Excitable Boy

Latest posts by Excitable Boy

Holes in soil

Posted: 30/11/2012 at 11:36

Yes, I agree - looks like worm holes to me, too small for mice, too regular for birds.

Talkback: Making leaf mould

Posted: 29/11/2012 at 22:03

Like Tivi most of the leaves in our garden are magnolia. Can you make leaf mould from these in a reasonable timeframe? I, too, have been putting ours in the green bin!


Posted: 29/11/2012 at 20:51

I have tried growing sprouts many, many times and have given up as I could never get a decent crop. Loose sprouts are generally due to loose planting as far as I am aware.

Unless you really like sprouts, Alan, I would suggest you stick to Purple Sprouting Broccoli - far easier to grow and a much superior taste!

Buying plants on line

Posted: 29/11/2012 at 20:39

I just can't decide what is best - growing from seed, or buying plugs. I grew quite a lot of flowers from seed this year. The biggest problem being that you get masses of the same flower! I also bought quite a bit from T&M and other online suppliers. In general I found these to be good quality although I have to say that T&M were very late with several deliveries. Almost always delivered on the last day of their window and in the case of some begonias too late and too small to be of any use. I also bought some great value plants from poundland, so it pays to keep a lookout. (I bought some tulip bulbs last week from a local hardware store at £1 for 15. OK a little late but as I haven't got the dahlias out of the bed yet it doesn't matter!)

In general I find the Garden centres vastly overpriced. Best money I spent last year garden wise was on the electrics for a large heated propagator as described on one of the how to articles. Saved me a fortune!

Talkback: Hedgehog spotting

Posted: 29/11/2012 at 20:21


Suecamp wrote (see)
 I have put some water outside and some food that I bought specially from a pet shop as I wasn't sure what they ate apart from slugs and snails.
I'm now hoping that they'll help me next year when they come out of hibernation by eating the slugs and snails on my vegetable garden!


Guys/Girls, Please be aware that Hedgehogs DO NOT eat large numbers of slugs and snails. The majority of a hedgehog's diet comprises insects, beetles, caterpillars, small vertebrates and sometimes eggs. They will eat about 5% slugs and snails but only if VERY hungry. Slugs and snails are a very bad food for hedgehogs as they contain lots of lungworm larvae and fluke larvae both of which are killers.

If you see a hog out in the daytime (ever) or any small hedgehogs at this time of year please pick them up and take them to a hedgehog rescue centre asap. Hedgehogs need to weigh at least 800g to hibernate successfully, so if you see smaller ones now please rescue them immediately. Pop them in a bucket, put a towel on top of them, bring inside to keep them warm and call the centre. If you do find a small one please check around as there will frequently be siblings. Most hedgehogs have hibernated by now. They do wake up to eat and drink but only for very short periods, so most you see out and about now are in trouble.

I have a couple of injured hogs in my walled garden who came from a rescue centre as they are too damaged to survive in the wild. They are truly lovely little animals, (although not terribly bright) and it is very rewarding to see them bumbling around at dusk. The simplest and best food for them is a meat based small cat or kitten biscuit. If you regularly see hogs in your garden it would be kind to keep some out, preferably in a catproof feeder (see websites mentioned above for design), as well as some fresh water for hibernating hedgehogs who have stirred.

Talkback: Growing herbs

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 23:35

I planted some coriander for the first time ever about ten days ago and it is up and looking good, so it must be easy to grow! Nice that the early leaves look like the mature ones too - it's reassuring it's not just another patch of weeds. (Unlike basil which always seems to turn into fat hen in my garden).

The packet I sowed (Mr.Fothergill's) says "Coriander" and then underneath "Cilantro (for leaf)". The pack next to it said it was for seeds, but didn't have Cilantro on the front, (I think),

Has anyone spotted French tarragon plants in any of the supermarkets/garden centres or pound shops? I grew some of the russian stuff but it's pretty tasteless.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 23:19

Given the choice between that arrogant prat Murray and one of those awful grunting women at Wimbledon or Monty Don and Carol Klein I think the majority would go for the latter. How can this be so difficult for the Beeb to grasp?

I feel a strongly worded letter coming on.

Not sure about Tichmarsh's latest effort either. Hopefully it will improve.


Talkback: How to build a raised bed

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 17:21

Pretzel, it's your garden - do what suits you! If you are on a severe slope position your beds with the long side ACROSS the slope - this way you won't have the problem described by Netherfield. As Paul says Pozidrive screws are best for fitting the boards to the posts - you can get good ones which you hammer in to start with and then drill home.

creepy crawlies in the soil on the allotment

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 23:22

@ FloBear: I'm full of useless information - my wife even has a word for it!

@ marshmello: Yes I'd imagine these are they - loads in my garden too, although you don't see many proper centipedes (the larger ones) which is a shame as they are pretty fierce beasties:


Quite easily take down a small horse, lol.

What's this?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 18:36

Really good question! 


I didn't see the program, but my guess is Celosia


Do I get a prize? 

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