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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

When & how do blackcurrents need to be pruned

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 22:11

Pruning time is picking time and for me that's July when the fruits are ripe.

Belfast sinks and their true value?

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 18:25

I have an old tin bath.  I painted it glossy black and used it for chilling beers in packs of ice but haven't needed it fo rthat in years.  It may very well become a planter when I have time to decorate it and punch some holes in the bottom.   I also found some old galvanised laundry tubs in a street sale.   One has been painted red and gold and stencilled with Xmassy stuff for the Xmas tree and the other is still waiting to be painted to hold pots of plants............

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 12:18

Top pic looks liek assorted blue and white agapanthus.   2nd pic looks like perovskia but caryopteris is a good alternative for late blue flowers.  3rd pic looks like a white form of scabious.   No idea for 4.

I like your cast iron table and chairs.

Belfast sinks and their true value?

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 12:14

I like them as sinks, not planters.  Too stark for me as planters.

I had one installed in my kitchen because it was the only model big enough to fit things like oven shelves for soaking and washing.  However, it broke when I dropped a heavy object in it and I subsequently found a large enough stainless steel sink in IKEA of all places.

I do have a huge ceramic sink outside but it's in ly work area and used as a sink for washing pots and holding cuttings and divisions for easy watering in their early days.   If and when I move I shall either take it with me or try and find another one equally large for hosing down filthy dogs after wet walkies in my new garage.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/09/2014 at 11:12

Thanks for this.   No time for gardening this week apart from spraying weeds in paths and cobbled terraces as busy with teh start of teh dance club season.

Will be trying my first ever green manure in teh potager if all goes to plan.  Having difficulty locating seeds round here but may be able to get some from neighbouring riding stables and animal farm or else order by mail from UK.

When & how do blackcurrents need to be pruned

Posted: 17/09/2014 at 08:24

My method is to cut off the stems that have fruited and retire to the terrace with a cuppa or glass of wine and sit and strip the fruit in comfort without cricking my neck or squishing my knees.   This automatically prunes out the oldest wood and leaves the plant to ripen next year's stems and make new ones for the following season.

Other than that, prune out any dead, damaged or frozen stems after the worst frosts of winter are over and make sure the plants have plenty of mulch to retain moisture and encourage good soil organisms.

what's plants do you have in your greenhouse right now.

Posted: 16/09/2014 at 16:22

6 assorted chillies, 2 mother pesntemons I use for cuttings and one over excited fig I have just had to prune heavily to allow light and air to its fruits.

Far too hot here to stick anything else in there yet but it'll get my gunnera and some hostas and lillies in pots to over winter plus my bay tree and the pineapple sage and fuchsia and penstemon cuttings.

Dahlia tubers will be stored in the garage which won't freeze and some fuchsia parents and pelargoniums will go in the cool attic (as opposed to cold) under the Velux so they can hibernate safely and get an occasional drink just to keep them ticking over..

Pruning Pieris

Posted: 15/09/2014 at 14:48

Pieris flower in early to id spring so fall into what the RHS classifies as pruning group 8.  This just means prune lightly after flowering finishes.  If you prune it now you risk frost damage to the remaining foliage and flower buds and also fewer flowers next spring.

Here is what the RHS advises:-

When to prune evergreen shrubs

 You can prune most evergreen shrubs just before growth starts in mid-spring, after any risk of frost has passed. Pruning at this time will avoid frost damage to new shoots, and any pruning scars will be concealed by new growth. 

Evergreens that are still flowering or about to flower in mid-spring can be left until flowering has finished.

How to prune evergreen shrubs

 When pruning any evergreen shrub (except old, overgrown shrubs, see below), aim to remove about one-third of older wood in total.

  • Prune out any diseased, damaged or dead shoots using long-handled loppers or a saw if necessary
  • And finally, thin out crowded shoots and any badly positioned ones that spoil the shrub’s appearance
  • After pruning, plants benefit from mulching and feeding. Use either a general-purpose fertiliser or specialist rose or other high-potassium fertiliser

For convenience, we have divided evergreen shrubs into three groups on the basis of timing and type of pruning required:

1. Early flowering evergreen shrubs (Pruning group 8)

Timing: Prune immediately after flowering. 
Examples: Berberis, box (Buxus), CamelliaCeanothus, ChoisyaDaphne, HypericumMahonia,Pieris, Azalea (Rhododendron), RhododendronViburnum tinus.

Supermarket fruit and veg

Posted: 15/09/2014 at 11:41

UN and other reports show that up to 50% of food production is lost, world wide, to poor harvesting methods, porr storage facilities, poor transport and logistics, over buying in developed countries leading to loads being chucked out and corruption in governments and customs.

There is plenty of food produced and enough to feed everyone so there needs to be some political and cvil will to sort out the rest.   We can do our bit by buying wisely and not overtsocking our larders with stuff that will be wasted.   Supermarkets could give food that is still edible but past a notional sell by date to food banks and hostels instead of chucking it out.

Governments across the world need to take steps to enable better harvesting, storage and transport and eliminate corruption and inefficiency.  The developed world has come a long way in food production and transport in the last 200 years.  The rest of the world needs to catch up as soon as possible by learning from our past and taking advantage of new strains, methods and technologies.   They don't all have to be high tech solutions that cost a fortune.

 

Supermarket fruit and veg

Posted: 15/09/2014 at 10:34

Oh yes, Fair Trade for coffee and lemons and chocolate.

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