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Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

Invasion!!!! Already frustrated!!!!

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 16:33

Copper strips around raised bed.  Paint raised bed with bitumen paint (they won't cross it).

Short term solution for while you are away, use the pet-friendly slug pellets, sharp grit and gravel around baby plants, and get hold of some guttering - if you can't wait, go out and get some from somewhere like B&Q, cut it into  a few 1ft long lengths.  Put it in the areas where the slugs like to congregate, upside-down, with pellets underneath.  The slugs will head for this around sunrise, as they need somewhere dark and damp to hide so they don't get baked to death in the sunshine.  The pellets should do the rest.

You can use the same trick when you're at home, just omit the pellets.  Go out just before you go to work, and turn the guttering over to give the birds some breakfast, or have a bucket of saltwater or a weeding knife ready to despatch them.

Given you have a dog, I would seriously consider using nemaslug, as slugs carry lungworm which can be fatal for a dog - make sure all of the dog's toys are inside at night, as even the slime trails they leave behind can have the eggs in.  Ask your vet if lungworm has reached your area yet when you go in for their annual checkup/boosters.

Weed problem

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 00:20

Glyphosate isn't selective, so it will kill every plant in it's path.  Unfortunately weeds seem to be the most tolerant of it, whereas if you get a little bit on a plant you want to keep, it seems to die immediately.  I'd try digging them out with a specialist weeding knife or that fiskars thing (I have one but don't really rate it, unless it's been raining and the ground is soggy), get most of the root out that you can, then blast the remaining re-growth with weedkiller.


Posted: 22/05/2013 at 00:12

I think the correct term is detrivors.  They eat detritus (no, not the golem from Terry Pratchet), all of the dead and rotting stuff, as well as young greens, as their mouth parts are not developed and raspy enough to eat established greens.  Leopard slugs will eat almost anything, but one of their favourite things is other slugs.

Slugs are useful in their correct place, which is miles away from my veg patch.

Getting rid of Blackberries

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 00:05

Roots only go down a spade and a half.  They're very brittle, though, so you'd have to be careful to get all of the bits.  It can regenerate itself from the tiniest bit of root.  I'd dig out all that you can, each little bit that reappears will be a little bit weaker, and eventually it won't come up at all.

You just have to be more stubborn than the bramble.

Is ivy a good thing or a bad thing?

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 14:23

Hate Ivy.  Hate hate hate.  Our next door neighbour (the one that's a bit of a nutter) has it growing on his wall and over the garden wall, I'm forever chopping it back, trying to leave only 6 inches or so hanging over the wall, but we've got blackthorn there, so trying to untangle it is a bit of a nightmare, plus I'm now going to have to leave it until late autumn to give a good going over, as there are several sparrows nesting in the hedge.

I removed it from the back of our house last year using an extendable pole and my wolf patio knife - great for slicing it away from the brickwork.  It has left marks though, which I am really annoyed about.

If you like it, for heavens' sake plant the dratted thing in a pot, otherwise it will rampage all over your garden, putting down roots wherever it hits soil.  It's a flipping nuisance in my garden, will be glad when we leave and I don't need to do battle with that any more.


Posted: 21/05/2013 at 14:12

Not an expert, but I don't think so.  These look a bit like leopard slugs to me, but I wouldn't like to say either way.  Think I would give them the benefit of doubt and not chop them with the weeding knife.  Spanish slugs are meant to be upto 15cms (6 inches) long, that makes these seem like tiddlers.

Not looking forward to saying hola to my first spanish slug.  The length of time between hello and goodbye will be very short.

Clearing nettles

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 14:07

Dorisduck, I've just had a quick look on Amazon, it's still available from there, from about £7 for the ready-to-use stuff (this doesn't have very good reviews though), the dilute-it-yourself stuff is from about £8.  Ya pays ya money and takes ya choice.

I'd go for the stuff you dilute yourself, it's better value, you can always mix it up and use an old bathroom or kitchen sprayer (but for god's sake write what it is on the bottle, otherwise you'll try to clean your bath with it!!).

Digging a vegetable Plot

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 15:57

If you have large planters, it's a good idea to put broken up bits of expanded polystyrene in the bottom of them, it means you don't need as much compost, plus you'll be able to lift them!  Not always possible if you have a mega sized planter and then have to move it when it's full!  The turves should be fine, just make sure you don't have any weeds in it, or bits of root from weeds - weeds are great at spreading themselves around, and can regenerate from a surprisingly small bit of root.

Digging a vegetable Plot

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 13:43

Rather than use grit, I'd add some sharp sand, it all helps to break up the clay and aids drainage, it's also cheaper and you can get a massive bag from a builder's merchant.  Carrots in particular love free draining soil, so add plenty of sand (a 50/50 mix) to the area you want to grow carrots in.  Any compost you can add to the soil (even if it's cheap grow-bags) will improve the soil, and like others have suggested, well rotted manure, most stables will be very happy for you to take it away!  The best time to do it is autumn/winter, as the cold helps break down any big lumps, and it you keep raking it, you will have lovely soil next year.

In the meantime, why not try putting things in planters?  Most stuff will happily grow in large pots, some things are better (in my opinion, strawberries do better in pots as they're easier to protect from slugs - they are every fruit and veg growers nemesis).  Have a look around places like Aldi, poundstretcher etc, they often have very big pots at reasonable prices.

Clearing nettles

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 13:35

Was it SBK brush wood killer?  Bit extreme for nettles, but you can still get this from Amazon ( * I think * ).  Any glyphosate-based weedkiller should get rid of them.  However, it will also kill grass (as does SBK), so you would need to be careful.  Think you just need a still, dry day, then you won't get much overspray.  The alternative is to do what obelixx has suggested, and very carefully dig them out - make sure you're wearing decent gloves and thick sleeves, though, you don't want to get stung by the blighters.

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