Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:43

Me too.   Dock of the Bay is still one of my favourites after all these years.

Lilies congested in pots

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:42

I did mine last March and they were all fine.    I grow them all in pots and put them back into shelter from frosts after doing it.    Had a great display.

Help me fix my lawn

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:40

Yep.  Moss and thatch.  You need to raise the cutting level on you mower as grass which is cut too short simply hasn't enough lead area to feed its roots and compete with weeds and moss.   

Unless poor drainage is a serious issue (flooding n winter?) you can improve the lawn thus - 

Take a good, long pronged gardening fork and use it to make vertical holes at frequent intervals working all along and across the grass.  Stand on it so the tines go in deep and then wiggle it back and forth to enlarge the holes.   Then you need to pour on bags of sharp sand - not wet builders' sand - and brush it across the lawn to fill those holes.  This will provide air to the roots and allow better drainage.

By the time you've done that it should be mid April which is a perfect time to apply a spring weed, feed and moss treatment.  Follow the instructions on the pack and be prepared for parts of your lawn to turn black after a week or so.   Buy or hire a scarifier and use this to rake up all the dead stuff and any loose stuff from previous cuttings (thatch).   Alternatively, rake it up with a  spring tined fork - see Wolf tool heads.

Loosen any bare earth with a normal rake head then sow appropriate grass seed to fill the gaps.  Water with a sprinkler or gentle hose pipe spray if it doesn't rain.   Do not walk on the newly sown areas.

Leave it to grow to at least 2 inches before its first cut and then never cut it shorter than one inch as this allows enough leaf to feed and maintain healthy roots and thus compete better for nutrients against any weeds.

Apply an autumn weed and feed in September

Repeat as necessary over the coming years.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:32

TB - yes, that's what I do when I remember.  Johnny Walker too on Radio 2.  Used to go to sleep listening to him on Radio Caroline South which took over from daytime only Radio Caroline North for the evenings and nights.   Always been one of my favourite DJs.

A lone kitchen man has arrived and installed lots of large packages.  Now he's banging!   I think I'd better go and talk to my hostas and hydrangeas.

Starting afresh

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 14:27

Hello and welcome.

There are grinding machines that can take out tree stumps.  A local tree surgeon will have one and you may even be able to hire one form a good DIY or tool hire store.   That would be the first thing to do and then you'd need to dig over the whole area and rake it level so you can re-sow a lawn or lay turves.

However, it is usually advised that for the first year in a new garden you just do basic maintenance so you can see what, if anything, grows.  Many plants are only just emerging after their winter hibernation and you may lose treasures if you dig it all up now.

You can hire turf cutters to strip off the top layer of grass.  You then roll or stack it grass to grass, soil to soil, in a corner where it will rot down to make lovely soil.   Alternatively, you could spray the grass with a glyphosate based weedkiller - as long as you are careful to read the instructions and keep it away form water - and then you can dig over the grass when it's dead.

Before laying new turves or sowing new seed, scatter a good dressing of something like pelleted chicken manure or blood fish and bone on the soil and rake it in.  This will improve fertility for your new lawn.   Think also about where you may want to create beds, seating areas, composting areas and storage areas so you can lay those out - mark with dry sand or a hose-pipe or string - so you can get a good estimate of how much seed or turf you will need and thus have less waste.

Dealing with a dry shaded border

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:51

There's a white flowered form of Vinca minor that would lighten up the space and there are white flowered geranium phaeum which would do well there.   They have deep purple blotches on their leaves and you can cut them back after flowering to encourage this to regenerate and stay fresh looking.   Geranium macrorhizum comes in pale, medium and deep pink flowered forms and has scented foliage that turns red in winter.  

If you can enrich the soil you may find foxgloves do well.  Hardy forms of cyclamen should be fine too and will extend your flowering season.  If you want to go for grasses, Milium effusum 'Aureum' Bowles's golden grass should be fine.   You could also try the Japanese painted fern.

The best time to add a deep mulch of compost is in autumn when most things are dormant and you can just shovel it on but you could also try it around plants you wish to encourage as long as you water well first and clear their foliage afterwards.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:36

My Radio 4 signal is very iffy here and I tend to forget to catch up on the PC but I'm always pleased when I do.  GQT is fun and informative.

Taking it easy Dove.   More a case of directing than doing.

Lilies congested in pots

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:24

I did this last year and it rejuvenated them as well as giving me lots of spares to give away and sell at a charity plant fair.   Water the pot well to reduce stress and then tip out, separate and re-pot in good compost.   Some will be offsets that may need to grow on a bit before they're big enough to flower.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 13:13

Drinking plenty Dove.   Feeling better after some fresh air watering all the pots - 130 medium to large, all except 8 brought with us, plus 6 trays of small to medium pots of cuttings and babies.   

Sun's out now so more fresh air this pm, spreading multi-purpose compost on the newly turned bed before the rains tomorrow.    Can't plant my hostas yet as I need them to get a bit bigger so I can see which is what so I don't swamp dainty ones with big 'uns.

Liri - glad you've had a safe crossing.

Large Garden Planter

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 11:28

I'd spread the flowering times to take the interest thru the seasons and rely on good foliage forms to maintain interest.   

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