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I am trying to decide what is the best method for watering a perennial garden - leaky pipe vs. spray/sprinkler - any advice would be really welcome

  • Views: 1197
  • Replies: 21
  • Posted: Mon. 23rd February 2009 12:01

automated watering

Reply from Georgie

Hello Ann. It's difficult to reply to this question without knowing a little more about the conditions in your garden such as the soil type and how much sun it gets etc. However, assuming your perennials are established in a border I would suggest that you use a good mulch in spring (when the soil is wet) to limit evaporation and then only water any individual plants in the evening that are clearly in need of it.

My view is that sprinklers waste an awful amount of water. If you really need a permanent irrigation system and can't improve the soil by adding lots of organic matter and mulching then I would go for a seeper hose.

Hope this hepls. Georgie

  • Posted: Mon. 23rd February 2009 17:33

Automated watering

Reply from Marissa Zoppellini

Hi Ann, I am with Georgie on this. If you can, it is much better to get your soil into shape so that the plants can fend for themselves. The mulch Georgie advises will not only limit evaporation but will gradually get worked into the soil to aid water retention. When you do feel the need to water, be generous, so that roots can seek out water in the soil, rather than quick bursts of water which will encourage shallow rooting. Plants that are given 'tough love', ie less watering are more likely to develop better root systems. The exception is during the first year after planting, where they need a little more TLC whilst roots get established. All the best, Marissa

  • Posted: Mon. 23rd February 2009 20:07

Automated watering

Reply from Ann

Thanks both Georgie and Marissa - basically I have completely double dug (must admit had two large men help!) most of my garden as I am completely starting from scratch with a cottage garden! Added literally tonnes of composted manure and some sand because I have clay soil that has only ever been a field. I have also kept back 3 large dumpy bags which includes commposted bark for mulching later. I am really hoping I have given myself the best start. Almost ready to start planting and thought I should sort irrigation out now. I have already told my OH that we cannot holiday until end of Sept. so that I can look after the garden (not gone down too well!). I was really thinking it would be good when we were on holiday but perhaps I should save myself some money for more plants! I really appreciate the advice, thank you both.

  • Posted: Tue. 24th February 2009 08:43

New cottage garden

Reply from Georgie

Hi again Ann. How lovely to be able to start from scratch - it sounds like you have been really busy. I hope you'll keep posting about your progress and I'm glad we were able to help. :)

Georgie

  • Posted: Tue. 24th February 2009 21:17

Phew

Reply from Ann

Thanks for the encouragment ! My first garden and today the pergola has gone up and I am exhausted! Can't wait to plant some lovely climbers - I'm keeping a photo record of progress and when I learn how to upload a picture I will send you a before and after !
Thanks again - happy gardening

  • Posted: Wed. 25th February 2009 18:03

Before and after photos

Reply from Georgie

Oh I love these! Hopefully someone more technically minded than me will be able to give you some advice on uploading photos but I have to say I've found it quite easy here. If you tick the box 'upload a picture with your post' you can browse your 'my pictures' and select the one you want. Does that make any sense?

Georgie

  • Posted: Wed. 25th February 2009 22:40

trying to upload!!

Reply from Ann

Hi Georgie, trying to upload a picture now, if that works will try one by one as I go - you can tell me where I am going wrong! The lady in the nursery near me is hardening off lots of plants for me and we have just agreed we will plant them on 25th March - I am so excited!

trying to upload!!

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Wed. 4th March 2009 15:47

It worked!

Reply from Ann

Last picture was the beginning of the beds. This is another one with the pergola under construction - on the other side of the fence is a bomb site at the moment but the gap in the fence will be a gate and the other side for veggies! When that will happen goodness knows - as you can see I have a lot to do!

It worked!

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Wed. 4th March 2009 15:52

I Love It!

Reply from Joanne 9919

WOW! Your garden is looking fabulous.

Have you used the tools on Shoot to help you create your design?

I love the fact that your lawn isn't the usual boring rectangle (which mine has to be for the kids to play on!). Your design will add so much more interest to the garden.

I also love the idea of a seperate kitchen garden, two completely different areas.

Are you an experienced gardener or are you doing all this from scratch?

Keep the photos coming, it will be great to see each stage.

Jo.

  • Posted: Wed. 4th March 2009 19:01

I love it

Reply from Ann

Thanks! - I have wanted a curvy garden for ever - in fact I have wanted a garden forever - this is my first - from scratch - and want to do it solo if possible. I would have used Shoot if I had found it in time. It has been invaluable looking up plants and care instructions from which I have created sheets to print for future reference. And the advice is amazing ( and very patient ). As for the photo it was thanks to Georgie who had to explain how to do it - if anyone has some photography tips i'll take all the help I can get!!

Seating being built in the pergola on Saturday and majority of plants going in on 25th so watch out for more 'help' posts.

Veg part is a way off - need to build raised beds and a greenhouse I think - I am on clay and it is hard, hard work to double dig - will try to get something going on this year though !

Happy Gardening!

  • Posted: Wed. 4th March 2009 19:59

I love it

Reply from Georgie

Wow Ann, what a lovely space you have to work with and what an excellent start you have made. I am green with envy here! And I'm so glad you were able to follow my somewhat clumsy explanation of how to put photos up! :D

As for the veg/edibles, it looks to me like you have plenty of room to grow some things in pots until your beds are ready.

Keep the phots coming - they are great.

Georgie

  • Posted: Wed. 4th March 2009 21:05

Green with Envy

Reply from Ann

Thanks Georgie but I think I'm the envious one, your garden is fantastic and you must have worked so hard - but I am lucky to have an 'easy' space to deal with. Photo instructions were great - I felt like I had really achieved something!

I have never grown any veg but might well have a go at putting some veg plants in amongst my flowers in the borders until they fill out and am busily researching companion planting. (I wish that meant that someone came and kept you company and gave you hand - he he!)

I saw that Jo had grown some sweetcorn and I would love to try that. Pots would be a problem because my patio is full of plants waiting to go in the beds and there is not a container within miles that I have not used/begged/borrowed.

I am going to be keeping my eyes 'peeled' for any good edible tips.

Hope you too have some sunshine today!

Ann

  • Posted: Thu. 5th March 2009 16:40

Green With Envy

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Ann,

OK, given my nosey parker nature I've just got to ask......what are you planning to plant? I know I should wait until the 25th, when I'm sure you will give us a progress report, but I want to know now, lol.

Can't wait to see what you are going to grow up your pergola.

As for adding edibles to your flower beds, this will work for sure. If you let me know what veg you intend planting, I can probably let you have some seeds. I grow mine in containers, and as there are usually loads of seeds in a packet, I end up with loads left over.

Yes, sweetcorn is absolutely fab when it's home grown, but you would need to leave a block to plant this. Even though mine is grown in containers, they are positioned right next to each other as sweetcorn is wind polinated, therefore, block planting (i.e. a block of 9, a block of 16, a block of 25, does this make sense?) is recommended.

One thing I would certainly recommend is Strawberries. I started off with a few plants last year, but have added to these this year. Again, mine are in containers, but you could definitely dot these around your flowers.

Jo.

  • Posted: Thu. 5th March 2009 18:10

You asked for it!

Reply from Ann

I am dying to bore someone with this so thanks for asking lol !.
On the pergola - Rosa Malvern Hills, jasminium nudiforum, lonicera graham thomas, clematis huldine, rosa maid of kent.
Bedding is long - achillea, agastache, alchemilla, anemone, anthemis, aquilegia, aruncus, aster, astratia, bidens, calamagrostis karl forester, campanula, catanache, centratnthus, cimicifuga purpurea, coreopsis, delphinium, deschampsia, dianthus, diasica, digitalis, epimedium rubrum, erigeron, erynciums, erysimum, euphorbia, gaura the bride, geranium, geum, gypsophillia, helenium, helianthus, herocallis, heuchera, iris, knautia, kniphofia, libertia, lubularia, linaria, lupins, maclays microcarpa, miscanthus, molinia, nepeta, origanum, osteospernum, paeony, panicum, papaver, pennisetum, penstemon, persicaria, polemonium, potentillia, salvia, sedum, sisyrinchium, stachys byzantia, stipa, thermopsis, trifollium, verbena, veronica + shurbs and other climbers.
Phew!

Thanks for the advice and offer on edibles especially the corn, best I wait until the veg beds are done for that, I have put off edibles way too long because seed seems daunting, Must do it now - I need to get a propogator really but will try strawberries for sure. Any tips on which one? will try onions and carrots I think - and definately garlic under the roses. Any "easy" things to try that you can suggest? Never grown a thing before so something to give me confidence would be great.

Many thanks - That should keep you going for a while!

Ann

  • Posted: Fri. 6th March 2009 11:51

Phew! What a list

Reply from Joanne 9919

It all sounds fab Ann. I'm sure that you will see such a difference once you plant them up, and then, once they get established your garden is going to look fab!

How did you go about compiling your list. Did you look for the plants you liked and then went about sourcing them, or did you go to a nursery to see what they had available and then did your research on them?

Growing from seed is so exciting. Yes, it is quite daunting when you haven't done it before, but once you see them germinating you get such a buzz. It's especially satisfying with edibles when you're actually eating something that you have grown and you know that what is on your plate started off as a seed which you planted!

You don't particularly need a propagator for raising seed. A sunny windowsill will do in most cases, and to raise the humidity you can just pop a plastic bag over a plantpot. Some seed can just be planted straight into your borders, you don't have to transplant them.

As for easy things to grow, I would recommend having a go with anything that you enjoy eating. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. Carrots can be a little temperamental. They like a free draining soil and should be sown into a very fine tilth. Some people have better results with carrots in containers than they do in the ground, however, I failed in my first year in containers with carrots. Last year they did ok, but not fantastic.

Salad leaves and radishes are very easy, and you don't have to wait long for your harvest. I've had good success with peas too, but I start these off indoors and then transplant them.

As for strawberries, I grew Alice last year and they had a lovely taste, but I didn't have any others to compare them with. This year I also have Honeoye and Elsanta, so I will be able to see which I prefer.

Also, what about herbs? You can have the best of both worlds with herbs in your borders. They're great to add to your cooking, but when they flower they look great.

Jo.

  • Posted: Fri. 6th March 2009 18:50

Green with envy

Reply from Georgie

Awww, thanks for your kind comments about my garden, Ann. :D

Good edibles for flower beds are Chives, Garlic Chives, Beetroot, Rosemary, Runner Beans and fancy Lettuces to name but a few. And all are easy to grow.

I see Jo has recommended Strawberries too - you might like to try the Alpine ones as border edging?

Georgie

  • Posted: Fri. 6th March 2009 18:35

Guess where I have been today

Reply from Ann

Buying luttuce seed from the garden centre, cut and come again ones, plus beetroot boltardy and some garlic and onions! Thanks for all the help you two,

Jo I do have some rosemary and things in pots because I love cooking but those are going to go I hope along the path in a separate bed yet to be dug, so that I can get to them easily even in the wet, especially in the winter for the rosemary.

As for kind comments about your garden Georgie you are way too modest, I actually clicked on your name instead of reply the other day and up came your garden profile! Plus you won the Shoot garden contest ! You could be charging for all that advice and experience. Your garden looks like my dream, all packed with flowers and produce and even a pond. I am definately going to have a pond at some point but the veg must be next.

take care you 2
Ann

  • Posted: Fri. 6th March 2009 20:15

Lettuce

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Ann,

Yes, I grow the cut and come again lettuce too, Salad Bowl. They're so convenient as you only have to take from the plant what you are going to eat!

Do let us know how you get on.

Jo.

  • Posted: Sat. 7th March 2009 09:21

How are you getting on?

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Ann,

I've been wondering how you're getting on with the garden. Any updates?

Hope your toe's better now.

Jo.

  • Posted: Fri. 8th May 2009 08:47

getting on fine

Reply from Ann

Hi Jo, had trouble submitting a reply to this a couple of days ago.
The garden is fine, a bit slow and I'm very impatient! and I am sure I am going to frustrate myself further by going to Chelsea this week.
Strawberries are coming along nicely and the lettuce so I am feeling quite pleased with myself!
how is the allotment going?
Ann

  • Posted: Mon. 18th May 2009 08:35

Update

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Ann,

Thanks for the update. Glad that you've got things growing.

The allotment is slow also. Still full of weeds, but we've managed to get some beds weeded and dug over. My strawberries are in and also peas. The kids have been given their own patch and they have planted beetroot and carrots. I've got lots of things at home waiting to go in so I need to get on with more weeding and digging.

Hope you have a great time at Chelsea. I'll be watching on TV.

Jo.

  • Posted: Mon. 18th May 2009 17:32