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blairs


Latest posts by blairs

Problem Clay soil

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:12

Compost and grit is fine. If you have heavy clay then mix in bark chips as you need the large organic matter to loosen it up and add humus. Sand and clay makes a sort of cement in dry weather that is why I said avoid it! Parts of my garden have blue clay that is teribble to work with as it just sticks to everything and causes water to stop draining away, causing roots to rot.

Pruning large box shrubs

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 16:05

Now till end June is the optimal time to prune any buxux/box. You can see the new growth easily as it is a paler green so you avoid cutting the old wood.

Aquilegia

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 15:59

I found that the flower stalk grows longer the less sun the plant gets. So plant it at the back of a border and the stalk will grow that bit longer. I have same variety in my garden in different borders and it is compact at the front of sunny borders and lanky at the back.

Which Witch Hazel!

Posted: 19/05/2012 at 13:18

It grows really slowly and you can prune it. My parents garden had one that is less than 2 metres tall and is over 30 years old. 4 metres is max at 15 years in ideal conditions.

Problem Clay soil

Posted: 17/05/2012 at 22:44

The water means that the clay soil is compacted so you really do need to uncompact it before planting. Unless you are digging out the clay soil, you should never use a spade: always use a fork. Fork in bark and compost and leaf mulch and it will get better. I would not bother with sand as it adds nothing - try and keep off the soil when it is wet (yes I know that is not that possible but it does help)

T & M OFFER FOR MAY

Posted: 15/05/2012 at 18:45

If you are not fast you are last but I do have space in my garden, just not the ideal space for them. Plants die, you get bored of them and you share them. Nothing greedy in that.

weed, plant or veggie?

Posted: 13/05/2012 at 18:42

Possibly Mint Bazanti? Give it a rub and sniff your finger.

Help, foxes keep eating strawberries and raspberries

Posted: 13/05/2012 at 18:41

Are you sure? At this time of year neither rasp or strawbs have fruit. If they are a problem later on in the year then you can buy a rigid netting to go over the plants.

Talkback: Slugs and snails and pussycat tails

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 20:48

Copper does work and making a fence out of it sounds a good idea - make it high and deep enough for them not to climb over (they can climb up to a overhanging leaf!) or burrow underneath.

I have frogs in my garden and also many slugs - they rarely go for slugs as they prefer juicy worms. Perhaps Toads eat slugs more often and people get confused?

Slug pellets are the best thing I have used to get rid of them, at least for a few weeks. I only find really small ones now.

A not very nice way of ctching lots of slugs is to stab a large one with a brach or stick. It leaks its stomach and that attracts loads of nearby slugs by dusk  (slugs will eat other slugs and snails).

Drooping Birch Tree

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 20:40

It may be wind burn, it has been very wet and windy and cold. So early autumning. You normally do not prune Birch. If you really have to it is normally done in late winter as sap is low and Birch bleeds sap readily and pruning often kills them.

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