Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie


Posted: 24/04/2016 at 22:47

Monty was cutting bank his Miscanthus a few weeks ago, so I did mine then. If you leave it too late, you can't cut right back without damaging the new shoots. Mine is beginning to sprout again, but very slowly. I'd give it a couple more weeks and then dig it up if there are no fresh green shoits poking through by then.


Posted: 24/04/2016 at 22:43

You need to read the pack, which should tell you if it's safe to compost. Mosskiller Is usually OK if it has 6 months or more  in the compost heap, but if there is weedkiller present, you may need to avoid composting the thatch.

Is this a senior moment or am I correct?

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 17:34

Like when my daughter said to me in a discussion, "Mum, this may be relevant.." and I said in genuine bewilderment,  "What baby elephant?"

Is it OK to compost grass and moss which have been treated with mosskiller?

Posted: 20/04/2016 at 22:29

If it's just mosskiller rather than weedkiller, it might be OK. The mosskiller we use says it's safe to compost it as long as it has at least 6 months to break down in the heap. Our compost has between one and two years in the heap, so we don't worry about it.

Summer Fete

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 15:42

You might even find that a local nursery, GC or hardware/garden shop would donate some plants or other garden items to a good cause.

Summer Fete

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 12:04

Lots of good ideas above. I recently bought a pot of creeping red-flowered saxifrage and have split it into three smaller plants, which are all growing fast, so this and similar rockery plants are also a possibility. You or your friends may have this kind of thing going spare, and if you pot them up now that shoild be grand by July.

You could buy petunias as plugs and pot them on. The trailing ones (e.g. surfinia) are very impressive in a pot.

If you have a bay tree, you can trim this and sell small branches of it. Or rosemary, or sage - a friend of mine asked me for some sage to treat a horse with toothache (no, honestly!) and remarked that it's very hard to buy fresh sage. 

Propagating Elder

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 10:51

I have taken young softwood  cuttings from my sambucus and found they rooted easily and grew quickly. I did it in about June, I think, when growth was active.

Summer Fete

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 10:48

What date is the fete? It's a wee bit late to be starting to sow things like tomatoess, but French beans, courgettes, cucumbers and squashes could all be started soon. It depnds how much time you have to let them germinate and grow.

A tomato question

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 10:44

I had a panic this morning with my tomatoes. They are outdoor varieties and have been in a mini-greenhouse for a week or so. Two nights ago it was forecast to go down to 2 degrees,  so I put a. sheet of bubble wrap across the top, inside the lid. Next day they seemed fine, but today, after another cold night, they had gone all floppy.

They might have recovered by now if I'd left them, as the temperature is now a sizzling 9 degrees, but to play safe I brought them back into the kitchen, where they perked up within an hour. Looking at the forecast, I think they may be back for another week or more....

Growing clematis through a shrub

Posted: 16/04/2016 at 10:43

I have two viticella clematis that I let climb up my tired old pear trees every year. They look lovely, and are probably the only reason I keep the pear trees.  The clematis die right back and get cut down to near ground level each winter, so it doesn't interfere with pruning. Other Group 2 and 3 clematis could be trusted to climb through a shrub as long as you don't want to trim the shrub between about April and the autumn.

I agree, the montana and Group 1 clematis will grow rampantly and  are only suitable for somewhere they won't be in the way.

I don't think any particular type of mesh is needed, they will climb up anything that give then a foothold. At this time of year I go round and encourage this by tying the stems to the mesh etc in with some soft twine  - but take care, the stems are very fragile.

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