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Latest posts by Dovefromabove


Posted: 05/10/2014 at 11:53

Happy to be corrected Dave - however when with Soc. Services were were told to contact the police in the first instance - if they needed support from RSPCA (to remove animals etc) they would seek it, but we were very clearly told that they had no investigatory powers. 

On reflection, the cases we would have been reporting would have usually been regarding animals within someone's home, so that may been the reason for the difference in approach.


Any idea what this is?

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 11:46

It won't let me zoom in on it - does it have bulbs, corms or rhizomes?


Posted: 05/10/2014 at 10:43

The RSPCA has no more legal power than you or I have.  Any prosecutions it conducts have to be done as Private Prosecutions and these take time.  If an animal is being cruelly treated they will have to report this to the police, so to save time, cut out the middle man and go to the police yourself.

But in the first instance I would speak to the people in charge of the allotments - they will have rules and procedures about such things.  The probability of neglect (even if unintended) is one of the reasons many allotments do not allow livestock.

Allotment advice

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 09:43

I don't like covering soil with plastic/carpets or whatever - I think it makes it airless and stagnant and discourages bio-diversity needed for good fertility and soil structure.

 I'd rough dig it now, removing all weed roots etc, and then leave it rough for the winter frosts to break down the clods.

In the meantime get some farmyard manure and stack and cover it in a corner of the plot, and then in February, or as soon afterwards that it's possible to walk on the soil without it all sticking to your boots, then spread the manure and turn it in.  When it's time for spring sowing and planting that should have produced a good friable tilth that you can rake down into a seedbed.

Don't forget to leave an area without manure for growing your root crops (carrots, parsnips etc) as they will fork if grown on freshly manured land.

Good luck with your allotment adventure. Let us know how you get on

Sooty mould

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 09:37

The sooty mould is caused by mould forming on a sugary secretion from aphid.  You can wipe this off with tepid water (using cotton wool, kitchen roll etc).

You'll need to tackle the aphids or it will come back.   I just wipe them off with my finger and thumb - but you need to keep on top of the little critters!

Small retaining wall - ideas welcome

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 09:29

We have used sleepers (a double layer on their sides) to retain a garden bank.  They are laid in a staggered fashion so that joints don't coincide - and they are drilled through with steel reinforcing rods inserted and going into the soil beneath for a couple of feet or so.  They are rock solid.

Low nitrogen lawn fertilizer

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 09:16

Scotts Lawn Builder Autumn Lawn Feed has a good reputation

ID caterpillar please

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 07:59

I agree - sawfly larvae - they're having a go at my Rosa Bonica too


Posted: 05/10/2014 at 07:57

Hiya KEF - welcome back   Hope you had a lovely holiday and that your garden hasn't missed you too much!

Baby hedgehog

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 07:56

Some farmers breed lambs at this time of year to produce lamb to eat very early in the spring when the prices are at their highest. 

Some breeds of sheep are better than this than others - there is a breed called the Ile de France which is well-known for being able to produce 3 crops of lambs in 2 years.

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