Latest posts by Obelixx

Starting afresh

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:27

Hello and welcome.

There are grinding machines that can take out tree stumps.  A local tree surgeon will have one and you may even be able to hire one form a good DIY or tool hire store.   That would be the first thing to do and then you'd need to dig over the whole area and rake it level so you can re-sow a lawn or lay turves.

However, it is usually advised that for the first year in a new garden you just do basic maintenance so you can see what, if anything, grows.  Many plants are only just emerging after their winter hibernation and you may lose treasures if you dig it all up now.

You can hire turf cutters to strip off the top layer of grass.  You then roll or stack it grass to grass, soil to soil, in a corner where it will rot down to make lovely soil.   Alternatively, you could spray the grass with a glyphosate based weedkiller - as long as you are careful to read the instructions and keep it away form water - and then you can dig over the grass when it's dead.

Before laying new turves or sowing new seed, scatter a good dressing of something like pelleted chicken manure or blood fish and bone on the soil and rake it in.  This will improve fertility for your new lawn.   Think also about where you may want to create beds, seating areas, composting areas and storage areas so you can lay those out - mark with dry sand or a hose-pipe or string - so you can get a good estimate of how much seed or turf you will need and thus have less waste.

Dealing with a dry shaded border

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:51

There's a white flowered form of Vinca minor that would lighten up the space and there are white flowered geranium phaeum which would do well there.   They have deep purple blotches on their leaves and you can cut them back after flowering to encourage this to regenerate and stay fresh looking.   Geranium macrorhizum comes in pale, medium and deep pink flowered forms and has scented foliage that turns red in winter.  

If you can enrich the soil you may find foxgloves do well.  Hardy forms of cyclamen should be fine too and will extend your flowering season.  If you want to go for grasses, Milium effusum 'Aureum' Bowles's golden grass should be fine.   You could also try the Japanese painted fern.

The best time to add a deep mulch of compost is in autumn when most things are dormant and you can just shovel it on but you could also try it around plants you wish to encourage as long as you water well first and clear their foliage afterwards.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:36

My Radio 4 signal is very iffy here and I tend to forget to catch up on the PC but I'm always pleased when I do.  GQT is fun and informative.

Taking it easy Dove.   More a case of directing than doing.

Lilies congested in pots

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:24

I did this last year and it rejuvenated them as well as giving me lots of spares to give away and sell at a charity plant fair.   Water the pot well to reduce stress and then tip out, separate and re-pot in good compost.   Some will be offsets that may need to grow on a bit before they're big enough to flower.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:13

Drinking plenty Dove.   Feeling better after some fresh air watering all the pots - 130 medium to large, all except 8 brought with us, plus 6 trays of small to medium pots of cuttings and babies.   

Sun's out now so more fresh air this pm, spreading multi-purpose compost on the newly turned bed before the rains tomorrow.    Can't plant my hostas yet as I need them to get a bit bigger so I can see which is what so I don't swamp dainty ones with big 'uns.

Liri - glad you've had a safe crossing.

Large Garden Planter

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 11:28

I'd spread the flowering times to take the interest thru the seasons and rely on good foliage forms to maintain interest.   

What is this plant?

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 11:25

Lucky you.   It's lovely.

If it's in a pot you need to make sure it receives a good water supply, especially between July and October which is when they set their flower buds for the following spring.  You need to use rainwater as hard tap water stops them taking up certain essential nutrients but of rainwater is not available, get some sequestered iron form the garden centre and use that according to the instructions.

Give the plant a regular spring feed of something like blood, fish and bone and occasional liquid feeds of rose fertiliser or tomato feed which will promote flowers.

Position the pot so it doesn't receive early morning sun on frozen buds as this will kill them.   Don't put it in full midday sun either as they like dappled shade or partial sun.  More info here form the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=327

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 11:15

Hello.  I've had a lazy morning dozing in bed trying to shift the headache which has returned.  Thanks for the good wishes.

Have to be on parade this pm as kitchen chief is coming round to make sure all is ready for his team tomorrow.   Good job I made an enormous pot of beef in red wine yesterday as I don't feel up to cooking much.    Might just have pasta anyway.

We've had rain in the night but only 1/4" so no chance of flooding.   Just a bit muddy on the edges where OH is baptising his new toy.   Not to pleased I want an area big enough for hydrangeas and hostas and maybe one or two azaleas I was given when we left Belgium.    The grass he's digging up is mostly moss so i'm hoping that indicates the damp soil they'll like for withstanding summer heat and there is dappled shade from shrubs and the magpie tree on our boundary.

Yvie - a pond will provide hours of endless fascination.   Go for it.

Fish blood and bone for herb seeds?

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 10:58

It's too early.   There are special, low nutrient composts for sowing seeds.   Once they get their first pair of true leaves or a bit bigger, you can pot them on into small cells or trays of compost with a bit more feed in ot but save the BF and B for when they're bigger.

If you're sowing directly into the ground then sow thinly.  Once they reach the true leaf stage you should thin out the weaker ones leaving space for the stronger ones to develop in a decent growing space.  Feed them BF and B only when they're small plants and growing well.

Last edited: 21 March 2017 11:00:20


Posted: 20/03/2017 at 23:06

I did too Eileen and have new shoots and foliage showing.  I'm planning to leave mine a bit longer and then pot them up individually so I can grow them on till they're bigger.    

I'd be worried about them being swamped if I planted them straight out and, since they're form the garden we left behind, I really want them to succeed and be growing strongly before I subject them to life in the borders in this new garden.

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