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Latest posts by DianaW

1 to 10 of 43

Relaying lawn

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 10:37

I've always gardened on clay too, in London. What works for me should work for you, too.

You need to soak the ground to soften it before you try to spike it, that's all.

Relaying lawn

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 13:47

Caz, You can do a couple of things to renovate your flattened lawn. A good lawn food, well watered in if it doesn't rain, will feed the grass and get it growing well again, which may be enough.

If that's not enough, then do part or all of the traditional lawn overhaul - more usual in spring or autumn but not impossible in summer, with sufficient care. (Just make sure you don't apply grass seed too soon after a weed-killing lawn food: check the instructions on the lawn food container.)

Soften the existing lawn by soaking it. A good summer storm will do the world of good; otherwise - if you can spare the water - soak it with a hosepipe or watering-can etc. (Use the bathwater, washing-up water etc etc. if you want to save tapwater.)

Then spike the lawn all over with a fork to open up the soil, which will make the ground much spongier-feeling.

Level it off, using extra topsoil to fill any dents etc, then top-dress the whole thing. If you need to reseed it or thicken the grass, use grass seed mixed into the mixture of sifted soil/sharp sand (to help drainage). Brush it into the holes with a yard broom etc. Then water gently but regularly to get the seed growing.

Talkback: Magnesium deficiency

Posted: 30/06/2014 at 11:22
When giving advice like this, please would GW writers specify the dosage of any additive to be used.

Talkback: How to take verbena cuttings

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 11:42
NO doubt this works but there's a more convenient way to propagate verbena bonariensis: using the stalks one cuts down in autumn.
I prune mine down to just above the lowest flourishing leaves and put sections of the cut-off stalk into a jar of water, where they root happily. Cutting them into six to eight inch lengths - gives one plenty of cuttings; just ensure that they go in the right way up. Keep the jar in a bright, not too warm place.

The same trick works with those leggy non-flowering pelargonium stalks. Even sections with no leaves will root in water.

Talkback: Fruit crops for shade

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 12:31
It's not true to say that morello cherries don't need sun to sweeten them. I've grown them for many years and they're only any good in a sunny summer, when they turn nearly black. When red, they're completely inedible.

Weirdly withering plums

Posted: 20/05/2014 at 10:12

On searching further, I was slightly unnerved to find someone quoting the RHS website as saying that,"Bordeaux Mixture will be withdrawn from sale on 28 February 2013 but any person can use and store existing stocks until 28 February 2015." Can't find that on that site now, though. emphasises the need to use fungicides only when recommended for the particular purpose. Plum pocket is not the same as "bacterial canker on cherry and plum", which seems to be the only purpose for which Bordeaux mixture is recommended in plum growing.

Weirdly withering plums

Posted: 20/05/2014 at 09:47

Thanks - I'd identified the problem but hadn't realised that there was an organic remedy. Where do you get Bordeaux solution (or the ingredients for it)?

I haven't seen the mildew on my tree - maybe I cut off the affected fruit etc early enough last year that it didn't have time to develop - but clearly just taking off the affected twigs during the summer isn't enough to prevent recurrence.

Weirdly withering plums

Posted: 19/05/2014 at 14:01

My plum tree has got the same problem again - and there are healthy plums growing on the same twigs as affected ones, so cutting out the bad growth is going to be fiddly and unlikely to eradicate the parts of the tree that are obviously infected. I'll have to mark what bits to prune off later in the year.

Weirdly withering plums

Posted: 27/04/2014 at 14:44

This is entirely different from the problem I had. The affected fruits on my plum tree lost all their usual colour and texture, withering away to something long, thin and distorted as well as completely discoloured. The absence of any stone (what you called a pip) inside the fruit was purely incidental to the failure to mature normally.

My experience is that a plum tree can go for several years without bearing any fruit (or only very little) after producing a really heavy crop one year. They need time to regain their strength, apparently.

Talkback: Wild garlic

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 12:20
The small white allium bulbs which I (perhaps unwisely) planted many years ago have proliferated madly since then. I've got to dig them out to clear the space for something else and would love to use the resulting greenery in the kitchen, rather than just dumping it in the compost heap, but I wasn't sure if they're edible.
I know they're not lily-of-the-valley or arum lilies but are all these alliums good to eat?
1 to 10 of 43

Discussions started by DianaW

Talkback: Fruit crops for shade

It's not true to say that morello cherries don't need sun to sweeten them. I've grown them for many years and they're only any good in a sun... 
Replies: 1    Views: 72
Last Post: 30/05/2014 at 12:49

Talkback: Give borders an autumn boost

Don't forget to include ceratostigma for their wonderful combination of red autumn foliage and brilliant blue flowers. Good grown in pots, ... 
Replies: 16    Views: 419
Last Post: 17/10/2013 at 21:13

Weirdly withering plums

Replies: 15    Views: 785
Last Post: 26/05/2014 at 10:38
3 threads returned