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Singing Gardener


Latest posts by Singing Gardener

1 to 10 of 129

Rats in the compost

Posted: 27/02/2015 at 15:59

Try changing the poison you use. I started off using the Rentokil one and the rats absolutely loved it - so much so that they ate their way into the container and wolfed the lot while I was on holiday because I'd stopped topping up the bait station. I switched to using Roban and the rats were gone within a week.

Dealing with garden drainage--clay soil.

Posted: 27/02/2015 at 10:23

We are on clay and the garden slopes gently away from the house. We currently have a soakaway which takes the rainwater from the house and there is a field drain (perforated drain) which runs from there to a ditch at the bottom of the garden. As far as we have seen nothing ever comes out of the end of this and the soakaway doesn't flood so that might be worth a try if you've got enough distance. The field drain has gravel all around it and doesn't seem to get clogged up (or at least it doesn't back up to the soakaway). We're actually in the process of installing another soakaway for the water from the garage roof which will work on the same principal.

Hiring a lawn scarifier

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 16:30

I have a Flymo lawnraker which I bought 3 or 4 years ago and which only costs about £80 online. It does remove the moss very effectively but even if I then apply moss killer it still all seems to grow back by the following spring. I do only get round to using it in spring though so should probably do it in autumn as well.

Oh, and I also spent ages aerating last year and the grass gets plenty of sun. I suspect the drainage just isn't good because the clay goes down too deep for aerating to be effective but it would be a major exercise to tackle that problem so I'm just going to continue to regard using the lawnraker as a regular gardening task.

Aluminium posts

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 16:24

I have vegetable cages made from aluminium poles and connectors from Harrod Horticultural. I've had them for years and they don't corrode.

Basil, Coriander, Flat leaf parsley

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 10:01

I'm afraid I don't have a very scientific approach to these so am not sure of exact numbers. I don't transplant the parsley and coriander but just sow them quite thinly. I've had parsley in my garden container all this winter because it's been so mild and basil and parsley on the kitchen windowsill (the basil looks quite sorry for itself though because I let the room get too cold when we went away last weekend).

I harvest fairly sparingly and let the plants regrow.

I don't use any fertiliser on any of them.

I think the problem with supermarket pots is that they plant loads of seeds in each pot so that they look great when you buy them but then start over-competing with each other very quickly.

Basil, Coriander, Flat leaf parsley

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 09:30

Hi Jonesk. We also use lots of all of those. I usually grow the parsley and coriander outside and sow quite a few seeds per container (though perhaps not as many as 20 depending on the size of the container). Basil I grow in the greenhouse and transplant to only 2 or 3 plants per 6 inch pot and they grow into very large plants. I don't see why this wouldn't work in a conservatory as well if they're getting plenty of light and sun.

Slugs aren't a problem for the parsley but for coriander and basil I put the pots on top of copper rings so that the slugs/snails can't get access.

Rats in the compost

Posted: 25/02/2015 at 09:40

I know that if you're the person who gets it then statistics are no comfort but, according to the NHS website, Weil's Disease is very rare with only about 40 cases reported in the UK annually and most of these originate overseas and it's rarely fatal.

I suspect that many of are using compost which has been visited by rats (I know I am) without any ill effects.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 18:28

Ooooh Lizzie - I've been doing exactly the same today! And I've just ordered some roses to go on it so am feeling really excited about it. I'm putting a screen of climbing roses right across the bottom of the garden to mask the view of our sewage treatment plant from the house but have only got round to the arch in the middle so far. I hope I get round to completing the rest before the roses arrive....

North facing conservatory - jasmine??

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 12:13

Hi Guy. I have a North-East facing conservatory and have an actual jasmine (jasminum polyanthum) which thrives there and is flowering abundantly at the moment. I do move it onto my NE facing patio for the summer. In both places it probably gets sun until about 2pm and then none after that.

Hedgehog or rats

Posted: 23/02/2015 at 18:50

I had exactly the same problem - my traps were sprung but I didn't ever catch any rats. Also after they had been sprung a couple of times the rats then avoided them as they'd obviously worked out that touching them wasn't a good idea. I then tried an electronic trap, which did kill 2 rats but I don't think it's very humane - the first rat was still alive when I checked and I had to get OH to finish it off. Even with 2 rats dead I still saw others around so resorted to poison. The first one I used didn't work so I switched to a different one (Roban) and have now been free of rats for several weeks.

1 to 10 of 129

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