Latest posts by backyardee

sycamore seeds

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 07:04

I hate the sycamore and ash trees on my plot. They are nowt more than 40' weeds. They seed in every border. I have a 20' field sycamore on the edge of my rose garden and the only cure is to prune it annually, cutting all the seeds off before they have ripened.

leaves of gunners turning brown

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 20:10

I am 1000' up welsh hill and yep it is cold. The leaves of my big one, fold over and fall on the crown without my help. But I do check that they have fallen in the right place. The buds once broken with leaves pushing thru' are when they are at their most vulnerable.  

dirty nails

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 07:05

I can't be doing with all that sticking soap under the finger nails, it aggravates me. I scrub 'em clean afterwards with a nailbrush and a dob of really cheap toothpaste. they come really clean, but you need to moisturise your hands afterwards.

leaves of gunners turning brown

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 06:59

as Obelixx says, more mature specimins are more likely to survive. As soon as you get a threat of frost, cover the crown with fleece, newspaper anything to keep the cold air off of it. They like to be in boggy soil. so keep it moist. But the crowns aren't that keen on being buried. In Autumn bend the leaves over to protect it and cover with bracken. I have one I bought 3 yrs ago, it's in my peat bog and is surviving, even through the really bad end of 2010. My huge one is able to take care of itself. but the little one I just ensure the frost cant get to it.

Seaweed for nutrients

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 20:05

And I forgot to add, try to collect it when the sand fleas are less active, those blighters certainly stay alive on it for weeks.

Progardener............. I add a circle of it round my brassicas when i am planting them in and keep it refreshed with a little top up every now and then..................... or try a mix of fine grit and garlic powder / granules. the equine variety. Slimeys hate garlic and it does not affect the taste of the plants.

Seaweed for nutrients

Posted: 14/04/2012 at 17:41

I collkect seaweed from the shore line. I use it directly round the base of the cabbage family and on my Asparagus bed without washing the salt off. It's very good round brassicas, as slugs and snails won't cross it to eat your plants. Washed by rain etc, you can mulch your beds with it after planting or dig it in.  I tend to ad what I have left to the compost bin.

Euonymus red cascade

Posted: 28/03/2012 at 08:29

I have a variety of spindle trees in my garden. They have small flowers inthe spring that can suddenly disappear over night. The wild birds pick them off. Any fruits that might appear in autumn are quickly consumed too.


Posted: 26/03/2012 at 08:29

I have an asparagus bed, that is now in it's 4th year.  Last year after the harsh winter we had had, -18 for about 3 weeks, than cold snap after cold snap, I thought I had lost over 50% of my crowns there was no sign from them, but by August there was signs that all were still there. The spears were very small and spindly and turned to fern almost immediately. But then we did have a cool summer last year. So don't dispair, they may still be there, but just slow in waking up.

Talkback: Couch grass

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 23:55

The couch grass in my herbasceous borders is really crafty stuff. I find roots look similar to surrounding plant roots. i dug up a section, where it was the usual white needley bits but then when some of the roots tangled in with the ends of a phormium, the roots took on the orange of the phormium roots. Dastardly stuff, but when it gets too invasive I get the old roundup and a small polythene bag out. I place the growth in the polythene bag and spray. I leave the bag in situ for a day or so.

Eradicating ivy

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 23:41

Cut through any ivy at the base of your wall. Cut a gap in the stem a good 6" apart, as long as it's not just a cut to seperate, as it can heal itself., leave it to die off before pulling it away. It's less likely to pull out any mortar if it's dead. Just before spraying with round up etc, bash the leaves with rake, stick anything to bruise the leaves so the round up is absorbed better.

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