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Goats / What is this?
« Last post by Hadynt on February 20, 2024, 11:07:16 pm »
Hi all,

Hopefully not a stupid question. New with goats this season. 2 does(2 and 3 years ) and a young billy ( born Feb 23). They have been together since early September so I'm assuming he has done the job and both does are pregnant however I have no confirmation of this sort of thinking both does look bigger 😂.

A few weeks ago I found this substance in with the goats (pic attached) and was wondering if it came from the does or the Billy 🤣 i have read that the does can have discharge weeks before birth but am guessing that is different and this is more likely to be from the Billy?

Wildlife / Re: Nesting boxes.
« Last post by sabrina on February 20, 2024, 06:43:03 pm »
I was thinking of bug boxes too. I have a pond for my fish but it is above ground and 2ft 6ins deep so no frogs can get in. has a large net over the top to keep the Heron off. It is a bit like a cage I bought some new pond plants last April from my local garden centre and in the summer I went out one morning to find a Dragonfly. Never had one here before so I expect it came with the new pond plants. I would like an owl box but there is nowhere safe to put it that the cats could not get too.
Gardens / Re: Strawberry raised beds
« Last post by chrismahon on February 20, 2024, 02:54:26 pm »
Exactly as dogandjo said. But worth adding is when we moved here we potted some feeders which we then transplanted, taking out all the original plants which were clearly very old. Strange thing was we had hundreds of flowers on them but very little fruit and now thinking about it perhaps they were some kind of hybrid? On the basis of an uncertain result from the feeders I'd take everything out and put in new plants.
Gardens / Re: Strawberry raised beds
« Last post by doganjo on February 20, 2024, 12:43:52 pm »
I had the same problem last year.  I took the whole lot out and planted the best of them and any good sized runners in pots for over the winter.  I'm about to clear out a different raised bed that is easier for me to protect from birds and my dogs.  When that's done I'll add more compost/soil and replant them.  I've got chopped barley straw ready to spread round them to keep them clean, and netting on a frame to go over the top

Strawberries only last about three years anyway, so need to be renewed from runners or with new bought plants

At the very least, if you want to leave yours in situ, you need to take off all the dead leaves and stalks, remove runner baby plants and pot them up for next year, and add more compost round the ones left in place, and a mulch of straw under them
Land Management / Re: Strange field drains
« Last post by chrismahon on February 20, 2024, 08:18:18 am »
If they do use gravel around the pipes here I haven't seen it done. Our soil is heavy clay which liquifies in Winter, so any gravel won't be effective for long and it certainly won't be laid up to the surface because that would either be ploughed over or trampled by livestock and wouldn't allow any air into the pipe.
Techniques and skills / Re: hedge laying
« Last post by fleehillfarm on February 20, 2024, 05:24:12 am »
Many thanks for the replies. I couldn't agree more with the last one. Our hedge is all over the place and a lot of the pleachers are just overgrown self seeded hawthorn and blackthorn way out of line of the original hedge.
Gardens / Strawberry raised beds
« Last post by Allan on February 19, 2024, 10:47:36 pm »
I've just taken on a new garden & it's got a few raised beds. I've now cleared them all out ready for planting - except for 2 that're planted with strawberries.
You can see from the pics below that they're in a sorry state, fair enough it is February. I'm just wondering if I need to do anything to help them grow & fruit this year?
Add compost (?on top of the dead leaves) or replant some new plants?
I know I've got to remove some weeds that're sharing the beds with the strawberries, but do I need to do much more than that or will they recover on their own?
There's loads of strawberry plants still with green leaves, but most of these are on the paths between the beds.
Wildlife / Re: Nesting boxes.
« Last post by doganjo on February 19, 2024, 10:30:22 pm »
Well done, every little helps.  :thumbsup: :bouquet:  Bet he never thought of making one before you bought it  :innocent:

I just have a tiny box water feature, but I've bought a couple of plants for it and some water cress to help get it clear.  I have a pump but I tried all last year to set it so it wouldn't just empty the pond.  I'll try again when i switch it back on later in the year

Another gift from my kids was two bug boxes - screwed to the back fence, south facing.  Haven't seen anything going in and out but fingers crossed. 

I haven't put up nest boxes yet but I've been thinking about one in the big rhododendron as there loads of birds and I feed them from my balcony.
Might just try to charm 'someone' (tame gardener, local tree surgeon, son, grandson etc etc  :roflanim:  to dig a big hole out in the orchard for a bigger wildlife pond

Land Management / Re: Strange field drains
« Last post by Allan on February 19, 2024, 10:07:01 pm »
SallyintNorth, Sadly I'm not able to identify where the drains run from the vegetation. A lot of it is covered in rushes, but even the bits that aren't don't stand out, even when there's been a frost.

I can make some educated guesses, based on where the 'up' parts are, but no more than guesses until I start digging.

Chrismahon, that's interesting, I've never seen any reference to the need to have an air vent in online reading, but I suppose it makes sense if the soil is thick and impermeable. I'll try & look into that more.

It sounds like the loop may be a better method, at least going by the trouble I've had trying to clean out the mud & stones in one of mine.
I think an alternative, at least for newly constructed ones, may be a sufficiently thick layer of clean drainage stones surrounding the pipe, which I'd think would give enough air holes to allow air to go through. I don't know if I'm right on that though, need to read & think a bit more on it.
In any case I don't know if I'm at that stage, will need to dig out the existing ones & see if I can improve the water flow first.

Sadly I may have to excavate from the protruding part as I won't be able to get high enough pressure at the drain outlet points, or power to run a pump.

In any event I'm going to make new caps & cloth filters for the protruding parts of the perforated drainage pipes & at least stop them getting more clogged till I can dig out & clean them.
Wildlife / Nesting boxes.
« Last post by sabrina on February 19, 2024, 09:26:59 pm »
I bought a wee nesting box of Amazon a couple of weeks ago for blue tits. My OH asked why I had bought it when he could make for me. Never thought any more of it but today we hung up 4 boxes, I was quite surprised as 2 are multi story. ( 3 nest in each box. ) he did some research and found a plan on the internet. So hoping the birds move in. Over the winter I put in a small wildlife pond as we have frogs and toads. It is small, just a preformed pond shell but I am sure it will do the job. I feed a lot off birds over the winter and this year quite a few doves have joined in for breakfast.

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