Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Vine Weevil

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 11:50

How nice to read the above two posts - veritable peace breaking out!  sometimes it does seem as if people want their view to supersede all others, and it can make a board a pretty uncomfortable place.  I thought hard before I posted, but I think overall there's a good balance of opinion.

Incidentally, (and also with prescient timing) we have visitors staying with us from Canada.  Where we grow vast acreages of oilseed rape, they grow canola.  The seed is treated in the same way ie with neonicotinoid before planting, and there is, apparently, no problem with large numbers of bees dying off.

As I said upthread - let's hope that the experts can really find an answer - soon!

Mini Greenhouse - door open or closed?

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 22:26

I use two mini plastic GHs as cold frames, and very useful they are, too.  I open the door during the day (unless we have a sudden burst of cold wind again) and close at night.  After about a couple of weeks, I'll leave the door open at night as well, and by then the plants should be OK to be planted in their final position.

Oh - and a quick hint that I have found helps:  when you roll and then tie the door open there is a bit of a strain on the plastic and the joints, and the door sort of sags around the tie.  I roll a short piece of garden can in the middle of the roll, and it keeps it firmer.  No sagging!

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.

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