Latest posts by Topbird

Woolly Aphid on Apple Tree?

Posted: 11/08/2016 at 13:00

It is a bit of a pain to get rid of and sprays don't really work because the aphids are protected by the cotton wool coating. The good news is that my trees have had this problem for years and - while it is unsightly -  they still produce a good crop of apples every year. 

I usually try to scrub off as much as I can with a stiff scrubbing brush. A strong jet of water from the hose might also dilodge them. Hanging a bird feeder to attract birds who might eat some of the aphids could also help. Blue tits are pretty helpful little birds so try to attract those 

Last edited: 11 August 2016 13:03:24

What is your weather like?

Posted: 10/08/2016 at 17:15

Three days of constant, light, warm rain (absolutely no wind) would be just the ticket here too Joyce - please - pretty please 

Last edited: 10 August 2016 17:16:17

What pipe to use for raised bed hoop house/tunnel/netting frame, (etc)?

Posted: 10/08/2016 at 17:05

I think Liri is correct in saying that Geoff Hamilton used bamboo canes.

If I remember correctly he cut approx 1' lengths and pushed about 6" into the ground and put the pipe over the 6'' which was left standing proud of the ground.

Max - Try Googling builders and / or merchants with the name of your nearest large town and I'm sure you'll come up with some results near you.


Posted: 09/08/2016 at 21:40

Beautiful caves BL 

And lovely plant supports Liri - are you absolutely certain you can't use them in your garden? 

I know we're not supposed to do endorsements and advertising but I've bought several things (plant supports and cages mostly) from Harrods (horticulture - not the other one) over the years - and I've always been really, really pleased with the quality of their products. Built to last... and often quite stylish too - like your suppports 


Posted: 09/08/2016 at 18:51

Your garden sounds beautiful Dove 


Posted: 09/08/2016 at 18:46

What is your weather like?

Posted: 09/08/2016 at 18:45

Starting to get a little desperate for some decent rain here after a very windy weekend (wind is as drying as sun IMO) and before we have another hot spell this weekend. 

Met Office forecast said 70% chance of heavy rain at 4pm - I counted 25 rain splats on my dustbin lid  No more rain forecast for next 7 days 

On a positive note - I haven't needed to cut the grass for 2 weeks 


Posted: 09/08/2016 at 18:21

About 3 weeks ago I reported finding a 2" long black slug 6' up my (upstairs) bedroom wall (inside) - absolutely gross .

Since then I've found another 2 - both upstairs, inside - different rooms. 

With the first one I speculated whether the cat had brought it in but the second two have definitely scaled the outside wall (slime trail over the windows). This means they have climbed about 20 foot over brick and rough render. I thought slugs didn't like feeling rough surfaces under their ickle tummies....

Fat, long, black slugs are bad news outside - even worse inside 


Posted: 09/08/2016 at 17:59

Afternoon everyone  Been in the office today which was ok because it's been a lot cooler today. Could have found plenty to do outside tho'... 

Sorry to hear your news Bushman - hope things can be sorted out as amicably as possible.

Dove - I have chianodoxa planted en masse under an apple tree. Looks lovely in spring and lasts for a couple of weeks. Anenome blanda is a good suggestion and I'd also go for cyclamen (both hed. and coum) and aconites or snowdrops. With a bit of luck you could have almost continuous little flowers there from September through to May. Geranium nodosum would carry you through the summer without interfering with the bulbs

Is it a suitable spot for lily of the valley? - bit risky if you don't want it to spread but I can't imagine a woodland area without it 


Posted: 08/08/2016 at 17:44


Lot cooler and more overcast today. Thank goodness that wind has dropped too - have come to the conclusion that wind is only good for sailing & kite flying. Even then in moderation...

Have moved my tomatoes into the potting shed for a couple of days. It's forecast to be down into single figures for the next couple of nights and I could do for the fruits to start ripening before we get to September! A couple are finally starting to colour up - so hopefully we'll be able to try them soon. 

I've already started to put the brakes on the plants by picking off new flowering shoots. They probably wouldn't have time to develop into decent fruit before October - hopefully now all the energy will be channelled into ripening the existing fruit.

Lily P - glad to hear the vet couldn't find anything too amiss with your poor dog.

Joyce - love black & white cats (don't tell my ginger boy though!)

Hosta - hope you make it home safe and sound. We've virtually given up on holidays that require air travel. OH does it (& all the airport security that goes with it) for work. Queueing for security, opening your lap top case, taking off your belt / shoes etc etc is ok once a year for a holiday. Rubbish when it's every single working day - often more than once a day.

Made beetroot and apple relish this morning - looks very pretty - want to try it with a nice piece of strong cheddar - recipe says wait a minimum of 3 months

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Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
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Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
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Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned