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Latest posts by obelixx

Weeds in gravel garden

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 13:17

Hello Jro.   How are you and yours, and your garden?

Weeds in gravel garden

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 12:19

Weeds in teh garden are like dust in the home.  No matter how clean and neat and tidy you are they always come back because they are designed to survive which means they can propoagte themselves from tiny bits of root left in the soil and from seeds that have lain dormant for ages or sprout fresh form a flower you missed pulling.

Weeds in gravel are easy enough to pull by hand, especially after rain, or can be carefully scalped with a Dutch hoe or one of those lovely double edged Wolf heads.   Regular pulling and hoeing will weaken them in the end.   If you have a large area use a glyphosate based product but with care as it is indiscriminate in what it kills and leaves residues in the environment which will no doubt come back to haunt us all.



Posted: 26/05/2013 at 12:09

Aubretia require full sun and good drainage.  i suggest you try something better suited to a shady position - fuchsias, impatiens New Guinea varieties, begonias, ferns, campanula carpatica, clematis - some, such as integrifolia forms, are small and don't need trellis support - corydalis, some hardy geraniums, hostas, hydrangeas, some of the pelargoniums and so on. 

For early spring there are many narcissi and primulas that will flower happily for you and can trhen be replaced by others to continue teh season of interest.   A lot depends on the size of your pots and troughs and the kind of compost you are using and how much time you have to feed, water, dead head and nurture.

Remove Crocosmia

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 11:51

i'm afraid that glyphosate, like any opther garden chemical, does have a long term effect on the environment.  Just because it becomes inert on contact with teh soil and only kills the plants with whose green parts it has been in contact doesn't mean it isn't getting into water ways and water tables or being ingested by other organisms, including humans.

I know of scientists conducting environmental research on behalf of the EU and who say it is likely to be banned in the not too distant future. 

There are others who have found high levels of glyphosate in processed sugars, corn and wheat and who believe it is affecting beneficial bacteria in the human gut and thus leading to an increase in digestive problems such as Crohn's disease, IBS and even obesity tendencies -

I personally never buy any Monsanto products but I do use other glyphosate products where no other conventional weeding techniques work.    I would advise its use but with great care, especially near water courses and do not exceed the recommended doses.   Adding a drop or two of washing up liquid to the mix helps it stay on the plants you want to kill and do its work better.



Posted: 25/05/2013 at 17:53

Look at the Hull website I gave you.  It allows you to search on aspect, flowering time, colour, size and so on.   Always choose the biggest pot you can for clematis as they have thick, fleshy roots that go down a long way and don't like to get warm.

All group 3s are quick growing after a spring prune and a good feed.  There is cultivation and pruning info on that website too.


Posted: 24/05/2013 at 14:55

That's Ok as a liquid tonic.  They need a slow release food applied in spring - blood, fish and bone, pelleted chicken manure, specialist clematis food - and occasional boosts of rose or tomato food to encourage more flowers.


Posted: 24/05/2013 at 14:53

A baby robinia will go the same way as your current one.   Try gleditsia instead.  Golden fliage and no sickness - so far.

Mare's tail

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 14:13

For anyone plagued by mare's tail in their garden, I have learned from a new friend in a local gardening club that it can be put to good use if you pull it up and dry it out then make a concoction.

Place 250g of the dried weed in 10 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes and then leave to infuse for one night.   Strain, then dilute 1:5 in water and spray on plants susceptible to rust, scab, mildew and some viruses.   It's also supposed to be full of minerals so a good fertiliser and growth booster for young plants.

I haven't tried it myself but all this rain means I do have a whole new infestation in one of my beds and, since it can't go on the compost heap for fear of it spreading to other beds, I will be putting it to the test instead of putting it in the bin.




Posted: 24/05/2013 at 12:58

Time to bite the bullet I think and get rid or send a climber up the corpse.

Mine is definitely a goner this year after 3 increasingly poor years.  I'm toying with growing a rambling rose up it but there's a lot of wind here and robinia wood is brittle so I'll probably end up with a homeless rambler.   

On the up side, I have discovered a baby robinia growing in the next border so I'll plant that in a pot and nurture it and see how it goes.


Posted: 24/05/2013 at 11:37

There are over 600 clematis to choose one and some far better suited to growing in pots and for a southern aspect.   Use this site to find one that will grow to the size of wall or trellis you have available, the colour you desire and that will be happy facing south -

I would also suggest a group 3 for pruning as you can cut the old growth down each autumn or spring and not have an unsightly mess of dead twigs and stems.  Make sure the corwn of the plant is mulched against heavy frosts.

Clematis are hugely hungry and thirsty plants so use the biggest pot you can find, use the best quality compost available, plant it deeper than it was in the pot to encourage new shoots and water and feed it regularly.

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10 threads returned