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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Jean Bailey

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 18:24

Although I feel sorry for the lady if she has in fact inadvertently done something which is against planning regulations, it's still necessary to comply with whatever is the law in this regard.  There's a saying something along the lines of "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and I suppose this applies here.  Just because you own land - however little - it doesn't always mean that you can do just what you want with it.  I agree that little or no harm seems to have been done in this case, but her actions could however create a precedent, which her local council should take seriously - otherwise they may well find that other landowners do the same, using this precedent to back up their case.  

Creosote - Which one and the best technique?

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 20:12

Hi Earl - I don't think there's much to choose from in that they could all well be the same/similar formula but marketed under different names.  Obviously it'll depend a bit on how much fencing you have to deal with, but as the creosote doesn't "go off" in the container, you could buy whatever seems the best value per litre.  I buy it from a local agricultural supplies place in what I'd still call a 10 gallon drum.  Don't know what the metric equivalent would be.  I guess you could get it at a builders' merchant's place too, but haven't checked that.

Creosote - Which one and the best technique?

Posted: 04/03/2013 at 19:28

I think it may depend a bit on whether or not your fence has been painted with a particular product before.  If it's just the "normal" type of wood-preserver (rather than a type of paint) then creosote - or today's substitute - will work fine.  If it's solid panels e.g. no visible gaps, you could probably spray the larger part of it, but creosote type stuff can and does kill greenery, so where the spray falls (other than on the wood) be prepared for any plants or grass it touches to die off.  Having said that, I still wouldn't use anything else for a fence! 

I like the way it fades and shows the grain of the wood - and there's nothing to peel off - some other products eventually do.  I use a 4" brush - quite a thick-bristled one - and put some cardboard or a piece of old carpet down below where I'm working in otder to catch and absorb any spills and drips.  It's far quicker to apply than paint, or instance, and easily gets into the cracks & crevices.  I think it does a far bettter job than other products as far as preserving the wood is concerned.



vegetables and horse manure

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 22:05

Best not to sow carrots in freshly manured soil.  They often grow in a "fork" shape then, so although their weight/volume might be OK, the useable part (after any peeling etc) will be less than it would otherwise be.

As far as horse-muck's concerned - as with any manure - it needs to be well rotted before you use it.  These days more and more people are using wood shavings as bedding for horses (rather than straw) and this means it takes rather longer to rot down than the conventional straw bedding.  I've used wood-shavings bedding from family ponies' stabling in the past - left it in closed plastic bags for 12 months though!

what can I put in compost

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 19:35

Not sure what you mean by " composter".  However, if it's one of those Dalek-type plastic bins it's important that there's some way for worms to find their way in.  I have two of these bins + a big compost heap over the fence in the field, so perhaps it'll help if I tell you about the Daleks. They are in an area which is paved with concrete slabs -with approx half-inch gaps between the slabs.  Loads of worms have made their way in.

I put all sorts of kitchen waste (not cooked food) - e..g.  vegetable/fruit peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, contents of my vacuum cleaner, fluff from tumble dryer, shredded paper, garden greenery (but not weeds which have obvious seed heads), chopped-up prunings, some lawn-mowings, dead flowers & so on.  It's important not to have a deep layer of any one thing - so most of the lawn cuttings & large twiggy stuff/branches & so on go on to the big heap in the field, & I rely on the cattle's curiosty to trample the heap fro time to time, which means I don't have to turn it - which is something you're supposed to do on a regular basis.  For turning the contents of the Daleks I have a gadget which looks a bit like a folded arrowhead on a stick.  I push it down into the Daleks' contents from time to time & the folded arrowhead opens up as I pull the whole thing out again & this disturbs the layers.  Sorry I can't remember what it's called, or the manufacturer, but I bet somebody out there knows!  It helps if the compost is in a sunny spot - mine isn't - as heat helps decomposition.  I'm sure other posters will explain a bit more, but here's a start, anyway.........

Can we build a fence tight to a hedge?

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 22:29

Hello again - a couple of things to bear in mind though:  do you know who is responsible for the boundary fence/hedge?  are there any restrictions ref height?  You should be able to find out via your solicitor/legal stuff/deeds etc. 


For instance, if you have a plan of the plot, this is how to work out who's responsible.  They boundaries will  be shown as a line like this ________T__________ and the owner of the land on which the T falls is responsible for that boundary.


Most new-ish properties carry restrictions as to the height of fences, hedges etc. & these should be indicated in any paperwork you have following the house purchase.  There's an "inside" and an "outside" for fences too - the convention is that you put any (visible) posts on the inside - e.g. as with close-boarded fencing.   If you do decide to put a fence up, I'd suggest you consider putting a horizontal board at ground level first & then put the panels on top of it.  This means that if there's a problem with wood rotting in future, you only need to replace the board & not the whole panel.

Can we build a fence tight to a hedge?

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 20:56

this might sound a daft question, but why do you want a fence as opposed to a hedge?   If you need some sort of dog-proof boundary, for example, you could have some stock netting + associated posts.  The beech would soon grow through the netting and would look good all year round.  I have done this with a hawthorn hedge and now the posts/netting are hidden by the hedge itself.  Stock netting is made from strong galvanised wire in squares & rectangles & is about 3ft high.  I can't remember how many yards/metres you get per roll. I think it was designed to stop lambs escaping, & the way to fix it is so that the edge with the rectangles goes at ground level, with the edge with the squares (which are larger) at the top.  I know this sounds confusing, but the idea is that small animals can't get through easily - though cats & rabbits can.  I suppose very tiny/small toy dogs could too, but something like a Jack Russell terrier couldn't.


You could put solid fence panels if you want to, but the "downside" of this may well be that the hedge gets less rainwater and less sunshine, and may grow more slowly as a result.  Another problem might be that when you paint/creosote the fence panels, the paint could affect the growth as well - creosote almost certainly would. 


As with any new-ish hedge, it's important to see it doesn't dry out (no prob this past year!) and to use something in the way of fertiliser & mulch at least once a year, which will encourage growth.  My favourite hedge is a mix of beech & holly - looks really good all year round.

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.

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