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Latest posts by obelixx

How do you keep geranium sanguineum flowering

Posted: 22/07/2013 at 10:08

I just leave my macrorhizums and occasionally dig up bits to give away or plant elsewhere as it's so good for difficult spots such as dry shade.

I cut back all the geranium phaeums and a load of un-named pink ones at teh end of June and they've already grown healthy new foliage.  Plenty more to do this week before teh rain starts agai at teh end of teh week.  They'll be looking good again by mid August.

How do you keep geranium sanguineum flowering

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 15:33

Once their first flush of flowers is over, most hardy geraniums can be cut back hard, foliage too, and then watered and given a bit of food - blood fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.  In about 3 weeks time you'll have a completely refreshed plant with new lush foliage and flower buds forming.

I do this with all of mine except the macrorhizums.


Preserving, What do you do or planning to do.

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 15:30

I have made redcurrant jelly with marjoram and strawberry jam.  I have spiced blackcurrant jelly on the go with more fruits to be picked tomorrow and probably frozen for winter crumbles.

OH has just harvested the last of the rhubarb for me to make chutney and I have chillies ripening to freeze, dry and make chilli jam. 

Autumn raspberries, tayberries and damsons still to come plus crab apples.

Red Robins turning green?

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 11:22

It's normal.  The new foliage starts red and eventually turns green.   If you trim them a bit they will put on fresh red foliage which is why this plant makes such an interesting hedge.

Talkback: How to cut back ornamental grasses

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 19:39

Good point about dates.  For anyone who doesn't know, ornamental grasses - except groups like Carex which only need raking through to remove dead growth - should be cut back in late winter/early spring before the new growth starts to come through but after serious frosts and snow have gone so Feb/March depending on region and weather.


Posted: 20/07/2013 at 19:36

The flowers are much less compact than green broccoli and the stems are more tender so do pick the heads now before they open and turn yellow.  In future, pick them younger.  They'll keep on cropping.

Mine have just produced their first edible heads which is earlier than usual but I planted mine earlier on purpose so I'd get crops before they get frozen to death in winter.  Haven't managed to over winter any winter brassicas for the last 6 years it's been so cold here.

Rhubarb. When/how to split the crowns?

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 16:19

Wait till autumn when the stalks and leaves have died down then dig it up - you'll need to dig deep to get it intact - and split it with a saw or a bread knife depending on the size.

Replant at the same depth as before in holes which you have prepared with plenty of well rotted manure and garden compost to help with moisture retention and feeding.  Give them plenty of psace so they can grow big and strong.   Water in well and then cover with a good pile of more well rotted manure to keep the crowns protected over winter.   You should be careful not to pick too many stems in the first year after transplanting as new plants will need energy from the leaves to build up a good root system.  They should certainly not be forced in the first year after planting.

Ants in plant pots

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 17:52

It's pretty hard to get rid once they're in and they can kill the plants with their tunnelling.

Water them wel, if possible by sinking the pots in a bucket of water and waiting till the air bubbles stop then allow to drain.   Water again with a solution of one small bottle of essential oil of cloves in 5 litres of water.  They hate the smell and will move on.  Keep your pots moist in future and use the oil of cloves form time to time.

It works on borders too but is best after wetting the soil as it soaks in better rather than running off the top.   

Weed control

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 19:09

I don't like weedkiller either but do resort to it on paths and empty beds but all my horsetail is in mixed beds so spraying is not an option.  I'll just keep pulling till it gives up or I move which won't be for years in either case.


Weed control

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 09:51

I can only sympathise.  I have this stuff in three beds at the fornt now and also find it doesn't respond to chemical attack and digging just makes it worse and i think the log wet spring has made it even more prolific than usual this year.

I'm just pulling up every stalk I see at regular intervals in the hope it will eventually weaken and give up or at least stay under control.   It can take me a few hours though as the beds are quite big.  

It's easier when the soil is moist so last night I watered one of the beds in preparation for pulling today.   I then leave all the extracted plants to dry out for at least a week and then they go in the dust bin or on a bonfire - never in the compost heaps. 


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10 threads returned