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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Mossy lawn

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 20:47

I don't think there's an easy answer for you, unfortunately.  If there's mostly moss on the lawn you're mowing, it's probably there because the grass won't grow well under those particular prevailing conditions.  Is it very shaded?  is it at the bottom of sloping ground?  both of these situations can mean that moss is likely to flourish at the expense of grass - as I know only too well ref my own garden.  Even if you were to re-turf, moss would probably win in the end.

I've given up trying now - but at least that part of the "lawn" is green!

Mole problem.

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 20:39

It's probably only one mole - apparently they are solitary creatures & only get together to mate.  Maybe it's that time of year though..........


However, there are a few things you can do to try to make them go elsewhere.  They don't like noise or (to them) strange smells, so you can try the following:

pour a small amount of strong-smelling stuff down through a small hole you make down through what looks like the biggest molehill, in order to reach the tunnel beneath.  Jeyes Fluid perhaps, or bleach - or drop a mothball or two down there.

get a toy windmill & push the stick down through one of the molehills.  Apparently they don't like the noise/vibration it makes. 

if you can't get a windmill, get a large plastic bottle, cut the bottom off it & then stick the bottle upside down & down through the molehill.  The sound of the wind passing over the top of it makes a noise they don't like.  Old CDs tied loosely to a stick work too - any noise the disc makes as it hits the stick must be the reason, I suppose.

apart from having to rake/spread the soil back over the surface, a problem arises when the tunnels themselves finally subside & this makes a lawn surface uneven.

one good thing, however, is that you probably have good soil - with plenty of worms!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 14/02/2013 at 18:31

much warmer here today - had about 2" of snow yesterday but woke up this morning to find it all gone, thank goodness.  There's more water lying on the roads than I've ever seen - even the main trunk roads, and more potholes than ever too.  Quite a job to avoid both when driving around today.    There's water lying in fields which are normally quite dry, and local rivers flooding too.


Posted: 13/02/2013 at 14:15

they won't re-grow from the "brown" part - but it is possible to "cover it up" so to speak, though I'm not sure if it would work so well with a small pot-grown one.  For example, I had to remove part of a large conifer hedge some years ago, when widening the driveway to my house.  This left the "last" one in the line with a totally brown and bald side.  I got some of those tree ties (which you use to fix a sapling to a post) and used them to tie the branches together across the gap which had been created.  Over a relatively short space of time, the remaining branches grew across the gap and now you'd never guess how it once looked.  Obviously it did take time, but was well worth it.  Maybe give it a try - you've nothing to lose, I guess!

Talkback: Planting to cut winter fuel bills

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 13:05

rendered walls do often seem to have more problems with damp etc than you might expect - depends a bit on whether the render was done as an initial part of the construction or whether it was added at a later stage to unify the apearance of a property where there have been additions/extensions/alterations using different materials.  These can (and do) expand and contract at slightly different rates, depending of course on the weather and aspect.   I believe some rendering is more able to "breathe" than others, but the fact that it's often painted as well can mean that the paint acts as a sort of waterproof layer which - if it has any breaks in it - can lead to rainwater getting behind the render.   Problems arise because the dampness is more or less trapped and can't evaporate easily.

A neighbour of mine - who is a builder - says that many more people than usual have contacted him lately to ask for help in dealing with dampness in walls - even brick walls which he'd usually expect to suffer less.  All due to the prolonged rain we've had over the past year, he says, which has meant that there has been little opportunity for things to dry out before the next lot of rain............

BBC Archers Message-Board

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 15:21

Hi Obs - it'd be nice if we could start a totally-unconnected-with-gardening thread about dogs, wouldn't it!

My two are fine, by the way - the younger one had to have his annual booster jab this morning & the vet said she couldn't believe it was a year since I first took him there!

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 15:06

I've really enjoyed it so far - and Monty looks as though he's enjoying himself as well.  I think it's a pity that there are so few things on TV about gardens - whether those to visit, or one's own garden and what to do/how to do it.  I think there's room for more gardening related programmes,  especially as there are so many TV channels these days - so can only conclude that The Powers That Be don't agree.

BBC Archers Message-Board

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 14:57

Hi Obs - the Archers boards became a place to talk about almost anything - as well as the programme itself.  There are/were countless topics, & I particularly enjoyed the ones about gardening, dogs, horses etc and I found it a very entertaining website - so am sorry it will soon cease to exist.

Talkback: Planting to cut winter fuel bills

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 17:52

When you say you dry the laundry indoors, do you mean that you don't have a tumble dryer?  If you have room - maybe stacked on top of your washing machine - I'd suggest that you consider the value of having one.  Drying things indoors means that all the water has to go somewhere, and if it means your property is affected by damp/condensation as a result, things aren't going to be improved by just a few grilles.  Any mould can even affect your health, as well as the property itself.  The dryers don't always have to be the sort which needs an outside wall for the vent/exhaust - you can get condenser dryers relatively cheaply.


Posted: 07/02/2013 at 09:39

You can get LPG tanks which are sited underground - the only downside (appearance-wise) is that the lid they're usually supplied with is a really vivid shade of green which blends in with nothing!  It would be relatively easy to conceal it by using a planter or something - however people often don't seem to do that so maybe it's not advisable.  Most modern oil tanks are a darker shade so don't look quite so bad.  I think there's a problem if you choose to rely on any solid fuel as the sole source for central heating but there are systems which can utiise the extra heat from a solid-fuel stove.  I don't think you'd be able to keep up with the supply/demand of wood from your own land unless you have a huge acreage!

If you are able to consider a completely new installation ref heating, perhaps you'd google "ground source central heating".  I think this is probably only viable if you have a sufficiently large plot - but I wish I'd been able to have it installed.

On an almost daily basis I meet people (through the course of my work) who want to have a log-burner but who aren't used to the practicalities of it all.  They don't consider the cost of logs in the first place - the delivery and storage issues - and the fact that there would be many occasions when they'd miss the convenience of having an automatic timed system.   Not nice coming home to a cold house in the middle of winter!  Having said that, I do burn logs (on an open fire in the sitting room) but the cost is rising all the time.  Last half-trailer-load was £70 and I have to barrow/stack them myself.  Takes most of an afternoon & it's a real problem if the weather's wet & I have to cover the whole load where it's been dumped, and then move the logs under cover later on.

I recently had to go to an empty house which had a log burner in the sitting room.  There was a small mesh sack of logs on the hearth - the sort & size you often see for sale on garage forecourts round here.  I was astonished to see that the sack was printed with instructions as to how to light a fire - starting with "get a newspaper, tear it into strips, and make them into balls .......... put these in a pile in the fire-grate and put some kindling sticks in the form of a wigwam on top of them................

It didn't actually tell you how to strike a match!


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