Tag Archives: slugs

Slug repellent results

Last year, I thought I had found a way of stopping slugs from chomping their way through my plants. I had seen that slugs and snails didn’t eat stinging nettles so I decided to make up a liquid from lots of stinging nettles and water. Unfortunately, PIL, being unaware of my experiment, threw the resultant liquid away. She then absolutely forbade me from using hostas ( a particular favourite of slugs) as the target plants as she is very fond of them. Hostas that is, not slugs.

So this year I tried again without saying a word to PIL. I made up the liquor from fresh stinging nettles and then soaked a couple of hostas in the special, organic liquid. I did this just before we went away on holiday. We returned the other week and the results were immediately apparent.

 

 

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Bugger!

Boy, is PIL ticked off or what? I am definitely in the dog house now.

Back to the drawing board.

Have a bloody marvellous day.

I’ve just noticed. This is my 100th post! Congratulations to me then.

More Dick soon.auto

 

So. Do You Feel Lucky Slug?

Before we all went on holiday, I had restarted making my experimental slug deterrent. Unfortunately, as I hadn’t said anything to PIL about it, she found what she believed to be a bucket of gooey rain water in the garden and poured it away. Back to the beginning again.hostas-being-terrorized-by-slugs

What with work, stuff to do around the house and a thousand other tasks that I hadn’t done to sort out before we went away, I didn’t get round to carrying out the experiment. We’re back now, the catch up at work and home has been caught so now it is time for my experiment. Or so I thought. My intention was to grow some plain green hostas as a kind of sacrificial goat. Slugs absolutely love eating hostas so it was an ideal plant to see if my slug deterrent worked. We have a number of hostas dotted around the garden that we grow in pots to avoid serious slug damage. They are one of PILs favourite plants.20150612_100411

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The three that I had grown on had come along nicely and looked like they would make an excellent meal for a slug or several. I planned to plant one in the garden uncoated with deterrent, another lightly sprayed and the final one soaked in deterrent. I would plant them about 18 inches apart.

I came home the other night ready to start my testing the following day to find my sacrificial hostas in one pot outside the front door.20150808_162320

“Er excuse me. Why are those hostas outside the front door?” I asked PIL.

“Don’t they look lovely there? Thanks ever so much for growing them for me.”

“But, but, but…….” I stammered.

“When did you develop a stutter. Good God man, you really are going to the dogs.”

“I was going to use them for my slug deterrent test.” I managed to say knowing that I was on a loosing wicket here.

“Well you can forget that sunshine. Find something else. I like them and they are staying put.”

Oh bollocks! Looks like SDG and I will have to wait a while longer before we make our fortunes. Sorry about that.

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.

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Updates

I’ve been away working for the last week and I’m still feeling a bit cream crackered and brain activity is at an all time low. However, I will soldier on and hope that some of my few remaining brain cells start to connect while I’m writing this post.

NORMAN.

Sometime in the near future I will write about what my mate Norm did to someones house but for now I just want to show what he experienced taking a swim in the River Dee many years ago. In my last post I mentioned he had jumped into the river to help me with my spray deck without realising how deep the river was and he kind of got swept away and ended up swimming down a rapid known as The Serpents Tail. This is what it looks like:

Norm had to swim down this. Plonker!

Norm had to swim down this. Plonker!

And this is what awaited him at the bottom:

As Norm approached I suspect he may have done a bit in his trousers!

As Norm approached I suspect he may have done a bit in his trousers!

That wave is known as a “stopper” and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Imagine a whirlpool on its side – that’s effectively what a stopper is and they can stop you dead and can be very dangerous to someone forced to swim into it as it will hold you in and keep spinning you around, mostly underwater. Omar and I were in Austria for a Europa Cup event some years ago and we got it slightly wrong on one of our practice runs and hit a huge stopper at an angle. It pulled us under and then spat us out like a Polaris missile. We were vertical and completely clear of the water. Bear in mind we both weighed 11 stone soaking wet, our canoe weighed another 20 kilos, was 16 feet long and that stopper just spat us out. I wish I still had the photo of that!

This guy is free styling and this is deliberate but you get the idea. This stopper is a tiddler! Imagine what a big one can do.

This guy is free styling and this is deliberate but you get the idea. This stopper is a tiddler! Imagine what a big one can do.

GARDENING

I’ve been away from home for a whole week and my garden has gone bloody berserk! I haven’t got any weeds but I do have a great many triffids!KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Just sorting them out is going to take quite a lot of effort and will undoubtedly give me back ache. However, my ornamentals are also doing very well and have suffered very little damage from sl*gs and sn**ls so far.20150513_090412 My experiment with making a concoction from stinging nettles has gone out the window, or more accurately, down the drain. PIL didn’t realise what I was doing so chucked it away. She doesn’t find it odd that there buckets containing various gooey substances dotted around the garden.  Not a drama, lots of stinging nettles around so I can restart that. While I was away, I spent a little time talking to Pete, one of the gardeners who works on the estate where we were and he told me that they use coffee grounds as a sl*g deterrent and it seemed to work reasonably well. He also told me that a feed made from stinging nettles (soak a load in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks and use the resultant liquor) is one of the best natural plant feeds you can get. I’m also hoping that doing this will deter sl*gs as the little buggers never seem to eat nettles and covering my ornamentals with nettle juice may just confuse them. I have to say that Pete has to be one of the most contented men I have ever met.

Pete. On e of the happiest and most content blokes I've ever had the great fortune to meet

Pete. On e of the happiest and most content blokes I’ve ever had the great fortune to meet

He is a retired fireman, a job he always wanted to do and as far as he was concerned he was living the dream and now his dream continues as he gardens, which he loves, and gets paid for doing it. I am soooo jealous!

BEES

I’m still looking into this. There seems to be a major problem with honey bee colonies dying en masse and no one really seems to know why.Honeybees While I was away, we all had to suddenly leg it as a swarm of bees came over where we were working. I let the estate manager know so that he could take action in case they landed inside the buildings and pissed off his guests. My gardener mate Pete came along shortly afterwards looking for them but found no trace and concluded they probably returned to their hive. Now oddly enough, scientists looking into why bee colonies are dying off have been hindered by the lack of bee bodies. Apparently, the bees fly off never to return. Aliens? It would also appear that farmers rent bee colonies to pollinate their crops as and when the crop is ready and in full flower which may explain why I’ve not seen too many honey bees this year. I will report back on this subject later.

HOTEL SERVICES

It’s amazing what’s provided these days. The hotel I stayed in was very pleasant, the staff were nice, the bed lovely and comfy, the shower was good and the TV remote worked. My first morning I got in the lift to get breakfast, pressed the button and a womans voice said;

“Going down”.

“Ooo” I thought, “I think I like this hotel but she’ll need to be quick as I’m only on the third floor”.

man & woman in lift I’m pretty certain I was alone in the lift so there wasn’t a queue but I remained fully zipped up throughout my descent. I did mention it to the reception staff that while the woman had said she was going down, nothing had actually happened. They said they would get an engineer in to sort the problem out but perhaps they had to wait for a spare part as the poor woman remained stuck in her little cupboard somewhere in that lift for the duration of my stay. I hope she’s ok.BH-NwgdCUAI-6yg.jpg-large I am in dire need of a cup of tea so I’m off. I hope you have an absolutely smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto

Gardening

 

Me

Me

 

Perhaps the only thing that can be said about the lawn in our back garden is that it’s generally green! A small percentage of that greenness is caused by grass. The rest of the greenness is made up of moss (18%), clover (23%), buttercups (17%), daisies (16%), dandelions (12%), sundry other weeds etc (11%). I think when all the weeds are flowering it actually looks quite pretty and in my opinion having a garden that pleases your eye is really what it’s all about. The abuse the back lawn gets from the amount of football, basketball, cricket, hockey and rugby that the kids play on it makes maintaining it the way my dad maintained his lawn a bit of a waste of time. However, I have discovered method in my laziness. I have a cunning plan!

I have a cunning plan

I have a cunning plan

My dad used to expend huge amounts of energy, time and money on his lawn. Even when he was getting on a bit he would mow, weed and feed it constantly and it has to be said that 96.87% of his lawn was actually grass. Every year he would grab his lawn rake and spend the day furiously raking up every scrap of moss and dead grass. He would then spend the next week in hospital with a suspected coronary. Each spring he would scatter spring lawn feed over the lawn. Every autumn he would spread autumn lawn feed over his lawn. Every year he would aerate his lawn with his garden fork and chuck lawn sand everywhere. As far as I can make out “lawn sand” is ordinary sand in  bag marked “Lawn sand” enabling the retailer to sell it for three times the price. I could be wrong. My dad used so much weed killer and sundry other chemicals that his lawn would luminesce at night.

Personally, I try not to use chemicals and weed killers. I do use it on the paths where, typically, the grass grows quite happily. It’s the same with pests. I’m not allowed by law to use chemicals on the kids much as I may want to when they destroy my Choisya Ternata. I dislike slugs intensely but now as I grow older I try to think of them as little bunches of DNA sliming around doing what slugs naturally do.slug1-400x301

Which is EATING MY FUCKIN’ GARDEN YOU BASTARDS! DIE! DIE! DIE! KILL! YOU SNOT COVERED DOG TURDS, FUCK OFF AND DIE!hostas-being-terrorized-by-slugs

Ahem. Excuse the little rant. Sorry. Much as I try to remain calm the mere thought of slugs drives me potty. DIE YOU FUCKERS DIE! I wouldn’t mind so much but the fucker slug fucks DIE YOU SHITS DIE! in my garden all seem to look like and are the size of Jabba the Hutt with an appetite to match.review_jabba_1

I do apologise for my outburst. Anyway, generally speaking I’m quite fond of the little garden beasties, so if it’s not a s**g or a sn**l, I try to encourage them. Our back garden is effectively divided into two parts. Last week I gave the whole lawn its first cut of the year. Now I like bees. Hate wasps but like bees. Bees like clover. There’s clover in our lawn and clover when cut, takes about a week to start flowering again. So. Each week, weather permitting, I will mow one half of the lawn so that each half gets cut once every two weeks. That way it looks neat(ish), the bees have a constant supply of food and I get to put my feet up for an additional half hour having done my bit to save the planet! That’s what you call a cunning stunt. (unless you’re my sister Boo, the Queen of spoonerisms, in which case it’s something else entirely).

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Speaking of beaver, Clit Eatswood is regularly ensconced in my beard. It seems to like it there and comes quite often.

I’ve wandered off again haven’t I?

I started gardening and enjoying it relatively late. To me it was something your dad did and therefore gardening was done by old people.gardener

When PIL and I first got together we lived in a nice house overlooking a little copse with a stream running through it. It had a garden. So in an effort to further impress her and to get her kit off as often as possible I started to garden. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (still don’t). I built a little seat out of bricks and old fence posts at the bottom of the garden where we could sit and look out over the stream. As you would expect with something I built only three buttocks could fit on the seat but this was fine because it meant PIL sat on my lap. I started watching Gardeners World on the Beeb Beeb Ceeb and the presenter, the late Geoff Hamilton, became a bit of a hero to me.

The late Geoff Hamilton

The late Geoff Hamilton

I discovered I enjoyed gardening and even better, that I was quite good at it. I can never remember the name of plants but I can visualise what I want to do and get the plants that achieve my visualisation.

Part of our garden

Part of our garden

The best thing though is that if you cock it up and have a colour clash,  a plant in the wrong place or it doesn’t suit the scheme you’re trying to achieve all you do is dig the bugger up again and plant it somewhere else. Brilliant! It helps that both PIL and I prefer informal planting with lots of colour and form and that is easy to do. For instance, bees like foxgloves. We like foxgloves. Foxgloves self seed like nobodies business so you buy a few and let them seed and you end up with big swathes of purple foxgloves springing up in the most unexpected places.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves

If by chance they arrive where you don’t want them, just dig ’em up and plant them somewhere else.

I think most people know I like wild primroses.

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Dinky little plants with lovely yellow flowers in early spring. If you’re lucky you can get the pink form which is also lovely. You can’t just go and dig up wild flowers in England. Big fines if you’re caught. So I collect the seed which is legal. Not all of it, just enough for what I want. I pot the seeds up, they start to grow, plant them out and hey presto, loads of plants for nothing. Again, brilliant. Or you can take cuttings from your existing plants, pot them up and once again, a short time later, free plants! Herbaceous perennials are the best though. Buy one (or three), plant it immediately and enjoy the flowers. Then a year or two later, dig it up, divide it into two or three bits and replant. Then two or three years later dig each bit out again and divide it again. Bloody marvellous.

One year it wasn't there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

One year it wasn’t there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

The thing to never forget though is that no matter how much you enjoy the physical labour of gardening and the associated aches and pains, take time to actually look at your garden or (someone elses) and enjoy it.

A bit of our garden

A bit of our garden

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon.auto

 

Liebster

 

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Wow. Tessa over at Nothing Was Said has very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award. I must admit that it was a few hours before the penny dropped and I realised what was going on. I was (still am) chuffed to be nominated. I looked it up on the interweb thingy to see what it was all about. There seems to be an awful lot of different rules with this award but I kind of get the idea. It did mean that I finally had to figure out how to put links onto this here blog. Remember, I have trouble understanding the concept of clock work so this kind of stuff involved quite a few cock ups on my part.

Anyway, the RULES.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you: Thank you Tessa at Nothing Was Said. You are a sweetheart.

2. Answer 11 questions they set.

3. Nominate other blogs with less than 200 followers.

4. Let them know about the nomination and the questions.

Other rules I’ve read have said to list 11 things about yourself and the number of followers for a blog seems to vary an awful lot. Some say 200, others say 2000 while others say other numbers. One of the blogs I intend nominating has more than 200 but less than 1000, while another one gives absolutely no indication that I can see of the number of followers – it may be 6, it may be 1,000,000. I have no idea. Rules are there to be broken so if I break them, I’m sure the World won’t end.

The Questions.

1. Who is your favourite band/artist and why?

I listen to and enjoy a wide range of music from Miles Davis to John Lee Hooker, early Springsteen, Dre and Eminem, George Michael, John Legend, Led Zepp’ and Jimi Hendrix. I work out to Linkin Park. I have been a fan of Neil Young since forever but my favourite of all time is the Rolling Stones. As a band they never fail to produce excellent music that I can listen to all day every day.

2. Who is your biggest inspiration?

This is difficult. I cannot put it down to one individual as I have been inspired by many people during my lifetime. I think that if it came down to one individual I would have to say Nelson Mandela. That bloke was just unbelievable. I never met him but I wish I had. I met a guy who worked for him and he told me he was the nicest, most humble man you could ever meet.

3. What is your favourite food?

Curry. Chicken Dansak with rice (of course), onion bhajis with sundry bits and pieces. Apple pie and custard for dessert or maybe bread pudding. Stella to drink or if it’s sitting down with PIL drinking wine, its white zinfandel.

4. Where do you want to travel to most in the world?

There are many places. I want to go back to Kenya (PIL and I got married there), North America (both the U.S. and Canada) and despite it only being a 2 hour flight away, I’ve never been to Barcelona. I’m told it’s a beautiful city and the Cathedral has to be seen to be believed.

5. If you were the creator of your own planet, what would it be called and what would it look like?

It would be called “Bob”. I have never been to another planet so I have nothing to compare it to but I think Planet Bob would look very much like our planet. Earth is a beautiful place. However, on Planet Bob there would be no poverty, everyone would have enough to eat and have clean drinking water. I would take away the pollution. Sir David Attenborough would be the President of Planet Bob and he would live as long as he wanted. There would be no place for Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-un or any others of their ilk.

6. Are you more like your mother or your father?

Apparently, physically I look incredibly like my dad. Temperament wise I think I’m like my mum. She had a very long fuse (she needed it being married to my dad!). No doubt my sister Boo will have something to say on this!

7. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years time?

I hope that I will be sitting in my garden gazing at the fruits of my labour there before my kids demolish it again playing football, basketball, cricket or rugby. I will continue to write my blog, take the pooch for a walk every day and no longer have to worry about work or money. I will have a permanent smile on my face not of smugness but of satisfaction at what I have done and achieved during my lifetime and what I will continue to achieve and do for the rest of my life.

8. At school, were you a rebel or a teacher’s pet?

A rebel. Always in trouble. Always missing lessons.

9. Who is your favourite author and why?

I read for relaxation so I like books that don’t involve a lot of effort. I read both fiction and non fiction. Currently, I’m into Lee Childs and his Jack Reacher series of novels. A certain amount of brain cells get involved trying to work out “whodunnit” and they are an easy read. I like John le Carre, particularly the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy series. That involved paying attention. Both authors construct the characters well, the story lines are plausible and both lead the reader up the wrong path before you finally get it. I read Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” before Christmas. It was a struggle to begin with because the language and sentence construction is so different to modern novels. The first two or three chapters were hard going but it clicked into place then and it was worth the perseverance.

10. What is your least favourite animal?

Easy. Slugs. The slimy bastards keep eating my garden!

11. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Work hard, play hard, party hard. Never let the bastards grind you down. Be yourself.

Well, that little lot will now mean that people will think “What a berk” but never mind. I’m now supposed to make my own nominations but before I do, on some of the rules I read about the Liebster, it was said you should list 11 things about yourself. I may not list 11, but here are some things about me.

1. I’m right-handed, left footed and a left-handed kayaker.

2. In my late teens/early 20s, I was a kayaking instructor and raced white water racing C2s with my best mate at the time.

3. I started going grey at the age of 16.

4. I am short-sighted and wear contact lenses.

5. I don’t like Marmite.

6. I have no superpowers.

7. I am a Chelsea supporter, always have been, always will be. My dad was and my children and PIL are.

8. I am slightly red/green colour blind.

9. My favourite colour is green. Or is it blue?

10. Despite what my so-called friends claim, I did not fight at the Battle of Crecy in 1346!

11. I am now a non smoker.

Now for my nominations.

totaltimewaste Has more than 200 followers but there you go. written by a 17-year-old who seems to be obsessed with girls. Worth a look as it’s very funny

thecrumpettfiles I only found this blog a short while ago and I think it’s brilliant. The posts are quite short but without trying to be poncy, it’s like drinking elderflower cordial over ice on a hot summers day – totalling refreshing.

sunfartsandvagrainbows Should be approached with caution. Susie Sunfarts hates everything and everyone and isn’t scared to let you know! Profane,anarchic this blog is the antithesis of all others. While every other blogger on the planet was wishing everyone a Happy New Year, Susie was giving everyone the finger! She hates everyone from the guy who comes out every morning, starts his car and leaves it running to the “cheer up, look on the bright side” brigade. I think it’s great. The observations are very sharp and it’s all tongue in cheek. Or you think it is until you get to the last sentence or two and think, “Oh wow! I hope she doesn’t have access to firearms.”

My questions for my nominees:

1. What does your dream house look like?

2. What is your drink of choice?

3. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

4. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

5. What is your favourite food?

6.Who is your biggest inspiration?

7. Would you prefer to live in a big city, the suburbs or the countryside?

8. When you were 11 what did you want to be when you grew up?

9. What is your favourite colour?

10. How old am I?

11. What was the first record you ever bought?

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

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