How to grow Morning Glory plants from seeds

How to grow Morning Glory plants

Plant Morning Glory seeds indoors in the months of March and April. The seeds of Morning Glory plants are very hard. Soak seeds overnight in water to soften the seed coat. After they have been soaked overnight, they should have swelled up and will appear to be larger in size. Sow the seeds about 0.5 centimetres deep in trays of compost. Water them and place in a warm position on a windowsill or in a greenhouse at a temperature of about 15 to 20°C.

Keep the compost moist. The seeds should germinate in 14 to 21 days. The photograph below shows a young seedling:

When there is no more chance of frost plant the seedlings outside in pots, or directly in the soil. They are usually planted out in the months of May and June. Plant them about 30 centimetres apart. 

Morning Glory plants are fast growing climbers. They grow to a height of about three metres (10 ft). Use a supporting rod like the one in the photograph below to support the plant.

Morning Glory plants have a long flowering season. They flower the same year as sown. They flower in the months of June, July, August, September and October. The flowers are a beautiful violet colour and the centre of the flower is shaped like a star, as shown below.

Morning glory is a half hardy annual, so collect the seeds for replanting the following spring. 




How to propagate hawthorn trees.

Propagation of hawthorn trees from cuttings

Take several cuttings from the hawthorn tree. They should be about four to six inches long, as shown in the photograph below:

Remove the lower leaves from each cutting, as shown below:

Dip the cutting into a beaker of water, then into some hormone rooting powder. Hormone rooting powder can be purchased from garden centres and other retail outlets, such as Amazon. To see hormone rooting powder on Amazon, click here. The cutting with rooting hormone on it should look like this:

Put some sand and gravel into a plant pot or tray, as shown:

Put weed control fabric in the pot before adding the sand and gravel. This will stop the sand from seeping through the holes in the bottom of the pot. Add water to the sand and gravel. Make a hole in the sand and gravel. Put the cutting into the hole, as shown below. Make the sand and gravel firm around the cutting, so there are no spaces around the cutting. 


You should be able to fit about five cuttings in a plant pot like the one below:

After about 3 to 4 weeks, a percentage of the cuttings will show growth. Not all cuttings will form roots so it is important to plant about twenty cuttings or more depending on how many you need. If a cutting starts to show shoots growing out from the stem, this shows that the cutting has formed a root. Allow the cutting to grow a while longer for about two weeks, then plant outside in your garden.



How To Treat Plants With Caterpillar Infestations

Types of plants that have caterpillar infestations

The types of plants that have caterpillar infestations include nasturtiums and all types of brassicas including cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts and turnips. The photographs below show a caterpillar infestation on a nasturtium plant, and on a young cauliflower plant.


Large white butterflies lay clusters of yellow eggs as shown in the photograph below:

These eggs develop into slightly hairy yellow and black caterpillars, as shown in this photograph:



How to treat infestations

It is best to treat plants organically, without using pesticides. You should wear a pair of gloves to remove the caterpillars from the leaves. The gloves are necessary to protect you from being stung by the spines on some caterpillars. Drop the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water containing washing-up liquid. This will drown the caterpillars. You can also cut off a leaf (that has eggs or caterpillars on it) from a plant that has plenty more leaves. There is a really easy way to remove the eggs from the leaves. Carefully wipe the eggs from the plant leaf using a dock leaf. You will find that the eggs stick to the dock leaf. Then you can throw the dock leaf onto the ground and squash it under your shoe to destroy the eggs.


Spray the plant with garlic solution

Spray the plant with garlic solution containing three crushed garlic cloves, one tablespoon of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of washing-up liquid in one litre of water. This will deter insects such as large white butterflies and other butterflies. You can use a pressure sprayer. For an example, click here. A spray gun similar to the one in the photograph below can also be used.

There are some excellent 5-litre pressure sprayers on Amazon. To purchase one on Amazon, click here. There are several products on Amazon that can be sprayed on plants to protect them from most insect pests, such as greenfly, blackfly, caterpillars, beetles, weevils, apple & pear suckers, sawfly, and whitefly. An excellent product to use is Provado Ultimate Fruit And Vegetable Bug Killer. Click here, to see this product on Amazon. It is not clear if this product is suitable for use in organic gardening. Another product on Amazon that is certified for use by organic growers is “Solabiol Bug Free”. To purchase this on Amazon, click here



Most Efficient Way To Water Your Garden: Hozelock Compact 2 in 1 Reel With 25m Hose

Hozelock Compact 2 in 1 Reel With 25m Hose: A Review


The Hozelock Compact 2 in 1 Reel with 25m hose is a very robust and handy hose.

As well as the instructions, there is a YouTube video on how to put it together. All the instructions are straightforward. The YouTube video was produced by the Hozelock company and is easier to follow than the instructions. It was easy to assemble. We purchased ours from Amazon. Click here, for more details.

It looks very tidy when fixed to a wall. It is easy to unwind and rewind the hose. The product is lightweight. It has a handle so it is easy to carry. It has a wall bracket so it can be attached or detached in different locations.

To purchase the Hozelock Compact 2 in 1 Reel With 25m Hose, click here.

Using a hosepipe that you can wind and unwind is a good way of avoiding the untidy appearance of hosepipes left around the garden or patio, like the ones in the photos below.  


Conifer trees in containers need to be watered regularly, especially during dry weather. Our conifers in the photograph below are watered every day at present as we are experiencing a heat wave.

The Hozelock Compact hose described above makes watering the garden so much easier.

Click here, to purchase a hosepipe on Amazon.

Keter Store-It Out Max Outdoor Plastic Garden Shed: A Review

Keter Store-It Out Max Outdoor Plastic Garden Shed


The Keter Store-It Out Max storage solution is great for garden storage. It is similar to a garden shed. After two years of use it is still like new. It was easy to assemble and is very sturdy.


I store a wide range of items in it. I bought it on Amazon. Click here, to see it on Amazon. Items I store in it include: garden tools, plant pots, coal, compost, cat food, and wood shavings, as shown in the photographs below:

It is totally waterproof and slug and snail proof.

Some people store their wheelie bins in it. Some people use it for their washing machine and drier.

It can be made secure using a cable and padlock.

It is such a useful storage solution with an endless list of uses. To purchase this product, click here.


Watch the video below for more information about how good this garden storage solution is. I would recommend it to anyone.


How to create an unlimited supply of free garden fertiliser

Free garden fertiliser

To create your free unlimited supply of garden fertiliser, keep free range hens. All you need is a small piece of land and a wooden hut, like the one below:

Make sure you get a hut with perches as shown in the photograph. Install nesting boxes for the hens to lay their eggs.

You can make your own hut. It may be easier than you think. To learn how easy it is make your own hut, click here

Sheds can be purchased at various retail outlets. For an example, click here.

Nesting boxes look like this:



Wood shavings

Use wood shavings on the floor of the hut to soak up chicken faeces.

Purchase wood shavings at pet shops or buy online. Click here to see an example.

We use the wood shavings below:

Clean the hut out weekly by using a shovel to move the sawdust into a wheelbarrow. This sawdust containing chicken faeces is chicken manure. Chicken manure is the best manure to use as a fertiliser for your garden. It contains more nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than any other animal manure.

Free range hens provide you with a constant supply of free range eggs and an unlimited supply of of the best fertiliser you can use for your garden.


Feed for the hens

We keep fourty hens on a third of an acre of land. We feed them two large scoops of chicken pellets and half a scoop of corn twice per day in the morning at about 7 a.m., then in the evening at about 4 p.m.

In exchange for this:                                                                                            We get these:


The added bonus is the free chicken manure.

Provide the hens with a water supply using drinkers like the one below:


The video below shows the hens that we keep and how easy it is to keep free range hens. The hut cost us about £300, but you can make your own. To learn how to make your own shed, click here.





How To Grow Monterey Cypres Conifer Trees From Seeds

How to grow monterey cypress conifer trees from seeds

Cupressus macrocarpa Goldcrest is more commonly known as Monterey cypress Goldcrest. These beautiful evergreen conifer trees are golden yellow in colour and produce a pleasant lemon scent.

Preparation of the seeds

Soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water. 

Stratification of seeds

After soaking the seeds, place them in a plastic tray with some moist wood shavings, as shown in the photograph below.


Place the tray in the fridge at a temperature of 2 to 6 °C for one month. The seeds should germinate in the fridge. They can take two months to germinate.

When each seed germinates and you can see a shoot appear, place it in a pot of compost. Place the pot in an unheated greenhouse. The seedling will take about one year to develop into a young tree.

Young Monterey cypress Goldcrest trees at various stages of development are shown in the photograph below. Plant them in containers like the ones in the photograph or plant them in the garden.


Place the young trees in a sunny position when they are about a year old. Make sure the soil is well drained. 

The trees can reach a height of 3 to 5 metres in 10 years. They can grow to 10 metres in 20 years. They can reach over 12 metres in height.

You can control the height and spread of this tree by pruning it in late spring.

How To Get Rid Of Woolly Aphids

Appearance of woolly aphids

Woolly aphids feed on plant sap and excrete plant sugars which make the plants susceptible to fungal infections and other diseases. These aphids have a white woolly appearance like cotton wool. The plant sugars excreted by the aphids make the plant sticky.

The photograph below shows a plant affected by woolly aphid:

Provado Ultimate Bug Killer

You can get rid of woolly aphids by spraying the whole plant with an agent such as “Provado Ultimate Bug Killer”, as shown in the photograph below:

It is best to treat the plant outside where it can be sprayed all over in a well ventilated area. This will allow you to avoid being over exposed to the aerosol created by the spray.

This product can also be used to get rid of Greenfly, Blackfly, Whitefly, Leaf Beetles, Mealy Bug, Scale insect, Thrips, Sawfly and Leafhoppers. It is available at many retail outlets including Amazon. To find it on Amazon, click here.


How To Use Plant Rooting Hormones, Rooting Agents And Root Enhancing Agents for Cuttings from Conifer Trees

Rooting enhancing Agents


Use of cinnamon as a root enhancing agent


Use a root enhancing agent for plant cuttings that are difficult to root. A rooting enhancing agent can increase the percentage of cuttings that will form roots.

You can purchase plant rooting hormone like “Doff Natural Rooting Powder” from sites such as Amazon. Click here for an example. However, it is not necessary to purchase plant rooting hormone. There are other agents that can be just as good. Cinnamon is an excellent root enhancing agent.

Take cuttings from a conifer tree that are about eight inches in length, like the one shown in the photograph below. Remove the lower side shoots so that there are only the shoots at the tip.

Cutting before removal of side shoots:


Roll the lower part of the cutting in cinnamon powder. This will act as a root enhancing agent. The photograph below shows a cutting after removal of side shoots in addition to the tray of cinnamon that was used as a root enhancing agent. Apply plant rooting hormone powder to a cutting in the same way as cinnamon is applied. Combine the use of plant rooting hormone and cinnamon to enhance rooting even more.

The photograph below shows the cutting being rolled in cinnamon.


Plant cuttings in sand

Use sand containing gravel to grow the roots by placing the sand in a deep plastic tray about 6 inches deep, like the one in the photograph below. The plastic tray should have holes in the bottom to allow good drainage.

After the cutting has been rolled in the cinnamon powder, insert into the sand at a depth of a few inches. You don’t need compost and nutrients as you are not trying to grow plants. The idea is just to create roots. The photograph below shows several cuttings planted in a tray of sand.

Pour plenty of water on the planted cuttings. It is best to treat between ten and twenty cuttings as not all the cuttings will root.

Place the whole tray into a white trash bag in addition to a tray as shown in the photograph below:


Tie the bag shut, as shown below:

Place the tray in a shady area out of the sun. Humidity and condensation is a good sign. Check the cuttings regularly to ensure they are kept moist.

Treat cuttings with root enhancing agent in the warm months of the year, that is, the months of June, July, August and September.

Cinnamon does not contain plant rooting hormones. Most plant rooting hormone products on the market contain a synthetic form of auxin called indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) that enhances root production.

Cinnamon acts as a natural antibacterial , antimicrobial and anti-fungal agent. When you treat cuttings with cinnamon they are less susceptible to infection. Healthier cuttings that are free from infection are more likely to thrive and produce more of the auxins that boost root growth. As cinnamon boosts the plant’s own natural auxins, it is not necessary to use a plant rooting hormone.



How To Set Up A Wormery To Make Your Own Compost And Plant Food For Less Than Fifteen Pounds.

How to set up a wormery

Compost is made from earth worms that feed on bacteria on rotting vegetables and other organic matter. To make your own compost, you don’t have to pay for a wormery. You can buy wormeries online from sites such as Amazon, but they can be expensive. To see an example, click here. You can make your own wormery by buying a black plastic dustbin from a local Do-It-Yourself store or other retail outlet. You will need a tray to stand the dustbin on. You can get this from a garden centre or other store. The dustbin I bought in the photograph below cost six pounds. The green plastic tray cost six pounds.

Drill holes near the base of the dustbin as shown here:

Dig soil up from your garden containing plenty of earthworms and transfer the soil into the dustbin. Put waste vegetables including potato peelings in the dustbin. Bacteria will grow on the vegetables and the worms will feed on the bacteria. The vegetables are broken down into compost by the action of bacteria and earthworms.  You can also put used tea bags into the dustbin, as shown in the photograph below:


Fluid from the dustbin can drain off through the holes near the base and will collect in the tray. This fluid is high in nitrogen and nutrients. Transfer this fluid to a plastic bottle using a pasteur pipette. Use this as liquid plant food.

Chopped waste vegetables and waste tea bags can be added to the dustbin until it is full. Eventually all the vegetables will be converted to compost.

Another wormery can be made in a second dustbin as described above.