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Latest posts by obelixx

Peanuts for birds

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 11:26

They'll be fine and probably all gone by the end of May anyway.

Peanuts for birds

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 10:43

If the peanuts are sticking together or looking a bit mouldy, throw them away and clean and rinse the feeders thoroughly.   It's fine to offer them in feeders as they can't get whole ones out that will then choke their babies.   Don't offer them as loose feed.  

I keep all my peanut, fat ball, insect block and loose seed feeders topped up all year so that I have healthy adults prodcing healthy eggs and with the energy to forage for insects and larvae to feed their young who need juicy food for its moisture as much as its protein to grow well.  It works very well and I never have to spray for pests.

However at certain periods of the year they forage in my garden, local fields and woods so consumption of my offerings slows down.  Even the best quality peanuts can get a bit mouldy if left long enough, particularly in wet conditions so it's just a case of regular checking and cleaning as necessary.

Keeping wind off a windy allotment

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 00:19

Using a solid wind block just causes air currents to flow differently and sometimes makes things worse.  Keep your glass panels for coldframes.

Have you thought about a permeable windscreen mesh?  You can buy rolls of usually green windbreak fabric which is perforated so it allows air through for ventilation but slows it down so it doesn't damage plants and crops.

It comes in various heights and lengths so have a look in local garden centres and DIY shops and then you just need to erect some strong stakes or fence posts and  stretch it between them.   I would also stretch some wire between the supports and attach the fabric to that for extra strength.

Clematis sulking in pot

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 14:08

As Dove says, it's probably hungry if not starving so, if it can't go out in a border, try and find a bigger pot and give it plenty of fresh compost and regular feeding and watering.

sloping garden need help

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 16:51

How big is the height difference between the top and the bottom and how long is the garden?  How high are boundary walls and/or fences?  What's your budget and expertise?

It's perfectly possible to build up decking to quite a height but that will leave a lot of space underneath to lose things through the gaps left fro drainage and you should also bear in mind that critters like rats and foxes just love the shelter decking provides for housing and breeding.

Clematis for a south facing border

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 13:56

My Arabella has been in about 8 years now and is very happy so now outgrows a 2.2 metre obelisk and spreads into a nearby cotinus.   It would swamp my Alionushka which, admittedly, has only been in 3 years and just makes it to the top of a 2metre trellis panel.

Clematis for a south facing border

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 13:42

I find the group 3s work best for me in my sunny south facing border, or group 2s that can be treated as group 3s which means cutting them back hard in spring, giving them a feed and then watching them grow and flower over summer - training them as they develop.

I have Betty Corning, Princess Diana, Sunset, Arabella (non self clinging), Chrystal Fountain and Hendryetta (non clinging) all very happy and their flowers don't fade in the sun.  I also have Dr Ruppel, Omoshiro, Star of India and Westerplatte in beds to the north of the house but which get full sun from March to October and they'd be good on your obelisk too.

I also have Red Robin which is a group 1, flowering now with lovely whorled seed heads to follow.  It just gets pruned to keep it in bounds on its clematis panel.

One clematis per obelisk is ample as over the years their vigour will increase and they'll easily cover it.   Do not mix tow clems from 2 runing groups as you'll never untangle or distinguish which stems to prune and which to leave.

soil preparation

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 13:33

Have fun Merlot.   Have a look at this link too as it gives advice on honeysuckles - Some are fine in sun but some do better with a bit of shade so you'll need to pick your variety accordingly.

Can't help with jasmines as they are not hardy enough for my garden but the RHS has this advice to offer -

soil preparation

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 12:35

First of all you need to attache trellis or a row of wires stretched horizontally at 12 to 18 inch intervals to teh fence to support your climbers.    Then the whole bed needs completely digging over to check for bits of rubble and stones and remove any weeds and their roots.  This will also break up the soil and aerate it making it easier for roots to grow.

Then you need to condition the soil by adding some moisture retentive matter which will also introduce beneficial organisms into the soil so work in a good thick layer of well rotted manure or garden compost which you can buy at DIY stores and garden centres if needs be.    Then select your chosen plants and dunk their pots in a bucket of water until all air bubbles stop forming.  

Make a planting hole a bit deeper and twice as wide as the pot and then use more soil conditioner mixed with soil to back fill the hole and end up with the crown of the plant (where stems emerge from the compost) at the same level in the soil as it was in the pot.   Water well and then mulch with some more conditioner to retain moisture.   Tie the stems in loosely to their supports and keep the plants watered during dry spells until next autumn.  

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 10:49

The weather here has been atrocious so no gardening all week and I very much doubt I'll get any done today which is a pity as I have strawberries to plant out and transplant and some beans ready to go out so today would have been ideal from a lunar point of view.

Let's hope its better for the weekend and I can get my baby beets planted out and fork over my cleared flower beds taking out nasties like couch grass roots so they're ready for planting up on the 14th.


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11 threads returned