London (change)
Today 13°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C

Peat Ballan

Latest posts by Peat Ballan

Talkback: The benefit of freezing weather in the garden

Posted: 25/02/2012 at 14:12
£42.00 for BAG OF NUTS ????? EEEEEEEEEEEEEk! Here I ay merely £19.99 for a bag of finest kind nuts 'n' seeds for my Lotty swingers !!! Move oop North Lass !

Talkback: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2012

Posted: 02/02/2012 at 20:38
Darn ! I missed the big garden birdwatch on Saturday, as I was becoming a Grand-daddy ! All the same, I can safely report that the 'lotty bird population is healthy, varied and growing. Today, Thursday Feb 2, I noted in 1/2 an hour, 6 jackdaws, 2 starlings, 1 cock greenfinch, 2 cock chaffinch, 2 dunnock, 2 collared dove, 1 feral pigeon, 6 blue tits, 2 great tits, 1 coal tit, 2 pheasant, 5 blackbirds 2 robin and this was good enough for the time there !
I kissed seeing the usual gang of spuggies seething around the hedge, as they are commonly numbering 5 or 6 .

Talkback: How to grow garlic

Posted: 02/02/2012 at 17:29

I had a BUMPER crop of really  good first class quality garlic last year ! It was all from my crop of 2010, and if it is grown from home produced bulbs, then it seems to be accliatised for your own area. I agree with slugsbgone about when to plant out. In Northumberland, we don't have to worry about whether we'll get a frost.

WE GET FROSTS HERE ALRIGHT !!!!  and I'm  just waiting for a chance to plant out sometime later this month !

Talkback: How to improve your soil

Posted: 02/02/2012 at 17:24

I have just found an inexhaustable supply of horse manure. Gurt steaming mountains of it ! I haven't decided whether to plop it direct onto the soil to about 2 or 3 inches or 50 to 75mm deep and let nature take it's course. After due deliberation, I am putting the stuff in a manure heap. It looks good steaming away, and smells 'righteous' ! By the time it is  'cooked' through, it will be the autumn 2012, and ready to serve to the worms.   God ! How  I LOVE this job ! 

Talkback: Unwelcome wildlife

Posted: 02/02/2012 at 17:15

The trouble with wildlife in the lotty is, they haven't read the script ! I did find that making a sillhouette of a stalking cat, with threatening devilish eyes, works a treat with CATS ! Birds  can do what they please. I welcome them as long as they swing around on the feeder areas. Keep 'em happy there, and I'm happy. Butterflies can flutter by, as they seem to be totally unaware of the netting so carefully spread out over the cabbages 'n' whatnot. If a butterfly can outwit me, then ANYTHING can !  They are all there for a purpose. Perhaps a higher purpose than we know. I am just a servant to provide for them. At least, that's what my cat tells me !

Talkback: Growing gunnera

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 20:19

The BIGGEST gunnera to be found used to be down Cot Valley, St. Just,W. Cornwall. In it's wisdom, the council, or National Trust, has recently dug it up, with JCB's to reclaim the land to as it was before gunnera. A shame in one way, but there we are. They were there as a fixture for more than 50 years ! But then, it is a ginormous plant, thrives in the right conditions, and like the infamous knotweed, can be unstoppably invasive if left to it's own devices.  

Talkback: Dealing with slugs and snails

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 20:10

The molluscs have an unerring homing device on them, andno matter what one does, the eggs will renew the supply of new generations of the little sods ! Just have a regular party time with stale beer, and let them  get merry, lose the will to live, and dispose of them to the tip, or take them for a drive miles away.By and large, they are past caring by the time you collect them in the  morning !

Talkback: The no-dig method

Posted: 09/01/2012 at 20:01

I have a nice size 'lotty, on a north facing slope, in Northumberland. it can be a real pain to grow stuff, but some summers are wonderful for lettuce, carrots, strawbs, currants  and suchlike. Then, broadbeans become a desperate fight for survival, the wind lifts panes off the glass house, and sweet corn loses the will to live ! I would love to no-dig, but the local farmer has lost interest in dumping an annual load of manure at the end of the path. ( Insufficient rendering of home made wines to his threshold !)

I have found over many years, that no-dig is either a complete waste of time if you want good healthy cropping, or a 'good thing' if you want to just let nature take it's course, and be happy with a reduced amount of crops or variety. Nature has a way of weeding out the weakest. 

Gardeners World

Posted: 24/12/2011 at 10:27

Oh Carol ! My little Kleinwort. You are /she is a favourite in our household, however creaky we may be. Enthusiasm, knowledge and practical. She faces the unforgiving natuer of gardening with cheerfulness and happines, in style and unremitting happiness. Bless her and may her sprouts flower constantly !

Talkback: Building bird raft video project

Posted: 24/12/2011 at 10:19

Can I claim one on expenses ? 

Discussions started by Peat Ballan


Replies: 8    Views: 295
Last Post: 13/10/2013 at 09:48

leaf mulching

how to get the most out of your old leaves 
Replies: 3    Views: 345
Last Post: 13/07/2013 at 22:51


improving shed and garden security 
Replies: 6    Views: 431
Last Post: 12/07/2013 at 21:47

GM seeds

to seed or not to seed 
Replies: 4    Views: 254
Last Post: 24/06/2013 at 21:12

herbal lawns

Establishing a herbal lawn 
Replies: 18    Views: 975
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 14:57

Now the soil is warm

what and where to plant and sow 
Replies: 6    Views: 458
Last Post: 23/05/2013 at 23:25

bee hives

benefits of bee hives 
Replies: 0    Views: 480
Last Post: 14/09/2012 at 10:12


where and when to burn or not to burn 
Replies: 1    Views: 496
Last Post: 05/04/2012 at 18:10
8 threads returned