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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 15:04

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.

Trite Lilies

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 17:45

Every year I think I have lost my lilies in pots, and buy new bulbs.  Every year they surprise me by sprouting.  I have to say, however that they are already about a foot tall, so would expect yours to break the surface any day.  I'd leave them in a sunny place (but they don't like warm roots, so try to keep the container out of direct sunlight - maybe another container in front of it), keep them watered and see what happens.  If they're not through in a couple of weeks, I'd dig one up to find out what's going on, it could be that they've been planted a bit too deep.

Most of mine are tree lilies, so will grow to 5-6 feet before flowering.

Size of roots removed

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 16:13

Brambles are blinking awful things, even the dead ones have great big thorns that scratch you to bits.  I am also fighting the bramble & bindweed problem, there are quite a few of us on here fighting the battle, and I often come here for advice.  Brambles only tend to go down a spade and a half's worth, so double digging an area would get rid of most of it.  However, it regenerates from the tiniest bit left, so I would suggest blitzing the area with roundup, sbk brushwood killer or any other weedkiller containing glyphosate.  The initial results are dismaying - it seems to green up and grow before your eyes, but does eventually die.  Spray, leave 4-6 weeks for it to be absorbed into the root system, then chop down the top growth and dig out the roots (leave a good 6 inches of 'stump'  so you can see where you need to dig).  Invest in a pair of decent leather gauntlets, it will make your job so much easier (I bought some of the Tough Touch ladies' gauntlets, worth every penny, cheapest are Amazon).

I'm not patient enough for the glyphosate-only route, and as I can only clear at the weekends (hubby around to look after sproglets), what I tend to do is chop down as far as I can reach, chop up and put in green bin, and dig out roots as I go.  When I've had enough, the next bit I can see gets sprayed with the roundup, as even if it doesn't kill it, it weakens it.

I also have bindweed, that goes down to the centre of the earth and is impossible to dig out.  I pop a cane in, let it twine around that, make a hole in the bottom of a pop bottle that the cane will fit through, and when the bindweed reaches the top of the cane, very carefully slide the cane out through the pop bottle.  When all the bindweed is in the bottle - make sure it doesn't snap off, especially near the bottom, screw the top onto the bottle, and spray lots and lots and lots of weedkiller into the bottle (so it's almost swimming in the stuff), and leave.  It is slowly getting the message.  I think when I've won my battle, I'm going to hire myself out as a bramble clearer, it's a very therapeautic pastime, seeing a virtual jungle transformed into a blank canvas.  That point for me, is some way off though!

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