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13 messages
20/04/2013 at 11:37

Near the back door, where it could be seen from the window where I use my computer, I had a pot of gorgeous yellow crocus.  Just to cheer up the day when it was grey and dull - or so I thought.  First the birds came and removed and presumably ate, all the bright golden petals.  Then came the squirrels, who dug up the now denuded bulbs, and ate those - I watched them holding them as a hamster does a peanut!!  I am left with a pot of dull brown compost with a few root systems in it to support - nothing!!  Remind me, why do we garden - and for whom ...........?

20/04/2013 at 11:49

To keep the wildlife happy, of course

20/04/2013 at 12:01

It's a tough one isn't it?   I like to share the garden with as much wildlife as possible - slugs excepted - so plant things that provide food or shelter for birds and insects but also give me pleasure.

I gave up on yellow crocuses years ago and now prefer to plant the stripey purple ones which they seem to ignore but which also cheer me up.  For cheery spring yellows I have dwarf and normal daffs and primroses which they also leave alon.    I feed the birds all year round and find that means they repay me by picking of nearly all the aphids and caterillars on my roses and veggies.

A friend of mine gave up planting up pots near her front door because they were always pecked to death by peacocks and pheasant visiting from a suburban farm behind her.   My country phesants stick to the bird food thankfully.

20/04/2013 at 19:00

A couple of years ago I would have said for the deer! They stripped my veg garden and nipped off all the flower heads and ate all the roses. For the last 12 years or so they had been getting bolder. They ate the pansies in the pots on the terrace right by the house. I was getting frantic! Then OH put up a high fence around the veg garden and fenced the main bit of the flower garden. It's made a huge difference. He couldn't do the whole thing as it's around an acre and an irregular shape.

21/04/2013 at 14:22

So gad to know you all enjoy your wild life too - though I must admit I do take exception to squirrels and pigeons - other than that, they are welcome.

Interested in what you say about yellow crocus obelixx, I gave up on purple ones here because they were dug up before I got the back door closed when I planted them in the autumn, and up until now they have left the yellow ones alone - back to the drawing board it would seem - Note to self, add stripy crocus bulbs to autumn shopping list and don't tell the pigeons or squirrels. 

21/04/2013 at 14:33

I'm told you can solve the problem of their being dug up by putting a layer of chicken wire over the bulbs once planted.    I don't have squirrels here.   No grey ones anyway and there's pasture between me and the woods where the red ones live so no access to my garden.

The only bird problem I have is them nicking the blueberries just before they're ripe for human picking so i'm planning to net them this year.  After several years of winter damage reducing stems and fruiting power, I gave them a wind barrier for this winter and that means I have no dead and frozen stems this year so I'm hoping for a good crop.

21/04/2013 at 15:48

I love bluberries, am about to give mine their yearly dose of ericaceous compost as the ground in which I grow them is not realy quite acid enough for them.  Last year we had a poor crop, but in preceding years have had very good crops indeed.  I suspect the persistent wet and dark skies for last year - but we expect great things this year.  

21/04/2013 at 16:20

That's gardeners.  Ever optimistic.  Good luck with your crop.  I fed mine a couple of weeks ago as they're planted in big holes of ericaceous compost in otherwise fertile but alkaline loam.   Happy enough when not frozen to death.

21/04/2013 at 16:27

I`m glad to be reminded to feed my blueberries. Had an excellent crop last year, they`re in tubs, so made sure I had copper strip around because I have real problem with slugs & snails. Yuck

21/04/2013 at 18:56

As we've got on to blueberries, does it matter if the two plants I bought this spring are the same variety? The GC only had one sort.

21/04/2013 at 20:38

They do say to plant two different ones so you get cross pollination and it certainly increased my crop when I bought a friend for my my blueberry a few years ago.   You could help things along by planting nearby some plants that flower at the same time so that they attract pollinators to the blueberries.   

22/04/2013 at 14:23

All 3 of my plants are `Top Hat` and I`ve had them in the same tubs for 4 years. First year I only had a small crop but each subsequent year it has increased. Enjoy them but the blackbirds also like them!

22/04/2013 at 15:08
Many varieties of blueberry are self fertile but ....as with most other fruits....it increases the yield if there are other varieties.
I have 3 varieties....4 plants....in large pots of ericaceous soil plunged in the ground. Last year the crop was very good. I have to net them.
My gooseberry crop was non existent so hoping for better this year.
Every year you win some and lose some!
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13 messages