Latest posts by Obelixx

Blackcurrant to eat off the bush?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 20:39

I did it for the first time this year as we were moving so I couldn't freeze surplus and had enough jelly.  I used this recipe but did one lot with gin and another with vodka.


Garden Gallery 2017

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 20:34

I planted some Ruby Giant crocuses in a small bed at the front and they have come up and flowered well but been firmly closed for the last 2 wet and woolly days.    The white ones I put in the grass are no-shows which is a bit disappointing.   However, the daffs that came up in the gravel path, right next to the house wall, have done well.

Lots of bulbs including iris reticulata in pots but not flowering yet apart form my wee snowdrop pots, brought from Belgian and flowering a week ago.

In the garden, a mimosa has been looking gorgeous for a fortnight and is still gong strong.  No idea how long the flowers will last but they are a ray of sunshine.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 17:24

Having finally got our power supply back we then lost it to the leccy men but we do now have functioning lights and shutters in the annex, some power sockets, a connector for the cooker hood which I asked for and a TV socket which I wasn't expecting but was wired in by the last owners who planned to use it as her laundry and ironing room.

Can't paint with off and on lights so I've spent my time tidying and cleaning and had a little play with my new raspberry canes.   Roots soaking ready for planting in pots tomorrow as a temporary measure.

TB - have to agree.  Take it easy.   Do your nails or something or read a good book.  Have to admit that on the few occasions I take a bath, it's usually after a long, mucky day in the garden and I have some kind of relaxing bubbles or essential oil, a glass of fizz and a good book or magazine.

Liri - pesky but you may well have inspired someone for later life.   In the near future, it will be nice to have a kitchen again and a functioning oven.    I shall bake a cake to celebrate.

Blackcurrant to eat off the bush?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 17:12

We love blackcurrants too but not fresh ff the bush.  Much too tart.

I make blackcurrant jelly spiced with cinnamon and cloves and sometimes star anise; blackcurrant cordial, blackcurrant liqueur, blackcurrant vinegar and blackcurrant crumble with ours.

Rotavator vs Chillington Fork

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 16:05

If you have a large area to dig over for annual veggies then a rotavator makes sense but you do first need to kill off any perennial weeds wuch as bindweed, marestail etc with some sort of weed killer..

If you're just wanting to weed beds for regular maintenance then I would advise a Wolf system push-me pull-you hoe which has two blades to decapitate weeds and can be attached to any length of handle for working close up on your knees or standing up - http://www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk/multi-change-tools-main/soil-care-tool-heads/multi-change-push-pull-weeder-15cm   There's also a narrower one if you need it and an array of other hoe and cultivator heads.  I love them.

Is buying plugs cheating?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 15:11

It is far too early to be putting plugs into the ground as the soil will be cold and we can expect more frosts, games and heavy rain that will do them in.   Most will be frost tender and shouldn't go outside till mid May and after being hardened off.

Buy them by all means but pot them on into small pots to grow on  Keep them watered  and give an occasional light liquid feed and then pot on again when they need it.   To harden them off, keep them in a frost free, sheltered place for now and gradually start putting them outsode on fine days but bring them in at night.  As we get to April you can leave them outside all day and in mi May you can plant them outside.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 14:57

Possum used to wake up singing in the mornings, or at least chirrupping, but afternoon sleeps as she got older would often find her a bit grumpy for the first 10 mins or so after wakening up feeling groggy.

2 leccy men here now and 2 plasterer types.  It never rains but it pours.....  in a nice way.   All happily gossiping away to  each other.   

Pesky terracotta chalky paint has come up streaky on the feature end wall and will need a third coat. 3 walls still needing a second and possibly third coat and one wall not even started cos I need the left over terracotta to mix a pale shade for that - and yes, it's an L shape room.

Can we have paint free stone, driftwood or woven bamboo+banana leaf walls on our island?

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 13:23

Good afternoon all.  Power cuts since early this morning all over our end of the Vendée and a lot of Charente-Maritime so sympathies for yesterday Busy.    Winds have calmed down now and we have gentle rain.    Fine by me as I'm indoors painting anyway - now that I can see in the north facing kitchen.

On the up side, internet is back ahead of schedule.    Feels so odd to be offline and powerless so the island will need some solar panels please.

I find the Ignore button is a good feature to have.    Saves a lot of bother.

Leccy man due this pm to do the sockets and switches in the annex and then plaster board man can come and do the skim and then I can paint it at the weekend.    I will then need time off in the garden or i'll get very twitchy.

Enjoy the sunshine, those who have it.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 19:47

I would need sunscreen as well as toothpaste and reading glasses cos my arms are now too short to read without them.    

Brambles and bindweed

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 13:47

Sorry, but potatoes do not break up soil and weeds.  You do with all the digging needed to plant them and them keep them earthed up and then harvest them.  Back breaking in poor or infested soils.

Rotavating is also a seriously bead idea for all the propagating reasons given above.

IThe best way to go is a spray with a glyphosate based weed kiler on fresh new growth.  Follow the instructions on the bottle and add a drop of washing up liquid to help it stick to the leaves.  It needs 6 hours of dry, preferably sunny weather to be absorbed and then takes 2 weeks to kill the plants right down to the roots.  For strong weeds, a second dose may be necessary.   

After that you can dig it over, pulling up every scrap of plant and root you find.   Do not put them on a compost heap.  Burn them or take them to the dump.

Then you can prepare the soil for whatever plans and plants you have. in mind.    If you still can't work the clay after all the weeds are dead - it should be a bit drier by then as spring moves along - then cover it with copious amounts of composted material which you can somerimes buy in bulk from the council or eles take advantage of special offers of multi purpose compost or soil conditioners from local DIY and garden stores.   

The worms will work it in for you through the year and you can and should re-apply every autumn once your plants have gone dormant.   

Building raised beds is another possibility but will require some expertise and investment to build something sturdy and long lasting and attractive.


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