London (change)
Today 28°C / 18°C
Tomorrow 27°C / 18°C

obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Preserving, What do you do or planning to do.

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 15:30

I have made redcurrant jelly with marjoram and strawberry jam.  I have spiced blackcurrant jelly on the go with more fruits to be picked tomorrow and probably frozen for winter crumbles.

OH has just harvested the last of the rhubarb for me to make chutney and I have chillies ripening to freeze, dry and make chilli jam. 

Autumn raspberries, tayberries and damsons still to come plus crab apples.

Red Robins turning green?

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 11:22

It's normal.  The new foliage starts red and eventually turns green.   If you trim them a bit they will put on fresh red foliage which is why this plant makes such an interesting hedge.

Talkback: How to cut back ornamental grasses

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 19:39

Good point about dates.  For anyone who doesn't know, ornamental grasses - except groups like Carex which only need raking through to remove dead growth - should be cut back in late winter/early spring before the new growth starts to come through but after serious frosts and snow have gone so Feb/March depending on region and weather.

Broccoli

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 19:36

The flowers are much less compact than green broccoli and the stems are more tender so do pick the heads now before they open and turn yellow.  In future, pick them younger.  They'll keep on cropping.

Mine have just produced their first edible heads which is earlier than usual but I planted mine earlier on purpose so I'd get crops before they get frozen to death in winter.  Haven't managed to over winter any winter brassicas for the last 6 years it's been so cold here.

Rhubarb. When/how to split the crowns?

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 16:19

Wait till autumn when the stalks and leaves have died down then dig it up - you'll need to dig deep to get it intact - and split it with a saw or a bread knife depending on the size.

Replant at the same depth as before in holes which you have prepared with plenty of well rotted manure and garden compost to help with moisture retention and feeding.  Give them plenty of psace so they can grow big and strong.   Water in well and then cover with a good pile of more well rotted manure to keep the crowns protected over winter.   You should be careful not to pick too many stems in the first year after transplanting as new plants will need energy from the leaves to build up a good root system.  They should certainly not be forced in the first year after planting.

Ants in plant pots

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 17:52

It's pretty hard to get rid once they're in and they can kill the plants with their tunnelling.

Water them wel, if possible by sinking the pots in a bucket of water and waiting till the air bubbles stop then allow to drain.   Water again with a solution of one small bottle of essential oil of cloves in 5 litres of water.  They hate the smell and will move on.  Keep your pots moist in future and use the oil of cloves form time to time.

It works on borders too but is best after wetting the soil as it soaks in better rather than running off the top.   

Weed control

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 19:09

I don't like weedkiller either but do resort to it on paths and empty beds but all my horsetail is in mixed beds so spraying is not an option.  I'll just keep pulling till it gives up or I move which won't be for years in either case.

 

Weed control

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 09:51

I can only sympathise.  I have this stuff in three beds at the fornt now and also find it doesn't respond to chemical attack and digging just makes it worse and i think the log wet spring has made it even more prolific than usual this year.

I'm just pulling up every stalk I see at regular intervals in the hope it will eventually weaken and give up or at least stay under control.   It can take me a few hours though as the beds are quite big.  

It's easier when the soil is moist so last night I watered one of the beds in preparation for pulling today.   I then leave all the extracted plants to dry out for at least a week and then they go in the dust bin or on a bonfire - never in the compost heaps. 

 

Which Hozelock Automatic Watering System?

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:57

A few years ago I bought a watering system with central pods from which small tubes came out and were pegged into individual pots.  The pods were attached to the tap and had a timer.  However I had so many pots it became a nigtmare sorting out all the little extensions and some visiting critter dislodged a couple of the tendril feeders and I lost plants .    I couldn't bring myself to go through it all the next year.

I now collect all my pots together at the back of the house and put a sprinkler on a timer to go off for 30 minutes every night.   I carefully check the reach of the spray so everything gets some water.  It works a treat and is simple and easy and I can add or reduce the number of pots just by changing the reach of the sprinkler.

The timer is a simple Gardena T1030 and I now have it connected to a Y fitting so I can run two hoses and water the greenhouse too.   I've just got back to find all the plants looking very happy despite a week of heatwave.   Just need to put them all back weher they belong now - when they've dried out a bit and aren't as heavy!

 

Dead Heading Roses

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:47

If it's a repeat flowering rose you need to cut off the flowers as soon as they go over and either lose their petals or turn brown.  Cut each one back to a set of leaves coming from the stem.   Give it a feed of liquid rose or tomato feed to encourage new flowers.

However, if it is an old fashioned rose or a rambler that flowers just once in a season, dead heading means you will lose any hips that will look decorative in autumn and also feed the birds.   

Ask the neighbours if they can remember whether it flowers again.  Failing that, dead head half and feed it and see whether you get new flowers or good hips and then you'll know for next year.

Come autumn, give it a good mulch of well rotted manure and/or garden compost and next spring give it some blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure or special rose food to help it make more flowers. 

 

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 948
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 466
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 596
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 921
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 520
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 2998
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1482
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 769
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2063
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 5300
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned