Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

gardeners world

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 19:19

Hi Scott - I think you've made some good points in your earlier post, but I think it's quite a task to decide just how "basic" any advice needs to be.  For example, if you compare a programme about gardening with one about cookery, I don't think people would expect to be told (in a cookery programme) what a hen's egg looks like or which is a chicken wing or a leg!

I think almost all of us would like to see a longer programme - or even more than one per week.  It would be simple to have one about growing vegetables, for example, and another about flowering plants and shrubs.  Both quite different, but with lots of things in common as regards soil type/preparation/equipment etc.  I guess that unless and until one of the commercial channels decides to make gardening programmes - and thus attract advertising from the various sorts of  suppliers and so on - it's rather unlikely.

Infant school garden

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 13:02

I think the above posters have given you some very good ideas!   Children often don't know/can't recognise some plants/weeds, and a wildlife-friendly garden might be one way of teaching them about what are common weeds - and that nettles sting! 

You might also be able to grow something edible which wouldn't take up a lot of space - such as runner beans, for example - so that they can begin to learn what some of our vegetables look like.  Growing peas, too, might be good - the children could then pop the pods and try some raw!

Hedging advice pls

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 10:46

How about eleagnus?  There's a variegated one - lots of good strong yellow on the leaves which looks good throughout the year and a brightness in the winter months too.  It's OK to prune it to shape, if you should need to, but I don't think there's anything which will give you a "quick-fix" as any shrubs you plant will take some time to fill big gaps.

Hornbeam Hedge

Posted: 20/03/2014 at 14:30

I've got two "weapons" (whippets) which do catch the odd rabbit or two, but the dogs aren't outside in the garden 24 hours a day - whereas the rabbits are ...................

The first one I've seen this year - 2014

Posted: 20/03/2014 at 14:26

anyone mentioned wild violets yet?    Saw the first of them here in the wood yesterday, and the buds on the horse-chestnut trees just starting to open.

Polluted ground

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 18:02

Hello again - sounds as though you've had to do what was needed here about 20 years ago, ref a better soakaway.  The last time I had the system emptied & cleaned - a couple of months ago now - the chap said  "it's a good system, this one!  They don't make them like this nowadays".

This for Artjak - The lids of the two adjoining tanks in the system here are at ground level, and the brick chambers are approx  4' x 4' x 4'.  What happens is that the waste goes through the drains into the first tank, the heavy/semi-solid stuff settles in the bottom part of the first chamber and when the level reaches a certain height the (mostly) water at the top drains into the second chamber.  This settles too, and eventually the (by then much cleaner/clearer) liquid passes into the run-off pipe when the level in the second tank reaches a certain height. In other words, the tanks don't simply fill up, thus needing to be emptied.  It can - and does - sometimes take years, depending on the construction and sizes.

 It sounds to me as though there may well be some sort of blockage in the OP's neighbour's system - tree roots are sometimes the cause.  The fact that the OP mentions a willow tree raises the issue - willows are notorious for having a large and vigorous root-spread.



Polluted ground

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 17:02

Hi Nut - there are several sorts of systems these days - far far removed from the sort which until very recently were the "norm".  I think there's one type where the tank is part-buried in the ground and made from some sort of water-permeable material.  The contents are supposed to be "semi-digested" in such a way that just pure water seeps out - or so they say!  I'm not sure I'd be all that confident about it though because you need really well-drained land to start with, I reckon, for that to work properly. They seem to use this sort of system for barn conversions hereabouts - where the farm buildings are converted into several dwellings and all share the same drainage system.

My septic tank system is now about 50+ years old - twin brick-built chambers with the eventual run-off going through a plastic perforated pipe which is buried in a trench about 4ft below ground along the hedgerow in the field below. This pipe was placed on a gravel bed in the bottom of the trench,  and then covered with quite a bit of gravel before being back-filled with the earth which was dug out in the first place.  It's obviously a larger capacity than the house really needs - I've only had to have it emptied three times in the last 23 years.  It's quite useful really, in that it really saves quite a bit of money - water rates are far lower if you don't have access to mains drains and if (like me) you have a water meter as well.

p.s. I think Dove's talking about a cess-pit, rather than a septic tank system. These days I think one would say "tanks OK - pits definitely not"!


Polluted ground

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:38

I think Dave's right in that you should get the local council involved, especially as they are already aware of a problem with your neighbour's drainage system.  Any remedial work should not be at your expense!

I know that this sort of waste was dug into the soil in times gone by - it's still spread sometimes in some circumstances by those firms which deal with septic tank emptying.  If you have a septic tank system, when you have to get it emptied you need to get a certificate from the firm involved, who presumably have some sort of licence and have to comply with various regulations ref disposal.  If the firm which empties the tank doesn't issue certificates, get someone with the proper licensing/certification to deal with it instead.

One of the problems is that these days septic tanks won't just contain what you might call "normal" human waste - there'll be some additional chemicals too - just think of all the bleach and lavatory cleaners people use.  Lots of people who've always had a mains drainage system don't sometimes understand - when they move to the country and don't have access to mains drains - that you have to be a bit careful as to what you flush!


Posted: 17/03/2014 at 16:16

Without seeing a picture it's a bit difficult to tell!  Sorry!  However, if it's been there for quite a while, the chances are that the roots are well-established so don't give up yet. 

I have two wisterias along the front of my house - very long established - and last year I had to prune some of the branches very severely, to the point where there was just nothing left on parts of them.   The main parts (just above ground) are really big - about ten or eleven inches in circumference, so their overall size - and what was left untouched -  may well have contributed to the fact that where I'd cut stuff off did produce more shoots as the summer progressed. 

One way to establish whether there's still hope might be to take a sharp knife and slice/scrape a bit through a bit of the bark of what you have left.  You'd probably be able to see then whether it looks "white-ish" or definitely dead.  It won't look particularly green beneath the surface, but I think if it's definitely dead you'd probably be able to tell.


Posted: 16/03/2014 at 10:10

I've found that they don't need the height of the sort of wigwam I make for runner beans, so have used some left-over plastic-coated metal mesh/netting instead. 

It's about a yard or so high - and was what I had left over when I got some to fix to my driveway gate.  This was to stop the dogs getting out - and I wondered what to do with what was left over.  I made  it into a tube shape, pushed it (vertical) as far into the ground as I could & then used two or three lengths of bamboo (woven  through it & then down into the soil) to act as reinforcing "struts".  It worked very well ref peas - I could easily reach them both inside and outside the "tube", which is something you can't easily do with a wigwam shape.

Discussions started by hypercharleyfarley

ID please!

looks like a cross between grass and foxglove 
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