Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 21:31

Chicky - there will be an awful lot of edges to mark.  The bricks were not very thick and rather bland and I think would be a nightmare to lay and maintain cos you can bet your boots he'll just lay them on the soil.   We have a great pile of odd stones of the local creamy yellow rock (think Cotswold colour) which would look a lot better and be more rustic.  personally, I think it's too soon to be thinking edges.   Our bikes all need a major overhaul and new tyres.

Linda - only been up there twice and look forward to exploring further.  It's only just over an hour away so we'll be doing that when we've got more time.  Back in the garden tomorrow and Friday.

Overgrown weeds

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 18:59

If you use a glyphosate weedkiller it will take 2 weeks for the active ingredients to work their way down to the roots and kill the weeds but some are very persistent and may come back and need a respray.   It is not a good idea to rotavate live roots of couch grass, bindweed and so on as they just become so many little cuttings that grow into new plants.

Check your weed killer for the words glyphosate and systemic to make sure it does go down to the roots or you will end up with dead surface material, probably within days, but living roots that will re-grow.

Once you're sure it's dead you can rotavate the soil to prepare it for levelling and treading before either sowing seed or laying turf.   You can hire a rotavator if you don't have one.  Seed is cheaper but slower and is best done in April or September as that is when temperatures and rainfall are at their most favorable.  

Whatever you do, don't hurry or skimp on the preparatory process, even if that means trying to sow in May or June.  There's bound to be a cool patch that will do for sowing.  Just avoid a heatwave and have a sprinkler handy in case it's dry.

Here's some advice from the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=424 

Last edited: 05 April 2017 19:01:10

Sorry I've Been AWOL

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 18:50

Good luck DD.  Not long to hang on for your decision and fingers crossed it's positive.   Then the fun will really start and there'll be plenty of support from friends on here.

Enjoy your marathon this weekend.   Keep in touch as and when you can cos we're all rooting for you - and should it be a no, come back for support and encouragement anyway.

What to do with this polygala

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 17:24

Check and see if it is pot bound.  If the roots are all squished and growing round in circles you should pot it on to a bigger pot with some decent compost such as John Innes no 3 and maybe give it a feed of liquid rose or tomato food as an instant tonic.

The fertiliser in most composts lasts a maximum 100 days and often less so I think your plant is hungry but, when you do take it out of its pot, check for pests such as vine weevil grubs too, just in case.

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 17:19

Went to the covered market at Les Sables d'Olonne this morning and stocked up on fresh fish, clams, Barnsley chops and fruit and veg then a stroll along the front to our favourite restaurant round by the old fishing port.   Lovely lunch for me and OH but Possum - who will insist on ordering steak - doesn't like caramelised stripes on her steak - which yo always get in French restaurants - so had a moan.  Had to have words about sandwiches in future.

Thence to the Leclerc SM at Chateau d'Olonnes which is different and more cosmopolitan than our usual one at Luçon which is, in its turn, so much more cosmopolitan than the two at La Roche-sur-Yon.   Then home for a sort out and a snoozle and watering my pots.   They all have garden promotions on at the mo and OH was trying to persuade me we need some pale cream ybricks to edge our new beds.   NOOOOooooooooooooooooo!

When to move a Magnolia

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 16:27

If you do plan to move it in autumn you can encourage it  to make more fibrous roots to help it survive by taking your spade and making deep, vertical cuts in a circle round the base.  Make it as wide as you possibly can but not so big you can't dig it all out in one go and carry it and you will have a well defined root ball ready for the move.

You will thus sever some of the longer roots but encourage fresh roots to grow nearer the base of the plant.   Keep it watered from now to late summer to avoid stress and give an occasional drink of sequestered iron.

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 05/04/2017 at 08:58

I've done that too when connections have been poor Busy and also when email was having hissy fits.  Glad it works for you.  Internet very slow here today too.

We have a small magnolia which looked quite dead in August and very dead in October.  It is covered in lichen which adds to the stressed tree theory so I watered and weeded and fed and this week one branch has produced a show of flowers but there are leaves bursting over the rest.  Worth persevering as the flowers are gorgeous.

Little to no lower growth!

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 18:49

Cut back some of the highest stems to fence height or below.  Then give the plants a handful or three of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and a good drink - at least 10 litres/2 gallons each.  This should stimulate growth lower down.

You could also fork over the bare soil and add the same feed to it and then plant some sturdy perennial plants  to hide the fence.

Last edited: 04 April 2017 18:49:32

Would you chop this cornus?

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 18:46

You need to chop to get the gorgeous red stems as they fade to dull brown as they age.

Try taking out just half the stems while it's still a young plant and then you get the best of both worlds and the new stems that grow will probably flower later giving you a double show and then you'll have the bright stems for winter.   Next spring, remove the stems you left this year and so on thru years to come.

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 18:40

I have just spent 4 hours out there messing with the hosta bed and watering treasures.  It's jolly slow work dogging holes with ribs but I'm getting there.  The sun came out which helps but I was distracted a lot by helpful kittens and the dogs running around too - unable to decide between making sure next door's dog kept her distance or to play with pussies.    Not good for hostas!

Cosmos is growing up - first litter duty outside in fresh MP compost I've been using a s a soil conditioner.   Typical boy, ended up covered in black specks.

Time to clock off, have ahot shower and make a simple dinner.

Well done everyone who's managed to get some gardening done and roll on the weekend or some sun or a cure (delete as applicable) for those who couldn't.

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