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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 11:43

Alan - I used to live in sunny Yarmouth. Winters often cold but not usually hard frosts - however....

I can think of at least 2 periods in the last 30 years when we had snowdrifts up to 10' deep and villages cut off for several days. One night it was down to -17C!

If you have lots of precious things I would definitely consider insulating. If they're more mundane & don't want to make the effort the odds are you will be ok (could always consider moving a few more valuable things into the house if the forecast warrants it)

It's prob cheaper to buy bubble wrap online - failing that stationers / post office.

As others have said - go for the big bubbles. 

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:46

Sorry to hear that Mr F - hope everything turns out to be OK - your friends here will be thinking of you & Mrs F.

Blue fingers definetly not Green

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:42

...Oh & the weeds in the paving ... they should die back within a few weeks. Don't be tempted to pull them as the weedkiller needs to work down to the roots (& you'll also take out any grouting). Once they've gone brown and withered it's usually easy to brush or scrape the top growth off - don't worry about the roots they should be dead if you've used a systemic weedkiller & will eventually rot away.

Blue fingers definetly not Green

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:34

Here goes Steve:

  1. Roses - you can cut some of the top growth down now to tidy them up for the winter but in the spring I would suggest you prune them properly and give them a really good feed. You may also need to spray against blackspot and / or repot them (we'd need a closer look to advise) or perhaps consider planting them in the soil. The only roses happy in small pots are small patio roses.
  2. The bedding plants in the raised bed - yes they need to come out now & can go on the compost heap - unless you have a greenhouse / shed / garage where you can over winter the pelargoniums (bedding geraniums) so you don't have to buy new plants next year (we can tell you how if interested)
  3. Mint can be a bit of a thug but it is lovely to have in the garden. I agree with WillDB that you might be better off spraying this with glyphosphate to remove it completely from the raised bed. BEFORE you do though - dig out a sizeable clump & pot it up. You can replant it in the soil if you have an area where it can do it's thing or re-incorporate it in a raised herb bed. In a raised bed I would recommend finding the biggest / deepest bucket / small barrel you can - cutting off the bottom & sinking it into the bed. Plant the mint within the container - the plastic sides should restrain lateral growth of the mint but the plant should have sufficient depth & access to water & feed.
  4. If you want to keep the rhubarb where it  is give it a good mulch and feed.

Phew! - Hope that all helps!! 


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 12:41

Dove - have sent you a PM about Cleve West.


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 12:15

BL - when do you think you might be in Suffolk? Perhaps we could make it a TWIGS outing as our intended visit to BC's in August had to be cancelled due to bad weather?

Compost Heap

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 11:48

That does sound like a good idea Hosta but do you ever get any problems with fungi growing in the shreddings? If so, have they caused you any problems?

I had a (very) large ash bough removed 2 winters ago and I got the tree surgeon to fill one of my compost bins with some of the shreddings (as a place to store them).

About 3 months later I was ready to use them to spread as a thick layer to form paths around my newly planted raspberry canes. There were orange & yellow fungi & spores in the shreddings and after I had spread them more fungus appeared (this time it was leathery seaweed-like stuff). Because none of it looked like the dreaded honey fungus growth (& the parent tree was very healthy) I was not too concerned about it all and the fungus disappeared after a few weeks & has not returned. Nothing seems to have been harmed - rather the opposite in fact - everything in that area is doing very well

I was surprised by how rotted some of the shreddings were after only 3 months & certainly within a year of laying my chipping paths / mulch they have been totally incorporated into the soil. On the whole I think that (if there are no concerns around fungal growth) then wood chippings could be a good thing to mix with grass cuttings. I also think, however, I would want to be sure that the tree the wood came from was not infected with anything particularly nasty.

Compost Heap

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 09:53
Daryl2 wrote (see)
I turned mine today by tipping it all out then piling it back in again. This is my first year of making compost. How often should I do the turning process?

I think the honest answer Daryl is that the more frequently you can turn it the better - but for most of us that is a bit too much work. Personally I try to turn mine once when the bin is about half to two thirds full (exactly same method as you) & after that I just give it a bit of a stir with my garden fork whenever I add stuff.

Once the bin is full I leave it covered to "cook" for a few months but even then I give it a bit of a poke & stir round with my fork about every 2 - 3 weeks or so.

I don't wait until everything has turned into completely friable compost. I usually find that if the top 12" are well on the way - then anything about 2' down & below is ready for use. So the stuff that is not quite ready becomes the base layer of a new bin or added to the bin I was filling anyway.

Important thing to remember with compost making is that it will all rot down eventually even if you do nothing to it (or it is just a heap of grass cuttings). If, however, you get your mix of green & brown material right and you keep it aerated and (importantly) you make sure it is not too dry (water it if necessary) (but not wet!) - then you will get a finished / usable compost much sooner. You will develop a much better system if you have at least 2 bins. I use 3 - one to fill - one 'cooking' - and one with usable compost in.

Making compost is fun (for some of us saddos) & the site of a big pile of FREE soil improver makes my day - in a rather strange way!!! 


Compost Heap

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 23:32

I did wonder about that too Pansyface - hope they get supplied with Marigolds at the very least... 

Compost Heap

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 17:58
Lyn wrote (see)
Topbird wrote (see)
Ceres wrote (see)
Apparently it helps to pee on the heap but I read somewhere that only applies to blokes.

I think that might only be because they have a built in hosepipe!!! - it's ok I'm going....

That is because womens pee is much to acid for the compost heap, mens isnt.

Well Lyn - thank you  - I just learned something new today - I had no idea there was any difference between the final product whether it be male or female - but there is!! . I think that at the end of the day it won't do too much harm to use girl's stuff as well - but if we can encourage the men in our lives then it is better. Apparently some Nat Trust properties now have 'peeing bales' located in discreet corners of their estates for male members of staff to use. The bales are then added to the compost heaps to help things along

That's why I love this forum - all sorts of nuggets of information lying about 

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