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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Which way should I place the railway sleepers?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:13

They are laid flat with the edge of the lawn so yes, they carry on up the slope at an angle but appear level to the eye.  

Make a line with string or hosepipe to mark the edge you want to have to straighten the border, remembering that wider borders are easier on the eye than narrow ones.  Then cut the turves out and use the best bits to fill in any gaps where the old bed was.

Then dig an even depth trench into which you slot the sleepers.  Keep the top level with the lawn so the mower slides easily over it.   You can line the trench with sharp sand to make it easier to level the sleepers.

Which way should I place the railway sleepers?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:06

For a difference of 18 inches over 12 metres I wouldn't bother.   Just dig a clear edge between lawn and bed, fill the bed with plants and the soil levels will take care of themselves and be unnoticeable.  With a vertical sleeper edge you're going to have to strim the edge to keep it neat every time you mow and it will become a rod for your own back.

My garden slopes a bit more than yours and I have laid railway sleepers level with the lawn to make a mowing strip to reduce the amount of edge maintenance needed but not to hold the soil.

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:59

I use this stuff as ground cover in a  sharply drained bed at the top of a 3 feet high sleeper retaining wall.  It is spreading nicely now and looks fab with white crocuses in spring and then pink dwarf dianthus later on.    There are snowdrops, grape hyacinths, hellébores, verbascum phoenicums, bergenias, achillea and stachys all in a happy jumble to attract pollinators to my damson tree, autumn raspberries and tay berries which grow nearby, enjoying the same sunny position.

Moving Seedlings ?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:38

I use an old tablefork to lift and separate seedlings into individual cells in trays or else small pots so they can grow on and develop a decent root system undisturbed.  This makes them stronger and easier to look after and eventually plant out where they are to grow to maturity.

Where possible, I sow in individual cells or pots to avoid having to disturb them later as this can check growth.  They can be easily potted on for further development wihout disturbing the fragile baby roots.

Worn looking railway sleepers

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 20:43

All of mine are looking worn and faded too and some have bits of metal strap on them from when they were part of the railway.    I use them as a retaining wall for my fruit and veg garden which would otherwise be a slope and also for raised beds in the ornamental garden at the front.   The ones for the veggie patch are lined wiyh black plastic to stop nasties leaching out into the soil and also to keep the sleepers protected from dampness in the soil.

A friend of mine who is a tidy freak painted his with some deeply black, gooey mixture and they look hard and unnatural and stand out more than the plants he has in his garden - all laid out like rows of soldiers and with bare soil between them.   My sleepers have faded and are growing a fine crop of moss and lichens.  Much more attractive IMHO.

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 22:55

It dépends on what you associate them with - cream, white, orange, bright scarlet or something with silver foliage.

Shady Area

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 15:55

I have a damp shady bed that does get some sun after 3:30 between the spring and autumn équinoxes.  I grow aquilegias, lily of the valley, primulas, hostas, ligularia, chelone, Japanese anemone, ferns, dicentra spectabilis, fritillaria meleagris, astilbes and hakonechloa.

Bernie Bungs BBC Bosses

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 15:39

Thanks.  I have no great hopes for the Allotment Challenge but the rest sound good, especially the Chris Beardshaw series.

Daffodils

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 13:04

No.  They won't produce new flower buds this year.  However, picking will have the same effect as dead heading by encouraging the bulbs to put all their foliage energy into making a big fat bulb for next year so the display gets better every year.  You can help the process along by feeding with blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.  Leave the foliage for at least 6 weeks or, better still, until it dies down completely. 

Pallets

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 11:43

Happy Planter - line it with black plastic.  This will stop chemicals leaching and also protect the wood from moisture in the soil so it will last longer.

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