Gardening tips webchat with the NGS - Thursday 13 June

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This is where you can find out about all the amazing things going on in the Online Community. It's where you'll find news about events and awareness months; ways to get involved with Macmillan and up-to-date campaigning news from Macmillan HQ.

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Gardening tips webchat with the NGS - Thursday 13 June

Attention all budding gardeners! Here’s your chance to get some of those burning gardening questions answered by a bona fide gardening guru - gardener Geoff Stonebanks. 

Gardening is a great way for people living with cancer to gently increase their levels of physical activity, bringing a whole host of health benefits. It can even reduce stress and anxiety and help boost your mood.  

The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) are hosting their first ever National Gardens Festival Weekend on 15 and16 June. More than 800 gardens will be opening their gates to raise vital funds for Macmillan and other charities, so now is the perfect time to get your gardening queries answered. 

So, if you’ve got green fingers (or would like to try and develop them), please join Geoff for a live webchat on Thursday 13 June from 12-1pm. To take part and ask Geoff your question, simply join us in the chatroom during this time slot. 

Or, if you can’t make it, post your question in the comments below, and I’ll ask it for you. I’ll publish all the questions and answers here on the Community News Blog after the chat. 

About Geoff

Geoff Stonebanks has been a dedicated supporter of the NGS for the last three  years and is currently an Assistant County Organiser for them as well as their Publicity Officer in Sussex. He is a very experienced amateur gardener, and his garden, Driftwood, has won two National prizes and several local awards 

He is also an enthusiastic fundraiser for Macmillan and has raised over £6,000 for Macmillan through garden-related activities. He has recently organised the second  Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail, which will feature 21 gardens along the coast from Brighton to Eastbourne on 3 and 4 August. 

The NGS and Macmillan

The NGS opens more than 3,800 private gardens annually in England and Wales for charity and has given Macmillan £14,200,000 since 1985, making it our largest single donor. 

The NGS is supporting Macmillan’s Move More campaign by highlighting of the benefits of physical activity for people living with cancer.

The National Gardens Festival aims to raise £500,000 for Macmillan and other charities, and is the biggest charity gardening opening weekend of its kind. To find out more about the National Gardens Festival Weekend, and to find where your local NGS garden is, please go to www.ngs.org.uk .

Comments
  • ´╗┐My question relates to my radish crop. How do you know when they're ready to eat without pulling 'em all up? The seed packet said ready in 4 weeks, but here's my 4 week radish:

     



  • Hi Laura! MMM sorry not my area of expertise! Don't grow and veg other than a few tomatoes, plot not really big enough and I have to say they don't do it for me, I like a plot crammed with colour and flowers and no gaps! Sorry can't help, see if this helps!  www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/radish/index.php

    Geoff


  • Hi Laura! MMM sorry not my area of expertise! Don't grow and veg other than a few tomatoes, plot not really big enough and I have to say they don't do it for me, I like a plot crammed with colour and flowers and no gaps! Sorry can't help, see if this helps!  www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/radish/index.php

    Geoff


  • Hi Geoff!

    I adore dahlias but I've had to stop growing them even in pots because of - earwigs! Not that I'm scared of them, but they eat dahlias. :) Why is it that I rarely see an earwig until a dahlia appears, and then I get an army of the creatures? Is there some hidden scent that only they can detect?

    Best wishes for your brilliant fundraising, & happy gardening,

    Twirly


  • Ok Twirly

     

    Thanks for the good wishes! Try this just takne from RHS web site

    Prevention

    • Earwigs hide in sheltered places during the day and emerge to feed after dark
    • Avoid growing susceptible plants against wooden fences, which provide daytime hiding places

    Non-chemical control

    • Trap earwigs by placing upturned flower pots loosely stuffed with hay or straw on canes among plants being attacked
    • Every morning shake out the pots and remove the earwigs
    • This may not protect plants when earwigs are abundant, but it is a useful means of monitoring their numbers

    Chemical control

    • Before resorting to chemicals remember that earwigs are omnivores and can be of benefit in the garden by eating small insect pests and their eggs
    • If damage is extensive, spray at dusk on mild evenings when earwigs are likely to be active with deltamethrin (Bayer Sprayday Greenfly Killer) or lambda-cyhalothrin (Westland Plant Rescue Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer

  • Thanks for the tip Geoff, in the end it turned out that the answer to my question was patience! Here are my first 4 full-sized radishes, pulled up last night:


  • Fabulous Laura! Enjoy!!!


  • Fabulous Laura! Enjoy!!!


  • Many many thanks to all those who joined the session earlier today and asked some great questions, sorry there were some that were not in my area of knowledge but hope I Gave you some pointers! You can follow my garden on facebook and twitter all through it's web site www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk

    Lots of macmillan related events in the garden this summer!


  • Many many thanks to all those who joined the session earlier today and asked some great questions, sorry there were some that were not in my area of knowledge but hope I Gave you some pointers! You can follow my garden on facebook and twitter all through it's web site www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk

    Lots of macmillan related events in the garden this summer!


  • Hello there. I would like to add my success with radishes grown in small pots in a tiny greenhouse in a patio garden last year and the year before! ( Haven't done much gardening this yr yet as I am not allowed to lift too much after major siurgery...BOOOOO!) But but but I can tell those on the med the best variety are called FRENCH BREAKFAST, huge , crunchy, and so nice and hot like radishes we ate as children, prior to mass production supermarket sized varieties!

    Get a pot approx. 9 inches deep and approx 6 inches diametre, fill it with fresh compost  almost to the brim, pop in approx 2 dozen radish seeds, cover with more compost, water sparingly or according to dryness of compost.

     Check approx  every 2-3 days  more if pot's are  terracotta, for water.

    One only has to rub across the top of the plant to see how large they grow, and another good tip is that as they do grow just top up the compost about them rather than resow, and in approx 5-6 wks you will enjoy the most delicious monsters you ever witnessed. Good Luck, Sue Jackett, itching to get back to Mother nature!

    P.S, same method of actual planting can be applied to other small salad items, like lettuce; cucumbers; pack choi; cress etc.


  • Hello there. I would like to add my success with radishes grown in small pots in a tiny greenhouse in a patio garden last year and the year before! ( Haven't done much gardening this yr yet as I am not allowed to lift too much after major siurgery...BOOOOO!) But but but I can tell those on the med the best variety are called FRENCH BREAKFAST, huge , crunchy, and so nice and hot like radishes we ate as children, prior to mass production supermarket sized varieties!

    Get a pot approx. 9 inches deep and approx 6 inches diametre, fill it with fresh compost  almost to the brim, pop in approx 2 dozen radish seeds, cover with more compost, water sparingly or according to dryness of compost.

     Check approx  every 2-3 days  more if pot's are  terracotta, for water.

    One only has to rub across the top of the plant to see how large they grow, and another good tip is that as they do grow just top up the compost about them rather than resow, and in approx 5-6 wks you will enjoy the most delicious monsters you ever witnessed. Good Luck, Sue Jackett, itching to get back to Mother nature!

    P.S, same method of actual planting can be applied to other small salad items, like lettuce; cucumbers; pack choi; cress etc.


  • Ooh thanks for the tips! I'm not even sure what variety I've planted (am a total rookie at this) but your advice sounds both sensible and, even more important, based on long experience and tasty successes! 

    Very much hope it's not too long before you can begin putting your skills back to good use :)


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