Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 29/11/2017 at 11:06

Good morning.  Sparkling sunshine and a frost this morning.    The local birds have now cottoned on to having regular food and definitely prefer the fat and insect blocks to the fat and fruit.    Peanuts and fat balls and sunflower seeds go down well too.

I'm having a general tidy and clean (robot, not me) whilst making lentil soup for lunch then sewing while I wait for my Black Friday bulbs and asparagus to arrive.   Veering back to curtains again after deciding Roman blinds will end up catching on the top of the window which is open 7 or 8 months of the year.

Dove - hope that part does the job.  Our boiler in Belgium was a huge, German monster but still firing at 94% efficiency at its last service before we left.  23 years old and expected to go a lot longer.   Works a lot harder than this one whose age can only be guessed at but is smaller and works a lot less hard.  Don't think it's very efficient but it has certainly improved since we had it serviced last year.  It hadn't been loved.

Clari and FG - hope thumb and hands are behaving today.  Kind of essential so be nice to them.

Pdoc - good luck with the insurance company.  Just what you need.  Subject covered several time on BBC Rip Off Britain series so maybe check out their website for any helpful tips.

Hope you get your sun Joyce - and everyone else too.

Medinilla Magnifica

Posted: 29/11/2017 at 00:47

I've only ever seen one of these in Belgium in a moist greenhouse/conservatory where it was healthy and in flower.     This is a shrubby plant in the orchid family and comes form the tropics.  It needs moist air and warm temps and plenty of light but not direct, strong sunlight.   I suspect red spider mite is your problem and that's a result of it being too dry.  I would suggest a thorough shower to rinse off any dust and to clean the leaves.  

I think that if you keep up the misting regime and water it every 7 to 10 days by dunking its pots in a bucket of cool, but not cold, water and then letting it drain before returning it to its place, it should recover.   

The RHS offers this advice on red spider mite and suggest biological controls are the most effective treatment - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=190 

A well know London garden centre offers this advice on their care and cultivation - https://www.clifton.co.uk/blog/plant-care-guides-medinilla-magnifica 

Plant ID

Posted: 29/11/2017 at 00:25

I would prune it at grass level - well, maybe leave a wee stump to help pull out the roots.   Horrible plants which push our far too dense a canopy of dull brown stems covered in dull foliage for a few months of the year.    

How do you care for indoor plants during the winter?

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 22:21

I buy pastry made with butter when I see it and store it in the freezer but I have promised myself I will have a go at making my own one of these days.   I made cranberry mincemeat last time but like the idea of a ginger one.  Do you just add ginger to the basic fruit mix or is it more than that?

I fancy trying mince pies with a frangipane topping this year.   Might use the patchwork group as guinea pigs.

Wouldn't be allowed to make candles as we have 3 boxes of them out in the store but I am making some Xmas decs this year - felt and fabric.  Keeps me quiet while watching TV in the evening.

Harvest 2017

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 17:56

Snap Scroggin.  Oh has picked the last of this batch of Savoys this afternoon.   Like yours, it'sa rather large cabbage and good for loads of meals.    I planted 6 more plugs at the weekend but they won't be ready for weeks.

I tried parsnips in the Belgian garden.  They either failed to germinate or grew too huge before any sweetening frosts and had woody middles.   Haven't decided whether or not to try them here but I am growing cavolo nero which I only see rarely here on organic stalls in weekly markets.

Loathe sprouts but am trying flower sprouts which I do like.

Decreasing leaves

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 17:28

Why post again then?  The climate and answers won't change.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 16:38

I hope, if he's a boy, that he doesn't feel emasculated by his new name.  If so, maybe Tepal?  Sounds a bit less feminine.

I am in a quandary.  Decided I was fed up with looking at the insides of the shutters in the kitchen after dark so would make curtains.   Trouble is, there isn't enough of the fabric I was planning to use to make floor length as planned so, do I go and try and find some the right colour combo or make Roman blinds.  Haven't made Roman blinds since I did one for Possum's baby room and she'll be 23 in January.

How do you care for indoor plants during the winter?

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 16:32

I make truffles occasionally Philippa but we have a kilo box of Belgian chocs hidden away for Xmas so I don't need to this year.  I also have mincemeat, bought and home made, left over form last year so OH will get his token mince pies.   Possum doesn't like them.

How do you care for indoor plants during the winter?

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 15:01

Might have to offer mince pies or chocolate truffles with the coffee or hot chocolate from now on Philippa.   Seasonal spirit and all that.

Decreasing leaves

Posted: 28/11/2017 at 14:48

Where are you?   If you're in the UK or Europe and have planted onions to over winter then it is normal for growth to slow down as the weather cools.  The onions should be hardy enough to withstand a normal winter and will then grow away again ins spring and be big enough to harvest by June.  

If you are elsewhere and have planted in spring then it is normal for some variation in growth and size as they are individual plants and not clones of each other.   Make sure you keep the soil between them weeded and don't let them get dry as they need moisture to swell the bulbs.   They may appreciate a feed as the bulbs swell.   They also need to be ripened before harvesting - bend the foliage down to let maximum sun on the bulbs and encourage nutrients to be concentrated in bulb fattening.   Lift the bulbs with a fork so they come away with some root on.   This helps them store better.

Have a look here for more info from the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/onions


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