Latest posts by Gold1locks


Posted: 11/05/2013 at 18:48

I have, many nmany years ago. I never got the hang of them. Probably me. Must have been actually, as they are still on sale. 

pH meter suggestions, please

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 18:28

Good thinking! Litmus paper should work well for telling whether the soil is acid or alkaline - it doesn't show you how acid or alkaline, but often you don't need to know that. And its easier to buy it on line than universal indicator paper. 

Walnut Tree

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 11:23

It takes a bit longer than that - 7 to 8 years is typical, but it depends on the age your tree was when it was planted.

I had one once. It was in a lawn, and the grass underneath the tree suffered badly from a chemical in the leaves,  a non-toxic, colorless, chemical called hydrojuglone.  When exposed to air or soil compounds, hydrojuglone is oxidized into juglone, which is highly toxic, so nothing will grow under the canopy of the tree. Please note that this does not mean that walnut trees are in any way harmful to humans or pets, as the toxin is only formed in the soil. 

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 11:07

The most important thing for vigour is not how often you mow the lawn, but the height the blades are set at. You should not remove more than one third of the aveage height of the blades of grass, as this can seriously weaken its vigour and encourage diseases. 

What you don't want to do is to let the grass get quite long and then cut it with the blades set low (tempting as this is for a busy person) as this will reduce the vigour.. 

in your situation I would keep the blades reasonably high, so that there is a lot of leaf for photosynthesis, and cut as often as you want for appearance, probably twice a week in spring and early autumn, once a week in summer when the grass is growing a lot more slowly. 

pH meter suggestions, please

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 09:18

I don't think it matters dovefromabove. Rainwater is acidic, down to pH 5 and hard water up to 8. I think the important thing is probably to add just enough water to allow other paper to get wetted or, if using a kit, enough to allow you see the colour of the water once the soil has settled. If water pH was critical it would make testing kits useless as the results on the same sample would vary depending on your water supply. PH is a funny thing. If you dilute water with a pH of 5 with distilled water the pH of the mix remains at around 5. dilution does not affect pH. I suspect the soil content is much more dominant than the water content in the test.

That new roundup gel

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 06:51

I have (last year) used glyphosate successfully to remove couch grass from MIL's garden. I had glyphosate in an old window cleaner sprayer, and, armed with a pair of rubber gloves and a bucket, I have gone to each clump, sprayed a bit of glyphosate onto the ends of two fingers on my right hand, held over the bucket to avoid drips, and shaken my hand to remove any last drops so the glove is just wet. I have then rubbed some leaves of the grass bwtween my fingers  (no need to cover them all - a 25% coverage is enough), and then moved on to the next clump. 

It needs 5 days or so before the effect is obvious. 


Posted: 11/05/2013 at 06:36

Many thanks! I will pick some more today - adding a tad more sugar. 

pH meter suggestions, please

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 06:33

All l pH meters will be less accurate than soil testing kits, A meter really only works well in contact with water, so drier soil will give a poor reading, and you only measure the pH of the soil immediately in contact with the rod. Taking a small soil sample and adding water followed by the indicator gives a much more accurate reading. 

If you are doing a lot of testing, Instead of buying a kit from a garden centre, you could get hold of something like this, which is a lot more cost effective and less fiddly.

and try this method:

1. Dig up some soil,  and put it into a container.

2. Break up lumps till it is reasonably fine. 

3. Add some water (the amount is not critical*, but enough to allow you to dip in the indicator paper - see next step)

4. Dip in a short length of indicator paper and cmpare the colour against the colour chart.

*Oddly enough the ratio of soil to water does not affect the pH level. 






Posted: 11/05/2013 at 06:05

I picked some sturdy stems the other day, first of the season. They were mainly green, just a bit of red, and were less sweet than rhubarb I have bought in the past, which had more red on them. Does the colour make a difference to taste, and if I had left them longer would the stems have got redder and sweeter?

No Blossom on flowering cherry

Posted: 09/05/2013 at 19:41

Usually plants stressed by drought are induced to flower rather than producing green growth. Part of their survival mechanism suspecting death so wanting to produce seeds. 

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