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Crazy Cat

Latest posts by Crazy Cat

11 to 20 of 30

Your favourite tomato varieties

Posted: 02/01/2015 at 15:41

My Tomato Oscars....

Cooking Tomato- Still "Roma" for me- A robust and tolerant plant that almost always produces a good yield.

Cherry Tomato- I have two choices grown for taste and performance

  1. "Sweet Million"- Does what is says on the tin- Reliable plant that produces a large amount of very tasty sweet cherry tomatoes! Ideal for summer salads
  2. "Minibel" - Still relatively unknown- a compact dwarf heirloom determinate plant. Only grows to around 14 inches; very little support needed. Produces a huge amount of large size cherry tomatoes (often around an inch wide). Hardy and hassle free, great for gardeners with little space or time.

Normal/Medium Tomato- a really difficult decision. For the UK Climate if growing outdoors my top two types are:

1) Siberian- A reliable plant that does well in our climate as more cold and damp resistant- produces a good yield of toms and is early as well. Can't fault really!

2) Moneymaker- the old 1970's star still performs great! 



Posted: 26/08/2014 at 18:35

A mixed bag with my toms this year; some good and bad.

My Cherry toms all flying along fine outdoors- sweet million are pretty reliable.

My plum roma toms (outdoors) have a lot of fruit on them but are slow to ripen; I think I may have to finish ripening off indoors.....

Gardeners delight in the greenhouse pretty standard- have adopted a resident frog in there as well so not all bad. Free slug control 

Chilli peppers

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 18:25


Always good if you have a chilli surplus; they are so versatile! Taste lovely & great nasal clearing powers if you have a cold. Too much and they are a cure for constipation as well (!) 

I have grown Habanero, Jalepeno, and birds eye chilli pepper for quite a while and they all freeze great- I just chop them into pieces beforehand and shove in a freezer bag.

"Long" chill peppers also dry well; Make a chilli Ristra! Edible and decoration!

Pick them with the stalk still on, and then sew cotton through the stalk and tie. Tie the individual chilli onto a main stem and hang to dry in a warm dry place.

I am growing "basket of fire" for the first time this year & the plants are amazing- easily grown as a pot plant and they are smothered in chilli peppers- small but made up for in quantity.

Fingers crossed for some September sunshine- My roma toms need to ripen (!) 

What cucumber are people growing this year?

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 14:10

Marketmore does seem to be far the most popular

I grew it a couple of years ago but wasnt overly impressed by the taste- I may have left the fruits too long before harvesting. Since then I try to harvest fruits when they reach about 5 inches.

Scroggin- C/Lemon sounds interesting! Any pro/cons/recommendations? I have never grown it- I may see if I can start a few; sure they will catch up!

What cucumber are people growing this year?

Posted: 09/04/2014 at 18:07

Hi All,


What cucumber are people growing this year?

I am trying space master this season- a small plant that only grows to around 2 ft; will be interesting to see how it holds up! Apparently it's meant to do quite well in a growbag!


Posted: 09/04/2014 at 18:01


I can certainly sympathise with you Barney! I have horse grazing fields at the back which are just a bloody haven for moths and butterfly 

I tried everything; nets, companion planting, sour milk on the eggs, organic insecticides such as Dipel based on bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Even daily caterpillar squish patrols....None worked. I no longer attempt to grow brassicas!

Still- it left me with more space for others such as toms, courgette, beans etc so I cant moan. And the fields also provide lots of bees so that's another positive.

Best advice- look around your area and see what others are growing; if the only way to keep your cabbage alive is by using expensive chemical pesticides then is it worth it? Use the space to grow something else?

Best of luck in the butterfly battle!



Fruit and veg growing

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 13:12


You can grow runner beans very well In containers, although dwarf varieties are much better suited for this. I have grown Hestia dwarf runner beans in cheap sacks from poundland and they have been wonderful. I have actually stopped growing climbing beans altogether- no expensive canes, earlier crops and just as much vigour. Just like the water but good mulch will help water retention. I planted 4 plants per bag.


Minibel tomatoes also another understated product. They can be grown in empty 4 pints milk containers!



Posted: 29/03/2014 at 12:59

Hay! I grew Hestia last year in containers and they were AMAZING. I would sow now.

I have had best success by germinating the seeds between sheets of (good quality) kitchen roll and then placing in a ziplock bag- when in the bag then add water until the kitchen roll is wet and seal the bag. Leave until seed germinates and the main root is about a 1/2 (half) inch long and then gently plant in compost, covered ideally- pigeons love bean shoots

Out of 20 seeds sown last year, 17 survived into strong and really healthy plants.

All the taste and vigour of climbing runner beans but on dwarf plants. The flowers looked great as well so an edible patio crop! They do like the water thought so water well!

Good Luck and fingers crossed for great growing weather


Posted: 12/08/2013 at 12:52


I think part of the problem may well be that they are in the greenhouse-sounds strange  but despite being tropical, chilli plants have a temperature limit of around 30 degrees- "too hot, they rot". I think excessive heat and then the sharp temperature drop at night affects the plant's enzymes and stops full ripening occuring- they like a constant temperature.

Also, the air inside greenhouses is "still", chillis like humidity but with ventalation, otherwise Botrytis (grey mold) can occur on stems, petioles and fruits. Basically, they're fussy! 

Traditionally, chillis are picked whilst still green- leaving until red reduces yeilds by up to 25%. Pick the all the older chilli's off, any rot will spread quickly in humid greenhouses and ruin all your hard work. Snip off the chillis and ripen on a windowsill (lodging chillis upright in an old egg carton sometimes works alon). 

I always pick mine green once they have reached good size- the amount of capsaicin (heat) won't be much less at all- the chillis should ripen okay inside (and so sweeten as the natural storage carbohydrates convert into sugars).

Hope this helps and fingers crossed that they pick up- 



Posted: 31/07/2013 at 14:47

Hi Margaret,

Couple of tips that I got from a neighbour which I tried and have worked well!

1) When a male flower appears but there are no female flowers open, I simply store the male flower in the fridge- the pollen will stay alive for about a week or so

2) When a female flower appears, I take the male flower and remove the petals (leaving only the base filament of the flower with the pollen tubes/anther attached). I then place the whole of the male base with the pollen anthers directly into the female flower and very gently push down so I knwo the male pollen will touch the female stigma.

Sounds complicated but it is quite easy in practise!  essentially take the male petals of and then place remains of male flower into female.

Hope this works for you!

11 to 20 of 30

Discussions started by Crazy Cat

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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Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Looking for advice! 
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