Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

help with garden shed and bbq area

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 00:55

There are a couple of sheds in my Father-in-law's garden that just sit on paving slabs, and have been fine.  I am in the same situation as Ian, I need a shed to put my tools in (There is no room in the garage for gardening stuff, it's full of old Ford Escorts and replacement panels for them), and the only space I have is under a tree, and guess what, I can only fit a 6' by 4' shed in there.  It will only be used for my garden tools, we do have bikes but as they're fairly expensive mtb's (from before I was ill), they're locked in the coal house (under-stairs cupboard accessible from outside), and other stuff that we don't want nicked, like the pressure washer live there.

So Ian, I have sympathy there, I'd love a bigger shed (after all, most great inventions the british have come up with were dreamt up in a shed), but I have a very small garden and space is at a premium.  A bigger shed and I'd have less garden to put plants in!!

help with garden shed and bbq area

Posted: 18/06/2012 at 18:49

I also wouldn't use gravel in the area for the BBQ, any food that is dropped would encourage pests and be very difficult to clean.  It also needs to be level (fire on an uneven surface is never a good idea), if the area is very uneven, could you perhaps have some sort of terrace arrangement?  Personally, I'd use stone or concrete paving slabs for the area directly around the BBQ, and if you're not that keen on stone slabs, decking, or something that's smooth and easily hosed down.

If you put gravel or something else down, you'll still need to put some sort of terrace in to retain it, otherwise you'll end up with mud at the top and a big pile of gravel at the bottom!

You don't need to dig up the grass (unless it's really nice turf you'd like to use elsewhere in your garden).  If you don't want to keep the turf, I'd put weedkiller down, try and level the area as best you can, put weed supressing membrane down, and lay the patio on top of that (I'd do the weedkiller and some of the levelling and point my husband at the rest!!).

I wouldn't use gravel or loose stones or bark chippings in an area where food is going to be eaten (even though I have a dog that can catch food the little ones drop before it hits the floor).  Just my opinion though.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 17:38

Very windy, here in Sheffield, and everytime I get my coat on, it starts to rain again!


Posted: 16/06/2012 at 17:35

I had them in the house a while back ( toddler dropping food everywhere and a dog that does the same with his kibbles), ended up hoovering up about 3 times a day and used the electronic traps, that soon made them move out (we are next to fields and have the same problem every autumn), they decide to move into the house when theirs is cut down, they don't last very long though!  The worst thing is removing the corpses (my husband is the biggest wuss in the world when it comes to dead things), with the electric traps you just open a dog poop bag, or carrier bag - make sure it has no holes, put the entire trap inside & open the door, the corpse will fall into the bag, double bag it & bin it.  I like them as they have a green light on when armed, which flashes red if they zap something.  I always get one or two in the autumn, refugees from the fields.

Slugs,Snails,Dogs & Young kids??

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 17:27

OK, some suggestions:

As it's a big garden get some old carpet squares, & pop these down.  The slugs will crawl under them during daylight hours for protection.  In the morning, turn them over and provide breakfast for the birds.

Have a bit of an untidy log pile somewhere (with plenty of gaps) and hopefully you'll have a frog or two or hedgehog move in and eat the blighters

Beer traps, with a couple of sticks planted nearby to stop the dogs having a party (have dogs myself).  Even better, put the traps under the plants affected (making sure the slugs can't use the plants to climb back out)

Use sand/grit/gravel to deter the slugs and snails from getting to your plants

Use copper tape around any planters to stop them.  You might need a double strip of tape (two sets of tape about an inch apart) to stop the really big ones.  This also works on PVC / polycarbonate greenhouses & cloches.

Grapefruit halves - eat the grapefruit & put the empty halves down to form domes.  this works the same as the carpet, the slugs crawl underneath, and you turn them back over to let the birds have breakfast.

I'd also net your veg patch, I have NO lettuces left after the sparrows have pulled them to bits. I will be using this when I finally move later on (we have a house over the road that was my father-in-laws, where the garden is MUCH bigger), I have a couple of cheap hanging baskets covered in net, upside-down over my salad patch now, to make sure I get some lettuce and not just the birds.

The growing success pellets are safe for kids and dogs, but I don't need to use these any more, since I have had 2 frogs move in, I seem to have a lot less slugs than last year, and the rest I keep at bay using sharp sand.

You can keep birds away from your veggies using shiny things like wind spinners, or get the kids involved by making a shiny scarecrow, by stringing up strips of tinfoil & old tart/cake cases suspended on a string across the top of your veggie plot, apparently birds don't like shiny things (apart from magpies).  I'd still encourage the birds, by putting feeders in a separate area of the garden, as you want them to help by eating the insects in the garden, and if they know they can go to your garden for a 2 course meal (slugs followed by some seed or peanuts), they will help.

Hope this gives you some ideas, as I also have 2 little ones and a hoofing great big dog (but small garden)!

Ideas for planters on patio?

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 17:08

I have something similar on my patio, I have 2 of the silver metal plant spirals, with sweet peas climbing up them, mainly for the scent.  I love sweet peas, but I think it's too late to plant these now.  if you want a focal point, why not add a small willow wigwam and plant a scented climber like Jasmine or Honeysuckle, or even a climbing rose?

Ideas for planters on patio?

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 13:09

If the planters are near to the Kitchen, why not use them to put herbs in, or salad crops like lettuces and radishes?  I'm sure your children would like this, as i'm trying to introduce my 3 year old (nearly 4) to gardening, so he knows where some of the green things on his plate come from.  I'm also hoping that as he's helped me grow them and water them, he'll be more likey to eat them!  I'm also trying strawberries in a hanging basket, as strawberries are one of the few things he'll happily eat!

Dianthus are a good idea to grow, as they're not poisonous, and come in a variety of colours, mostly the purples and pinks you're after.  Maybe a mix of dianthus and lavendar?  I'm sure the smell would be lovely as well as looking good.

no plums

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 13:02

Move it to a warmer climate!  I'm sure the lovely warm weather we had in May made the trees think it was June, then we've had a very wet June (so far) so the poor trees think we're back in March.  No wonder they're not producing!

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 16/06/2012 at 12:57

Crumbs!  It's always disappointing when you order something expecting it to be bigger than something that could have been grown at home.  At least some of the DIY stores have offers on bedding plants now, so you may be able to get some bargains this year, and grow on your microscopic begonias for next year!  Have you tried some of the bargain supermarkets for these?  I get a lot of my basket plants from Aldi, they're good quality (if you get there early enough, I don't think the staff have time to water them).  I'm sure you'll think of something to get your troughs flowering this year.


Posted: 15/06/2012 at 22:17

Aren't they based in Jersey?  I thought if you 'exported' something and then 'imported' it back (albeit via Jersey) you still had to pay the VAT?  I'm sure the tax man would be wise to this dodge and closed any tax loopholes.

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