Latest posts by obelixx

clematis pruning

Posted: 03/02/2016 at 00:15

I treat all my group 2s as group 3s as they usually get their tops frozen to bits in a normal winter.

Gave up growing group 1s as they too get frozen and then die as they don't respond well to being cut back hard unless they've been going for years and years and have good strong roots to drive recovery.

Poor quality clematis?

Posted: 02/02/2016 at 14:56

At this size I would leave it and see what grows this season.  It is a group 1 and can be trimmed, if needs be, after any flowers have formed in April/May/June.

This clematis website gives pruning info and can be searched for info on hundreds of clematis and their growing habits - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-pruning.cfm 

Poor quality clematis?

Posted: 02/02/2016 at 10:39

Agree with Richard.   I never cover the base of my clems except to put an terracotta pot over them to protect the stems from hoeing accidents to which OH is all too prone.  He has decapitated several and not all take kindly to it.

I bash out the bottoms of the pots to widen the hole then slip them, upside down, over the newly planted clem before releasing the stems to their supports.  A bonus is that they act as a safety guide for directing slug pellets and slow release food granules so they are concentrated where needed.

Other than that, surround with good perennials to hide the bare stems at the base and apply general fertiliser such as pelleted manure to the whole border.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/02/2016 at 10:34

Absolutely filthy wet and windy out there today.  Potting things in the garage and shed for me then, depending on whether they need light.  Greenhouse still full of overwintering treasures. 

Poor quality clematis?

Posted: 01/02/2016 at 17:50

You can't really expect a clem to grow much, if at all, between autumn and late winter.   It should though, if planted well, have been busy developing a root system to sustain it through the coming season.

Give yours a generous handful of specialist clematis feed or rose feed if you can't find that and fork it lightly in around the base of your plant.  You can also encourage it with liquid feeds of tomato food for an instant tonic.

Clematis can take a year or two to settle in before they get going so be patient but then expect your Montana to take off.   Train in new stems as horizontally or diagonally as possible on a decent support to encourage flowers.  In future years, you can prune it to keep it in bounds as soon as flowering finishes.  This will encourage new flowering stems to be produced for the following year.   

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 01/02/2016 at 12:14

Very windy out there and so wet underfoot the lawn is oozing audibly.

No gardening, just bird feeding.

Getting back into fruit & veg growing

Posted: 01/02/2016 at 10:11

The Vegetable and Herb Expert book comes in alphabetical order so no index needed.   I don't do chemicals either, or digging, but it's a useful guide if I'm growing something for the first time or working out where I went wrong.

I use raised beds which get compost piled on in late autumn or early winter and then raked levelish.   Come spring, a quick hoe and they're ready for planting out seedlings or plugs I've grown on in pots to get them big enough to cope.

Getting back into fruit & veg growing

Posted: 31/01/2016 at 16:43

For easy access to information about different veggies, the Hessayon series book on Vegetables is good.    Joy Larkcom is also good on veggies and salads.

There's a chap on the A4A website who has a very helpful online almanac with a sowing and harvesting guide plus a monthly guide of what to be doing - http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Planners/Preamble.htm 

'toilet roll seed starters'

Posted: 31/01/2016 at 14:26

I use loo roll innards to start peas and beans but not smaller seeds which don't need to send down such deep roots.  I use 3 or 4 inch square pots for squashes and trays or modules for everything else.

I keep seed packets in old ice cream tubs, sorted by weather the final plant is leafy, fruity, flowery or rooty.


gardening toolbox

Posted: 29/01/2016 at 13:38

My spade and forks hang on the garage wall and I have a board fitted with hooks and screws to store my collection of Wolf tool heads and their handles in different lengths plus trowels, hand forks and secateurs.   Everything is thus visible and to hand.

When gardening, I use a plastic trug with 2 divisions to carry the smaller tools so I can keep muddy in one side and clean in t'other.  Spade and forks go in the wheelbarrow as needed.

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