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Latest posts by Palaisglide

Sharpening tools

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 10:59

The best way is to keep a tin of machine oil, a small tin is cheap and will last a long time. Clean and wipe your tools dry after use then wipe a light coat of oil on them. All my tools are years old and still going strong.
A rub with a fine file will put the edge back on Secateurs, there will be a flattish edge on the blade just before the cutting edge so rub the file from the back of the blade towards the cutting edge taking off any burrs. Then take a spanner to the centre nut and bolt and nip it up until you feel a little pressure as you press the handles together. Give them a good oiling and hang them up, it is best to hang all tools, you know where they are and they are not lost under a heap of something.
A lawn mower blade can be sharpened the same way, run a fine file from the back of the blade to the cutting edge in circular sweeping movements, you will get the hang of it after a few runs finish with a bit of fine sand paper and oil, I even oil the wood shafts of all my tools.
Hope this helps.


personal experience on composting

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 21:55

Hollie everything given time will eventually rot down, the large industrial heaps will rot down in six weeks, they have lots of heat and turned on a regular basis with a JCB.
I would expect good compost in three months Spring and Summer, six months Autumn Winter.
Well done on getting compost although had you turned the bin out onto a plastic sheet shaken it up and put it back you could possibly have had compost in six months.
Not everything will rot quickly so I shovel my compost through a sieve throwing the lumps back into the bin, it will make compost in time.


personal experience on composting

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 17:16

Sam, it is not pestering it is a search for knowledge, we all do it one way or another, sharing experience is what it is about.
I will answer the same question on the board time and again because the people asking either do not know or do not know how to find the answer. I have a well used stock of books ancient and modern plus having learnt gardening at my Fathers side many moons ago now.
Always happy to share that knowledge Sam and as to compost it is not quantum physics it is common sense and the three golden rules, air heat and moisture and as Bob says a good hefty turning now and again, better than a weekend at the Gym.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 12:22

Stockton, out and away early to get some bits a paper and lotto, "oh yes" and Birthday Card for Daughter, nearly forgot, sitting in a place they toss pots about (have to be careful what I say, could be jumped on again) having a very nice breakfast and watching the weather. No it was not a Greek restaurant.
Overhead it was dull and overcast though looking out to the Cleveland Hills I watched the weather front creep inland and along the hills brightening as it went. By the time I came out it was sunny all around apart from directly above, that has now moved on and it is warm. The sun has just started to shine in to the room.


personal experience on composting

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 12:08

Sam, my two compost bins are on the ground and did have wire mesh across the bottom that was over twenty years ago, when I bottom out it has gone so I start with twiggy stuff that gives air space.
The boxes are square made of wooden slats on a frame with very slight gaps between the slats to let air in at all levels although the best way is to turn the compost mixing it well as you go. The boxes have lids.
People say leaving air gaps lets rats in, my answer to that is in all my years I have never once seen a rat, that could be because I always had terriers who had the run of the garden.
To sum up, on the ground or on slabs does not matter. If you have some small gap in the sides, drilled holes, a cut hole with fine wire over it or leave air gaps in the slats air will be drawn in by the heat of the compost and as I keep saying on here AIR HEAT MOISTURE, that is the secret of good compost, the hotter it is the sooner you can use it.


Health and safety!!

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 17:14

"Ah yes" Solidago, Golden rod, Lauren, goldenmosa, a plant by any other name, would you rather have that or fields of Rape seed in flower which can cause Asthmatics problems and seem to get nearer to housing year by year.
Our back lanes are lit up by golden fields as far as the eye can see, they light the place up at midnight, do you think the Council would dig them up if I complain, after all they were all market gardens and meadows when I moved in 30 years ago?
I even dig the stuff out of the borders and it is creeping along the bank sides of the beck along with many weeds although quite nice flowers brought with the trains when it was a Railway cutting. Luckily the same section has pears plums sloes elderberry and masses of blackberries so it is not all bad news.
I remember a new neighbour looking over my fence and saying "Japanese Anemone I would not give it house room" it gave some little pleasure to tell him it had originally been in his garden crept under my fence and stayed.
If people can neglect their gardens thus spreading weeds why tackle someone for planting flowers I ask.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 10:48

Stockton rather strange weather, to the West the sky was almost purple, to the East and North heavy cloud, South I cannot see the Cleveland Hills and it looks dark yet overhead blue sky and the sun is shining.
What are we in for, I cannot even guess, we normally have distinctive weather patterns this all looks odd.


when to plant

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 10:14

Lilium Candidum (Madonna Lily) if you want to look it up, we had a long row of them they were never dug up but left to naturalise, they came every year even after the worst winters so are hardy.
Put them into a deep pot now nose just below the soil as mentioned above and then outside against a wall or sheltered, they like a slight lime soil, we would scatter some lime on the ground when we limed the cabbage patch. The Autumn leaves, basal leaves, will die off when it puts up the stem, they grow to three or four feet in height so may need staking though we never did that. They prefer a sunny spot.
I loved them and we had Peony bushes behind them so we got the deep red of the peony and then the white tube of the Madonna, they will have a slight yellow base to the tube.
They seem to be out of fashion now and I admit I have none at the moment, we tend to go for the more flash types, this has set me thinking of putting some in.
Hope this helps.


Can I prune an espalier apple tree in winter?

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 23:12

Pruning of Apples can be done from the fall of the fruit until the breaking of the buds in Spring.
Summer pruning is to get rid of the unwanted young whips, in November you can shape the tree, remove any unwanted growth and prepare the Spurs.
Spurs are the shortened growth from a main branch usually cut back to just two buds, these produce the fruit.
So yes cut the young whips back down to two or three buds, if you want further tiers leave the main whip to grow on and then tie in the side branches on wires. Once you have the height you want then cut out the main whip.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 22:56

Yes I know the tool you mention Artjak and very useful, i just prefer taking out the front slats of one of the heaps and using a fork toss it out and back, replacing the slats as I go the same end product only quicker.
I told my son to make a long heap on his farm so as you add to one end you can take compost from the back, he has plenty of room so no problem and we can turn it with the JCB.
Gardeners are tied by the room allowed and in some of the new build gardens down the lane they are lucky to get a Dalek in, a square of lawn back and front a garden shed and a clothes line although some manage to produce food crops. If the spirit is willing there is always a way.

PS Artjak my name is Frank, the Palais Glide bit was forced on me by the misplaced electronic madness we call board sign in, you would have seen a demonstration of the dance on the History of Ballroom dancing

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