Latest posts by Birdy13

Identify chrysalis

Posted: 30/07/2017 at 22:54

Thanks for that Pansyface. I'd never heard of cutworms until now. I have followed the link you sent and I think you're right - the photos and descriptions on the RHS link seem to correspond very well. Now I know they're a pest I'll deal with it first thing tomorrow.

Identify chrysalis

Posted: 30/07/2017 at 17:39

I found this rather large chrysalis/ caterpillar in a neglected pot of Lemon Balm that had been sheltered most of the year beneath some ferns.

Does anyone know what it may be? I have put it back but do not want to harbour it if it will turn into a garden pest.

Cotoneaster hedge

Posted: 02/01/2017 at 21:54

Not sure if this is the same type of cotoneaster as you're considering planting - but if it is - these are about 30 inches apart (75cm) which is about the right spacing for against my wall.

You may want to plant them a bit closer if you're wanting a thicker, free standing hedge, but having said that, this one thickens out a lot each season and I have to cut it back substantially - top and sides - to keep it possible to walk past and make sure the hedge doesn't grow over the window sills.


Slimy Fungus on gravel

Posted: 31/12/2016 at 19:32

Re this horrible slime problem, I've noticed that some people have tried sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda, soda ash or soda crystals) while others have tried sodium bicarbonate (baking soda and also an ingredient in baking powder and more commonly sold in powder form).

The two chemicals are similar but not interchangeable as they have different chemical formulas (sodium carbonate is Na2Ca3 while sodium bicarbonate is NaHCO3).

NB The bicarbonate used to be used as an anti-acid indigestion remedy (before a greater variety of tablets were designed for this job) whereas the carbonate form definitely can not be used in this way.

Although I am not a chemist I do know that each will react differently in each given circumstance. This should be considered before buying up a load of either chemical in case you get lumbered with the wrong one for your slime problem.

I would imagine the best way to tell which chemical suits your slime problem would be to do a test in 3 sets of flower pots - one set with sodium carbonate, a 2nd set with sodium bicarbonate and a 3rd set with neither - used as a control.

Keep them all separate, ie not touching, but in the same area as each other to create a 'fair test'. Each set should eventually give different results to enable you to see which chemical is most effective.

Agapanthus seed germination help please?

Posted: 06/12/2016 at 22:52

Thanks for the info Nut.

'Spose it's just a question of try it and see. I'll be optimistic. Plants often break the 'rules' - probably to keep encouraging us when we get it wrong.

We can never tell when our 'mistakes' may produce flourishing results.

Agapanthus seed germination help please?

Posted: 06/12/2016 at 17:54

Interesting that - as I too took off some agapanthus seed heads this summer with a view to sowing them for next year.

Does it count as 'fresh' if they were removed from the plant at the end of this season but have been kept since then in a paper envelope for a few weeks?

If so, may I presume sowing them soon in largish outdoor pots or open ground should still be successful?

general question about citrus

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 12:29

In UK I imagine the short answer is yes. 

All plants flourish where the conditions are optimum for that particular plant. Evidently, orange trees are happy in the Turkish conditions that you experienced.

We haven't the same climate as Turkey so I would think growing citrus in UK requires more protection from the colder temperatures.

And whereas organic rubbish in the wrong places may be seen as pollution for people, it may be a source of nourishment for plants. 

But you may be right and they don't need any of the special treatments other people advise. Try it and see.

(You could even try putting Turkish style 'pollutants' around your citrus trees to see if they like it, but I doubt if the graffiti will make much difference.)

please help with my Chili pepper plants

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 12:07

Sorry, as I said I'm no expert. 'Hang around' though and you might get a more informative reply from someone else reading the thread.

please help with my Chili pepper plants

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 07:15

I'm no expert but yellow spots suggest some sort of mineral deficiency. 

Apple tree pest

Posted: 21/06/2016 at 17:28

I must have had a 'senior month' in May (as opposed to a senior moment)   Took my eye off the ball this year.

I have actually had the pheromone traps in my greenhouse, waiting for the right month (which I think is May)... and then I forgot to set them up on the trees.


it's obviously too late for those now but I still wonder if there is some sort of spray for the fruit that will catch the grubs as they emerge.

I like the idea of bringing in the bluetit brigade and shall put some fat balls out for them on the trees.

Discussions started by Birdy13

Bishop of Auckland dahlia buds won't open

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Identify chrysalis

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Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

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