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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 28/07/2012 at 17:22

Detach as much as you can and just drape it over the border till you get the new fence panels in and can re-attach them.

Where you have to prune, make clean cuts just above leaf nodes to encourage new growth and reduce die back.   Give everything a feed of tomato food which is low in nitrogen but high in potassium which will encourage new flowers but not sappy green growth which could get frost damaged as it won't have time to ripen before the autumn frosts.

Welly boots

Posted: 28/07/2012 at 17:17

Get some more.  I have 3 pairs - one sized for bare feet or thin summer socks, one for one pair of thick socks and one for 2 pairs.   Great for assorted dog walking and gardening depending on the weather and protection from ants and nettles.

Plants for wet shady area facing North

Posted: 28/07/2012 at 15:17

I have one of these next to our terrace.  The soil is a good loam but damp all year and wet in winter despite a drain being built on the other side between it and the lawn and which becomes a "canal" in winter.  It gets sun early morning and late afternoon between April and early September as there's no shade apart from our north facing house wall.

Plants - Japanese anemone, hardy ferns, chelone, astible, aquilegia, tall white primulas and cowslips, hostas, hakonechloa grass, astilboides, lily of the valley.   I did also have molinia grasses but they were the wrong scale so have been moved to another damp bed near my unlined pond.   There are also two golden/bronze  dwarf conifers but I can't remember which and the lawn side is bordered by a low hedge of another blue/green conifer with a white mark on its needles - again, name unknown.  I put wildlife friendly slug pellets down in early spring and again at regular intervals until early summer and this deals with most of teh slugs so teh hostas don't get full of holes.


Have you seen one?????

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 13:13

Not a lot here either though they have competition for aphids form sparrows and tits feeding their young.  Not many butterflies either.  Quite a lot of bees buzzing about though.

Fig trees

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 13:11

Happy to Help Chris.  Good Luck.

I'm planning to plant mine out in a south facing sheltered spot this autumn and will protect the top with fleece henceforth.  Mine got frosted at just the wrong moment this spring so I will only get 3 fruit this year and it's taken till late June for the leaves to appear.  It's looking good now though so I hope it will be happier outside as the fruits are delicious.

Fig trees

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 11:04

I have a fig tree in a large pot and it's doing OK.   I live in central Belgium so winters are much harder than Lancashire.   It gets taken into an unheated shelter for the winter and can be frozen back to its rootstock in the hardest winters but last year, despite -25C nights it produced about a dozen fruit.  It's parent, planted in the ground in a more sheltered garden than mine a few miles away produces dozens every year.

Just make sure you buy a hardy one like Brown Turkey, although I believe there is a newer, hardier variety available in the UK now.   You'll need to give it a topfeed every spring and keep it watered throughout the gowing season.   Keep it sheltered over winter.  Think about lining the sides of the pot with bubble wrap before filling with compost as this gives the roots extra protection from frost.  Use a good John Innes 3 type compost and make sure it doesn sit in a wet puddle in winter.

wood chip confusion

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 10:23

I use it as a weed suppressant under fruit trees and bushes.   It also helps maintain moisture in the soil in hot spells.

Is there anything that can go in now for an autumn crop ?

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 10:16

There was a chap called Tee Gee who used to post on the Beeb and who has a website which includes, amongst other things, a sowing and planting guide - 

I am about to sow a second lot of spinach as the first has bolted in this heat, pak choi which bolts if sown earlier, carrots in a tub as they don't like my soil, beetroot and some more lettuce.  I have purple sprouting broccoli to go out and some cavolo nero babies too.    These two should do for winter with some protection.

Wildflowers - to dig over soil before planting or not?

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 11:59

The trouble with a native wildflower meadow is that it's all over by July and looks dull and is, more importantly, of no use to pollinators for teh rest of teh summer and autumn.

I would echo the advice to raise plants form seed and plant them as plugs to give them a head start.  I would also include yellow rattle in the mix to weaken the grasses.  For late season interest and food for insects I would include echinaceas, heleniums, achilleas and other so called prairie plants.  These are perennial so you'd have to plan not to mow.   If you sow and plant annual wildflower seeds each season for a few years the flowers will eventually out compete the grasses and you'll have an insect haven.


Poorly clematis

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 11:25

It's a bit late to prune them now but you could give them a feed of special clematis food and an instant tonic of liquid tomato food to encourage growth and flowering.  Come September, give them a sprinkling of bonemeal to encourage root production.

I'm assuming you planted them at least 4 inches deeper than tehy were in their pot.  If not, it may be worth digging them up after a generous watering and replanting at the proper depth as this helps keep their roots cool and encourage the formation of new shoots. 

Next spring in Feb or March, depending on the weather, give them a good feed of general fertisliser such as blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and a liquid tonic of rose or tomato food.  That will encourage good roots and foliage.   Then feed regularly with clematis food from spring to mid summer.

The Montana should only be pruned when it gets out of bounds and then only after flowering is over.  The tangutica, Arabella and Jackmannii should be pruned back to the lowest pairs of buds in March as they regrow each season and flower on the new shoots..

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