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Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:12 am
by robo
Old boy ? He is only 28

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:26 am
by Colin2016
I get loads of starlings at home but not on the allotment.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:01 pm
by Primrose
Monika, I know your sparrows must be a bit of a nuisance but I rather envy you as we haven,t seen a sparrow in our garden for many, many years which seems strange considering they’re such a common bird. And we must have seen only a couple of greenfinches in recent years which must be due to this disease which is wiping them out.

Right now we are overrun with green parakeets visiting the garden, up to 25 at a time all jostling to get on the feeders and the two wire tubes of crinkly apples we’ve hung out for them. We wouldn,t normally encourage them but they make a joyful splash of colour in the garden on a grey dull day and they all seem to be ravenous. I guess there isn’t much food about for them at this time of year until the new buds start to form on trees. Some might say letting a few of them starve might not be a bad thing given their successful breeding pattern over recent years but we tend to be softies in this house when it comes to feeding wildlife in severe weather conditions !

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:14 pm
by tigerburnie
Bought my seed tatties today, will sort out some egg boxes ready for chitting them, was also given a big bag of daffodil bulbs for free and got some sweetcorn and butternut squash seeds half price, nice way to end a days shopping(preferable to dragging round Dundee anyway).

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:50 pm
by Primrose
Email from DT Brown saying Time to sow your Tomato seeds!
I would have thought that even for growing in a greenhouse this was a little optimistic !
I,d normally be starting my chilli and pepper seeds off now on an indoor wiindow sill for growing outdoors but only because they’re such slow germinators without a propagator.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:22 pm
by Monika
Oh, Primrose, 25 parakeets! They must make an awful noise. We had just one in our area a few years ago and it was audible across several gardens! We had no house sparrows around the garden until about five years ago (though there were flocks in other areas of the village), then they moved in and have taken over every bird box and are nesting in the ivy and hawthorn bushes. In early February a lot of our trees, bushes and especially the thickets of ivy are going to be slashed, so perhaps the sparrows might move on again.
I fixed the wire netting over the top opening now and that should keep the birds out.

Tomato sowing now? Unless one can provide artificial lighting, I would have thought the seedlings would get horribly stretched from the lack of light at this time of the year.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:33 pm
by Colin2016
Hi Monika you mention bird box, somthing I would like to add to the orchard part of my plot is there a rule to follow regards hight &/or type of box for correct use?

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:40 pm
by Primrose
The only rule I know about locating bird boxes is to fix them high enough so cats can,t easily get at them and to try and have them facing away from the sun, ie on the north side of a tree etc if possible so that baby birds don!t get baked from the rays of the sun if it gets too hot

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:45 pm
by Colin2016
Thanks Primrose

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:50 pm
by peter
Primrose wrote:Email from DT Brown saying Time to sow your Tomato seeds!
I would have thought that even for growing in a greenhouse this was a little optimistic !
I,d normally be starting my chilli and pepper seeds off now on an indoor wiindow sill for growing outdoors but only because they’re such slow germinators without a propagator.


They get the frosts and you have to buy more seed, simples.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:19 pm
by Monika
I agree with Primrose about the height and direction of bird boxes. As for the type, it depends what sort of birds you want to attract. For blue tits, go for a 28mm hole (if it is larger, you can make it smaller by screwing on a metal plate with a hole of that size, very useful in any case because it stops woodpeckers from enlarging the hole and helping themselves to the nestlings!), great tits need about 32mm, but that also allows house sparrows in. If you have a sheltered spot, say thick ivy, you could put up on open box to attract robins and possibly wrens or even spotted flycatchers, but that depends on your area. Whatever you do, try to avoid any places where a cat could easily get to it. One more caution: for a box with a hole, make sure there is a large gap between the hole and the base of the box, otherwise grey squirrels can put their paw in and take the nestlings. And don't have a box with a little perching post, the birds don't need it and it just encourages predators to hang on. I would always go for an RSPB box (they know what they are doing!) or one made of woodcrete (more expensive but lasts for many years).

There is plenty of info available on the internet.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:59 am
by Geoff
I've been changing my greenhouse from gravel bed staging to 6"x1" treated boards. Washed everything down with Jeyes Fluid so ready to go.

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While I was ordering the wood I got enough for five more ordinary nest boxes. I make them to a design I downloaded years ago, I was going to add a link but it is not there anymore, I can scan it if you want a design. I have given up on hinged lids as I never look in during the season but I do attach the fronts with stainless steel screws, easy to remove and clean out with a triangular paint scraper. I place them so I can clean them without a ladder.

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I also built a Tawny Owl box as we often get them in the garden. This design (more or less) came off the RSPB web site though I don't think they expected to use 6"x1" as it came out very heavy. They had better use it as I fell about 10' off the ladder while putting it up and landed on my shoulder which has somewhat restricted my activities for a few days.

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Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:10 am
by Pa Snip
Like the pics Geoff. Greenhouse looks brilliant Just a little concerned over your choice of 13amp sockets & plug.
Do you cover them to avoid dampness seepage

Is that a RCB I see on one socket

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:17 am
by oldherbaceous
Brilliant job Geoff, on all accounts...hope the shoulder is soon back to normal.

Re: Late Winter Bits and Bobs - 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:27 am
by Geoff
Thanks both. It is an RCB and it is supplied by an RCB breaker in a consumer unit in the garage that controls all my outside circuits. I was worried the shoulder was stiff and painful but with no bruising so I went to the GP (rang and left a message for triage, rang back within 2 hours and went to visit 3 hours after first call, great service I thought) as I didn't fancy half a day and more going to A&E. He said he didn't think there was any damage that time wouldn't heal, it is better each day until I do too much!

PS : just realised you might be referring to the plugged in device, the socket is RCD but the device is a thermostat.