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Gardening resources and tips, etc.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:27 pm

I decided I would plant some alliums and daffodils out the front in a patch that I'd cleared earlier, today. It's a very small front garden and I've never done much with it - the soil is very poor and hard to get into - digging stuff in has not really been an option and laying stuff on top has had little affect. The reason this bit is so hard to get into, I discovered today (after 1 years living here) is because there seems to be a solid slab of concrete -aggregate I think -not a paving stone - underneath, about 6 inches down. It extends outwards from a 2.5 foot high wall for about 2.5 feet. Would it relate to the wall? I am annoyed and disapointed. I suppose my bulbs might be ok there. I built up some of this area with manure and homemade compost late spring as a quickfix (knowing it was hard to get into but not knowing the full reason why) to plant out sunflowers that had been left in pots longer than they should have been. They did ok but were not going to win prizes for height.

Husband always said he thought there was rubble under there... I notice next door has buit up a big heap next to their wall and are successfully growing a rosemary in it.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Hope » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:07 pm

Herbi - that's disappointing. Could you build a raised bed so you can increase the soil depth? Or grow plants that are shallow rooted, maybe wildflowers?

I had plans for today, but a migraine stopped those. But I've just noticed we might be getting a frost at the weekend, so I'll need to focus on harvesting what's left of my tender plants and digging up and bringing in the peppers to overwinter inside. I just thought, I could take some cuttings of the basil in my greenhouse to grow inside over the winter... scribbles on to-do list...

I have some potatoes still growing strongly, so I'm not sure whether to harvest them now or cover them and hope they continue growing...

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:25 pm

I have thought about a raised bed, but not sure we could pull it off (aesthetically speaking). The front garden is a mess. There is a stunning flowering cherry, the roots of which are pushing the path up. One of these days someone will trip and sue us! There is also a mahonia which is coming up all over. It must spread underground. Really everything (apart from the tree... although husband would say tree too) needs to come up and some heavy duty machinery used. It's a tiny area and undifferentiated from next door's for the most part, save from a 5 ft high but thin red robin near the door. Maybe best not to bother and just shove in things that may or may not work, as I've been doing for some time.

I put alliums and daffodils in all the same. There is an ornamental blackcurrant in this area, which I had cut down to the ground, but not uprooted. I fear the roots may have got through a crack in the concrete. Not sure.

I've still not done anything about my basil yet. Some of it is outside and is clearly struggling. The stuff inside has a bit of an infestation.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Lusciouslush » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:21 pm

Oooooh now I feel even more guilty - the bulbs ordered arrived last week & I still haven't done anything with them ( I do this every year - despite vowing to plant straight away!) - I did manage to plant the colchicums to add to the existing ones in a shady spot under shrubs - they're a favourite of mine, so cheerful - all pink, but I've planted a white corm too this year. The wallflowers are planted too - but some had to go in a large pot - I'm just running out of room, so it leaves the generous amount ( seemed like a good idea at the time) of purple alliums to plant, various white daffs & leocujums to add to existing clumps - I don't even think about planting the tulips until Dec.
I do get carried away when ordering - I want everything!
The garden needs a good trim & tidy-up first - anyone know the best time to move salvias? I have one in particular ( Black & Blue) absolutely gorgeous, but much too big for the front of the border where it is.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:15 pm

would it be worth taking some cuttings before thinking of moving it just in case?

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:02 pm

lusciouslush I planted about 30 bulbs?!? I have at least anotherr 300 to do. A lot of them are tulips, though, so too early to plant them. i have a few more leocujums too (although husband spilt cleaning fluid on half of them and didn't tell me...)

I have since put 2 bags of manure and some compost on top of the bulbs I planted to create more depth. It looks nice and neat. Will plant some bedding over the top as soon as I can get hold of some. I have ordered wall flowers from Sarah Raven but since gathered that they are being very slow at the moment. Hopgin for a trip to a garden centre at the weekend.

Most of my new bulbs arrived three weeks ago... Last year I ended up with some moudly and rotten ones, I was so slow with them... :oops: I really don't want to let that happen again. I keep checking them.

i have been storing last year's in entirely the wrong place too. (Well lit, warm lean to. But dry, at least, and in airy, string vest bags.)

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Lusciouslush » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:51 pm

Lol Herbie - you've made me feel better about all the bulbs I've allowed to rot out in the garage over the years.......!
Glad you've got into your Leocujum ( I lurve that word ) side - you'll be hooked - they're the first to come out & the last to go down.
Naughty husband - make him grovel for not telling you........ ;)
(Miss Whiplash) :D

Scully - thanks for that - that's something I hadn't thought of (doh ) - will take a few cuttings just to be sure - good site there to....!

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Pampy » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:18 am

herbidacious wrote:I have since put 2 bags of manure and some compost on top of the bulbs I planted to create more depth. It looks nice and neat. Will plant some bedding over the top as soon as I can get hold of some.

Be careful about putting too much on top of planted bulbs - most should be at 2 to 3 times their depth ) eg a 1 inch bulb should sit in a hole 2-3 inches deep). If they're too deep, they can rot or not produce any flowers.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Pepper Pig » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:46 am

My gardener confidently told me to grate soap over my container bulbs yesterday. Apparently it reduces squirrel action.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:52 am

Pepper Pig wrote:My gardener confidently told me to grate soap over my container bulbs yesterday. Apparently it reduces squirrel action.

That's interesting. I haven't been tempted to plant any bulbs for the last couple of years as the squirrels are a complete pest and I didn't want to provide them with Michelin Starred meals!

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Pampy » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:18 pm

Squirrels provide me with an ever changing landscape - they dig bulbs up then replant them somewhere else in the garden so I never know what it's going to look like in spring! :lol:

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Hope » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:27 pm

My elderly neighbour's daughter was telling me about squirrels and soap the other day. I put wire hanging baskets upside down over my pots to stop them burying acorns and peanuts (especially not good as I'm allergic!) in them!

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:38 pm

Well it's done now, pampy, but the allium bulbs were defintely not deep enough. They will probably be fine/better this way. Three bags of stuff only amounted to an inch, tops 2, extra and the bulbs are quite big. As mentioned above, the area where I planted them turned out to have a slab of concrete about 6 inches down. If they don't do well I will never konw why asmultiple possible reasons.

I might put my potted bulbs under a pop up cage, to protect from squiggles, when I get round to doing them. Sorry if I already said that. It's not that interesting...

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Lusciouslush » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:49 pm

Squirrels........................... :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Don' get me started........! Absolute pests - costs me a fortune in the birds' sunflower seeds - I put chicken wire over newly planted bulbs - that seems to put a stop to their digging - what really hacks me off about the little b***ards is they'll dig up the bulbs - take a bite out & then leave them - they don't even eat 'em :evil:

And as soon as you get rid of one there's another right behind it!

Then there's the bl**dy foxes digging away too, when they're not bonking & making an 'ellava noise - one dragged a load of blanket weed out of the pond a couple of nights ago, probably looking for newts etc. in there, & if they find frogs they just bite the heads off the poor things & leave the decapitated body.......!
More :evil: :evil: !!!!!!

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:00 pm

There was a huge thump on the glass roof of our kitchen/extension a few nights ago. It was a fox jumping on to it. We are a bit concerned that the glass might break although when we replaced it we installed safety glass which ought to be ok .... unlike what had been there when we moved in :thumbsdown

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Pampy » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:06 pm

When I used to feed the birds (had to stop because I started to see a rat in the garden) a bl**dy squirrel took up residence in my loft so that it was near to its own private and personal restaurant (aka the peanut and seed feeders). I had to pay £150 to get rid of it. The chap who dispatched it said it was the biggest squirrel he'd ever seen in over 30 years of working in pest control! No wonder with the amount of food it got through every day.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Earthmaiden » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:32 pm

I had a friend who had squirrels bite through the lead round the chimney of a new house and make a nest in the loft. They kept coming back having been removed. They chewed things that were being stored up there and it ended up costing hundreds of £s to have them removed and suitable material built round the chimney to stop them. I'm glad I don't get them. I stopped feeding birds because of rats too. We do get foxes but I'm rather glad that badgers prefer to dig in gardens a few streets away. Goodness KC2 - that sounds quite worrying!

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Lusciouslush » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:42 pm

I can well believe that Pampy - I've seen up close just how much they can put away - I used to let them have a bit before shooing them away - but there's no shooing them away - they just keep coming back & won't stop 'till they've polished off the lot! - they're so aggressive & many folk think they're cute :roll:

They don't go on the peanut feeder hanging from a branch of the mahoosive eucalyptus tree tho' - The Lushly has it hanging on the end of very long really thin steel wire & they can't jump on it :D

He greased the pole that the sunflower seeds hang off for a long time - that was really funny to watch - they'd jump on the pole & then slide down leaving their claw marks in the grease - the look on their faces was priceless......! Can't do that now tho' the trees have grown so much they can jump from lots of different perches.

The Lushly has his own method of dispatching them tho'.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:29 pm

when we cleared my father-out-law's house we found live traps and a record book, in a kitchen drawer, of his grey squirrel count. he was obviously doing his bit to eliminate them from twickenham. i'm not sure how he dispatched them as he didn't have a gun... maybe he took them to a defra office or a vet... maybe not...
there are two regions of west penwith that have a clearance scheme (for the reintroduction of reds) and a squirrel warden. i think they have a sideline in free range grey squirrel meat for anyone who wants it.
i have been beating the greys around here to our chestnuts again this year. i think the research into chemical castration for them should be stepped up; they do so much damage to trees, young and old. at least the increase in pine martens effects greys rather than reds.
i have a bit of a 'soapbox' about grey squirrels.

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Re: Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Sakkarin » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:02 pm

Wretched squirelly things found a way onto my loft a few years back and chewed everything to bits, including a boxfull of dozens of "heritage" leads to all my computer gear throughout the years. I had a spare kettle up there, they chewed the "contact post" of it to bits, and as my main kettle broke, I am now using the loft one, and I have to prop part of it up to get it to work to counter the squirrel damage, so I'm reminded daily of that invasion!

I thought it was rats for some time, but the squirrels were too wily for the various rat traps I left in the loft.

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