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Latest posts by Wintersong

Do you consider gardening to be like art?

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 09:30

Well, thinking about that quote again, I think you have to include Architecture and maybe go so far as haute couture clothing, so perhaps its not the best quote? But art most certainly is a way of thinking, a frame of mind, a sensory marriage. Its what makes us humans feel better in an otherwise abrasive world and if that means wearing wellies and being knee deep in a pile of muck on a rainy/windy day with the prospect of enjoying what is to come in the summer months, then you can keep your fancy fashions and sculpted buildings and super fast cars.

My version of heaven, is an endless field waiting to be created into a garden, without pests and diseases. See you on the other side! Of the field..gosh!

New veg grower and advice needed pls

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 21:38

I'm sure you have done your research, just consider mulching around plants where possible to retain water in the hottest months as south facing will always dry out any bare soil. I have found from experience that things always begin with a false sense of security as its early in the year for too many pests and diseases, the weather is still quite wet with warm patches, our seedlings and baby plants have mostly been wrapped in cotton wool and production at this time of year tends to be bulkier foods and not lush tender things all sparkly and inviting to wildlife. The bane of my french beans is black fly, my brassicas always get mullered by caterpillars or pigeons, the birds shred my beetroot leaves to pieces and I won't even talk about slugs and snails. Above all, vigilance will be your best friend, as much time as you can spend around your crops will reap what you sow, as they say. Good luck!

Talkback: Slugs

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 21:03

I've used pellets between rows in veg beds but never between plants and always sparingly. I also drop some between the paths, in damp corners and around my cold frames. Also I heard that pellets only need to be used in spring to reduce the first generation of slugs that wildlife will keep at bay later and to spray susceptible plants with garlic spray through the summer autumn months. I am going to try this as the rest of my garden is organic sans pellets, does anyone have a recipe handy?

EDIT: Oops! Just spotted previous page and that garlic recipe, thanks to Nyakocat

Making Compost

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 20:55

My husband constructed two Bee hive compost bins which I have been using for the last few years. Each year I get a little better at it but my efforts could still be much improved. I know how to make a good mix of wet and dry, and I've also added urine or manure when available although I never get a steaming heap and the compost, whilst well structured and fresh smelling, is rather on the fibrous side, so I save it mostly for greedy plants that don't mind its texture. It holds water well! I've never much turned it and generally put them to bed through the winter months but this method means I always run out and I have a very greedy 100ft garden.

So, today I prepared my recently filled bin by chopping the material up with my sheers, turning it and chopping more until the entire pile was well mixed, then I added the digested result of three pots of tea and put it to bed under a piece of carpet with the lid on top. I'm hoping the chopping will help it along better (I'd love to own a garden shredder!) and I promise to turn it more often to keep it active.

Any advice or things I'm not doing properly?   

Poorly Rosemary

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 09:06

Well, in your situation, I guess I would trim what looks dead and maybe change the soil mixture in the pot to give it the best chance of survival. Good luck with it!

Poorly Rosemary

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 23:02

If its a young plant I wouldn't think it needs root trimming. Perhaps the pot is too big for the size plant? That can cause plants to sit in a sump and Rosemary don't like wet feet. Also, consider the ph of your soil, it likes full sun and limey soil.

Poorly Rosemary

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 21:00

I'm not sure if Rosemary is one of those plants that doesn't live a very long time? I had a Rosemary competing with a bully of a Ceanothus two years back, so in the summer I tossed a load of compost on top of its root-ball and waited until spring last year to cut off arm-length sections showing signs of roots. Afterwards, I transplanted the original bush but it promptly died although four of the new sections took well in pots, I grew them on until late last summer when I  planted three of them in my middle garden.  They established nicely through autumn/winter and should get well away this year. Perhaps take some cuttings to ensure the plant lives on?

Talkback: Ferns in pots

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 13:13

@Greenthumb wannabe, I would move evergreen and deciduous ferns early spring, but you could catch me doing it late spring, if I dig up a good root-ball and water it through the summer until established. My soil is light so the digging up is never a hardship and I always mulch well and tend the moved plants through the driest months because my soil bakes like a cake without mulch. Good luck with yours.

Talkback: Ferns in pots

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 13:08

@dc73311 understanding that no plant prefers dry shade to damp shade is really useful, there are some plants that will survive it better though. Trial your plants or perhaps search out published lists for your particular location, personally I grow ferns, hardy geraniums, crocosmia, foxgloves, acquilegia and alchemilla mollis quite happily in dry shade under a rather large Laural and a 30ft Eucalyptus pauciflora that robs the entire area of moisture. Also my skimmia japonicas do nicely on little moisture and only direct sunlight for three hours and I have two achantus that I dare say would grow underneath six foot of concrete! You just can't kill these plants in my garden. My one essential is to mulch dry shade ery generously and good luck with yours!

Phormium newbie

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 09:45

Thanks for the advice! I shall take it on board.

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