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Latest posts by obelixx

cat deterent

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 12:39

I have always had cats and have always fed the birds and now have a thriving population of house sparrows and assorted tits living in the eaves and around the garden plus visiting chaffinches and loads of other small brown jobs as well as woodpeckers, turtle doves, jays, robins, blackbirds and so on depending on the season.

You just have to be clever about putting hanging bird feeders high enough for cats not to leap at them and put down ground food away from shelter for pouncing cats.   I also have bushes nearby where the birds can shelter when cats and sparrowhawks are on the prowl.  

My house is surrounded by arable fields and damp pastures and the cat and Wheaten terrier are invaluable for dealing with the unwanted rodent population - rats all year and meeces migrating into the house walls in winter.   The Labrador tries to help but is hopeless.   Very funny though.   

How to grow sugar cane ?

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 12:08

Move to a tropical climate?   It would need very special greenhouse conditions in the UK.

best way to get rid of rats

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 12:07

That could waste a lot of time sitting around waiting for them, not to mention all the bovver of getting a gun permit.    The poison I use does the job quickly and without further effort or time form me apart form bunging any corpses in teh bin.

Now I just need to find a way to stop all the meeces from migrating into our attic via the rather too porous brick walls this old farm is built from.   Any sensible suggestions gratefully received as they've been more than usually numerous and persistent this year.

Japanese Gardens

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 11:07

Have alook at this blog -

Describes a visit to Japanese gardens in 2011 and may be of help.

Early summer

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 11:04

Saw my first one yesterday whilst in the barn inspecting the pots we've sheltered there for the winter.   I trust it flew outside to gorge on the primulas, crocuses and snowdrops in flower now.  

Had our first houseflies of the year too which is not so welcome.

best way to get rid of rats

Posted: 12/03/2015 at 12:16

I use a Belgian product called ToxaOverdose.  It is sachets of blue grain pellets soaked in poison which kill the rats and other rodents quite quickly and then dessicates the corpses so you don't get the dreadful smell of decomposing bodies.   It is faster than the ones containing warfarin that make them bleed to death over a few days.

Our house is an old farmhouse surrounded by arable fields and pasture so rodents are a permanent feature in the garden and they migrate into the house and barn and attic and garage in winter so out come the sachets.   They've also been eating my pots and troughs of bulbs in the greenhouse this year.

I have a mousing cat and two dogs, one of whom is an excellent ratter but they can't get them all so I slide the sachets under and behind furniture and the stuff in the attic and garage so our pets are safe.   

How cruel is this?

Posted: 12/03/2015 at 07:48

You are not alone Verdun.  I make a cake or cup cakes or muffins every Monday for my scientists and OH never gets any.

The only time he gets to have his cake and eat it is when I make some for a dance club event.

On Sunday the dancers got chocolate chip biscuits, honey, parsnip and coconut cake and banana and cardamom cup cakes.   On Monday the scientists got orange and cardamom drizzle cake.

soil test kit accuracy?

Posted: 11/03/2015 at 15:48

Did you use demineralised water?   Tap water may make the results more alkaline.

Having said that, alkaline is great as long as you don't try to grow ericaceous plants like camellias, azaleas, rhodos and some others.   My garden is fertile alkaline loam on a clay subsoil - great for clematis, honeysuckles, roses, all sorts of shrubs, tres, perennials and bulbs and also good for veggies.   Brassicas like alkaline soil as it helps fight club root.

Adding fertiliser is always going to help but it's best applied as a mulch of garden or municipal compost in autumn to condition the soil and then well rotted cow, horse or sheep manure in late winter so the goodness doesn't get leached out by all the winter rains.   You can also scatter pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone if foxes aren't a problem.   You can make a liquid feed from nettles to give a nitrogen boost to leafy plants and a comfrey feed for plants which will flower or produce fruits.

Obelisk prices

Posted: 10/03/2015 at 16:47

Don't buy tubular.   They break/snap/rust/die of metal fatigue very quickly, especially if your garden is windy as the clematis will add extra wind resistance.

I have several styles/shapes/sizes of solid metal obelisk for my clems and have paid anything form 20 to 80 euros plus a fancy arty one I ordered from a chap at Chelsea flower show in 2007 which as just over £100 on special offer.    They are all very strong and look good on their own in winter when I've taken off most of the dead clematis growth to reduce wind resistance.

Raised bed wood preservation

Posted: 10/03/2015 at 08:18

A good wipe with teak oil will help feed and waterproof the wood too.  Leave it to soak in for a day then build and fill.

Discussions started by obelixx


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Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

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Plant id for Obxx

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GW 2015

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Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Weekend 22 March

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Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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Hanging baskets and window boxes

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1 to 15 of 16 threads