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Dave Morgan

Latest posts by Dave Morgan

Brown leaves on box plant

Posted: 07/08/2014 at 19:31

It doesn't look like box blight, so it's more of a case of neglect me thinks. I think it needs a feed and some minor pruning of the dried out bits. I'd leave it grow and put on some new growth before reshaping. A good drench once a week for a few weeks and feed should see a different plant in a few weeks.

Castor oil plant, should I keep it or remove it

Posted: 07/08/2014 at 19:25

Castor oil seeds produce ricin, highly toxic when refined, but not usually fatal if just the seed is ingested, even by children. It will make then ill but they are highly unlikely to die. They apparently taste appalling so kids would spit them out anyway.

It's a beautiful plant, so unless you have children or intend to refine it I'd leave it. It's not hardy so would not survive a normal winter.

Which climbers for privacy

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 17:59

Welcome Mick. I'm afraid unless as bekkie has said you spend more than a few quid, your wish won't come true. Going down the clematis armandii route will give you an evergreen screen, although it will get a lot bigger than 8 feet. Even a clematis montana will grow a lot taller. However having said that in winter with a bit of training it can provide a dense screen of although bare branches, it is difficult to see through, ask my neighbour at the back of me. The trouble you may have is the weight of any climber as you don't say how your trellis is held up.

A rose will lose it's leaves few will keep their leaves to any great extent.

Have you thought of bamboo, or a tall shrub, although again you have the issue of speed of growth.

There must be someone here can make another suggestion, so be patient.

ID's if possible please =+)

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 16:08

Looks like a rather unhealthy mint!

How can I make ericaceous compost more solid?

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 16:07

I think I'd add topsoil and FYM to encourage worm activity over the winter. If it's just laid on top, they will do the job for you over winter, it's probably the only solution.

How can I make ericaceous compost more solid?

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 10:32

I'd have to agree here, your'e better off working with your soil than against it. It saves money and heartache in the long run. Pot displays can be more impressive than border displays plus it adds flexability.


Posted: 05/08/2014 at 10:28

Emma just take a leading shoot and nip it off, about 6 inches, dip in hormone rooting powder and pop it into some compost. It will do equally as well if put straight into the ground, put it aside and almost ignore it apart from watering. Yes there is a difference of opinion re pruning, but all your'e doing is reshaping of the top. 

As for soil I've seen them do well in all types of soil, but sun is best. I've also seen them in very windy places and they still survive.

All I can say is if it's doing well where it is then just be happy for it. A happy plant is a healthy plant and age makes no difference if your'e happy.

How can I make ericaceous compost more solid?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 22:46

Ericaceous compost is usually very high in peat. Peat holds water you simply can't harden it up. If you mix it thoroughly with garden soil  you shouldn't have a problem.

Problems will arise if you put too much compost in. Then it will be as you have described. You only need to put pure compost into containers not in the ground. Anyway it's wasteful as the subsoil probably won't have a high acid content anyway. Your'e better off feeding acid lovers with suitable feeds and top dressing with the compost.

From your description I think you've over done the compost.


Posted: 04/08/2014 at 17:32

Do it now Emma, there is still time for it to recover, I'd take a few cuttings as well, they root very easily, feed and mulch it as well, it will be fine. They are fairly tough although not very long lived, about 8 - 10 years is average.

A few random questions...

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 10:15

Tootles, your climber doesn't need pruning in it's first year. Mdme Alfred Carrie is a rampant climber growing to 20ft or more. The most important thing you can do is wait for winter and create a frame for it with wire's Mine has a 5 metre wide climbing frame behind it and wires every 2 ft. Training it onto those wires will give you the best display in subsequent years. 

This link to you tube is a great lesson for those who are learning. If you follow it you'll get it right first time.

After doing the training, usually in early spring, only minor pruning is required afterwards.

Best of luck.

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Colder than Average Winter Advisory 
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Funny Wildlife

Squirrel V Woodpigeons 
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