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Compost bins work best in a sunny spot where their contents are given extra warmth from the sun to speed the composting process. If you are reading this message, Please click this link to reload this page.(Do not use your browser's "Refresh" button).
If you see this message, your web browser doesn't support JavaScript or JavaScript is disabled. Through the Newegg EggXpert Review Program, Newegg invites its best reviewers, known as EggXperts, to post opinions about new and pre-release products to help their fellow customers make informed buying decisions.Click here for more details. Pots become fairly heavy when they are filled with soil so take your time to get their position right before you go ahead and plant them up. When choosing your pots make sure they are large enough for the plants you want to plant in them. When we bought our place the garden was very overgrown and filled with shrubs pressed up against our  house. Back to Q&A Choosing Growing and Using Petunias Pretty Takes on a Whole New Meaning with 2014 is the Year to Party With a Petunia!
Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. I’ll start off this week with a question from Jim Booker of Oshawa, Ontario, sent to Donna Dawson.
Taking up a comparatively small amount of space just one bin can be highly productive and help us to nourish our soil on a regular basis.
If you pace out a square on the ground that is about a stride by a stride then imagine this base square coming up to about waist height then you have the approximate dimensions of a garden compost bin - easy enough to tuck into a corner of your garden for some ultra-efficient recycling. They only really smell if the composting process is for some reason not working efficiently but they do attract rats and mice so you might want to position them away from the house.
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The actual Open Box product may differ in packaging and included accessories, but has been tested to ensure basic functionality.
Apartments, courtyards, balconies and roof terraces can all be turned into gardens with a few suitable pots or containers. If you are putting them on a roof, balcony or deck and they are large or in significant numbers then you might want to check with a builder or structural engineer that their weight will not damage any structures.
Most salads and herbs don’t need too much soil and can even be grown in a standard bucket with a few drainage holes drilled in the bottom. Below: two of the new black petunias introduced this year (‘Phantom’ photo by Ball FloraPlant). Jim says, “Hi: I don't know if this is the proper place for this question, but here it is. First and foremost a compost bin gives us an easy method of recycling our vegetable scraps, trimmings and weed-free garden rubbish. The general rule with compost bins is that, once filled with vegetative material, they take between 6 months and a year to fully rot down their contents into useful compost. Access is an important consideration, you may want to get a wheelbarrow up to your bin to fill or empty it.
For those with gardens, pots create a further, flexible planting opportunity and are a great way of temporarily accessing a sunny corner of a deck for a few months to grow summer herbs or tomatoes.
On a deck or stone terrace pots should be raised on small blocks to lift them off the surface because otherwise moisture will gather beneath them and stain the deck or stone surface.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and zucchini all grow well in containers but need larger pots with a good volume of soil to store and provide adequate nutrients and moisture. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays. The rear section is mainly sunny, shade is provided on the east facing area by a pair of old pear trees and the boundary fence. The reward for regular bin filling should, over time, be a mound of nutrient rich compost filled to the brim with beneficial insects, fungi, microscopic organisms as well as earthworms that will all help to improve the consistency and fertility of our garden soils.
For this reason many gardeners have two bins - and sometimes three if there is adequate space and a ready supply of compostable material.
To allow micro-organisms to enter a compost heap it is best if they are placed on bare earth rather than on concrete or any hard-standing. They can also be very useful in winter for bringing a few herbs and salads close to the kitchen door when wild weather makes other parts of the garden too wet to work or walk on.  Pots can be a pleasing sight and can become a part of the visual enjoyment you get from your garden. You can help give your garden a sense of good order with rows of similar pots planted with a formal, repetitive selection of plants. Citrus and olive trees can be grown in half wine barrels – these can end up looking pretty smart. We were surrounded by mud for weeks – but it helped us create a flat area at the back of the section for the vege garden (60m2), a retaining strip for the orchard, and some stairs to the front level where there’s also another big flat area for the kids to play that opens out to sloping bush.
With two or more bins you can be filling one up whilst using rotted compost from another to add to your garden. Alternatively you can loosen things up and use sporadic types of pot and container with a varied collection of different plants. Pots can be grouped together in one or two areas to make watering, feeding and caring for plants easier.

We are perfectly north facing and there’s very little of the property site that doesn’t get a good dose of sun.  The garden is at the back in an elevated spot, protected by wind from retaining walls and the house itself to the east. I suspect I spend approximately 3 days a week, perhaps more depending on the season, in the garden.
There are simple ways of making compost bins - from the most basic pile of organic material with a tarpaulin covering it to simple structures comprising chicken wire stretched around four waratahs. In summer, when they are grouped together like this, pots will help to insulate one another - keeping soil cool and moist.
The kids are good company but need to learn to pick not just the flowers but also the stems!We always have plenty of tomatoes, tomatillos and cucumbers in summer.
I operate mainly from here now so I can dip in and out of work and gardening all week.Gardening inspirations include my father for his large vegetable garden and greenhouses. Then there are home made DIY marvels with slats, hinged lids and warm compost covers to keep in the heat. In winter, the opposite happens and a group of pots will all help to insulate each other against frost in cooler areas.
We make huge batches of tomato kasaundi as well as salsa (tomato and also tomatillo) which I use all winter. Whatever you technical and aesthetic inclination are, the basic principle is to create a receptacle that holds the heap together as the microorganisms go to work. Pots need regular watering as they do not hold large enough quantities of soil to hold moisture for any length of time when weather is dry. Christopher Lloyd for all his writing, (Gardener Cook is splendid), and my regular visits to Great Dixter when I lived in Kent.
It helps to have a lid or some sort of cover to prevent rain soaking the heap and slowing decomposition.
Gross feeders like tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines especially need regular feeding when planted in pots – again thanks to the comparatively small amount of soil they get to grow in. Dotted around the front garden we also have 4 half-wine barrels with citrus.We have clay soil!
Ideally your bin should be strong enough for you to be able to work the compost inside it with a fork or spade without the whole thing falling apart. If you are making your own out of timber try and use untreated macrocarpa which can be used to make a whole range of garden structures. Needless to say, garden centres have a bewildering range of recycled plastic bins but these tend to be a bit flimsy and we would recommend a traditional wooden bin over them any day. I try and ‘tinker’ an hour or two during the week, especially when the kids are playing outside after school. I have some Bug Be Gone in the garage that is left over from before if you know what I mean? Mine is well thumbed, essential and devoid of wanky graphics.The paving and site levelling was done by specialists, apart from that I have created everything myself. Planning my retirement…I have very happy memories of being in my Grandfather’s garden, picking strawberries and snap peas. I have probably replanted most of the garden several times since I started as most of it is ornamental and very English in a faux sort of way. It was a real treat as we lived in an apartment in Hong Kong at the time, everything tasted so incredible in NZ.
Weeding the orchard is not so much fun, hence I seldom do it and rely on the ajuga to spread. Rather like Greytown itself.  I have retreated from the native plant craze and think it absurd in a domestic garden. Kale is an ever present brassica in one form or another but I can’t recall anything not doing well, but obviously we are not planting anything that is too vunerable for the conditions.
Does anyone have any SOUND solutions for my problems?” Your problem Jim is a common one that I first saw in Niagara Falls in 1962.
She has also shared numerous plants (from she and her friends) to help me fill in spots and develop the garden. It seems to vary in its presence for I do remember after some very bad years in the mid 60s it seemed to wane, and then became very prevalent almost a decade later. Watering cans and a hose are essential during summer for certain things like the raised vegetable beds, I have a grid of thirteen of them so they need some help but most of the garden holds up well. I love an early morning ritual of watering, deadheading the Dahlias and doing little maintenance jobs before breakfast. Abroad, garden designers Piet Oudolf (whose ‘Highline’ garden in NYC I adore) and Dan Pearson are favourites.
Early morning in the garden is so beautiful, fresh dew about and seeing the sun first hit the leaves. I love late spring – blossoms, bulbs, longer, warmer days - and having seedlings growing on the kitchen table, preparing for summer. The tiny (3 mm) adult flies over-winter in the soil and will swarm around the trees in early spring just as new foliage begins to show. And who can beat summer in full flight, with multiple meals cooked minutes from being picked from the garden?My favourite tool is my Niwashi, without a doubt.
They lay eggs, virtually microscopic, which hatch in just a few days into larvae about 3 to 6 mm in length.

These begin eating on the new young foliage causing the foliage to turn into the galls you notice. We put salt on the bed as well as seaweed to vaguely replicate coastal conditions such as Dungeness, then black buckets over the emerging shoots in early spring (similar to white asparagus). In a few weeks they pupate, and soon a new adult emerges, and the whole process may be repeated, or there may just be one generation, depending on the year and the climate. Cranbe Maritima – Sea Kale.I have lost two Cercis Canadensis Forest Pansy’s and still haven’t cracked the ideal spot for that wonderful tree. The dried up galls eventually fall off making the tree look somewhat bare of good foliage, and some smaller branches may be killed. It can only go on one side of the garden as it needs backlighting in autumn by the sun so that is a little challenge to resolve.
Ultimatetely, I get to do what I want and work with Mother Nature – and she is the world’s best designer.My gardening philosophy is to keep trying new things and learning every season. The veggie patch is pretty conventional so we don’t have any issues but I have failed to get Salsify going well.
My friends always love to go for a walk with a glass of wine and help me harvest or just chat as we look about. But we would love to have table rabbits on hand, something my father always kept a supply of in his shed. The raised beds are perfect little benches and when friends come over we often find ourselves perched there, chatting away. In checking on the Web I find no other valid recommendation, but I can tell you of a plan used by some horticulturists in Canada a way back in the 60s and 70s. There would always be one hanging up with a bucket underneath being primed for a good meal. My highest gardening moment so far is getting our first harvest of honey from our beehive, the same week as we picked our first plums.
That is to take a pair of scissors and cut off all or most of the galled foliage, and place it out in the garbage, or burn it. I miss that.The Cabbage White Butterflies reach plague proportions here and can cause young plants of Cavolo Nero to disappear quickly, so squashing the eggs and caterpillars with my fingers becomes a regular summer activity. Knowing that our garden is a beautiful, natural collaboration between people, plants and insects.
My biggest gardening chore is getting rid of all the material that doesn’t make it to the compost heaps. Hardwood prunings, discarded shrubs, that sort of thing.Percy, our Sealyham Terrier is my companion. His ability to select a pristine plant or flower and wreck it has a certain merit and makes me chuckle. Bees love the flowers, keep the seed for yourself or friends and you might not need to replant next season…it’s lovely to see plants through the full cycle of life. Once it is done, the tree will look thin because of all the tip foliage that has been removed, but, it will look no worse than the tree would just a little later in the season once the galls have dried and fallen off. His behaviour in the garden, alongside the wind factor, are the two constraints that inform my planting.
The theory behind the clipping of the galls is that by ridding the tree of the larvae permanently, and doing it several years in a row, it is quite possible that the number of insects left to re-infect in following years is reduced, and hence the damage in subsequent years will be lessened. I plant and prune trees to help them withstand the howling nor’ westerlies of spring; and I try to plant young seedlings in positions where Percy is least likely to ruin them.My garden highlight? That means providing extra fertilizer for the trees, either in the form of granular high nitrogen fertilizer applied to the ground surface around the drip spread of the trees, drilling in fertilizer spikes in the drip spread area, or applying liquid fertilizer (20-20-20) to the foliage at least three times during the spring season.
This hybrid vegetatively-produced Petunia from Ball FloraPlant produces black velvet flowers on upright mounding plants. The final moments of light at the end of a day when that magic glow appears.Favourite season?
I love the emptiness, the frost on the Box balls, Euphorbias and Achillea seedheads and the simple palette of the straw coloured Miscanthus grasses and Beech hedging.I prize my Campbell Tool Company trowel. One day their whole range will be gardening collectables.My garden gives me a sense of possibility and refreshment that is elusive from other aspects of life.
The plant produces spikes of fragrant lavender flowers for about a month after which it forms darker coloured seed pods that last an additional month and a half.
It is where I come from, what I was brought up enjoying, what I played in as a child, what I ate from, what I smelt of, what I got dirty in. I play chase with Percy late in the evening with the outdoor lights on, I’m just as dirty after a day of work, I still eat out of a garden, and I probably still smell of one.
We don’t own a barbeque, cook outdoors, have pizza ovens and nor do I have much interest in the concept of the outdoor room with a few fashionable plants. Apart from that, the excitement of visiting the RHS monthly shows in London held inside a truly great piece of architecture was wonderful .
I endlessly trekked there each month on a lunchtime and returned to the very hot ad agency I worked at loaded up with purchases, the thrill of a plant hunt and the discovery of something new was exhilarating.

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