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Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

Talkback: Dealing with lily beetle

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 11:31
Keep an eye out for these little red aliens. Now the weather has warmed up, they'll be out and ravaging lillies with wild abandon. I squished one yesterday I caught parading itself on my lillies, and then killed its children! Move over Sigourney Weaver.

Ants in the lawn

Posted: 23/07/2012 at 10:25
For the lawn I use Antstop! granules by Home Defence (comes in red canister with a picture of an ant on the front and a black lid). It works well. I had three different ant nests on my lawn and they were gone within a week. Being granules, no dust to breath in. You can also mix with water and drench the ant nest. Safe for pets and children once application has dried.

I also use the Antstop Bait Station (I bit like the Nippon Ant Trap), and find them a lot less messy, and safer than Nippon, as you only have to break off little black tabs, and place in vicinity of ant run. I use the Antstop! Bait Station on my paths.

I dont work for Antstation! Just their products works well.

I appreciate that some people may find the little creatures fascinating, but not in the middle of my lawn. And actually, given that there is now an ant super colony covering most of the globe, I don't think the planet will miss the odd thousand critters that used to invade my lawn!!!

Kerria Japonica

Posted: 22/07/2012 at 15:09
My kerria japonica has put out several news shoots about six foot tall,but they've all flopped and leaning forward. Should I chop them down and tell the plant to try harder, or stake them upright? Does reducing the plant by half after flowing produce a more prostrate plant? Is it too late to do this now?

getting on with the neighbours

Posted: 22/07/2012 at 15:06
You can do what you like in your own garden, as long as its legal!! Unless the trees in your garden constitute a hedge (two or more trees or shrubs may be considered a hedge), it can grow all it likes. If it is a hedge then, before they can do anything in terms of actions against you, they have to ask you nicely to reduce them in height before they can complain to the council who may (I say "may"), subject to their own investigation, then compel you to reduce the height to a minimum height of 2m, which then must be maintained at that height for perpetuity. However, the council may decide on your side. In terms of damage to walls - is there any proof the wall is currently being undermined? Also, your neighbours can quite legally cut off roots that appear on their land, however, they must not kill the plant. They can also cut off over hanging branches but they must offer these back to you (or throw them in your garden), and again, they cannot kill the plant.

I seem to recall the maximum fence height without planning permission is 6 foot, and anything heigher (certainly a completely solid fence) requires planning permission. Im sure somebody will correct me if I am wrong.

Talk about stating the obvious

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 00:46
Some nutty professor (ok, researcher), has discovered that putting plants in pots stunts their growth..... If only they'd given me their research grant, I'm sure I could have told them exactly the same.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 09:08
Blueberry77 - the BBC justify the lack of regular gardening programmes by the wall-to-wall programmes they put on for Chelsea Flower Show saying its "for gardeners". However, in my view, Chelsea is for the majority TV audience, not a programme dedicated to the interests of gardeners, as the show marks the first big society event of the social calender. Anybody who goes to Chelsea would probably say that most people who go there don't give two hoots about gardening - it is just a place to be seen at. Hence why after several years of Chelsea, I now go to Hampton Court which is more the "peoples" show. Last year, BBC put on three programmes for Hampton. Wow! Now compare that to Chelsea - two programmes a day plus preview programme - around 14 shows in total. Hardly compares.

Another thing that miffed me this year was BBC coverage of their own Gardeners World Live event instead of a normal programme. This was just pure out and out marketing of their own event. And I thought advertising was banned on the BBC.

sheep wool

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 00:17
I use a combo of egg shells and slug pellets (the ones made out of ferrous phosphate which I have read are less toxic) mixed together. If they are daft enough to get themselves stuck in the middle of a layer of eggs shells, then they then have to contend with the pellets. Works for me and my hostas.

How do people crush their eggs shells? I save my egg shells up for two weeks, and then push them in to a food processor and give them a whiz up for 30 seconds. Makes a good job at crushing them into slug annouing pieces.


Posted: 28/06/2012 at 00:07
I saw this done once on a TV programme. The owners made a range of steps on the pool sides so creating the levels for planting but kept a strip down the centre of the pool so they could still swim in it. They lined the pool sides and newly created steps with upside turf and the filled it with water, leaving it to settle for a couple of weeks, and filled it with pond plants, which they could plant dirctly into the turf. By the time it appeared on TV It had been established for about a year and looked fantastic.

Just googled for "convert swimming pool into pond", and amongst other things, came up with this link....

Slugs and snails

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 22:53
I visited a garden in the National Garden Scheme last year. They used the garlic brew method and they had fantastic hostas. However, the owner of the garden also said that at the start of the season, he relied on slug pellets, and also a good pair of scissors and a torch.

Become a hedgehog champion!

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 16:03
I was bought a Hedgehog House as a present for Christmas - I place the hogs food (mealworms, crushed peanuts and chicken kibble) on a plate under it every night. By morning, all the foods gone, and the Hogs leave me several little presents on my patio and in the Hog House. It is starting to get quite messy, especially with all the rain. If its dry, the mess is very easy to brush into borders, so I don't mind so much. Does anybody know how often they poop. I thought I only had two, maybe three hogs visiting on a nightly basis, but with all the poop, I am wondering if there are more. No doubt the regularity of the food will add to the volume.

And whilst I am here.....

I was watching a pair of hogs on my patio last night. One of them was sitting very still and was doing a lot of snuffling. The other one kept on trying to walk around the back of the one sitting still, but as soon as it did that, the snuffling increased to the point it seemed quite upset and then it turned to move its hind quarter away. Was I watching some kind of Hog courtship going on?

Discussions started by Tim Burr

Glyphosate based weed killers (i.e. Roundup et al)

Are you still using it? 
Replies: 23    Views: 1081
Last Post: 19/05/2015 at 23:10

Planting Yucca in Ground

Plant these above, below or halfy halfy!! 
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Last Post: 12/05/2015 at 08:23

Photinia Red Robin trimming

Too early/too late to trim back 
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Last Post: 10/05/2015 at 12:09

Relocating an Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry'

Wrong tree in the wrong place 
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Last Post: 27/04/2015 at 00:08

Hard pruning a Mahonia

What to do with the cuttings 
Replies: 1    Views: 331
Last Post: 25/04/2015 at 23:22

Camelia not growing, but otherwise health and flowering

Replies: 4    Views: 299
Last Post: 10/05/2015 at 12:52

Conifer for narrow space and upright form

Recommendations please. 
Replies: 4    Views: 368
Last Post: 17/04/2015 at 23:45

Semiarundinaria Fastuosa - Narihira Bamboo (AGM)

Doesn't run, but does it need to be contained? 
Replies: 0    Views: 377
Last Post: 12/04/2015 at 16:32

Do slug eat thru' carrier bags

Replies: 29    Views: 1199
Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 12:45

Crocosmia Lucifer

Early flowering? 
Replies: 29    Views: 2347
Last Post: 06/07/2014 at 19:04

Bamboo in trough

Trimming it down to size 
Replies: 7    Views: 845
Last Post: 24/02/2014 at 19:15


Replies: 9    Views: 1337
Last Post: 04/08/2015 at 19:08


Replies: 10    Views: 721
Last Post: 14/08/2013 at 18:05


Replies: 8    Views: 706
Last Post: 11/08/2013 at 18:20

Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

Gone all scruffy 
Replies: 13    Views: 1129
Last Post: 21/09/2014 at 13:41
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