London (change)
Today 16°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 8°C

young codger

Latest posts by young codger

1 to 10 of 18

The war on slugs-

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 13:59

I think most of us have been there-you put some small but vibrant healthy plants in the garden, and a few days later the slugs have decimated the young leaves.

I think I know almost all the remedies, and my weapon of choice is hunting them late at night armed with a torch. Plus, a dosing of slug pellets around the plants for the slugs that elude my night time prowling.

I’ve been spraying the plants with insecticide to keep aphids off (I grow loads of Rudbeckia). I’m just wondering if a “consequential” effect of the insecticide may render the leaves unpalatable to slugs. I guess it depends on the chemicals used. Anyone else got some unconventional ideas/remedies for the slugs (I know about the beer traps etc).

One other idea I`ve yet to try, what about a small area-say 1 meter square ( shallow wooden frame around the edges) and filled with stuff that slugs love to eat-banana skins, kitchen waste etc all dosed with slug pellets. The idea/theory is to encourage and hope that the slugs would be attracted to the frame more that the plants you’re trying to protect-a kind of decoy.  

Secateur review

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 15:57

Purchase date March 2015

Item: Secateurs

Brand: Felco

Website: 7

Model. No7

Price paid: £44.95

Retailer: ebay seller. 

Purchased based on reputation of brand. 

Bypass type blade (where one blade slides past the other) as opposed to the anvil type blade. Holding up the secateurs to the window, no light could be seen between the blades, which created the impression that they were a well-engineered precision tool. 

After using continuously for about 40 minutes, the concertina spring between the handles would not allow the handles to spring apart naturally. In fairness I had made in excess of 300 cuts of up to 20mm (mainly green) blackberry stems (in to 3 inch long pieces for the compost heap). A quick spray with WD40 remedied the issue temporally. However, after only another 10 minutes of continuous use another spray of the lubricant was needed. If it happens next time, I will try oil on the spring instead. I am going to fall short of describing this as a fault as I feel sure the spring will bed in. It is a good fit between the blades and I could not imagine it dropping out. 

While on the subject of “sticking“, it is worth mentioning that there was no problem at all with the small catch that holds the handles together when not in use. Once released the catch remained out of the way. I mention this because many people have highlighted the issue with other brands that they have tried. 

The seceteurs were sharp. The specs states that they will cut up to 25mm (1 inch) thick. I did not try this for the following reasons. I want to keep a good edge on the blade. I don’t want to strain my finger joints. Finally, if you need to cut 25mm thick wood you should be using loppers. Remember, there is no leverage with short handled tools. (Try digging with an 18 inch spade to understand what I mean)! 

I bought the No7 model because it is recommended for large hands, and the handle opens very wide (ok for me). The other new feature that is on the No7 (and a few others) is the swivelling handle. I found this to be a little disconcerting and mildly annoying. Imagine using some hedge-clippers and one of the handles is rotating in your hand. I’m sure you get the picture. 

Are they value for money?

They are a quality item with a lifetime guarantee. But, for £45 I could buy 3 pairs of Spear & Jackson secateurs from Tool station and still have a bit of change. (Prices of S&P range from £11.30 up to £14.10, max cut 20mm).


Am I pleased with my purchase?

I’m 80% pleased. I can keep the oil can nearby for the spring issue, but I may not get used to the rotating handle. 

Notes: Spare parts are available for Felco secateurs on eBay & Amazon etc.

Felco have a wide range of secateurs available



Fritillaria "No show" on the 2nd season

Posted: 17/03/2015 at 14:27

Early 2014 I planted 4 Fritillaria (2 red & 2 yellow). All the plants came up more or less together, and all bloomed in the way anticipated.

This spring, 3 of them are through and about 9 or 10 inch tall. There is no sign of the the 4th one.

Is it normal with these plants for them to sometimes miss a year. Or is there another reason for the "fail" such as mice may have eaten the bulb?



Lidl surprises

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 15:47

I will go down there then with an interest in buying one. Can you tell me Daintiness, how deep does it go down in to the lawn with the scarrifying?

I`ve often thought of trying to find an alternative to the garen fork. That machine maybe just the job then. I`ll mention you when I go in my local store.


Lidl surprises

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 08:47

Hi Daintiness,

I`m pleased that you are satisfied with your purchase. Personally I would have liked the electric motor to have been a bit bigger. 1200W is not that big for a garden machine. (Smaller than a lot of vacuum cleaners). Go steady, and don`t force it,so reduce the risk of burning the motor out.  

As an aside,  if you across any GERMAN stuff in Aldi it tends to be VERY good quality (I`ve never seen or bought anything to attract me in Lidl). I got a very good digital cam corder from Aldi in 2010 GERMAN made. Great picture quality, and good customer support via the Tel number which is in Germany of course. I`ve don`t think the Germans make anything that is less than great quality. I`ve got no connection to Germany or anything, but just sharing my thoughts.

Best Regards, Hermle  

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 23:27

Back in the 70s when I was a teenager, there was this disabled guy that I  used to see around the villiage, and chat with. He was very much in to spud bashing, pea picking and sprout picking. Regarding the sprouts, he used to say that the sprout picking season was when the frost was on them, as they would basically just fall-off  the plant when touched.  

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 16:14

If sprouts seeds are sown in the spring, does the plant produce sprouts late in the same year? If so, I am guessing that will be around October/November in the North of England?

 Also, I am just curious as to what benefit the actual sprout is to the reproductive system of the sprout plant?.

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 03/11/2014 at 04:42

If the only option for these sprout plants is to put them on the compost heap, there appears to be nothing to lose then by trying, except 10 minutes of my time.  If I want to sow more seeds in the spring, that option still remains.  

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 15:54


I sowed some seeds in the spring and transplanted in to the small square pots (in the photo). As time, and all the other jobs went on, the sprouts got left behind. I am unsure what to do with them (now I have the time to do something) I have potted all 21 of them up in to 1 litre pots (also in the photo).

If I keep them in the pots for the time being, will they be able to go in the garden next year, and which month? I can put them in the ground now if any experts on here think it is a good idea, but now is the time for harvesting them, not planting out?? I’m basically trying to salvage them. Any thoughts?

How to tell when Garlic is ready to harvest?

Posted: 17/06/2014 at 13:54

I planted the cloves last October, so they have been growing for about 10 months.. The green stalks/stems have now developed what look like swells or buds a few inches from the end of the stalks. I am guessing that these are flower buds, but as they are not on the very end of the stalks I can not be sure. Is this stage the time to harvest, and if not, how much longer do I need to wait?


1 to 10 of 18

Discussions started by young codger

The war on slugs-

Garden pests of mass destruction 
Replies: 4    Views: 185
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 19:57

Secateur review

Felco No7 
Replies: 7    Views: 515
Last Post: 08/04/2015 at 11:09

Fritillaria "No show" on the 2nd season

3 out of 4 ok but one had vanished (Mice?) 
Replies: 1    Views: 207
Last Post: 17/03/2015 at 15:40

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

What to do with young sprout plants 
Replies: 10    Views: 612
Last Post: 13/11/2014 at 00:37

How to tell when Garlic is ready to harvest?

Seeking advice about the right time to harvest. 
Replies: 14    Views: 606
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 15:43

What`s eating my marigolds?

Replies: 13    Views: 961
Last Post: 01/05/2014 at 17:12

Bottle propagator (see photo).

DIY propagators-cheap & effective. 
Replies: 7    Views: 1176
Last Post: 07/12/2013 at 11:42
7 threads returned