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Latest posts by obelixx

Weed Control and Ground Covering

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 12:54

I once did a new bed with plants inserted through weed suppressant fabric and chipped stones.  Despite cutting generous crossed and folding back the fabric, two years later all the plants were gasping for space as they had grown big and strong and wanted room.  Removing the stones and the fabric was a nightmare but I did eventually liberate all my plants.

I would suggest a better method would be to mark out your new beds and then apply a dose of glyphosate to kill off any perennial wildfowers and grasses.  Once this has worked, dig the soil over adding as much well rotted manure and or garden compost as you can.  

Plant your new treasures with enough space in between to hoe any new seedlings and taking into account there eventual height and width.  Water them in well so they establish quickly.  Keep them watered well until the autumn rains start so they don't get checked by drought.   Then it's just a question of hoeing regularly to remove any unwanted seedlings.  

Your border should get established quickly if you do the soil preparation right and then spread to cover all the soil.  There will always be new weed seeds arriving on the wind or dropped by birds but hoeing will deal with these until there is no bare soil visible for them to set up home.


Is it Right or Wrong

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 10:51

Milk in a compost heap?  It will stink to high heaven and attract rats and other vermin.

Is it Right or Wrong

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 09:50

The big thick roots anchor the tree.  Damage those and you will get instability and a potentially damaging and costly tree fall in a storm.    The fine, fibrous ones feed and water the tree.   Reducing those will reduce the tree's vigour but only temporarily as they regrow quickly.   

Having bought a garden with trees and neighbours it behooves you to work with, rather than against them, especially those belonging to neighbours.    For trees in your son's garden, get a tree surgeon to advise whether the whole tree or part of the tree or some of the roots can be safely removed and get them to do the job properly.   They and their work should be fully insured and guaranteed.  They can also advise you on whether or not the neighbours' trees are too close to buildings or drains and whether or not pruning or removal is advisable.   Don't do anything without advice and without checking tree preservation orders and local council policy on trees or you could find yourself with bigger problems down the line.    Don't do anything without first talking to your son's neighbours.   It's a basic courtesy and he will have to live with them for years so it's best to stay friendly.

As Dove says, you can also use the trees as a design feature and make a shady woodland corner that future grandchildren will love to play in.    There are lots of plants that will thrive their and make it beautiful.   Have alook here for some ideas -  

Monty's scimitar saw in July 4th episode

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 21:47

As far as I know, Monty doesn't visit these boards.

Haven't watched GW yet but I have a curved puning saw head which fits my Wolf system handles so I can choose whatever length suits the job.    The saw makes very short work of banches that are a bit too thick for my loppers and it proved very uesful when my 12 year old parrotia persica was felled by lightening last year and I had to cut thorugh its trunk to remove the carcase.

Some questions about Basil

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 15:03

You can also propagate it like mint.  Take a decent stem, strip of fthe lower leaves and put it in a glass of water.  Once decent roots from, pot into compost.   Do it regularly and you can perpetutae your plants through the year and keep yourself supplied from just one or two plants.

hydrangea problem?

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 12:45

Have you repotted it in proper compost for flowering plants?  It may just be short of nutrients.

Please tell me I'm not nuturing a weed!

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 12:43

I like it too.  It can self seed when happy but it's easy to pull up unwanted babies.  Birds love the seeds but they're no good for humans, pets or livestock.  I've never had any problems.


Posted: 02/07/2014 at 22:38

I think 16 inches is a bit mean for a clematis and that 24" or 60cms wide and deep should be a minimum with a mulch of pebbles or expanded clay pellets to retain moisture.  A John Innes no 3 would be better for the compost.

However, as I said, they can take a season or two to settle down and get going so be patient but do consider giving it a deeper, wider pot if you can next spring.   It flowers best when treated as a group 3 which means you can cut the stems hard back to just above the lowest pair of buds next spring which will make repotting easier. 

Plant it 3 or 4 inches deeper than you currently have it as this encourages extra stems to form and thus more flowers.  Give it a generous feed of slow release clematis food then and every spring plus weekly top up tonics of tomorite or similar until it starts to flower.   Living in a pot makes it entirely dependent on you for food and water.

Clematis Marjorie

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 22:28

Not really.  Central Belgium so much colder on occasion.  I once had a clematis Montana Elizabeth that had spread itself about 10 metres along a fence I had between the veggie plot and the main garden and it was just about to burst into flower when a late spring frost of only -8 or so zapped all the fresh juicy stems and buds and the whole thing died.    Same thing happened to a Gothenberg I bought thinking a Swedish one would cope better.    No surviving alpinas here either and my cirrhosa bit the dust in 2008 after spending 3 winters hardly flowering at allbut the larger flowered hybrids that start in May do OK and so do lots of group 3s.

Clematis Marjorie

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 20:37

I'd love one as it's a lovely looking clematis but, unfortunately, montanas and alpinas don't do for me as a late frost usually gets them and kills them stone dead just when they're about to burst into bloom.   Very frustrating.

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10 threads returned