London (change)
20 messages
12/07/2012 at 11:43

Ok, bear with me, I'm new to all this!

Raspberries...I planted autumn and summer varieties (the man at the garden centre said I could) in Feb/March, should they resemble raspberries this year or is it a next year thing? at the moment they are still just canes with the summer ones having a teeny weeny bit of foliage, they did start to get leaves earlier on but they died.

Potatoes.....Is there a knack to digging them up as I keep stabbing them and do I wait for the flowers to die before I dig them up. I have dug one bush up, early on tuesday morning and was so excited to see my spuddies, I cooked them and ate them for breakfast!!! yum yum!!! (they were very tiny though)

Finally beans and peas.....think mine are way behind! the beans are still only about 4" high and the slugs have attacked them, some are literally a 2" stalk...I take it this is fatal and they won't grow now?? I did put pellets down yesterday although I know I should of done it sooner and my peas are around 10" high but still very spindly. Is everything normal or have I got a lot to learn

Think I'll leave it there for now.....could go on for hours!

12/07/2012 at 11:52

Nothing really is normal this year Loz, my beans are tall but spindly with nary a sign of a flower, peas only 8 inches tall, flowering but they should be 36 -40 inches high as they are bush types.  Often hard to dig tatties, there are special potato forks which are supposed to help.  I tend to pull the top off then spuddle around with my hands until I find something.  Having said that we are not growing any this year for a variety of reasons.  Broad beans eaten by slugs - no year is ever as the books and packaging  tell you, but this wet dark weather is really holding everything back.  Keep using the organisc irion bawed slug pellets, and for the rest, just hope, not much more any of us can do I am afraid.

Raspberies have suface roots and may just have drowned, I've got plenty of foliage but few if any berries - will be an expensive year food wise I think, come autumn.  Farmers are teling their crops are suffering dreadfully, fields of rotten peas shown and so forth. 

Of course, as ever, next year will be wonderful, it always is .................

12/07/2012 at 12:36

Funny this year has been one of the best for our Raspberries.

If there is no foliage on the canes now, then try the thumb test. Scrape the bark of a can with your nail. If it is still green then the cane is alive, if not then sadly they are probably dead.

12/07/2012 at 18:31

Spuds - start digging as far away from the plant as you can and gradually creep closer, removing spuds as you go.

Beans/Peas - I'm having the same problem. In my case, late planting + bad weather. Just keep perservering and hope for the best. Vigilance is the key to slug control, as with all pests. (P.S. Some extra sowings may be in order - if you have any spare seed.)

12/07/2012 at 19:33

Don't know which part of the country you are situated in Loz, but here in Somerset it's very wet and not particularly warm.  My beans and peas, which were planted end of March, took ages to get going, but they have produced some good tasty crops and the ones planted in succession in the following weeks are now nearing fruition.  As for the raspberries, again planted mine end of March/beginning April and they have produced very few berries, but I suspect that I will get some before the season is out. 

As for potatoes, very late due to the weather but as for digging I think Phyographer has it spot on.   Good luck

13/07/2012 at 10:21

Just a general comment, Loz : this year is really dreadful for fruit and veg, so try not to be disheartened if a lot of things go wrong. I've had hugely disappointing potato crops, my strawberries are rotting, and I am seriously wondering whether there will ever be enough warmth to produce any tomatoes or beans. So even if it seems a struggle, it will get better next year (it must do, mustn't it?).

Raspberries aren't really meant to crop much the first summer - in fact I think you're meant to remove any flowers or fruit to let the canes keep their strength, but it takes a lof of willpower to do that. The autumn ones might produce some fruit this year, but if not, don't worry as long as all your canes are live, they'll be better established next year. If they are dead, get some new ones in in the late autumn. I've had a very good crop of summer rasps this year (pretty much the only good crop of anything so far), but my canes are several years old.

13/07/2012 at 16:23

Thank you for all your advise, its very much appreciated and needed, theres a lot more to this gardening business then meets the eye.....good job I gave up work as this is a full time job in its self!!      To say to sow more seeds with peas and beans, can I still do this because it says on the pack to sow till end of june. I do have spare seeds so could I  do them in the greenhouse and if so would I leave them in there?    To Green Magpie.... I planted my toms quite early indoors then moved them out to the greenhouse as directed, they seem quite healthy and have loads of flowers but absolutely no signs of fruit, is this normal? they are also looking a bit leggy. Should I nip them at the top and should I be feeding them now or wait for the fruits to appear first?

Apologies for all my question but I will warn you all....theres plenty more to ask!!

13/07/2012 at 16:35

OMG!!!! I'm in Newtown Mid Wales and as we speak the heavens have opened!

I am so hating all this rain, its spoiling my first year of being a real gardener!

Roll on September, from past years, thats when our summer will start!

13/07/2012 at 17:13

amen to that!!


13/07/2012 at 18:29

Re the tomatoes: I don't do greenhouse tomatoes so I can't help much here. My outdoor ones have some flowers and a very few tiny tomatoes. I think they didn't get pollinated enough at the relevant time, so I am trying to help by using a tiny paintbrush to spread pollen. Are your tomatoes cordon or bush types? If you don't know, tell us the variety. Cordons need the sideshoots picking out regularly, while bush tomatoes don't. I can't think why they'd be leggy if they're getting enough light. You can nip the tops eventually, but you're not supposed to do this until there are several trusses of tomatoes formed.

I have just put a few spare French bean seeds in - I've done this before in July and got a small crop from them. This year is so crazy, the plants don't know what month it is anyway. It may be a bit late for peas though.

Keep asking, that's not a problem - we're not out in our gardens as much as we'd like, so we have some time on our hands!

13/07/2012 at 18:42

Don't think anything's getting enough light at the moment - I know I'm not - if only it had the same result on me as it does the plants - I could do with being tall and willowy 

14/07/2012 at 08:45

Yes, Dove, I know what you mean - too much time spend indoors wiaitng for the rain to stop, with a comforting cup of coffee and a choccy bicuit, when we should be out there grafting!


28/09/2014 at 13:45

Does one cut down Montbretia or leave it to its own devices?

28/09/2014 at 13:48

I leave it alone until the leaves have gone brown and withered, then I pull them off.  You might like to remove the seedheads tho, to stop it self seeding.


23/11/2014 at 16:09

 Can anyone tell me why a gladioli is flowering at this time of year in Kent?


23/11/2014 at 16:32

Maybe it was planted a bit late this year and the mild weather has allowed it to flower.

23/11/2014 at 17:30

Loz , your original query was in July , only just seen this site , I assume a lot has happened since then

Are you growing on an allottment or at home ?

Hope things grew well in Aug/Sep/Oct and you could still have loads growing now and planting garlic and winter onoins 

23/11/2014 at 19:02

I run a Christmas Workshop in a village near Dorchester (with a buffet lunch) always well into December.  When I went to pay the bill for the hall last year there was a row of beautiful gladioli blooming happily in her garden

03/02/2015 at 09:11

Can anyone advise me if an East facing lean -to greenhouse will be oK for raising seeds, cuttings and overwintering of non hardy plants.   I realise fruit /tomato crops won't be an option, but maybe starting them off will be ok. I have always wanted a greenhouse or conservatory but our dream bungalow is on a very shallow plot, with the back garden being owned  by Network Rail, so we can't build on it.   Our only hope is a lean -to on the side of the garage with no direct sun.  It is sheltered by oak trees to the south!

We have room for a 6' x10'.

Is there such a thing as a double glazed version?

Advice would be very much appreciated



30/05/2015 at 11:32

Could you tell me why one of my honeysuckles have never flowered since I bought it, when the cheapest  Wilkinsons honey suckle is covered in flowers.

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