Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

what is this thats killing all our hedge and what can i do

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 15:53

I would definitely improve the soil first.  I know that privacy is important, but is there any way you could remove the conifers (the dead ones at least), and put something cheap & cheerful in place?  I think willow screening is reasonably priced, and would allow you to improve the soil by digging in a mixture of sharp sand (to improve the drainage) and horse manure, preferably well rotted stuff, to improve the structure and the nutrient content of the soil.  You also need to know what the pH of the soil is (how acidic or alkaline it is), as this will dictate to a fair extent what will grow happily.  Look what other people in the area are growing, this will give you an indication of what else you can grow.

Rather than risk failure which will put you off gardening for life, I would wait, get rid of as much of the weed as you can (keep putting weedkiller on, it will eventually get the message and die), improve the soil and wait.  Patience is a virtue that gardeners cultivate along with their plants.

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 15:12

You can get multicoloured ones from ebay.  I've also seen bronze/ironwork ones for herbs, fairy reasonably priced. 

I always start the season using one coloured lable and co-ordinate the pot colours.  By the time I've finished sowing stuff, I'm left with a motley collection of odd coloured pots, from plants that didn't make it into the garden, ones left over as I've not sown enough seeds, and no co-ordinating labels.

I did a very daft thing the other day, as I'm new to growing some veg.  I put courgettes in the same windowsill propogator as pumpkins, thinking that the true leaves would let me know which was which, didn't realise they were the same family.  Now I'm going to have to wait until they form fruit to tell which is which.

Won't do that again!

what is this thats killing all our hedge and what can i do

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 15:04

Personally I would wait and make sure all of your weeds have gone before planting anything else.  The confiers may have died as they are greedy plants, and will take all of the moisture and nutrients from the soil.  If you have poor soil it may account for the conifers not surviving.

You need to know if the plant that is rife in your neighbour's gardens is something they've cultivated, it does look like ivy (I think the leaves are too big for it to be bindweed).  You don't want to get off on the wrong foot witlh the neighbours by killing anything they're culitvating!

If the neighbours regard it as a pest, then I'd use weedkiller to try and get rid of it, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place.  If it's something that they've cultivated, do not use weedkiller on it, just cut any off that comes over on to your side, and put it in the green bin if you have one, don't put it in the compost bin, it will just sprerad around your garden when you use the compost!

You need to know what type of soil you have, and how rich it is before planting anything else, otherwise you may well just be wasting your money.  The soil will need enriching to put back any nutrients taken away by the conifers.  By all means, remove the conifers, but you may want to think about putting in a fence rather than a hedge, until you have sorted out the soil.  Please don't just take out the conifers and leave no boundary - good fences make for good neighbours.

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 18:54

artjak, bonkers of course!!

TT, of course it was my fault!!

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 14:21

Not really garden related, but it was outside - OH was doing something to the suspension on the rangie, I asked him what he wanted for lunch, it made him jump so violently, the spanner slipped and hit him in the face.  When the swearing stopped, he came out from underneath the car, I took one look, handed him the kitchen roll, and told him to get into the car (my little fiesta I had at the time was fine), as it was clear he needed stitches in his lip (it was split nearly all the way through).  He said NO, and went upstairs to examine the damage - against my advice, he doesn't do blood at all.  There was a big thump as he passed out and landed on the loo.  I gave him five minutes to come around, he was downstairs in about three, looking very green around the gills, and said nothing all the way to hospital.

What is it with Men, they get a paper cut and it's the end of the world, if they nearly sever a limb with an angry grinder, they think it'll be fine if they just dab some iodene around the edges.

Talkback: Slugs

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 14:03

FB, I wouldn't use salt.  A bucket of salty water to drop them into, yes, but the salt will not do your plants any good at all.  If you get a slug and cover it in salt, it's like some disgusting effect from a sci-fi movie.  I didn't know about that until I moved into a shared house at college which had a serious slug infestation, not helped by one of the girls leaving food out all over the place, we had a serious clear-out one day, and found an apple crumble absolutely heaving with the things.  She accused us of eating it!  Next time we just left it out, and let her clear it up!!

FG, the bitumen paint is very good on rasied beds, but is black like tar, so if you've a veg patch covered in brand new beds, it might not be the way to go!  It does dry quite quickly, so as long as you're careful, I don't think it will be an issue with plants, especially if you do it on a dry, still day (I know we don't get many of those).  It's great for beds on an allotment, though, where looks aren't that important.

pH meter suggestions, please

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 13:57

Thanks folks

OH has a stash of litmus paper for measuring the pH of his biodiesel (something to do with having to add acetic acid to the mix after the initial reaction to stop it all turning into soap).  Think I will have to 'borrow' some of it, as he's always sending off for new supplies.  Either that or get my own stash and hide it - he's great at borrowing things on a permanent basis, or borrowing things and giving them back when they're about to give in or are nearly all used up.

Encouraging young gardeners

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 23:41

Hang on a minute.....the RHS is trying to encourage youngsters to consider horticulture as a career, and then doesn't allow children into Chelsea?

If that's right, then that's double standards taken to the extreme - worse than some politicians!

Shame on you, Chelsea/RHS!

pH meter suggestions, please

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 23:37

I am now getting to a stage with my garden where I have cleared sufficient brambles to start thinking (and I mean, thinking, not actually doing) about selecting plants.  Can anyone suggest a suitable pH meter I can use - lots of those on amazon (replicated on ebay) are cheapo ones, that have got very bad reviews on Amazon, which really puts me off buying them.  I'd rather have a meter that you stick in the ground, rather than a testing kit, as I'm going to be improving the soil as I go along, adding compost and manure, and as I want to grow veggies in the bottom bit, a meter would be useful as I would know if I needed to lime the soil for brassicas.

Anyone got a good one, and should I avoid the cheap Amazon, E-bay and GC ones?

Where are my vegetables?

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 18:02

Be patient, most will come up in it's own time.

I tend to start my veg off in pots, to stop it getting decimated by slugs.  Carrots and beets go straight into the ground, but peas, beans, cabbage, sprouts etc all get started off in pots - they're generally warmer than the ground at this time of year, and you can place them on gravel, or high up, to make sure that slugs can't get at them.

Don't get too disheartened.  It may be that the ground is still a little cold for them to peep through, the fact that you have peas, beans and carrots coming through is promising!  If all else fails, you could try getting some plug plants from the garden centre, or re-sow some of the things that haven't germinated in pots this time.

You may also need to protect the green shoots from birds at this time of year, it may be worth investing in a mesh mini-tunnel, to protect them whilst young & tender, once bigger than about 6 inches, they lose their appeal to birds.

Get yourself a big planter/window-box, put rings of copper tape around the top to deter slugs, and plant yourself some lettuce, radish, carrots, anything else you like to eat salad-wise, pop some seeds in and put it by the back door (if there's room and it's sunny enough).  Quick crops will keep you going until some of the staples come through.

One thought, did you 'chit' the potatoes when you put them in, and have they gone into the ground, or did you put them in potato planters/tyres?  Did you enrich the ground before planting anything?  Carrots will grow in almost anything, but beans are very greedy.

Get yourself a copy of growing veg month by month by John Harrison.  It's only a fiver or so from amazon, and it's become my veg bible.  Has lots of great ideas, and will keep you going when disheartened.  You will learn what will grow and what won't, it can be a steep learning curve when starting out.

Chin up.

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