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Bottesford

Net Weather Gardening Thread

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The Pergola is up, the digging is all done, the gravel is spread and the massive tree has had a trim to expose the trunk and let some light through ; all that's left to do is plant it up and pray for some decent weather

 

From this......

post-6280-0-14590300-1368115624_thumb.jp

 

To this......

post-6280-0-21078100-1368115698_thumb.jppost-6280-0-46125400-1368115751_thumb.jp

 

And I wish the wind would stop, these poor pots are taking a right battering!

post-6280-0-34354900-1368115796_thumb.jp

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Thanks for the kind comments folks. 

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My tomatoes got 'scorched' by the wind last night...min temp of 10.7C!

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Hope someone can help me here I've been browsing the web looking for a decent sized propagator now the one which has caught my eye is this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000N96XTK/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3CZ1TJSTQBZEB - now what I need help with is if anywhere in the North east sells this I know for a fact B&Q and Homebase don't sell this and my local nurseries doesn't either.

 

Ideally I'd like to get it near Darlington but even if its up in the Durham Gateshead area it would be ok as I could go to the Metro Centre and make a day of it

 

Hope someone can help me

 

Regards

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Hope someone can help me here I've been browsing the web looking for a decent sized propagator now the one which has caught my eye is this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000N96XTK/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3CZ1TJSTQBZEB - now what I need help with is if anywhere in the North east sells this I know for a fact B&Q and Homebase don't sell this and my local nurseries doesn't either.

 

Ideally I'd like to get it near Darlington but even if its up in the Durham Gateshead area it would be ok as I could go to the Metro Centre and make a day of it

 

Hope someone can help me

 

Regards

Sorry but can't help with the day trip or where to find locally but thought you may want to check here first: http://www.lbsbuyersguide.co.uk/

 

If you click the non trade option, they do have a very similar propagator for a similar price but, if you click the trade option, you get a much wider range of products. There's no credit references/checks required for registering as a trade customer, no proof of ID, no VAT number - it's simply a case of registering. The trade account catalogue has a selection of heat mats and heated cables, plus thermostats; you can get heating for a bigger area, for less money if you go down that route. To make a cover either use plain builders plastic or bubble wrap, make hoops with Hazel if it's available, or something like plastic piping - don't pinch the kids Hoola hoops and cut them in half, they don't see the funny side of it.....

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Already got several tomatoes forming thanks to last weeks great weather no doubt!

Good to be a bit further ahead than I was last year mostly due to starting things that bit earlier. Should really help with sweet peppers especially as last year they didn't begin ripening until almost October.

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Gardeners need to show that their profession is not for "thick, dull or unadventurous" people, says television gardener Alan Titchmarsh. In a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) study, Mr Titchmarsh says gardening is "undervalued" by the young.

The study claims 72% of horticulture firms cannot find skilled workers, with teens viewing the job as "unskilled". "If this situation continues, British horticulture will become a pale shadow of its former self," he said.

 
Mr Titchmarsh called for more to be done to reconnect young people "with apples rather than Apple Macs, plant cells rather than cell phones and raspberries as well as Blackberries". Some 200 businesses were surveyed for the report. More than two thirds (67%) said that those entering the profession were inadequately prepared for work. Our role is undervalued by government, by the population and by young people in particularâ€
 
Almost one in five (19%) said they had to recruit skilled staff from abroad and 83% said they blamed difficulties on recruitment on a poor perception of horticulture in schools and colleges. A separate survey of 500 secondary school teachers suggested that fewer than a third (30%) were aware of horticultural qualifications with only 20% aware of the "vast career opportunities" available.Only 16% of the school staff surveyed promoted horticultural careers to their pupils, with many regarding gardening as a hobby rather than a career choice, says the report Horticulture Matters. Earlier research has suggested that many teenagers believe careers in the sector are for those who have failed academically.
 
This poor perception of horticulture as a career is despite the fact that the industry contributes £9bn to the UK economy and employs 300,000 people, says the report. "Our role is undervalued by government, by the population and by young people in particular," writes Mr Titchmarsh "In every instance because they just do not understand the breadth of what we do and its importance in terms of the well-being of the planet and its population."
 
He writes that gardeners "have the best jobs in the world", ranging from "growing plants, designing gardens, managing open spaces feeding the population, looking after historic trees and famous gardens, conducting scientific research into plant breeding, pests and diseases, collecting plants in far-flung parts of the globe... the list goes on... 60 different areas to my reckoning".
 
'Green skills gap'
 
The report calls for urgent action to bridge the green skills gap, welcoming government plans to include gardening in the national curriculum as part of design and technology - but says more could be done. "We ask government to embed horticulture across the national curriculum, to encourage young people to study further the subject in higher education and consider [the sector] as a future career," said RHS director general Sue Biggs. "The horticultural industry is facing a skills crisis, ageing workforce and lack of young people coming into the industry." "We are unanimous in the belief that there must now be urgent action to save British horticulture and it must happen now. Our report calls on the government, employers and those in the education system to take action to safeguard the critical role that horticulture plays in Britain today."
 
A Department for Education spokeswoman said reforms to the national curriculum were aimed at giving schools more flexibility in what to teach. "In our draft Design and Technology curriculum, we have provided various topics in the programmes of study so schools can choose what they want to focus on. This includes horticulture as well as electronics or woodwork."
 
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs added: "It's really important that the horticultural industry is able to attract the right people to the sector. "Through our Future of Farming initiative we are working with the industry to help more talented, entrepreneurial young people build careers across the agriculture sector, including horticulture."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22516087

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This is a bit of a bugbear of mine so if I slip into rant mode, I apologise now.

 

Titchmarsh is right, gardeners are universally regarded as too thick to do anything else, the public perception is a bit like the old adage for painters and decorators - if you can pee, you can paint. But, in addition to that, the industry has for years painted a picture of gardening being almost a black art, they routinely over-complicated jobs, talked technical gibberish and did pretty much everything they could do to deter folk from gardening. It was a very self protective industry. 

 

The future and the lack of skills problem isn't going to be solved quickly, schools and children today really are not interested. When it comes to careers advice, horticulture is completely off the grid. Education has routinely guided children towards Uni, that's the ultimate goal after A levels. Those who don't get A levels or get grades too low to go to their preferred course at Uni are directed towards the local colleges for NVQ's, the local colleges don't routinely offer horticulture as a choice.

 

Coupled to this lack of choice, or awareness of horticulture as a career, is a lack of incentive when it comes to career path and financial reward. If you're an 18 year old, recently left school and are looking to the future would you choose a career which offers decent money, warm and dry working conditions, no physical hard graft and various local outlets for your skills, or would you choose gardening? There are garages everywhere for young mechanics, shops galore, offices aplenty. Gardening is hard graft, you get wet, cold, starting out you'll get minimum wage and nothing more and the local job prospects are few and far between - career progression can be tediously slow when most gardeners who get a decent job, hang on to it for years.

 

I have a solution, it's not a magic wand but it would address the problem on a local basis and if every local area did it, we'd soon have national coverage. The National Trust and English Heritage. Currently they work on the basis of employing one, possibly two qualified people with the rest of the gardening work being done by volunteers. IMO, these volunteers should be replaced by apprenticeships. These two organisations are supposed to be custodians of our heritage, that heritage includes a rich history of horticulture and there isn't a big house in the land which isn't surrounded by gardens. They are the ideal candidates to train, educate and employ new gardeners of all ages. It's ridiculous that both organisations are custodians of thousands of acres and yet do nothing to ensure the future and safety of them, by training and ensuring there are new people coming through who know how to look after them. 

 

Cost and funding will be an issue but it comes down to putting a price on losing vital skills, we need gardeners, we'll always need them. With ever increasing population and limited food supplies globally, we'll be ever more dependent on people who know how to grow things. 

Edited by jethro

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Hear, hear Jethro,

 

I think love of gardening starts in childhood. That was my first awareness of love and nurture.

 

I genuinely grieve when I lose a plant

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Hear, hear Jethro,

 

I think love of gardening starts in childhood. That was my first awareness of love and nurture.

 

I genuinely grieve when I lose a plant

 

My love of nature and gardening started as a child too, admittedly as a farmer's daughter, the nature bit was hard to avoid. I didn't however consider it as a career, I trained and worked in publishing for years with gardening as a hobby. The career path came after children, spurred really by the dread of going back to being office based, coupled with all the nonsense which goes hand in hand with the world of publishing.

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Gonna have to get my tomatoes out to greenhouse permanently from this weekend. They're just too big to keep bringing in and out and I can't stake them until I put them into their final position so they keep flopping over!<br />Just have to take the risk we don't get any more cold nights. We had 6c the other night but that seems to be the lowest recently so have to do...

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I've got the same problem with Runner Beans - they're really too big to still be inside, (they're over 2ft tall) but it's just too cold to put them out. I don't think I've ever planted them this late, it's been a mad Spring so far.

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Got my broad beans and peas out here there both coming on grand now

 

The early potatoes are well through now and are growing nicely

 

The onions are coming along nicely as well

 

And finally the strawberry's are in flower as well I've followed Monty Don's advice and covered them over but kept the ends open to let the pollinators in and keep the worst of the rain out

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I'm am pleased to inform you all I have managed to get on a horticultural training course which is 2 days per week for around 6 weeks this then leads to a horticultural apprenticeship

 

I start next week

 

:)

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Gonna have to get my tomatoes out to greenhouse permanently from this weekend. They're just too big to keep bringing in and out and I can't stake them until I put them into their final position so they keep flopping over!<br />Just have to take the risk we don't get any more cold nights. We had 6c the other night but that seems to be the lowest recently so have to do...

 

i'm still dithering! they are getting too big and their tiny pots mean i have to water them constantly.  If think i will follow your lead and put mine out tomorrow - if they die i will blame u, of course :p  :p

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Well I've made the most of today's sunshine here in Darlo sweet peas are now planted out and I've got the electric cable laid down for the electrical supply in the greenhouse I will set that up tomorrow at least I'll be dry in the greenhouse

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I'm am pleased to inform you all I have managed to get on a horticultural training course which is 2 days per week for around 6 weeks this then leads to a horticultural apprenticeship

 

I start next week

 

Posted Image

Good for you, Gav!Posted Image

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Gardening thru the window today .. I see I am host to blackcaps and a pair of long tailed tits  .. 

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Before jumping from the nearest high building,last request as to why after 6 years of RHS videos on pruning Wisteria still cant get a bloom and my customer,just like me is baffled,i know that flowering can take a while but this seems excessive,its really healthy foliage ect,but no bloom.Any advice welcomed.

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They can take even longer than that on rare occasions. Other causes - given that you're following the right pruning regime - might be not enough sunlight or too much nitrogen-based fertilizer.

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Before jumping from the nearest high building,last request as to why after 6 years of RHS videos on pruning Wisteria still cant get a bloom and my customer,just like me is baffled,i know that flowering can take a while but this seems excessive,its really healthy foliage ect,but no bloom.Any advice welcomed.

 

Potash, potash, potash.... and trim it to 3 buds in the winter.Pop up the road to Charlton jy, I reckon ours are going to be awesome this year.Last year they were destroyed by a freezing May, but this year they're playing catch-up and are full of buds.Ultimately I think it's down to the original plant, but happy to be overruled on that one.

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Before jumping from the nearest high building,last request as to why after 6 years of RHS videos on pruning Wisteria still cant get a bloom and my customer,just like me is baffled,i know that flowering can take a while but this seems excessive,its really healthy foliage ect,but no bloom.Any advice welcomed.

 

First problem may be that it isn't a grafted planted, non grafted plants can take years to settle and flower. Second commonest problem is that you've got too many leaders left on - 2 - 3 trained leaders is really the most you should allow until it settles into flowering. Lots of people get carried away training them to cover a wall or pergola, which they'll happily do very quickly but at the expense of flowers. Has it got enough light? They are never very successful if they're shaded. Also, you may be being too enthusiastic with the pruning and cutting off the flowering tips. See below.

 

As for pruning, it's simple really and works along the same principle as fruit trees, you need to develop flowering/fruiting tips. Take one branch/leader at a time, train it out to where you want it and tie it in (preferably horizontal), pruning/stopping the end when it's long enough. Everything which sprouts from this should be pruned at least twice a year, but can be more often if it's too vigorous in the summer. Each shoot which grows should be cut in half in mid summer (you can do this more than once if it continues to shoot out and becomes a nuisance). In January, all this should be pruned again, taking them right back to leave anything between 2 - 6 leaf nodules. Some Wisteria  can, and do flower further out from the main flowering tip than this so be careful where you cut. If you see buds swelling further out than 2-6 nodules then take a close look before snipping, it may be a juvenile flower bud. Developing flower buds are rounder and fatter than leaf buds - if in doubt, cut above the fatter bud and give it a chance. The worse thing that can happen if it isn't a flower bud is you get a slighter longer flowering tip to start from next year and it can be pruned out then if it's in the way.

 

Last but not least.....this may seem counter intuitive but you may actually be being too kind to it. Wisteria is a vigorous plant, the more you feed it, the kinder you are, the more it will grow. Trouble is, when it's ramping away, getting bigger and bigger, it has no need to flower. Flowers only form in order to produce seed, some plants need a bit of provocation to spur them into reproducing, a mild degree of stress like not feeding it will help convince it, it may die soon so needs to reproduce by making seeds.

 

And if all else fails, play it some music. Bonkers though it may seem, the RHS Wisley trial gardens did some experiments and it really does make a difference. Apparently Black Sabbath produced the best results, plants subjected to Cliff Richard died.....

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