Latest posts by daffygardener

Vine Weevil

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 22:34

Flipping little bar stewards . We just need to see and stamp on the little critters.  You only really find out when your lovely plant collapses with no root system.

The BBKA have just said that they don't feel they are convinced that neonictinoids are the cause of bee death (Amateur Gardening).  In addition France have just lifted a 10 year ban on these with no crash in their bee population.  Australia doesn't have a problem with verroa mite.  Maybe the problem is a combination of mite, weather, winter, cold, starvation and some chemicals.  We all urgently need answers.  Keep that 10 year old shouting Dovefromabove,

Vine Weevil

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 23:17

Thank you to Pamela for asking a timely question on VW and their larva, all for contributions and to Jatnikyapyar for putting more plainly what I was thinking. BUT - Pamelas queston was - would the problem of VW be spread if the soil was spread out? Not asking for a heated debate on the merits or otherwise of pesticide use, although that is a topic which can run and run....................................!

I feel that there are likely higher concentrations of VW and their larva in pots as there is a better temperature and conditions for their lifecycle and to thrive.  There also appears to be less predators than plants placed in open ground. The adults are very difficult to see in compost unless they begin to move, touch one and they fall over and play dead, the grubs are relatively easy and they are to ones that do the damage to roots.  Will Pamela spread the problem? - possibly, but if the soil is laid out as others and Shrinking Violet has done, and retire to let the birds loose on it - any spread will be limited.  There are likely to be VW in other areas of your garden, if you find them in pots.  Go for what ever control method you feel is appropriate for your situation, in my opinion.


Posted: 29/04/2013 at 13:16

I think the jury is still out on this one, Rachel.  Even your chimney sweep cannot guarantee what people have burned and therefore what the soot comes from,  If its oil it's ntt good stuff.  Wood soot maybe, but there are pros and I'm afraid mainly cons about using this and coal soot now. 

Vine Weevil

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 12:53

I would probably do all of the above.  Spread the soil out for birds to pick through, use nematodes of which I have had some success, sift soil and have used provado on hostas I've replanted last year and on a large potted rhodo that I can in no way lift. 

I have also lobbied my MP about the conversation that is currently taking place in parliament on the use of pesticides and the protection of bees.  I acknowledge that global warming IS taking place and that my local fruit farm which IS organic has lost 30 % of its bee population over the winter.  Without bees we cannot have a fruitful existance as huge crops depend on it for their and our very survival.  I do agree that a single plant in every garden treated with pesticide has a alltogether large effect, but the pesticide industries have a much much bigger effect.  Sort the big users out and nature will cope very well with the little users, is my humble opiniion, for what its worth. 

There is every place around this forum for ALL personal opinions, however strong and thank goodness for that.  There is no place for bullying though.  Just as long as our opinions are shared and not forced, other asking their question can then make their own informed minds up.   Thanks to those who have put web site details & I will update my own knnowledge on these pesticides


Beared iris Border

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 12:16

How about Nerines?  - late summer flowers that need their bulbs baked too? Do you have space to put a paving slab witin the border and to put a pot onto?  Something like cannas in a pot,  will have the foliage above the iris rhizomes and can have beautiful foliage, for lat summer.  Other than that something on a stem so that it is deeper rooted and with a crown higher than the iris flowers if you've space.  Or  - something trained against the wall as a back drop e.g. berberis/contoneaster that is bomb proof and will take south wall baking?  Depends on how deep the border and the soil is.    but late winter is the tricky one.

Unusal Lawn Plant

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 11:59

Never seen that before Julian.  I like daisies growing in my lawn & that would certainly add interest.    Keep hold of it for a bit as nutcutlet says - it might not make you either famous or a huge fortune, but as a native hybrid it may well spread country wide as 'Julians surprise' or something similar .  Variegated plants tend to be less vigorous than plain green leaved ones, so it would be interesting if it is slower to grow than normal daisy plants.

We saw it here first 

Compost bags

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 11:53

Thanks for your thoughts and some good ideas, several of which I can certainly use.  I thought until rencetly that those in the farming/animal communiies also had to send theirs for landfill, but there are commercial contracts for farmers to have their bale coverings etc., taken away, sometimes on an annual basis - its a shame they don't pitch up in local communities for a short time even annually, to pick peoples up too.   


Compost bags

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 23:29

Does anyone have the same problem as me? - compost bags are made from very sturdy plastic, as are the bags for grit and gravel.  How can I recycle them as my local recycling centre doesn't do this.  I've a mound of them and would prefer they didn't go to landfill?  Cheers

Where have all the hostas gone?

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 23:24

If you want to keep them in terracota, try lining the pot sides with the compost bag.  Its at least something to do with them.  They soil and then the plants won't dry out quite as quickly

Is my Bramley Apple Tree dead?

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 23:20

Hello Heafybeafy,  Good news then, I don't know where your tree is in the country. I'm in Nth Glos, the buds have just broken.  This time last year the blosson was over, so it's very late coming out at all.  Don't unduly worry about your lack of fruit last year - mine and a fruit farm near me had very poor crops last year too.  Warm start when no pollinating insects were about then cold weather to ruin the blossom and too cold and wet for bees etc to fly. My tree also has quite a lot under it ,including a large clump of rhubarb - all inherited by the previous owner.  Its got canker, but as an old Bramley (estimated 50yrs) it copes with it.  With you having planted underneath it, some of the soil may well have been compacted.  If you could aerate this gently to prevent too much root damage, feed it or mulch with something nutritous. then prune as littlemoney has suggested, it may yet come good.  I was in Heligan in mid march and they had had unprecented frosts, so not even the south UK has escaped the cold this winter. Hope this helps

Discussions started by daffygardener

Currant cultivation

Help and advice please 
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Compost bags

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advice from my fellow gardeners please 
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Last Post: 29/01/2013 at 23:50
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