Latest posts by Lokelani

Mites in seeds

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 19:32

Too tiny to be flea beetle I'd say, not red at all, I'll look up pollen mites. I often see them in seed heads when I'm collecting them. I often wish my eyes were less sharp! I'll look up pollen mites. 

I wonder if all seed is okay frozen, mind you I'm not sure I could put creepy crawlies in my freezer, however well sealed the tub they were in! 

I think it's going to be more about how to clean seed I collect from the garden to avoid getting them in the future. 

getting on with the neighbours

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 18:43

It is difficult, our garden is 200ft or more long, but only about 40ft wide, so our neighbours decisions can really affect us.

From under the fence on one side we keep inheriting bindweed, ground elder, brambles & bindweed from the other! Also ivy galore, invasive bamboo runners & lilac runners. They let tree saplings grow right next to the fence that lean on it & have cast the area where the greenhouse was (I gave up on that one) into total shade. The trees shot up & now take all the moisture out of the borders that side.

When I spoke to them very nicely about the bamboo & trees they clearly didn't care, just said feel free to cut what you like that leans over your side (like I need any more heavy gardening jobs!).  From the front of their borders their garden looks tidy & that's all the care, they don't even tend it themselves. We don't feel we can ask again as they clearly just don't care, same as the loud music spoiling our peaceful garden all the time. It shocks me how inconsiderate people can actually be, even living in a fairly rural area.

So although we do own our gardens & can do what we like with them, I really think a little consideration of how our decisions affect others doesn't go amiss, particularly near the boundaries. 

As for deeds showing who owns the boundaries, ours don't. Older properties don't always show it & both neighbours would say they do when it suits them & not when it doesn't! 

Mites in seeds

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 17:36

No ideas anyone?

Sharp sand drainage properties

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 17:35

I needed to buy more for cuttings anyway & was faced with the choice of sharp sand, grit sand or silver sand.

I would have thought the grit sand would have had the largest particles, but the sharp sand actually looked like it had some grit pieces in too & said on the outside perfect for cuttings, so I bought that to try that this time. 

Climbing rose

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 16:57

Zephirine Drouhan is the only totally thornless one I know. It's very bright pink, repeats & has a great scent. It's not the most disease resistant one though. 

Bare root you would plant when dormant in the winter. Container roses can be planted at any time, but would need watering through the summer. 

Some of the David Austin roses are recommended as shortish climbers, Shropshire Lad & James Galway are lovely ones that I've seen & are meant to have very few thorns. There are probably others.

Mites in seeds

Posted: 24/07/2012 at 20:05

I first noticed mites in a paper bag of lavender heads I'd collected from the garden years ago & I think I ended up throwing it away.

Yesterday I looked in my tin of veg seeds & saw something that is probably similar. They are really, really tiny, possibly almost beetle shaped & very fast running.

Does anyone know what they are & how to clean seed I collect from the garden to get rid of them. Also if anyone has any ideas how to get rid of the ones in the tin of bought veg seeds, peas etc. They are in old biscuit tins in the unheated, dry garage. 

I wanted to give a friend lots of seed packets that I may not use, but don't want to infest her collection too.....

Sharp sand drainage properties

Posted: 24/07/2012 at 09:35

This has always confused me, as we're told sandy soils drain too quickly, clay soils too slowly etc. 

We dug in one of those enormous ton bags of sand, no idea what kind, when we enlarged our big border & the plants all seeem very happy. I've read many times since that sand doesn't help drainage, it's grit that does. 

Also lots of seed or cuttings mixes I've read suggested half soil, half sand & the clematis montana cuttings I did a month or two ago for a friend in this mix have been successful. Could just be that montana is un-killable, even for me!

My guess is that sand holds water for a bit, but not much & not for very long. 

Dog repelant ?

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 09:04

Our dog has selective hearing to training. He knows he's not allowed in the beds & will come out (at high speed, damaging everything!) if I really sound like I mean it. 

He wanders through them whenever he thinks I'm not watching though.

I tend not to use bonemeal, let alone blood, fish & bone as he dug up all the roses & bulbs when he was younger until I realised it was the smell of the fertiliser that was attracting him!

Training to use a specific area might be worth a try. Ours loathes water being squirted at him, but will put up with it to do whatever naughtiness he wants to usually, or just return to it later. Some dogs are very determined!


Posted: 23/07/2012 at 08:56

Lots of people don't know Insomnia, I'll bet lots get given a bit of mince pie at Christmas with raisins in. Onions are less known too, although most people now know chocolate can be dangerous for them. I grew up with dogs & am still learning!

Off to water greenhouse, everything collapsed yesterday in the unaccustomed heat, until I watered it!



Posted: 22/07/2012 at 17:31

I had to pull out a grape vine I'd put in the garden before we got our dog, as grapes are very poisonous to them. Just in case others don't know.

May I ask you about your bike Maud? I'm wondering whether to look into converting my bike to an electric one (you can get them converted), as it's much hillier here than I realised until I bought a bike!  It's put me off using it at all really. How much help is an electric bike? I think it would have to make it considerably easier to get me into cycling. 


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