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John Harding


Latest posts by John Harding

Cats

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 21:26

We once had a neighbour who had 4 cats, 3 dogs and a rabbit! I got absolutely fed up with having my seed beds destroyed night after night that I went out and bought 4 ultra-sonic cat scarers. It had a bit of effect but not enough (seems one scraggy old moggie was deaf! and our grandchildren complained they could hear this constant high pitched squealing every time they went down the garden). I then invested in a 'Mosquito' and a roll of orange electric fence wire + a bag of insulators and set up a criss-cross pattern over the raised 'seed bed'

** A Mosquito is a low powered domestic electric fence kit that gives a single pulse of high voltage but extremely low amperage electricity and runs off a small 12 volt battery.

At around 12.30am there was a double Yeowwwee! from the bottom of the garden followed by a 'clang!!'  On inspection next morning there were 2 divots in the seed bed but very little damage to the seed bed (the clang was said moggie scrambling under the back gate in its rush to depart from whatever it supposed had bitten its rear end). The 2 divots were so placed you could see it had come over the dividing wall, leaped immediately into the air and landed about 3 ft away on the same patch (hence the double Yeowwwee") and then escaped under the gate.

We were then trouble free for about 3 months but I had to remove the 'Mosquito' and its associated paraphanalia because as the plants began to grow they would touch the wire and the wire would cause the leaves to spark & shrivel.

The neighbour moved away about 3 years ago taking said menagerie with them and although there are other cats in the locality we don't get the problem any more just so long as I remember to re-charge the batteries in the conventional cat scarers regularly and remember to switch them off when the grandchildren come around (& back on again when they leave!)

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 19:44

Hi SGL,
I have an alternative to silver soldering the hole in your pot that's just as effective: it's called 'Super Metal' and it's something you can do yourself. I can send you some free of charge if you would like to try it. If you PM me with an address to send it to (doesn't have to be your home address for obvious privacy reasons) I will send some to you with instructions (it's very easy to do). I will also need to know how big the hole is. John H

PS - it's a 2 part paste metal you mix together and apply - takes about 2 hours to harden. I have quite a bit in my workshop so am able to send you sufficient to do the job.

Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 15:17
Glad to hear you've used Domestos and it's been OK Frank. Never had the courage to try it in case I destroyed my plants & I too hate the smell of Jeyes fluid as if you get it on your hands it lingers for days. Methinks I will give the Domestos a go from now on. John H

Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 13:48
I'd use Jeyes fluid noting the directions on the tin. Also check if the Miracle Grow compost is for seeds - if it's not you may well be wasting your time (& money) again. It's getting a. It late to sow tomato seed now so buying some healthy plants from a GC may be a better plan for this year.

Help! Seedlings Dying

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 12:22

Good advice from Frank. I wash all my pots, seed trays etc in a strong solution of Jeyes fluid as soon as the plants/seedlings are potted on and then wash everything off in clean water and dry them off before putting them away or re-using them. Always use a seed compost when sowing seeds and when using a cold frame or Greenhouse make sure you have good ventilation during daylight hours as poor ventilation contributes to damping off. Also remember to clean and disinfect any tools & equipment you use when handling plants/seedlings as spores can be transferred easily to other healthy plants causing them to fail too.

Another problem you might be encountering is soil borne pests such as slugs, snails, leather jackets, vine weevil grubs etc. treatments are available for these and if you can identify which ones you have (if you have any) ask someone at your local garden centre for advice. Taking a pot with you to show them will help them identify your problem.

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 10:44
Permanent way is to silver solder a plate across the hole (One of the things I teach) not sure where you are but if you are close enough I could do it for you. (I'm in East Bristol) John H

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 10:00

Hi SGL,

If you are going to plant the pot up you will need to get someone to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. You could add some brass chains to it (in 3 or 4 positions to prevent it turning upside down in windy conditions) and make it a hanging basket. I say brass chains (or a weatherproof cord) as any other metal will cause corrosion at the point of contact. 

A couple of plants in the middle with some trailing ones around the perimeter hanging down over the rim could look nice: depends on what colours you prefer as to what they should be of course. John H

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 09:35
Another blackbird came and sat in his tree: don't know what it was that he said 'cos I don't speak blackbird, but I don't think I'd want it translated into English!

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 09:29
Been out to the GH this morning and set all the plants outside that need hardening off. Lowest temp in GH overnight was 7.6
Lovely sunny morning here in East Bristol. Just sat down for a coffee. Blackbird is back up on his perch at top of Holly tree welcoming the sunshine while mrs blackbird goes grub hunting for the kids.

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 18:21
Hi KEF, I love cooking as well as the garden. The meal for 50 is for our church; every first Sunday in the month we have a 'Bring and Share' lunch - everyone invited. Usually a few don't stay but about 60% do and I am one of 8 or so that Cook a major dish to be shared by all, others bring something but everything always seems to work out exactly right: no-one yet has ever gone hungry! I always prepare Gluten Free food as we have a few who are Coeliacs, including my daughter & 2 grand-daughters.
I invested In a Robinson Greenhouse last October 12 months and have never regretted the decision to buy it (about ??2,700). I had previously had cheap GH's and they were nowhere near as good as the Robinson. I'm approaching 70 now but age doesn't seem so noticeable when you're doing what you enjoy doing. John H

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