Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

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Mildew on my Laurel Hedge

Posted: 16/07/2017 at 08:08

I have a 6 foot (tall) by 12 foot (wide) by 3 foot (deep) laurel hedge that runs along the bottom of my front garden that is well established from when I moved in my house 7 years ago.  It affords the front of my house a little bit of privacy.  Every year it gets a trim in August/September to keep it in a relatively tight oblong box shape. I like it and I wouldn't want to lose it, however, every year it suffers really badly from mildew to the point last year almost all the leaves had shot holes and it looked very unsightly.

This year I decided to spray the whole hedge with fungicide and although the mildew is not as bad as last year the hedge is still looking really sorry for itself and the leaves are still mottled.  I am wondering if there is something else going on like leaf spot fungi, however, I would have thought what I sprayed would have treated that.  I only sprayed the hedge once and wonder if I should have sprayed it more although the instructions said spray it no more than twice in a season.  I did not spray until I noticed the mildew and wonder if I should have done it before any sign of infection.

New growth that is coming thru' this year is seemingly unaffected, but that will come off when I trim it back to its tight shape again in late summer/early autumn.

Can anybody offer any top tips on how to get rid or really reduce the incidence of mildew?  Should I have sprayed earlier in the season and if so, when.  I think I remember spraying it in June.  

In terms of location.  It is a fairly hot and dry location specially in summer and the ground always seems dry under the hedge.  I do regularly clear out the dead leaves (and there is often a lot) under the hedge so that keeps the air flowing and also any rain that does fall might soak into the ground and not just on the leaves.  The soil is a light loam.  I'm thinking that given that is so well established, that water is unlikely to be a major issue.  I don't water it especially and I've never fed it (perhaps I should?) 

Anybody offer any advice?


Posted: 09/07/2017 at 09:20

Finished flowering.  Now putting on new growth (and trying to get even bigger than it is already).  Good time to give it a hedge trim?


Posted: 08/07/2017 at 23:20

Talking of Dahlia's.....I didn't nip my dahlias so they bushed out a bit, so all I've got is single stem topped with a few flowers.  Should I sacrifice the flowers on them already and snip back to bush them up a bit?

Oriental Poppy - what do to after flowering

Posted: 21/06/2017 at 21:42

Thanks Paul - oddly, this is the first year after several that I've had to ask this as in prior years they have been quite slow to grow and then they get taken over by everything else when they've finished a few flower so don't recall having to do anything in previous year, but this year, they put on stacks of growth and crowded everything else out, but now they've finished, they have left a big gaps as they've gone yellow. I'll cut back at the weekend and plant something in their place to fill the gaps.

Oriental Poppy - what do to after flowering

Posted: 21/06/2017 at 21:30

Poppy's have all finished after best display of flowers I've had for years, and now have the large seed heads, but the leaves are starting to yellow and gone a bit tired looking and starting to flop making border look untidy.  Because they took up a lot of space in a small border, the whole border is being affected by the look.  Can I cut back the yellowing stems to ground level to make space for other planting for the rest of the summer?  I know I'll lose the great look seed heads, but don't really mind that.  I think I saw on GW that Monty ripped his out of the ground, but not sure I want to do that.  I want them to come back next year.

Bayer organic slug pellets

Posted: 07/06/2017 at 23:38

At the end of the day, Mother Nature doesn't like a vacuum, so if we upset the balance, then she will send in more of the same plus some more as a safeguard, or send in something else that is far more virulent.  In either case we end up in an even worse position then where we started.

It is often helpful to just leave Mother Nature to her own devices, or if you do want a control, then do it lightly, and also encourage other helpful things in.  When I started feeding the birds, I noticed the incidence of creepy crawlies such as greenfly and blackfly in my garden reduced a lot, and found from simply sitting watching them one day that once the birds had eaten what was on the table, they started feeding on what was available in the garden. Sorted.

Bayer organic slug pellets

Posted: 07/06/2017 at 23:09
Chris789 says:

.....Not sure I agree with Monty on the frogs controling slugs the one's near my pond are the worst hit, in fact the only one without holes is near my front door!

See original post

Well, we all know BBC licence funded Monty's garden is unlikely to have your typical common garden frog safeguarding his hostas. Probably has them imported in from the Amazonian rain forest.  

Bayer organic slug pellets

Posted: 07/06/2017 at 20:07

The ferrous pellets are kinder than the other chemical based ones.  I use them around my hostas, which are about 3 foot away from the pond.  I read that the slugs eat the pellets and then they disappear underground to die.  In my pond I have a thriving family of frogs and I have had hedgehogs frequently visiting the garden every year since I moved in in 2010.  Although I was initially not comfortable of using pellets so close to the wildlife, the evidence speaks for itself that usage of the pellets doesn't appear to have a lot of impact on the wildlife in the pond or the hedgehogs. I've never found a dead frog and come to think of it, have never seen or found a dead slug.  Can either mean the frogs and/or hedgehogs are eating the dead slugs, who subsequently don't get harmed by the pellets or the slugs do indeed go underground to die.

Last edited: 07 June 2017 20:08:07

Magpie's waking me up

Posted: 06/06/2017 at 23:00

Don't forget if you see a magpie on his own, stop, salute, and say "Good morning Mr Magpie. How is your lady wife today?"

Best weed membrane for horsetail

Posted: 06/06/2017 at 22:49

I had horsetail in my previous house garden.  I just kept on pulling it up, and over 3/4 years it started to go really pathetic looking and then eventually just gave up the ghost.  I'd obviously exhausted it.  Perseverance is the key to these pernicious weeds.

1 to 10 of 335

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