Latest posts by BrummieBen

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Sharpening tools...

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 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


Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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)

Laying turf over old turf?

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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!!!

Centipede V Millioede

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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!!!!


Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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.


Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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!!!

Room 101

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 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 '

Any advice needed!

Posted: 09/04/2015 at 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!!!

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 09/04/2015 at 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!!!

1 to 10 of 460

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

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water those poor souls!

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anyone else think this 'extended' winter, means a good summer

as above 
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So lyon, change your name back to Gary, wondering why?

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Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
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This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

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Your Favourite Tools

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Needing old mouse or vole nests

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While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Most famous moment with your plants?

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1 to 15 of 22 threads