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Latest posts by obelixx

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 00:28

Runnybreak - there is a gadget which deals with moles but you can't get it in the UK.  I have used it successfully here but not since we got dogs.  However I'm going to set the device again soon but inside a protective cage to keep the doggies safe and stop their curious noses setting it off prematurely.

Watch the wee video - 

I plan to get the one thats' been taking the micky through my veg patch this week and then the one that's having a laugh in the lawn before they get into gear tunnelling every which way to find mates next spring.


Welcome to the potting shed

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 12:30

Welcome.   Sounds like you've got your priorities right - structure first.   Newt is soil preparation which is best done thoroughly so you only have to do it once.

One tip once you have your edges done is to pile on lots of compost and/or well rotted manure and let the worms and weather work it in over wnter.   Easier than digging, especially for your back.   In spring you can then simply fork it over, removing any weeds and stones as you go then rake it over and plant in spring.  This way you have all winter for playing with layouts and plant lists.

Get some bulbs in now if you can though as they need all winter to grow their roots to be ready to put up shoots and flowers next spring.  

New shrubs and roses are best planted in autumn as they then have all winter to grow new roots, especially the feeding roots and shoudn't need extra watering next year.   However, if you haven't yet got the soil ready or haven't yet decided what to grow, you can also plant container grown specimens at any time of year as long as soak the roots before planting and you keep them well watered till the autumn rains come.

Rose Cuttings

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 12:07

I have taken cuttings of my Generous Gradener climber this year but, like Dove, i've done them outside in the gound tho mine are dibbered in to some soil in a spot sheltered form prevailing westerlies.  I'll be leaving them a year before disturbing them.

As yours are in pots, I would keep them sheltered but outside for winter - maybe a cold frame to reduce risk of the entire pot freezing in cold spells.   When you see roots coming out of the bottom of the pot you'll know they can be safely potted on to grow big enough to plant out in the borders.

Acer palmatum Sangu Kaku

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 11:42

My soil is mostly alkaline too but is fertile loam and I have other acers grwoing happily in suns and shade in the back garden.

I suggest that, if you can, you plant yours in the garden but prepare a hole 2 or 3 times as wide as the pot it's in and just a little deeper.  Dig it out, clear weeds, work in plenty of well rotted manure and/or garden compost so the roots can spread wide to seek water and nutrients.   Plant it at the same depth as before and water well.   You can underplant with suitable ground cover or mulch with chipped bark or gravel according to taste.

If this is not an option, give it a deeper, wider pot and good quality compost so it can grow its roots.   It's also worth checking for vine weevil grubs.  These are small, white maggotty looking critters that chomp their way through roots and can kill off pot plants if untreated.   Provado will fix this for you and it may be worth watering some of this in anyway as a precaution. 

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 11:31

Can't remember what but the greys carry some disease to which they are now immune but which affects red squirrels.  It's a pity it's not a commercial proposition to reverse engineer some bug that will reduce the greys.

Not a problem we have here in Belgium where there are plentiful red quirrels - but not in my garden unfortunately.   I took some scientists on an imemrsion trip to bristol once and they were nechanted by the lack of fear of the greys who posed for photos by Cabot tower.  Couldn't believe they are vermin when in the wrong place.

I don't know where you are Bookertoo but maybe this site and this organisation can help -


Acer palmatum Sangu Kaku

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 11:16

My acer Sangu Kaku is in full sun but protected fromprevailing wetserlies by trellis panels with a climbing rose and a clematis.   It ha sbeen in about 8 years now, has survived some dreadful winters and grown to about 2.5m high.    It does lose some stems in bad winters but is otherwise fine and healthy, planted in neutral, mostly clay soil with loads of manure worked in when I created the bed.

Is yours in a pot or in the ground?   If it's in a pot do you give a dribble every day or a good soaking each week?  Do you feed it?  Th enutrients in potting compost are all used up afet a fex months so if it's in a pot for life it needs regular feeding and a top dressing every spring.

If it's in the ground, what kind of soil is it?  



Posted: 04/11/2014 at 17:41

I tried this years ago but it froze to death in a bad winter.  However, a friend of mine who has a more sheltered garden has one and it has survived hard winters and usually has masses of berries in autumn.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 03/11/2014 at 11:10

Very pleased the voting public has at last got it right and sent off one of the non dancers.    Scott may have improved but he'll never be any good as hasn't a clue about rhythm or deportment or technique.

Alison clearly has rhythm but it's not enough.   Her feet are heavy and badly placed and all the activity is up top.    She doesn't need heels to help her move.  I now do my ballroom casses and balls in one inch heels following reconstructive foot surgery on both feet in 2013.  I still can't do the samba bounce or the jive but everything else is OK, including salsa.

I can't understand Judy Murray.  She's fit as a fiddle but stiff as a board.  Not a single cell of her body seems to feel the music and respond.    

Totally agree with Dove about ages and sizes.  Our dance club has people aged 9 to 69 and all shapes and sizes.  It's fun, it's sociable, it exercises the brain and the body so is great for both mental and physical health.    What's not to love?

Blueberry Winter Care

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 10:48

Give it a top dressing of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure next spring and work it into the top layer of soil.  Give occasional feeds of liquid tomato food when watering from early spring to fruting time.  That'll help it produce more flowers and fruit.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 10:46

Good.  Today's mission is getting my seed raised perennials in the ground at last now I've gt their nex home cleared of weeds.

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