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Latest posts by Topbird

1 to 10 of 77

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 11:01

Thanks NC - I appreciate your concerns about using chemicals but can reassure you I garden very organically most of the time. This is a very small area of my garden but the box represents a very recent investment of several hundreds of pounds plus tens of hours in terms of preparation and planting - so I want to do whatever I can to protect it for at least the first couple of years.

If it's doing well after that I'll revert to purely organic methods 

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 10:14

I planted a dwarf box hedge last spring which has done OK but, in September, areas of what seemed to be box blight started appearing. I've tried to do all the 'right' things (good hygiene, removing infected bits etc) and there are now signs of decent growth / new leaf formation. Maybe I've caught it - maybe it's not the dreaded blight - but anyway....

I want to do some preventative fungicide spraying this year (spraying the plants themselves) as I have read this can help with control. I have also read that it is a good idea to disinfect the soil below the plants to kill any lingering spores from fallen leaves and then apply a good mulch. The article says the disinfectant they used is not available to unqualified gardeners.

I thought about using diluted Jeyes fluid as a disinfectant on the soil. Has anyone else tried this? The main thing I'm concerned about is that it might actually damage the plants (bearing in mind I use this yucky product to kill algae etc on paths). I was thinking of diluting it 1tbs to 2 gallons and aiming it just at the soil on a calm day. I will only use it on the soil immediately below the plants (ie not over the whole bed).

All views gratefully received (and yes I did watch poor old Monty cutting out his beautiful box hedging on Friday!!)

Summer or Autumn Raspberries

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 18:46

Agree it is difficult to tell from just looking at the canes at this time of year.

Assuming that all the canes do look the same - I suggest you cut down half the canes now. The timing of crop maturity and amount of crop on the differently treated plants should enable you to work out whether you have summer or autumn fruiting plants for the next season - and at least you'll get half the potential crop this year.

Just hope the previous owner didn't mix and match in the same bed (as it were!) - it makes life difficult.

Tree Advice

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 19:06

Hi Sheila

I've planted some small crab apples (Everest, John Downie & Red Sentinel) in the last couple of years as well as some amelanchiers.

All been lovely but I think I'm getting the most value from my crab apple 'Red Sentinel'.It was smothered in pretty blossom in the spring for several weeks and has had the lovely red apples ever since - which is really cheering up my garden through the grey and dreary days we're having at the moment. The blackbirds have discovered it in the last 2 weeks but there are still lots of fruits left!

I've found 'Everest' fruits a bit too orange for my taste. 'John Downie' has beautiful fruit but was badly affected by scab - and the birds and squirrels had all the fruit by November!

Amelanchier is very pretty in the spring & autumn & gives nice dappled shade but I find it a little boring in the summer and winter - but underplanting helps deal with that. Amelanchiers have the added advantage that they don't mind being cut back quite hard if they start outgrowing their space.

Have fun!

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 06/10/2013 at 10:41

Nice thread!

Good year on the whole if a bit of a late starter. Lots of new beds for me to go at although addition of several truck loads of mushroom compost in the spring may have made the soil a bit rich for some plants & seedlings in the first season. Cougettes liked it though & it should be great soil next year!

1st year for raspberries - Autumn Bliss - amazingly good crop so far. Summer ones have put on lots of growth for next year

Cougettes (yellow & green) - bumper crop - have made loads of spicy fritters for the freezer & several jars of sweet pickled cougettes - absolutely yummy with cheese or cold cuts

Peas - Early Onward - much better than last year - fairly long period of cropping

Runner beans - Scarlet Emperor? - tasty & v tender when picked small -  heavy crop - very late but great just now

Chantes carrots - good tasty crop - had to protect from fly

Cosmos - huge bushy plants (4' +) -  still full of flower - sown late (mid April) & pinched out

Tomatoes - GD & Sungold grown outside both really poor (again) -  thick skins, lots split & very late to ripen.  I think too many extremes of temp & very little rain this year. Oudoor toms often dont seem to do very well for me & cause lots of anxst - is it warm enough? will the neighbour water? are they staked securely if its windy? have I fed enough / too much? - not sure if I can be bothered next year! (Taste so good when I get it right tho')

Coriander - Calypso - started well but bolted in the heat & 3 further sowings in ground failed to germinate - same with Butterhead lettuce. Have done well in the past. Wondering if mice or voles have eaten the seeds - lots of holes in my raised beds this year!!

Garlic & shallots - tiny & rotting in the ground - ended up in the bin

Seems to have been a year of extremes both weather & cropping - wise




Posted: 21/09/2013 at 09:34

I have inherited a hedge of Prunus Lusitania (aka Portugese Laurel) which I really like because

  • it's evergreen & dense & abt 2m high
  • it seems to grow quite quickly but...
  • I only have to cut it once a year in summer
  • it has retained a nice shape
  • the foliage is good for cutting (flower arrangements & Xmas decs)
  • it's not prickly!

Whatever you plant, soil preparation and watering will be the key to success. 

I have found Red Robin can be leggy and also split, so I would be wary of using it where you need screening. Also be wary of choosing something just because it is fast growing - it will continue to be so & you'll be forever cutting it.

I have also not heard of deep pipes being affected by shrubs. The real culprits are thirsty water seekers such as willow (so dont be tempted by a "fedge"!).

Good luck.






Posted: 01/09/2013 at 12:12

Thanks nutcutlet - I'll gather some seeds from my favourite plants and see what comes up next year.

My plants are looking better now than they did even a week ago - really big and bushy. Hope they keep going for another couple of months if we don't get early frosts.



Posted: 26/08/2013 at 13:18

Same problem & a bit of a nightmare to control.

Lots of hand weeding (fork out the seedlings as soon as you see them - I don't think using a hoe works as the basal roots are left behind) and use a glyphosphate weedkiller on any larger patches. I'm not on top of mine yet - but I'm getting there!!



Posted: 25/08/2013 at 21:55

From the pics of the leaves it might be fruit (apple & pear) scab. My trees have been badly affected following last year's extremely wet summer which provided ideal conditions for fungi. 

Suggest you Google for more pictures to see if it is that.

If so, you can spray with an appropriate fungicide and give it plenty of TLC. If it's been in the pot for a while it will almost certainly need feeding - maybe repotting - I've never grown trees in pots so have limited knowledge on their requirements.

If you don't want to spray just give it loads of TLC. The good news is that scab isn't terminal but it is unsightly and will affect any fruit.

Good garden hygiene is very important. So burn any leaves that fall and dont allow them to sit on the soil where fungal spores can be splashed onto the tree by rain thereby reinfecting it.

Good luck. I now need to follow my own advice for all my trees!!


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 16:15

That doesn't look too good.

Are there any signs that the tree is still alive? - any green leaves etc? Is this just a particularly bad branch or typical of the whole tree?

If this is typical of almost all of the tree try gently scraping a small area of one of the affected branches. Is there any green under the bark?

What has been the regime for watering / feeding (especially during the very hot / dry spell in July)?

What size tree is it & what size pot? Is it in a sheltered location or windy? What is the aspect - ie does it get the full brunt of the sun - especially at the hottest part of the day or does it get some shade?

Are there any obvious signs of disease? - weeping wounds, scabs (yuck - sounds like Emergency Ward 10 - to show my age!).

Sorry to ask so many questions but from the picture the tree looks like a gonna - so just trying to help you identify why this might be. If, however, there's a bit of life in it we might be able to save it if we have enough info. 


1 to 10 of 77

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Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

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Dividing Perennials

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Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
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7 threads returned