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Bookertoo


Latest posts by Bookertoo

Protecting plants from frost

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:47

Keep some fine horticultural fleece near the door, it is then quite easy to pop out and cover the sensitive items when frost is forecast - though it is amazing how many tender things do in fact recover well, or not even notice it at all.  At this time of year it is less likely to be a penetrating frost, and a few ice scorched leaves are not deadly for the plant.  I imagine icy roots are though, so fleece should help there. 

Snails

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:44

Interesting that Wintersong found the organic pellets useless, here they have been helpful - nothing will eradicate slugs and snails, neither do we want that to be so, too many things eat them (Uggghh).  Copper tape on pots really does help, I nearly gave up my hosta collection a few years ago until discovering that, plus taking out the top inch or so of compost every Spring (that's where the eggs are if there are any).   I have not found that grit, eggshells etc. helps, they just creep over it, albeit possibly more slowly. 

No experience of the pellets you mention Botticelliwoman (another wonderful name), it probably works on the same principle of dryng the area out so they won't cross it - but they do, here at least. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:40

Bright and cheerful looking today in the East Midlands, as long as you don't go outside! When you do it is cold, with a nasty lazy breeze that goes straight through you instead of around.  In spite of the cold it is surprising to me  ( an abject hater of all things cold) how many flowers are out, and how well veggies are growing.  Some of them however I am too cowardly to put out - I tell myself it is for their protection, but I know the reality is that I will not spend so much time in the cold if I can help it!

Carrot fly

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:35

Keep a layer of fine horticultural fleece over them, my friend has had wonderful carrots since she started doing this.

It is said that growing onions nearby helps, as the onion fly and the carrot fly get confused about the smells.

Don't thin out until late in the day, as they can smell that from a very long way away.  A physical guard like fleece does the trick very well. 

Talkback: Ground elder

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:32

Yes, ground elder was known as Bishops Wort.  It was brought here by the Romans, who used a tea made from the young shoots to ease the pain of, among other things, gout.  Only Bishops could afford to eat well enough to get gout it was thought, hence Bishops Wort.  it does make a good tea for anyone with pain from osteoarthritis, as it is mildly sedative and really does help with the aches after a good day weeding it out.

We cannot get rid of it as the garden backs onto an old quarry - where ground elder reigns supreme.  it is quite satisfying to drink the tea, some slight revenge I suppose.

Ground elder tea: Take a good cupful of very young leaves, steep in boiling water for two or three minutes.  Strain well, sweeten with a little honey if liked, drink warm just before bedtime.   It tastes and smells a bit like cabbage water, but is not actually revolting, I think they were on to something there.  Pity it became such a detested weed. 

heuchrea

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:26

Heucheras used to be grown for their flowers rather than their leaves as they are now.   The deep geen one with tall, deep red or coral flowers was, and indeed still is, one of my favourite flowers - we always call the flowers the 'firework flowers' as they leap up above everything else at this time of year.   I do not grow the multicoloured ones, but still try and get more of the red flowered ones, so indeed, no matter what colour they are, please do enjoy the flowers. 

wildflowers

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:23

Majorum from your pots will seed itself everywhere - I love it so have no problem at all with that.  Even in a courtyard garden it will find the tiniest windblown soil and grow.  

Lupins laid low with infestions

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:21

These aphids are disgusting, even the hungriest of birds won't eat them.  I  have stopped with all forms of lupins because of them, I really have better things to do than squashing aphids.  Enough time spent dealing with liuly beetle on the plants I want to grow.  I did try tree lupins, just in case, as day lilies are not lilies, they were different, but no, the aphids loved them just as much.  As I hated the aphids, the lupins had to go, luckily - so far - none of the other related legumes are affected, that could be a disaster as one who adores fresh peas!!

Why Miss Bateman?

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:31

The vitcella group ae smaller flowering, but do so profusely.  I use them in all sorts of places, and they are not susceptible to wilt - it seems to be the large flowered hybrids that get this.  For spring (whatever that may be), the montana group are good if you have space for them, as they do get very large aned heay - gorgeous though.  You can grow vitcellas through them when they have stopped flowering themselves, looks good.   If you really want the large flowering clematis (and I still try with them) you need to plant them very deep indeed, then if wilt strikes they will often shoot again from the part that is underground - worth trying. 

The non-climbing herbaceous clematis are good too, in pots, hanging baskets or just clambering around other things in a flower bed - mostly purples yet, but there will come more colours I am sure.

Bought a 'red' clematis this year, it isn't, it is very lovely but definitely purple, although the label shows a clear red - thought it unlikely at the time. 

Water retaining gel crystals

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:25

Must admit that I have stopped using it altogether, I was not impressed with it.  I  preferred my method of lifting the basket slightly from underneath, heavy OK, not, water - as someone else has said.  If we get some twice a day watering weather we will all be delighted, at present it is more like never doing it at all, and anyway it is too dark for the flowers to come anyway.  Fed upness. 

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