Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 13/08/2017 at 15:15

They like dry places so watering copiously should help if the soil is very dry.  Failing that, the usual ant killers will work, especially the stuff in little shoe polish sized tins as they're waterproof.   The ants track the poison back to the nest.

However, lots of birds eat ants so, if you want to be wildlife friendly, try planting pennyroyal which is supposed to repel them or watering with a solution of an small bottle of essential oil of cloves (pharmacy or health shop) in 5 litres of water.  They don't like the smell and move on.

Ornamental Lillies

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 15:03

Remove the spent flower heads so they don't waste energy making seeds then keep them watered till they die down.  Some liquid tomato food would help the bulbs build up energy for next year's flowers.

I always move my lily pots to a quiet, sunny corner while they die down and then into shelter for winter so that neither the bulbs nor the pots get frost damage.   Depending on the size of pot and the number of bulbs in there, I re-plant every couple of years in fresh compost and usually find I have lots of offsets to grow on or swap with friends.  

If they're staying in the same pot for another season I make sure the compost is weed free and that the top inch or two is either replaced completely or fed with slow release fertiliser for roses or tomatoes - helps with flowering and general health.

Newbie..Help appreciated

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 12:31

Pots can be very limiting for most seasonal British veg and require lots of watering and feeding.   Greenhouses are good for starting seeds early, growing on seedlings and cuttings and keeping tomatoes warm enough to ripen but perhaps less so for toms if it's shaded by the yew.

If you are serious about feeding a family I advise you to create some raised beds using pressure treated timbers at least 6" high.   Make them 1m20 wide - easy access form both sides and easy to cover with tunnel cloches and insect netting as needed - and as long as you like but you will need at least 3 distinct areas for crop rotation so you can manure one bed each year and grow peas and beans in it, followed by brassicas and then root crops such as onions and carrots.  If you want to grow potatoes too add a 4th bed and also a permanent bed for perennials such as rhubarb, asparagus, globe artichokes.   5th bed for soft fruits and another for fruit trees such as apples, pears, cherries, plums.

See here for more info - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=124

Build your frames on a flat surface then fork over the soil within to remove visible weeds and their roots and then pile on as much well rotted manure, garden compost, kitchen waste etc as you can and cover with cardboard for the winter.   This will keep in moisture and keep out the light so the worms and other soil organisms can work over the soil for you.

Go to the library and check out books on organic veggie gardening and DVDs.

Watch The Beechgrove Garden every week for practical tips on methods and varieties and Gardeners' World too.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 11:34

Had a Hosta night, thanks to achy hips and a very cuddly kitten and still awake at 5am.   Got up at 10am to find OH watching golf when he was supposed to have gone out to get eggs for a cooked breakfast so we've only just finished brunch and they've gone off to see what the horsey day is like.   It's grey and feels like it should rain so i'm keeping an eye on the washing while I decide if I want to go out or not.

WW - great to see you popping in.  Sorry about the hands and hope you can get them fixed.  Mine aren't great either at the mo so I can sympathise.  

FG - hope you're feeling better today.  Sorry you missed your hills but a good decision not to force it.  They'll still be there another day.  Love the butterfly pics.  How do you get them to pose?  Ours always close their wings when they sit or flit abut too quickly to get more than a blur.

No meteors last night as it was cloudy.   Typical.   Should be clear tonight tho.

Pruning Hibiscus

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 11:11

I suggest you take out one in 3 stems back to the main stem now to lighten the load and help stabilise it at the roots.   Firm it in if necessary and water it.

Major structural pruning can then be carried out next spring after the worst of the frosts are over.   You'll be able to see the shape better then too before it gets its foliage.  Afterwards, give it a generous handful of slow release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or rose or tomato food and a liquid tonic of tomato food when the first leaf buds start to open. 


Posted: 12/08/2017 at 14:09

Let us know how it works out.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 14:06

Apple and blackberry pie or crumble or cobbler.  Blackberry jam.  Freeze in portions for puds later.

Busy - boys are 16 and 14.  Girls are 11 or 12.   Her parents live nearby.   Your play scenery looks good.  The Brussels Shakespeare company does an outdoor play every summer in the grounds of Corroy-le-Chateau, just the other side of Gembloux from our old house.  Beautiful medieval castle with round towers, pointy hats and a moat.   The comte de Trazegnies is lovely - crossed paths on twinning events - but his mum is/was a harridan of the first order and saw off any prospective DILs.

Lunch sounds good fun.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 13:23

Been to the vide greniers in Moutiers which is absolutely heaving cos they have an old car ralley going o too.  Roads all closed off and no way home so we had to cheat and go the wrong way down a one way.

Bit grey and mis between occasional warm sunny bits.  Met the people who have bought our Belgian house under the Halles!  Her pa has a holiday home in La Tranche which they use every August.  Not getting tanned this year.  They bought a 5 bedroom house with 2 full ensuites and a shower room between 2 so why have they put the twin girls in one bedroom and the two boys in another?

Amazing amounts of tat on sale and lots of frites at the food stands so all I bought was a galvanised watering can for 5€.  it will become a feature.    Got Possum to take pics of all the old cars.   She's now lusting after a VW camper van.

Feeling cool so pizza for lunch then pottering indoors or out depending on what the clouds do.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 10:24

I knew someone like that Clari.  He came to stay for a month after starting a new hob with us and waiting for his new flat purchase to come thru.  Liked meat and two veg which had to be peas or carrots and potatoes.   I fed him shepherd's pie one day and he had seconds - entirely vegetarian so clearly he had been spoiled by his mum and had no taste buds either.

Fruit Preserving Books

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 10:22

Home-made preserves by Jill Nice (Fontana paperbacks).   organised alphabetically by fruit and very good.  She's the one who put me on to spiced blackcurrant jelly which is a revelation.

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