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Mummy Muddy Paws


Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

To buy or not to buy

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 12:48

Berghill, how do you deal with the rats?  I'd like to keep chickens, and the farmer at the back is none too good at sorting them out, he throws all sorts on his muck heap, I found a young dead rat in the garden a couple of weeks ago, pretty sure that's where it had come from.  I've checked and there's no byelaws or anything in the deeds to stop me keeping chickens.  Obviously I'd need to deal with any rats, and would prefer not to use poison, as I have kids and a dog that eats anything and everything.  OH can't stand cats (I've heard that some rats can be too big for cats to deal with effectively, too).

Adder

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 12:40

Don't like native snakes, they are too small, the big pythons and corn snakes don't bother me, one summer when I was a student and working in a city-centre bar, one of the regulars, dogdy Roger bought his 8 foot Indian Python in, and I spent most of the evening pulling pints with it giving me a cuddle.  Knew about it the next day when my shoulders hurt from carrying the extra weight.

Remember my Mum telling me about the time she was a kid in Hastings, going for a walk with her Dad.  He jumped over the stile, but she'd seen a snake curled up underneath it, and wouldn't jump.  When her Dad saw it, he beat it to death, as it was an adder,  it was wartime and he didn't want her or any of my uncles or aunts in hospital, they were all needed to help in his market garden (He was invallided out of the army as he was diabetic).  He hung the corpse on a tree, and they used to go down every day to see how much more it had decomposed (bloodthirsty little darlings).

I have to keep my dog on a lead this time of year if we go to Clumber Park, they have most of the reptiles common in England there.  Same if we go on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors, there are warning signs there about adders.  Always wear my wellies when strimming, as a few years ago we found a skin that had been shed, I think it was a grass snake, as no pattern on it.  Think they hatch locally in the farm at the back of us on their dung heap.

Forum names

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 12:27
TinaTurner wrote (see)

Verdun's led a very sheltered life.

 

Makes me think of the episode of Father Ted where all of the priests get lost in the ladies' underwear department.  Question is, which one is Verdun??

The Ant Hill Mob

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 23:48

Ants not generally good.  Can completely undermine a planted area, so not welcome in my garden, plus they 'farm' aphids for the honeydew they excrete, so whilst not directly harmful to plants, can still be pest.  They don't like water, so give them a good soaking and they'll go away.

Forum names

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 23:35

Verdun, I think you ought to change your name to Poppy Fields, just to really confuse people!!

In other fora (or is it forums?), I am known as LetsOffRoad and The Ant Hill Mob.  It was suggested I change my name to Ant Hill Blues when I got married to Range Rover Blues.

Now I think I'd be Zarking Fardwarks.

free plants/bulbs/seeds from mag

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 23:57

Woman's weekly website have an offer on in their 'shop' for either free foxgloves or penstemons (click on the 'next' tab and the free offer changes).  So if you're after some foxgloves or penstemons for your garden next year, check it out.  Don't think they'll be big enough to flower this year.

Postage is £4.30 if I remember correctly.  Bought the lavendar from May's issue, but don't really want 3 random clematis.  Wish they'd start offering more fruit or veg plug plants, always send off for those on the few occaisons they're on offer.

Blueberries...

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 01:28

Hard water contains calcium carbonate, the stuff that furs up your kettle with white stuff (and will do the same to your washing machine too, when it's solid it's called limescale).  Soft water doesn't contain as much, sometimes no calcuim carbonate.  This makes your water a little more alkaline, not much, but some blueberries seem to be more tolerant of alkali than others.  The ones I have, the pink ones, do seem to be very sensitive, so will be using black tea if I need to water - I don't have room or funds at the moment for a water butt.

Mattbeer, it may be that you have very soft water - how often, if ever, do you need to de-scale your water?  Maybe you have a very tolerant plant, I do find if you get them before the staff have time to neglect them, plants from aldi do seem to be very robust.

Blueberries...

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 18:26

Only got one blackcurrant at the mo, Verd, was an Aldi special buy, nearly managed to kill it by keeping it in the kitchen whilst we had the snow, repotted and put out when nicer weather came, it dropped most of it's leaves but is recovering well now, in ordinary MPC.  OH has put the pot in a jerrycan holder that he took off his trailer.  Think he's waved goodbye to them now, as there are 4 hanging on the fence, one has the blackcurrant in, 4 are empty......for now!

As we're meant to be moving later on in the year, most of my stuff is in pots, including fruit trees - very big pots, those!  Will be keeping and using next year for carrots.  Will have to remember to give the blackcurrant a drink of the flower power once a week when I do the strawberries.

Green manure question

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 18:17

Phacelia.  Was a which best green manure some time ago, and has the added benefit of attracting bees to help pollinate plants.

The farmyard stuff needs to be well-rotted, by which time it will have lost it's attraction for your dogs, getting it whilst it's still palatable for them to eat or wear will scorch any veggies.  FYM is also the only thing that you can add over winter, as I don't think green manure would grow - there may be something that will do the job, I'm not an expert on green manure.  Try digging in some sharp sand or grit into the areas that are more clay-like to improve drainage.

The other thing you could try is pelleted chicken manure, but that might also be attractive to the dogs, I know mine is very interested when I'm adding blood, fish & bone to the soil.

If your dogs are interested in the FYM, then it's not rotted down enough!

Blueberries...

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 16:16

Hi Verdun, Robbie was also asking about runner beans - ericaceous won't do runners any good at all, hence the advice about planting near the fence and using canes! 

Once you start this gardening lark, you find yourself being given all manner of strange things.  I've given away plug plants, jiffy pellets, and copper tape to name but a few.  I've also gone skip diving (with owners' permission) for plant pots and planters!

You're right about the compost, with blueberries, cranberries, azeleas, rhododendrons etc needing proper ericaceous stuff.  Are there any other berries that need ericaceous?  I know strawberries and rasperries don't, what about all varieies of currant - asking as I've recently bought a blackcurrant and it looks as it's doing OK in ordinary clover MPC.

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