Latest posts by Blueboots

Rat problem

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 13:22

I saw a rat by the bird feeder a few weeks ago so I put down a live cage trap where we saw it heading (by the dalek compost bins).  I haven't seen it since and the trap wasn't touched till today. It's been set off and all the food has gone but there's no animal inside. I think slugs might have been in there.

BTW, I'm not sure what I would have done with a live rat, but we had the cage trap from when we were trying to get rid of squirrels in the loft.

If it comes back I might try the poison under the rhubarb idea. Do you think this might poison the rhubarb if it got wet though?


Posted: 18/06/2013 at 09:48

Mine love hot dry conditions - grrrrrrrrr

Really, they thrive in some pretty dry raised beds in full sun.

I must admit I had pangs when I pulled out a rather gorgeous one with dark purply red flowers. Maybe when it comes back (it will) I should let it flower but not seed.

A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 16:48

This is a wonderful cautionary tale by Genesis - the song of the Giant Hogweed:

Turn and run!
Nothing can stop them,
Around every river and canal their power is growing.
Stamp them out!
We must destroy them,
They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.

They are invincible,
They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Long ago in the russian hills,
A victorian explorer found the regal hogweed by a marsh,
He captured it and brought it home.
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.
Royal beast did not forget.
He came home to london,
And made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens at kew.

Waste no time!
They are approaching.
Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter
Strike by night!
They are defenceless.
They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.

Still they're invincible,
Still they're immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Fashionable country gentlemen had some cultivated wild gardens,
In which they innocently planted the giant hogweed throughout the land.
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.
Royal beast did not forget.
Soon they escaped, spreading their seed,
Preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.

The dance of the giant hogweed

Mighty hogweed is avenged.
Human bodies soon will know our anger.
Kill them with your hogweed hairs
Heracleum mantegazziani

Giant hogweed lives


Posted: 14/06/2013 at 16:30

I moved here two years ago and rather liked the aquilegia (I'd never seen it before). Now I've declared war, and pull them up wherever I see them. They self seed all over the place and are a real pest.

A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 16:27

Ivy is a problem, but so satisfying to pull up. You get more plant per pull than most other things Brambles are much worse - they fight back. I have some old thick ski gloves which are better for attacking brambles than any garden gloves I've ever had.

I think I'd be happy if Dianthus grew like weeds.

Lily of the Valley

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 09:05

I killed my first lot of lily of the valley, but was delighted to get a few flowers from my second attempt this year. It's in a small patch of soil that it's very welcome to take over. I'm tempted to introduce it to an enormous shaded area under a long conifer hedge.

How bad could it be if it took over there? Would I regret it?

I adore the smell, and it looks so small and innocuous...

lemon balm

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 08:59

I used to make tea with it too.

It spread a bit in my last garden but didn't have far to go. If I plant it here it will be in pots.

Bulrushes - a cunning plan

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 09:32

I've done it!  Well I've mostly done it. I was so exhausted that I gave up with a bit to go. I'd pull out individual roots with my hands where I could. Sometimes I could hook roots up with the rake and just heave them away from the rest of the mat. Other times I needed to hook up a bit, then saw it away from the mat.

To get the rest out (it's really stubbon, and the rake isn't gripping) I'm thinking of getting a rope under it and pulling. Two people might be able to shift it - or at least make it more amenable to hooking out.

I should also admit I had some help

Here are the before, during and after pictures. I haven't had much luck posting pictures before so here goes. They are all 700 pixels wide so should be a reasonable size for the forum.





A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 09:23

Gardening Granda - thanks for that advice. I've just killed everything in a raised herb bed to get rid of couch grass. I was going to chuck in a heap of flower seeds to have something nice to look at while I make sure all the couch grass is gone. Later I'll replant it with herbs.

I'll be careful not to get cottage perennials - or anything else that might go bezerk.

A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 09:20

Artjak, I don't know what ph the soil is, I'd better get a kit and find out.I hadn't realised that different heathers have decidedly diffrent preferences. I know it's shallow and stoney but very fertile (as evidenced by chest high nettles before I declared war on them).

We have some heathers in a raised bed that are doing exceedingly badly - however it's probably too dry there, and I've no idea where that soil came from - probably not the garden.

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13 threads returned