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Latest posts by obelixx

Group 3 clematis.

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 13:34

Yours are group 1 which means they only get pruned to keep them in bounds and this is done after flowering finishes.  Montanas can be very vigorous so be careful to train the new stems as horizontally as possble to maximise flowering at eye level.  Give them a good feed of clematis food as soon as you see the first shoots forming.

just had 80 large plugs arrive how long will they hold for

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 13:31

Keep them in a sunny, shletered spot and water and feed them.  Pot them on to bigger pots as soon as you can so they can grow without any check to their roots.

Harlequin ladybirds

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 10:53

Those laydybirds also eat the native ladybirds which is not so good.

It's not quite the same as introducing plants from elsewhere that provide food and/or shelter for native fauna as do many introduced garden plants.  The problems with plants come when they invade countryside like Himalayan balsam or Japanese kntweed or those big purple rhododendrons and assorted aquatic plants which then squeeze out native plants and the associated fauna that feeds or shelters in them.

A completely native garden in my area wuld be full of couch grass, creeping buttercup, thistles, dock, nettles, marsh garss, ground ivy, horsetail with maybe willows, hawthorn and hazel.    Deadly boring and not exactly bee friendly.

As it is, I have a huge range of bees and other insects and lots of birds because I grow a wide range of plants which flower at various times of the year thus providing nectar for insects and colour for me and a happy buzz of activity in all but the coldest months when the garden is animated by all the birds that visit my feeders filled with non native peanuts and seed mixes.


Posted: 14/02/2015 at 10:03

My entire garden is alkaline but very fertile loam on a clay sub soil.  My roses do veryw ell - when tehy're not frozen to death in a bad winter and they get pelleted chicken manure every spring.    

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 15:11

Yes please.

plants or shrubs

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:11

You could plant marginal pond plants and any number of bog plants such as pontedaria cordata and shrubs such as alnus cordata as well as colourfully stemmed cornuses and willows as Buttercup suggests.  

Filipendula purpuria (meadowsweet) would be a good choice and you could also try lysichiton americanus (yellow skunk cabbage and a bit smelly but striking).  Hemerocallis do fine in moist soils but would need slug protection and deutzias should be OK too.



snowdrops and crocuses

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:00

Newly planted bulbs can take longer to make an appearance in their first year.

They may also have been eaten by rodents or have been a bit dry when planted and that can be bad news for snowdrops.   Always best to soak small bulbs for an hour or so in cold water so they can plump up before being planted.


Maximum number of potatoes per litre of compost

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 10:26

Sounds a bit of a squeeze to me.  I once planted 4 Pink Fir Apple potatoes in a tyre and gradually built up the compost layers to 4 tyres deep.  Got a good crop but considerably more than 20 litres of compost was needed.

Another year I grew 5 Charlottes in an old dustbin with drainage holes drilled at an inch or so above the base.   They cropped well too but was more like 40 litres of compost by the time the spuds were at eating size.

You do have to keep them watered to get a good crop too.

shady bed

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 17:41

That bed sounds very shaded indeed so you may struggle to find many shrubs that will thrive but this is what the RHS has to advise on planting for shady beds - some bulbs, some ground cover and some shrubs -   

Al quite low maintenance plants but I would advise you dig in plenty of well rotted manure and garden compost to improve moisture retention and fertility before you plant anything then a mulch of chipped bark when it's all planted and watered in.



Replanting blueberry bushes...

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 16:48

I moved mine from pots to sligtly raised beds after coming home form hols and finding them crispy.  Our watering monitor had not believe my instructions!

We have alkaline to neutral lomay soil so we dug deep holes, at least 2' 6" deep and planted them 4' apart, backfilling with proper ericacious compost.   They get a feed every spring and have been mulched with chipped bark to reduce competition form weeds and reduce water evaporation.

I get very good crops except for the last 2 years - one dreadful winter that killed a few branches and then late frosts that got the blossom and again last year a late frost after a mild winter so blossom all frozen.   This year they'll have windbreak netting to protect them from frosts and, later on, more netting to keep the birds off the crop.. 

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