Latest posts by steephill

Water problem

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 11:14

A water butt doesn't have to be next to the downpipe. All you need to do is run a hose from the diverter to wherever you put the water butt, water always finds its level. The important thing is to get the level right so that the diverter operates correctly when the butt is full. However you may need to get permission from the leaseholder or other owners first. 

Daily wildlife moments

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 17:11

Some recent activity from the garden.

Dunnock preening after a bath.

This pair looked odd, like they had just stopped for a chat.

Wandering past the rhodos.

Looking very scruffy as the winter coat wears off.

Always looking for food

Admiring the fritillaries?


Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:28

Do you mean Mahonia? These have very tough leaves which have few pests so I would be surprised that anything is eating them. The deer which visit our garden (roe and muntjac) will try most things but they have never attacked the Mahonia. If you could post a photo or two it would help the experts here make a diagnosis.

Lemon tree

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:16

I hadn't come across anything about a citrus specialist locally before so had a quick search. I think you mean the Citrus Centre in nearby Pulborough rather than Petworth. West Sussex is getting to be very exotic these days - citrus groves and world class sparkling wine!

My own attempts at citrus growing amounts to one small lemon tree from pips taken from a Sorrento lemon. Even if you don't get fruit the leaves are very useful in cooking, try a couple of leaves in a roast chicken.

Overgrown garden with bats - what can I do?

Posted: 22/04/2017 at 21:35

Can you say what plants the overgrowth consists of? Your description so far of the size of overgrowth makes me think you don't have a problem. As others have said bats won't be nesting in the typical weed growth of a neglected garden. Anything tree sized may have other constraints beyond bat management such a tree preservation orders but brambles etc. won't cause you any legal problems.

My garden had been neglected for many years before we bought the place and was 6 foot deep in brambles, raspberries and weed tree saplings. I cleared all these out and we still have plenty of bats which forage along the mature beech trees which form one boundary so I don't think you need to worry about the garden. Get a proper survey done on the house though.

Bosh Rotak 43 Electric motor

Posted: 20/04/2017 at 22:40

Sounds like a job for Bosch rather than diy. Are you sure that the motor is the source of the fault? It may just be a faulty switch but I think it needs professional diagnosis and repair.

Daily wildlife moments

Posted: 14/04/2017 at 17:45

Fox having a rummage round the garden. Hopefully we will see new cubs in a month or so.

Oops, spotted us watching. Looks a bit grumpy to me.

Cedar Greenhouse

Posted: 12/04/2017 at 13:59

Whether you need toughened glass or not will depend on your situation e.g. kids running around, possibility of frail older people tripping etc. For peace of mind toughened would be best. 

What do the greenhouse manufacturers recommend to secure the glazing? If it is an old greenhouse and you don't know the maker then maybe start with what is currently used. I take it that bu-tile is some form of adhesive strip material (butyl?). Traditionally linseed putty would have been used on old cedar greenhouses but progress with materials may have superceded this now. Have a look at a cedar greenhouse manufacturers website to see what they recommend although they may now use proprietary engineered glazing systems rather than just sticking the glass in place.

Help! I want to level out my garden!

Posted: 09/04/2017 at 11:42

I think levelling that out is more of a civil engineering project than gardening and would benefit from professional advice. Ask for quotes from landscapers but be prepared to tell them what you want from the garden first.

From your photo my guess is that going for a split level would be the best solution and that would need a retaining wall across the garden. I don't think you will be able to level it all either up or down easily.

Large wasps in my house

Posted: 08/04/2017 at 14:20

I think that you already had a nest in your house which is the source of these new queens. It will probably be somewhere in the roof but might not be accessible to you. Far better to catch and release them than kill them, wasps do valuable service for us in pest control in the garden.

Discussions started by steephill

The cherry thief

Replies: 2    Views: 260
Last Post: 24/06/2017 at 23:31


Breeding success 
Replies: 7    Views: 324
Last Post: 14/06/2017 at 16:36

Average gardeners spending

Replies: 61    Views: 6432
Last Post: 21/05/2016 at 21:17

Helping with the deadheading

Replies: 7    Views: 1001
Last Post: 18/08/2015 at 19:24

Multi-bum stawberries

Replies: 8    Views: 1084
Last Post: 02/06/2015 at 17:13

Honey Bee swarms

Replies: 17    Views: 1122
Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

Replies: 13    Views: 1063
Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

Replies: 13    Views: 939
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

Replies: 6    Views: 1055
Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 1558
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
Replies: 3    Views: 1071
Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

Replies: 2    Views: 1306
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2966
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 1353
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 1588
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
15 threads returned