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Latest posts by KT53

To Till or not to Till!

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 16:36

The Mantis can jump around a bit until you get used to handling it as it doesn't have the weight of a full size rotovator.  I've never had a problem starting it though.  The place I bought it showed me the technique, which is to open the choke, give 2 pulls with the choke open (it starts and then cuts out), close the choke and 1 pull starts it properly.  Sounds like a faff about but quickly becomes 2nd nature.  I was also told to leave it idling for a minute before starting to use it.  Obeying that advice and never had any problem.

To Till or not to Till!

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 12:34

The walking backwards bit did take some getting used to but once you learn the technique it does work well.  You can you is moving forwards but it tends to create piles of earth doing it that way.

To Till or not to Till!

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 08:47

I've got one and it's the best investment I've made in years.  It is a modern 4 stroke model (I understand some of the older one's are 2 stroke and can be problematic), very easy to start, extremely quiet (my neighbour didn't realise it was running whilst I was chatting to him) and light to carry around. 

Stones haven't caused any damage, it either bounces off them or the catch between the tines - a quick whack with a hammer gets them back out easily enough. 

Our ground is quite light, I don't know if it would manage clay soil.  I've used it both for preparing the soil by deep digging and for loosening weeds.  The depth it digs to is different depending on which way round you fit the 'cutters'. 

I also purchased an attachment for edging the lawn.  A new lawn had been laid quite recently and the idea of edging well over 200 feet of border by hand held no great appeal.  With the edger I had the lot done in about 10 minutes.

I also use it now to dig over my neighbours veggie plot.  He finds digging it over hard work now at 77.  My neighbour on the other side has used a Mantis for years and it's still going strong.

How much to charge...

Posted: 20/08/2015 at 08:07

Pond plants are expensive in the water garden centres but it's quite a specialist market.  Try your prices for the first hour and see how you go.  After that adjust accordingly.

Rabbit proofing - chicken wire - hole appeared!

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 10:16

Have you never seen "The Curse of the Wererabbit"!  It's a documentary made to look like an animation so as not to terrify the population.

How to choose and hire a landscape gardener

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 23:05

When we we're having our garden done I stated the intended size of the patio.  The reaction was "Are you building a patio or a helicopter landing pad?".  He thought the patio would be too big, and thankfully I took his advice.  It's still about 20 x 15!

Bye-bye bamboo

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 23:02

Thankfully, the dry weather has limited the growth of the grass so I've managed to avoid mowing for 3 weeks.  The bamboo shoots are showing the line of the runners so it should be comparatively straightforward, if damaging to the lawn, to get most of it out.  Then I'll need to keep an eye for any new growth and remove that too.

It will take time but I think it's achievable.  There are about half a dozen runners to trace.

How to choose and hire a landscape gardener

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 20:23

I posted on when I wanted some work done.  I gave a fairly detailed description of the work and the site allows 3 people to contact you by e-mail.  The people who came to me were all very professional, although 1 of them was more used to coppicing woodland than garden landscaping.

Bye-bye bamboo

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 20:19

I've finally dug out the last lump of the bamboo clump, but still have to trace about half a dozen runners and get them.  The bamboo itself didn't root too deep, only a matter of 6 inches or so.  The bigger problem was the roots of the buddleia and Rose of Sharon which were growing amongst the bamboo.

On the positive side I have about 50 canes now ranging from 4 to 13 feet in length, gave probably the same number to my neighbours and still donated about 100 to a local gardening club.  Yup, it was quite a stand of bamboo.

I'd always disagreed with those who said that bamboo is invasive, and I genuinely never had a problem until a couple of years ago when I had work done in the garden.  The people doing the work removed the timber I had buried in the soil to contain the bamboo and the bamboo went for freedom very quickly after that.

Raised Borders with Sleepers

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 18:52

Pressure treated timber probably doesn't need anything to protect it, but it can't do any harm to line the inner surface with plastic sheeting or similar. 

Discussions started by KT53

Getting back into fruit & veg growing

any decent books? 
Replies: 15    Views: 573
Last Post: 03/02/2016 at 22:14

Stuck for a plant idea

'memorial' plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 293
Last Post: 28/01/2016 at 21:24

If they could take their words back.

Latest GW 
Replies: 2    Views: 385
Last Post: 03/01/2016 at 22:46

Bye-bye bamboo

...eating my words. 
Replies: 4    Views: 409
Last Post: 14/08/2015 at 07:44

At least it's well watered

forgetting you've left the sprinkler on. 
Replies: 22    Views: 766
Last Post: 10/08/2015 at 00:05

Suggestions needed

Replacement for bamboo grove. 
Replies: 3    Views: 319
Last Post: 01/08/2015 at 11:25

Leaking connections on Hozelock watering system

How to stop them. 
Replies: 9    Views: 723
Last Post: 02/07/2015 at 18:43

Dahlia buds forming but not opening

Turning brown from the tips. 
Replies: 4    Views: 901
Last Post: 20/06/2015 at 12:00

Phyllostachys aurea canes dying

Canes dying from the top. 
Replies: 2    Views: 316
Last Post: 01/06/2015 at 17:54

Fargesia nitida overgrown

Best way to get back under control 
Replies: 0    Views: 250
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 20:10

Can somebody identify this one?

Mystery plants appearing. 
Replies: 13    Views: 723
Last Post: 15/05/2015 at 14:01

Malvern Spring Garden Festival

back on track. 
Replies: 14    Views: 524
Last Post: 10/05/2015 at 08:17

When gardens fight back

Replies: 7    Views: 645
Last Post: 19/02/2015 at 06:41

****** NHS box tickers. I need to vent

Stupidity of the NHS. 
Replies: 28    Views: 1312
Last Post: 12/11/2014 at 18:56

Clear timber preservatives

Any experience? 
Replies: 7    Views: 596
Last Post: 05/09/2014 at 08:56
1 to 15 of 31 threads