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Latest posts by obelixx

Xhose - Expandable hose - any good?

Posted: 23/03/2015 at 10:04

Having read the reviews before buying my new hose last year, I went for the 40m wall mounted retractable hose from Hozelock and it has been brilliant.  It has stayed outside all winter.    I used it again for the first time last week and it rolled out and back like a dream.   Not cheap but a good investment I reckon.

science behind frost protection?

Posted: 23/03/2015 at 09:58

Assuming the snow has gone, you can warm up your beds by covering them with black plastic sheets for a week or two.  This will absorb sunlight and warm up your soil so you can plant a bit earlier.    Individual plastic bottles will offer less protection to seeds and small plants than a bigger cloche that can protect several plants at once.

Here we can buy rigid plastic cloches that can be sealed at the ends or fitted together to make a long cloche.  See the third image here -$ and there are many more forms available.  You could also make one by simply curving over a sheet of corrugated plastic and staking and pinning it in place and sealing the ends.

They should give 3 or 4 more degrees of frost protection than a single bottle and allow you to get ahead with your sowing and growing and eventual harvesting.

Lovely weather to garden

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 20:17

Perishing here.  4C with added wind chill from a penetrating north easterly which is far too unfriendly.    No gardening today at all.


Posted: 22/03/2015 at 12:32

Kim - hanging baskets are exposed to more sun and wind than plants in the ground that may be shaded or sheltered by others and have reserves of water in the soil.  You have to water them every single dayand it also helps to give them a liquid feed once a week to keep them flowering.

On very hot days, you'll need to water them morning and evening to get them through the day and let them recover at night.

Tree Saws

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 11:04

I use the Wolf pruning saw head on handles of various length depending on what I'm pruning and how high or large it is.     I can get at anything with it and at any ange just by changing the handle length.

I reckon for anything over 5 or 6 inches thick you need a man with a chain saw who wants some free fire wood.    Don't want to play with chain saws myself any more and it takes far too long to cut big branches and trunks even with a very effective pruning saw.

Any advice for first ever visit to RHS Chelsea & GW Live?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 23:06

Chelsea - get there as early as you can so you can see the show gardens before the crowds arrive.   Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes in layers as it can get hot.  Take a back pack to carry sandwiches and a bottle of water as they are expensive on sight and there are queues.   Take a plastic bin bag to open out to sit on the grass for your picnic as there are never enough tables and chairs.  Remember sun screen or umbrella depending on the forecast.

People are generally polite and patient about letting everyone have their turn at the front to see the show gardens but you may need to be thick skinned, especially on non members days.  Make sure your camera is fully charged and has loads of disk space.  Take your time in the floral marquee so you don't miss anything.  It is huge. In there you can talk to some of the best growers in the world about how and where to grow particular plants and place orders with them.   

Apart from the odd stand selling lily bulbs and seeds in the floral marquee you can't buy plants at Chelsea except on the last day at closing time but there are seed stands and sundries such as garden tools, clothes, pictures, ornaments, art work and so on that you can buy so have some cash and a credit card with you.

Enjoy it.  It's a great show with a completely different atmosphere from Tatton, Hampton Court and Malvern.   Haven't been to GW live so can't comment on that.

Poultry manure pellets

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 22:51

The pellets I use are a mix of chicken, cow and horse manure and have a better nutrients ration than just chicken.  I scatter them liberally across all the beds in spring once we get regularly above 8 to 10C and also use it as a top dressing for my hosta pots every spring.  Pots of lilies and agapanthus get rose fertiliser as do other flowering plants in pots and baskets.

Fuschia problem

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 13:06

I have overwintered trailing fuchsias in baskets and troughs in my unheated greenhouse.  I started watering them sparingly 10 days ago and now have teeny weeny shoots on the ones in the big trough but no sign of anything yet on the ones in baskets.

I don't expect them to be in full growth before the end of April so plenty of time yet.



Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 13:02

Sadly, I have just harvested the last chilies and binned the plants to make space for tomatos and new chilies to be sown this weekend.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 12:32

My garden was cow pasture for centuries so is very fertile and the bed in question is on the north facing side of the house so gets no direct sun in winter as the sun sets before it gets round that far.   It produces very happy hostas and ligularias and hemerocallis and chelones later in the season but maybe the winter cold and lack of sun plus the longer time to warm up in spring explains why my lily of the valley are spreading slowly and are not as invasive as most people seem to find them.   

I love them and will certainly be giving BM's idea a go but not in this house.  I need my window sills here for over wintering chilies and herbs for the kitchen.

Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1273
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1514
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 702
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 918
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1308
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 709
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3887
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1805
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1034
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2577
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 24    Views: 9602
Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned