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Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

661 to 670 of 670

Talkback: Adopting hens

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 12:11

How much room do they need?  I have a very small garden, I'd love to adopt some battery girls, but don't know the first thing about chickens.  Also, can they co-exist peacefully with a Dog?  I used to have an African Grey parrot, and that was OK with the dog (it used to tell it off), and once the dog learnt that if he stuck his nose too near the parrot, it would get a sharp peck - will battery girls stand up for themselves, or will I have to be around to protect them?

Mini greehouse slugs

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 12:07

You could also try putting copper tape around bits of the frame, if they're using the frame to climb up.  You may need 2 strips of tape about half an inch apart as some of the big ones can 'bridge' one strip of tape (even the really wide stuff.  If they're using the PVC to climb, you can also stick the tape to the frame (its cheap on ebay, cost me around £5 for 12 metres of the stuff.  You could also try scattering sharp sand on your patio, and make it as unpleasant as possible for the horrible things, and hope they'll go elsewhere for their free lunch.

Border at school

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 01:02

Please bear in mind the students at the school.  I recently offered some plants to the infant/junior school where my son goes to nursery, and they have to be very careful what they plant, as anything that is remotely poisonous is not allowed, so that rules out things like foxgloves, lupins etc.  I would use google or something like that to check the toxicity of anything that goes in there.  Not so much of a problem if the students are older, but they might still 'dare' each other to eat bits of plants, so better to be safe than sorry.  I'd also give roses a miss, as most varieties have thorns, and we now live in a litigious society, I wouldn't want to see the school in court if little Johnnie or Janie fell into them and emerged with scratches.  Sorry to put a damper on things, but you have to be really careful where children are concerned (my husband used to be a teacher so I know some of the ridiculous hoops they have to jump through for safeguarding).

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 19:19

I HATE slugs.  They come into my garden and have a party, if slugs don't get my seedlings, then the flipping birds do (the birds make me laugh, though, so are forgiven, especially the blackbirds that are nesting in the rowan tree at the bottom of the garden).  The male blackbird always tells me off when I'm at the bottom of the garden pottering.  Slugs will eat anything, so it may well be them that have scoffed them, or they could have rotted away if they're waterlogged.  So my bulbs always go into sharp sand or grit (when I can get hold of it), it ensures they don't get waterlogged & rot, and the slugs don't like the scratchiness - same as protecting seedlings with crushed-up eggshells.  Would love a hedgehog to move in, It would soon be too fat to move very far!

What is horticultural grit?

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 18:58

I couldn't get hold of horticultural grit either (normally out of stock at my local b&q), so I've used sharp sand in it's place, and it seems to be OK - used to improve drainage & keep slugs away from my lilly bulbs.  Maybe you could see if you can use that instead?  I got it from my local builder's merchants, and it was a fraction of the price of horticultural grit.  I'm just a beginner though, I don't know if any more experienced gardeners would recommend this.  My tree lillies are starting to poke their heads through the soil though, so *I think* it's working.

Fiskars Weed Removing Tool

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 15:16

A word of warning - don't use it on weeds coming up through gravel, it will break!  I use mine on the lawn, & find it works wonders, and seems to bring most of the root system up with it.  If you have weeds coming up through gravel, I have a wolf-garten weeding knife, yes, you do have to get down on hands & knees, but it will remove EVERY bit of weed.  The weed puller is great if you have a big lawn, just keep a bucket with an even mixture of grass seed, sand & potting compost to fill in the small holes (not craters in my opinion).  Pop it in a used bread bag, & snip the corner off is the easiest way I've found to fill in the holes, bit like using a piping bag to ice a cake.

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 14:56

See if your local area has a gardening club.  Most areas that have allotments will also have gardening clubs, barring that, try local school fairs for garden bargains, ebay is a good place to find tools (be wary of buying used, they could be nicked from someone's shed), and I have had some seed bargains from ebay (60 assorted packets for around £12, some out of date, but if the packet is unopened, most will normally still germinate).

What you need to look for are perennials - these come up and flower every year, some are where the plant itself survives the winter, others are where the plant self-seeds, so will come up again next year.  If you're not sure, google the plant name, that's saved me some expensive mistakes!  Things that grow from bulbs or corms will normally come up every year, make sure you give them a good feed at least once a week (twice is better), and when you plant bulbs or corms, put a bit of grit or sharp sand around them, this helps keeps slugs away, as slugs will quite happily munch bulbs if they can get to them.  Hope this helps.

give and you will receive

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 14:47

Another way of getting fairly cheap plants is to look out for local school fairs, the school where my son goes to nursery have a 'gardening club' where they are encouraged to grow all sorts of plants, and some of the surplus gets sold off at their annual summer fair.  Not sure exactly what, as I've not been before, but if you have something similar, it may be worth a look.  If anyone is in the Sheffield area, I've got some spare bedding plants I'd be willing to swop?  Maybe we should ask the moderaters to create a 'swop shop' type board, where we could advertise any surplus plants, or plants we'd like, but can't find or afford garden centre prices?

Just a thought.

Talkback: Cats in the garden

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 14:45

I have a dog (a rescue dog), and I ALWAYS clean up after it, he even has a clip on his collar so he can carry his own mess to the nearest bin!  Now, I dislike cats as I also have 2 small children, and they can't go out until I've done a cat poop patrol.  Unfortunately the cat is the only animal whose owners can't be prosecuted for trespass.

This will annoy all cat lovers, but the deterrent I use (max is too old and fat to catch the little darlings), is a super soaker water pistol full of beer.  Cats get soaked with it, clean themselves up, and get a little bit drunk.  Keeps them out of my garden for a week or so afterwards.

My neighbour's dog (before he passed away) was that quick, and gymnastic, he'd literally run up a wall to get to them (they sit on top of a wall and taunt the dogs, until they get soaked with my beer gun), he managed to get to two, which he hit so hard he broke the cat's back, so my neighbour, who luckily isn't squeamish, had to despatch the cats to put them out of their misery.  Unfortunately he couldn't return the bodies to the rightful owners for burial, as guess what, neither of them had collars on.

Far too many people are too stupid to own a pet (or have children for that matter), but they still do, and it's people like me that take on rescues and straighten them out who end up picking up the pieces when Fido is no longer a loveable little ball of fluff but a big lolloping teenager!

I don't mind picking up my dog's offerings, but HATE cleaning up after the neighbourhood cats.

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:30

I am relatively new to gardening, and being disabled and on a tight budget, tend to read any reviews of stuff before I buy - you gardeners seem a very honest and passionate (about gardening!) bunch.  If you look at the most recent reviews on both the B&Q and Wickes websites, all of the RECENT reviews say what complete rubbish this is.

Like I said, I am fairly new to gardening, and trying to raise a lot of things from seed to save money (flowers as well as veggies).  The best results I've had so far are with the Jiffy plugs, where this is a bit of compressed stuff that you add water to, then sow the seed, great in my opinion, as I know when I can see roots, I need to pot these on.  However, the potting on has been a bit hit & miss, the first bag of potting on compost I got was ASDA's own, which was good, the next 3 bags I bought were not as good though.  Next I've gone on to a massive bag of Levington's, which I thought I'd be OK with, but I wouldn't even TRY to sow seeds in this, there are big bits of wire and fairly big twigs in there.  It's OK for potting on, but too coarse for seeds (not that I really know what I'm talking about).

If I hadn't read about how rubbish the b&q and Wickes stuff is, I would have bought it, had everything die, and probably been put off gardening for life.  If anyone wants to start a 'grow your own compost' thread, I'd be really interested.

661 to 670 of 670

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