Loading forum activity, please wait...
Sorry, we didn't catch that. Please try again.
1 to 20 of 460 posts
16 Jun 2016 13:29
I use a bench grinder, you can get a decent one for about 20 quid from screwfix, trick is only do a tiny amount each time, typicaly for shears etc set your angle and it's 1 maybe two passes. I use a hand file for my felcos, I give them a little tlc after every job for a minute or so, keeps them like razors. The bench grinder is the best though, lawn mower blades, kitchen knives, all like lasers in seconds.. for 20 quid you can't go wrong, and your scissors knives shears etc will be sharp forever, taking less than 20 secs a time. I have a Dremel too, however it's harder to keep at the correct angle compared to the bench grinder, where you can set the angle and lean the blade against something!
BTW, nice to still see some familiar names lurking about still.
Last edited: 16 June 2016 13:31:06
22 Apr 2015 18:13
job going here for filling watering cans here wintersong :P My other half can't understand why I don't use the hose, not on water meter etc, I just can't abide waste!!! And only use tap when washing water has been used first!!! (Save my waterbutts for the acid lovers I have)
22 Apr 2015 17:58
It is all about the preparation with lawns, if you turf over rubbish soil, expect rubbish results. Consider this.. for optimal lawn conditions the roots of the lawn will extend 6 to 8 inch, so to be on the safe side, especially with heavy clay/stoney soils think 10". If you have had a lawn returfed only for it to fail, typically the soil is too shallow for the roots, sticking half inch to an inch on top and returfing isn't going to do anything aside from fail again.. Dig the plot, typically to a depth of 8-10inch, remove any rocks above an inch or so, add sharp sand, add more sharp sand, add even more and mix it in thoroughly, rake to level and a decent tilth, then lay lawn using boards. Keep watered for 6 weeks, don't mow for 8-10, first cut should be highest, leave a couple of days, then cut same height, then following day one step lower, keep watering. When you start cutting, a feed once a week. Ideally this will produce what you require, but due to soil conditions and more importantly light as in shade, you will have mixed results. Obviously if you have mad free draining soil add a little organic stuff rather than sand, like I said, lawns aren't something that can just be 'done' and there it is forever, it's a labour of love that requires constant attention, even worse if you have no kids/pets and want an ultrafine lawn with high fescue because it's to be looked at not walked on!!!
22 Apr 2015 17:01
Millepedes are great for your compost, and excellent even in your soil for composting things down to the elements plants can draw on, don't kill them, they don't eat living stuff!!! They eat things that would attract mold etc which could harm healthy plants!!!
Centipedes are great things that eat just about everything, be thankful in this country they don't get to this size
Think of centipedes like rove beetles, they eat slugs, snails, chafer larvae even aphids, they are good guys and should be encouraged.
22 Apr 2015 16:52
loaning tools to neighbours that then come back blunt or worse still mangled and need either new blades or a good hour on the grinder!!! (The problem is you know they haven't the foggiest what they have done, and you are too nice to say and make them feel bad!)
lending tools from neighbours and they always bloody break!!! I borrowed a couple of years back one of those spear and jackson root-weed pullers from a neighbour, low and behold I had broke it in 10mins lol!!! Ended up buying one to replace it, and kept the semi-broken one!!!
Too many things to add, such as.. putting seedlings on senile cats favourite windowsill/ greenhouse spot, remembering to open windows/greenhouse on sunny day, forgetting to move plants, finding a) smug senile cat laying on the seedlings or b) finding whole seed trays on the floor, then shouting at senile cat in the vague hope even though he's stone-deaf that something will get through!!!!
22 Apr 2015 16:10
They are great but can be little fussy regards to planting area. The white ones (typically what everyone knows as Arum lilies) are lots more hardy than the coloured ones (which most folk know as cala) The coloured ones best grown in a good sized pot that can be taken indoors or frost free greenhouse/shed in the colder months.. Now most sites I have seen say these plants like dappled to full shade and a semi moist/bog planting site.. Personally I have found that in pots, they need good drainage and water everyday, otherwise you find they either aren't happy because too dry, or rot off!!!
My wife adores these, and every year another 12 inch pot joins the collection to be shifted in and out of the conservatory!!! I'm always careful to keep them out of full sun in the summer, first couple of years I lost my plants even though properly watered, I'm thinking they didn't like the full sun. Anyways good luck, aside from these requirements, they are VERY easy to grow and care for, and give a great display year on year, getting better and better.
22 Apr 2015 13:44
Hi folks.. I've been reading back last couple of weeks as I've been away, wasn't aware of Dove's loss when I started posting again, my humble apologies Dove, and God rest in peace (with a sausage roll). I had to say on reading about your kids being excited about gardening,, and what it meant to you.. it drew a tear to my eye, just as it did to my father and mother's when they saw me take up the battle against pests and trouble, to TRY to grow something be it veg or flowers and be as proud as you can.. It really is like a calling to arms, and I personally can't wait to see my two daughters declare war like we have, it's almost tribal!!! My two daughters are constantly on at me to be out planting or weeding.. honestly, who needs a work diary? Anyways, I think too little is taught about the benefits of growing things you can eat and how it works within the grand scheme of nature.. Most kids in cities think carrots grow in supermarkets..
Case in point, a friend of my eldest daughter at age 6 said to me, what are you doing? When I said growing tomatoes etc, she said 'but you get them from when mummy goes shopping' . I will say though, she really enjoyed the sungold I served her and also the lettuce and spinach and beetroot shoots for her dinner. My kids already know the difference between homegrown and supermarket, it takes not huge effort, even in cities. I'm going to do a talk and give away all my 'extra' seedlings at my youngest daughter's play group..
Anyways waffling away, enjoy this weather while it lasts, it's brought all them seeds on a treat, it's just finding the space now!!!
22 Apr 2015 12:59
lol @ the eating problems.. it's ALWAYS been a major turn off for me.. (how can a guy put that much in his mouth in one go) ? Serious it's almost like an extreme porn challenge.. seriously, when have you EVER gone to a restaurant and put half the plate in your chops?
Anyways you change-directioners.. now my tree lilies are about 5 inch, (and growing straight at the fence!!! WHY???? WHY????) The dreadful lily beetle has raised it's head, squished two who where trying to procreate, my eldest daughter asked 'why are they on top of each other? The terse reply was 'to make daddies life even more of a misery :P '
09 Apr 2015 05:33
scrub down with a wire brush, kids especially good for this with promise of haribos! Then go over with wire brush removing all of it.. then paint with a decent paint.. by decent read expensive.. you do get what you pay for, so 40 quid a tin is about par for the course..decent stuff equals no worries for 2-3 years, rubbish (20 odd quid) means trouble next year.. just what I found!!!
09 Apr 2015 05:28
oh no!!! gah was hoping I not need to worry, but my tree lilies are about 3 inches above the soil. I shall be vigilant!!!
09 Apr 2015 05:13
personally have 9 inch beds. but on building dug down a further 10 inches.. at the bottom, (i have clay soil) forked the lot over and mixed in loads of organic stuff, then put the soil for the bed on top..
09 Apr 2015 05:10
If they are in a damp area. they are NOT going to be ladybird eggs or anything else for that matter, most likely some form of mollusc, typically slug or snail, if they look black, you've caught them just in time, they are hours away from hatching.. gleefully sweep them away and cackle as another generation fail to wolf your Hostas!!! Sorry was that too dramatic?
09 Apr 2015 05:02
Blue Onion has the idea, if you build up the area, protect the fencing! It WILL die a rotten death otherwise!!! If you don't wish to build up near the fence, then a slope is the way, depending on sunlight, you could put a border in, be thankful I can place primulas in about 12 ft of my place which is less than 1% of my area.. and that's only due to a windbreak I put up myself!!! Envision what you would like, read the ground conditions and light, choose your plants accordingly, if they die or are unhappy revise.. It's all a balancing job, it's part of the fun! (Allegedly!)
09 Apr 2015 04:55
a rake (spring-tine) or, if you have a cartridge system on your mower like mine, a lovely cartridge that get's rid of the moss and sticks it into the front collector. Afterwards simply sow seed then a barrow full of 2/3 sharp sand to top-soil mix on top will suffice.. If no motorised action, read spring-tine rake, (and be careful, it's hard hard work, heartattack material) Do a little each day til it's done, then as above!!!
09 Apr 2015 00:26
oh btw, as it wasn't clear, I DID shift them into frost free about november, the tubers on the top prob got chilled hence the rot, but hopefully the rest were fine.. It's a lesson I shall learn..:P
09 Apr 2015 00:19
yeah I'd say long meadow too, I'd say 98% of the audience don't have 5 or 10acres, so when you are splitting perennials or daffs or whatever, highly unlikely you have a convenient spot on the sprawling estate of a handkerchief.. Mind, we should all be taken to task, especially in cities, where it is all too easy to live amongst people and not even know their name.. If you have extra, take the opportunity to share some enjoyment, matters not colour creed or religion, everyone loves flowers/plants.. Share some of your love.. (And don't grow weed.. that's a big no no!)
09 Apr 2015 00:10
I agree, our planet never ceases to amaze from one year to the next.. Currently I have one cheeky magpie who comes and shouts at me til I give him peanuts! No fear at all.. and when my elderly cats come on the garden, he just shouts at them, doesn't fly at all lol!!! I really enjoy this time of year, such hope and such beauty, hope everyone else enjoys it too.
09 Apr 2015 00:06
Hey paul, a few years back T+M offered a tree peony at a couple of quid after I had bought 50 quid or something.. so I obliged.. on receiving the order I found I actually had two what with the roots all wrapped around.. I planted, 3 years later both thriving, and now near 16 inches across and 5-7 buds, and the flowers are fantastic, they don't blow away like normal peonies, much tougher, next year should be double figures!!! I found excellent stuff in poundland the other day, can't wait for the result tbh.. once I've beefed them up with a good year of food, (considering removing flowering buds this year,) next year will be easily 15-20 quid in b+Q lol..
08 Apr 2015 23:39
lol @ people moaning about oaks.. if I had one, above about 2 feet!!! I'd be downright outraged.. These days with everyone wanting to be so 'clean' with their gardens, we have to save all the 'big' ecosystems we can.. Much as I hate it, queen wasps are 'saved' from the greenhouse, ie, 3 litre bottle of pop bottle with no bottom (excellent cloche btw) and a random seed packet to hold the end while removing to the door. Wasps are a pain in autumn no doubt, but for most of summer them little girls do an excellent job on caterpillars and even aphids, I've seen them gathering a load up in their jaws and forelegs and flying off.. I'm still planning a pond, got to 'float' it past the missus though!! Loads of frogs and newts here, find them all the time in the garden so hopefully will have a quick transition to fully functional.. Only worry I have is it will be full south facing sun throughout summer It will however be about 14ft by 6 ft, and probably 3-4ft deep.. going to be uber!!!
08 Apr 2015 22:31
patience.. patience.. and more.. I have some lovely giant dahlias, grown in pots in a nice free draining sandy compost I mixed.. I let them dry totally out in september, and then have just started watering 2 weeks back.. There was nothing for ages, several of the tubers on surface were rotten, squidged under my finger.. now today I see shoots.. patience is a virtue!!! The guys I'm talking about make flowers near 10" across, this year I'm making cuttings!!!