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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

hanging basket watering

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 10:56

Better to use water retentive granules mixed into the compost from teh start and then water generously in the evening so they can soak up the excess and release it by day.  In very hot or windy spells, water again early morning before going to work or doing other jobs.

Most hanging basket plants are half hardy and aren't going to enjoy being doused with ice cubes although they're better than nothing.

 

How to keep ants off the bird table

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 10:53

Try smearing the post with essential oil of cloves, available from pharmacies and health shops.  They can't stand the smell and won't climb up any more.

Gift Ideas for a little Gardener?

Posted: 30/07/2013 at 18:17

When Possum was small a friend gave her a toy insect examining thing.  Catch insect, put it in container and then view it down a mini microscope.    That would be easy to use for him and more inter active.

You could also consider a set of child size tools - trowel, hand fork, watering can.

 

Wooden planter for clematis.

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 22:05

40cm square is not a lot of compost to keep 2 hungry clems going.  You'll need to stay on top of feeding and watering to keep them healthy and not crowd them with too many bulbs.    I'd be tempted just to stick with a single, well clipped euonymous to provide interest and disguise their bare legs and avoid giving too much competition for water and nutrients.

Blackcurrant Harvest

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 16:13

We've already picked form 4 of our bushes and I've made spiced blackcuurant jelly which is yummy on toast or with cheese or meat.  

I'll freeze the fruit from the last two to make puds - assuming there's still enough fruit left on them after Saturday night's storm which brought down two trees in the paddock over the road and did its best to blow down all our trellis panels.

No blueberries this year.  The blossom got frosted but the shrubs are looking exceptionally healthy with lots of new growth after the long wet spring so I have high hopes for next year - as long as I can get a decent winter windbreak constructed.

Clematis problems

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 12:17

It may just be reacting to the recent spell of hot weather.  Cut out and remove all the brown stems and give it a tonic of liquid tomato food to encourage recovery.  Scatter a few wildlife friendly slug pellets to protect any new shoots.

Wooden planter for clematis.

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 11:48

I would line it with bubble wrap round the sides to protect the wood from wet compost but also to give extra insulation to the roots in winter.   Line the base with more plastic pierced to allow drainage.

Use good quality compost such as John Innes no 3 which is heavy so less easy to walk off with if you're worried about security.   Add some clematis food granules to beef it up and mix them in well before planting.  Add a top dressing of these granules every spring to encourage strong growth and flowers.

A north facing clem doesn't need extra shade at its roots but will look better for it as plants will hide bare legs.   Bulbs will add spring interest.  Your plan to use evergreen eunymous is good as it will add winter interest and hide the dying bulb foliage.   Just make sure you keep the planter watered reguarly and give occasional liquid tonics of tomatos food in spring and up to the end of June.   Give the planter a good watering at the end of autumn and before heavy frosts are forecast.  It should then be OK till spring unless you get an unseasonal warm spell.

English forest design for front garden.

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 09:44

Hostas are best planted in spring in my experience which gives you time to find a supplier who will deliver by post or a nursery you can visit to selcet plants yourself.   Check out the RHS plant finder facility on their website.

For stones and pebbles, best to go to a builders' merchants where prices will be better than in a garden centre.  If you buy enough, they'll deliver.

Clematis

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 17:43

Actually, bothe of these are Group 2s which mean they start flowering end of May and June and then go quiet and then, if well fed and lightly pruned to remove all the old flower heads, will produce a second flush of flowers in late summer.

However, my garden is too cold in winter for group 2s to retain live growth above ground so I treat mine as group 3s and cut them back in March and then feed them generously with proprietary clematis food.  If we get a poor spring, I also give them a liquid tonic of tomato food.

They all flower very well from late June and then I dead head where I can and they keep flowering through summer but you do need to dead head regularly for this to happen or they start to set seed and no longer make flower buds.

Clematis cuttings are tricky but you can try them from mid spring to mid summer taking double leaf cuttings with half the length of stem between them and teh next set of leaves and burying them up to the leaf nodes in a pot of suitable compost.   layering is probably easier.  Just take a stem and peg a leaf node to the ground or in a pot of moist compost and wait for it to root.

Ants nesting in my mint tub!!

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 14:36

Nesting ants means dry soil or compost so give it a thorough soaking morning and evening for a couple of days and then pour on a solution of one small bottle of essential oil of cloves mixed into 5 litres of water.  It will permeate the compost and they will move away as they can't stand the smell and you can continue to harvest your mint.

It's Pennyroyal that ants don't like, not mint.

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