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Latest posts by obelixx

Rose help needed

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 22:14

Aphids can spread to other plants but they won't do much harm if your plants are otherwise healthy.  There are several ways of dealing with them - squish them with your fingers, blast them off with a hose pipe, encourage birds such as tits and sparrows that feed aphids to their babies, spray with chemicals such as Rose Clear at the beginning of the season.  

Rose Clear will also deal with black spot.   The organic way is to remove all affected leaves and burn them or put them in teh dust bin.  Do not leave them lying on the ground where the spores can reinfect the plant.

Make sure your roses have plenty of slow release rose fertiliser in spring so they can grow strongly and fight off pests and diseases and give them one or two liquid tonics of tomato food for an instant boost but don't feed after the end of June as new growth will then be too sappy to harden off before winter.

Straggly Geum

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 17:54

I find they vary from year to year and place to place.  Last year's Mrs Bradshaws are growing tall but straight.  This year's new plants are shorter and a bit more horizontal in a calmer part of the garden.  I have Lady Stratheden in two places and one group is very tall and floppy but wasn't last year.   Flames of Passion has been good and sturdy and has now finished so all its flowers have been trimmed off.  

I have others whose labels I have lost that are behaving well and an Apricot Delight is proving compact so far but is another new one this year.

CORRECT name for this weed killer please?

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 14:21

There are increasingly strict rules about what products and formulations are available for us by home gardeners and fewer options available.

If you have unwanted daisies in your lawn, use a purpose made Lawn Weed and Feed application in spring and autumn.   There are several available and they will treat all broad leaved weeds and feed the grass to make it grow stronger.   Just follow the instructions on the pack.

If they are daisies in your border, just hoe the off at the crown.   No need for chemicals that may harm other plants you do wish to keep.


Posted: 10/06/2015 at 12:11

The point of the saucer is to hold water at the bottom and keep the surface beneath it clean.   Otherwise, the saucer is superfluous.

Buying things in the bargain section of the garden centre...

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 11:04

I have OH and Possum just about trained now after years of horrors.   They know, however boring it may be for them, that I like garden stuff (and sometimes kitchen stuff) for birthday, Xmas and Mum's Day and now we go together to the garden centre/plant fair/ Xmas market or flea market and I choose for the garden while they pay.   

I used to be subtle about what I wanted but a mobile phone for Xmas one year was the last straw so a very effective eruption followed and everyone now gets what they've asked for and not what the others think they should have.

Tips on attracting positive insects?

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 10:54

They don't have to be wild flowers and in any case, garden soils tend to be too fertile for most of them to do well as wild flowers tend to grow in poor soils with low nutrients.

Single forms of ornamental flowers provide pollen and nectar too.  Hardy geraniums are particularly popular with insects and come in a wide range of flower size and colours from spring to late summer, depending on variety, and they also have varieties suitable to shade, dappled shade and full sun.

Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and alliums can be planted to provide nectar and pollen over a long spring season and will be appreciated by early bumble bees and other beneficial insects as they emerge.  Go for the species rather than the modern hybrids to stay in keeping with your native theme.  

Geums, foxgloves, campanulas, cornflowers and potentillas are good too as long as you steer clear of the doubles.  Simple roses are good too and then all sorts of plants will provide flowers and colour and nectar and pollen to take you through summer and autumn.

Ivy, when mature enough to flower, provides an important food source in autumn as well as shelter.

Tips on attracting positive insects?

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 21:59

You need flowers with pollen to attract ladybirds and nectar to attract hover flies as ladybirds and the hover fly young will are great consumers of aphids.   

Next step for rose cuttings

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 10:47

No probs.  I have those too.

Does this Rose need a prune?

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 09:39

Good tip.  I'd forgotten that one.

Next step for rose cuttings

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 09:22

I think you're confusing me with Busy Lizzie Dove.  My climbers and ramblers are all in the ground.   I do have roses in pots but not climbers.  Mine are either new ones I'm nurturing or else old ones I've had to rescue from the hurly burly of life in my very exposed borders.   All doing very well for now.

I agree with others that these roses need to be potted on so they can grow roots strong enough to support the top growth and make more.   Professional rose growers put theirs in tall, square pots about 30cm high and 12 to 5cm wide to grow on for sale so try something that size to start with.    Some roses just have a climbing gene.  I, on teh other hand, have a climber which is determined to be a shrub rose.  

I think the best thing would be to give it a framework of trellis or an obelisk and try to bend the stem gently down to make it lie as horizontally as possible and then tie in all the new growth to keep the main stem attached and wound round or across the chosen support.   I gave this advice to a friend of mine who has planted a rambler with an obelisk this spring and it is now sending up all sorts of short vertical shoots with flower buds on them while the leader gets longer and is tied in continually so the technique does work.

If such a support is not possible, cut the lead stem back to just above a pair of leaves lower down and see if that makes it produce side shoots.  I would cut it above the 4th or 5th pair of leaves and at an angle so rain water can drip off and not sit and rot the end.

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