Latest posts by Boater

Fruit canes in Heavy Clay Soil & low light

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 23:50

I should look it up, but off the top of my head I also think the ph (acidity) of clay is wrong for raspberries (raspberries like slightly acid soil, clay is slightly alkaline - or did I get it the wrong way round?)

I have raspberries growing in half of a whisky barrel against a 6' fence, on the east side of it so probably quite similar to your area, they seem to do pretty well. The top flowers are above the fence now (autumn bliss so not quite ready yet, will need to protect from the birds soon though). Using containers means you can use the right kind of compost if your garden soil is unsuitable.

The best way to keep to store

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 23:43

My mum has always salted runner beans and as far as I know still does (if dad manages to grow any, he had some trouble with them this year) - she prefers salted runners over frozen or fresh.

She washes the salt off well before cooking them for a meal - I was never especially aware that they tasted better, but she was a smoker until quite recently so maybe it's the only way she could actually taste them? Some of the salt must be absorbed by the beans.

Anyway, this thread reminds me - whats the best way to store/preserve Parsley? I have grown way more than I can use as I go - I presume drying is good, since that's how it normally comes in packets, but how do I dry it?


Posted: 19/08/2015 at 13:48

Mine have really come a long way in 2 or 3 days of decent weather, some trusses I was considering cutting off because the flowers dropped weeks ago and no sign of tomatoes have suddenly started developing tomatoes.

Of course, I am growing under glass which gives me a chance to keep the temperature up for ripening. I suspect I may be trying green tomato chutney this year though - I am more of a pickle person normally.


Posted: 19/08/2015 at 01:24

Probably best not to move them once the fruit has set, in any case be wary of ground that has grown spuds because toms and spuds can fall to some of the same diseases.

Its been a terrible year so far in the west of Scotland (cold, dull, wet), everything seems to be running late, but the last couple of days of warm weather have made a massive difference to my tomatoes, a few tomatoberry have started turning red, and the Shirley's have increased in size massively. If the promise of a warm September comes true you might just be lucky to get some fruit from yours - hopefully the flowers have been pollinated and if you look closely there will be tiny green balls hiding behind the dead petals.

If they are cordon/vine tomatoes and you haven't already, now is probably the time to pinch out the growing tips (and keep on top of side shoots) so the plants will concentrate their efforts on the fruit. I have done most of mine already, but struggling to find time to go through and check them all.

By the way, I sowed my seeds in propagators pretty early, probably in the first week or 2 suggested on the packets, hate to think where they would be now if I'd sown them late like last year!

wooden or aluminium

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 12:08

You can choose a naturally rot resistant hardwood, or use treated softwood.

Build on a base so you don't have timbers into the soil and make sure the air can circulate all around them so you don't get damp patches and many woods can last a long time without being painted.


Posted: 14/08/2015 at 17:01

I've been thinking about this, and I reckon if you start them in a way that you can plant them out without disturbing the roots (peat pots, card pots, paper tubes, roottrainers) carrots probably don't mind being started in 'pots', the trouble is they want to put a very long straight tap root down quickly so you either need very tall pots or to plant them out whilst still very small.

I haven't had a problem with the taste of bolted carrots, they are so hard you can't really get a bite to taste..... the texture will make you spit it out right away

Outdoor tomatoes

Posted: 14/08/2015 at 16:56

Signs of colour turning on my indoor tomatoes last night, after weeks of cold weather all day last night ws still 21 deg at 10pm and very muggy - vents left open all night! (never got below 18).

Amazing how much variation there is from one part of the country to another....

Strawberry disease?

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 00:49

I was hoping to get another year out of them, but right now I'm wondering if it is even worth letting them finish cropping this year. Looks like Verticullum can affect a lot of things I like so I'll have to be careful what I rotate into that bed.

Strawberry disease?

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 12:29

A few weeks ago my strawberry crop looked promising, there were hundreds if not thousands of small green berries starting to form.

I went through the bed and took out runners and any dead stems I found and noticed a few trusses had turned brown and cut them out too. The bed has drip waterers under black polythene mulch.

Fruit started to ripen but in the miserable weather it often stays green underneath, sometimes rotting if it ends up in a puddle on the polythene (I'm not convinced by the polythene!), but I keep finding more and more trusses have truned brown and withered. Initially it just seemed to be trusses that hadn't been pollinated, but now I'm losing them with small fruit on.

I've looked online and the closest thing I can see to my symptoms is verticullum wilt - I always have a few leaves turn brown with shots of brown in the stems which I usually cut out when taking off early runners, but the plants seem to thrive despite it and I have never seen the fruit trusses suffer before, and I don't see them mentioned in descriptions?

Am I right in thinking it is probably something fungal like this, perhaps exacerbated by the terribly wet and windy summer we've had here in the west of Scotland?

Am I going to have to clear the bed and use it for something different next year, and establish a new bed with fresh disease free plants?

Tomatoes why does thou not begin to ripen..eth?

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 12:18

We have had a terrible summer in west of Scotland, many days the temp in the conservatory has struggled to go above 20. Yesterday we didn't get the rain that was forecast (have some now) but it was overcast and relatively cool all day, the thermometer hung around 20 all day with the door closed and the windows open (if I don't open something humidity goes right up).

I might take to growing weeds, they seem to be thriving, everything else is struggling!

Seriously though, I have quite a lot of green tomatoes forming, just hoping for some late season warmth to get them ripened - it could stay warm until the end of September, but first it will need to get warm.

Discussions started by Boater

Strawberry disease?

Flower/fruit trusses withering and rotting 
Replies: 2    Views: 430
Last Post: 11/08/2015 at 00:49

Sometimes when you gamble you lose....

Maybe I shouldn't have started on my lawn yet? 
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Peas - Powdery Mildew?

Strategies to avoid spores overwintering? 
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Last Post: 19/09/2014 at 13:24

Topless Tomato

Where did the main stem go? 
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Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 21:44

Carrots, hard in centre?

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Last Post: 14/07/2014 at 10:23

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Am I heading for a problem? 
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Last Post: 12/07/2014 at 16:09

Giant Peas?

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Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 22:58
8 threads returned