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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 14/09/2015 at 09:34

They can be late in a cool summer and do require full sun. 

I grow mine in pots and move them to shelter over the winter so they don't get frosted.

Non flowering hydrangeas

Posted: 14/09/2015 at 09:32

Ideally you should scatter BF&B or chicken pellets every spring all over your flower borders - except wildflower beds - in order to maintain fertility.  Using some slow release rose or clematis fertiliser or liquid tomato feed on high energy plants like roses and clematis will promote flowering.  

Try some of that on your hydrangeas and make sure they never dry out over summer.  You could also mulch them with some well rotted garden compost in autumn so the worms can work it in over winter and improve your clay soil's ability to sustain your plants.   Clay is naturally fertile but needs organic matter to aerate it and improve its texture for roots to seek out what they need.

Veg plot in field

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 20:18

Can you borrow some pigs for a week or two?  They'll work over the ground and eat all the plants and uproot weeds looking for grubs and goodies.   Then let the chickens loose to get rid of the inevitable weed seeds and then there's nothing for it but you have to at least fork over the ground to uproot any persistent weed roots and stones.

If you can get all that done by mid November you ca then fork over a good layer of well  rotted manure and then cover it with cardboard.  Over the winter the worms will work in the manure and the cardboard will rot down and and to the mix whilst excluding light to deter weed seeds from germinating and growing.

Come the spring it should be ready for a good raking level and then sowing and/or planting.

Seed ID, if possible

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 20:00

Can you take a photo with penny and a pound coin so we can see the scale?

Is lawn edging popular?

Posted: 11/09/2015 at 17:44

We have sunk railway sleepers to lawn height to serve as a mowing strip around half of our main lawn.  It was much more but then I cut out a new bed in the lawn.....    This edge is gradually being finished with granite paving sets taken form the former cowsheds.  

I don't have the time or inclination to edge with a half moon blade and I don't like any other lawn edging product I've ever seen apart form bricks or stones laid as a mowing strip with border plants flopping over to soften the effect.

I have a dreadful wind problem!

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 17:49

We have strong winds that can be devastating in winter when they're really cold or the rest of teh year when they get a bit too strong and wet.  We've put up wind resistant fabric to a height of 1m10.   It has made a huge difference to our fruit bushes and rhubarb in the veggie patch and the ornamental shrubs and plants too.  

However, we did have to buttress the fence points after one spring storm this year blew all the posts over to 45° despite being in 2' concrete boots!  We did have a very wet winter and the soil was unusually soft and soggy.

terracotta pots

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 16:59

They don't work here I'm afraid but then it can get seriously cold.   Glazed pottery is better but not foolproof for me.   All but two go into shelter and the two that don't are in full sun - when there is any in winter - either side of the front door against a south facing wall so reasonably sheltered.

terracotta pots

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 14:23

The thing about painting the inside of terracotta pots in more northern latitudes is that it gives some protection against frost damage.  Damp terracotta pots flake or chip when frozen.

terracotta pots

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 11:36

With brand new pots you can give the inside a coat of PVA glue or acrylic varnish to reduce water absorption but, as with any pot, ceramic, plastic, wood or terracotta, you do actually have to water regularly.  Leave an inch or two free at tht otp so you can pour on one good soak a week rather than daily dribbles.  Much better for the plants and less work for you.  Increase frequency in hot weather and reduce in cold weather.

Adding a mulch of gravel, grit, chipped bark or expanded clay pellets helps reduce water loos by evaporation.

Are these dead?

Posted: 09/09/2015 at 16:41

Horse manure is excellent as long as the pastures they've grazed on haven't been treated with aminopyralid which is a selective herbicide found to have residual effects which are not good for plants grown in ground treated with manure from horses and cows grazed in fields where it has been used.

Ask at your nearest stables and make sure that any manure you collect or they deliver is no longer smelly.   That means it's well rotted and perfect as a soil conditioner.

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1 to 15 of 17 threads