Latest posts by steephill

Camera Talk

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 19:54

Verdun, the Sony A500 would now be considered an antique in the digital world as it was introduced about 7 years ago. I would be surprised to see it still offered for sale new today unless it was very cheap old stock being cleared out. It will certainly take decent photos and will be more than good enough for most people's needs though. There is also another Sony, the A5000 which is a current model. It is a different design of camera from the A500 so isn't just an updated version of the older model.


Posted: 02/11/2016 at 20:26

Hazelnut butter! Shell them, roast in the oven for about 15 minutes then blitz them in a food processor until they turn into nut butter. Can take anything between 5 and 15 minutes to get to the right consistency.

Any one Any Painfull Gardening Memories

Posted: 29/10/2016 at 01:28

Simple scratches from removing brambles resulted in blood poisoning. 3 doctors, 3 courses of antibiotics (2 of each quite useless) over 9 weeks to get under control. Lower legs and feet badly swollen unable to wear shoes, face like a Dali melted clock with a matching impact on general health. It is a jungle out there, be careful! 


Posted: 24/10/2016 at 22:56

The RHS use both names for all cultivars so it is not surprising that there is confusion. The troublesome montbretia is a hybrid, crocosmia x crocosmiiflora. It is an offense under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or otherwise allow it to grow in the wild so it must be disposed of appropriately. 

I have it in my garden and find it easy enough to keep under control.

Help needed to identify white 'balls' in field

Posted: 19/10/2016 at 09:46

Slugs or snails eggs I think. Put some in a container, check daily and you will soon know which it is when they hatch.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 18/10/2016 at 12:20

Planting bulbs in my garden usually involves a pickaxe and a lot of spadework so I had been looking for a better method. Clearing steep banks with a Flymo left me with a knackered shoulder so a lower effort solution was required.

Had been looking for bulb planting augers but couldn't find any in the UK until recently. Crocus have then, just fit to a cordless drill and off you go. Best to drill lots of holes first then drop in the bulbs and back fill the holes with used compost. Probably easier to work as a team with an obedient undergardener. If I hit rock or tree roots I just move a little and try again. 

It has certainly been a labour (and pain) saving method for me, especially on steep slopes. Highly recommended with the usual disclaimer of no commercial connection to Crocus, it is just where I found them.

Pruning first year grapevines

Posted: 16/10/2016 at 11:50

From the RHS website - 

Grape vines are tough plants so shouldn't need much if any protection here in the UK. 

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 14/10/2016 at 10:24

Fancy a unique pink chainsaw? Here's a charity giveaway for a good cause.

Having lost family and friends to cancer anything which helps is good in my book.


Posted: 28/09/2016 at 11:40

It is one of the downsides of rural living unfortunately. The further you are from the exchange and cabinet the worse the signal gets, think of it as the further you stand from the fire the less heat you feel. Add in opportunities for line damage from trees etc. and you can end up on a poor line pretty easily.

All of the infrastructure (exchanges, cabinets and lines) is owned and operated by Openreach which although is part of the BT group does not deal with customers directly. You need to contact your service provider to sort out any problems and that can be a real hassle. Although TalkTalk have a poor reputation for customer service they are not alone, just try getting decent support from BT's very offshore call centres!

There are a few checks you can run yourself to see how your line is performing. First one to do is a quiet line test on your phone line. Dial 17070 then select option 2 - if you hear crackling then you have a poor line and should report that as a telephone fault to TalkTalk (don't mention internet at this point). Fixing telephone line faults will automatically improve your internet. If you start by saying your internet service is poor there are far too many ways for them to wriggle out of doing anything by blaming your equipment and wiring.

You can also try this BT site which will check what broadband you should be able to get - That should show you all of the services and the likely speeds which you are able to get from any supplier, it all comes down the same wires. The results table will probably only show ADSL products as available for you.

I am assuming that services like Virgin cable come nowhere near you so are not an option.

Laurel bushes

Posted: 28/09/2016 at 10:11

The weed sounds like bindweed. One way of dealing with it is to unravel it, lay it on the ground and treat it with weedkiller.

You might not like the next bit but to produce a thick laurel hedge cut it down to about a foot high. This will encourage much bushier growth and give you the thick hedge you want. It grows fast and would be back to 8 feet within a couple of years. This should have been done when the hedge was planted but maybe you were reluctant to lose an instant if inadequate 6 foot hedge at the start.

Discussions started by steephill

The cherry thief

Replies: 2    Views: 309
Last Post: 24/06/2017 at 23:31


Breeding success 
Replies: 7    Views: 377
Last Post: 14/06/2017 at 16:36

Average gardeners spending

Replies: 61    Views: 6662
Last Post: 21/05/2016 at 21:17

Helping with the deadheading

Replies: 7    Views: 1056
Last Post: 18/08/2015 at 19:24

Multi-bum stawberries

Replies: 8    Views: 1203
Last Post: 02/06/2015 at 17:13

Honey Bee swarms

Replies: 17    Views: 1179
Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

Replies: 13    Views: 1137
Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

Replies: 13    Views: 992
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

Replies: 6    Views: 1106
Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 1619
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
Replies: 3    Views: 1117
Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

Replies: 2    Views: 1352
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2992
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 1391
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 1645
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
15 threads returned