Latest posts by lydiaann

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Can I plant Hostas here?

Posted: 13/06/2016 at 09:10

I have 3 hostas (one green, one 'blue' and one variegated) that never get slugs.  They are in the shade of a north-facing fence and an east-facing lilac/fence.  Behind this east-facing fence is a 'heritage hedge' - a line of trees (field maple, hawthorn, hornbeam, etc.) and thus the ground is always dry.  Therefore, the only water they get are what I give them and I find a good water twice a week, even in the hottest weather, keeps them alert and slug free.  Such a difference to my last garden, where evening forays would be necessary even though I had grapefruit halves with a little beer in them all behind the plants!


Posted: 12/06/2016 at 10:16

Thursday was still lovely weather, so we went outside and scrubbed out one water butt and replaced it.  Its overflow butt was almost empty, so finished that off in the evening on the containers and one border, with the intention of scrubbing that one on Friday.  Busy in the a.m. then in the afternoon, we had a torrential thunderstorm that lasted about an hour.  Goodie, I thought, a couple of inches in the clean butt to start us off again (there was 3 inches of rainwater in a bucket I had inadvertently left outside) and I could maybe pop out between showers to do the other one out.  Amazingly, after that one hour of rain, the clean water butt was full to the brim...even more amazingly, so was the overflow butt - and they are both big containers! No wonder yesterday a.m. saw me tidying up and cutting out fallen lupins, battered to death, giving the geraniums the 'Chelsea Chop' as they were too "bloody and bowed" to stand upright and sorting out my containers and climbing plants.  I'm hoping for a decent spell this aft to sort out the rest of the garden...but then, that's what we live for, isn't it?

Can I plant Hostas here?

Posted: 12/06/2016 at 10:04

Lily of the valley, Solomon's seal, sarcococcus, skimmia (miniature) - they'd all work well if you want white.


Posted: 12/06/2016 at 09:59

It's 'cuckoo spit' - unsightly, but won't harm the plants.  Just hose it away each day and your plants will be fine.

Red spider mite

Posted: 12/06/2016 at 09:54

The BBC has a good article on red spider mite, see link below.  I know that they are particularly bad this year, as are aphids.  You are not the only one battling them, we have a lot in our area (Newark) with people complaining that they are inside and out.

Non-success with my veggies

Posted: 09/06/2016 at 09:57

I don't think we have mice - have never seen any signs of them (droppings, etc.) and it just seems to be this year.  As I said, I've managed to produce some stuff over the years and this year the patch has NOT been composted/fertilised at all.  I left all the sowing until the last weekend in April as we were away earlier that month and it's not fair asking someone to come in and water seedlings all over the place!  I shall keep trying in the hope that this warmer weather (inc. nights) will help.  And next year I may try indoor stuff first.  Thanks, Forkers!!

Non-success with my veggies

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 17:06

Woe is me!  My veggie seeds are doing nothing at all this year...  Here's the problem.  We have, as I have described before, what is considered to be a 'heritage hedge' at the back of our garden.  Over the past 5 years since we've been here, we've always pruned it properly; in fact, 2 years ago we had (together with our next door neighbours) specialist arborists in to prune and remove damaged branches overhanging the 2 properties.  Because of this care and attention, it is thickening up and, consequently, giving more shade.  When we took the house over, I had new borders and beds dug, including a veggie patch (a sort-of wedge shape, 3.5 m tapering to 2 m) and got 2 loads of top soil delivered (do you know how many wheelbarrow loads that is...).  Unfortunately, once we'd got it all into the new beds (inc. the veg patch which is raised) I realised it was not very good.  Since then I've dug in compost and chicken manure pellets to improve it and have managed to produce some sort of crop annually - carrots, peas, dwarf beans, salad leaves and even a few beetroot.  This year, I've sown twice - the lettuce and spinach are finally showing a few straggly green bits, the turnips seem to be on track and maybe the carrots.  The purpling sprouting broccoli is neither sprouting nor purple, the dwarf beans have never appeared (and investigation shows they are nowhere under the surface) and there are 2 (yes, just two) pea plants appearing.  The site is netted to protect against pigeons and cats and is well watered.  Any suggestions?

(An extremely frustrated) lydiaann

PS:  However, my minaret plum was covered in blossom and, in its 4th summer, is covered in plums - Woo Hoo!!!

Is there a trick?

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 16:53

I've always used the boiling water trick and it's always worked, even in poor soil.  However, I do agree that shade for the hottest part of the day and good watering regimen are essential.  I had to resow this year and it's going great guns; first row nearly ready to start harvesting as and when required and second row already 1.5 cm tall. 

Would that I could do as well with the about to post re my woes on this score!


Posted: 28/05/2016 at 14:46

I have 2 honeysuckles (can't remember the variety), one either side of a narrow pergola opening, i.e. about 6-8 feet apart.  One is always absolutely covered (overnight) in aphids at this time of year and the other never.  This year, the aphid problem seems even worse but the usual heavy spray yesterday evening seems to have done the trick as usual - and I won't have to do it again.  There is not a sign of them on the rambler planted very close to it, nor even on the lupins (6 feet away), which can often suffer the same fate.  Is there any particular reason why 2 plants of the same variety should differ so?


Posted: 05/05/2016 at 16:48

But same 'trunk'...that's what I don't understand.

1 to 10 of 152

Discussions started by lydiaann

Non-success with my veggies

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They didn't read the label 
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Cotinus coggygria

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Shape of the pot 
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Why plant daffs in October?

They do just as well if you wait until March! 
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Runner beans

Not good 
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Common Ash

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Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
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Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17
1 to 15 of 21 threads