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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Happy British Summer Time!

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

It’s been months since my last posting, I cannot say I’ve been busy, just not finding the time to do stuff. But now full of vigor, now that the dark nights have come to an end.

I’ve just purchased an Arc Tank 20L made by the lighting guys from Arcadia, it’s a small 20L “Nano” tank, which I intend to plant-up and add a small number of fish. I’ve also decided to make some big changes in the next few months in the fish house, and start adding substrates and plants to some of the tanks in the fish house.

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Fresh Vegetables, Fresh Vegetables!

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Time for a quick blog. Tomatos from 2007 were a disaster, all of them made Green Tomato chutney, very few ripened, because we didn’t have the hot weather, it was very late, when the sun arrived, in September/October 2007. In preparation for this Summer, I’ve been planting my seeds earlier, Chilli Plants are in courtesy of Kew Gardens and today I planted the first of the Tomato seeds, I’ve stuck with some successful seeds and plants, I’ve had good results in the past Gardener’s Delight and Money Maker Tomato. Moneymaker is a very heavy cropper, and Gardener’s delight is a cherry variety (not many of these make it to the table, I eat them off the vine in the greenhouse!). All the others selected are an experiment. I planted the first 120 seeds, but my compost was frozen solid, so I’ll have to wait until it defrosts in the greenhouse, for use next weekend.

Here are the variety’s I’m planting this year….if you want to trade just let me know….send me your trades…!

costoluto fiorentino tomatoe
Costoluto Fiorentino Tomato

gardener's delight
Gardener’s Delight Tomato

golden sunrise
Golden Sunrise Tomato

red pear
Red Pear Tomato

san marzano 2
San Marzano 2 Tomato

Tigerella Tomato

Chilli Seeds
Chilli Fruits, I don’t know what these chilli plants they came off, other than there were at Kew Gardens! At the Chilli Festival 2007!

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Border Almost finished

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Here are the latest pictures of the new garden border in the front garden, now fully planted. I just need to spread some more bark/mulch around the plants.

Border Fini 1

Border Fini 2

The lounge is almost complete, blind fitted to rear window, and in discussion with local design company to fit and forge custom steel curtain rail pole and curtains for bay window.

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A New Garden Border!

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Some friends visited us for cream teas on Sunday afternoon (with real Devon clotted cream, none of this crap artificial stuff out of a can!) and in return for signing and witnessing their new wills before they go on holiday! they gave us some new plants from their Plant Nursery for the garden.

So Andy’s had to dig and expand the border to accomodate them all!

New Border1

New Border2
After, the border still needs digging over, soil improver adding, and the plants planting!

Thanks to Julie and Pete for the plants!

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The Secret Weapon - Bio Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Well to slugs anyway!

This is my secret weapon, it must have surprised the postie on Friday morning, with the label “Living Material Urgent” stickered on the parcel!

Living Material
“Living Material Urgent”

The parcel contained:-

Nemaslug controls all common species of small to medium sized slugs (up to 8cm - 2.5-3 inches).

Nemaslug uses the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, which was discovered by scientists at the government research institute at Bristol, England.

I’ve also undertaken, an eight pronged attack to reduce slugs and snails:-

I hope my Hostas survive! because I’ve planted another two today, but these are blue ones, and slugs and snails don’t eat those!

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Declared War on Slugs and Snails!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

My hostas and bedding plants are getting worse, if I don’t do something soon, my plants will die, and will resemble stalks!

So my friendly, excellent Coffee Shop opposite where I work, Banjos, Museum Street, York has supplied me with some used Coffee Granules. If you are ever in York, pop in, and tell Beth, I sent you! Excellent Coffee, hot and cold baguettes.

Coffee Granuals
Used Coffee Granules from Banjos, Museum Street, York

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Cottage Garden Border Re-visited

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Since I’ve been having a few problems with the slugs and snails eating one of my prize Hostas, I thought I’d upload some close-up pictures of them. I’ve always wanted to grow hostas, and now I have a shaddy part of the garden, ideal. I’ve used some sharp grit to mulch the area around the plants, and I’ve boiled-up some garlic cloves in water, and I’ve been spraying the plants and ground to keep the slugs and snails off.

Close up of the three Hostas


If you click the picture and look at the larger image, you’ll see where the snails/slugs have been eating this plant.


I do have the latin names if interested!

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Hikari Saga continues …

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

This hasn’t got aything todo with Noggin the Nog or Nogbad the Bad, although the later could be compared with the EU Legislation in place! Please read on …

I received an email today from a fellow aquarist who breeds Good Quality Discus in South Yorkshire, asking me where I obtained my secret supply of Hikari Algae Wafers, as he has been having difficulties obtaining them. I quickly checked a few mail order suppliers and was surprised to find they were all Out Of Stock, last October I posted an entry, stating the EU had lifted the temporary restriction on Hikari products.

I’ve spoken to PPI this afternoon, the Sole Distributors for Hikari products in the UK, which stated that some stocks of Hikari products were imported into the UK, in September/October 2005, but the temporary restrictions of Hikari products are still in place. I had assumed after this press release in September 2005, that the temporary restrictions had been lifted.

Inspectors are currently visting the Hikari plants in Japan, and a Press Release is due in the next two-three weeks.

The Algae wafer market seems to have been flooded by King British, Tetra and others to plug this hole that currently exists, in my opinion these are not as good. Sera have a good product. Catfish Crisps, my Whiptails prefer these to Hikari Algae Wafers. But I’ve not been able to purchase these in 1kg bags, have I posted this before? rumours state that Sera once made this product for Hikari, before production was moved to Japan - Allegedly.

Sera now have their own excellent coldwater, tropical and marine range of fish foods.

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White Spot in Tropical Fish Shops

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Whilst visting family in South Wales, I’ve been out and about browsing the local Tropical Fish shops.

I spotted an excellent pair of Parrot Cichlids at Wyevale Garden Centre, Pyle. If Parrot Cichlids breed successfully and had a commericial value, I would have been very tempted to purchase, still tempted, a very unusual colouration, similiar to Jeff Raps “Calico” Convict Cichlids. Possibly been cross-breed with Convict Cichlids. Umm, purchasing man-made, genetically modified designer fish, I’ll have to consider this purchase very carefully.

I was also very impressed with the Fish display at Petsathome, Bridgend Retail Park. The large tropica plants are execellent value for money, and I also saw some young RED Angelfish, these fish did not just have a red blush, but overall pigment was red in colour, this could possibly due to red pigment enhancers feed in food, it could be genetic, I would have to purchase some and grow on to be sure. 5.99 GBP each.

To end on a controversial note, I also visited Maidenhead Aquatics at Pontarddulais Garden Centre, Swansea. This tropical fish has just been voted Top Tropical Fish Shop in Wales 2005, and 9th UK Retailer 2005 by readers of Practical Fishkeeping.

After reading this, I thought it must be worth a visit. I was put off purcahsing any livestock because several tanks that contained Clown Loaches in the Tropical section, were covered in White Spot.

I purchased two packs of “Diskusin” to make it worth the effort of travelling there.

Would you purchase fish from tanks with white spot? Answers on a postcard please, to the usual address.If this is the best, I’d hate to visit the worst!

Disclaimer: There could be good reason that several tanks had white spot outbreaks, and it could be under control with chemical or ultra-violet treatment, the infected fish may not be for sale.

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Replacement plants

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Unfortunately, my local East Riding supplier of Frozen Ruto Bloodworm has ceased trading, so I’m looking for another supplier. If you know of one, please contact me at

Air pressure appears to have dropped on the ring main tonight, need to check airstones and connections for air leaks.

Fish House Minimum Air Temperature is a constant 20 degrees C.

I’ve replaced the rubber washers on the Eheim 2030 with plastic half-inch washers, used PTFE tape on all threads, and tightened with a new 30mm socket torque wrench. I’ve filled it up over-night, I’ll check for water leaks tomorrow.

I think I need to feed my Ancistrus, that share a tank with a Purple spotted gudgeon Hikari Algae wafers, rather than the Sera brand Catfish chips, the Gudgeon eat whole wafers, can fish choke on fish food? The Purple spotted Gudgeon in the fish house, have grown very fast compared to the fish in my display tank in the house.

Good News: have agreed to replace my Vallis Torta.

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