Latest posts by Obelixx

Difference between potting mix and compost

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 12:23

Leaving aside the basic design shortcomings of female gardeners, the old adage is Feed the soil, not the plant.

If you have the correct growing medium, be it soil in beds or planting composts, your plants will thrive.   The trick is to know what growing conditions your plants like and that leads to another gardening adage - Right Plant, Right Place.

You can look up each individual plant in good gardening reference books - some of which have already been mentioned in other posts - or you can look at specialist sites such as the RHS or nurseries selling those plants.  Then, as has also been said, get stuck in and plant something and learn from experience.

Technically speaking, compost is the term for what comes out of a compost heap made by mixing nitrogenous and carboniferous material in the correct ratio with water and heat to get the process going.  However, compost is also used as a general term for planting medium which can be tailored to suit the needs of the plants eg ericaceous, loamy, moisture retentive, low nutrients for seeds and cutting, high nutrients for flowering and fruiting plants, nitrogenous for leafy plants and so on.

Plant today with frost likely?

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 12:15

I would keep them safe because they will be coming form a sheltered environment and need time to acclimatise.  If they're plugs or bare roots, pot them up and grow them on.   Put them out by day and bring them in at night for at least a week until they're hardened off for life outdoors.

Snow in summer -cerastium

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 12:13

I tried several times to grow this in my Belgian garden but the soil and moisture levels were just too rich.  I was given clumps by a friend who grew it facing full south on a sloped bed on well drained soil.

Once you find a good spot and it gets established it should be very happy.  Just don't be too kind.

wot dunnit

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 12:09

Looks like frost damage to me.  I had loads of this round my pond in the old garden and one spring it was all but wiped out by sudden chilly blasts form Siberia.   Went all brown and nasty like that.

Mossy lawn and weedy planting beds

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 12:06

Moss in your lawn indicates poor drainage and poor soil in general.  You do need to rake off any more dead moss.   Once cut and raked you need to go over the grass and bare patches with your garden fork, pushing the tines in as deep as you can and wiggling back and forth to open the holes.  Do this at frequent intervals across the whole lawn.  Then you pour dry, sharp sand - not wet, round grained builders' sand - and brush it into the holes.  It will look messy for a while but will help enormously with drainage.

Next job is to rake over the bare patches to loosen the soil a bit and then scatter your chosen seed.  If no rain falls, water it in.   Once it does germinate you have to leave it to grow long enough to establish ha  god root system to sustain it and then cut to 2" minimum to let it thicken up.

Once it is growing well you can reduce the height of the blades but never cut shorter than 1" as this weakens the plants and allows weed and moss to take over again.  You can apply a liquid feed to help it along at this stage and use an autumn weed and feed mix in September, following the instructions on the pack.

For you borders, I suggest you clear one bed or one patch at a time working methodically.  If you do it after rain, or a good watering, the weeds will come out more easily and the plants you wih to keep will be less disturbed.   If it's too weedy to do it this way then water well, remove any treasures and pot them up to grow on while you give each bed a thorough forking over to remove all weeds and their roots.  Then apply some good garden compost - your own or bought in - to condition teh soil and re-plant the treasures.  Water well.  Hoe regularly to remove weedlings.

Growing mint in a low trough

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 11:52

I grow my mint in deep ceramic pots to help retain and provide enough moisture but they need a daily watering in warm weather.   I would use your shallow trough as a water bath for birds if it has no drainage holes - just put in a few decorative stones for them to sit on and climb out again.  If it does have holes, fill it with gritty compost and grow alpines or thymes if you want herbs.

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 11:48

Greetings all.

Still sunny and not quite as cold today.  No rain expected all week so we're going to get very dry.  I had to water the patch at the side of the house last night so OH can rotavate this pm and then I can bung on loads of compost and start planting roses, clems, hamamelis, winter honeysuckle and other smelly stuff.    Need to remember to leave space for a table and chairs for morning coffee in the sunshine.

Good luck with the scan Hosta.  Garden changes looking very good.  Satisfying project.

Sorry about your friend Busy, especially hard when you're far away and can't help directly.

Liri - your daughter sounds lovely.  Not surprised you miss her.  Ours left on Saturday after a 3 week visit and it seems very quiet.

OH is out there fixing up my wall mounted retractable hose reel after moaning that the ordinary one leaks at the reel attachment.   I am planning to carry on with my hosta bed this pm.  Ground cover this time.  I have some epimediums which I hope will like this garden better than they liked the old one.  Never lasted a winter.  Plus some tiarellas and a colourful leaved persicaria and brunnera.   Yum!

Enjoy your day.

Last edited: 24 April 2017 11:48:37

miserable skimmia

Posted: 23/04/2017 at 22:18

Yes, Epsom salts as in pharmacy.  Chlorosis is a feature of ericaceous plants being unable to take up both iron and magnesium because of alkalinity in the soil or water.   Chelated or sequestered as they only help fix iron so are not a complete cure.

Clematis Montana

Posted: 23/04/2017 at 22:02

Feed it some slow release clematis food  to help it build flowering strength for next year and give it a tonic now of liquid tomato food.  Repeat every spring.

Where have the April showers gone?

Posted: 23/04/2017 at 21:59

I dunno.  last spring was so wet and miserable we were all moaning and this year it's dry and we're still moaning.

Gardeners!!  Never happier than when bemoaning the weather.

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