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Latest posts by Boater

Topless Tomato

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 12:40

Hi folks,

One of my Tomato plants has done something odd.

It looks as though it has grown a branch but forgotten to send a main stem shoot upwards from the node. It grows up from the ground, has a branch off the the left, goes up a bit more and then turns right and has formed a branch, but there is no top to it, no cluster of leaves growing any further in any direction, just the leaves on the 2 branches getting a bit bigger.

The other 17 plants are doing fine (one seems to be splitting into 2 main stems about 4 feet up), some are almost to the tops of the cane support I built when I put them in the growbags but this one has fallen way behind and seems to have forgotten how to grow. Is that normal, or has something eaten the growing shoot?

For anyone wondring - yes I sowed the seeds fairly late so they are well behind most people's, I think I see some buds forming on a couple of the larger ones though.

Autumn bliss

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 11:59

First flowers opened on mine yesterday - the buds have been there for a while but only just opened up. Obviously I have yet to see if they all get pollinated and turn to fruit but from my recollection I'm ahead of last year because I'm sure it was July before I even planted the canes (only got about 6 berries having started so late).

Interestingly although there have been some shoots around about all year, in the last couple of weeks one of them has started to grow into a cane, it's almost a foot high now - I don't really expect it to mature and fruit but who knows?

Raspberries are related to brambles and I certainly get some late starting brambles suddenly shoot up and fruit later than the rest (wild ones along a boundary).

Hazelnut trees - What are your experiences?

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 19:58

I know nothing about getting nuts from Hazel, but I do seem to remember trying my hand at coppicing some as a kid.

If you prune it fairly hard the new growth comes back as straight sticks, harvest them every year and you can keep up a good supply of sticks nicer than bamboo canes which you would probably pay a lot for in the garden centre.

I'm not an expert on the coppicing process (similar to pollarding which you do to the tops of mature trees like limes) but I'll bet there is some good info on the internet about how to do it. It was big industry at one time for everything from fencing to arrow shafts!

Of course do check that you will get nuts on new coppiced growth - I'd hate to encourage you to go coppicing if the result is they never mature to make nuts!

Carrots, hard in centre?

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 23:35

Thanks Dove.

I went out and pulled a few more, one actually had a seed head and was hard right through, the others seem fine (but will need to harvest the lot soon). Must have just been coincidence that all the ones I pulled for my tea were hard!

Carrots, hard in centre?

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 21:15

Just pulled a few carrots for my tea, a few each of Nantes 5 and Autumn King (all sown at the same time, either side of the same patch). The Nantes 5 have suddenly developed a really hard core, I struggled to even cut the greenery off and after cooking they were inedible. The Autumn Kings are just fine and much bigger.

I have been 'thinning' both by pulling some of the bigger ones to have as baby carrots, but now some are starting to reach maturity and fill out, at least the Autumn Kings are, a Nantes with the same size stem only has about half the carrot which is pale and doesn't have much taste.

I was wondering if maybe the Nantes are running to seed?

Should I have thinned them more earlier on so they got bigger sooner?

I thought I could just leave carrots in until first frost without any worries (I have been keeping the soil moist)?

Will this keep the carrot root fly out?

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 21:01

Monty says they can only fly about 2 feet off the ground so as long as you can get the sides up that high you won't need to put a top on, which will make it easier to water. I have used the same kind of fleece to make vertical barriers around my carrots, the tips are now poking out the top. So far no problems with carrot fly.

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 15:54

Scrambled egg is a good description, and it looks like slime mould isn't actually a fungus although i looks like one.

Seems I can rest easy and just let nature do it's thing!

Cheers guys!

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 14:28

I have 18 Tomato plants in grow bags in the conservatory - I am having terrible trouble controlling daytime temperatures with the windows (can't leave the door open when out at work) but I thought I had managed to avoid making it humid.

This week a white-yellow growth has appeared on the compost of one of the grow bags - I can't decide if it is fungus or lichen but given that most plant diseases seem to be fungal I'm worried!

I tried removing the affected compost but the growth has returned.

How can I tell if this is going to harm my plants and/or get rid of it?

Do I need to get another grow bag and transplant them? (no fruits yet, quite late sowing the seeds)

Edibale flowers

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 18:04

Steven - look in the spice section at the supermarket, a clove is seed head off something spicy (someone will know what), often used in apple pies and stuff - cooks usually try to remove them before serving (it's like a short dried twig with 4 dried leaves and a seed on it - about 1/4" long overall). Some people hate them, very strong flavour, you don't need many!

Definitely not to be confused with a clove of garlic.

Raised Bed Liners

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 17:58

For veggies it is probably best to use untreated wood, so it will rot eventually.

My solution was to use old joists, which may or may not have been treated but unlikely to have any residue to leach out now. Untreated 6x2 joists should take a few years to rot out!

If you have some kind of reasonable soil underneath (it can be quite thin under a lawn - I get about 1.5 spade depths before I hit rocks and clay) I would mark out the footprint of the bed, dig it 2 spades deep (if possible, less if the soil is not so good), temporary lift out the soil to a couple of inches deep and level the shallow pit, then position the bed so that when you refill it, it will be sunk a couple of inches below the turf level. No liner required.

Soil cannot escape underneath, worms can get in, long roots can get out, excess water will seep out between planks, the sun will warm the bed quicker than the ground and you can work you patch at a comfy height.

Every few years you may have to replace or repair a bed, but you might be surprised, where the soil sits tight against the timber lack of air may just prevent rot from living there and attacking the timber - my beds are too young to say from experience!

If you are going to fit a plastic liner in a raised bed, you might as well use growbags and fit skirting boards around them for appearance Now there's an idea - I had a spare bag of compost I decided to cut the side off and sow some carrots in (for baby carrots, hopefully there is enough depth for that, they certainly won't grow full size!), it looks a bit ugly, maybe I could clad it to improve the appearance....

Discussions started by Boater

Topless Tomato

Where did the main stem go? 
Replies: 9    Views: 262
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 21:44

Carrots, hard in centre?

Replies: 3    Views: 137
Last Post: 14/07/2014 at 10:23

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Am I heading for a problem? 
Replies: 4    Views: 123
Last Post: 12/07/2014 at 16:09

Giant Peas?

Replies: 4    Views: 399
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 22:58
4 threads returned