London (change)
Today 9°C / 6°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 1°C


Latest posts by blairs


Posted: 19/08/2013 at 11:16

I think it was the lime from the farm: you just have to see the affect of salt spray from winter roads that brown Yew.

I have a Yew in my clay soil, though I improved the drainage somewhat and it was in a pot for years before - it was not getting enough water and nutrients in the pot. It turned dark green from almost yellow within weeks.


I would be tempted to add an ericacious liqduid feed and a high nitrogen feed.

Geranium cuttings

Posted: 19/08/2013 at 11:09

Root cuttings are very easy for hardy Geranium and more dependable than stem cuttings.

Pelagoniums / also called Geraniums (the non-hardy smelly ones) - you can root cuttings in water and they root within weeks.


Posted: 19/08/2013 at 10:03

@Diddydoit - sounds like advice for the US, where winters are colder but very dry. We have wet mild winters and that is not good for roots and while Musa may get to April alive, they will rot being left outside from root rot. Best to lift.


Posted: 19/08/2013 at 09:59

Good winter drainage is key. They are hardy down to -10C and root hardy down to perhaps -20C but only with good drainage. Most of the UK did not have a harsh winter last year, so I guess that your pot needs much better drainage to let the regrowth grow. It will take a good few years (5-10) to form a trunk though adding checken pellets etc can spur things along.


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 23:42

@David Smith3

Fine so far (this is second summer). I cut off the leaves in late October, removed most of the soil and roots and left it on its side to drain then left in my frost free garage and kept it dry until early April. I had to remove some mould a few times, so worth looking at them over winter. It kept pushing out leaves which is a bit of a pain but shows what strong plants they are. If you have a small Ensete seedling (say less than 30cm) then I think it better to keep it at a sunny window though the light levels really are not going to keep it happy but better safe than sorry. Waking them up can be an issue after winter, but a week in a warm spot - a hot water cupboard for example, will speed things up.

Musa basjoo - first year I kept in frost free garage, this year they will be covered in straw and wrapped to keep the frost off but air around it. I do live near the sea, so it is a milder micro-climate.


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 20:07

Musa basjoo is the one to go for. Ensete ventricosum v Maurelii and the plain Ensete ventricosum are reliable to come back after storing in a frost free place or with the leaves in a conservatory. They are the 3 have have. Cavendish are the Musa that we get edible bananas from but unless you have a large heated conservatory you are unlikely to get them here and they are difficult to over winter.

Ensete ventricosum, Ensete ventricosum,


Posted: 15/08/2013 at 16:10

Am now in year 3 for my wildlife hedge (60ft long all seed grown from local trees) and it is jus tnow bulking out. There was an old field hedge there before the house was built so I feel that I am giving something back, I hope!


Posted: 15/08/2013 at 16:08

Move all the pots and troughs now, even just lifting and putting them back in the same place. You do not want to get to the moving day and find pots that have broken and all the contents spill out as you move them.


Posted: 15/08/2013 at 16:04

The grass will thicken but I would be tempted to fork over the bare areas (which will help drainage), add sandy compost, some grass seed and then some more sandy compost to fill those areas out and keep watering the lawn. You have done well as seeded lawns can take a year or so to look good.

Cutting the lawn - I would wait till it it looks like it needs it, longer the better but certainly you can cut it before then end of this month if you use the highest mower setting.

If the water pooling continues then keep forking over the lawn and adding sandy compost afterwards to keep the lawn decompacted.


Posted: 15/08/2013 at 09:25


Hedges sit and do little for the first 2 years as they put down roots. Year three onwards expect them to get thicker and taller by up to 30cm. You will need to improve the soil before planting where Leylandii was as the soil will have no nutrients left

Discussions started by blairs

Onion bulb gone soft

Replies: 1    Views: 250
Last Post: 09/06/2014 at 01:01

ID this plant

Replies: 7    Views: 605
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 19:40

Badly explained help!

Replies: 18    Views: 808
Last Post: 22/12/2013 at 23:42

Tree dahlia - dahlia imperilis

Replies: 2    Views: 1152
Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 09:22

Who lives in a microclimate?

Replies: 11    Views: 733
Last Post: 28/11/2013 at 10:59

Propagating Japanese Cherry trees

How to Propagate Japanese Cherry trees 
Replies: 3    Views: 470
Last Post: 24/11/2013 at 14:45

Dicentra Care

How do you look after Dicentra? 
Replies: 6    Views: 720
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 14:10

Agave Seed Germination

Agave seed germination 
Replies: 1    Views: 693
Last Post: 14/04/2013 at 21:46

Not GWM getting advertised discount @ Crocus

GWM says 20% discount and only get 10% 
Replies: 5    Views: 2242
Last Post: 21/10/2014 at 10:02

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination 
Replies: 3    Views: 1460
Last Post: 20/12/2012 at 16:20
10 threads returned