Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

MOB rants

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 18:23

Karma has been in action today.  Yesterday I had a TGB steal a car battery from my front step (Rozzers been around and taken stills from the CCTV, lovely clear pictures of the bloke walking off with MY battery).  Today I had a bloke in a much nicer van deliver my a lovely new TV that I've won in an internet competition.  So to everyone who thinks they're a scam, someone does win them, and very, very occaisonally it's me.

So I think that's a fair exchange, a goosed battery for a brand new telly.  Still hope they get a bum full of shot just to even things up a little bit more.

greenhouse stawberrys

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 17:20

You'll be able to tell how successful you've been quickly, as the small fruit forms just behind the flower, I think they start to show in around a week.

Gardening Mentor?

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 17:17

I agree about having a child friendly area.  Many cottage garden plants are poisonous to one degree or another, and you need to educate your children that NOTHING from the garden goes into their mouth.  A great idea when they're old enough to understand, but a two year old will forget, and if something looks tasty, they will try it.  Most poisonous stuff tastes pretty foul, so hopefully they'd spit it out.  Also, if you've got boys, they will eventually trash your lawn by playing football on it, girls are a bit easier, unless they're tomboys, but an area set aside for them will help strike a balance, they have their bit, and then if they knock the tops off your lupins playing football you can read them the riot act, they have an area of their own to trash!

Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 17:08

Just ask questions as you need to, as you go along.  Blackest has made a good point, about dividing the garden into 'sections' and doing it bit by bit.  It's a bit like eating an orange, very difficult to do in one go, but lovely if you split it up into segments and do it bit by bit.

If it's steeply sloping, have you thought about putting in a series of terraces?  You could then have a different theme in each terrace, one for types of flowers, another with grasses, another with trees, maybe a veg and herb garden, an area for wildlife, the list is endless.

You do need to concentrate on those areas with weeds, you don't want them spreading.  I don't know how effective it is, but you could try roundup gel on your couch grass, you'll never get rid of it by digging, a friend has it on his allotment, it will regenerate from the tiniest bit of root, and it sends runners across and down miles (I think I read somewhere that it can go down 16 feet if conditions are right).  If you keep at it, eventually will give up, as it will be a lot weaker.

If you have specific problems, people have lots and lots of different ways of dealing with things, I recently posted a question about bindweed, and have had lots of very useful advice.  Take lots of photos as you go along, and when you're feeling fed up and overwhelmed, you can look back at what you've achieved, and it will make you feel a lot better!  Also, don't expect something like 'ground force', that is achieved in a small time with a massive budget as it makes good TV, most of us not only cultivate plants, but patience, too.  Great if you've got lots of money to splurge at the garden centre, most of us have wish lists of plants that just seem to get longer!!

MOB rants

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 10:57

Small yappy type dogs are the worst!  I have big dogs (well, sadly down to one since I lost my lovely big girl last year), and they as soft as butter.  A few years ago we were on a preserved railway somewhere (down south somewhere I think), before we had the kids, and a chap got on, and took one look at the dogs, and was about to get off again - I persuaded him to stay on, as he had been afraid of German Shepherd dogs all his life, since being attacked by one as a child.  I told him Bracken's story, and he felt sorry for her (she'd been beaten and was afraid of leather belts), and plucked up the courage to stroke her.  It ended up with Bracken leaning against him, giving him the odd encouraging lick, and him feeding her the odd gravy bone.  I think we converted  him, I think I lectured him a bit on how to 'read' a GSD - things to look at are the ears and tail, if they're up and it's barking, it's a confident dog and most likely NOT to bite.  If ears and tail are down and it's barking, it's doing it to try to frighten you so you'll go away, and is more likely to bite out of fear.

I must smell 'right' to GSD's, as I've had security patrol dogs and police dogs on their backs for me to rub their tummies, and it's surprised some of the handlers.  One in particular, I put my hand out for him to sniff, after a quick once-over, he used it as a springboard to put one paw on each shoulder and tried to give me a good snogging!!  This was a dog that only two handlers would take out, as it had a reputation for being nasty!

People forget that a dog's DNA is very similar to a Wolf's DNA, and they need a strong pack leader (you) if they're going to be happy and behave themselves.  Lots of dogs that aren't used to children will bite, as kids tend to move very quickly and don't always behave themselves.  There is no excuse for a dog to attack a child, though, and I believe that rather than a fine, the owners should be made to pay for, and attend, without fail, a dog training/behaviour course.

There are very few truly bad dogs (they do exist, my Mum had a Skye Terrier that was very bad, went for me at age 4, it went to the RSPCA, as my Mum told them 'Do I have to wait for it to get in the pram and savage my baby before you collect it?  Or shall I just go to the press now?'), most dogs are OK but boundaries aren't set by the owners.  So very few bad dogs, unfortunately lots of poor owners.

I hope your daughter gets over her fears, are there any parents at school that have a well behaved dog that your daughter can visit, so she realises they aren't all bad?  I would hate for her to grow up like the chap on the train, to realise later on in life that dogs are, by and large, much better than blokes!!

Neglected Garden

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 10:40

Make sure all of your weeds have gone before rotovating.  This is a great way to make a small weed problem into a HUGE weed problem.

tool advice

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 19:47

Wolf-garten.  Not cheap, they have a multiclick system whereby you buy a handle to suit, and then buy different end bits for it.  There are lots of things to fit, hoe, cultivator weeding brush, weeding knife, you name it, they do it.

Buy from certain garden centres, ebay or Amazon.  I'd give the plastic versions a miss, the metal ones are only a few more pounds and definitely worth the extra.

Buy cheap, buy twice.  These tools are built to last for years.

MOB rants

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 17:25

OK chaps, today's rant is about TGB's - thieving Gypsy Personages.  OH took the battery out of his very old vauxhall Cavalier, and has had it charging for the last couple of days.  Today, thought someone was delivering a parcel, opened the door only to find a flatbed truck speeding off, and battery missing.

Rang 101 (police non-emergency number), they were really non-commital until I mentioned I had some lovely pictures of said personage on my CCTV (not the first time it's happened).  I think the battery was goosed anyway, but the fact that they've walked up my drive, taken the crocodile clips off (the charger is inside, luckily enough), and had it away on their thieving little toes with MY battery.

Plod's been round, and as I don't know how to record from the CCTV recorder, they've taken some photos off it they will circulate, and let me know if anything comes of it.  Annoyed and a little worried, as I thought it was a delivery so opened the door, only to see a flatbed speeding down the road.  If  my LO hadn't been mucking about with his shoes, I'd have been face-to-face with him.  The Policewoman said that if I'd been a bloke, I would probably have been thumped, but lots of time faced with a fiesty woman they'll put it down and run away, apparently us ladies fight dirty and aren't above targeting the conkers!  All the time, not a peep out of the dog!  However, had I come face to face with him, I think Max would have shown them some teeth, he's a clever boy for a dog, and knows the difference between the postman and the scrapman (postman= biscuits and fuss, scrapman = shouting and growliness).

So I am not a happy bunny, I hope they fit the battery to their scabby truck, and it gives out when they've just pinched something from a farmer with a handy shotgun, and they spend tomorrow having shot picked out of their bottoms.

I have a friend who works in A&E, and they normally 'run out' of anaesthetic for anyone who's been unfortunate enough to have been bitten by police dogs!

GF, I had similar problems with ramblers on the towpath when I used to cycle, they'd look behind, and we'd all be yelling 'Excuse me!!!', so they'd spread out so we had to stop.  One day I had enough, went to the local bike shop, and asked did he have anything that was very LOUD.  Answer was a battery powered horn.  Next time, cycled up, yelled as normal, they spread out as normal, then I honked the horn.  I think one of them S**t themselves, one jumped out of her skin and very nearly ended up in the canal, but boy did they shift!  Maybe buy your Son one of these, the dog really won't like it, as boy, it is loud.  It was also useful in getting rid of yappy-type dogs that would attach themselves to the toe of your boot by their teeth (not good, you lose your balance with one of those things, as soon as your foot goes on the floor the little darlings can reach your ankles).  One honk of that thing, and they were off, yelping for their mummies! 

Just saying hi and introducing myself :-)

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 16:56

Hi VeggiePatch.  Welcome to the nut house!  Lots of people on here to advice and sympathise (when things don't go quite to plan), I've had lots of useful advice here.  Lots of leg pulling too!

Gardening should be available on prescription!

Neglected Garden

Posted: 23/04/2013 at 16:51

It's not THAT bad - I have rampant brambles in my neglected garden, and it's a lot bigger!

OK, nuimber 1, you might need to build a retaining wall and add topsoil to get a very flat lawn, I wouldn't recommend that, as you will get water running off towards your house, which may well lead to a damp problem.  Maybe a series of terraces so you can have flat strips of lawn?

2, If the grass really is that bad, then maybe you'll need to dig it up and start again, either with seed or new turf.  You need to decide which PDQ, as I wouldn't recommend trying to start a new lawn after the end of April, as the weather tends to warm up and not be as wet, you'd spend a lot of time watering it to make sure it didn't dry out.  Do you have a lawnmower?  If so, make sure the blades are on the highest setting, and give it a once-over.  If it looks terrible, some bits down to bare mud, and other bits are long, I'd say dig it up, level the ground and put new lawn in.

3  Ivy is a bugger to get rid of.  You need to bruise the leaves (try rubbing gently between your hands, without pulling the leaf off the plant), this gets rid of the waxy coating that's on an ivy leaf, which means that any weedkiller you spray on it will actually be absorbed by the plant.  Make sure it's not a plant that belongs to next door, and they are happy for you to get rid of it, next door has ivy that comes over the top of the wall, I just chop it off whenever it comes over,  the chap next door would have a hissy fit if I killed his Ivy!  I would use a glyphosate weedkiller to get rid of the weeds, including thistle, dandelion etc, and once they're dead, use a long   weeding knife or bulb trowel to get rid of the roots.  If they're in your lawn, fill the hole with a mixture of sharp sand and grass seeds, to fill the hole, improve drainage in your lawn (unless you've got sandy soil anyway, then I'd use compost & seed), and the seed should germinate in a few weeks so you can't see the hole where the weed used to be.

Getting rid of weeds can be a slow process, I use a mixture of glyphosate, digging and bloody-minded stubbornness.

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