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Latest posts by obelixx

What is going on with my Clematis?

Posted: 24/02/2013 at 10:55

Epsom salts contain magnesium which is good for terating chlorosis, or yellowing of leaves, especially on evergreen subjects such as rhodos, camellias, conifers.    Clematis are generally hungry plants so need a broad range feed for roots and foliage with extra oomph for flowers.  Propietary clematis feed will have eveything they need and rose or tomato fertiliser which come in liquid form are good for an instant tonic.


Posted: 23/02/2013 at 23:01

Yes, wire is another option.  You can buy vine eyes which are just metal screws with a loop on the end hrough which you pass wire that you tauten at the ends.   You can put in horizontal wires at 12 to 18 inch intervals going up fence posts or a walla nd train the clematis along those.   String will rot or snap under the strain so do buy proper wire which can be plain galvanised or covered with green plastic.

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 17:14

Hello Betty.  Thanks for the advice on colours and combos.   I agree about your white and purpley colours and they'd look well against our red brick façade.   I've spent the last two days sorting out and cataloguing my seeds stash and found some mauve, scented nemesia seeds so will have a go at germinating those.   OH took me out to buy compost and seed trays but no basket liners or plugs in stock yet.  

I've been having foot surgery to fix toes that had gone adrift  - straightening the big toe and shortening the next two metatarsals and reattaching their toes.  My surgeon is a magician and it's all gone very well and with very little post op pain.   I should be able to do some light gardening in a couple of weeks' time and then will have 4 weeks to blitz the winter weeds and dead stems before he does the other foot.   I hope your knee perks up and behaves itself.  You too.

Choosing chillies

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 17:04

I know it's a bit late to be starting chillies but I live in Belgium and fresh chillies sold here are mild, to say the least, and seeds are hard to find so I've been cruising the internet for some which will give me fruity heat without anaesthetising my palette.

Does anyone know these? -  Cherry bomb, Garden Salsa, Numex Pinata, Hungarian Hot Wax, Habanero Chocolate.     Or have a chilli to recommend?  And can anyone tell me where I'll find seed for Kashmiri chilli?


Posted: 23/02/2013 at 15:43

Any good DIY or garden store will sell a variety of trellis but you'll need more than one panel to accommodate this plant.   My own preference is for wooden trellis panels which tend to come in panels 6' x 6'.  They are best attached to walls or fence posts by using 2" battens screwed to the support and then screwing the trellis panel to the battens.   This allows air to circulate and reduce disease as well as enabling the plant to twine.

When you have made your choice, make sure you go out often to train the new stems as horizontally as possible to encourage more flower buds to form.


Favourite allotment food recipes

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 13:44

I have a favourite recipe for fennel which I found in a book of vegetarian recipes from Prue Leith's cookery school.  It can be a main course with the goat's cheese or  as a side dish without the cheese.

Baked Fennel with Goat's Cheese 4 or more, depending 

This quantity is for 4 as a vegetarian meal. It's also good with simply grilled pork, chicken or fish. 

4              bulbs of fennel
30g          butter
1              lemon, juice only
4 tbs        water
6              sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
30g          pine nuts
150g         goats' cheese log

Heat the oven to 200C.   Trim the fennel and cut through the middle into 2 and then cut each half again 2 or 3 times to make wedges.   Place these in a shallow oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle on the lemon juice and water and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.   Drain.

Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle over the fennel, followed by the pine nuts and crumbled goats' cheese.   Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till the cheese is browned.


Talkback: Creeping buttercup

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 13:31

Clearing it from anywhere is a constnat battle here.  Ghastly stuff.

What is going on with my Clematis?

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 22:41

Take away the slate and give them a good mulch of garden compost or spent planting  compost instead.   Make sure they get a general feed in early spring - blood, fish and bone - and specific rose or clematis food at intervals until flowering ends or mid July, whichever comes first.   Don't let them get thirsty in hot or dry periods.

Talkback: How to prune spring-flowering plants

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 14:24

Immediately after flowering this spring and up to mid July.    You can cut out obviously dead or damaged stems any time when they're not frozen but leave the healthy branches till after flowering and then thin out stem or cut back to shape according toy your needs.

Don't leave it too late as the new growth needs time to harden off before the frosts. 

Flower free camelia

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 13:09

Like rhodos and azaleas, they produce their flower buds in summer.  If they experience drought at this period, they do not produce flowers so make sure the compost doesn't dry out during that period and that it gets some special camellia, rose or tomato fertiliser to encourage flower formation.

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