Latest posts by obelixx

terracotta pots

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 11:36

With brand new pots you can give the inside a coat of PVA glue or acrylic varnish to reduce water absorption but, as with any pot, ceramic, plastic, wood or terracotta, you do actually have to water regularly.  Leave an inch or two free at tht otp so you can pour on one good soak a week rather than daily dribbles.  Much better for the plants and less work for you.  Increase frequency in hot weather and reduce in cold weather.

Adding a mulch of gravel, grit, chipped bark or expanded clay pellets helps reduce water loos by evaporation.

Are these dead?

Posted: 09/09/2015 at 16:41

Horse manure is excellent as long as the pastures they've grazed on haven't been treated with aminopyralid which is a selective herbicide found to have residual effects which are not good for plants grown in ground treated with manure from horses and cows grazed in fields where it has been used.

Ask at your nearest stables and make sure that any manure you collect or they deliver is no longer smelly.   That means it's well rotted and perfect as a soil conditioner.

My Willow or Hazel, which one and what's going to happen ??

Posted: 09/09/2015 at 15:45

Not convinced you can weave with twisted willow but it does lend itself to decorative bare stems in flower arrangements and at Xmas.

I would get rid and plant something less vigorous and with attractive bark in winter so maybe a prunus serrulata which has lovely, shiny, coppery bark for winter glow and spring blossoms and attractive foliage with autumn colour - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Results?form-mode=false&query=prunus%20serrulata 


Are these dead?

Posted: 09/09/2015 at 11:12

Pulling them out won't be that hard once the ground is wet but it will be messy so I'd do them all at once and then put down a good thick layer of well rotted manure or garden compost to improve the soil which will be impoverished after all those conifers.

Autumn is the best time to plant new hedges.  You can buy bare root whips - single stemmed plants - in bundles very cheaply.   This site gives info on which plants are good for wildlife - http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/habitats/hedge.aspx and there is a hedging company that provides advice and plants but I can't remember its name.  Someone else will no doubt post it.

My Willow or Hazel, which one and what's going to happen ??

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 18:59

It's a willow.  You can cut it back hard to about head or fence height before the end of January - not when it's freezing - and it will grow new shoots in spring.   This is called pollarding and can be done every year if needs be.

Plant ID for a beginner

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:47

It's a hardy perennial which means it dies back in autumn and the roots and crown hibernate over winter.  Come spring and it all shoots up again.  I love them.

As Hosta says, some people find them to be invasive but it's easy enough to dig up any unwanted bits or else lift any plants they are smothering and replant somewhere else.

All you need to do is pull away the spent flower stems and foliage once they all turn brown and go soggy in late autumn.   Bung them on a compost heap if you have one.  If not, think about making or buying one as they'll make free soil conditioner for you.

Chilly Weather

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:25

32C last Tuesday.  16C today.   No surprises so far but we just got home from a long weekend away so I've been busy fetching and cuddling and walking the dogs.   Cat happy to be home too.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:23

I think he may get a huge Irish vote but if he's as wooden as people say I hope he doesn't stay.   

Strictly is back!

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 13:34

Just back from a visit to Ireland so missed the partnering show.  Not sorry as it's usually a lot of hype and no content.   Will definitely be watching the rest of the series and loving it - mostly.   I like to see celebs progress and I like to see proper choreography from the professional dancers.   Don't like to see tangos and pasos to inappropriate music.  Don't like to see good dancers voted out and lesser but more popular celebs stay in past their limits.

Irish bookies have Daniel as a favourite to win at short odds.   I don't recognise half the celebs this year so it seems like a poor lot but I don't care as long as they all try.   Can't bear Ainsley or Jeremy so they can go first.  Please.

Our own dance club season starts in 2 weeks' time.   That'll be good fun too.


Killing Comfrey

Posted: 07/09/2015 at 23:08

Instead of digging you could strim or otherwise cut off all the current foliage as far and wide as the entire clump you wish to remove.    When the comfrey regrows - and it will - cut all the lovely new foliage and dump it in a large old dustbin with a lid.  Cover with water and leave for 2 weeks.   Stir well - at this point you'll understand the need for a lid.   Dilute the resulting mix and use to to feed flowering and fruiting plants next spring and summer.

When it regrows again, spray carefully with a glyphosate solution which will kill the new foliage and the leaves.  It takes 2 weeks so be patient and be prepared to repeat a couple of times as comfrey roots go deep and take a while to die and the smallest piece can regrow.

Once it's all dead you can just fork over the bed without going too deep then layer on some good garden or bought compost and plant your new treasures.



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