Latest posts by obelixx

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 12:07

Warmish but very blowy.  Loads of rain again in the night so the fields are sodden and there's more to come. 

Worryingly, the first of the winter egret migrants landed in the paddock across the road and that's very early.  I hope it's not a bad sign for the winter to come.

Over winter non hardy fuschia

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 11:06

I've just potted mine up into window boxes which I've put on landing window sills.  I've also taken cuttings as insurance and for bulking up for next year.

Horse Manure in a Vegan Garden

Posted: 02/10/2012 at 22:28

GM crops just mean mor emoney for Monsanto and their ilk.  It's possible to select plants without GM technology and simply by careful breeding but it's slower.

One of Monsanto's GM tricks is to create edible crops that tolerate glyphosate, thus allowing this weedkiler to be used on products for eventual human consumption.  I don't fancy accumulating glyphosate in my body or the antibiotics that come with factory farmed pigs and chickens so I buy organic flour and oats or spelt and free range or organic meat, poultry and eggs.  

I try to be as natural and organic in the garden as I can but do resort to chemicals when the weeds take over - as they have on the paths this year what with all the rain and my back op putting me out of action for months.   Never use them in the beds or veggie patch.

It is

Horse Manure in a Vegan Garden

Posted: 02/10/2012 at 15:41

Last time i looked at macrobiotics was about 20 or 30 years ago and it seems things have moved on and occasional white fish is allowed.  However, it still is based mainly on whole grains and certain veggies and cooking processes and even materials are discouraged.  See below.  In the UK, GM foods are not yet accepted for growing and the EU has mechanisms for testing imported grain feeds for GM and other unwanted features so I rather feel the horses will just be eating hay and ordinary cereals.

A macrobiotic diet combines elements of Buddhism with dietary principles based on simplicity and avoidance of "toxins" that come from eating dairy products, meats, and oily foods. Older versions of the macrobiotic diet were quite restrictive. One variation allowed only the consumption of whole grains. Current proponents of the diet advocate flexibility but still discourage dairy products, meats, and refined sugars,

The standard macrobiotic diet of today consists of 50 to 60 percent organically grown whole grains, 20% to 25% locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables, and 5% to 10% soups made with vegetables, seaweed, grains, beans, and miso (a fermented soy product). Other elements may include occasional helpings of fresh white fish, nuts, seeds, pickles, Asian condiments, and non-stimulating and non-aromatic teas. Early versions of the diet excluded all animal products. Proponents still discourage dairy products, eggs, coffee, sugar, stimulant and aromatic herbs, red meat, poultry, and processed foods. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, spinach, beets, zucchini, and avocados, are discouraged. The diet also advises against eating fruit that does not grow locally (for example, in most of the United States and Europe, bananas, pineapples, and other tropical fruits).

Horse Manure in a Vegan Garden

Posted: 01/10/2012 at 16:00

I thought the whole basis of veganism was an ethical decision not to harm animals in order to feed humans so no eggs, cheese (cos it needs rennet from dead animals), meat, fish or poultry.

Macrobiotic diets have often been cited as cures for cancer and they involve whole foods - grains, fruits, nuts and veggies - organically raised and, like vegans, no animal, fish or poulrty products.

Animal manure is acceptable for both of these diet groups but I suspect the serious followers would prefer plant based fertilisers and soil conditioners such as seaweed and compost with no chemicals or medicines in it and that would rule out all animal manure, especially farmed animals such as poultry, cattle and pigs.


When to plant spring bulbs

Posted: 30/09/2012 at 22:02

Small bulbs like snowdrops, crocuses, scillas and so on need to be planted as soon as possible or they'll dry out and fail but they can usually be inserted between plants that are still busy looking good.    You can soak them for an hour in cool water to rehydrate them and give them a better chance of success.

Tulips can wait till late October or November as they can be prone to blight if planted too early.    Daffs and hyacinths and alliums can wait a month as long ast they're kept somewhere cool and don't dry out.

 When I was tidying up the garage at the end of Feb I found some packets of alliums I'd forgotten about and planted them out and, while not all of them flowered, many did and most produced foliage so I should get decent flowers this next spring.


Shy Bill

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 13:48

Clematis can take a year or two to get established and are very greedy so I would give it a good general purpose feed next spring to get it growing well and add special rose, tomato or clematis fertiliser to promote flower production.  That will help the Kiwi too and you can top up every couple of weeks till mid June.

It's a myth about clematis needing their head in the sun and their feet in the shade.   I've grown them in hanging baskets before now and have some planted in full sun as well as others in shade or semi shade.    Some varieties like shade and some like full sun and they all like a deep root run and plenty of food.


Posted: 28/09/2012 at 13:40

Cats, foxes and herons can be deterred witha device called a water scarecrow.  It fixes to an outside tap and has a sensor so when the offending critter passes, it gets sprayed and soaked.   They don't like it and go elsewhere.

You need to move the sensors regularly as they learn the trigger points and make sure you don't site it where the postman will get wet.  You can google for models and suppliers.

The other good alternative is a well aimed water pistol but that means you have to be there and constantly vigilant.  


Windy garden

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 22:04

I used rolled willow once but it didn't last a winter - too wet and windy and it shredded or rotted.

Box is certainly tough and does well here in a slightly exposed part of my garden but it's slower than hornbeam and there is box blight increasingly widespread which will ruin a hedge.  I have my fingers crossed for mine.



Is it Ok to keep picking rhubarb

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:43

My in-laws - now deceased - used to make home made wine from all sorts of stuff they grew at home or garnered in hedgerows, including dandelions.    Definitely a taste I did not acquire.

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