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Latest posts by obelixx

Monty's cat

Posted: 14/10/2014 at 11:13

Is suggest you watch the recent BBC series in cats on i-player.  Fascinating stuff.

I have just one cat now and 2 dogs - a Wheaten terrier and a Labrador and all rescues - and just get on with their pooing and hunting tendencies just as I get on and deal with slugs and weeds as appropriate.   All part of nature's rich mix. 

The terrier is particularly helpful in the garden - digs lots of holes I don't really need in her pusuit of moels and rodents.   The Labrador chases flies and butterflies and lies next me, squashing treasures while I work.   The cat likes to come and chat as long as the dogs aren't there too.

pruning roses

Posted: 14/10/2014 at 09:36

Before winter and any autumn gales, it is wise to tie in any climbing or rambling rose stems to their supports and cut off any growing away from them or that cannot be safely tied in.

For shrub roses, whatever type or size, cut back long stems by a third to a half to reduce wind resistance which can cause wind rock and loosen the roots and thus damage the plants.

Leave the main pruning to next spring when you start by pruning out any dead or broken stems back to a pair of healthy buds.   The rest of the rpuning depends on the rose type.  This may help - just scroll down to what you need.

Give roses a generous feed in spring - a mulch of well rotted manure or garden compost mixed with pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone.   Give them a liquid tonic of rose or tomato food every couple of weeks from March to end of June.

Yorkslass - clematis pruning timing and extent depends on which one it is.  Do you have a name?

Talkback: How to apply mulch

Posted: 13/10/2014 at 20:58

Some garden centres and DIY stores sell off bags pf seed and planting compost cheap at the end of the season and some local councils sell community made compost from green waste collected over the year.

In order to improve your soil, whether clay or sand or loam or chalk, you can simply spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of such organic material over all the beds once the herbaceous perennials have died down, annual plants and weeds have been removed and any bulbs planted.

It can be done any time in autumn and early winter and preferable after the soil has had a good soaking from heavy rain but not when it is frozen.    The worms will work it in for you over winter.  Do this every year and the claggiest fo clay soils will improve without all the heavy digging and the lightest of sandy soils will improve in fertility and moisture retention. 


What do I do with my clematis over winter?

Posted: 13/10/2014 at 09:43

It's only 2' in old money and easy t find in either plastic fake terracotta or ceramic or even fibre glass.  Make sure it has drainage holes for excess water.

What do I do with my clematis over winter?

Posted: 12/10/2014 at 13:00

Clematis are hungry an dthirsty plants so the first thing to do is to plant it in the ground or in a much bigger pot - 60cms minimum.   The white mould is a sign of stress from lack of moisture and probably food as it will have exhausted the supplies in that compost.

Plant it 3 or 4 inches deeper than it is now as this will encourage new shoots to form and provide extra flowers next year.  If in a pot, give it the best compost you can afford - John Innes no 3 and give it a mulch of pebbles, chipped bark or expanded clay pellets to retain moisture and stop weeds growing.   Give it regular liquid feeds of rose or tomato fertiliser from March to July or August.

If in the  ground, mix some well rotted manure or garden compost in the hole to provide moisture retention and food.   Scatter wildlife friendly slug pellets around it every week fromm Valentine's Day as they love the new shoots.  Give it a handful of slow releas clematis food in spring and occasional tonics of liquid rose or tomato food.

Prune your clematis hard back to about 9 " or the lowest pair of buds on each stem next spring in Feb or March depending on how cold you are.  Do not prune during a  frosty period.

Give it a decent sized obelisk or trellis to grow up as it will get much bigger next year.


Why am I so special,to,the forum?

Posted: 12/10/2014 at 11:49

Are all Cornishmen narcissists or do some just content themselves with growing beautiful daffs and other stuff?

Pruning climbing roses and clematis

Posted: 12/10/2014 at 11:41

Both these clematis flower in spring on old wood so wait until they have finished flowering and then prne them as hard as you like.  

Give them a generous feed of slow release clematis food once done and an instant tonic of liquid tomato or rose food and they shoud produce plenty of healthy new growth over the summer which you need to tie in and train before it gets into a complete tangle.   Flowers will then come again the following spring.

Climbing roses usually flower best on new season's growth so, in early spring when no frost is forecast for a few days, prune out dead, broken and spindly stems.   Tie in, as horizontally as possible, the remaining strong stems and remove any which cross or grow out and away from their supports.  This should leave you with a strong framework of stems with flowering spurs that will gorw and produce a sho in summer.

Feed generously with rose fetiliser and liquid tomato or rose food.    Keep them dead headed through the season and they should flower all summer.   Did you find this page on the RHS site? 

Clematis pruning

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 16:06

Can't tell you till I buy some more next spring but they've done better on it than just with my usual pelleted chicken manure.

Clematis pruning

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:12

YOu are right.  There are differe pruning rules for the 3 main clematis groups but as a general rule, any that flower before the end of June get a light pruneimmediately after flowering and those which flower later get pruned hard back in Feb or March dependig on whether it still freezing.

I suggest you prune the late purple one in early spring then give it a good handful of proprietary clematis food and another mulch.   This will encourage it t prune new shoots which will flower later next summer.  An occasional liquid feed of tomato or rose food will hep too.

For the others, wait and see when they flower.   If they flower before the end of April they are likely to be group 1s which only get pruned to keep them to size and encourage new flowers lower down.    Those which flower in May and June just need a light trim to remove dead heads after flowering.   Given a good feed as above they will probably produce another flush of flowers in late summer.

All clematis are hungry, thirsty plants so feed in spring with a slow release food and mulch and then oaccasionally give a liquid feed as above.  This works on roses too.

Honeysuckle don't need so much food and just need pruning to keep them to size.

Christmas stuff in shop

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 13:54

Not me and pity the poor staff who have to put up with it all day for weeks one end.

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