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Latest posts by BrummieBen

Pesky ants

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:48

just water every day, provided you have adequate drainage they will soon move on, better still blast the aphids off with a sprayer, can be got for 2 quid or less, no chemicals and takes a few mins a day.

update...greenhouse on breezeblocks..attaching base???

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:45
skyrunner wrote (see)

Hi. Just one last thing to mention, before the erecting and placement, but fear it may just be a tad late. Have you sufficient room around the outside to place one, two, three or more water butts all connected in series, so when it surely rains, you have free water from each side of your greenhouse, filling up your butts. You can never have too many. I actually have space for 9x40+ gallons each, some hold much more than 40. I guarantee you may regret later on if you can't put some around for this free water supply.

  Just another spanner in the proverbial works. Sorry!!!



not really, they look great along the side of the ramp!

Ants in compost bin

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:41

I always hope ants use my daleks as nest sites or better still nurseries for the flying ant brigade, yes flying ants are a pain for a day or two a year, but the compost from them is amazing.. They make so much air go through the heap, get all sorts of fantastic bacteria and it breaks the heap down so much quicker, these guys should be encouraged. I make a point of never shifting the heap when they are busy with the swarm, every year they come back and I am rewarded with fantastic compost, super crumbley and better than anything you can buy.. Yes ants are bad in the house, but I would encourage them to the compost heap everytime, they provide air, and everyone knows that a well turned compost heap breaks down quicker, this is due to the air you are introducing. So if you have thousands of tiny tunnels through your heap, probably a lot more air introduced than using a fork, oh, and a lot less effort!

help: bindweed is coming over from neighbour!

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:31

Easy one for you tbh, buy some good quality anti weed ground covering. Prob best to buy online, get a 50 metre roll for around 60 quid with a good thickness. Go next door and tramp the whole area jump up and down as much as possible break as much as you can. Next spray with bush killer, leave dry a few days, obviously do this when no rain for a couple of days. Then whack the anti-weed membrane down and hold it down with bricks etc anything in the garden, particular attention to the edges. If you can talk to the landlord, he may well pay for all this then a nice gravel to go on top. Get the tennants to help spread it, maybe landlord can knock a few quid of that months rent. He'll be happy that back garden is sorted so can charge more and little to no maintenance, and you'll be happy because you aren't fighting a losing battle. It's a hard course to take, but if you own your property, the only one that will give you peace of mind.

pruning Dianthus

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:08

I always thought they were basically annuals, flowered themselves to death, you can take cuttings (pipings) I suppose a little like geraniums (as in an overwintered plant isn't as spritely as a new cutting.)

Peonie help and cat issues

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 23:05

oi fred, I have two cats, and my cats love to use my garden!!! Also I have extended the curtesy to my neighbours that I will do a sweep every couple of weeks to remove offending articles.. To be honest though, I think they enjoy winding me up, seeing me sifting the soil adding compost and manure, I swear they do it on purpose! What annoys me the most is the fox poo, it stinks a hundred times worse and also the burying of bones! Cats are cats, they poo on turned soil, c'est la vie. Mind if we had a poll on cat poo in the borders or big fat rats, which do you think would win?

When will my asiatic/oriental lilly come through

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 22:57

I have tree lillies, but I have a really bad clay soil, and in particular where I wanted to plant was where all the water went! (The tree lillies were in pots for their first year) They are up against a retaining wall, like 6 ft high otherside is pavement, and at the bottom of my sloping garden. So what to do, bulbs rot in water, so here's what I did. I dug down maybe 2 to 3 foot. I then whacked in lots of manure, then a load of compost with soil on top, finally after I excavated the planting hole, I took an extra 3 inch off the bottom and filled with coarse gravel to the planting depth. I then popped the bulbs on top and covered as usual. This was last october, we have had plenty of rain and snow, yet all 12 of them are about a foot high so far. There is hope, you just need to be clever. They are actually roaring away this year, so I hope to get some great photos on here when they flower. Good luck, but remember, you can't control the weather, BUT you CAN control the soil!

Preparing to lay a lawn

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 23:45

Personally I'd dig in sharp sand, or horticultural sand. Aim for a 50/50 mix with the soil. You could add a little compost like 10% of the total, but you may have problems with worm castings. Most common problem with lawns is moss. Main cause is lack of drainage and shade. If you give the turf excellent drainage at it's roots, your lawn will be fairly easy to maintain and look wonderful. Ensure you take all the bigger stones out (anything 2-3" or bigger), this sounds like effort but trust me, if you do this, when it comes to aerating the lawn, (stabbing with a fork) no stones = an easy life. Good luck.

PS: you will need to give some attention every year for it to look great, however if you get the soil it has it's roots in sorted, it becomes a very easy job.

Re-planted Sunflowers - Leaves wilting, generally not as expected

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 23:30

aye, sowed mine last week, 99% germination, most are now ready for moving on to the 4 inch polypots to be flogged to unsuspecting parents at my daughters primary school. I have 2 weeks left, fully confident they'll be filling them pots by then and nearing 8 inches in height.

Advice Needed!

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 22:52

Personally I use raised beds as they are easier to tend, you can keep conditions in the medium more easily, you can stop pests and weeds invading more easily, and the most important of all, they heat up lots quicker, something deep dug beds miss out on. Oh, and also it means you can add a cloche, or stakes for making a very strong pea/bean support. I personally use scaffold boards. I find that by digging down another 4/5 inches, then adding organic matter and the sifted soil, I can grow roots (parsnips, carrots) no problem. My soil is heavy clay with about a third of the soil being pebbles, so it just doesn't drain. My solution was to use raised beds and dig down a bit inside. Touchwood, very happy with the results. Yes a lot of effort to create, but prob will last 5 or 6 years. If you line the inside of the walls of the bed with polyethene maybe last a bit longer.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

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clematis - The President

Prune or not?? 
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The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

It's back, trying biological control this time. 
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bulbs, daffs, tulips, hyacinths, alliums

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Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Going to try the theory of 2 cuts a week

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Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 19:53

water those poor souls!

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Last Post: 20/04/2013 at 09:35

Back after a long slog

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Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

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

as above 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

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

well not really 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 09:28

Fine Green beans in the shops

What are they? 
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Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

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Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

The ones you use most! 
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Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 14:56

Needing old mouse or vole nests

Bumble Bee nestbox project 
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Last Post: 11/03/2013 at 19:48

While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Last Post: 08/03/2013 at 19:47

Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
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Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads