Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Vine Weevil

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 22:20

With perfect timing, I looked at a large tub of heucheras and primulas yesterday, and, deciding that they really didn't seem to be thriving, decided to dig them up and repot them individually.  The reason they weren't thriving was painfully obvious - hundreds of pesky VW grubs had chomped through the roots!  I salvalged a few bits that had what may prove to be viable roots still attached, and drenched the new pots with Provado.  I then turned the soil over in the tub and spread the grubs out on a tray, much to the delight of Mrs Blackbird, who clearly has a hungry brood to feed.  The residual tub of compost, doubtless still infected with some grubs etc.  was also given the drench.

As I type this, there is an item on the news about the decline in bees, and the possibility of the link with certain pesticides.  Now, when I took the action that I did yesterday, I hadn't realised that neonicitonoids and Provado were effectively one and the same.  I shall think long and hard before considering its use again should I see the need. 

For once I do find myself in agreement with the European proposal for a suspension of the use of these products while further research is carried out.  But experts don't seem to be able to agree, so I hope they really do crack on with the research and find the answer.


might be usefull for slugs

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 13:35

I'm not sure this will be useful for slugs - but sounds like it's a tip that will be very useful for gardeners  

I shall definitely try this.  Thanks for the info.

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 22:14

Patricia - that's a lot of money to spend on trying to keep your garden cat-free.  I think the Olbas oil is similar to the muscle stuff - but dearer.  It may be that the teabag solution would work for you.  I believe that the odour lingers and deters cats long after our own sense of smell detects it.  So it could be that it would be of some help for you.  Here's hoping!  (Well, we're all hoping for a proper summer this year, and you'll be hoping to be able to get out there and enjoy it!)

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 12:25

Tim Burr:    (As I typed it, I just realised how clever your board name is!)

Criss:  No probs.  Thanks for sorting it.

btw a way to deter the critturs is to soak used, dried teabags with muscle spray - the deep heat sort of thing.  Buried just below the surface, they (the cats) are repelled by the smell, which lasts a couple of weeks, and doesn't get washed away by rain etc.

The actual poo will break down eventually, but because cats are meat-eaters, the stuff is more toxic and less beneficial than, say, horse manure.

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 21/04/2013 at 23:21

Hello!  I don't post often - but have been around since the demise of the old Beeb board.  It seems that there are now two of us (Shrinking Violets, that is).  A bit confusing?

Vistors had a party yesterday

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:20

I have a pair of Blackcaps who are regular visitors.  I was quite excited by their appearance - until I observed just how aggressive they can be, to the detriment of other little birds!  I suppose it's all part of "nature's rich tapestry" - but my human self rather wishes that they would all get along and live in harmony

Talkback: Frogs and toads in the garden

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:14

Frog has started croaking in the pond - no sign of him until yesterday.  I am in the "warm" southwest, but it has evidently been too cold even here for froggy to do his thing until now!  Hopeful for lots of spawn in the near future.

Blanket weed!

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:07

Blanket weed is the very devil to get rid of!  You can never eradicate it, in my experience, but the best thing is to try to keep on top of it.

First - use a stick to twirl it around (like trying to get candyfloss on a stick!) and dispose of the weed.  Then ensure that the pond is as clear of it as possible - and for this, yes, barleystraw bales are pretty good.  Also use watercress!  If you can get hold of proper watercress bundles (remember the bunches sold on market stalls?) chuck them in, and leave for a couple of weeks.  Dunno why or how it works - but it does!  Keeps the dreaded blanketweed at bay, and can easily be removed.  But even this is not a cure-all you still need to be vigilant, and the stick twirling may still be necessary.

Wild Garlic

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 16:55

If the flowers are yellow, then it's not the same.  However  . . . .

The trendy thing is to use "wild garlic" in some recipes.  A bit like the numerous Michelin stars awarded to the Danish restaurant (I think called "Noma").  Just be aware, that "on-trend" is not the same as viable.  Wild garlic is a weed in the domestic environment, best treated with glyphosate.  Trying to dig it out will result in the bulbils spreading like wildfire. 

Oh, and the much-famed Danish restaurant has had many problems of "tummy upsets" recently - so perhaps (!) foraging for wild stuff, especially if you don't know what you're doing, is not such a good idea!

Vistors had a party yesterday

Posted: 10/04/2013 at 23:01

The redpoll has returned with Mrs Redpoll, and the other little birds are still eating at such a rate that I have to keep filling up the feeders each day.  But they are a delight to watch - I just wish sthe marauding jackdaws and rooks would stay away!

I dug over the veg patch today and was chased by three robins who wanted me to work faster to unearth more worms etc!!!  I thought they were very terratorial, and wouldn't tolerate others in "their"patch, but it seems I was wrong.  It was lovely to be out in the fresh air, though, and the sound of all the birdsong was a real sign of spring at last. 

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