Latest posts by Obelixx

Stuck on a hedge!

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 16:54

Not Russian vine.  It's a thug and ugly except for a couple of weeks of the year before the flowers go brown.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 16:53

For some reason I have yet to fathom the only British newspapers on sale round here are the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.   Not my type at all except for gardening in the Telegraph.

I have trays!  and lids!  Whoopee.   We've also been to a big DIY store to look at assorted beams and sleepers for making raised beds and I think I might just reconfigure the beds or it'll be too very frightening and OH will faint.

Pat - we don't have carpet anywhere, just rugs here and there.   Hope you manage a good sleep despite the heat.

Stuck on a hedge!

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 12:56

If you grow climbers through a hedge they will suffer when you trim the hedge so I would drop that idea.  

Portuguese laurel is very vigorous and, IMHO, desperately dull to look at.  have you thought about pyrcantha?  It's evergreen and can be grown as a hedge and will offer shelter for wildlife as well as nectar in spring and berries in autumn.

Does it have to be a hedge?  A fence of trellis panels would screen you and allow you to grow any number of climbers very happily.   As they would need a bed of well prepared soil to grow in you could extend it deep enough to plant other ornamental shrubs in front.

If trellis panels seem too expensive, just erect 2m high fence posts at 2m intervals and stretch wires between them at 12"/30cm intervals to support climbers such as roses, honeysuckle, clematis, winter flowering jasmine..........  Make sure the posts are buried in decent concrete boots to support them when the winds blow and as the plant weight increases.

How To Take Early Dahlia Cuttings.

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 11:47

I have just bought a whole bunch of dahlia tubers too with plans to increase the stock from basal cuttings.  I'm a novice at this too so can't advise except to say that I would use John Innes no 2 or 3 to start off the tubers as they need to be moist but well-drained and multi-purpose has a tendency to clag.

The RHS offers this info on dahlias and propagation - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=592 

The GW site offers this advice - http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-take-basal-cuttings-from-dahlias/ with pics and Carol Klein offers this advice in her page in the Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/3300004/Back-to-basals-its-easier-than-you-think.html 

Help my bottle brush plant is dying!

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 11:15

These plants need a sheltered position in full sun and a moist but well drained soil.  They are hardy to -5C and like acid or neutral soils, so not alkaline.  Those shells are calcium and may be harming it by leaching into the compost.

I suggest you try planting it outside in a suitable spot as soon as the weather warms up and then give it a liquid feed of tomato food to help it along.  Use rain or distilled water if your tap water is hard.   Get yourself some horticultural fleece to protect it if frosts are forecast.

killing bramble roots n nettles

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 11:06

If you have the time and energy then yes, digging and pulling up are the best methods.   Both brambles and nettles are quite easy to pull up if the soil is moist but yo may leave bits behind that will regrow so you need to be vigilant till it's all gone.

If you are time poor, buy yourself a back pack sprayer that can hold 10 to 15 litres of solution and treat new growth with a glyphosate based weedkiller following the instructions for dilution rates.  It works on green foliage and is indiscriminate so keep it off plants you need to keep - hedges, good grass - and spray on a still, sunny day when plants are growing.  It needs 6 hours of dry weather to be absorbed down to the roots and then takes 2 weeks to work.  You may need a second application for really well established roots.

Keep animals away from the sprayed area for the two weeks or more and till it's taken effect.

Smoke Bush

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 10:59

How big is the pot?  What compost did you use?  Do you keep it watered and fed?  Is the plant looking healthy otherwise apart form the lack of growth?

I suspect it's worth hoiking out of its pot - after first giving it a good soaking - then checking the roots for little maggoty things that may be eating them.  If there are, pick them out and feed them to the birds.  Either way, you need to tease out the remaining roots so they don't keep going round and round then re-pot with some good John Innes no 3 type compost and water well then treat with a vine weevil solution such as Provavado as insurance.

If your plant is wilting it may be suffering from verticullum wilt, in which case it's probably a goner and needs to be destroyed so it doesn't infect other plants.  The RHS has this advice and info - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=255 

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 10:52

Cold start this morning and frost about but it's bright and sunny and creeping up to 4C.   This pm we'll wrap up warm  and head to a GC for trays and stuff for my Bishops and then a DIY store to look at fencing panels, railway sleepers and concrete sleepers to try and work out what will be best for our raised bed potager project.  I wonder if we can wangle a bulk discount.

Lovely letter Clari and well deserved.   I hope he can turn his life around and get over his traumas.

Chicky - I haven't had any whiffs from my baby witch hazels but hope it improves next year when they'll be in their permanent home with a bit of a windbreak.

Joyce - I hope you're right and the worst is over.  Pdoc - pulled muscle?  I remember pulling all my stomach muscles during a violent spell of food poisoning.   Beware of stoemp and cold meats anyone heading to Utrecht!

Stay cool Pat.  Autumn will be here before you know it.

Fell asleep watching Loch Lomond but I have it recorded so that's OK.  Very soothing voice over!   Then I woke up and did a bit of knitting but it's impossible with two kittens and a terrier helping so I gave up after 3 rows.    OH parked in the kitchen to watch Leicester win the hard way so is a happy boy today.

Last edited: 09 February 2017 10:52:18

programmes to watch

Posted: 09/02/2017 at 10:40

I thought AT was brilliant when doing his How to be a Gardener series and excellent at presenting Chelsea but I have to admit I don't like his more recent stuff.   The Beeb should never have let him go.  ITV either requires or maybe just indulges emotional manipulation.

Obelisk planting

Posted: 08/02/2017 at 17:32

2m high would be much better.   I wouldn't combine all 3 plants on one obelisk.  It will be overload.  Maybe practise your carpentry skills on an obelisk and then either make a pair or progress to an arch........

There are other designs out there if you google about.  Maybe a pergola so you can grow more plants?

Last edited: 08 February 2017 17:34:21

Discussions started by Obelixx


Erection and siting 
Replies: 4    Views: 236
Last Post: 18/02/2017 at 17:32

Cutting garden

Tips please 
Replies: 18    Views: 924
Last Post: 24/01/2017 at 11:07


What to do with them 
Replies: 11    Views: 510
Last Post: 14/11/2016 at 21:06

Weather station

Recommendations please 
Replies: 2    Views: 284
Last Post: 08/11/2016 at 14:53

Clematis varieties

New varieties (to me). Anyone grow them? 
Replies: 21    Views: 911
Last Post: 30/10/2016 at 21:45

Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
Replies: 5    Views: 370
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 12:30

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 366
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 476
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 39    Views: 2735
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 742
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 918
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 983
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 703
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 1073
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 3307
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44
1 to 15 of 25 threads