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Latest posts by blairs

Talkback: Dealing with vine weevil

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 11:32

As per Verdun.

I went out and killed around 10 per night (!) at dusk Jul-Aug. The adults tend to come out when it is getting dark and feed on leaves. You get to know what leaves they prefer. I also top dress with grit on all pots, so there is no exposed soil. I also used Provado.

I have checked all my pots over the weekedn and have no grubs now .

Importing tropical plants

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 19:06

You can bring in seeds and cuttings. Anything with soil needs a license from Thailand. You can buy Musa and Ensete in the UK cheaply.

Propagation of Fatsia Japonica and Agapanthus

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 16:18

Fatsia japonica seeds need to be fresh to germinate. They need 20C for a few weeks and light, so surface sow. I find a large batch of seed results in only a few seed...mainly as I tend to forget my own advice and leave the seeds lying for weeks or longer. They grow quickly.

They are hardy outside in most of the UK as long as they have drainage and a sheltered spot. They do better on the ground than in pots and they get bigger faster. Vine weevil grubs can really go for Fatsia's thick roots in pots. Not fun when you see a dropping plant give it a tug and the whole plant comes out sans roots.

Flowers appear when they like and on any sized plant. I have seen them on quite small plants, perhaps a sign of stress as I would expect them not to flower until 3+ years old.

Book Lovers and Library Users

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 21:53

I do not use the local libraries but I would be willing to pay to use it if it did. I am apathetic if they close or not. I do not think that I have taken many books out since university.

I do wonder how often books are loaned these days and I suspect such numbers has fallen dramatically hence libraries are used for anything but reading these days: as free internet cafes, social centres, club rooms etc. Am sure libraries are busy, but just rarely with reading.

Talkback: Protect cordyline for winter

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 21:37

You should only need to cover the Cordyline (australis) if we are forecast -5 or less for days on end (2010 comes to mind). Covering them up now till April is not necessary. Just fleecing the crown is all that is needed for short bursts of cold less than -5C. The taller the Cordyline the lower the temps it tends to take. If you have any half-hardy Cordyline (Banksi) then you do need to fleece at temps below -3C.

magnolia disease

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 17:04

Not seeing anything wrong in the pic. Looks like autumning to me. The fungi on the branches looks like Lichen: perhaps a better picture would help?

Very general guidance would be to remove all fallen leaves and when bare for winter wash down the tree with a fungicide soap and a sponge. I would feed the Magnolia in early spring with an ericacious feed.


Posted: 04/11/2014 at 15:08

Mine really struggle. Soil tends to dry out too much in summer and too damp in winter. I have struggled to get more than a few purple berries. I actually think it is not that attractive a plant when it does not have the berries on it.

Block pave a patio

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 09:58

Totally agree with Dave, who has provided an excellent answer.

Fleece a fan palm?

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 21:55

 Chamaerops Humilis is hardy to -13C if on the dry side. I would only fleece it is we get -5C or less forecast.

How warm is it with you today?

Posted: 31/10/2014 at 17:43

20C now and pitch dark outside. I just put candles in the pumpkin...all fairly odd.

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12 threads returned