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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November


Posted: 16/06/2013 at 19:16

Just get another watering can, pee in that and when it's full or in the evening take it out and sprinkle the perimeter.

Cuttings from Wisteria?

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:50

£9.99? Wow. Homebase had a "new" purple-flowered one called Amethyst Falls for sale recently at £29.99. That's quite a difference.


Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:44

Having the same thing here with a 25' ash tree. Feeding them will only encourage them. Personal recommendations:

... or ...

... in .177 with ...

... and ...

... or ...

... and plenty of practice. Ambidextrous design is an advantage if you don't know whether you're a right- or left-handed shooter or if you may find yourself havign to shoot around the "wrong" side of a barn to get a particular rabbit. The pre-charged are probably better in that you don't have to move much to prepare a second shot, but they do require you to purchase, store and occasionally pay for refills and servicing of an air bottle. The underlever is a bit simpler. Look for something that shoots at 11.5 or 11.9 foot-pounds, 12 being the legal energy limit on an unlicensed air rifle (after that (16.27J and up) it's a class 1 firearm, the same as the 5.56x45mm L98A1 (1.77kJ), with the same legal requirements). As the limit is on energy, the lighter .177 pellets have 41% more muzzle energy than the heavier .22, so you'll get a flatter trajectory and more reach with the .177. I'd suggest zeroing it at 25m and learning the aim offsets for 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m and 35m.

Bear in mind that these things will punch holes through fence rails at short range and through rabbits at 50m, so you do need to be careful with them. Rules can be found here:

Also, as a molecular biologist, I advise you to dispose of dead pigeons the way you would dispose of dog dirt, only using a larger bag.

privet hedge problem

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:11

Yes it will. I cut the Japanese privet hedge here back from 6 feet thick and 20 feet tall to more of a hedge size and it's come back lush. I did it in two stages, taking the front off up to 6 feet first then taking the tops off the next year once it had put out some greenery on its new face, but even the ones cut down to bare trunks have come back. I've actually had to prune it again this weekend, even though it's summer, to get it off the flower bed. I found an Allium "Star of Persia" completely hidden among the new growth.


Good point on birds' nests. Best to prune in October, when disturbing one won't matter.

Weed or Not? Photo's here

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:09

How the heck is anyone supposed to tell them apart before they flower? DNA testing, maybe?

Slug killer on edibles advice needed

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 23:52

Using my tea bags wouldn't do much to deter them. I drink Morrisons own Green Tea With Mint. I keep finding the bags pulled off the compost heap and scattered around the garden. 

You could try rabbit mesh aka chicken wire. It won't stop them leaving a mess but it'll stop them digging up the patch. Probably not a concern for you, but it has a weakness when used on fences: sheep love to rub against it, and they rub it down to the ground, whereupon the rabbits hop right over it.

Cuttings from Wisteria?

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 23:44

No personal experience with wisteria but ... 


Site 1:

Cuttings of wisteria need to be taken from the softwood. This is wood that is still green and has not developed woody bark. The cutting should be about 3-6 inches long and have at least 2 sets of leaves on the cutting. Wisteria cuttings root best if taken in late spring or early summer. Once you have the cutting, remove any sets of leaves found on the lower half of the wisteria cutting. These will be the main points where new roots will develop. Trim the cutting so that the lowest node (where the leaves you just removed were) are 1/2 -1/4 inch from the bottom of the cutting.


Site 2:

The cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long and you can take them either late in the winter ("hardwood" cuttings) or in early summer, after the flush of new growth has slowed ("semi-hardwood"). Rooting hormone powder speeds the formation of roots. You'll need almost greenhouse-like conditions of bright light and high humidity.


Well, that's nice and contradictory, isn't it?

I think in general it's an early summer job, so you get a growing piece as a cutting and the cutting gets all summer to sort itself out while it's sunny and is a plant ready to be put in the ground in spring.

What they say about plastic bags and greenhouse conditions is what described in the honeysuckle thread:

Use a large plant pot.

Put short canes around the sides of it.

Fill it with moist but not wet compost.

Get a bucket (or vase, mug, coffee jar or watering can) of water.

Cut off a short length of growing stem with a few pairs of leaves, and immediately put the cut end into the water so it doesn't dry out.

If it'll take you a while to get the cutting to the bucket, take a longer cutting and cut off the bottom few inches under the water. Cuttings dry out from the cut end upwards.

Remove the lower leaves from your cutting. I stripped the outer bark off the bottom inch too. It'll try to heal, and how it tries to heal depends on where it finds itself.

You can add hormone rooting powder or other goop at this point, but I didn't bother and it still worked.

Transfer the cutting from the bucket to the centre of the pot of compost.

In some cases, this could be enough. Winter-flowering honeysuckle stem 18" long rammed 12" deep in the soft soil behind the compost heap has become a small shrub. However, the greenhouse thing helps. Your cutting has no root system, but it does have leaves, putting it at risk of drying out. You can't remove all the leaves or it'll have no source of power and CO2, and you can't soak the compost or it'll rot, so you raise the humidity around the exposed part to reduce evaporation.

A clear plastic bag put down over the canes and the pot and taped into place will hold in the moisture, saving your cutting from drying out.

Common advice is to give it a gentle tug to see whether it's rooted, but I knew mine had when I saw them producing new leaves.

If you want to take things a step further in caring for the cutting, you can include a little water dish on top of the compost in the pot to raise the humidity.

You can also, if you're really going for it, stick a drinking straw into the bag and blow warm, moist, CO2-rich air into the bag every day. That might be going too far, but hey, it may help.

sky high plants

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 17:21

We get something like that on the Ure. You know Himalayan balsam? It supposedly grows up to four feet tall. Shyeah, right. Here, with all the fertilizer runoff, it's 8 feet tall. That giant hogweed stuff? 12 feet, they tell me. Yeah. 20, more like. I've got a hydrangea here that supposedly grows fifteen metres tall, and I'm just slightly tempted to see what it can do in that soil.

Evergreen Flowering climber

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 17:15

Someone's pyracantha by the footpath has just come into flower, and Ben's right. It's beautiful! There are little white flowers in huge numbers on every branch, of which there are many because I keep stealth-pruning the thing to keep it out of people's faces. I expect a huge crop of yellow berries later, after which I shall have to prune it again because it's vigorous.

Today I feel so happy....

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 21:25

Today, one of the robins did what he or she has seen one of the coal tits do many times over the last few weeks: fly down to my outstretched hand and perch on a finger to take a mealworm from my palm.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
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Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

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When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
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Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
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Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 535
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 933
Last Post: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2326
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned