Crazy Cat

Latest posts by Crazy Cat

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Overview of the summer season- How has your's been?

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 20:52

Glad to hear some people had a better summer than we did!

I'm most surprised about the beans to be honest, they usually grow like weeds, yet this year just "sat" there for the entire of august, then decided to wake up in September!!

Anyone else from Berkshire had a disappointing crop? Up until 12 days ago our rain butts have been very low....I will blame it on climate change  

Overview of the summer season- How has your's been?

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 19:18

Hi All,

Thought I would post an overview of the summer growing season now that it's at an end.

Quite frankly, this has probably been the worst year in the last 8 or so, 

  • lettuces destroyed by butterfly...(completely annihilated)
  • beans not up to their usual vigour (it's been a surprisingly dry summer where I live in Berkshire)
  • Cucumbers were ok
  • Early spuds not great although mains crop were good
  • Tomatoes were ok
  • Chillies have been great 

How has everyone else's summer held up? Hopefully better than mine!

Win some, you lose some!


Planting immediately after potatoes

Posted: 28/06/2015 at 18:00

Hi Jason,

As dave suggested; salad leaves ect

Perpetual Spinach would flourish as would Pak Choi (in fact now is a great time to start Pak Choi- tastes great as well, and so easy to grow!)

Have a look around garden centres and see if they have any bean seedlings left- dwarf french beans will flourish in left over potato soil.


Posted: 22/06/2015 at 21:53

Hi Andrea, 

Mystery tomatoes, sounds fun 

When I was a nipper (way back in the Jurassic!), my father taught me to use the following if unsure:

Indeterminate: After the first flower set emerges, then 3 or more nodes between subsequent flower set

Determinate: After the first flower set emerges, then 0 to 2 nodes between subsequent flower sets.

Not always accurate, but to give the old man credit it's right about 75% of the time!

The flowers on determinate bush tomatoes are also often larger.

Have fun growing!

Green Chillies- Need Help

Posted: 14/06/2015 at 19:40

Hello Tanmay,

Sounds like you are doing fineYou are quite right, the flowers form and are wind pollinated generally.When pollinated the petals will dry a little and fall off, leaving the tiny chilli on the plant.

Hotter breeds like Habenero, Scotch Bonnet ect will take longer to flower and for fruit to develop- From my experience harvest time for such chillies grown outside in the UK is late August at a minimum.

Smaller less hot chilli like apache, Basket of fire ect should be flowering about now if grown in a sheltered position. They will flower all season until September if looked after with a bit of TLC.

I have found using an old electric toothbrush held very gently on the edge of petals helps improve yield massively; You can actually see the dust cloud of pollen falling!! Works great on Tomatoes as well...Even if the neighbours do think you have gone crazy


Keep up the good work!

Potatoes that turn to mush when cooked

Posted: 11/06/2015 at 20:05

Hi Sioux,

Your question is very interesting!  From a scientific perspective,

  • early/main spuds have different dry matter content) so if both types go to mush, it would suggest the problem is the soil, not the breed 

The two possible causes I think would be most likely may be:

  1. If your clay drains quick, it would suggest the clay has a poor my number one suggestion would be potassium deficiency. Liquid fertiliser won't be much help, but a granular slow release fertiliser added periodically as you earth-up the spuds may help? The plants may not show typical potassium deficiency symptoms, as what little pot is in the soil gets sent to the plant first, (leaving the tubers deprived). 
  2. Another possibility is that because your soil is free draining are people watering regularly? Too much water at once, followed by the soil draining and becoming dry, can have an impact of fibre content in crops, which would explain the mushiness in both early and main spuds. Although if people are mulching, this does seem a little unlikely...

That's me out of ideas, but fingers crossed your spuds turn out okay. Either that or use them for mash 

Best of luck!



What Toms and cucs are you growing?

Posted: 08/06/2015 at 21:10

Great to hear what types of toms people are growing, there are just so many types to choose; spoilt really!

Each year I try to grow a couple of different types; next season I think I am planning to grow some of the Russian breeds; mix things up a bit!

Am also going to try a beef tomato although how well I will do with the shorter UK season is a guess; oh for the wish of a tropical garden....


I do like to try keep growing traditional breeds but I must admit the new strands of cucumbers in recent years are brilliant; last couple of years I definitely had bigger yields off the new improved types & the taste was pretty good as well.

If you can't beat them, join them...

What Toms and cucs are you growing?

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 14:56

Hi Bob,

Thanks for reply.However, the tom I cut back was a determinate...not that I'm complaining getting 2 crops off a plant that is only meant to produce 1.

What Toms and cucs are you growing?

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 13:15

Hi All,

At last the weather is starting to turn sunny after a disappointing May

So, what toms and cucumber are people growing?

I have (all outside):

  • Sweet n Neat tom- currently ablaze with flowers & very small toms growing
  • Money Maker- first flowers opened last week
  • Siberian red- Was very slow, but now growing well
  • Gardeners Delight- reliable, flowering
  • Sub Artic- lots of bad reviews but all 3 of my plants are flowering & germinating fine, will have to wait for the tasting 
  • Rio Grande- currently growing like a triffid- meant to be more reliable than Roma- time will tell

Cucumbers- Telegraph (old reliable!) and Space-master (dwarf, very good disease resistant)

Random question-  Can you get 2 crops off determinate Toms?

Last year I grew Minibell (a dwarf determinate). After it finished cropping I severely cut main stalk to 5 inches, leaving just 2 leaves on. Well, I don't know if it was a fluke but it grew back strong and I had a late harvest on Toms again in late September!

I thought determinate types were meant to be produce toms all same time and die- this didn't happen when I severely trimmed...

Any-one else done this? I will be trialling again this year to see!

Spuds in containers help

Posted: 30/05/2015 at 12:03

Thanks for the replies,

I agree with the watering- they do seem to suck up a lot more moisture; I have been giving a deep soaking twice a week- but not sure whether it would be better to do little water more often instead?

Liquid seaweed - thanks for the tip, I have just been using generic growmore.

Another question, I have read that removing flowers from the plants will help bulk up the tubers (energy goes to the tubers instead?)-  does anyone have any experiences with this or is it just an urban myth?

1 to 10 of 41

Discussions started by Crazy Cat

Overview of the summer season- How has your's been?

Replies: 28    Views: 3076
Last Post: 20/10/2015 at 23:31

What Toms and cucs are you growing?

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Spuds in containers help

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Last Post: 30/07/2015 at 16:12

Super savvy ideas thread

Any good tips on space saving 
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What cucumber are people growing this year?

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Confession- slug olympics

Slug hammer throw? 
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Blue Lake Climbing Beans- Very late to flower??

Slow growing beans 
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Last Post: 07/07/2013 at 21:24

Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Looking for advice! 
Replies: 4    Views: 6192
Last Post: 04/06/2013 at 18:09
8 threads returned