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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Talkback: Controlling slugs and snails with copper

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:33

Copper tape is never going to be cheap, copper is an expensive metal to get out of the ground, so will not come cheap even as tape.  You might try finding a friendly plumber who will let you have copper pipe offcuts reasonably, or even free if you are very nice, but in the end copper has to be paid for.

I did try googling for it, and got some from a company selling the adhesive stuff 4 for 3, but that amount will not be enough for your allotment I imagine.  If you do find a less expensive seller, do share the info - please?

buried snails

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:27

Copper collars round the base of the plants.  It does work, honestly.  My sister in law has been using them with great effect in her vegetable garden, they seem costly but do last virtually for ever so can be re-used time and time again. 

I grow around 65 different hostas in pots and nearly gave the collection  up a few years ago because of snail/slug damage, until I was told about copper tape around the pots, it really has mde a huge difference.  Even in this wet weather, there is little damage done by snails ans slugs, though there are always a few which crawl up the wet and drooping leaves, but the majority which climb the pots just do not pass the copper.

Sickly plants ? Try asprin.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:23

Aspirin also works to perk up cut flowers in their vase for an extra few days - trim the stems, use clean water and drop half or a whole soluble aspirin in - dpendent upon the size of the vase.

Yes, it is good for aiing plants outdoors and in the greenhouse too though I tend to regard it as a last ditch effort when pruning, correcting water and feeding have failed. 

Using old galvanised water tanks to grow veg

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:19

Plenty of glavanised planters about, made for purpose or, like yours, recycled.  all good, as long as you have plenty of drainage holes in it. 

Invasive climbing weed, can anyone identify

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:16

I've got the goldern version, rate of spring growth is phenomenal!  Does need keeping under control though ........... it fights with my vine in what we call 'brewers corner'.


Posted: 01/07/2012 at 15:28

If you cut lilac back in October, you cut off all the wood upon which it could flower the following Spring.  The time to prune lilacs is immediately after flowering, so that they have a chance to have hardened shoots for the next year upon whch they will flower.

If you cut it back very hard, i.e. ground level,  you will get lods of smaller 'trunks' instead of the central one I am assuming you have now.  Some folk like this and do so, you just want to think about it before you begin. 

Some plants do take a long time to begin to flower, much will depend whether it is a grafted tree or not.  We have a clematis that took 7 years before it fldowered, and does so prolifically every year now.  Patience is often a virtue in gardening. 4 years is not long in a trees life, especially if it is not a grafted specimen. 

Gigantic courgette leaves

Posted: 01/07/2012 at 15:21

......  warmth and light - and of the two I always feel it is lack of light that keeps things back far more than lack of warmth.  Deep grey wet skies do not allow anything to grow well, however willing it is.  My peas, which should be a metre or so high (bush ones) are barely 6 inches, and flowering bravely, but nothing much is going to happen without more lght.

I think many commercial food growers are going to be in deep troube this year, unless we suddenly get a few weeks of sunshine and light - high food prices this year in the autumn I am afraid.  

sowing seeds

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 12:47

Just about everything this horrible so far year!  Veggies that won't grow, peas that are flowering but are only 8 inches high instead of over a meter or so (Some mixed measurements there but I guess we all know what I mean!), beans that are twining up their poles but look anaemic and virtually leafless, strawberries with still hard green fruits if any at all, etc. etc., etc.!!

my clemetis is looking sick, any ideas

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 12:43

Ooops, that does sound like clematis wilt - something to which the summer flowering clematis are prone.  As far as I know no-one knows why, possibly a fungal organism.  As Berghill says, cut down deeply, new soil or compost and it will probably throw up new shoots, maybe some even this year as the weather is so pecuiar - many do recover but not all - good luck with it.

strimmer that picks up

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 12:38

so agree with weejenny, strimmers seem to last an incredicbly short time - and we don't have a particularly large area to strim, just around edges and pots.  Such a pity Robot's hubs wasn't able to continue with his ideas, may have worked better than the current ones that's for sure. 

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