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Latest posts by blairs

conflicting answers

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 10:58

My large Agave Americana variegata immediately burst the 2 neighbours balls that came over the fence last summer. No more balls have come over.

I also have a large driveway (shared) that a lot of other neighbours use to turn. Very annoying, esp in winter as the headlights can blare in even from a distance.

Rowan Tree Die Back

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 14:13

It may be root die back. Rowan have shallow roots and on heavy soil they suffer from dry summers and wet winters. Given this winters very heavy rains it sounds like the roots may have rotted and tat has caused extremities of branches to dieback.

Egg Shells

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 09:21
iGrow wrote (see)
StillLearning - it sounds like you had leopard slugs which I have been told actually assist in the composting process. I often find them in my compost bins and just leave them but they are the only slugs that get preferential treatment.


Jigsaw Gill wrote (see)

I find coffee grinds round plants works really well, but also collect in bucket of salted water, but towards end of last summer slugs were actually climbing out of quite strongly salted water!  Scary stuff- just how much salt is needed?

I believe it is the caffeine in coffee that deters slugs though it may also be the smell as they home in in tasty leaves by scent receptors.

You do need quite a lot of salt - it should dissolve them quickly, not allow them to climb out.

Egg Shells

Posted: 25/02/2014 at 15:37

I think you are totally wasting your time with Egg shells. As soon as the shells, however ground up they are, get wet then Slugs just glide over it. Tried, been there and never again.

You are better to try small grit and sand as I have found Slugs do not like going over that...unless the plant gets with reach and they use that to climb over to the plant.

In summer I go out at night to pick up slugs - put salt in the water in a bucket and the slugs die quickly. I avoid using blue pellets but sometimes it is the only thing to cull the population.

Planting Lupin seeds

Posted: 25/02/2014 at 14:19

@Dreamsofspring - you can germinate them now, as long as the GH does not fall below 0C they will be fine.

Trees too close to the house

Posted: 25/02/2014 at 11:50

That is Magnolia grandifolia. I would not plant that next to a house but would keep it in a large pot next to a south facing wall.

shady colonade

Posted: 25/02/2014 at 10:25

There is a different Ivy that I suggest, Fatshedera. It is a cross of Fatsia japonica and Ivy (Hedera). It comes in both green and variegated and is a shade lover. It will need help climbing though.

Raising soil level

Posted: 24/02/2014 at 22:57

Adding compost is not going to help drainage. Fine gravel and perlite will. Just adding soil may actually make things worse as it may mask what is happening under the new soil level.

To answer your question you can add a few inches of soil to established perennials.


Posted: 23/02/2014 at 23:48

Companies have to make money, so some profit has to be expected to be fair. If you think of some seed as the start of your own collection (this years seedlings providing next years seeds) then the value for money is fine. You need to make your own judgement.

Prepare to seed a lawn

Posted: 23/02/2014 at 23:06

With deep enough top soil the size of pebble mentioned should be fine to leave in situ and should help with drainage. I would suggest turf over seed as I find seed takes an age to grow thick and green looking. If you have kids/use the lawn area then 100% use turf, if lightly used then seed will work with time.

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