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Latest posts by Phytographer

1 to 10 of 21

The A to Z of TV Gardening

Posted: 31/03/2013 at 23:23

Winter Lawn Mowing

Posted: 01/11/2012 at 18:13

Can't tell. It's too dark.

Winter Lawn Mowing

Posted: 01/11/2012 at 18:04

I've just mowed my lawn - in the dark and at about 6°C.

Any reason why that could be a problem?


Shrub Pruning - No limits?

Posted: 26/10/2012 at 16:19

Is there any limit to how much a shrub's growth can be restricted by pruning?

Purely for example, could a specimen of Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, which can reach 10ft in height, be pruned so that it can be maintained at only 3ft in height?

Sedum Collapse

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 17:53
jo4eyes wrote (see)

I assume that it's still in/been in flower recently, in which case a gentle support would help with appearance until flowering is over & it can be cut back for over the winter. This 'flopping open' is common with sedums especially if they've been 'well fed' or are a large mature plant.

The dead stems from the previous years growth need carefully cutting out once flowering is over. If this is done late winter/early next spring you can often see the emerging signs of the new growth for next season, so take care not to damage those.

I've discovered that doing the 'Chelsea Chop', ie reducing the height of all shoots by about half during late May (Chelsea show week a good reminder) helps eliminate the need for any staking & no flopping. It means that the plant produces shorter, sturdier flowering shoots that possibly flower a wee bit later, but not a problem to me. J.

Thanks for a fantastic answer, jo4eyes.

I have a clear plan of action now!

Although, it has raised one or two additional questions in my mind. Firstly, will the shoots currently flowering die after flowering? If so, when should they be cut back for best results?

Many thanks again for your comprehensive answer!

Sedum Collapse

Posted: 13/09/2012 at 18:22

A Sedum 'Herbstfreude' in an acquaintance's garden has collapsed.

All the stems have fallen over to reveal a centre made up of the dead bases of previous stems.

Does anyone have any idea why this may have happened? Or, more importantly, how to resolve it?

Digging in the Wet

Posted: 03/09/2012 at 17:57
Gary Hobson wrote (see)

Something else that we haven't mentioned are the soil organisms. These are vital for maintaining the health of the soil. I don't know what damage soil compaction does to their ability to work effectively.

The only effect I could suggest is the following:

  • Compaction reduces soil aeration (i.e. less oxygen in the soil)
  • Some micro-organisms (i.e. aerobic microorganisms) rely on oxygen to survive.
  • Thus, compaction is likely to adversely affect soil micro-organisms.

However, I am unaware of any more specific info about the relationship between the amount of compaction and the extent of the damage caused to the MOs.

A very interesting topic of research for any budding soil scientists...

Digging in the Wet

Posted: 03/09/2012 at 14:03
Gary Hobson wrote (see)
Phytographer wrote (see)
If you dig methodically though, will one not dig the area one has just been standing on? Would that not immediately undo any compaction caused?

No it won't! Because when you 'dig' the soil you've been standing on, you'll just be turning over large clods of compacted earth. By tramping on the soil and compressing it with your feet, you will have destroyed the fine structure of the soil.

Ah, thanks for making that clear. Excellent point.

Digging in the Wet

Posted: 03/09/2012 at 13:37
Gary Hobson wrote (see)

Stepping on the soil, even in dry weather, tends to compact the soil, and force air out of the gaps between the soil particles.

This is one of the main benefits of raised beds - they define a boundary to the growing area, and deter people from walking on the soil.

If you step on the soil when the soil is wet, this compacts the soil even more than it does in dry weather.

Some people use to plank to stand on when doing any cultivation, as this spreads the weight of the gardener over the entire area of the plank, and so reduces the pressure, and the compaction.

If you dig methodically though, will one not dig the area one has just been standing on?

Would that not immediately undo any compaction caused?

Digging in the Wet

Posted: 03/09/2012 at 11:35

While digging in the wet is often extremely muddy and heavy work, does it harm the soil at all?

Is there any sound reason, besides the difficulty, not to do it?

1 to 10 of 21

Discussions started by Phytographer

Winter Lawn Mowing

Replies: 9    Views: 622
Last Post: 02/11/2012 at 17:36

Shrub Pruning - No limits?

A query concerning the extent that pruning can restrict growth. 
Replies: 3    Views: 494
Last Post: 27/10/2012 at 11:08

Sedum Collapse

Replies: 8    Views: 1049
Last Post: 14/09/2012 at 18:59

Digging in the Wet

Replies: 9    Views: 578
Last Post: 03/09/2012 at 17:57

Hedgecutting - When allowed?

Replies: 6    Views: 564
Last Post: 15/07/2012 at 00:54

Lavender Collapse - Can it be saved?

A collapsed centre of several mature lavenders. Cause and solution? 
Replies: 5    Views: 742
Last Post: 13/07/2012 at 09:55

The Mysterious Case of the Changing Berries of Holly

A characteristic of a holly plant or an entirely different plant? 
Replies: 2    Views: 405
Last Post: 22/06/2012 at 09:24
7 threads returned