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Latest posts by steephill

Rhododendron dead ...or not?

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 10:47

Could be vine weevil damage, rhodos suffer just as much as other plants from this pest. I would get some Provado into the pot ASAP.


Posted: 16/05/2013 at 18:16

I make cider from my current apple trees - Bramley and Cox. While this doesn't give a perfect blend for cider (too sharp) I still manage to drink gallons of it! In a good year when the trees fruit well I can easily make 20 gallons which has about 7% alcohol. It is hard work though and it takes a couple of days to make this much. This winter I bought two cider varieties to supplement my trees and get a better balanced cider.

As you are starting from scratch then you can pick the varieties you want. There are three main groups of cider tree - bittersweet, sharp and bittersharp. Each has a different level of acid and tannin so you blend the juice from these to make the perfect cider for your own taste. I would recommend getting suitable varieties for your location, like these from this supplier

This website is a great source of information about cider. I have some photos showing my cider making kit here My crusher and press came from Vigo I also have a couple of dozen gallon demi-johns, several 5 gallon fermenting bins and a couple of kegs. This sort of kit isn't cheap but will last for many years. You might be able to pick up some bits cheap from local newspaper ads, Freecycle etc.

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:09

Wasn't me but the previous owner, honest.  I took down a large conifer which was shading the greenhouse and most of that side of the garden. When I got in to the bottom of the trunk I found lots of nice bits of stone, you know, the sort that people use to make small rockeries. Yes, another 60's dwarf conifer that was anything but!

propagation boasts and failures

Posted: 08/05/2013 at 17:13

Got one heather cutting to take out of 24 . I don't think heather has heard of non-flowering shoots! Have so far failed to get any camellia cuttings to root but will try again this year. Forsythia is dead easy though  and grapes too.

What is description

Posted: 08/05/2013 at 17:07

Let me guess - you put "What is description" in that box so that is what appears in the thread list as the title of your thread.


Posted: 08/05/2013 at 17:04

This might be of interest to some of you Won't cure every type of back pain but a worthwhile breakthrough nonetheless.

I remember the impact of the discovery of bacterial causes of stomach ulcers - years of misery ended with a course of antibiotics.

bee flies

Posted: 08/05/2013 at 11:51

Lots here too (Surrey/Sussex border) which hopefully means that their prey species, bumble bees, are also in adundance. If bee flies are too successful then no bumble bees .

Strange water type droplets

Posted: 06/05/2013 at 20:32

Unfortunately Spring is the wrong time of year to prune vines. They can bleed to death from sap loss when pruned at this time of year.

Slugs may destroy my life

Posted: 03/05/2013 at 17:44

Rather than coffee grounds try spraying with coffee. Non-decaf though as it's the caffeine that kills them. Not an approved pesticide though so regard it as a foliar feed..

Getting into horticulture professionally

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 18:48 is good place to start. The RHS is focusing on horticulture as a profession this year. They are currently looking for 4 apprentices, two at Wisley and two at Hyde Hall. The advice to look for a local college is very sound. What region are you in?

Discussions started by steephill

Honey Bee swarms

Replies: 17    Views: 358
Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

Replies: 13    Views: 317
Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

Replies: 13    Views: 358
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

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Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 647
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
Replies: 3    Views: 556
Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

Replies: 2    Views: 674
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2432
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 694
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 917
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
10 threads returned