Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 23:46

Tree lillies are my thing.  We don't really get on with our next-door neighbour, so I'm getting rid of the blackthorn hedge (which is on our side), and putting tree lillies in, along with some roses and honeysuckle.  I like my scents!   The only reason I'm getting rid of the hedge is it's suffered from *I think* woolly aphids for years, and it's so bad it's disfigured all the branches, and they have really unsightly knobbly growths all over their branches.  I was out this afternoon and disturbed two frogs (the garden has been neglected for ages whilst I've been ill), so must make sure I leave an area where there are some logs.  This explains why I've not seen as many slugs this year I think!

I've used the grit/sand thing before (before I got poorly), and never had any problems with bulbs, so it's worked for me in the past.  I hope it works with your alliums, there's nothing worse than putting in some of your favourite plants and finding them decimated by slugs!

Your wishlist

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 13:07

Would it be possible to add a 'swop shop' type board?  I am fairly new to gardening, and some things have done better than others, for instance I have loads of sweet peas and geraniums, but my foxgloves and salvias have not done so well, so it would be good to be able to post up what you have a surplus of, whereabouts you live, eg, leeds, sheffield, halifax etc, so you could possibly arrange a swap for what you need.  Being new to gardening, I don't know many other people who are interested in gardening that are in my area.  Swopping wouldn't cost anything, and would give beginners and those without much cash (and there are a lot of us these days!) a chance to have a better, more diverse garden.

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.

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