Latest posts by Obelixx

our men in black velvet waistcoats

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 16:48

After a heavy rainfall our grass in Belgium would look like a battlefield - shallow tunnels because the worms were up high to keep from drowning but that mean heavy rain would often collapse them and there'd be sunken trails all over like mini canyons.   If it didn't rain then these tunnels were easy to miss and step in and get a twisted ankle.

Belgian beef cattle tend to be Blanc/Bleus which are huge, heavy beasts with ridiculously small feet and ankles so prone to such mole problems giving them fractures and thus ending life.

The biggest problem in later years was our terrier - digging doggy - who would hear a mole at work and then dig for China!   Craters.  Not pretty.

Here the mole activity is restricted by drought meaning there is a shortage of worms and they're down deep.  As we work and improve the soil in the potager and any new beds I expect the worm population to increase........

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 14:06

Ouch!  Harry has had a complete set of new disc pads and 4 new tyres in the last month or so and yet, despite all those euros and TLC he still squeaked his way round the slow roads.  OH says he can't hear it but he said that when Possum and I first mentioned the brakes problem last July and waited and waited.  He's now making an appointment to get the squeak checked before it becomes a major issue!

I used to be able to d a full 13000 mile service on my car but that was in the 80s before they got all computerised and I gave up the course once we got to wheels and brakes because, despite being strong, I have never been able to undo a wheel nut and wouldn't trust myself to tighten them enough either.  That's a job for a "man who can" or a garage.

We can at least get new knees and hips Dove, just with hoomans it takes time to heal and recover strength.  

Autumn feed

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 13:54

Topdressing usually implies a mix containing feed and I reckon it is now too late for that unless you are in a very mild climate and the grass doesn't stop growing - temps averaging no less than 8C!  The packet should indicate how long it needs to be left before walking/mowing etc and that differs from one product to the next.

If you see that your lawn is not draining well after rain or can hear it oozing as it absorbs water (I could in my Belgian garden after a serious downpour) then you need to stay off it as your weight will compact the soil when it's soft and wet.   Aerate again in spring and apply more sharp sand.   Top dress if you think it needs it and make sure you don't cut the grass so short it hasn't enough leaf surface to photosynthesise and feed its roots.

Autumn feed

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 13:39

Now is not a good time to feed as plants are slowing down as temperatures reduce for winter.  

Red thread is a fungal problem which indicates that you grass may be short of nitrogen but mostly that you need to address drainage.  Use a long tined garden fork to make regular holes in the lawn as deep as you can go and then wiggle it back and forth to open up the holes.   Then you pour sharp sand on your lawn and use a brush to sweep it all over and down those holes.  This will open up the drainage and allow air in to the roots. 

Repeat in spring and then apply a spring feed, following the dosages indicated on the packaging.  If the drainage is corrected you should have no more red thread as your lawn grows stronger.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 13:18

Clear and sunny start today but clouding over now.   1C expected overnight for the next few days.   Might need to dig out socks and a jumper and also put the new yucca in the polytunnel along with the yuzu and the melon-pears.  I have some tree and shrub seeds that need a bit of stratification before they'll germinate.  Do they need to be frosted or just cold?

Satnav very handy round Bilbao last week as they have funny lane divisions when roads merge or separate.   Correct lane info essential at those speeds.   

Pdoc - that place is supposed to be a place of healing isn't it?   Take advantage of what they have to offer.

Just watching the news.  When will the USA wake up to the idiocy of guns?

Leaf Scorch / die back on Acer Sangu Kaku

Posted: 05/11/2017 at 22:08

I had a sango-kaku in my last garden and every winter there would be some die-back and I would need to cut out dead grey stems in spring.   In hot or very windy weather they do transpire a lot of water from their eaves so need extra drinks to keep their foliage looking good.

As FG says, it's hard to establish an older tree so, give the roots a good drink now, scatter some bonemeal around to feed the roots thru winter and then give it a generous mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost.    Next spring, when buds start to open, make sure it is given some blood, fish and bone and plenty to drink in dry spells.

I think moving it will be risky but, if you must, do it soon and water the roots well to minimise damage before you dig it up and take as much root ball as possible.   Prepare the new hole well and water it in well after re-planting and all through the next growing season.   It may be simpler to erect a trellis wind break or plant something between it and the prevailing winds.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 05/11/2017 at 21:59

I suspect that for many people Molly does come across as a bit of an air head and she is partnered with the unappealing AJ.   I had expected Ashton to go further but the VW really wasn't his dance and Molly did better in the dance off.   

Next week's going to be interesting.

our men in black velvet waistcoats

Posted: 05/11/2017 at 19:09

I'm just saying that if you live in the countryside you're more likely to have mole problems than crooked paving slabs.  If you live in the town, obviously there will be more menace from crooked slabs.  I certainly wouldn't write home about Belgian prowess with paving.

We have some moles here too but not on the scale of our Belgian garden troubles so we've left them alone so far but if they start messing with my potager and any future new beds full of ornamental treasures there'll be trouble.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 05/11/2017 at 18:54

Snow already!  Definitely Brrrrr!.   Looks like a good day in the hills.    Whilst in the hills near Bilbao Possum supposed her parents wouldn't be going skiing again, given the maternal knees and toes.   Too right.  Plenty of black and red runs for Harry on the roads tho.

Don't like satnav much either FG and have it on silent but it can find sites of interest as well as given addresses and that's a boon when you suddenly need fuel or pharmacy in the back of beyond because you're exploring a scenic route or the one way system in a town leads you astray.  Otherwise, I plan my journeys using maps and have taught Possum to map read from an early age.

It's getting cool here too now and I came home to find OH had the radiator o in the living room.  I've just turned it on again now but expect dinner will warm us up from inside - slow roast pork belly with glazed carrots and steamed Romanesco.

our men in black velvet waistcoats

Posted: 05/11/2017 at 17:41

Philippa - I have twisted my ankle and also had serious pain form my slipped discs thanks to bloody mole tunnels lurking just below the surface.   Farmer neighbours have had cows injured.   Not a lot of paving slabs round the old house in Belgium or here for that matter.

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