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Latest posts by Topbird

Growing strawberries

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 08:56


I'm still fairly new to growing strawberries & am interested to know what others use to keep the ripening fruits off the soil (or even if you bother to do it).

I have enjoyed a very heavy crop this year &  decided to try barley straw. Put it down a few weeks ago but within 3 days found that I had inadvertently sown a field of barley! There were obviously lots of seeds in with the straw & they are still germinating at a rate of knots even though I cleared the straw away as soon as I realised what was happening.

Has anyone else had this problem & what alternatives work well?

Thanks for your help.

Large-scale weed clearing!

Posted: 11/07/2013 at 15:34

Any idea what sort of weeds you have? - ie just soft green ones or really tough woody ones? Are any of them likely to be poisonous? (I have no idea what sort of things grow as weeds in Thailand). If yes to the first (and no to both of the others) then FB's suggestion would work.

If, however, you have big woody stems and / or toxic plants you will need to clear these to avoid injuries - either mechanically (digging!) and / or with chemicals.

A picture or two might help us point you in the right direction.



Posted: 11/07/2013 at 08:47

Ouch! - been there a few times - but we are surrounded by paddocks and horses.

I use the antihistamine cream (+ tablet if it's really bad) as an initial treatment - but then scale down to Witch Hazel gel after a day or so. This is very soothing and cooling and stops me scratching which makes eberything much worse.

The Witch Hazel is also really good for other less serious bites and things like nettle rash & burns and it's non greasy and clear so even my OH is happy to use it.

badgers in gardens

Posted: 10/07/2013 at 17:23

I don't have badgers Sylvia - but I think I'll remember your tip - I suspect it might work as a harmless deterrent for quite a few pesky creatures. Might even try it down the vole / mice holes which have suddenly cropped up in my raised veggie beds!

Moving a rosé

Posted: 10/07/2013 at 16:45

Addict is quite right that the main root for this rose is likely to go very deep and it will probably be quite difficult to move successfully - that said, it's probably worth a go if you particularly like it.

I would also suggest that you try to identify the rose now (whilst it has blooms and leaves on). If you're lucky there might be a label tucked around the base. If there is no label try posting some pics on this site (showing blooms, leaves and some sort of measurements so we know how large the overall plant and the individual flowers are) & perhaps one of the rosaphiles can identify it.

Then you can buy a replacement for the front garden if

  • an autumn transplant is unsuccessful or
  • you feel you need to remove it before the autumn to allow your toddler to enjoy the summer weather

It is unlikely to survive being moved now without bags & bags of TLC - especially if you are sharing in the hot dry spell which is causing my plants to wilt!

Good luck.

Feline Invaders.....AKA Cats

Posted: 09/07/2013 at 23:34

I'm a cat owner / lover & I KNOW for a fact that my cat only uses MY garden for the necessary. This is primarily because ALL the neighbours in our road have (big) dogs (often several - we are very rural) & also because I am the only person for a goodly distance who has a garden with beds / borders / seed beds / veg beds etc. He has a little routine whereby he nips out for his morning constitututional after breakfast, does what he needs to do (I can see him) & usually comes back in again for the rest of the day.

So, - yes it's not nice digging up cat poo when you're planting / weeding, and yes - it's irritating watching him scrab around where I've just put in new plants but I have to tell you he does hardly any real damage - unlike the squirrels, pigeons, rabbits, mice, runaway dogs and, worst of all the muntjac that I have to contend with.

I think the government have more than enough on their plate without worrying about disturbed seedlings and cat poo. How on earth would you police this? CCTV? For cat poo....  Get real....

Prickly visiters.

Posted: 02/07/2013 at 08:53

....Hedgehogs need untidy corners...

LOL Dove - I should have a hedgehog ghetto in my garden!!! 



creating a new flower bed

Posted: 01/07/2013 at 13:05

Sorry Trevor - think I go along with the rest - easiest to work with nature than against it. Could you not have some really large containers for your acid lovers?

Another idea for your old pond might be for bog / marginal planting. You already have the hole, you probably have an old pond liner - punch a few drainage holes in the liner - fill it with soil / compost & you have an area which you can keep permanently damp. Just an idea...

Browning on conifers

Posted: 01/07/2013 at 12:20

Thank you for posting this item Sarah.

These bushes are beautifully pruned & I really hope you don't mind if I copy the idea - just what I need in my new border.

Do you know what your shrubs are?

Very best of luck & hope you manage to save them. Assuming you do - it might be worth investing in some garden fleece in case we have another harsh winter this year.

Help - fungus or mould on apple tree

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 14:21

Oops sorry Bob - your post sneaked in whilst I was writing - glad we agree...

Discussions started by Topbird

Papaver somniferum seed

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

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Growing strawberries

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Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

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Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

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Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

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Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
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Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 1140
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
9 threads returned