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Latest posts by obelixx

Bitter beetroot

Posted: 26/10/2012 at 12:02

I know that a lack of magnesium is thought to make tomatoes taste bitter so maybe it's the same for beetroot.  Also, if your soil is acid, some plants can find it difficult to take up magnesium so try giving them a weak dose of Epsom Salts every couple of weeks next year - 1 tsp to a gallon - poured over the foliage and around the plant but not on  sunny days.


Posted: 24/10/2012 at 14:07

A good handful per plant lightly forked in around the base.    Good to add to the soil at planting time too.

Advice On Garden Design

Posted: 24/10/2012 at 09:47

Well, Plainleaf did first come to notice as Grid Gardener advocating square foot gardening.   Oops, what a give away.


Posted: 22/10/2012 at 22:35

Like I said, clematis are greedy.  Bonemeal given in autumn and worked in round the base of the plant will help roots over winter and thus betetr above ground shoots next srping and summer..   Blood fish and bone is a balanced general fertiliser that will help growth of the whole plant.  Clematis food is sepcifically balanced to help flower production and tomato food is specifically balanced to help with flower and fruit production so I will use all four feeds at different stages of growth because I want good growth, good flowers and good fluffy seedheads on the early group 1 flowerers such as Red Robin and then a repeat season of flowering in May/june and then late summer from the early hybrids (group 2s) and a long season of flowers followed by seedheads from the summer flowering group 3s as well as perfume from the ones that have that too.

The same feeding regime will be good for roses and any other climber or shrub from which you expect a high performance level.


Posted: 22/10/2012 at 14:09

I agree with Alina.  Clematis are very hungry plants and most of mine have suffered this year from an excess of rain and lack of warmth after already being challenged by drought all last year.   Some of my 40+ clems have done very well, others have struggled then finally put on a show and some have just struggled despite TLC.

I plan on giving them all bonemeal to feed their roots this winter plus a mulch of compost and then big feeds of blood, fish and bone in early spring and clematis food as growth starts in earnest.   If they look at all dodgy, I'll give them instant tonic with liquid rose or tomato food once the worst frosts are past in May.   

Royal Purple Plant

Posted: 20/10/2012 at 13:11

Have you tried using the Plant Finder facility on the RHS website? 

Filling a small garden with small plants seems logical but actually just makes it look smaller and bitty so try a few large scale plants.  You can also make your garden look wider by widening the borders at the sides and introducing angles or curves that stop the eye going straight to the back fence. 

You can also break up the expanse of fence by attaching horizontal wires to vine eyes screwed in at 12 to 18 inch intevals and then using them to train climbing roses, clematis and/or honeysuckle to give flowers and perfume through the groing season.       

Shrub or tree? what will determine???

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 16:05

Look at its shape and look at the label.  Generally speaking if it's growing low and hummocky it will stay that way but may reach quite a large spread and a bit more height over time.

More upright forms will get taller.  Sango Kaku is a good small tree with bright red stems in winter.  Mine started out about 4 or 5' tall and is now well over 2 m high though its stem ends get frosted every winter here so it may grow taller and faster for you..

Dog fouling on lawn and in the soil

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 15:46

Cats can be deterred by a water scarecrow.  Google for info and suppliers.  

I expect one would work in a front garden too - except for water dogs like Labradors - and postmen, milkmen and paper boys wouldn't be too happy.

Dog fouling on lawn and in the soil

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 12:21

If the garden is unattended during the day there's not a lot can be done except to close access to the garden.  If that's not an option, Alina's suggestion of a sonic deterent is sound advice as uncaring owners and unattended dogs have no-one to stop them entering your garden and pooing where they please.

We always pick up our dogs' mess in town and on country paths but not all owners do that.

Remove Robinia Tree?

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 10:29

The RHS thinks the problem is exacerbated by a cool wet summer so I'm waiting another year to see if my tree improves.  It did put on some fresh, healthy foliage during a short hot spell in August and ended up looking much better so it gets a stay of execution.

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