John Bradshaw

Latest posts by John Bradshaw

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grey squirrels

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 21:59

Dalicarlica I wasn't saying putting guards around the trees was a good idea, especially not all of them. I was mererly pointing out that regardless of your dissaproval of greys there is no real solution. Also can we have a bit less attitude? Noone has been agressive or nasty to you. I appreciate you are upset about your trees but please dont take it out on others.

Dovefromove you're absolutely right about others moving into the space we'd create by having a cull. Although I think thats got more to do with the fact humans have destroyed most of the habitation and therefore nature has to be a lot closer to us than it would like.

Best multi purpose compost this year ?

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 20:09

Wickes has a buy 2 get 3rd free on Westland. its got John innes in it. £5.99 A bag for 50 ltrs. I use it every year and its great. I tried the B&Q one a few years ago and I kept getting a black residue coming out of it, like it was covered in soot or something. I also found it to be very woody.

Small gardens and spent compost

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 20:02

I too have this problem. I live in a ground floor council flat and everything I grow has to be in containers. It's quite a large balcony ( 6m long by 1.1m deep) I have to put it in black bags every year and chuck it in the communal palladin bins. It always seems like such a waste of money. I seem to remember reading that its best to replace all the compost rather than just adding fish blood and bone or slow release fertiliser to the soil as they never have the same nutrient balance as natural compost. I've decided to try it in a large 75 ltr container and see what happens. I'll be growing Ivy up some trellis from it and probably some sort of annual at the front.

I suppose it also depends on what plants you intend on growing too.

grey squirrels

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 19:52

The only real way would be a cull. Too be honest I dont think many people would go for that, me being one of them.

Maybe fitting some sort of mesh guards over the trunks of the trees might help but that would require money. which would mean funding from the government or even the lottery maybe.

Wildflower seeds

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 21:18

I grew a wildflower mix in my containers last year ( I live in a flat so everything is in a container) I just scattered them on the soil  and lightly covered them. They came up great! Only problem I had was that some were a bit too big and I had to stake them up. I'm doing just cornflowers in some trugs this year. For sake of the price of a packet of seeds just give it a go. You'd be surprised how easy it is.


Posted: 10/04/2014 at 21:13

Simple one would be Ivy. The Clematis is obviously more attractive.

Choosing plant for birds

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 21:08

Well I was going to post pics of the tree when it produced berries but unfortunately it died! I think it was fireblight. I did have photos on my phone but i lost them when i upgraded. I've just planted some Hedera helix (Ivy) to grow up the trellis. so hopefully that will be an adequate (and cheaper) substitute. My bird feeders are drawing in several species of birds anyway so it's not too bad I suppose.


Thanks once again for all your kind help


Lupins laid low with infestions

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 20:54

I had them last year. Completly destroyed my lupin. I hit them with the hose in the morning and evening. Soapy water was applied evry other day it was that bad, but it didn't even dent them. These are not ordinary aphids! Some were probably about 3-4 times the size of normal ones. They breed like crazy too.

 I refuse to use chemicals ( i'm trying to give our wildlife a helping hand)I have been looking for natural ways of controlling them but apparently our natural predators (ladybirds, lacewings, bluetits etc.) Don't seem to bother with them. I seem to recall that they are a North American species. Companion planting with garlic, onions , chives and nastursiums was also mentioned but no idea if any of it works.

I've  Never not had a lupin but I think I will give it a miss this year, shame they are my favourite plants

Choosing plant for birds

Posted: 06/04/2013 at 14:09

First of all thanks for all the help and advice everyone I really appreciate it.

I did a bit of thinking and eventually decided to get a cotoneaster Juliette, but it's a standard rather than a bush. I was searching around on the net and fell it love with it (didn't even know that they came as trees) It's got lovely variegated leaves and still produces berries. So hopefully The birds will love it!

Many thanks once again


Choosing plant for birds

Posted: 17/03/2013 at 14:16

Wow! Thanks for all the replies.

I was concerned about the invasiveness of Cotoneasters. I live in the city centre so if I go with that it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I live on the ground floor so my neighbour's balcony is my roof. I do get quite a bit of sun on it. 3:00pm till sundown and the spot I've chosen for the plant is the sunniest spot. I forgot to mention there is a trellis there. Which I use as a wind-break so it's also quite sheltered.

The Sarcocca and Daphne look quite interesting I'll do a bit more looking up on them.

Sorry I know I keep asking questions (noobs) but when are the planting times for these?

Thanks once again everyone


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Choosing plant for birds

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