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Latest posts by blairs

Talkback: How to protect plants in winter

Posted: 14/12/2013 at 20:42

I also say not to wrap pots and never wrap any part of a plant as that is a one way ticket to rot. I pin bubble wrap to the wooden surround in my GH with tacks. It helps stop any condensation from dripping on the plants as it tends to build up behind the bubblewrap.

Does anyone recognise these

Posted: 14/12/2013 at 19:10
Berghill wrote (see)

Peat based ones are the worse for Vine weevil grubs.

Be careful with Provado, it still kills bees.

There is a difference between Provado insecticide and Provado Vine Weevil solutions.

Planting an azalea

Posted: 13/12/2013 at 14:43

There are non-hardy Azalea. Is it flowering now? Azalea indica are the non-hardy ones, though I have one outside for over 2 years now with little issue, though it does not flower outside after the first frosts. Azalea japonica tend to be hardy.

Advice needed please

Posted: 13/12/2013 at 14:11
Alex 4 wrote (see)
Sarcococca hookeriana var.digyna sounds like a good one - what do you think?

Thanks for that.

I have that in a pot. It suckers slowly, so manageable. They do best in shade, so why waste it in a sunny spot?

I would plant a nice coloured Phormium - pink, yellow or the like. It will brighten up the spot, is evergreen and reasonably different.

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?)

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