Latest posts by Obelixx

Blackcurrant to eat off the bush?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 17:12

We love blackcurrants too but not fresh ff the bush.  Much too tart.

I make blackcurrant jelly spiced with cinnamon and cloves and sometimes star anise; blackcurrant cordial, blackcurrant liqueur, blackcurrant vinegar and blackcurrant crumble with ours.

Rotavator vs Chillington Fork

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 16:05

If you have a large area to dig over for annual veggies then a rotavator makes sense but you do first need to kill off any perennial weeds wuch as bindweed, marestail etc with some sort of weed killer..

If you're just wanting to weed beds for regular maintenance then I would advise a Wolf system push-me pull-you hoe which has two blades to decapitate weeds and can be attached to any length of handle for working close up on your knees or standing up - http://www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk/multi-change-tools-main/soil-care-tool-heads/multi-change-push-pull-weeder-15cm   There's also a narrower one if you need it and an array of other hoe and cultivator heads.  I love them.

Is buying plugs cheating?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 15:11

It is far too early to be putting plugs into the ground as the soil will be cold and we can expect more frosts, games and heavy rain that will do them in.   Most will be frost tender and shouldn't go outside till mid May and after being hardened off.

Buy them by all means but pot them on into small pots to grow on  Keep them watered  and give an occasional light liquid feed and then pot on again when they need it.   To harden them off, keep them in a frost free, sheltered place for now and gradually start putting them outsode on fine days but bring them in at night.  As we get to April you can leave them outside all day and in mi May you can plant them outside.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 14:57

Possum used to wake up singing in the mornings, or at least chirrupping, but afternoon sleeps as she got older would often find her a bit grumpy for the first 10 mins or so after wakening up feeling groggy.

2 leccy men here now and 2 plasterer types.  It never rains but it pours.....  in a nice way.   All happily gossiping away to  each other.   

Pesky terracotta chalky paint has come up streaky on the feature end wall and will need a third coat. 3 walls still needing a second and possibly third coat and one wall not even started cos I need the left over terracotta to mix a pale shade for that - and yes, it's an L shape room.

Can we have paint free stone, driftwood or woven bamboo+banana leaf walls on our island?

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 13:23

Good afternoon all.  Power cuts since early this morning all over our end of the Vendée and a lot of Charente-Maritime so sympathies for yesterday Busy.    Winds have calmed down now and we have gentle rain.    Fine by me as I'm indoors painting anyway - now that I can see in the north facing kitchen.

On the up side, internet is back ahead of schedule.    Feels so odd to be offline and powerless so the island will need some solar panels please.

I find the Ignore button is a good feature to have.    Saves a lot of bother.

Leccy man due this pm to do the sockets and switches in the annex and then plaster board man can come and do the skim and then I can paint it at the weekend.    I will then need time off in the garden or i'll get very twitchy.

Enjoy the sunshine, those who have it.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 19:47

I would need sunscreen as well as toothpaste and reading glasses cos my arms are now too short to read without them.    

Brambles and bindweed

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 13:47

Sorry, but potatoes do not break up soil and weeds.  You do with all the digging needed to plant them and them keep them earthed up and then harvest them.  Back breaking in poor or infested soils.

Rotavating is also a seriously bead idea for all the propagating reasons given above.

IThe best way to go is a spray with a glyphosate based weed kiler on fresh new growth.  Follow the instructions on the bottle and add a drop of washing up liquid to help it stick to the leaves.  It needs 6 hours of dry, preferably sunny weather to be absorbed and then takes 2 weeks to kill the plants right down to the roots.  For strong weeds, a second dose may be necessary.   

After that you can dig it over, pulling up every scrap of plant and root you find.   Do not put them on a compost heap.  Burn them or take them to the dump.

Then you can prepare the soil for whatever plans and plants you have. in mind.    If you still can't work the clay after all the weeds are dead - it should be a bit drier by then as spring moves along - then cover it with copious amounts of composted material which you can somerimes buy in bulk from the council or eles take advantage of special offers of multi purpose compost or soil conditioners from local DIY and garden stores.   

The worms will work it in for you through the year and you can and should re-apply every autumn once your plants have gone dormant.   

Building raised beds is another possibility but will require some expertise and investment to build something sturdy and long lasting and attractive.


Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 06/03/2017 at 13:46

It's amazing where stuff finds room to grow.

Gale force winds here with intermittent power cut plus internet down till 1am Wednesday so surfing off OH's fancy phone.    

Been busy painting but the pesky step ladder has developed a wobble and bingo, deep terracotta paint all over the floor.    Mess everywhere but all cleaned up now.   Then I burned my finger cooking omelettes for lunch.  No 3 still to come.

Sorry to hear more lurgy sufferers about and sleepless nights.  Hope they clear up in time for the spring push in the garden.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 18:48

Wet bits, windy bits, cloudy bits, some seriously gusty bits giving us power cuts.   Messy weather day.

Neighbours new fence

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 15:27

It seems to me that the builders have been taking liberties and should, at the very least, have asked before using your driveway for parking or dumping materials.  Maybe a quiet word to that effect and then ask them to clear up their mess and park on your neighbour's side.

I would also have a gentle word with your neighbour about local regulations for fence heights.  If the planning office doesn't like what he's done they can make him remove or modify it.

Do try and solve it amicably if you can because neighbour disputes can make life very unpleasant and ca also go on for years if one side decides to be unreasonable or vengeful.

When we bought and sold our 30s house in Harrow it was very clear both in the deeds and from solicitors and estate agents that the "business" side of a fence is on the owners' side so they have access to support posts etc for any repairs needed.  The finished side faces the neighbours.  

You should seek permission to go on the neighbour's land to do any repairs from their side.    Neighbours, in turn, should always seek permission before adding any features such as trellis, support wires and so on for their own plants. 

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1 to 15 of 26 threads