Latest posts by obelixx

Beechgrove Garden Goes National.

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 09:49

verdun - People grow giant veggies for competitions as a hobby, like some people grow prize daffs or roses or sweet peas.    It's all about plant husbandry and is a harmless way of having fun unless you're into sabotaging the competition's leeks.

I'd rather grow interesting and tasty veg I can't easily get in the shops but I'm not going to knock gardeners who like the big ones.

Fairy Girl - GW does indeed need to look at its focus and get a plan for being more relevant to ordinary gardeners or esle hold up its hand to being just an entertainment  gardening show and not intended to inform, educate and advise would be gardeners or gardeners with limited experience and/or resources.   The size of Monty's composting area is bigger than a lot of people's entire garden.

purple loosestrife and ragged robin

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 09:38

I had purple loosetrife on the margins of my unlined pond and have had to work hard to eradicate it.  It's invasive and not especially attractive.    Try growing eupatorium instead as it's excellent for insects and better behaved.

I have yellow and white (gooseneck) loosetrife growing elsewhere in dryer soil and happily expanding.  I keep the yellow one under control as it's not my favourite and I regularly dig up clumps of the white to give to friends.

Beechgrove Garden Goes National.

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 23:30

Another good programme with loads in it but no hurry.   I won't ever be trying to grow or propagate begonias or giant veg but some people do and the advice on getting long root veg by giving them a tube of soft compost to grow in could just as easily apply to anyone just trying to get a crop on ground that is otherwise too heavy.

On Saturday morning, Beechgrove and GW will be repeated back to back on Beeb 2.   I think GW will be found wanting in such close comparison and needs to up its game.

basic newbie problem

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 23:22

Half hardy actually means they can't cope with forsts and should be hardened off by day but brought under cover at night till teh frosts are over in mid May for most of mainland Britain.  They will die with the first autumn frosts.

Hardy used to mean it could withstand frost but there are, of course, degrees of cold so the RHS has recently revised its hardiness definitions to take account of this.  Se ehere and click on "hardiness ratings" in the text for a full list - http://www.rhs.org.uk/News/Hardiness-rating-system-improved

Tender plants need to be kept indoors, in conservatories or in heated greenhouses as they can't stand cold, let alone frost.   Most houseplants are in this category but can go out for some fresh air in summer.

Feeding Clematis

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 19:12

Pete - I have between 40 and 50 depending on how many come through this winter.  Until I found the clematis food on sale here recently I'd always fed mine with BF&B or pelleted chicken manure and liquid tonics of rose or tomato food.  Works well for me.

Twisted Willow

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 18:31

Yes, prune the straight stems out now from the base of each stem.

The weather

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:20

I've been leavibg plants out for the past two nights but all usually hardy such as hellebores, primulas, hemerocallis and new shrubs waiting to be planted.

I wouldn't risk busies just yet, not till it gets a lot warmer at night so mid May.

A little lost

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:17

Thanks Matty but, as you say, it's too much of a faff.   Don't see why they can't do a simple fact sheet like Beechgrove does.

Feeding Clematis

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:15

I feed mine in early spring and then again at intervals till they flower.  Never had problems with bud drop.

Twisted Willow

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:11

The best time to move it is autumn or winter when it is dormant and the roots can recover without the stress of having to pump up sap to the foliage.   You then just dig it up and put it ina well prepared new hole, firm it in and water it.  Well prepared means already dug deeper and wider than teh root ball and with well rotted garden compost or manure or other soil conditioner to help improve the soil so it establishes quickly.

If you must move it now, dig it up with as big a root ball as possible as soon as possible.  Plant as above, and water it every week, come rain or shine, till next autumn's leaf drop.    Willow take up a great deal of water and it won't like drying out.

As for the straight stems, these need cutting out every year after leaf fall which is when you can see them best.  You can still do it now if you're quick but the sap is rising now and it may bleed a little.

Try to disturb your acer and its roots as litle as possible but, just in case, work in some soil conditioner round its base and water it well too.

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