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Latest posts by Marinelilium

Poorly Pear Tree

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 11:22

I think the amount of rain we've had may leave lots of plants a bit hungrier this year.

Guessing most outdoor cropping plants will need a bit of extra nosh. Indoor and potted plants rely on top ups. Plants do give us hints by how they leaf up.

give me nitrogen: pale green all over 

give me potassium: yellow edges and tip and leaf curls under

give me phosphorus: top leaves start to brown and lower leaves yellow

The micro nosh is trickier : calcium loss makes baby leaves hook, sulphur loss makes the veins yellow and magnesium loss causes yellow tips and edges - but the bit near the petiole (stalk end) stays green.

I like your thinking bookmonster- Seaweed extract is a fantastic fixer Of leaf probs.


Where can I grow a grapevine?

Posted: 22/04/2014 at 12:15

Grapes like warm, sunny walls as the brick can lift night temperatures by several degrees. The grape can be trained up your obelisk Stacey but then the stem's fruit spurs like to fan out horizontally once they attain a metre.

I have tried to cut one of my grapevines into extinction twice but the triffid just comes back stronger. They are  a bit like roses, in that there is soooo much training/pruning advice out there. In my humble experience I treat em  mean and it keeps em keen.

My advice is :

*never cut them after November 5th,  cut to five buds a stem

*feed them February 5th (with chicken pellets)

* and spray them in in 5th month May with a one fifth milk to water solution to prevent mildew. Sorted.

Problem identifying and treating pear disease

Posted: 21/04/2014 at 15:36

Lots of fungal spores will be about this year - she said cheerfully - so my advice is feed your plants to boost their health. *

Washing new  grape growth with  a 30% milk, or 10% yogurt, to water solution can protect from some mildews. Something in the milk cultures seems to deter the mildew from kicking off. Don't know if it works on other fruit leaves though.

*seaweed feed, chicken pellets, blood fish and bone etc will also help sandy soils that have had nutrients leeched out by rain.

I hope your patient recovers Mario, Good Luck!

Ants on raspberry bushes

Posted: 21/04/2014 at 14:36

Possum I think you should take a close peek at the raspberry tips especially underneath. The ants 'farm' black fly, greenfly, etc for the sweet sticky honeydew they poop. It is worth checking ALL new shoots on ALL plants for ants as they show where these pests are feeding.

Curled leaves and twisty stems mean the black fly, greenfly have sucked the sap and are distorting the growing tips. Blast them with a mist sprayer with a soap solution again under the leaves is where the lighters set up camp. 

I pack two spray guns and shoot from the hip ( blowing the nozzle after shooting is optional)

Tree Identification

Posted: 21/04/2014 at 12:44

Reg if you want to identify a tree the Natural History Museum site has a fantastic interactive identifying key. Simple to use and worth tagging in your favourites

Have fun in your detective sleuthing for tree info!


Shady area

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 11:16


a  Nelly Moser clematis colours better in shade and a Lonicera x tellmaniana is  a cheerful orangey yellow and happy in shade (but aphids adore it).

Shady area

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 11:09

Hello Emma Lou, a solution might be Pachysandra terminalis,  a ground cover evergreen with white flowers, that tolerates both dry shade and moist shade. It will be happy to oblige in containers. Ferns offer attractive  foliage, some prefer dry shade others moist shade. White flowers are best for areas in poor light so you could add trailing bacopa for the summer. 

I am sure a few clematis would happily trail and clamber for you too. HTH

All right .... own up .... which ones of you do this?

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 10:02

The lack of thrushes is believed to be down to years and years of slug pellet use before the ferrous type was introduced. 

I found this gardener's blog page, who attended a Kingston Mauward lecture on slugs and snails then shares notes taken; aerobatics didn't seem to be on the college syllabus on solutions :0 

Homemade bug sprays

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 10:31

Ooh Liza, are you sure cos I don't have a red switch once I start on gardening! I found the best organic pest control was to switch to 'square foot gardening' so I didn't have big areas of monoculture that attract specific pests. Dotting vegetables with 'companion planting' plants also reduces pests.

(this is an old winter plan I made in 2011 but by rotatating the grid in different areas of the garden pests get the run around) OK will stop now

Soil quality and safety

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:25

As ever good advice from Dove. The parasites and pathogens in dog poop are not burrowing or able to move in soil  inside vegetables so the contamination is surface splashes Or from getting into the water features. (Toxicara eggs last years!)

Raised beds with  fresh compost is the way forward and always wash fruit, vegetables and your hands thoroughly. Pigeon poop, fox spraints, cat and hedgehog poop and even owl pellets are often found in my garden - but my dog has a sand box behind the garage.

never compost carnivore faeces is the golden rule.

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