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Latest posts by steephill


Posted: 16/10/2014 at 23:13

Enjoying fidgetbones tales from the deep. One thing I always hoped to avoid when diving was sea snakes. I remember a TV series where a mad Aussie couple were studying them, deliberately annoying then more like! And they were lethal snakes. Many years later I was diving in Okinawa and my dive instructor not only went looking for sea snakes but caught one and handed it to me! He also showed me some cylindrical objects on the sea bed which he whacked with his big dive knife. They were unexploded WW11 shells from the US attack on Okinawa. My air supply ran out fast that day.

Planted up 7kg of daffodils today - tool of choice was a pickaxe as they were going in under a line of beech trees. Now have a large mound of assorted roots and rocks and a sore back. Roll on Spring which better be bright and yellow.

How old is your houseplant?

Posted: 16/10/2014 at 22:51

30+ year old Swiss Cheese plant is our longest surviving houseplant. Been hacked down a few times and generally badly neglected as well as moving home about 6 times. Still alive but I wish we had more room for it to really grow well.

Dryer water

Posted: 13/10/2014 at 13:11

No, it is not true. The water from your dryer is very similar to rain water as it is simply condensed water vapour. However just like rain water it is slightly acidic (from C02 in the atmosphere which dissolves to form carbonic acid) so avoid using it on any plants which need alkaline conditions. Basically if it is recommended to avoid using rain water on any particular plant then don't use dryer condensate or softened water.

HELP!!!mini tiller marketing research

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 22:28

Mantis sell a battery powered tiller which is lighter than their already lightweight petrol versions so you won't be developing a new product. 


Posted: 05/10/2014 at 22:13

Might be grape shanking, more info here If you inspect the hard grapes carefully you might see that the stalk has shriveled. 

Allotment advice

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 09:59

Green manure is another option after digging over the plot. Have a look here for some ideas of suitable seed mixes.


Posted: 04/10/2014 at 16:59

It may not be the variety you think it is, possibly mislabeled. If the grapes are sweet and green that would indicate that it isn't a red grape. Normally it takes about 6 weeks from turning black to get to full ripeness. It might be one of the other muscats, perhaps Muscat of Alexandria.

Any wine makers out there?

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 22:52

In my experience pectin hazes don't make the wine viscous, just cloudy. I would definitely try treating for bacteria first then try some pectolytic enzyme treatment if it is still cloudy after that.

Any wine makers out there?

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 11:22

This condition is usually described as ropiness and is caused by lactic acid bacteria. Have a look at this website - scroll down to the bottom of the page for treatment advice - basically use Campden tablets to kill off the bacteria. 

magnolia tree dead?

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 18:00

If it has looked like that since Spring I'd say its a Norwegian Blue magnolia . However I would leave it until next Spring to see if there is any life left. You could scrape off a sliver of bark from a branch which did have leaves to see if there is any green tissue.

Discussions started by steephill

Helping with the deadheading

Replies: 7    Views: 478
Last Post: 18/08/2015 at 19:24

Multi-bum stawberries

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Last Post: 02/06/2015 at 17:13

Honey Bee swarms

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Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

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Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

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Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

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Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 830
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
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Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

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Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2562
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 873
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 1081
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
12 threads returned