Sloes and damsons are in good supply this September in your local hedgerows. I have relied on my own blackberries this year but from the train window yesterday there were masses of plump black fruit for picking.
Forage amongst the book shelves to get a cornucopia of edible wild plant ideas.
You can plant your own edible hedge now until late March which will give you a supply of edible fruit and berries for years to come. Bare rooted plants are very reasonably priced.
Easy Step by Step Hedge
Clear the ground to remove weeds and old roots by digging or using Glyphosphate based weedkiller. Leave for a few weeks.
Pick a frost free day and when ready to plant put bundles of bare rooted plants into a bucket of water to give them a drink.
Mark out the line of the hedgerow bearing in mind you will want two staggered rows of plants. You can put down mulch matting and plant through it if you wish.
You will need 4-5 plants per square yard. …
Are you stumped about how best to remove the stump and roots of a tree after you have taken down the trunk and branches? This is the stump of an over grown Eucalyptus that was removed in spring. The slit was intended to hold weed killer but as the side shoots show it hasn’t worked. (Thank you EU for no help at all see below.) The scale of the stump and thus the size of my digging out problem is shown by my spectacles. I guess I should have known Eucalyptus are successful at regenerating.
Reasons to Remove Old Stumps
Stumps left in the ground after felling can cause replanting issues. Roots may get in the way, nutrients may be missing and the stump may look unsightly.
When simply felled the old tree can produce new shoots and suckers.
Roots can play host to various fungus and disease’
Roots may continue to cause uneven surface problems.
Grubbing out by hand, spade and mini digger are the first port of call.
Winching out using the old trunk as a lever can be done with the right machinery and is often seen in operation on forestry land.
The root can be ground out and turned into coarse saw dust with a grinder or chipper often owned by a tree surgeon.
Applying brushwood or weed killer containing commercial strength glyphosate or ammonium sulphamate. Drill holes in the stump around the circumference and fill with the weedkiller. Roots should die within a couple of months but the stum will take years to rot away depending on the species.
Root Out was a popular, RHS recommended, product that encourage rotting. Crazily it has had its approval for use as a herbicide, weed, tree and bramble killer withdrawn by EU and it is now only sold as a Compost Accelerator. It was used, amongst other purposes to help prevent the spread of Honey Fungus Armilleria
Nature will eventually rot down your stump slightly quicker if you cover it in garden compost so the micro organisms can get to work. In the meantime it can be ‘tarted up’ for other purposes such as part of a stumpery or support for a decorative pot.
Lavender will not sprout willingly from old wood. So when pruning make certain some green wood remains. Lavenders bloom on the stems that grew that year. Pruning is designed to encourage more flowering branches and give plants a longer life.
Lavender Pruning Tips
Lavender angustifoila (English Lavender) should be pruned every year.
Keep the plants tight, shapely and compact
Remove flower stalks after flowering
Prune an an inch or so of this years growth and a third of the older bushes without cutting into older leafless wood.
Late summer is an ideal time to prune English Lavender.
Less hardy varieties Lavender stoechas (Spanish Lavender, French Lavender) and intermedia Lavendin should be trimmed immediately after flowering and if necessary again in autumn.
Start gentle pruning when the plants are young and be heavier on older plants.
Pruning in spring can delay flowering.
Lavender can make a neat informal hedge but follow a good pruning regime. Trim twice a year to maintain shape and general performance.
We all have favourites and when it comes to fertiliser the liquid variety are mine. If the soil is in good heart then simple water is probably as good as anything for disolving nutrients and tranfering them to your plants. However some plants need more help from extra or special fertilisers.
Background on Fertilisers
Most fertilisers are based on the three major plant nutrients: Nitrogen (N): For green leafy growth Phosphorus (P): For healthy root and shoot growth Potassium (K): For flowering, fruiting and general hardiness (RHS advice)
General multi purpose feed 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 dilute 20ml in one gallon of water. …
When one man went to mow it was to mow a meadow. Do you want to let your lawn get into that state? If not here are some tips but probably not enough to get you a stately home lawn.
Little and often is usually a good plan. One a week in spring, during dry spells and autumn but more frequently in summer.
Aim to cut about one third of the height with each mowing
An occasional cut during mild weather in winter with the blades set high.
Start the year with the blades set high, upto one and a half inches for coarse grass down to a quarter of an inch for a bowling green standard fine lawn.
The best cuts are made by cylinder mowers with a large number of blades. I now use a lithium battery model.
Rotary mowers, strimmers and hover mowers are best for long tougher grasses.
Remove clippings otherwise you may encourage worm casts, weeds, aeration problems and disease.
Some recommend leaving clippings in hot dry weather to reduce evaporation but I find it unsightly and ineffective.
Avoid scalping off the top surface by taking turns too quickly of dropping of the edge of the lawn.
Setting to low can scalp the grass.
Keep blades sharp and correctly set to avoid tearing the grass rather than cutting it.
Alternate cutting horizontally and vertically to get the football pitch chequered effect.
Mowing in Special Situations
Inspect the area for hazards such as sticks, stones and animal droppings.
On a slope always mow side-to-side, not up and down the hill.
Choose the right mower, ride-ons are not good for steep slopes. Electrict mowers can be dangerous in wet conditions.
On wet grass raise the mowing height and keep the speed down to reduce the load on the motor.
The stripes you see on a lawn or playing field is simply light reflecting off the grass blades that have been mowed in one direction then the reverse. A mower with a roller helps accentuate the effect.
Treat weedy or moss infested lawns with proprietary weed and feed 3 days before cutting and leave for 3 days after dressing.
When it gets backendish as October begins to give way to colder nights, have a look around your garden.
The Nasturtiums are still flowering strongly as they clamber up this wall but one good frost will see them turn soggy and die. As Nasturtiums are good at self-seeding I will doubtless get many new plants next year without any effort.
Tips Growing Nasturtiums
Nasturtiums do well in poor soil. If the soil is too rich then you will get more leaf than flower.
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