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shouldn't carry on spreading. But I'm off to the plot now, armed with a big black bin liner and a pair of secateurs to cut off the haulms before the problem spread to the, as yet, untouched varieties. Now of course I can't compost it so I wonder if I
in there.The garden spiders, Aranaeus diadematus, are starting to get very large and obvious, especially those round the compost bins. We compost everything we can, including kitchen waste, so clouds of fruit flies emerge every time I lift off the lid. Even
), the compost, the feed, the potting-on compost, the containers, in some cases the pest-sprays, the lighting and heating sometimes too. And that is not including the man-hours - probably the most unreliable, stressful and costly element in the equation!The other
terracotta pot for about six years now. Like any permanent planting I used John Innes No.3 loam-based potting compost, as trees need compost with real guts. Even so you'll need to feed them - my acer gets a weekly liquid feed through summer along with all
, loam-based compost, a warm position, and once they're growing you must make sure their compost never dries out. This is one pot plant I don't think you can overwater.Many varieties have wonderful speckled leaves, while others have dark leaf stalks
thing is just how you can ignore them and they'll still flourish. Despite my heavy clay soil I've just left them in the ground, and they've grown up again every summer. If I was more conscientious I would have spread a mulch of compost over the area
in March. Not this time though! I'm determined to forge ahead this winter and have planned a couple of projects to get my teeth into, including building another compost heap and painting the shed. Not only have I convinced myself that these projects
small critters come to warm themselves. And what's this? The compost bin has started to leak fruit flies; the perfect snack for a hungry spider.
. Of course I left the bases of canes and trunks clear, as smothering them with manure can lead to rotting. I think I can even hear the plants muttering their appreciation.It's not too late to do the same, but the source of my compost is a secret ...
trays, compost or propagators. Just clear the soil, forking it over to remove debris, weeds or larger stones and get sowing. I use sand from the kids' sandpit to mark out separate areas for each type of seed, and sow in rough rows to make subsequent