Latest posts by Obelixx

Brick wall, rubble, slabs in soil

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 21:54

The late great Geoff Hamilton was an advocate of preparing and nurturing the soil well before planting so the plants could get their roots down easily and get nutrients and water from healthy soil to make healthy plants and crops.  He also became an advocate of organic methods and boosting soil fertility and that meant just digging once to make good soil conditions.

This involved double digging to remove rubble and weed roots and then throwing plenty of organic matter such as well rotted manure into the trench as you work forward.  You never dig again, just fork or hoe the surface to remove weeds and add a mulch once a year to renew fertility.   This works very well for a long narrow bed such as yours which will be permanently planted with fruit trees.

Brick wall, rubble, slabs in soil

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 20:00

The better you prepare the soil, the better your trees will thrive and provide fruit for years to come.   

Strictly is back!

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 19:57


Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 19:55

OK to feel down for a short while Pdoc but the, as you know, you need to come out fighting for your sake and, more importantly, your BH's.  Plenty of support on here when you're ready.   

I have made 6 wee socks for Cosmos.   Next trick will be to get one on.

Good for you LP.  Great thing to do.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 17:57

I tried the local Intermarché and Carrefour Contact Busy.  Dummies, bibs and bottles but no socks.  Need to go to Luçon anyway tomorrow for some fancy open ended zips for my new patchwork project carry all/folder so I shall have a look there while I'm on but now have 2 dinky little "socks" for this evening and tomorrow morning.  Going to be fun!

Supposed to get down to 1C tonight, just before dawn so susceptible plants lifted above ground level as I cannot now see to take them down to the polytunnel.  They should be OK for one night.  I just put on a jumper and put a rug over my legs if I feel cool but OH has been talking about a fire - for the doggies and pussies!

Our garage is also open on one side but now we have cut down the two sick ash trees it isn't getting leaves - so far.  It's amazing how many trees still have their leaves on here.  Even our lone poplar still has a few.  The 25 along the stream in our Belgian paddock always lost their leaves by the end of September.

Lawn damage outbreak !!!

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 17:35

Definitely could be wild boar damage - https://www.britishwildboar.org.uk/index.htm?urban.html 

Could also be badgers - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2805851/Forget-moles-meet-new-threat-lawn-Indian-summer-led-surge-badgers-digging-gardens-search-favourite-food-juicy-worms-stop-ruining-lawn.html 

Best to google for info on how to deal with whichever one it is using legal preventive measures.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 17:29

Back from the vet where I learned that Cosmos' paw is not a wound but an infection needing 2 pills and 2 fresh dressing per day for 18 days.  If it doesn't heal up in that time they'll remove the cushion pad and send it for analysis.  Ouch.  May be related to FIV which would not be good news.  I was advised to use baby socks held on with plaster tape to stop him licking the meds and removing the dressing but there are none available in local shops open on a Monday so I'm going to sew some from face cloths.  Meanwhile, confined to barracks.

Getting cool enough here now to think about turning on a radiator or two.   

Pat - your water works sound efficient.  We have installed several 350 litre water butts for garden use and will get more in spring when they're on offer again.  The one in the potager won't last 5 minutes once I get the polytunnel up and running working but every little helps I suppose.

our men in black velvet waistcoats

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 16:48

After a heavy rainfall our grass in Belgium would look like a battlefield - shallow tunnels because the worms were up high to keep from drowning but that mean heavy rain would often collapse them and there'd be sunken trails all over like mini canyons.   If it didn't rain then these tunnels were easy to miss and step in and get a twisted ankle.

Belgian beef cattle tend to be Blanc/Bleus which are huge, heavy beasts with ridiculously small feet and ankles so prone to such mole problems giving them fractures and thus ending life.

The biggest problem in later years was our terrier - digging doggy - who would hear a mole at work and then dig for China!   Craters.  Not pretty.

Here the mole activity is restricted by drought meaning there is a shortage of worms and they're down deep.  As we work and improve the soil in the potager and any new beds I expect the worm population to increase........

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 14:06

Ouch!  Harry has had a complete set of new disc pads and 4 new tyres in the last month or so and yet, despite all those euros and TLC he still squeaked his way round the slow roads.  OH says he can't hear it but he said that when Possum and I first mentioned the brakes problem last July and waited and waited.  He's now making an appointment to get the squeak checked before it becomes a major issue!

I used to be able to d a full 13000 mile service on my car but that was in the 80s before they got all computerised and I gave up the course once we got to wheels and brakes because, despite being strong, I have never been able to undo a wheel nut and wouldn't trust myself to tighten them enough either.  That's a job for a "man who can" or a garage.

We can at least get new knees and hips Dove, just with hoomans it takes time to heal and recover strength.  

Autumn feed

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 13:54

Topdressing usually implies a mix containing feed and I reckon it is now too late for that unless you are in a very mild climate and the grass doesn't stop growing - temps averaging no less than 8C!  The packet should indicate how long it needs to be left before walking/mowing etc and that differs from one product to the next.

If you see that your lawn is not draining well after rain or can hear it oozing as it absorbs water (I could in my Belgian garden after a serious downpour) then you need to stay off it as your weight will compact the soil when it's soft and wet.   Aerate again in spring and apply more sharp sand.   Top dress if you think it needs it and make sure you don't cut the grass so short it hasn't enough leaf surface to photosynthesise and feed its roots.

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