London (change)
Today 8°C / 1°C
Tomorrow 7°C / 3°C


Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis Cuttings

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 16:53

It should be OK for the winter but I would consider keeping it in a bigger pot for another year and protect it for another winter.    Transplant it next spring, planting it deep, covering at least the next leaf node as this will encourage more roots and shoots to form. 

When you do plant it out, plant it deep again for the same reasons.

Clematis Cuttings

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 15:57

Well done.  I would nurture it through the winter.  Pot it up into some decent compost and keep it sheltered for this winter.

Nettle jungle

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 15:56

The organic way is just to keep pulling them with as much root as possible whenever they appear.  They will eventually weaken and be less invasive and easier to deal with.   One consolation is that they indicate your soil is fertile and not too heavy and, if you dry them out first, they will make an excellent addition to you compost heap as they are full of nitrogen which promotes leaf growth.    You can also soak fresh nettles in buckets of water (covered for the smell) for a few weeks and then dilute the resulting brew 1 part to 10 of water and use it as a liquid feed.

The non organic way is to spray with glyphosate as this kills the plants down to the roots.  However with nettles and creeping buttercup and thistles and couch grass you will need repeated applications before they surrender.   Glyphsate is not selective so protect any plant you wish to keep before you spray the nettles.

Marking out a design

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 17:54

Use a hosepipe.  It won't wash away and, if you leave it in place for at least a week once you've viewed your design from all angles and are happy with it, it will leave a mark in the grass for you to work from when digging.

Magnesium sulfate/Epsom Salts

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 17:29

1 tbs/15ml of Epsom salts dissolved in 1 gallon/5 litres of water and poured on the foliage using a watering can with a spray head.

Have you watered the laurel since you planted it?   It will take all winter for its roots to settle in and start spreading so don't go pulling it about.

Wrapping up my gunnera!

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 14:13

They're from Brazil and don't like frost so I would guess that in the Midlands you will need to do more than just wrap the leaves over the crown.   I had one a few years ago that was wiped out by a surprise -8C after surviving -25C the winter before when I had buried it in 3' of garden compost.   

I now have a new one which I am growing in a pot.  Each spring it gets a bigger pot and then spends the winter submerged in the greenhouse with fleece and cardboard over the top when it's set to get really cold.   Once the pot gets too big to move I shall plant it in the border and give it the 3' of compost treatment.   Yu might get away with rather les scompost but it will still appreciate a blanket of some sort.    

Tree surgeons not getting to root of problem!

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 08:04

I think you should certainly write a polite letter explaining your problem and asking about the lack of reply to your calls but I think you may find that root grinding just refers to the central root stump and not every root branch.

If, as I suspect, you do end up dealing with this root yourself, get yourself a pruning saw - Wolf system do a very good one and you can use different length handles.  Clear the soil from the sides and saw it into chunks you can prise out with a fork or spade.   Leave the rest to rot in the ground and provide food for beneficial critters.


Posted: 23/09/2014 at 17:05

These products can only be applied a couple of times a year so their frequency of care is OK but you can probably buy the products yourself and sprinkle it on yourself either by hand or with a distributor.

Then you can spend a £100 or so on a scarifier machine which you run over your grass in spring and again in autumn to remove thatch and dead material from your grass.    You'll have an amazing lawn in a short time and tools you can use for years - all for less than the £240 annual service charge.

Can you grow a tree in a pot?

Posted: 23/09/2014 at 10:34

I suspect that what is wanted is a tree in shape and form so the short answer is no, neither of these trees is suitable for growing in pots as they get far too big and coppicing would make it just a big shrub.   Eucalyptus are far too vigorous and birch can bleed to death if pruned at the wrong time or too heavily.

Since your garden is small, you definitey don't want tree roots in the soil where they will expand to seek nutrients and moisture and eventually disrupt either foundations or drain and swer pipes or all of the above.    Search instead for a small tree which can be container grown, something like an apple or pear on dwarf rooting stock will fit the bill and give you fruit too if there's a pollinator nearby.   The RHS suggests these trees - 

You will be entirley responsible for all its needs in terms of good soil, nutrients and watering so use the biggest container you can find (minimum 60cms deep and wide) and use top quality John Innes no 3 compost in which to anchor its roots.   Give a top dressing of pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone every spring and regumar feeds of liquid tomato food through the growing season.

Pruning Dogwood

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 22:26

If they are the ones grown for their colourful stems you prune them in spring when new leaf buds emerge.   You then cut them back to one or two pairs of leaf buds and give them a good drink and a feed of pelleted chicken manure to encourage all the lovely new growth which will give you next winter's colourful stems display.

If you have cornus Midwinter Fire, you should just cut the stems back by half and remove the thinnest, spindliest stems back to on eor two buds.  They can sulk if pruned too hard.

Discussions started by obelixx


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 379
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 409
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 538
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 358
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 685
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 2113
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 2083
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 1021
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1474
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1864
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 997
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 4894
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 2278
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1428
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 3349
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12
1 to 15 of 16 threads