Latest posts by Berghill

Apple and Pear tree dicease

Posted: 13/11/2016 at 20:55

I would be a little wary of using that insecticide. The active ingredient is reported to be toxic to bees and even in small doses can cause them problems.

This year has been very bad for Scab (and Pear rust). Our trees which like yours are in an open situation have suffered quite badly. We got no usable fruit from Rev. Wilkes and only a few clean ones from Greensleeves. Not an easy problem to control as there are not sprays fro the amateur. We used to use Copper sulphate, but that is no longer available (except perhaps from Wine making outlets).

Apple and Pear tree dicease

Posted: 13/11/2016 at 13:47

The Winter wash I use is a natural insecticide made from plants. It kills off overwintering aphids and their eggs without damaging anything else. Only trouble with it for us, is that it needs to be sprayed in winter and then again in March, on a windless day. We never have windless days here!

One further point, you may have not noticed, but I'll bet that there was a stream of ants going up the trees to those curled leaves. Might be worth putting a grease band around the trunk to stop them. They farm the aphids for their honeydew. Sooty mould grows on the honeydew they miss.

Last edited: 13 November 2016 13:49:25

Apple and Pear tree dicease

Posted: 13/11/2016 at 12:01

Bit difficult to see, but the leaves look as if they have Scab which is a fungal infection. Bad this year for some reason. Collect up and destroy the leaves rather than leaving them on the garden. Make sure there is a good through draught between the branches.

Curled up leaves is usually a sign of aphids. Unroll a leaf and look. Use a Winter Wash to clear them from overwintering on the bark.

Cannot really see the 'pale dots' If they look like cotton wool then it could be so called American blight which is a woolly aphid.

Last edited: 13 November 2016 12:02:33


Posted: 12/11/2016 at 17:06

If it is flowering at this time of year then it is one which needs acid soil conditions. Spring flowering gentians can take alkaline soil.

Needs lots of water when they begin to regrow in late Summer and a good dollop of Yak manure!

Mahonia - anyone got a good one ?

Posted: 12/11/2016 at 12:24

Winter Sun is a nice one, does well in our silty peat. Not sure I would want it near to a door though, bit prickly.

Fritillaria meleagris from seed?

Posted: 11/11/2016 at 08:53

Sadly all the Fritilaria bulbs on sale are dead. They just do not survive being dried out. If you want more as bulbs then best to buy them as growing plants in Spring, or find someone with lots of them and beg fresh bulbs.

As to growing from seed, I posted detailed instructions for them a few weeks back. Mine are just getting big enough to plant out in spring now.

Last edited: 11 November 2016 08:55:09

Just a couple of (easy) ids please

Posted: 10/11/2016 at 20:31



Butcher's Broom?


Posted: 09/11/2016 at 17:41

Ours stay in the ground until we need them. They do not store except as a frozen veg.  Blanch lightly and freeze.

Medlar novice

Posted: 08/11/2016 at 21:02

I would if we could actually remember it beyond what I posted originally. My jam maker is not going to make any this year as we already have more Jam than we can eat in a year with Raspberry, Crab apple, Chokeberry, Strawberry, Quince, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Loganberry and others whose names escape me at present.

Basically it is a pint of juice to a pint of Jam making sugar and follow the instructions for cooking time on the sugar package. Sorry.

Last edited: 08 November 2016 21:03:26

Medlar novice

Posted: 08/11/2016 at 17:59

We got our Jelly making recipe from some Eastern Europeans who used to make it and sell the result from door to door. They certainly did not have space or time to blet the fruit before making the preserve.

I did not find it tasted of tannin, it was very tasty to me.

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