Latest posts by steephill

Coffee granules

Posted: 29/01/2015 at 22:42

Nothing crazy about it, the regulations mean that unless it has been properly tested for effectiveness and safety as a pesticide then you can't sell it as such  and rightly so in my view. Do we want another DDT disaster from poorly tested pesticides? Look at the controversy over neonicotinoids. 

There is nothing to stop you putting your own grounds or any one else's on your garden as a mulch or soil conditioner. It won't stop slugs though, for that apparently you need to use the coffee you made with the grounds. I put ours in the compost bin.

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 06/01/2015 at 18:43

Spent a joyful couple of minutes today watching a wren searching through pots and troughs.

Here's a robin from Christmas Day at Rudyard Lake near Leek, Staffs.

No More Mower (or any engine) Starting Heartaches..

Posted: 22/11/2014 at 23:03

Unsafe by design is my main concern. In order to use it with my lawnmower I would have to bypass the dead man's handle safety feature. That is a potentially fatal problem.

Getting rid of brambles

Posted: 22/11/2014 at 17:15

 None of my extensive Bramble collection have hollow stems so I don't see how you could inject weedkiller or insert pipecleaners into them. Am I missing something?

Cutting back followed by repeated application of Glyphosate on the new leaves will work though.

Amazing amateur wildlife photos

Posted: 21/11/2014 at 11:35

No need to go to the Arctic  - taken at the end of November a few years ago in SE England. Better find that snow shovel now!




Posted: 20/11/2014 at 12:00

Re: Chicky & Berlin

If you are looking for a special place for lunch/dinner then the roof-top restaurant of the Reichstag is pretty spectacular -  Not cheap but good, also book in advance as it is understandably popular. It is also a handy way to bypass the crowds wanting to view the Norman Foster designed dome as there is a separate lift taking you up to the restaurant which also accesses the dome.

Some of my old photos here might whet your appetite One of my favourite finds was this wonderful door





Not gardening but a computer question

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 21:54

If you go for Windows then you will only be able to buy the latest Window 8.1 Update version as Windows 7 is no longer available. However the good news is it has improved a great deal since the original WIndows 8 release last year. The next version is already available for beta-testing and will be called Windows 10 ( not W9).

An Apple machine is certainly worth thinking about if you can afford it. There is no doubt it comes with a price premium but many think it is worth it for the good after sales service. Despite being based on the same hardware as PCs they hold their value well which sweetens the pill a little.

Stones to use in wildlife pond

Posted: 29/10/2014 at 14:30

Loved this bit -  "Please note that due to high regional delivery surcharges imposed by the haulage company we are unable to deliver this item to Cornwall, Highlands, Moray or Aberdeenshire using our free delivery service."

So what exactly is Highland Grey stone then . I guess they only mean the colour.

Looks like it is a form of limestone. Found this on the web which seems sensible advice

Limestone, too, is commonly found as rocks of waterfalls and pond edges (but these rocks are not particularly flat unless very large or cut that way), and as decorative elements when large examples are positioned in or near the pond (the irregular, weathered field stones). Some limestone varieties (the massive limestones) will hold up quite well while sitting in water (and will actually help buffer acid contributors to the pond – keeping the pH between 7.0 and 8.5); whereas, other varieties (the crumbly limestones) will leach lime into the pond and will increase the alkalinity of the water. An alkaline pH of greater than 9.0 will spell doom for fish; needing the removal of sources of alkalinity or chemical correction. (With regard to high pHs, any concrete, concrete blocks, and mortar used in the construction of a pond should be treated with lime neutralizers or a non-toxic sealant to avoid leaching lime into the water.) A close cousin to limestone is dolostone (formed of the mineral dolomite). This particular rock form of calcium carbonate will not likely increase the water’s pH. Within our pond, dolostone blocks are used in the walls that form several sides of the pond, sticking out above the water level and extending to the bottom.

Shooting wildlife for fun

Posted: 27/10/2014 at 10:43

Call the Police. Your neighbour's behaviour is irresponsible and dangerous and the Police will take a very dim view.


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.

Discussions started by steephill

Average gardeners spending

Replies: 67    Views: 5392
Last Post: 21/05/2016 at 21:17

Helping with the deadheading

Replies: 7    Views: 762
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

Replies: 17    Views: 866
Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

Replies: 13    Views: 790
Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

Replies: 13    Views: 750
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

Replies: 6    Views: 862
Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 1211
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
Replies: 3    Views: 901
Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

Replies: 2    Views: 1077
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2783
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 1148
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 1362
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
13 threads returned