Latest posts by Verdun

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Lupin Aphid

Posted: Yesterday at 18:21

First came across these aphids a few years ago and got to know them as american aphids....large glaucous blue.  Insecticides do work effectively on them.

has anyone tried spraying with strong seaweed spray?  For past 5 years, maybe more, I have had no problem with aphids on lupins and I put it down to seaweed sprays early in spring and early summer.  Best grown "hard" too to avoid soft lush growth I think 

ground cover

Posted: Yesterday at 13:05

Dont sow green manures and then cover.  It will simply die. You mentionef membrane in your title.  Membrane is a very bad option adding nothing to the soil but does enough to take the life out of it 

Even if it does not "overwinter" it will still add goodness when turned in 

Tree is turning brown

Posted: Yesterday at 13:00

Dean, I agree.  Once conifers turn brown like that they won't recover.  

Get them out asap and plant something else there.  Something you really like 

i have a very lsrge conifer to dig out soon.....much bigger than yours.....and I am looking forward to replanting there 


Posted: Yesterday at 12:51

Tender perennials Sanjy......usually treated as annuals.  

Over or under watering seems to be the most common cause of plants suffering;  poor compost though, esp fhe rubbishy mpc that everyone uses, also is a big reason for it.  

I have a large abutilon in the garden trained against a wall and it benefits from extra watering now and then.  I realise not everywhere but down here it has been a pretty warm, at times hot, summer 

Flower bed gone wrong?

Posted: Yesterday at 12:28

Choose your tree carefully...height, what it needs and if it will suit your spot.  Maybe an evergreen shrub for scent and density?  

before you plant I would spread a bag of compost and dried manure and mix it into the soil.  


Posted: Yesterday at 12:23

Sheila, are they in the ground?  If so they will be fine 

What to do with these Penstemon?

Posted: Yesterday at 11:52

I would prune every stem back quite spring now but you could take some of the top to reduce weight etc.   You should see lots of new shoots from low down then so pruning back will be more obvious.  You can cut back the central woody stems in same way. 

I would though take cuttings...not too late......the top 3", remove, very top soft tips, and imsert them into pots of compost for plants next year.  They root fast 


Posted: Yesterday at 11:44

Could be Ann.  Here they need a reasonable watering and if you have used ordinary mpc it will decline over time.

I would get some john innes and repot.....still not too late....and prune back any leggy stems 

Forsythia - Will I damage it if I cut back hard now?

Posted: Yesterday at 11:41

Debbie, if you really don't like your forsythia get it out.  Life is too short. I think it will be reasonably easy to remove.  Yes, out of flower forsythia is an ugly thing.  Wouldn't grow one in my garden because I can see their flowers everywhere in spring.  

No matter how much you rejuvenate a forsythia it will always be unsightly;   You may have a poor clone shy of flowering too.

no.....out with it and plant aomething you really like 

Grass dying and going brown?

Posted: Yesterday at 11:33


bit of both I think there.......leatherjacket damage and long grass.  

I would cut the grass, scarify or hand rake, mow again and reseed bare patches and order nematodes.  Nematodes usually arrive in a couple of days of ordering so try to get everything done in time 

1 to 10 of 22,071

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