Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Photos by Glenn and Laura

Too Close For Comfort

This vixen is being seen in a garden very close to mine on a regular basis so the chickens have been confined to the run for the foreseeable future. They are showing signs of boredom already but at least they are safe. The lady who is feeding the fox assures me that she won’t be interested in my chickens as she is well fed however, it is a natural instinct for a fox to kill a chicken and this will be even more true come the spring when she has cubs to feed. I love to see foxes and think they are  beautiful creatures but I know that I need to be really vigilant to keep the hens safe from now on.

 

Roses – Black Spot

I was very disappointed with the Roses this year as all but two were blighted with Black Spot. I was aware of this fungal disease and have removed infected leaves as I saw them but I didn’t use any spray at all. Some of my bare root roses didn’t flourish at all and I put this down to the very cold wet winter. I also decided that I had made a mistake by mixing spring bulbs in the pots with the roses. Death by Tulip. I intend to try and tackle the problem early next year.

Rose Blackspot is best prevented with an anti fungal spray early in the season before the foliage starts to show through. To be extra cautious spray the ground around the bush too. Most garden roses are prone to this disease and much depends on cleanliness for successful control. With roses that are susceptible to blackspot spraying every two weeks may be necessary. Hard pruning in the spring and burning all pruning material is best with any rose plant that regularly get blackspot. A feed with a high potash content will also help to allay the disease. This should be carried out early in spring in order that the rose plant may take the potash in as a preventative.

Make your own anti fungal spray with baking powder and washing up liquid mixed  with water and put into a spray bottle. Spray both sides of leaves. Add one box of baking powder to water and add baby shampoo. Mix well before spraying. Spray every two weeks. This mixture changes the ph to kill and prevent fungal growth. Shampoo acts as a coating agent to maintain alkaline ph.  Respray after rain.

Carnations

Just before Christmas my friend Tallulah gave me a lovely bunch of flowers and the Carnations still look fresh today. I bought myself some yellow ones from Lidl on Sunday. It’s been a long time since I bought myself any flowers. I was very pleased to see that three of the stems had shoots still attached and I have taken them off to try and root them. 20 days and tiny hair like roots are beginning to grow.

SeeKay Carnation - Hardy Border Mix - 300 seeds - Perennial

Friday 20th January 2017 – Carnation Hardy Border Mix – seeds have been sown on moist compost in a container with drainage holes and enclosed in a polythene bag to retain moisture and heat. Seeds from Seekay 300 for 99p. Update ten out of twenty seedlings showing after six days. 

Choose a container with drainage holes in it filling the container within an inch or two from the top with potting soil. Sprinkle the seeds across the top of the soil and cover them lightly. Water until the soil is moist and then wrap the container in a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. The beginnings of your carnation garden plants should poke through the soil in two to three days. Move the seedlings to their own pots once they have two to three leaves and transplant them outdoors once they reach a height of 4 to 5 inches and your area is free of frost risk.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/dianthus/growing-carnations.htm