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kitser
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Hello Reply with quote

Hi. I'm Chris from Dublin. I am new to the greenfinger world but here for the long haul. I have limited space to grow and am orientated toward bee pollinating plants without adding any toxins to the soil.I have just learned that a lovely planted bed very soon turns into an overcrowded green jungle, so i'll allow a bit of space next year to the plants. The bees arent complaining all the same. I look forward to trolling through the posts for advice on dealing with my bad slug problem and tips for plant groupings and soil management. cheers
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Sue Deacon
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014
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Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya Chris and welcome to IG! Nice to have new members who are 'here for the long haul'.

We all have to start somewhere and it sounds like you jumped right in there Very Happy . Tell us some more about your garden and what you have growing there.

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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, Chris. There is a thread going at the moment on slugs which may help but, as Sue says, the more detail you provide the finer the advice can be gauged to your situation.
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kitser
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue. Our garden is /was a zero maintenance slabbed and stone covered lazy city liver garden that i am reclaiming back in little steps. My better half cant handle creepy crawlies and flying insects that in fairness do seem to find her of interest lol. I have built a few nice large beds in the front and back, but really got done over when buying the few tonnes of topsoil for them. Poor quality clay that cakes and cracks when dry and poorly drains when wet, with wild ph ranging from 3.5 to 10. I spent a lot of time removing the weeds that are in abundant supply, as they came i removed, as i resisted the urge to apply weed killer. I fertilize with kelp meal and have maybe gone overboard with green manures to fend off the weeds and fix the soil. I am bee conscious and am planting on a trial and error basis. i noticed that the bees wont go near some flowers bought from the big chain stores so i remove them when they wither. I have a few rose bushes that seem to have black spot this year, as does just about every rose bush i see in any garden i pass. I have some lily, crocosiums, a few echiums that i hope will make it through the winter to bloom next year, snapdragons, bleeding hearts, fuschias that i am trying to resurrect, delphiniums, fox gloves, clovers, phacelia,sunflowers, lemon balm, wallflowers, poppies, raspberries, red hot pokers, and some shrubs in pots. I need to band some of these together next year and give all the plants more room as they are overcrowded in parts and thats counterproductive. The list reads better than it looks lol
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kitser
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Blowin. Cheers for that, i'll look it up for sure. Theyre a nuisance but i wont lose any sleep over them either. I read briefly that laying copper wire repels them, and my overcrowded foliage isnt helping matters either.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm growing some red clover this year, the bees love it. It's in my new project, an Apothecary's garden - bit like a posh herb garden! Laughing

That difference in pH is mind boggling! I know it's possible but I've never heard of a pH of 10. Are you sure it's not quick lime? Shocked How did you test it? Depending on their type most plants like a soil no more acid than 5.5 and no more alkaline than about 7.5. I'd test it again.

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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pH values vary from 1 to 14 Sue.
Welcome along Kitser.

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know they do, but just HOW acid is 1 and just HOW alkaline is 14. Also how likely is it to find such extremes as 3.5 and 10 in one garden? Just curious, as it's something I have never come across.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Localised pockets. You just wouldn't know what was dumped there back in time. A car battery maybe.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

YIKES! Mind you, I have found all sorts of junk in our garden over the years.
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kitser
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue & Tagwex. My ph is all over the place. It is as tagwex say - localised pockets. the ph10 was in one spot only that looked like something was burned there and calcified. the overall ph jumps wildly. with many pockets of acidic from as low as 3 to 5. but the majority sits closer to either side of the 7 mark. I removed the soil that was ph10 as i didnt want whatever it was to leech any further. the real acidc spot i noticed because it seemed a dead zone to the plants i murdered there lol, but i planted a hydrangea there that was struggling in a shaded part of the garden and it seems to be coming on nicely now.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to see what colour that turns out. Hydrangea are know for their sensitivity to acid/alkaline soils.
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kitser
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Sue Deacon"]I'm growing some red clover this year, the bees love it. It's in my new project, an Apothecary's garden - bit like a posh herb garden! Laughing

I had to look up the meaning of apothecary. very posh indeed! Isn;t it ironic that a host of plants discarded as weeds, are potent healers for many ailments. I have a friend who was having radiation "therapy" and was sick as to be expected. I grew wheatgrass for her which i added ginger root when juicing to counter the sickly sweet heavy effect of the juice on the stomach. A few mins after her first shot she said it was the first time her nausea had stopped since she started treatment. Nature has the remedy. It is a sad fact that with the explosion of information readily attainable with a few clicks of the mouse, we seem to know less and less about things that matter
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kitser
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue Deacon wrote:
It would be interesting to see what colour that turns out. Hydrangea are know for their sensitivity to acid/alkaline soils.

I wasnt aware that the flower colour was soil ph related Sue. It is starting to bloom for the first time as it is getting plenty of sun in its new home. The flowers are pinkish which is to be expected as the root was transferred with a big ball of soil that isnt acidic. As the root spread out into the acidic pockets, will the flowers change colour?
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Sue Deacon
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Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might eventually, but it only takes a little lime to change an acid soil but an awful lot of 'acid' to change an alkaline soil. Our garden is on a bog road and the soil is quite peaty. I bought a beautiful, almost purple blue hydrangea and was very disappointed and somewhat confused when it flowered the next year a very insipid pinky- blue. Then my friend, who grew up in the house said 'daddy used to lime the soil for veg growing'. We must have one of the few alkaline peat gardens on the planet! Laughing Laughing

My great uncle was a Pharmacist. In the back yard of his shop in Littlehampton, Sussex he had a collection of hydrangeas growing in old chimney pots. All from the same stock but all different shades of blue and pink. He mixed varying amounts of lime, iron (and God knows what else) in each pot. I often wonder if he kept a notebook on his experiments and what happened to it.

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