Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

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Westi
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:18 pm

It was hot & very dry down at lottie today, luckily I had bought a new hose so I thought the biceps could have a wee break from lugging cans. How wrong was I! It was cool when I went down but I went for it but the hose just wanted to go into the coil shape it was packed in. The wrestle to straighten it out (50 metres of it) was probably very comical to anyone looking on but it was like fighting with a anaconda. A few hours straight down the path under bricks & the sun shining on it broke it's bad habit but a fair amount of time taken untwisting it that could have been used weeding, but I did get the back weeded & the compost turned a bit, but the 'To Do' list is still very long!
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Elmigo
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Elmigo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:26 pm

What kind of garden hose do you use? Regular ones are just not working for me as they're so fixed and I have little space for now. Like you absolutely have to roll them in, the exact same way you rolled them out. Otherwise you have to untie the whole thing next time. Last week I found one that's flexible. You can literally throw it on a pile and it won't even knot together. When you turn the hose on it expands to about 25 yards, it's really amazing!
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Westi
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:38 pm

I have an expandable one at home & don't like it - it's was the allotment one. I don't like the way you have to empty it make it retract as never enough water left in it to water the pots on the patio after I turn the tap off after watering the beds, but if I leave it running the water has to go down the drain which is a waste of a precious resource. And mine is quite a bit longer & tries to wrap itself around my feet as I try to wrap it on the hanger & if you have experienced it you will know it gets really tight & it has no respect for baby plants either as flips as it retracts.

The new one will be fine - a bit of warm weather to soften it & get it used to being straight & it will forget the long ride to the UK from China. :) It stays along the edge of the path all summer & moved to hanging between the fence posts over winter so ready to warm up & not coiled.
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Colin2016
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:32 am

I froze some chillies last year and noticed they were brown inside when I used them, then read that it is best to cut them up before freezing.
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Colin2016
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:42 am

Started to remove the black plastic on my compost pile and there on top was a snake, never moved so fast as I have a fear of snakes.

Lifted the plastic off gently with the fork and watched it retreat to back of pile and into neighbours plot.

Will be taking more caution when turning the compost in future.
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tigerburnie
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby tigerburnie » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:59 am

Grass snakes lay their eggs in compost heaps, the warmth helps them hatch(assuming it was a grass snake, yellow collar round it's neck?)
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retropants
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby retropants » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:03 am

There appears to be no end to the mischief caused by the garden vandals (aka foxes). They are now eating the blackberries straight off the plant, climing onto the wheelbarrow to do so. I will move the wheelbarrow later, but should I be worried about my tomatoes? they are growing fast, and it won't be long before they will become a viable target for the little blighters. I would have thought it would be easier growing food in my garden compared to the allotment, where there's a lot more wildlife! I suppose the garden fox is hungrier, therefore going to greater lengths to find food. Although, I am, to all intents & purposes, providing him or her with a fresh buffet!
Last edited by retropants on Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Primrose
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:06 pm

Retropants - I've never known foxes to eat tomatoes but I suppose it depends how desperately hungry they are. . I grow them every summer and our garden is surrounded on all sides by 6 foot fences on all sides. Foxes can climb these with ease, and often do several nights a week as they often trigger our back garden security light but they generally sniff around the lawn for odd smells of scraps we may have thrown out for the birds.

They have a very keen sense of smell though and I've seen them sniffing around the borders or vegetable patch when I've thrown down a general dressing of chicken manure pellets.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:50 pm

Maybe the Fox is a Vegan...... :)
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Colin2016
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:45 pm

"Grass snakes lay their eggs in compost heaps, the warmth helps them hatch(assuming it was a grass snake, yellow collar round it's neck?)"

Thanks tigerburnie I did not know that, did not see yellow collar but was more interested in getting ride of it rather than studying it.
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tigerburnie
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby tigerburnie » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:14 pm

This is a female Adder
ImageAdder2 by tigerburnie, on Flickr
This is a Male Adder
ImageBM1K7067 by tigerburnie, on Flickr
This is a Grass snake(no grass snakes this far north), so not my picture
https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife ... rass-snake
This is a Smooth snake(we don't get these up here either, too cold)
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/nature ... orm-facts/
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Westi
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:56 pm

I dodged an adder for quite a time on the plot. She was fine, although bloody huge, she was quite timid, the males that came to mate with her were well aggressive & tiny & kept me out of the shed for several days! But I did get to see the intertwining dance that they do to prove who is the best to mate with. She unfortunately chose to have her babies outside the plot & as children around she had to be moved, but the ranger from Hengistbury Head said she was really old so she spent her twilight years in the public display they have in the New Forest - but her off spring have invaded plots further down. Plot holder relocated & lot's of angst from the Committee guys who are going to lift the plastic to persuade them to move into the farmers field - been nearly 3 weeks now they have been trying to get a group together to lift the plastic! :) :)
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Colin2016
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Colin2016 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:37 am

This has turned into a interesting insight to the life of snakes, thank you both for your comments.

Is it only grass snakes that like hot compost or could there be adders be there as well?

A fellow plot holder said he had the biggest adder he seen, sunbathing at the end of his plot last year, let hope it stay away from my plot.
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robo
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby robo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:44 pm

We were out in Spain sipping a few brandies with one of our neighbors we had only arrived that morning ,we were sitting in our fly free area this is a patio type area with timber frames all around covered in a fine mesh the roof is anti sun pollycarb sheets the idea is to keep the black fly from biting us ,the black fly are a mutation from fruit flies and tigers they bite like buggery and the bites usually turn septic ,our neighbor said quite calmly there is a snake there I could not see it as it was the other side of a sun lounger I stood up for a better look and nearly died (there is a better description but I won't use it on here it's starts with I nearly xXxX myself ) there was a snake stretching the full length of the sun lounger I got a broom my idea was to open the door and brush it out my wife got her camera and started snapping away out neighbour grabbed the brandy bottle , the snake about turned and vanished under the door and away like grease lightning I was amazed at the speed it moved at,when I got the door open which was seconds after the snake had gone under it there was no sign of it there are five steps and six feet of concrete floor but it had gone ,I was told later by a local it was a mouse snake and they are good to have around your house
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Westi
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:53 pm

We have both Adders & Grass Snakes on the site, I currently have neither but they both need to get warm to be active enough to hunt & will find the perfect spot. I first met my adder when I went to double up a black bag that had perished a bit into a new one to take to the dump. I slid the new one along the length of the other one & thought it was a bit heavy then this big girl slithered out the top of the bag, fortunately not towards me but my hands were only about 1' away. I am happy she got out & I didn't seal her in bag to be squished at the tip.

You will know an adder when you see one - zig zag stripe, grass snakes have lighter markings but not in the perfect zig zag pattern. The females are large, my girl was about 4'+ when moving but timid, the males are only about 1' & will immediately challenge an intruder. His will be a female Colin so not too bad but be careful around your heap & step heavily - I was like a Yeti stomping down the path when I went down - worked though she moved!
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