Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

Drainage problem with old pond

Posted: 10/05/2016 at 23:39

Hi, I don't think there will be any issue with filling the bottom of the hole with hardcore, and it will make the ground above more free draining.  The only issue could be that in very wet weather, you might find water seeping in from surrounding area where the draining isn't so good, so you will have a patch which always fills with water when it rains heavily and for a sustained period of time, like winter period.  You could end up with a bit of a bog garden!! To be honest, there may be no way of knowing until you fill the hole in and see what happens.  You should also be aware that after a period of time, the ground may sink as the soil and hardcore settle, so unless you want a dip in the garden (which again, may cause a puddle as it becomes a sump), be prepared to throw in some more top soil to bring it up to the same level as the rest of the garden.

I'm thinking if you plan to line it with a membrane and fill with rubber bark that it will simply fill up with water and because it will be lower then the surrounding area, it will become a huge puddle as the water collected in the membrane won't have anywhere to run to.  I think you would be better raising it slightly above the level of the surrounding ground (even 6/12 inches will be enough) so you can allow water to drain out.

Drainage problem with old pond

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 20:49

If its not been very dry, I doubt it will drain away as probably as soon as you empty it, more water will seep in from surrounding area.  You might have a high water table, which is not unusual in areas which have poor drainage which occurs on heavy soils like clay.  You could also have a soil pan where the ground has been compacted over many years and the only way to cure that is to try and break it up.  Pickaxes and lots of sweat and toil comes to mind.  The fact that the pond was already raised says something.  It may be that the previous owners tried to put in a pond in before at ground level only to come a cropper when they dug down deep so to get around it, put in a raised pond.

Spraying weeds growing in neighbours garden

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:56

If there is just a wire fence, then its probably impossible to not let a bit of the weedkiller go over the boundary line, so in that respect, I wouldn't worry too much.  Even better if you're a bit elderly with poor eyesight and a jittery hand.  You could wait until you are sure there is nobody at home and then go out and spray.  They probably won't really understand why the weeds have died (you can just say they must be seasonal!!).   I doubt police would prosecute for criminal damage for a bunch of dead weeds, but they might have a stern word if they were being particularly nasty.

Where I live, I've got a nice elderly chap around the corner who always makes his front garden look stunning - whilst next door, they have allowed all sorts of weeds to grow in their borders including dandelions, plantains and thistles.  It does look a bit of a sorry mess.  I really feel sorry for the elderly guy but actually, when I spoke to him he said he just gets on with what he has to do, and doesn't get stressed with what goes on next door.  'Each to their own', he said.

Best half barrel liner

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:31

Do you mean those trugs?  They'll be fine for maybe a couple of seasons or so but left out in the weather and sun, they will go brittle and then have a tendency to break.  I think they must be made of rubber, rather than plastic so over time the rubber loses its vulcanisation.

Black Aphids on conservatory Yucca

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:23

I've got black aphids (at least think they are - they are very small) on my indoor (conservatory) Yucca.  I've taken the Yucca outside this morning (which wasn't easy because its over 6 foot tall and heavy) and given it a good blasting with the jet watering nozzle on my garden hose, and I think I've washed off most of the aphids and also the sticky black spots they have left behind.  I also had some leaves encrusted with Aphid shells (I assume they shed their skin).  I think I've hopefully got the majority off but not sure.  If they come back again, is there anything other than something like Provado to get them off.  I'm not really happy using outdoor chemicals at the best of time, and not really happy using it indoors so something safe and not too messy would be helpful.  I wondered if something like house fly spray would be sufficient, and although not spray directly on the plant, spray in the general direction and then leave the conservatory shut up for an hour or so?   Or is that just a lazy mans way of thinking! 

Name of the blue flowering plants on GW (Friday 6th May)

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 21:14

Thank you! :-)

Name of the blue flowering plants on GW (Friday 6th May)

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 21:06

Can somebody please confirm the name of the plant on GW last night (Friday 6th May).  They had blue flowers on a single stalk and grassy like green leaves.  The grower assisted Chris Beardshaw last year at Chelsea and did her own stand at Malvern and got silver.  Tried various connotations of the pronunciation of it but can't find it.  Help!

Further Advice needed for a good weedkiller for gardens please??

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 10:16

Hey - easy!  Its still relevant advice!!  Other people might find it useful, and its still relevant today.  Lots of people still have weeds!!

Further Advice needed for a good weedkiller for gardens please??

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 10:09

If you want to go organic, use a mix of white vinegar (1 gallon), liquid dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon), 1 cup of table salt).  Put mix into a garden sprayer, and douse the weeds.  The soap will act as a surfactant and help to soak the weeds better.  It may day 2/3 days longer to see the effect, but the weeds will die.  Any that don't immediately, repeat the dose.  Much safer than Glyphosate in my view and you don't need to exclude children or pets from the garden whilst doing it.  Glyphosate has been considered a potential carcinogenic chemical, so I don't use it.  Obviously lots of people do use it and come to no obvious ill effect but I'd rather reduce my odds.

Stubborn dry soil in the shady end of the garden

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 09:59

There are ferns don't mind living in dry shady conditions.  Aptly named Dryopteris species of ferns do well under trees where it is often dry soil.  Also, Polystichum ferns.  If you don't want ferns, looks at Alchemical mollie, Bergenia, or Ajuga, Epimedium, several types of Geraniums, Vinca (aka Periwinkle).


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