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Latest posts by blairs

slate soil and slugs

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 11:05

The comments about improving soil are right. You want to keep it on the dry side. Damp soil just encourages slugs: in the dampest part of my garden I have a plague on the driest part I have none.

Nematodes may work but it is still too cold for them and you need to apply it all the time and they cost loads. Egg shells, coffee and wood ash are urban legends and do nothing to stop slugs. Wood ash is harmful to acidic loving plants! So ignore those as all you will do is waste your time.

Best thing I ever used was slug pellets - kills loads and few of my plants have damage and seedlings actually make it.

Talkback: Creeping buttercup

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 10:33

Increasing the Nitrogen levels in the soil discourages them and as the Nitrogen level increases the less you will see of creeping Buttercups and clover. You also need to pull them up to stop them spreading further. Spraying them with Roundup does not work as the stems stay alive and spread even though the leaves fall off!

Talkback: Rabbits and myxomatosis

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 10:28
Homelovingirl31 wrote (see)
What are the symptoms of "myx"?

They tend to get eye infections from the virus making them almost blind. When you see wild Rabbits near people  - as in people walking past - then that is normally a sign that myx is in the area. It kills them pretty quickly.

Oak Tree Planting

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 21:34

Gary is correct, 1-2 years I would have thought would be wips, not 5ft trees. As long as they are not bare root (ie in soil) then you can plant at any time of year, autumn being best.


Posted: 05/05/2012 at 20:33

Sorry what is the problem? I looked at the direct link in the mag ( and it works. You only get free P&P is u spend over £25 and use

Hosta or Weed?

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 10:37
sciencegirl wrote (see)

Icannot bear to pull out self seeded foxgloves. They pop up in the most hostile places that you have to admire their tenacity. Sometimes it can surprise you how good they look even if it wasn't in the original planting plan.

Neither can I! I love seeing them grow in walls or silly places. People walk past them all the time without realising what the plant is. I do tend to give seedling the benefit of doubt which means that I can end up with lots of weeds, but it is all part of the garden picture.

Talkback: Field horsetail

Posted: 30/04/2012 at 19:10

The problem with Marestail is that it has a tough outer coating that resists herbicides. The thing to do is to get 2 stones and mush the Marestail up. That opens it up to herbicides and you can kill and eradicate it. Undiluted vinegar may work!

Peony tree - help!

Posted: 30/04/2012 at 19:02

As long as the graft is 4 cm or so under the soil surface am sure it will be fine. They spend the first few years putting down roots and getting energy from leaves. Seems to spend the 3rd year onwards flowering!

getting rid of slugs

Posted: 30/04/2012 at 18:49

The systemic garlic spray does work - you boil a few cruched garlic bulbs and store the whole thing till cooled. You add the garlic water (can add some more water) and water your garden as usual. The garlic chemicals are supposed to get picked up by the plants making them less attractive to slugs and snails. it may work over time, as it is systemic but...

Slug pellets are the way to go. A bird would need to eat 10,000 slugs a day to get poisoned by the pellets - they are quite safe to use. I have started to use them this year and the dent in the slug population is remarkable. The amount of seedlings coming up is just!!

Anemone de Caen

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 22:41
yarrow2 wrote (see)

roxy2 hi!  I bought a cheap box of Anemone de Caen from a supermarket and sowed some indoors and outdoors in February and March.   I'm central Scotland, beginner gardener, soil 6-7pH and temperatures have ranged from -1 to 10 degrees last two months.  Know nothing about Anemone de Caen but here is photo of results in different conditions.  Compost in pots was just multi-p.    Friend who had previous year's ones in pots lost some but said was due to continual heavy rain and pots were  soaked.  She also puts pots in sheltered place in very low temps.  I won't know what happens with my outdoors ones until next year.  Also as beginner, have no idea if my seedlings ought to be as floppy as they seem to be or if they ought to be standing upright better.  Not sure if this helps with anything.

Gold1locks, you have generously responded to some of my problem queries on other subject threads and all responses really encourage beginners like myself  to participate in forum discussions, even when we feel we lack the level of knowledge or experience to express ourselves adequately or 'fit in' with any particular level of 'gardening language'.  For those of us who have no nearby gardening buddies or mentors,  the ambience and absence particularly of critical hierarchy on this forum is a real boost to flagging would-be gardeners who really benefit from the generosity of others willing to share their experiences and give a few minutes of their time to encourage others.  So thank you.

If you think regurgitating sometimes wrong information from the internet is helping you then you really do need ot get out more and meet real people.

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