Latest posts by ChapelGirl2

1 to 10 of 78

Slimy Fungus on gravel

Posted: 01/06/2016 at 17:18

I have a lot of this nostoc on my gravel drive at the moment.  I have used Roundup on it in the past, but not for at least 18 months. 

I've been doing a bit of Googling and some sites suggest using a herbicide based on pelargonic acid (also known as nonanonic acid).  These apparent work by stripping plants of their waxy coating and thus causing them to dry out.  It's this drying desiccating action that is supposed to work on the nostoc too.  Nostoc is described as "technically a bacterium that derives its energy from photosynthesis".

I don't live in the UK so I shall have to ask around to find out if I can get this stuff here, and if so, I'll give it a go.  It seems to be one of the newer generation of products which is supposed to be less harmful to man and the environment, and it's made from geraniums or oilseed rape. 

If anyone else has any joy with any of the other methods suggested above, I'm sure we'll all be very grateful to know.

Hose-end fertiliser feeder

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 19:44

I have a Miracle-Gro feeder bottle for my hose, but the spray plate has broken off the front due to wear & tear & water pressure.  I have tried repairing it with glue but it didn't hold.

I originally had the dry plant food but I have been using it with liquid feed and it did seem to work, provided you turned it so the bottle was sitting on the top, not underneath.

I've read a couple of online reviews about hose attachments and people seemed to rate one from Gilmour but this seems to have been discontinued.  A very expensive one by Hudson seems to get the universal 'thumbs down'.

Any recommendations?  Thanks.



Welly boots

Posted: 05/12/2013 at 11:42

kay3 - I assume that once your rubber handles had cooled down they didn't slip off again or they wouldn't have been much good as handle grips. Therefore, if you have to warm your wellies in hot water to get them on, you might have a tiny bit of trouble getting them off again. 

To landscape fabric, or not to landscape fabric?

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 22:16

Thanks for your comments. I think I would rather spend time getting the plot as clear as I can now rather than trying to tackle it once the plot is planted up. 

Adding wood ash to compost?

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 19:56

We have a Jotul wood burner with an ash tray which needs emptying daily when it's going full blast in the winter. It puts out about 6kW when fully cranked! We put our ash in a metal bucket until it has gone cold, then it goes into the compost bin. I've found that as long as it's mixed around or added in small layers it's fine. If there's too much in one spot it goes claggy and greasy-looking.  I've used the finished compost on the garden for the last 3 yrs and so far, all is well.

To landscape fabric, or not to landscape fabric?

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 19:44

I have a fairly large area of sloping beds around the house, which have just been  flattened by a digger, to remove rubbish and badly overgrown vegetation.

The ground is full of bindweed, mare's tail and ground elder roots. The top growth has gone now so it looks tidy, but I know they will return with a vengeance in the spring.

Digger-man suggested we should cover the area with landscaping fabric, but I am wary. Before it was flattened I removed the old landscaping fabric, which was heavy-duty and basically still sound, but which was protecting all the roots of the weeds underneath it, so that I could not get them out from around the plants. The weeds themselves were simply growing out through the planting holes in the fabric, and through any overlaps.

I am intending to replant with hardy bush roses, russian sage, cotton lavender and other ground-cover plants, and will apply a thick layer of bark mulch around the plants.

Can I have your opinions please on whether, in your experience, I should use landscape fabric, or not?



Posted: 10/08/2013 at 15:32

I grew some flat beans this year but they were rather tough-skinned and tasteless, even when picked small.

I sowed a few Blue Lake seeds as well (indoors in pots), but none of them germinated!

What's your favourite variety of French or flat bean and which has the best flavour? 


preserving heritage tomatoes

Posted: 15/06/2013 at 09:11

Thanks, Italophile, for that long and helpful explanation. I had assumed that a plant would not set fruit unless it had been pollinated by insects, but I suppose since both the anthers and the stamens are in the same flower they can self-pollinate.

Identifying beneficial insect larvae

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 19:41

Thanks SwissSue and figrat. I wouldn't have known what a ladybird egg looked like before.

figrat, how do you know the difference between cabbage white eggs and the eggs of the predator of a cabbage white? Presumably they also lay them on or near the host plant, so as to be closest to their prey?

If I find a large grub in my compost bin, is it a friend or a foe?

I'm not expecting any instant answers on here, by the way, I'm just trying to stimulate a discussion which might help me and others of a similar mind.


Identifying beneficial insect larvae

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 19:19

Hmm.. well there are quite a lot of 'field guides' out there, aimed at the amateur entomologist, and quite a few seem to be published by Collins. They look like field guides for ramblers etc. Perhaps what I am seeking doesn't actually exist, but ideally I'm looking for one aimed specifically at the gardener.

I'd be more interested in a description which says 'their larvae eat cabbages and here is what they look like, but here's a similar-looking one which only eats dandelions' than one which is full of full-colour plates of photos or Victorian illustrations of pretty butterfiles and moths.

In the 'olden days' you would have had a parent or grandparent to teach you such garden lore, but these days you either have to learn it off the telly or in books. I'd rather do that, though, than blitz everything with some noxious spray bought down the 24/7 Garden Centre.

1 to 10 of 78

Discussions started by ChapelGirl2

Hose-end fertiliser feeder

what's the best hose attachment for fertliser? 
Replies: 1    Views: 1535
Last Post: 14/08/2015 at 13:42

To landscape fabric, or not to landscape fabric?

weapons in the war on weeds 
Replies: 6    Views: 3151
Last Post: 18/09/2013 at 22:16


suggestions for next year's bean sowing 
Replies: 5    Views: 1538
Last Post: 12/08/2013 at 06:28

Identifying beneficial insect larvae

How do we know what the 'good guys' look like? 
Replies: 9    Views: 2161
Last Post: 14/06/2013 at 19:41

preserving heritage tomatoes

keepin' it real 
Replies: 6    Views: 1486
Last Post: 15/06/2013 at 11:21

drunken Blue Atlas Cedar

can it be salvaged or should we start again? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2987
Last Post: 17/08/2012 at 12:56

I-Spy Carol Klein

Potting up French runners 
Replies: 2    Views: 1328
Last Post: 09/08/2012 at 22:27

Roses on my driveway

Thoughts for a low-maintenance sloping drive 
Replies: 4    Views: 1376
Last Post: 09/08/2012 at 22:05

Something is eating my lavender

pests of lavender 
Replies: 9    Views: 8181
Last Post: 30/07/2012 at 15:35
9 threads returned