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Beginners needing help may like to read


‘Gardening in Pyjamas’ available at the local library,
or copies at various prices on Amazon Books.

Although I know most of it, still enjoyed reading Helen’s
attractive style.

From it I have decided to mix organic fertilisers into my
Gerbil tank litter waste , and dig straight into my raised beds to rot down whilst the weather is wet, to provide integral mulch for plant roots. The rain will wash the fertiliser in.
As Helen says, the top soil needs improving at this time of year ready for April sowing.
Its something we can all do. Better than watering the dry soil in a couple of months time.
Thanks Helen.

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ps. As Helen says, soil is really ground up rock. The
minute grains take time to absorb nutrients which plant
roots feed on.
We have to allow time for this to happen naturally.
Any kind of small pet litter or rotted down manure is good
for this method.
My Gerbils always want plain brown cardboard to chew into tiny pieces. I have now found a source of this. It gets mixed in with the litter.
They dont eat much.
Just want this chewable cardboard -
which suits me nicely.

13 Feb, 2015


pps. Sorry, I forgot to include the horticultural sand.
Am getting one small pack a week to include in the mixture.

13 Feb, 2015


Hi Diane, as you say every little helps, Derek.

13 Feb, 2015


I am beginning to think of it as 'The Magic Mixture'.
Another job from Helen for a February day.
Dont put plants into the surface of a container grown
Clematis. They take all the goodness and moisture this
plant needs.
Remove the Pinks and repot them in new compost.
Take out 2" of the surface soil. Then remove 2" round the sides of the container, as far as possible.
Pack the Magic Mixture into the sides, pushing it down well.
Put 2" onto the surface.
Water well and replace the ornamental stones/gravel to keep the moisture in.
Place the pots of Pinks for decorative effect on top.
Now, that I can do, even if its windy.
Thanks Helen.

14 Feb, 2015


You'll have us all keeping gerbils soon Diane!

14 Feb, 2015


I wish I had known all this months ago Stera.
Was amazed at how much soil I got out of the container
a large bucket full.
Replaced it with the Magic Mixture as detailed above.
Brought the red Dianthus plants up to replant in my balcony baskets with MM. Better than all the work and expense involved in planting them up with summer annuals.
Needed more MM to mix with the old compost. My production team chewing away, so took some of their bedding out to use for this. They looked annoyed as its not Saturday - when I change it !
If anyone is thinking of following this good advice, Gerbils are best kept in an old fish tank, as they do get excited and throw the litter about. After the initial cost they are very inexpensive to keep. Need to eat from a
7" diameter soup plate, not a small dish.
Anyway its good to be able to do something really useful in February.

16 Feb, 2015


Your dianthus idea sounds good. I hope its a long flowering variety to extend your pleasure.

16 Feb, 2015


Also recommend buying from T&M catalogue to check the height of the plants.
Carnations are slow to grow, seed needs sowing now indoors. I bought seed from a local GC
they flopped all over the place. Going on the compost heap soon.

16 Feb, 2015


Hi Diane, sorry to disagree, but I certainly would not recommend buying from t&m, I've found that their plants are very expensive, and absolute rubbish, Derek.

16 Feb, 2015


You could perhaps go for pinks instead Diane - some of the modern varieties flower longer than the old ones.

16 Feb, 2015

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