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Laura Corin

Latest posts by Laura Corin

Talkback: Stinging nettles

Posted: 15/05/2012 at 22:42

I've used glyphosate and wallpaper paste to eradicate creeping buttercup from amongst heathers.  It worked really well.  It was a slow and backbreaking job, but the alternative was ripping out 2m x 2m of mature heathers.  I've seen mention online that you can use glyphosate/Roundup if you have chickens, but you'd need to do some research on that.

I have a large patch of nettles that I allow to flourish for the wildlife in the far corner of my garden.  Any that I find elsewhere I pull up/poison.  I poison docks and pull up/poison creeping buttercup, except in a large boggy area where I have nothing but buttercups so they just do their thing.  One day I might have time to dig it all out and make a bog garden/natural pond.

Should I be hand pollinating my fruit trees?

Posted: 15/05/2012 at 22:36

I have three of each tree (three sweet cherries, three russets, three discovery) so I have enough trees to pollinate each other.  Each has borne a few fruit in the past but this is the first year when they have a good amount of blossom, so I'd hate to miss out on fruit.  Then again, the deer would probably eat the fruit anyway...

It was hailing again today but tomorrow is meant to be sunny.

Should I be hand pollinating my fruit trees?

Posted: 15/05/2012 at 15:54

I have young cherry and apple (Egremont Russett, DIscovery) trees in flower but it's very chilly and I'm not seeing any bees or other insects.  Do I just use a paint brush and dab it from flower to flower?  Anything else I should know?



Posted: 13/05/2012 at 07:55

I've just watched six baby rabbits killed by a crow.  Not pretty but fairly fast and I'm not too romantic about rabbits.  They are a non-native destructive species.

I have a local contact with a rifle who comes and shoots rabbits for me periodically and feeds them to his dogs.

I don't have any good suggestions apart from a really good fence.  I do have some plants that are not eaten by rabbits, generally grey-leaved or pungent plants, but, as the previous poster mentioned, rabbits will eat almost anything if curious or hungry enough.

Rabbits and Deer destroying garden!

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 21:08

When we moved in and the garden was completely unfenced, the following seemed to have survived the rabbits and the ?roe? deer: box, rhododendron, rosemary, lavender, forsythia, broom, spurge, flowering currant, bearded iris, flowering currant, bear's britches, primula, muscari, thistles, lily of the valley, daffodils, eryngium, allium, spirea, honeysuckle, clematis, buddleia, heather...

As far as chasing them off: I've seen people using old CDs to frighten off deer, but I'm not sure how useful that would be in winter when they only turn up after dark.


Posted: 08/05/2012 at 20:50

I can't offer you inexpensive.  The only two things that work for me are a) planting things that rabbits don't like to eat and b) putting up a rabbit fence.  

a) won't help you much on an allotment - the only edibles I can think of that rabbits are less likely to eat are mediterranean herbs.  

b) my rabbit fence is about 90cm tall and is laid so that it runs under the turf horizontally outwards from the bottom for about 30cm.  So far, this seems to keep them out as they haven't worked out that they need to start a long way out to burrow underneath.

Aphids on seedlings

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 20:19

I am raising some Geums from seed - they are currently about 3" tall and are in 3" pots on a windowsill.  Somehow they have got greenfly.  I pick the greenfly off every day and squash them, but they come back very fast.  Is there anything else I can do?  It's very hard getting at the tiny insects without crushing the fragile stems.

Talkback: Rabbits and myxomatosis

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 13:33
It comes through here in waves too. There was a rabbit sitting by the road on Thursday - luckily my neighbour was prepared to dispatch it.

I'm not good at dispatching rabbits myself. Shortly after we moved here there were Myxi rabbits in the garden. I tipped one into a bin liner, tied the top (so it would suffocate) and put it in the bin. Two hours later, I went to put something else in the bin, only to see the live rabbit and the shredded bag at the bottom. It was not strong enough to avoid me, but it had enough self-preservation to chew its way out of the bag. Since then, I've left the rabbits to the foxes: we have a healthy fox population so I suspect the rabbits don't suffer for long. I've certainly found several dismembered rabbits recently.

There are one, two, three, four, five, six healthy little rabbits living under my woodpile. I have an area of garden fenced off and elsewhere I experiment with rabbit-unpalatable plants. So far, the winners are buddleia, alliums, lambs' ears, hellebores, euphorbia, daffodils, muscari, iris, rosemary and heather.

Ground cover plants - suggestions

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 20:31

Vinca might work.  Vinca Minor is said to be less invasive than Vinca Major.  It has pretty blue flowers.

Planting a Rambling Rector

Posted: 28/04/2012 at 22:55
Paul N wrote (see)

Your Rambling Rector like my Bobby James and Kiftsgate may need a couple of years to get going but then one day you'll go outside and look upwards and say "Holy Moses..." 

I like the sound of this.  Last autumn I planted a Rambling Rector to grow through a large tree and a Kiftsgate to cover a double garage.  I look forward to the 'Holy Moses' moment.

Discussions started by Laura Corin

Do you really need special seed compost?

Replies: 5    Views: 258
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 06:42

Rotation with only two beds?

Replies: 5    Views: 260
Last Post: 20/02/2014 at 10:33

Can I really plant these peas and carrots so early?

Replies: 5    Views: 516
Last Post: 05/02/2014 at 17:28

Is this area suitable for growing veg?

Replies: 0    Views: 467
Last Post: 24/06/2012 at 21:56

Newspaper under woodchips as mulch?

Replies: 2    Views: 689
Last Post: 15/06/2012 at 07:44

Is anyone growing Asian pears?

Replies: 0    Views: 274
Last Post: 13/06/2012 at 07:39

Should I be hand pollinating my fruit trees?

Replies: 3    Views: 706
Last Post: 15/05/2012 at 22:36

Aphids on seedlings

Replies: 1    Views: 401
Last Post: 08/05/2012 at 21:28

Mulching after rain - compacting soil?

Replies: 2    Views: 674
Last Post: 23/04/2012 at 19:08

Digging a natural, unlined pond?

Replies: 2    Views: 684
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 22:18

Help me to love my peonies

Replies: 2    Views: 565
Last Post: 13/04/2012 at 22:55
11 threads returned