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Latest posts by obelixx

GM seeds

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 21:12

We don't need GM foods t feed the planet.  Food productiona nd delivery to where it's needed would go up exponentially if corruption stopped and wars too.  As it is, it is reckoned that 50% of food goes to waste either through bad storage or bad delivery means or bad planning.

A lot of Monsanto's GM work is directed to making plants such as corn resistant to glyphosate.   There are studies which show the effects of feeding GM corn with this added feature is highly carcinogenic to rats but it also seems that this study was itself suspect.

A newer study on pigs, however, and by a more reputable laboratory, seems to show they are developing cancers too.  According to my scientists who tell me these things, toxicolgy studies by producer companies only have to be run for 3 months - clearly not long enough to show long term effects of absorption over say 10 years.........

I will never knowingly eat GM foods.


plant indenity

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 17:09

Never come across the short version but I do really love the tall siculum version and plant more every year.  It's odd though.  Some grow dead straight and others do a serpentine.   I love the flowers and the seed heads too.

What to do!

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 10:57

If you have a strimmer, take off all the top growth of the comfrey/borage/whatever and remove and compost it.    Pick as much mint as you can easily preserve either frozen or as dried mint or mint sauce.   You can then apply a solution of glyphosate when new foliage emerges.  This will be taken by the leaves to the roots and will kill them.   You need to wait till the new leaves are a decent size to absorb the product and you may need to apply several times.

Adding a couple of drops of washing up liquid to the solution will help it stick to the foliage and you need to spray it on a dry day with at least 6 hours of no rain and preferably some sun.   It takes about 2 weeks to work but you will then need to be patient and wait for signs of regrowth before you risk digging over the ground as any surviving roots will simply propagate themselves.   Allow yourself the rest of this season to deal thoroughly with the problem and reduce risk of reinvasion that will be a nightmare to remove form any new plants you grow.

Be careful not to let the spray touch any plants you wish to keep and don't let it get in any water features.


Posted: 23/06/2013 at 10:01

That's an excellent recommendation Auntie B.  I shall keep an eye out for one.  have just bought my 3rd gunnera in 10 years having lost one to a -32C frost despite a thick blanket of compost and another to an early frost in October about 4 years ago and before I was expecting to need to cover it.  

This one is staying in a pot till it's bigger and will be over wintered in the greenhouse but if I find a darmera I shall give the gunnera away to a less exposed home.

Another plant for big leaves that don't get too huge is astilboides which I have growing happily in a damp bed on the north side of our house so it doesn't get full sun till 3pm or so from late spring to early autumn - bteween the equinoxes.

Camellias in Scotland

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 09:52

Beechgrove is in the east and also a lot further north than Yorkshire so camellias would risk getting their flower buds and foliage deeply frozen and/or buried under snow just when they're supposed to be flowering and at their best.

The Atlantic coast has much milder winters beacuse of prevailing westerly winds and the Gulf Stream.   The east side is drier and colder.

Schools and Gardening

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:32

Get in touch with the RHS which has a very active and successful programme of helping schools set up gardens and include them in their curriculum.  They give teachers advice and support throughout the whole process -

Victoria Plum

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:29

If it has blossom but no fruit then you have a problem with pollination.   Victoria is self fertile so you odn't need another plum in the vicinity but you do need insects to pollinate it.

Try underplanting with spring flowers such as pulmonaria, primulas, aquilegias, late daffodils that will flower around the same time and attract beneficial insects such as bees that will also visit your plum blossom and do the job.

This spring has been very cold so there haven't been many insects about to do the job and there are worries that there will be low fruit yields this year as a result of non pollination.




Frost Damaged Acer

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:23

Assuming it's the red form then you want the red foliage so cut out the green immediately as this is more vigorous and will gradually overtake the plant.

Talkback: Magnesium deficiency

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 08:47

Chrissieinyeo - you need to post your question on a new thread in the fruit and veg section of the board so the plum experts see it.

Talkback: Magnesium deficiency

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 08:44

1 tbs/15ml of Epsom salts in one gallon/5litres of water for a foliar feed.

However, on Beechgrove this week, Jim was sprinkling a dessertspoon of the salts over the compost in the pot so it would go direct to teh roots when watered so you can choose. 

Ericaceous plants such as rhodos, azaleas, camellias, pieris etc are the ones most likely to suffer from chlorosis caused by magnesium deficiency as any alkalinity in teh soil or water will bind magnesium as well as iron and make it unavailable to their roots.


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10 threads returned