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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 27/03/2013 at 10:44

You ned to tie the main stems to the arch so you can see the structure and stop it all flapping around in strong winds.   Use garden twine, not wires, and tie stems loosely with a figure of 8 looping round the frame and then crossing before looping round the stems.  This allows room for growth and a bit of movement but keeps it all stable.

cutting grass while its snowing

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 09:54

Patience!   Grass should not be cut when the temperature is below 8C as it isn't growing. 

It shouldn't even be walked on when frozen as this breaks the leaves and damages their ability to nourish the roots which are the negine of the plants.

Nor shjould it be walked on when waterlogged as this will compact the roots, drive air out of the soil and further weaken the roots and thus the plants and make drainage even worse than before.

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 08:59

Digging it just tends to leave lots of broken bits in the ground that self propagate as root cuttings and multiply or maintain the problem.     I have this coming in from a field next door and also in imported soil in some raised beds.

I find it does weakens if it is constantly pulled from beds where you can't spray.  You then need to let it dry out completely in the sun and then either burn it or put it in the dustbin.  Where you can spray, it takes repeated applications through the growing year.


Posted: 26/03/2013 at 23:48

Climbers flower on new wood so I train my main stems as horizontally aspossible to encourage the sap to flow more easily to make flower buds.   In spring, I cut off all dead and broken shoots and any showing die-back.  I then remove all the small shoots coming up, down or out from the main stems and any weak and spindly stems and then I give the plant a good feed of general purpose food for foliage and rose fertiliser for flowers. 

Each year, on the more established climbers I take at least one main stem out right at the base so the plant puts up new shoots and thus continually renews itself and stays vigorous.  I have some newer climbers which are still too young and small to do this too as yet.

Ramblers flower on wood produced the season before so, other than taking out dead or damaged wood in spring, should be pruned after flowering.


Posted: 26/03/2013 at 23:25

I'm waiting till the very cold nights and bitter winds have gone as I've learned from experience that new cuts and heavy frost lead to damaged cells that attract disease or die back.   I have friends with warmer, more sheltered city gardens and they can prune now with confidence but not me yet.

Chris Beardshaw to join Beechgrove Garden

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 10:30

Light boxes are used to reflect light backaround seedlings.  You can get very fancy or do as GH did - simply cut a wall form a cardboard or wooden box to let light in, paint the interior white and.or line it with tin foil and bingo - a light box to keep your seedlings straight and short.

Chris Beardshaw to join Beechgrove Garden

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 21:03

Geoff H and AT only had 30 minutes too and managed to show us simple tricks.  With this version of GW, many beginners wouldn't ever know that a light box or similar is needed to help seedlings grow straight and sturdy instead of leggy and bendy.  They'd just assume it can't be done without greenhouses and cold frames and give up before they start.

When all the people who haven't yet seen it realise how much Beechgrove gets done in its 30 minutes and all without seeming pressured or stressed or rushed they'll see just how little we get each week in the current incarnation of GW and it's not all how tae - it's what, where, when and how and sometimes who plus which plants and materials do best.

MOB rants

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 15:57

Can't stand mobile phones either.  For me they're a useful emergency tool if I'm stuck somewhere or am waiting to meet someone who's late.  They are not a life enhancing gadget or an every day need.  Nobody I know is so important they need to be on the end of a phone 24/7 and it's rude to let the ringing and chat interfere with and intrude on valuable family and social time.

Teenager's room is another point of frustration.   I'm fed up with picking clothes off the floor and having tto pick my way through the obstacle course of detritus as though I were negotiating a minefield so I've told her I am buying no new clothes till she can look after what she already has and anything I do find on the floor goes in the bin as it's clearly not wanted.

She's been "cleaning" her own room for over a year and gets to do the landing and spare bedroom too.   Since I went in for my first foot op at the end of Jan, she also makes her own lunch for school.  If she doesn't tell us she's run out of rolls or fillings she has to buy lunch with her own money.  

Hard work trying to get a teenager to organise itself!

Never buying KEA furniture again.  I'd rather buy second hand made from proper wood and do it up.  It's usually much more attracive, sturdier and cheaper too.   My last buy was red Billy bookshelves.  OK so they were an interim measure while I find real ones but they've flipping well bent under the weight of real books! 

is will you use the extra hour next weekend

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 15:22

We don't get an extra hour though do we.  Just a change of time which, I've discovered, irritates the Belgians too and they'd like to stay on permanent summer time and stop messing about.

The forecast is not good for the next week so we'll be happily employed sorting out theh barn and clearing and sorting stuff so the walls are accessible for damp proofing injections.  If we get some sun, we'll snatch an hour or two outside but we do have to get all our walls cleared by the 2nd.


Painting a trellis...

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 14:47

I suspect this one has even more -

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10 threads returned