London (change)
Today 13°C / 7°C
Tomorrow 11°C / 5°C


Latest posts by obelixx

Clean trousers

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 10:49

Need an excuse Berghill?  I painted my bedroom last January in a bid to get it sorted before I had the ops for my new feet.  Walls are fine but the ceiling is streaky as the light in January is too low to see what you're really doing.  Needs doing again but not a priority.    However, I suspect that come spring and more light you'd rather be outside getting mucky.

I have scruff clothes for getting various sorts of dirty - dog walking in wet weather, any kind of gardening, decorating and DIY.    My old trousers and t-shirts and OH's all end up in my gardening pile but I did buy a pair of thick, warm, jogging pants for €5 just for dog walking.   I did once have a pair of new, quilted lumberjack shirts for cold weather gardening and these are now patched and stitched but still serviceable despite the best efforts of assorted roses and brambles to shred them.




Essential Tools

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 15:02

Ditto spade.  I don't dig borders but I do dig up plants for dividing or transplanting and dig holes for planting new shrubs.   The smaller border spade blades are perfect.

I also have an old bread knife for sawing up root clumps when I'm dividing plants.

Welcome to the fruit & veg forum

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 13:41

Steven - Put the topsoil in your raised beds and then leave it a few days to settle.   It's too early for sowing most plants yet as the days are too short so the seedlings will not have enough daylight to keep them sturdy and healthy.   You might get away with sowing broad beans and sweet peas depending on where you live.

You could cover your beds with black plastic to warm them up so that when you do sow or plant, your babies will get away faster.    In the mean time, get a good basic veg growing book such as the Dr Hessayon one, have a look at this almanac for ideas of when and what -   Check out seed catalogues online and order some of what you fancy growing then arm yourself with seed trays and seed sowing compost and give it a go,

Welcome to the fruit & veg forum

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 13:31

FFB, you could grow your own in a greenhouse, polytunnel or coldframe.  I can't see winter salads being of interest to UK commercial growers given the vagaries of a British winter and how much it costs to maintain even growing conditions - shelter, heat, water and nutrients plus labour costs for sowing, pricking on, weeding and pest control and then quality control and packing and transport.


Essential Tools

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 12:16

I have a stainless steel spade and fork as they are best for clay soils and tend to last.  Buy th ebest you can afford and pay attention to the length of the handle.  The longer the better for avoiding back trouble - unless you yourself are short.   I also have a stainless steel hand fork with a wooden handle that is very comfy to use for close work. 

The best secateurs are Felco's - last for years and years.   For all my other tools I like the Wolf system of interchangeable short, medium and long handles and assorted heads depending on the job in hand.  I like the double bladed hoe for weeding, available in two widths in the UK and good for going between plants in the border and rows of veggies.   The cultivator heads, rake head and weed extractor are very good to have and they do a decent pair of big loppers too.

Another essential tool is WD40 for spraying on tools after cleaning and a couple of plastic trugs for weeding in borders where a wheelbarrow won't fit.


Covering an Unsightly Fence

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 10:02

You can also screw vine eyes to th eposts at regular intervals and stretch wires between them to support climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis and/or other climbers as well as a mix of shrubs and perennials to extend seasonal interest..  

Sometimes it helps just to change the colour so consider painting it cream to make your garden look wider and lighter and show off the plants you do put in front of it.

Hard pruning Rhodedendrons?

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 15:24

You can remove any dead, broken or diseased stems now when there is no frost about but should then wait till it's flowered this spring to cut back what's left to at least one pair of leaves.    Give it a good feed suitable for ericeous plants.  In future, keep it tidy by trimming once flowering is over.

This is what the RHS has to say about pruning evergreen shrubs -

Problems with Polyanthus

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 14:20

Put some wildlife friendly slug pellets down and see if that does the trick.   The ones round the patio and up against walls are probably dryer and less easy for slugs to access.

Skimmia Japonica

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 14:18

Sequestrin will help if there's an iron deficiency but ericaceous plants can also get anaemic looking if they are short of magensium.  To fix this, give them a foliar feed of 1tbs/15ml of Epsom salts dissolved in 1 gallon/5 litres of water.  Use a watering can to sprinkle it on the leaves.

Where are my snowdrops?

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 14:24

I love your snowdrop wood Berghill.  I hadn't thought of putting snowdrops in my woodland corner but I will now.

Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1376
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1549
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 720
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 949
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1356
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 721
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3944
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1839
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1055
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2632
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 24    Views: 10483
Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned