Latest posts by Bookertoo

Young Silver birch still dormant?

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 16:31

I must say I would be worried about them by now.  My millenium silver birch, thus 13 yers old, was very late coming into leaf after the long winter, but the leaves are now fluttering about happily.  All the titmouse family seem very fond of this tree, eating the early buds, and presumaby the many insects and grubs that live around it.  

Gently scrape a bit off the bark from the dormant trees with your finger nail and see if the wood is green and heathy underneath, if it is I suppose it might yet respond, but if brown I'm afraid it is almost certainly deceased. 


Posted: 11/05/2013 at 15:38

I'd absolutly love to hav ducks, but our bylaws don't permit, not even chickens!!  In fact I guess I might not have a great deal of garden left if we did have them, but theya re so lovely!!

 I cannot bring myself to cut slugs in half, I know people do, but nothing would perssuade me they didn't suffer dreadfully - I don't like them but couldn't do that, nor as Winterson says, could I pick them up - have done ot once or twice by accident - oh yuck!!

Runner/Dwarf Beans

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 19:48

It depends alot on how much light they are getting, if you put them in a sheltered place outdoors they will get all the light there is and so should not increase in legginess.  If they are very leggy they may droop, you could pinch out the tips to encourage bushing up, but even if they do succumb, there is still time to sow more.  Maybe do it a bit later next time?  


Posted: 10/05/2013 at 17:06

I think ours are addicted to coffee!! I know lots of people have success with that, but whichever type we have here, they just ignore it and munch of happily.

Seed Potatoes

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 16:28

I'm not clear whether these were forgotten seed potatioes or ones you had harvested?  If the latter, they will probably grow but you will not get as much of a crop from them, and there is always the danger of blight - which new seed potatoes may be protected from.  However, I would probably go for it if I were you. 

Runner/Dwarf Beans

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 16:27

Yes, they will soon run awaay and grow well - it's the wind I find can scorch them at this time so the little GH is a good idea for now.  

Toms in the cold GH

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 16:26

Yes, am turning out some overwintered things from the GH to the cold frame to make room for peppers, tomatoes and so on - always a difficult time of year for protection this - you can get the odd very clear beautiful night with a plunge in temperature to match.  A few bits of horticultural fleece to hand is useful if things look dangerous.

One of our near neighbours grow the most incredible white calla lilies, they have been in their container for years - once she takes the covers off those I reckon we are pretty safe - she did it this week!

Oak Tree Planting

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 16:23

Yes, any newly planted young trees around here at present would need an anchor to keep them in place!!  If each has a well placed, low stake, and a cleared of grass area to grow in they should do fine - do deer eat oaks?  I know there are some trees they don't, but as that is a problem we don't have here I know little about it.  Tree guards are a good idea, or if the deer don't get them the rabbits might - all protection you can give - though nature does her job prettyd well anyway, she probably appreciates a helping hand now and again.  Good luck. 


Posted: 10/05/2013 at 13:16

If anyone could answer that one positively they could spend the rest of their life sitting on a money mountain - the long and the short of it is that you can't, you can reduce them and learn to use things they don't like, and then learn to live with the remainder.

I have found that grit, egg shells etc. do not help at all here, nor do most of the barrier methods, and believe me I have tried them all.  I gow around 65 hostas in pots, so you can imagine the battles we have.  The only 2 things I have found useful are copper collars on the pots, they will not cross those, and the iron based  slug pellets which do no harm to other wild life - I would not use the other ones.   I hear that beer traps work well, btu cold notbring mysef to empty them!!  

Nematodes do work very well indeed, but are expensive, very hard work to apply, last a short time only and once your slugs have gone, as nature abhores a vaccuum all the neighbours slugs move in later on!!  Encourage lots of things that eat slugs, especially the huge horrible ones, as they do your plants no harm at all, although they look revolting, but they live on the small slugs which do damage your plants to death.  Lots of birds of course, and if you are lucky, a hedgehog or two. 

Size of roots removed

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 13:10

It is ideal to remove as many roots as possible, but some of the tree roots we should have removed when the trees were felled, could not be removed uness we destroyed most of that side of the garden - and I was not prepared to do that.  One shrub that was in situ when we came 16 years ago we tried to remove roots and all, and having dug down to almost hit magma, decided enough was enough.  it tries to grow each year, and around the beginning of june I cut it as far to ground level as I can.  There are many other things growing around it, and it is slowly weakening.  A cherry tree that got fire blight we cut off at around 5 foot, and use the clear stump to show a piece of sculpture my OH's ister made for us.  So far no problem with that, been about 5 years now I think. 

We have been fighting rose of sharon since we came here, and until the very wet weather last year thoguht we were getting on top of it, but it loved the wet and has made a come back in many places it did not show before.  I do try and follow the roots as far as I can, but inevitably they break off and I don't get to the end.  Ever onward I suppose. 

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