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Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

Spindly Bamboo

Posted: 06/09/2012 at 20:15
I have bamboo (Phyllostachys Nigra), which is growing well (very healthy green lea ves) but its stems are very spindly so when it rains, it ends up laying prostrate on the border and onto the lawn. Ive ended up staking it to keep it upright. If I dont stake it, it just flops again. Why is it so spindly? Its in good light, which isnt full blazing sun all day, but does get direct sun on it for up to 3/4 hours a day (when sunny!). I water it well, and when I planted it (two years ago), I planted it in good soil with good supply of well rotted manure. Havent fed it since. Do stems thicken up over time?


Posted: 05/09/2012 at 20:12
I would say the lighter the soil, the deeper you need to go - if your ground is light loam or sandy, it will need to be deeper than 4x bulb otherwise you'll need to stake. Also, be aware that over the years, as the old year corm dissapears, replaced by the new year corm, the corm will get gradually closer and closer to the surface, so after 6/7 years, you may have to dig up and replant deeper. I would say that because of the ease at which they spread thru' the border, you will probably be digging them up well splitting them and replanting well before 6/7 years.

Papaver orientalis Patty's Plum

Posted: 28/08/2012 at 23:06
Good luck if you can get them to flower - I bought three of them three years ago. For three years in a row - lots of leaves, no flowers and then they just give up the will to live and then die back. This year I got fed up with them and pulled them out the ground and replaced with penstamons. I'm annoyed because when I bought them they werent cheap at ??6 per pot and for last three years they seem to feature at Chelsea where they look great. But not in my garden obviously!

Aconitum (aka monkshood / wolfs bane)

Posted: 26/08/2012 at 17:03
Thanks guys - have chopped them about half way down, some of the stems had flopped and made their way up to the light again so had u-bends in them, so cut to there. No lower leaves - eaten by gastropods I think, although I thought slugs dont eat them - cant think what else would?

Do aconitum benefit from Chelsea Chop? Trying to stop them growing so tall and then drooping under their own weight.

Aconitum (aka monkshood / wolfs bane)

Posted: 26/08/2012 at 11:07
My aconitums haved finished flowering - now setting seed, some of which has dried in situ, wih the rest still green. Should I cut it down to the ground (like other herbacious) or leave? Not fussed about it setting seeds, but want to make sure plant stays healthy and strong.

Bamboo Problem

Posted: 25/08/2012 at 10:58
You should not attempt to kill it using weedkiller - it can take it up to the main parent plant on your neighbours land and kill it. If discovered, you can be charged with criminal damage and also face civil action for the cost of replacing it, if the owner wishes to pursue.

Slugs and snails

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 20:04
Dont worry - its a bit of a myth hedgehogs gorge themselves on slugs . They only make up around 5% of their diet. They much prefer other things like insects and beetles.

Slugs arent good for hedghogs as slugs carry lungworm, which causes the hog to die a slow painful death from pneumonia.

I do use pellets very sparingly in my garden, because despite my garden being frequented by three hogs, I have millions of slugs. What I dont get by catching by hand (in glove) and putting in the green recycling bin, eat the pellets, crawl back underground and dont come back. I use ferrous pellets as they are supposidly less toxic to wildlife and can be used near food crops.

I believe slugs that are grey in colour and have a pattern like leopard skin (they are sometimes called leopard slugs, would you believe), are to be encouraged because they tend to eat only dead stuff and other slugs (orange and black ones).

Beware if picking up slugs and if doing so wear gloves or wash your hands straight afterwards. They do carry parasites that can cause parasite-induced meningitis in humans.

Spring Bulbs

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 19:37
Roll on Spring 2013!! My mum always said to never wish your life away, but as gardeners we're always looking forward, never back.

Spotted Christmas cards on sale in Card Factory on Wednesday!! Think I may buy a box and write them out on a quiet couple of hours when I take my summer holiday!!

Discouraging Starlings

Posted: 16/08/2012 at 23:59
I have a flock of starlings that arrive at nearly the same times during the day. I think they do the rounds several times a day because within a couple of hours, they are back. It seems that they send out a scouting party because when they arrive, at least 2 or 3 arrive upto 5 mins before them, and if the feeding station is low or bare, they fly off and the flock don't arrive en masse- a few turn up but not the volume there is if the feeding station is well stocked.

I gave up at trying to feed mealworms. Sparrows and tits only take a few at a time, but the starlings swoop down and scoff the lot in a matter of minutes. My other half decided one day to throw a whole scoop on thinking I had forgotton, only to find starlings stacking up 2 or 3 high on top of each other on the feeder. She reckoned there must have been over 40 birds in our little back garden all going bonkers for the mealworm.

I've also had to reduce the lard cakes - the starlings go thru them at a rate of one a day. I have found coconut shells filled with lard/seed last better because not so easy to hang from or off for starlings but ideal for smaller birds.

I use no mess seed - although more expensive, it means I dont have grass and sunflowers popping up everywhere in the garden. Starlings tend to avoid it too unless they are really desperate.

Bramble invasion

Posted: 14/08/2012 at 20:00
Ive been helping somebody clear their garden. They have some massive brambles with stems so thick even the hedge trimmer cant get thru it. I was thinking of getting hold of hyperdermic needle and get weedkiller into the bramble by syringing into the stems - a bit like how to treat bindweed but unfortunately, bramble isnt hollow. If i get around to it (where do you get hyperdermic needles?), I will report back success or otherwise!

Discussions started by Tim Burr

Bamboo in trough

Trimming it down to size 
Replies: 7    Views: 156
Last Post: 24/02/2014 at 19:15


Replies: 4    Views: 355
Last Post: 12/08/2013 at 09:46


Replies: 10    Views: 338
Last Post: 14/08/2013 at 18:05


Replies: 8    Views: 294
Last Post: 11/08/2013 at 18:20

Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

Gone all scruffy 
Replies: 12    Views: 433
Last Post: 03/08/2013 at 20:52

Japanese Acer disposal

Replies: 1    Views: 226
Last Post: 19/07/2013 at 11:02

Pond level dropping..... up with tap water? 
Replies: 15    Views: 466
Last Post: 18/07/2013 at 09:55

Too late for a Chelsea Chop?

Season is 3/4 weeks behind so really, we're still in May, right? 
Replies: 2    Views: 323
Last Post: 16/06/2013 at 13:54

Plant or weed....?

....never seen anything like this before 
Replies: 7    Views: 404
Last Post: 10/06/2013 at 22:31

Gardening errors.....

......made good (or bad) 
Replies: 19    Views: 630
Last Post: 05/06/2013 at 19:50

Flaming Weeds!

Replies: 8    Views: 520
Last Post: 22/05/2013 at 18:43

Stamped on lilies

Big foot strike again 
Replies: 2    Views: 319
Last Post: 05/05/2013 at 22:51

Umbrella Plant

To chop or not to chop! 
Replies: 0    Views: 303
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 11:12

Crown Imperials

Lazarus bulbs! 
Replies: 8    Views: 557
Last Post: 25/04/2013 at 06:41

Too cold to relocate perennials?

Cold days and freezing nights 
Replies: 10    Views: 672
Last Post: 30/03/2013 at 22:40
1 to 15 of 40 threads