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Latest posts by obelixx

Puning roots

Posted: 28/04/2014 at 12:11

Root pruning is a tested method of controlling the vigour of plants but, as you say, spring may not be the best time to put your plants under the stress of growing new roots whilsts trying to grow new leaves and new stems.  

I suggest you make sure the roots of the beech hedge have plenty of moisture to make life easier while they recover and regrow so keep them watered between rainy spells so they don't stress too much.  Scatter some pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone along the hedge to provide nutrients.

Need help to identify these plants

Posted: 26/04/2014 at 18:26

It's definitely starving and probably thirsty so take it out of its pot and give its root balla  good soak in a larger bucket of water then you have a choice. 

Plant it out in the ground at the same depth it was in the pot and with plenty of good compost worked into the soil.  Give it a good drink after planting and every week this year till the autumn rains arrive.   Mulch the roots with some well rotted manure or garden compost every autumn, after some heavy rain.  this will keep it healthy.  

Plant it in a much bigger pot with good quality compost such as John Innes No 3 and then give it a good drink.  Make sure it is stood on feet or bricks to let it drain. It will be entirely reliant on you for food and water in a pot so give it regular watering so its compost doesn't dry out and a liquid feed once a week from early spring to the end of June.  Tomato food or a seaweed mixture will do.

You can make jelly from the apples so it's worth looking after it and insects such as bees and hoverflies will love the blossom.


Posted: 25/04/2014 at 13:27

No idea about tomatilloes but odd, isn't it, that I can't get Chinese lanterns to grow in my garden?  Tried 3 times and they turned up their toes.

Anybody watching The Big Allotment Challenge

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 11:36

My 19 year old daughter is enjoying this programme but only for the judging and flower arranging tips.   She also asked what curd was so I've made my first ever batch of lemon curd as a result.  Maybe now she'll be more interested in my rhubarb chutney and not think it's just a weird Mum thing.

What is interesting about this is that she loathes gardening and anything to do with gardening even though I love it and OH likes it to look good and is happy to do labouring for me.  Can't let him too near the plants as he has black thumbs and can't tell a weed from a treasure so I had the most expensive compost heaps ever till I stopped him. 

This show is not about gardening of growing fruit and veg.  It's a very arbitrary and shallow competition format with some odd, but not compelling characters among the participants.  A wasted opportunity in my opinion.

Shady Side of the patch

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 10:53

Salad leaves do well in shade and so do herbs like chervil as full sun just burns their  leaves and makes them tough.  Other herbs such as coriander, chives and golden marjoram will do well on your shady side.  Rocket has a tendency to bolt if grown in full sun so is another good plant for shade and greens such as kale will do fine.  Swiss chard should be fine too but maybe just a touch smaller than plants grown in full sun but that's fine in a family veg plot.   Asian greens such as pak choi should love it.

Help making feed for plants

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 15:56

Nettles are full of nitrogen so good for leafy plants.   Comfrey makes good feed for flowering and fruiting plants as it has more potassium.

I haven't tried it yet but I'm told that even mare's tail makes a good feed.  Just needs a bit longer to break down. 

Climbing plants or clematis for pot and obelisk

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 14:33

Yes, but I now know about hardy clems for all aspects and have quite a list of goodies.   My favourite supplier here gives températures of hardiness on his labels so I now buy nothing that doesn't say -25C.

I've also discovered that Guinée and New Dawn roses which I used to have in there do not like that much cold and curl up at -20C.  However Generous Gardener, Teasing Georgia, Gertrude Jekyll, Queen of Sweden, Sceptr'd Isle and Kiftsgate are fine elswehere in the garden where it isn't quite so exposed. 

Evergreen viburnums, eleagnus, mahonia and choisya don't like extreme cold either but deciduous viburnum is fine.  

Climbing plants or clematis for pot and obelisk

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 13:59

Thanks.  It is a north wall with plenty of light as there are no neighbouring buildings or trees and it gets some sun after 3:30 between the equinoxes.  However it also suffers from brutal winds and severe frosts down to -32C in Jan 2009 but normally -20C in an average winter.   This mild winter we've just had means all the plants in there are very happy and about a month ahead of usual schedule.

Climbing plants or clematis for pot and obelisk

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 11:08

I have 2 clematis growing on my back wall, north facing and planted in a mix of rubble from when it was a farm and builder's rubble from our renovations.  I dug out a big hole as Salino advises but for two of them I also made a raised bed by making a square U with roofing beams and filling it with good garden compost mixed with some potting compost.    

This gives the extra depth and fertility the clematis need and also supports a Falstaff rose.  I've planted spring daffs and alliums plus hardy geraniums in one and hosta Fire on Ice in another and mulched the whole lot with chipped bark.  These were done late autumn 2012 and all the plants are very happy.  The clems are a Minuet and a Caerulea Luxurians.



Climbing plants or clematis for pot and obelisk

Posted: 22/04/2014 at 12:15

My Arabella is lilac/mauve and is supposed to get to 2 metres - but I find that with each successive year it gts a bit bigger and produces more and more flowering stems that sprawl about as it is not self clinging.  I love it and it does flower for a long time.   It's also very hardy and copes with seriously cold winters.  Mine is planted in good soil in a hot, sunny bed and scrambles happily through a purple leaved cotinus.




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10 threads returned