Latest posts by steephill

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.

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.

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