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Latest posts by CurlyCarly

Speakers for the club

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 20:48

Thanks Nutcutlet, you've given me some good pointers there.


Ants in the lawn

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 20:43

I sorted out my red ants this week. Digging with my spade at arms length - so that they didn't invade my private spaces - I dug out the nest, put it in one of those big bucket things and chucked them all in the canal (I'm lucky to have one at the bottom of my garden)... and so the circle of life continues. There were lots of fish ripples around for some time. If you don't have a canal handy a bucket of water might do the trick!

solar powered water feature

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 23:59

I used to design and make decorative fountains and have a bubble fountain operating on a solar panel that has been in the garden for nearly nine years without problems. I used to hear all sorts of complaints about SP pumps breaking down but these always turned out to be cheap Far Eastern imports.

Solar pumps are great if you choose the right one. The variation in flow as a result of changing light levels is fascinating but can cause problems if they are used in the wrong water feature eg a spouting mask may become a dribbling one when the sun goes behind a cloud. The water may well then just drp down the wall and empty the catch bowl. The opposite can also happen and strong light can cause a spouting fountain  to spout too fiercely and ditto - an empty container.

If you do go for solar choose carefully, get expert advice and be prepared to buy the best. My old one is an Oase one and it has been brilliant.

Ants in the lawn

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 23:44

Thanks everyone for such a variety of responses to this problem.

I don't think anyone has mentioned the pain that can be inflicted by red ants. I was happily weeding a flower border last week when I felt a sharp pain, like a thorn under my tshirt. It was a red ant. Unknown to me I had another lurking that went on to sting elsewhere. These lumps lasted almost a week and were intensely itchy. Maybe I'm over sensitive but they were no joke. I'd hate our young grandchildren to be attacked.

I have put out bait stations but can't see where the nest is - under a big plant I guess. Does anyone know if nematodes work if you can't water them directly onto the nest?

Speakers for the club

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 22:53

Hi Everyone,

I live in the West Midlands and have recently taken on the role of finding speakers for our local gardening club. We are around the South Staffs, West Midlands, N Worcestershire borders. Can anyone out there recommend speakers from this area? (No personal details, just the name and subject should do it).



Talkback: Mouse in the compost bin

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 17:29

Please everyone learn from my experience!

I've read all the above with great interest. I wish I'd known about the baited plastic bag down the rat hole last year when I observed, through my kitchen window, a youngish rat climbing the bird-feeder pole and getting into the squirrel proof peanut feeder. It was shortly followed by a bigger rat that, after pondering the problem for a few moments - don't underestimate the intelligence of rats - managed to squeeze itself into the nut feeder and also had a binge. I poured rat poison down the rat hole I found and (touch wood) no rats since but sadly no birds as I had to stop putting out the food.

On the subject of mice. In my heart, I loved the cute little brown wood mice (Yellow Necked just like the one in the Gruffalo) that came into our house the winter of 2012. We had them in the cupboard under the bath. Humane mouse traps came out and we caught about ten, one each night. Eventually we thought the same mice were returning, so reluctantly bought some death traps. By the time we counted 30 dead ones we decided on poison which seemed to do the trick - no dead bodies around and nothing taking the baited traps. Over the summer we had our house wiring checked. It cost us three and a half grand for a full rewire due to mouse damage. We've learned our lesson and signed up for a contract with the local council pest control officer.  So reader......beware!

Tomato plants wanted

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 21:01

I'd just say keep a close eye on them.... thus speaks the voice of experience. I had my Marmande and Gardeners Delight seedlings just shyly popping up, missed spraying them for ONE DAY and they all flopped.

I sowed them in seed compost. I noticed on Joe Swifts video just now that he sows them in ordinary peat free compost, what do others do? Is the seed compost not rich enough to keep them going?

Help please, my vision of my new greenhouse brimming over with tomatoes this summer is fast receeding


Today I feel so happy....

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 21:31

Marion, you're a real inspiration. Isn't it amazing how after a day spent in the garden all memories of the horrid, cold weather disappear. Keep it up everyone, Aslan is on the move

Sweet Pea

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 13:21

Hi David,

What has happened to your forum topic on Sweet Peas? I haven't been online for a while and all my followed threads have disappeared including your very informative one.

The sweet peas I sowed in January are looking a bit thin and have only one or max two stems on them even though I've nipped them out. Is this to be expected David?

I'm hoping to have sweet peas for the tables at my daughters wedding in August and the weather has been so cold I haven't been able to sow any seed direct as you suggested. Am I too late?

The freebies I ordered through the gardeners world offer arrived the other day and are fairly leafy but were growing in about 1"square plugs which seemed contra to all sweet pea growing advice that suggests a long root run. I've potted most of them up now and put them in the greenhouse. Just off to the garden centre to buy some more potting compost to do the rest.

Still Spring looks as though it's finally sprung so all in the garden could soon be rosy!!!



Bee spotting

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 13:08

Hi there,

I was thrilled to see the pulmonarias in the garden alive with honey bees yesterday. It was beautifully sunny and we are very sheltered from the north and easterly winds which gives us a good microclimate here in West Midlands. There were also a few bumble bees around but not sure what type. It really felt as though Spring is in the air - at last

I'll have a go at taking pics next time to compare with those great photos from Cheerypeabrain above.



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