Latest posts by Obelixx

Rhodohypoxis milloides claret

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 17:29

These plants are freely available in markets here and not that expensive - about €5 for a 10cm pot full of plants.  I have a friend who buys them every year for his summer pots and tubs.  However, they are not reliably hardy here and don't like winter wet so he doesn't keep them apart from a few that he squeezes into his unheated but large greenhouse.

Not sure how they'd cope assuming you're in Yorkshire.   They'd need to be grown as alpines in very free draining soil in order to get them through winter.

Slug pellets

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 15:02

Lots of birds here plus amphibians and hedgehogs so I use the ferrous sulphate pellets sparingly to protect emerging hostas, clems, daffs and hemerocallis and scatter them regularly from St Valentine's day on as it's an easy date to remember.

When I plant out new veggies such as lettuce and brassicas I also use some pellets - again sparingly.

Once plants get to a certain size they have to fend for themselves.  Haven't used methaldehyde pellets for years and never will again.  I want my edible crops to be chemical free.   I've never needed them for toms but then I grow them on to quite a big size of pot before planting them in the greenhouse border.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 14:50

Glad too that Marion is OK.   Been having connection problems here too so I know how frustrating it is.  We have a new cable TV service which combines a digital TV decoder with telephone and internet modem.   TV mostly OK but phone and internet intermittent.   Humph.

Been too busy to be much bothered - all that decorating work is now done and we were at it till very late last night putting the kitchen and hall back together.   Curtains went back up this am and the "posh" glasses are also back in their cabinet.   Pleased with the results but it was painful.  Got a wee splinter in my right thumb which got infected and eventually had to get a doc to clean it all out.   Local anaesthetic jabs as painful as the infection!  

Have to be good and keep it clean another week and then I can attack the garden.........   Might just have to find some triple layer gloves or something as it's very frustrating.    Sun's out.  Grass is growing.  Weeds are growing.   Treasures need pruning, dividing etc etc.

I trust spring is sprung where you are and the sun is shining too.


problem sparrows

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 13:02

We bought this house 23 years ago and not a sparrow in sight.   3 years of putting out fat balls and we finally had sparrows and assorted tots visiting.  Now they are resident in the eaves and hedges we have planted and we're very pleased.

They hoover up aphids and caterpillars from our crops and roses to feed their nestlings so I never need sprays.   I've never had any problems with them eating all the bean or pea flowers or the damson blossom so I would echo the advice to feed the adults with loose seeds plus peanut feeders and fat balls and make sure they have some water to drink.    The reason they feed insects to their young is because of the high protein but also their water content. 

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 16/04/2016 at 16:38

It is cold and grey and dark and intermittently wet here.  Not nice at all.

Started off my day with a sectorial meeting of dance clubs in a French speaking association here - friendly lot exchanging info, tips, ideas, questions etc - then came home to cook lunch and carry on with decorating the kitchen.  All edging and cutting in done now.  Time to break out the roller.

Might have to see a doc on Monday as I have a splinter buried deep in my thumb which is now swelling up and painful.   Humph.   Not as bad as one of our young members who has opened his thigh with a circular saw.   Multiple ouch and no dancing for months for him.

Punkdoc - don't provoke your neighbour when no-one else is around.  Say hello if you must but no more.   

Best wishes to all with ailments/injuries/post ops and/or loved ones suffering.

Uses for willow water

Posted: 15/04/2016 at 10:19

I suspect soaking chopped up stems would make a good solution for encouraging other stems to root if taking cuttings of shrubs.  

You do realise that coppicing a willow just makes it grow with increased vigour and any stems you leave lying on the ground will root and grow?  It's usually done to the shrubby varieties to encourage decorative colourful stems for a winter garden or to provide material for basket and willow weavers.   


EU bans glyphosate

Posted: 15/04/2016 at 10:01

PF - scientists employed by commercial companies think with commercial brains and their salary and pension in mind.   The scientists I met when teaching English conversation to help them in collaborative EU projects and international conferences are government research or university employees with no commercial prejudice and they're the kind that find glyphosate and neonicitinoids worrying. 

Dove - I use organic flour for baking and buy organic wholemeal  or spelt bread but we don't eat it very often.  Make my own cakes and biscuits so I know what's in them.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 15/04/2016 at 09:54

I've always suspected that hospital management teams were dreamed up by a team of misogynist hospital consultant advisory group who had suffered at the hands of efficient matrons when still wet behind the ears and doing their early training.

Sorry you've had a bad night Lyn and hope you find a solution and the help you need.  Completely agree about not wasting scarce resources on undeserving people with self inflicted problems.  Let them take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Did anyone see the brain part of the Staying Younger programme?  Interesting stuff.   Never seen a purple sweet potato in our part of Belgium.  Will have to switch from grapefruit to purple fruit juice!   Pleased all our dancing is good for us though and I'll be joining OH on dog walks - when it's sunny and after I've finished the decorating.



Which brigade are you?

Posted: 15/04/2016 at 09:38

No dig.

Several reasons - it's actually bad for beneficial micro organisms in the soil to be brutally disturbed.   You really only need to dig deep once to break up any clay pan to aid drainage and remove deep weed roots and large stones.

We have raised beds for veggies and pile on compost in rotation and then just fork or rake it level for sowing or planting.   

When first preparing to convert the former cow pasture round the ex farmhouse to make a garden we found an old landmine.   The bomb disposal mob removed it but didn't check for any more so we don't dig except to make a planting hole for new trees, shrubs or fence/trellis posts.   A light forking or hoeing or raking does the job.

RHS Bridgewater

Posted: 15/04/2016 at 09:30

It will be a wonderful resource for north western gardeners to pop into for a while or a day as and when they can.  

Been to Harlow Carr once and thoroughly enjoyed it but,like Wisley, it's too big to see in just one day so needs several trips.   We'll be visiting Harlow Carr in May but I can't see us getting to Rosemoor as it's so far.

Great to have such a good spread.  Now they just need funds and resources for RHS gardens in Wales and Scotland and NI.

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