Latest posts by Barney_pl

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Talkback: Moles

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 22:18

I'd like to keep mine, but that area of grass (I can no longer call it 'lawn') is unsafe to walk on because of the mining by the moles and the paving is now so uneven that some of the slabs (and they are huge!) slope at about 20 degrees.

Talkback: Moles

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 22:00

My mole(s) don't seem to mind red hot chilli pepper ... Nor do they mind the Defenders castor oil pellets.

At the moment, I'm opening up tunnels and filling them in, and because I'm working in the room overlooking the area they've invaded, as soon as I see a new heap, I go out and fill it in.

So far, there seems to be a three day lead time between this and a new mole hill, and while I'm not sure why, I'm known for my stubborn streak and willl keep at it till I'm up to lifting the huge slabs where most of the activity seems to be concentrated and getting them re-laid. Quite what I'll do if I find the nest is under there, I don't know...


slug pellets

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 15:51

I guess I have good reason for having very strong views on slug pellets, having lost one of my cats due to poisoning. The source? Next door's overuse of those blue slug pellets.

One of my current neighbours has used these to the point where there is a blue carpet right across his borders. I'm glad I don't have cats now, and hope that his doesn't meet the same fate as mine.

I have blackbirds, robins and other birds aplenty in my chemical-free garden and don't have a slug or snail problem. I just collect the occasional empty shell as I work in the garden.


Compost, they reckon !!!

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 23:07

I've been using Verve from B&Q this year, and it's been ok. There was a spilled bag from the pallet from which I took my first lot, and that looked good, so I felt safe. I'm sieving it for seed sowing, as it does have some bitty bits in it, but having sown into fifty 3" pots this afternoon, after sieving, I had less than one 6" shallow pot of 'rubbish', which will be fine after time in my compost bin.

I've used it for all my seed sowing as well as big flower pots. All the flowers are doing well, and apart from Orange Winner marigolds, which I've decided was a duff packet, all the seeds have done well.

I've also used in it my half-barrels for peas and beans and the peas are doing very well. The beans are suffering from the weather and being almost drowned, so I can't blame the compost for that.

Miracle Gro, on the other hand, was a disaster for me two season ago, and I had to begin again from scratch after non-germination of almost 90% of sowing.

Weed suppressing membrane.

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 22:41

Thanks for the link. Yes, that's one of the articles I read, and which helped me to realise that I have a major and on-going problem which needs patience, patience  and yet more patience, given these facts:

"Seed longevity in dry storage is 12 years and in soil is 35 years. Charlock seeds buried in uncultivated soil will remain viable for 60 years"


"The optimum germination temperature is 21°C and there is little germination below 11°C or above 30°C."

We've had single figure temperatures for weeks now, and that hasn't stopped the stuff germinating!

But that's taking the subject from the general to the specific. To give other examples, nettles can live for about five years, and chickweed, three.

Weed suppressing membrane.

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 22:13

I gues the counter-argument would be that some seeds live in the ground for a lifetime, just waiting for that opporune moment.

For example: My garden is infested with charlock seed (the previous people kept chickens, and I think the seed came in with their food). I've been here for three years (so the fourth year in the garden) and even though it hasn't been allowed to flower, the stuff is still coming up. Therefore I'd need to keep the membrane on for a few years.

Weed suppressing membrane.

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 21:58

Last month I read somewhere (probably GW magazine) about putting down weed-suppressing membrane on ground not yet needed for crops, etc. Nothing new, and a fairly common suggestion.

However, does this really make sense in the long run? As I understand it, all the membrane does is suppress the weed seeds, so they don't germinate. Surely, then, when the membrane is taken off, they all shout 'Hip hooray! Here's light, let's get growing!'?  

Why not let the weeds germinate, grow to a reasonable size and before they flower, harvest them for the compost bin?

BBC Gardening Arrivals - Meeting Point

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 21:41

Hi, Geoff, Obs, et al. 

Many thanks for the info about the BBC board closure, Geoff. I've been hectically busy this winter and haven't had time to visit it. Hope I'll be able to be around more now.

It looks good to have bold, etc and other features so mysteriously lacking on the BBC boards!

8 returned

Discussions started by Barney_pl

Weed suppressing membrane.

Just pondering. 
Replies: 5    Views: 4004
Last Post: 08/05/2012 at 22:41
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