Latest posts by Obelixx

Sick Weeping Willow tree in pot

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 12:27

Willows are planted in boggy pastures and around natural ponds to soak up water and help drain land.  They send their roots out deep and wide to seek out water which is why tehy should never be planted near house walls or drainage pipes.

Yours is in  tiny pot and almost bone dry.  It is suffering from thirst and starvation and lack of root space.  If you can't plant it out, give it to someone who can then do soem research on trees suitable for growing in pots - minimum 60cm square..

Digging out garden

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 20:51

As always, it all depends on what you want to do with it.   Making a terrace/patio doesn't require deep digging except to lay a decent foundation of hard core on which you will put your chosen finishing and a layer of concrete or cement to fix it in place.    Making a decent vegetable garden or ornamental bed or shrubbery or woodland feature may, depending on how good the soil is when you've removed all the rubbish and rubble.    Lawns also need a decent depth of soil beneath them if they are not to suffer from drought in dry spells. 

How big is it?  Which way does it face?  What is the soil like -  clay, sand, loam, stony, alkaline, acid?   How hot and cold and dry and wet does it get in a normal year?   What are you hoping to have in your garden once it's cleared?

Last edited: 04 June 2016 20:51:50

How Far to Cut These Bushes Back?

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 20:42

I'm female but the advice is till good and I do agree that hacking shrubs can make them look unsightly if not done well.   As ever, the RHS has some easy to follow advice form drastic renovation pruning to gentle restorative pruning.  Have a read of this;-


Please help

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 19:13

Begin by clearing all rubble and rubbish.  Then pull up the biggest weeds before they set seed - easy after rain when the soil is moist.   You can compost them if you like. For the small stuff you can spray if you're not against chemicals and then leave it to die down.  

Either way, you will then need to dig or fork over the entire area removing weed roots and shoots, any more bits of rubbish and bits of rubble you missed on the first pass and any large pebbles or stones.  Rake it level and remove any more stones that come up.  Apply a good layer of well rotted garden compost or soil improver and then rake that in.  

You then have to borrow a roller or do the gardener's shuffle over the whole area using your weight on your heels to compact the surface very slightly before laying turf or sowing seed. 

There's some helpful info from the RHS on how and when here for seed - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=424 and here for turf - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=410 

How Far to Cut These Bushes Back?

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 18:42

Since the shrubs look a lot healthier than the lawn I'd just cut a new edge to the lawn to give them more space and leave the shrubs alone.  You'll be left with some bare soil which you can improve with a generous helping of well rotted garden compost or bought in compost and then plant some annual or perennial plants to give more colour and form to the beds.

Next autumn mulch under your shrubs with well rotted compost anyway and if you do cut a new edge to increase the size of the beds, plant some bulbs to flower in spring.


Posted: 04/06/2016 at 16:37

Edible.   The ornamental kind has much rougher textured leaves.  I have both kinds.

Yours looks like it could do with a good feed and watering to get it going.   The best thing is to apply a good solid layer of rich mulch - garden compost or well rotted manure on the crowns in autumn when the ground is wet and all the foliage has died down.  The worms will work it in over winter and you'll get much more vigour next spring.

For now, scatter around some pelleted chicken manure and water well.  Do not remove more than half the stems for eating and don't pick any after mid July because a) the levels of oxalic acid increase and the plant needs the foliage to feed its root stock for next year's crop.   

You can put the leaves on your compost heap but I usually lie one or two down on the ground as they make good daytime shelter for slugs and snails which are then easy to find and destroy so they don't eat your foliage. 

Failed allotment inspection :(

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 15:56

If the weeds are high a manual lawnmower isn't going to cope and nor will you pushing it.  Ditto a motor powered one.  You need a strimmer but if that's not possible, you can probably buy a sickle at the DIY store.   Good for hacking tall weeds - http://www.diy.com/rooms/verve-folding-sickle/175088_BQ.prd 

Help, this climbing weed/plant is taking over!

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 13:47

If you snap the bindweed stems at the base and just leave it, the stems and leaves will wilt where they are and can then be pulled off after a few days without sacrificing the clematis.

Failed allotment inspection :(

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 13:33

Definitely tell them you've been on hols, are in the habit of working it twice a week and will be clearing the weeds as soon as you can, working around your professional commitments.   

They should understand and accept that.   Good idea to strim as much of it down as poss before the weeds set seed.  That'll make an instant difference  and give you extra time to hoe or fork them out as and when you can.

Help, this climbing weed/plant is taking over!

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 13:28

That is bindweed.  Very difficult to dig out as each tiny bit of missed root makes a new plant.  You can pull it off by hand but never put it in the compost heap or bin without leaving it out in the sun a few days to die back and dry out completely.   Keep at it regularly and it will eventually weaken and die because the roots need the leaves to survive.

If you can unwind it from the plants you want to keep you can spray it with a systemic weedkiller which will be taken down to the roots and kill the whole plant.  You may need two or three applications to kill it completely and you have to be patient as it takes 2 weeks to work each time.

Where you see new growth coming back, train it up a cane till big enough to spray. 

You need to be careful not to get weedkiller on your treasures and you need 6 hours of sunshine and no rain for it to be absorbed.   Products containing glyphosate will do the trick but do follow the instructions carefully about concentrations.

Discussions started by Obelixx


Erection and siting 
Replies: 4    Views: 174
Last Post: 18/02/2017 at 17:32

Cutting garden

Tips please 
Replies: 22    Views: 841
Last Post: 24/01/2017 at 11:07


What to do with them 
Replies: 14    Views: 485
Last Post: 14/11/2016 at 21:06

Weather station

Recommendations please 
Replies: 2    Views: 269
Last Post: 08/11/2016 at 14:53

Clematis varieties

New varieties (to me). Anyone grow them? 
Replies: 25    Views: 860
Last Post: 30/10/2016 at 21:45

Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
Replies: 5    Views: 349
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 12:30

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 353
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 460
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 48    Views: 2638
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 718
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 885
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 958
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 686
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 1048
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 3241
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44
1 to 15 of 25 threads