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Latest posts by blairs

Does anyone recognise these

Posted: 13/12/2013 at 08:34

Agree with silver Surfer, very likely to be Vine Weevil grubs. I also have the problem this year. They burrow into the tuber. I found a dozen when lifting them and found 6 when I checked on them again yesterday. Provado Vine Weevil killer is the poison that kills them.

Tree fern

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 18:40

Tree fern

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 18:07

Tree ferns cover a large amount of possible ferns, most of whom are not that hardy. The hardiest is Dicksonia antarctica. The fronds on those are hardy till -3C and the growing point until -5/-8C depending on location and overhead cover.  Unless there is sustained freezing for days then there is no need to fleece a old blanket is all that is really needed to cover the growth point.

Given that the current mild weather is forecast to stay until at least the end of next week, I would not cut off green fronds for the sake of some uninformed commentators on an online forum. Straw only works by getting it thick enough to rot down and thus release heat. It also attracts vermin and pests to the growing point. It would be better to make a cage using chicken wire and stuffing that with straw. I would only do that if 2010 type of weather was forecast as it is overkill.

It is crucial to keep the tree fern damp all year round. More die of drying out than cold weather.

Tree fern

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 14:35

Are they in pots or in the ground? Also, where in the UK are you based and how big are the Dicksonia?

Moving a magnolia??

Posted: 09/12/2013 at 15:22

At 10ft its commercial value will be high £££ - if pot grown. The problem with planting it and then digging it up again is now you have the risk of it dieing back. A tree shovel should do the trick. My guess is at least a 50l pot.

Keeping Cats off of Garden - Tried and Tested Ideas only please

Posted: 09/12/2013 at 11:37
blairs wrote (see)

Physical barriers are the ONLY way to stop them. The skewers or bamboo canes will work nicely. Any sprays or the like will wash away and are a waste of money and time. Buy some cheap bamboo canes and place them around the area where they walk and they will clear off, especially if they are pooping in a flower bed.

I stand by my method. Cats like to poop where there is open ground. A bare winter border is perfect for them. All you need to do is put lots of bamboo or sticks or whatever to physically stop them from getting to  bare earth areas. You can remove them as bulbs/perennials grow. Simple, cheap and from experience effective.

You are wasting time and money on smells (it washes away after a few hours), gadgets (why bother spending £40?)

Welly boots

Posted: 09/12/2013 at 09:44


CluelessGardener wrote (see)

I wish some one would invent a welly or boot that mud didn't stick to I always look like the mafia has given me a pair of concrete boots only after about 10 min of digging even walking across the lawn this time of year gives me a mafia pair of shoes ready for the local river LOL


Spray some WD40 onto the boots and the mud does not stick to them. Some goes with lawn mowers - grass does not stick to the blade and insides as much if you spray it with WD40.

Moving a magnolia??

Posted: 09/12/2013 at 09:39

Do you know how long it has been in the ground for? That makes a difference. Longer it has been in the ground the larger the root ball and the more difficult it is to move. As M.grandiflora is an evergreen early spring is the ideal to move it. They have surface roots, so it needs a wide root ball  to keep it from dieing back.

composting packaging- green wotsits?

Posted: 08/12/2013 at 21:20

I never thought of them as insulation between pots. That would make some sense and worth a try. I was using them (I rarely have them) as drainage.

composting packaging- green wotsits?

Posted: 08/12/2013 at 10:43

Rats and mice love the starch I would be careful adding it to a compost pile. As Bob said they should melt in water so do that first before adding to compost.

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