see here - http://www.tandmpics.com/240/4/4237.jpg Most ferns will be fine, such as the Royal Fern -these add some leaf interest, but no flowering interest. Some of the Cornus plants will look great too -these are larger shrubs, so good if you have the space. English Ivy can be used to cover walls/fences or just as ground cover, helping to suppress weeds, and there are many leaf colours/variegation now too. Lily of the Valley are white flowering summer plants, and are pretty and should spread well - 12-18'' http://visitnormandy.files.wordpress.com... As others say, Hostas are great too - but slugs and snails devour them, so use if these aren't a problem. Tons of leaf colours, some of them grown for flowers too. http://www.naturehills.com/images/productimages/hosta_christmascandy_big.jpg http://www.mailorderplants4me.com/images/thumbnail/hosta_hadspen_blue.jpg http://cache2.allpostersimages.com/p/LRG/29/2905/CKMPD00Z/posters/mouchy-martine-shallow-waterfall-and-stream-shady-planting-of-hosta-fern-fernhill-ireland-near-dublin.jpg Another shrub, to about 10' to look at is the variegated -green/gold Aucuba japonica http://farm1.static.flickr.com/102/256017218_ae5ad8f154.jpg Violets are spreading ground cover plants, purple, pink white flowers - -http://farm1.static.flickr.com/102/256017218_ae5ad8f154.jpg Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob
    8 answers · Garden & Landscape · 7 years ago