Latest posts by biofreak

Gooseberry Sawfly

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 10:17

When should I start spraying to prevent sawfly on my now fully leafed gooseberries? Mats around bushes worked well last year as recommended on previous Post, but some of the little devils still decimated some bushes.


Posted: 16/04/2016 at 15:26

I'd hang on until the next spring like spell. - Only a few days and it will be worth it. Also plant lots of herbs between veg rows or in between summer bulbs - in particular thyme/lemon balm and dwarf rosemary - S & S really do not like the smell especially if you scatter rubbed herbs along rows too, I find eggshells don't work once they are wet and pappy - Only in hot summer weather and this of course in when S & S search out damper areas anyway. - Short of all this invest in 2 ducks - They love slugs and snails plus mice & voles - unlike hens they will not scratch up veg and flower beds.



Posted: 15/04/2016 at 15:31

We always eat snails (escargots) as a Starter on Christmas Day (Some prefer oysters - but that's Christmas Eve for us) - They are truly yummy to anyone who like mushrooms. Yes you can eat Garden Snails but it is a great cafuffle, and as we like 12 each - it would be really a waste of time. There are many award winning snail farmers in Normandy - My particular favourite is a snail tucked into a vol au vont topped with rocquefort - It is truly amazing.


Posted: 13/04/2016 at 13:58

Try sowing forget me nots everywhere and let them self seed - This is the second year that I have found no slugs or snails anywhere near these!! Are we missing something! Went to Potager this morning slugs and snails everywhere but nowhere near self sown FMN's. - Re Gardening Roses (for watering cans!) - Where can I find them??

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 13/04/2016 at 13:55

Here is Lunar Calender 13th - 26th April - Watch out for freak hot days 14th & 17th also best days to control slugs 14th -16th (Not sure why!) May be an accident but have noticed no slug or snail attacks anywhere around forget me nots - Rampant already everywhere else. -Have we been missing a trick on companion planting here??

13th April - Moon in Gemini Flower Day - Plant gladioli/cannas/dahlias and other summer bulbs outside. My flowers sown 5th April have sprouted already delighted!Thin out broccoli & Cauliflower sown 8th March.

14/15th April - Moon descending in Cancer Leaf Days - Plant out salad crops and herbs. Prune evergreen trees and hedges. Mow and scarify lawns. Under cover plant out endive sown 9-11th March

16/17/18th April Moon in Leo - Fruit Days - Earth up peas & broad beans (Never earthed up peas?) Plant out aubergines/peppers and chillies sown 3/4th March & tomatoes sown 14th Feb.Plant marigolds next to tomatoes to discourage harmful nematodes. Plant out Cucumbers and melons sown 3-5th March - Wait until mid May for all these things if still too cold outside.

19/20/21/22 April - Gosh that's a long time! Root Days. And a new tip I've never come across. Lift leeks sown 7/8th Feb Let them dry out on the ground for 2 days, trim the leaves and roots and then replant them! Thin out celeriac sown 2/3 april. Edge potager with Jerusalem Artichokes thinking of letting them throw shade over salad crops during hot summer days.

23/24 April - Full Moon Flower Days Plant annuals outside in pots if warm enough. Thin annuals sown 4/5th April. Pot on Buzy Lizzies and petunias sown 8th March.

25/26th April - Moon in Virgo - Leaf Days Plant different Basils out in pots. Plant out tender herbs and salads. Plant out brussel sprouts and cabbage sown 9/11th March.

Well I think that that is more than enough for us to handle! Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 13/04/2016 at 09:24

Ferry Service Newhaven-Dieppe - so yes it is by the sea! - Very pretty pedestrianised town - Many visitirs as not expensive and really good restaurants plus cheap quality hotels. Dropping down to Rouen passing through stunning wooded countryside is well worth the effort, plus Monet's garden not far from Dieppe. Lots to see and do round there. Will do Calender later today - Toasted veg if I do not go and open greenhouse!


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 07/04/2016 at 13:45

Make sure you jump off the boat at Les Andeleys (Sth of Rouen) it is overlooked by the most stunning snow white castle which was built by Richard the Lionheart, who spent more time in France than anywhere else apparently because he did not like the English weather!! Also some stunning views on riverbank over gardens - you will certainly enjoy this trip. We are taking part in a Garden Fair on 24th April actually on the banks of the Seine towards Dieppe. Never been before but photos look really good. Trouble is I earn dosh then spend it immediately on plants! Husband not happy!

Did you see the planets this morning - Stunning Jupiter/Saturn and diddy bright Mercury popped up at dawn. If you read the back Page of The Sunday Times there is an excellent description of the sky during the week. Still like dark mornings for this. - Peas told to stay indoors just a little longer - high winds here at the moment, burning (is that the right word?) bamboo and shrubs and tender plants. (They look frazzled round the leaves)

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 05/04/2016 at 13:56

Thanks for advice re peas - off to talk to them and plant them out now! No don't know Beachgrove - Which Channel plus when?? Hope you enjoyed la vie francaise!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 04/04/2016 at 10:17

Most French Gardens open after Easter - Try and pop into Abbey and Chateau Gardens as their Potagers incorporating Le Jardin Physic (Medecinal Plants) gave me really good ideas for companion planting. Dare I put out my pot grown peas yet?? (Not Sweet Peas - Peas to munch!) I had never tried starting these off in trays and I am thrilled, but don't want to lose them by putting them out too soon. I have put them into the cucumber frame - next step Potager - But should I cloche or fleece them. All advice welcome. - Overwintered Broad Beans now in flower but only 8 survived of the 20 sown (Birds?) - What do you think of new series Gardeners World - I'm not that impressed I'm afraid, although the veg trials may be interesting.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 15:56

Flu now turned into an F1 Hybrid as added French tummy bug!! Anyway this wonderful summery spell has cheered me up no end and I see that the BioD weather report for April is unseasonally warm 2-6th April, on the 7th it will become changeable with vast variants from hot to cold followed by a North Wind. Towards the 11th it will get colder again particularly hard frosts forecast followed by a period of light winds. After the 18th I'm afraid that temperatures are going to fall again and rain returns. Make a point of sowing salad crops between 24-26th April as high temperature forcast for May do not bode well for sowings in early May. Watch out for an Orange coloured Moon from 7th April (Lune Rousse) this nearly always means hard frosts, so keep all crops fleeced up regardless of temptation.

There are 3 Water Trines in April backing up the prospects of heavy rain from 18th of the month. As there are 6 Warmth Trines in May, make sure those water butts are filled in April with dry dry conditions forecast into June.

Storm Katie blew up my Internet Router, so new one has just arrived. Just in case this gives out the wrong side of the w/e, here is the Lunar Calender for 1st-12th April.

1st April Moon ascending in Sagittarius Fruit Day - Sow wrinkled peas/cucumbers/courgettes and squash.

2/3rd April Moon ascending in Capricorn. Root Days - Sow celeriac/beetroot/carrots/parsnips and turnips plus swede in nursery bed.

4/5th April Flower Days Sow 1st Annuals. On 5th No gardening after 1.20pm.

6/7/8th April Moon in Pisces (Watch out for Lune Rousse - frost) Leaf Days Sow leeks/celery and fennel. Renew sowings of salad crops.

9th April Fruit Day Sow courgettes/cucumbers/squash/melons under cover.

10/11/12th April Moon in Taurus Root Days. Sow salsify and Scorzonera/parsnips and parsley root. Make more sowings of beetroot/turnips/swedes/radish and carrots.

Happy Gardening!



Discussions started by biofreak

Moving House in Winter

Lifting Plants and Bulbs 
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Bio Dynamic Gardening

Are there any Bio D Gardeners out there? 
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Gooseberry Sawfly

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Earthing Up? 
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Tips Aubergines/peppers Chillies

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When are green gooseberries 'ready'? 
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How to Succeed 
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Slug deterrant? 
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Has anyone else lost their's in transit? 
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Cucumber Frames

How do I make maximum Use of one? 
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How to get rid of Gorse

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Are Gardening Magazines Overseas related to UK?

Carol Klein & Alan Titchmarsh in France 
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Old Wive's Tales/Tips and Wrinkles

True or False? 
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1 to 15 of 49 threads