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Latest posts by obelixx

Please help in identification!

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 10:58

Can't see the picture.  Please use the tree icon to upload a photo from your PC.

As for the garden and its plants, the best advice for the first growing season in any new garden is to leave it be and watch what grows and take regular photos.   This will help you identify what you have and like and what you want to get rid of or move or lift and divide come the autumn.

You shoud scatter some general feed around - chicken, cow and horse manure or blood, fish and bone to give everything a boost and some organic slug pellets for protection.  Weed any obvious menaces such as nettles, creeping buttercup, thistles, couch grass, groundsel, goosegrass/sticky bud and so on and cut off any dead and brown stems on grasses and perennials so new growth can come through.   Shrub roses need pruning now too.

If you don't recognise the weeds you can google for pictures and for rose pruning, see here - 

Nuclear option for weeds?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 07:06

There are new rules about driveways and paved gardens being left porous to allow rainwater to soak in and reduce the danger of flooding.    

You could try a flamethrower weed killer when they appear.  You could use a power washer but that would dislodge sand and cement so the joints would need refilling every year.    You could spray with glyphosate based weed killer when there's enough growth to take the product back to the roots and kill the plants permanently.but you'd still have to remove the unsightly dead growth once the active ingredient has done its work.


Dicentra spectabilis - is yours up yet?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 07:00

No sign here of any perennials except hellebores, hemerocallis and hardy geraniums plus a few pulmonarias starting to flower.  Evereyone else is sensibly staying underground because we're having heavy overnight frosts at the mo after a few dark grey days with bitter winds and very low temps.

Warming up now though so shouldn't be long.

science behind frost protection?

Posted: 23/03/2015 at 14:21

The protection acts like a coat you'd put on to go outside.  You need different layers of protection and insulation for different degrees of frost and so do plants.   Whatever you use you need to make sure it doesn't touch the plants as they'll get frosted that way too.

Fleece is fine in Britain which rarely gets below about -6C in most places.  My garden in Belgium gets to -15C in normal winters but without an insulating blanket of snow.   The last  two winters have been very mild here but previous ones have seen temps go well below -20C and I have lost many usually hardy shrubs and trees and perennials because I can't fleece or cloche my entire 1 acre+ garden.  I keep the cloches for early veggies and hardening off new sowings of perennials.


Xhose - Expandable hose - any good?

Posted: 23/03/2015 at 10:04

Having read the reviews before buying my new hose last year, I went for the 40m wall mounted retractable hose from Hozelock and it has been brilliant.  It has stayed outside all winter.    I used it again for the first time last week and it rolled out and back like a dream.   Not cheap but a good investment I reckon.

science behind frost protection?

Posted: 23/03/2015 at 09:58

Assuming the snow has gone, you can warm up your beds by covering them with black plastic sheets for a week or two.  This will absorb sunlight and warm up your soil so you can plant a bit earlier.    Individual plastic bottles will offer less protection to seeds and small plants than a bigger cloche that can protect several plants at once.

Here we can buy rigid plastic cloches that can be sealed at the ends or fitted together to make a long cloche.  See the third image here -$ and there are many more forms available.  You could also make one by simply curving over a sheet of corrugated plastic and staking and pinning it in place and sealing the ends.

They should give 3 or 4 more degrees of frost protection than a single bottle and allow you to get ahead with your sowing and growing and eventual harvesting.

Lovely weather to garden

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 20:17

Perishing here.  4C with added wind chill from a penetrating north easterly which is far too unfriendly.    No gardening today at all.


Posted: 22/03/2015 at 12:32

Kim - hanging baskets are exposed to more sun and wind than plants in the ground that may be shaded or sheltered by others and have reserves of water in the soil.  You have to water them every single dayand it also helps to give them a liquid feed once a week to keep them flowering.

On very hot days, you'll need to water them morning and evening to get them through the day and let them recover at night.

Tree Saws

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 11:04

I use the Wolf pruning saw head on handles of various length depending on what I'm pruning and how high or large it is.     I can get at anything with it and at any ange just by changing the handle length.

I reckon for anything over 5 or 6 inches thick you need a man with a chain saw who wants some free fire wood.    Don't want to play with chain saws myself any more and it takes far too long to cut big branches and trunks even with a very effective pruning saw.

Any advice for first ever visit to RHS Chelsea & GW Live?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 23:06

Chelsea - get there as early as you can so you can see the show gardens before the crowds arrive.   Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes in layers as it can get hot.  Take a back pack to carry sandwiches and a bottle of water as they are expensive on sight and there are queues.   Take a plastic bin bag to open out to sit on the grass for your picnic as there are never enough tables and chairs.  Remember sun screen or umbrella depending on the forecast.

People are generally polite and patient about letting everyone have their turn at the front to see the show gardens but you may need to be thick skinned, especially on non members days.  Make sure your camera is fully charged and has loads of disk space.  Take your time in the floral marquee so you don't miss anything.  It is huge. In there you can talk to some of the best growers in the world about how and where to grow particular plants and place orders with them.   

Apart from the odd stand selling lily bulbs and seeds in the floral marquee you can't buy plants at Chelsea except on the last day at closing time but there are seed stands and sundries such as garden tools, clothes, pictures, ornaments, art work and so on that you can buy so have some cash and a credit card with you.

Enjoy it.  It's a great show with a completely different atmosphere from Tatton, Hampton Court and Malvern.   Haven't been to GW live so can't comment on that.

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1 to 15 of 17 threads