Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

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.

friends wedding yesterday

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 16:25

Weddings like that are fantastic and you tend to remember them for a long time.  My wedding was a brilliant day, sunshine so strong I got a little sunburnt whilst the photos were being taken (September, in England), really relaxed, sit down meal followed by a barn dance and buffet in the evening.  Lots of the guests were off-roading friends, and disappeared (some with spare seats offering to take other guests and children with them) between bun-fights to do a bit of gentle green -laning, as the hotel was near some great lanes (one of the reasons we chose that hotel).

We had some brilliant photos, as I bought my new Husband, Best Man and Ushers lightsabres from Firebox as wedding presents.  You've never seen 4 thirty-somethings more excited over their toys, and had to be called in as they were nearly causing accidents by staging play-fights in the grounds and car park (we were alongside an a-road).  The cake was a talking point too, we had a 'stuck' land rover like ours, and two bears in suit/wedding dress, complete with bridal wellies and mud on the hem of the dress.  That cake still gets talked about, my Mum is still appalled that we had a novelty cake and didn't go with the more traditional flowers!

Not everything was traditional, but it was the way we wanted it, everyone that came said they had a fantastic time, from my Uncle Colin who was impressed by the vintage bus we had to take people from the hotel, to church, then back to the reception, to one of our teenage off-road friends and his girlfriend, who had never been to a barn dance before and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Even my oldest sister's husband got up to dance, and that's unheard-of.

Really glad that we had a day where everyone enjoyed themselves.  Lots of photos on the off-roading website too!

Help to find Narrow Weeding Hoe.

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 15:18

Forester, try either World of Wolf, or Amazon, they are the cheapest places, and you can see what I mean about it being small, plus on Amazon there are reviews from previous purchasers, most of them will be 4 or 5 stars, they are great tools that have a  10 year guarantee, and with care most will last a lot longer.  If I have a choice of tool, I will go for wolf every time, they are as good as tools made in Sheffield were 50 years ago (as I'm a Sheffield girl I'm going to be biased), I don't think much is made in Sheffield any more, they are all hong kong fooey now with a brand name sticker slapped on.

Help to find Narrow Weeding Hoe.

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 00:21

Why not try the wolf-garten patio weeder/scraper, you can put that on either a long or short handle, and as it's only about two inches wide at the bottom, that should be small enough.  It's curved along the top, and it's sharp there as well, so you can either push or pull it to hoe the weeds.

You will need to buy the tool and the handle, so if you only intend to buy that, it might be expensive, they do make lots of tools that fit the handle, though, are reallly well made, and one tool may have a couple of uses - I use the long-bladed weeding knife to grub up dandelions, and to chop any slugs I find into bite-sized pieces for the birds and frogs in the garden.

MOB rants

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 12:01

TPS only works for UK based companies, if they're based in India or elsewhere they're not bound by the same rules. 

You need to be careful when using websites, as some of them opt you in, and you have to email them to opt out of third-party marketing.  Trouble is, by the time you've found their opt-out email address they've already sold your phone number and email address several times over.

We used to give the phone to the parrot for PPI/Double Glazing/Insulation type calls.  "Hello, hello, give us a kiss! Are you being a Bugger?!  Oh F***ing F*** it!"  Strangely enough by the time we'd stopped laughing, they'd hung up.  Maybe they'd figured out she didn't have any money of her own, and was unable to sign a contract.

The jungle in my garden needs to go.

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 11:50

Just as an aside, there are quite a few bungalows for sale along the regular walk to my Son's school.  Quite a few have been for sale for a while, and I've been looking to see how much they're going for (just in case I win the lotto and can afford to buy one for my Mum!).  Upshot is, the one with the nicest garden, very tidy, lots of well-tended to flowers, flowering cherry, block-paved drive, went VERY quickly at the asking price £170K.  A very similar bungalow, two minutes walk away has only just been sold, garden not brilliant, but back paved, front covered in pea gravel (corner plot so big front garden), plus garage (which the other bungalow didn't have) went for £145K, reduced from the £160K they were originally asking for back in October.

So a nice garden can make a HUGE difference to the value of your property, the garden is the first impression you get, if the garden looks cared for, then you assume the house is cared for too.  So I agree with Brummie Ben, go for it, do a good job once and it won't need doing again.  If you can plant up some containers or hanging baskets, too (assuming your Mum is well enough to water them), to add colour, that will add even more value.  The garden as it is will reduce the value of the house substantially.

Good luck, I know how much hard work you have ahead of you, take photos after day 1, so you can see how big an impact you have made.  If you don't wear specs, the tip about safety glasses is a good one, for less than a fiver you can protect your eyes, any decent hardware shop/homebase/b&q will stock them.  Soon we'll be calling you Thin Tony!

Identification of tree /shrub

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 13:37

itsnotmyfault - peanuts grow underground, in the roots of the plant, or so I'm lead to believe.  As to the tree - no idea, it is intriguing!

Saint or sinner?.....don't like annuals

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 13:32

Annuals are great for new gardens, as they give almost instant impact, but I do like perennials, as you plant them once, and as long as the place and soil suits, them, you don't have to do it again.  I love scented things, and if you can't eat it, and it doesn't smell, then it doesn't tend to get planted in my garden.  There are a few exceptions, but not many.

Lots of people use their garden to park on, so it's gravelled, concreted, paved etc, so I think a few big pots or hanging baskets of colourful annuals helps soften things a bit and provides some welcome colour.

MOB rants

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 13:20

I apologise if I've made anyone feel uncomfortable, most people I know work very hard for their money, and I know that when you've worked for it, you have every right to spend it on whatever you want, please don't feel you need to stop posting.

I can normally see the funny side to most things, and probably will do when things get a bit easier, I have a touch of Churchill's black dog at the moment.

I will only post garden related stuff until my head's in a better place.

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