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Latest posts by smflyman

11 to 20 of 22

Talkback: How to make a house martin nest

Posted: 14/11/2013 at 19:06
To hold the inflated balloon put the knotted end into a vase so that the dome of the balloon is supported but your hands are free to apply the papier mache - simples!


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 19:56

Monsanto started off selling standard and GM soya separately, but the public were not keen on GM so Monsanto mixed the crops at harvest so that the world had to accept a proportion of GM soya. Over 5000 products in a typical supermarket have soya proteins. However, we are all looking the wrong way ..... soya protein does not pose that much of a threat. But the crops enhanced with toxin genes to make them pest resistant are THE threat. The crops kill any caterpillar that tries to graze them, but also pollinators that visit flowers or rest on foliage. There is no way cross-pollination with wild plants can be avoided and so the GM genie gets out the bottle and all our crops needing insect pollination yield less; and so the world ends, with a hungry whimper.

do you do a "Chelsea chop ? if so what plants !

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 01:44

Monty includes clumps of Geranium/Cranesbill in the Chelsea Chop - this year my geraniums are so late they have not flowered yet!

Under tree planting

Posted: 07/03/2013 at 21:46

Might you consider some sunken pots of Lily of the Valley for early interest and sunken pots of Crocosmia for later? Also some of the ferns are surprisingly toleant of light and competition with trees/shrubs.

Talkback: Cleaning out bird boxes

Posted: 22/11/2012 at 17:38
Cleaned out our 2 boxes just now. Revealed the tragedy of the sodden Spring and early Summer. The remains of a Blue Tit brood in one and the remains of a Great Tit brood in the other. Not enough caterpillars to keep them alive - the different stages of development at which the chicks died suggesting lack of food and gradual starvation.
What a miserable job - resolved to feed mealworms from first hatching if weather bad next year. IF???????

Talkback: How to lay a decking path

Posted: 15/11/2012 at 20:53
I plan a decking path across a very damp lawn. I will be improving on Monty's plan:
1 Use tanalised ridged timbers for the treads, extra treated with a silicon water shedding product.
2 Open out a roll of chicken wire along the patch and secure with staples. Non-slip guarantee.
3 Ensure a slight fall from one side of treads to the other to allow drainage.
4 Keep up a regular maintenance of brushing leaves and soil from the treads to prevent build-up of detritus that would encourage moss.

Hedge Ideas

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 14:58

How about a mixed hedge? Geen and copper beech, laurel, a prickle-less holly look-alike, Irish yew and  hedging honeysuckle. Get variation in colour, texture and leaf shape.

What DO they put in bags of mixed birdseed?!

Posted: 24/03/2012 at 12:31

Yes - the theory is that each squirrel that eats a garlic bulb will be deterred from the other bulbs. If nothing else you get lots of tasty garlic.

Pigeons will respond briefly to a dummy hawk or owl, but soon learn to ignore it. he pigeon is a big bird, but a Harris Hawk (much more commonly kept by falconers) would happily chase them around and prolong the effect of a dummy (just like at airports and the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff)

Pigeons are also gregarious feeders - where they see one bird having a safe nosh they tend to join in. If all else fails restrict the food that they can access. I find all the species I want can learn to feed from hanging feeders, except the blackbirds and thrushes. Have'nt worked out what to do for them yet.

What DO they put in bags of mixed birdseed?!

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 22:19

Sparrowhawks are too small to attempt an attack on a squirrel - ironically Grey Squirrels prey on the eggs of smaller birds of prey if left unattended. You could try your local Yellow Pages for a falconer, but they charge and squirrels are a numerous pest. You could try a trap to catch them alive and transport them away from your area to a park. The design needs to be strong as squirrels are adept at opening the doors. For extreme niusance there is always the lead option. I have had to squirrel proof all my nest boxes with metal plates, and they even had a go at the sparrow box under the eves!

What DO they put in bags of mixed birdseed?!

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 21:03

Tried a Red-Back hawk? I dont mind the odd squirrel, but when they are so numerous that they dig up bulbs it is time to call in my falconer friend. And before anyone gets all squirrel huggy the bird has to be given leather gaiters because the squirrels bite so savagely.

Try garlic amongst the daffs - once bitten never revisited.

11 to 20 of 22

Discussions started by smflyman

Talkback: How to make a mistletoe and box Christmas ball

Nice, but some people obviously have too much time on their hands :) 
Replies: 8    Views: 28782
Last Post: 05/12/2013 at 22:48

Talkback: Cleaning out bird boxes

Cleaned out our 2 boxes just now. Revealed the tragedy of the sodden Spring and early Summer. The remains of a Blue Tit brood in one and the... 
Replies: 0    Views: 373
Last Post: 22/11/2012 at 17:38

Talkback: Small trees for Chelsea

It will need to be a big greenhouse to bring on the Katsuras into a more green leaf :) Maybe Kew would lodge them? Good luck for Chelsea. 
Replies: 0    Views: 343
Last Post: 16/03/2012 at 10:39
3 threads returned