Gardening gift Christmas 25% discount offer for my blog viewers.

November 19, 2008

I am offering my blog viewers a 25% discount of our latest multi list plant finder and pruning guide encyclopaedia CD-ROM – PC & MAC compatible.

Free post and packaging to UK and N. Ireland

Special Christmas discount to our blog viewers

Special Christmas discount to our blog viewers

The interactive plant database helps find the right plants for every month or season, aspect and soil conditions.

3,500 UK garden plants

Illustrated pruning advice accompanies each plant

Illustrated pruning advice accompanies each plant

Plant care and illustrated pruning advice

9,000 high quality photographs to help with plant identification and seasonal changes

Pests and diseases

Make multiple visual plant lists

Make multiple visual plant lists

Make multiple plants lists with images and names

Plant Lists of Plants I have.  Add notes to individual plants.

Plant Lists plants I want. Print and take with you to the Garden Centre

The Calendar shows you which plants you have and when and how to prune your plants

Plant Finder. Find links UK plant suppliers websites

Garden styles with plants identified

Garden styles with plants identified

Garden styles for inspiration. The plants are identified to help give you get ideas

Claim your 25% discount by emailing neil@complete-gardens.co.uk for details

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Helping garden birds. A bird bath and drinking hole

November 17, 2008
Dustbin lin bird bath with mud and leaves

Dustbin lid bird bath with mud and leaves

All animals need water and a very easy and cheap way to help our garden birds is to provide a safe birdbath where they can wash and drink.
Simply turn a plastic dustbin lid upside down. Add some mud and leaves and fill with clean water.
Place in a secure location where the lid won’t tip over
The birds will be able to have a good wash and drink in water which is not too deep or slippery. This is particularly important for chicks that have just left their nest and do not realise yet that they can’t land on water and can drown.
Adding a bit of mud will provide a good foothold for the birds as well as nesting material for Thrushes who line their nests with mud.
Hedgehogs will also visit your waterhole for a drink.
Watching the wildlife in your garden can be observed using a video camera linked to your home.


How to save and store tomato seeds

November 17, 2008
Saving seeds from ripe tomatoes
Saving seeds from ripe tomatoes

In order to get the best seeds you’ll need to collect from ripe, healthy tomato fruits.

Unripe tomatoes won’t have had enough time to produce mature seeds.
Cut or squash the tomatoes to extract the seeds.
Discard the flesh of the tomatoes, saving only the seeds.

Tomato seeds have a protective 'seed coat' which needs to be removed

Tomato seeds have a protective 'seed coat' which neds to be removed

The seeds will be surrounded by a jelly-like ‘seed coat’ which needs to be removed

To remove the protective seed coat, place the seeds in water

To remove the protective seed coat, place the seeds in water

The best way to get rid of the seed coat is to soak the seeds in water for 7-10 days.

Tomato seeds in water. Day 1

Tomato seeds in water. Day 1

 

The protective 'seed coat' has rotted away after ten days in water

The protective coat is disolved after 10 days in water

After this period most if not all the jelly will have rotted in the water leaving just the seeds.

Seive the seeds through a strainer

Seive the seeds through a strainer

Pour the seeds in to a seive and rinse with clean running water. A gentle rub with your fingers will seperate any remaining jelly.

Shake the seive to remove as much water as possible before tipping the seeds on to a piece of tissue paper. Seperate the seeds so that they are not touching each other and leave to dry for a further few days.

When dry the seeds can be stored on a dry paper bag

When dry the seeds can be stored in a dry paper bag

When completely dry place the seeds in a sealed paper bag and keep cool and dry, or you can use a sealed plastic bag and keep the seeds in a fridge (not the freezer).
Remember to lable the seeds.

Properly stored, the seeds can stay viable for a number of years.

Tomato advice is just one of the thousands of plant advice on the Complete Gardens CD-ROM


Storing potatoes

November 2, 2008
Harvesting potatoes
Harvesting potatoes

Once you’ve dug up your potatoes the best way I’ve found to store potatoes is to use a polystyrene box. A polystyrene box will keep the contents cool yet keep the frost out and the potatoes in the dark.

Put a layer of sand in to a polystyrene box

Put a layer of sand in to a polystyrene box

Fill the box with sand

Place damage free potatoes in the sand but not touching each other

Place damage free potatoes in the sand but not touching each other

Place the potatoes in the sand, but not touching each other. It’s a good idea to select the good ones and avoid storing potatoes that are damaged by slugs or cuts or bruises.

Add more layers of sand and potatoes

Add more layers of sand and potatoes

Cover the potatoes with sand and add another layer of potatoes and cover them with sand.

Close the lid to keep frost, rain, light and vermin out.

Close the lid to keep frost, rain, light and vermin out.

Close the lid to protect from vermin, frost, rain and light.

More information about finding advice plants and advice see Complete Garden garden plant advice CD-ROM.