Latest posts by Obelixx

Home made organic way to kill aphids

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 14:21

Arum are not the same as peace lily.  Different family - http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/peace-lily/peace-lily-plants.htm

Gerbera are good.

We don't have fitted carpets, just a few oriental rugs made from wool and and laid on tiles downstairs or floorboards upstairs and with no chemically underlay or backing.   Don't use chemically cleaning products either except for a descaling spray for the showers as we have hard water.  Otherwise I just use various strength solutions of spirit vinegar and hot water for surfaces and taps.

Not especially allergic to anything but I didn't want Possum growing up in a chemical house.

Home made organic way to kill aphids

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 11:18

Aym - read the NASA list.  It's houseplants and which pollutants they're good at cleansing.  Spider plants don't do benzene and I assume you want something that would, given your traffic fumes problems. 

They would have helped with the Damien Hurst dead cow exhibition though.......

Home made organic way to kill aphids

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 09:01

For traffic fumes you're surely better off with a plant that filters benzene.   Spider plants don't.

Home made organic way to kill aphids

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 08:44

Believe it or not, NASA has done a study on plants for air purification and has produced a list of which does what - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

Dracaenas and peace lilies come out tops.


White Hydrangea

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 08:33

It depends whether it's a mophead or a lace cap as the latter is hardier.  See below.   For now, I would be tempted to put it in a bigger pot for now and tease out the roots so they grow into the new compost.  This will help it gain strength for planting out when the flowers are finished.

The RHS advice for mop heads and lace caps is as follows:-

  • Dead blooms on mophead hydrangeas can, in mild areas, be removed just after flowering, but it is best to leave them on the plant over winter to provide some frost protection for the tender growth buds below. Remove the dead flowerheads in early spring, cutting back the stem to the first strong, healthy pair of buds down from the faded bloom
  • Lacecaps are hardier, and the faded flowerheads can be cut back after flowering to the second pair of leaves below the head in order to prevent seed developing, which saps energy from the plant

Pruning established mopheads and lacecaps
  • Cut out one or two of the oldest stems at the base to encourage the production of new, replacement growth that will be more floriferous
  • Poor or neglected plants can be entirely renovated by cutting off all the stems at the base. However, this will remove all the flowers for that summer, and the new stems will not bloom until the following year

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 08:22

I wonder if the statistics for celebrities pan out across the general population - too many leaving too soon.    Either way, I'd be worried if I were a celeb of a certain age.    

Cold and grey here.   I have a heavy date with some serious housework and still can't garden yet anyway.  Another few days for the thumb to heal and I am definitely right handed with hoes and trowels.   Can't even cut the grass as chappy hasn't returned the mower.   Only 2 weeks later than expected and the grass is growing thick and strong.........

I have a golden leaved physocarpus with glorious bright spring foliage.  Unfortunately, from this angle, sat on the sofa looking out, it is clashing with the stems of a cornus Midwinter Fire so I shall have to move it.

Punkdoc - the source of your irritation is known for being someone who takes offence easily but does not hesitate to give it.   Incontinent to boot, forgets or ignores what he's said previously and has never grasped the principle of not posting when less is more.

Home made organic way to kill aphids

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 22:32

The problem with any insecticide, organic or otherwise, is that they are indiscriminate and harm the good guys too.   The best thing is squishing with fingers or blasting with a spray from a hose pipe to remove them from the plants.  

The next best thing is the garlic spray as it puts insects off by smell without harming them.   If you grow the plants strong and sturdy in good light and ventilation they can fight off pests and beneficial insects will come and eat the aphids if you give them time to find them and don't kill them off with spraying.

For outside plants, I find feeding the birds is an excellent trick as the sparrows and tits feed aphids and caterpillars to their young and that keeps pest populations down.   Hang peanut and fat ball feeders near susceptible plants so they spot the pests whilst queuing for feeders.

What a morning

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 17:25

Used to have lots of greenfinches but they got succumbed to that illness going round as I haven't seen any for several years.   We do get chaffinches though and a full range of sparrows and tits (except long-tailed which I've only seen once).

Depending on the season we also get lots of small brown jobs such as robins, wrens, warblers, siskins and so on plus blackbirds and fieldfares but not mistle or song thrush.  Then there's spotted woodpeckers and turtle doves and jays and jackdaws and crows plus an occasional sparrowhawk swooping in.

Very few butterflies last year despite all sorts of nectar plants for them and the nettle patch I leave.   

Our blueberries haven't blossomed yet.

Bark chips

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 14:20

You are right to complain.

Bark chips should be sold graded by size, like gravel or frozen prawns.   When we first made our long, thin triangular bed out front I ordered the biggest possible so they wouldn't get blown away in winter gales.  This was years ago and most of it has now done its job and also decomposed into the soil which is fine as the perennials and shrubs have now more or less covered the bare soil.

For more sheltered beds, under dwarf conifers and the holly hedge and our woodland path I use a medium grade.   I never buy the finer stuff as it degrades too quickly into a happy weed seeding medium.   Easy to clean but not wanted.

Picture Postcard Request

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 14:09

Bought a postcard in France but didn't have time to find a PO for a stamp.  Will put it in an envelope with one of Gembloux. 

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