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Latest posts by obelixx

Ride on mower / mini tractor - help!

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 10:29

Simple sit on mowers are generally best for smooth, flat lawns.  The one's that look like  a mini tractor are more rugged and can cope with bumpier terrain but won't be good on real slopes as they can topple.

You can buy them with grass collectors, without grass collectors or with a mulching action which chops the cuttings up really fine and leaves them to feed the lawn.   We have one without grass collection as they always seem to get clogged and I spent more time unblocking the tubes on the old one than actually mowing.   Friends have the self mulching model and it is excellent but their grass is less lush than ours.

Our new one is a Lazer.  It cost about €1000 3 years ago and should last 10 or 15 years.   I could have got a robot for the same price but OK was agin it.  I'll get one next time though as our grass area will be reduced in the next year or so.  

Very underweight hedgehog found on doorstep

Posted: 06/11/2012 at 21:34

Keep him warm and fed and he'll not feel so sleepy but hibernaton may also be triggered by the shortening of the days so maybe give him light too.   make sure theer's water, and no milk, to drink along with teh cat biscuits.  Cat food is excellent for hedhehogs but they can't digest milk or bread and get diarrhoea which dehydrates them and can make them very poorly if not deceased.

FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 15:21

You just need to cut down the main stems to the height you want.   The side stems coming from below the cut will still have green bits taht will grow upwards to cover the cut.   Then you can start trimming the sides back bit by bit, always leaving some green foliage to regrow.  Eventually you'll get a decent shape and still have their protective presence.

As for the neighbours' conifer hedge, you have the right to cut off any branches which overhang your garden but must offer them to the owners.   If that leaves you with unsightly brown branches, try scrambling a climber up them to disguise them.   Honeysuckle is quite vigorous and will give you flowers and perfume and will respond well if you need to cut it back.

FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 09:18

We inherited a leylandii hedge which was 12' tall.  We have gradually cut it back and it is now an acceptable 6 or 7 ' tall and provides a good windbreak and screen for that part of the garden.  We haven't been able to do anything about it's widthe because you have to cut back only as far as green shoots as it doesn't regrow from brown wood.

I would therefore also recommend getting rid of the leylandii altogether and keeping the attractive blue fir if possible.  If not, get rid too cos topping it will look bizarre.

In our previous house,we inherited 30' high leylandii which had been planted as a hedge but never trimmed.  We cut those down ourselves taking off the tops and then the middles and then removing the branches from the stumps and gradually wiggling and axing them out.   It took a while but we ended up with so much more space and light and happy neighbours too.


Clematis montana problem

Posted: 31/10/2012 at 09:55

Slugs are good at processing dead vegetative matter and breaking it down as part of the cycle of growth, death and recycling.  Unfortunately they also have gourmet appetities for some of our treasures so need to be controlled in some parts of the garden.

Apparently ducks like slugs but you'd have to have apond for them and also be prepared for all their mess so best, in my opinion, to live with slugs but manage them where you need to. 

Ive been told,

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 12:52

Tea contains water, obviously, and minerals too so is good for plants.

Don't use rooting gel or powder so can't help with that.

Clematis montana problem

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 11:28

Wildlife friendlypellets do not harm anything except slugs and snails.  Any surplus breaks down into the soil to make a harmless iron compound whereas metaldehyde based pellets kill or make ill all sortsof other creatures.  

I'm not suggesting blanket pelleting so there will be plenty of slugs and snails left over in other parts of the garden to feed hedgehogs and thrushes.  Recent studies indicate that hedgehogs don't actually eat that many slugs anyway.

Clematis montana problem

Posted: 29/10/2012 at 15:35

Put some wildlife friendly slug pellets out now if it's warm and then again on Valentine's Day (cos it's easy to remember) and at regular intervbals throughout spring.  this way you'll get the blighters just before the hibernate and also when they emerge, hatch and before they start to munch and breed.   Used sparingly but regularly they can save clematis, hostas and other plants from becoming slug and snail gourmet feasts.

Growing under holly

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 08:37

I have a holly hedge and weeds seem to manage very well under there.  As you can imagine it's a pain to clean up so we're going to have on last good go and then put down weed suppressant fabric and chipped bark.

If your holly is a tree or large bush and you can raise the crown by removing lower branches you should be able to get some plants growing.  Improve the soil with a thick mulch of good garden compost and or well rotted manure now and leave it till spring to plant up with things like geranium macrorhizum which copes well with dry conditions, has pretty white or pink flowers in May and scented foliage which is usually evergreen.   It turns a glorious red in autumn and lasts through winter.  You just need to pull or cut off the tatty bits on spring.

clay soil

Posted: 27/10/2012 at 12:54

Patience and ever more manure and compost.  Lay it on in thick layers in autumn and leave it over the winter for the worms and frosts to play with.    It will get better and clay soil is very fertile.

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10 threads returned