London (change)
Thu 18°C / 15°C
Tomorrow 21°C / 15°C

David Matthews2

Latest posts by David Matthews2

Tomatoes splitting

Posted: 03/09/2014 at 21:48

Having experiences with splitting tomato fruits last year, I 'double potted' my outdoor tomatoes and those in a solid-floored greenhouse by putting each of the final planting 'black bucket' 8 litre pots into an empty 10 litre mayonnaise catering pack. Alternatively, use the pack that bulk pelleted chicken manure comes in. It's certainly gone a long way to reducing the likelihood of split fruit. *Added bonus is that the compost/soil mixture is insulated from excessive direct sunlight and helps maintain a more even temperature for the feeding rootballs.

Unusual bird behaviour

Posted: 03/09/2014 at 20:48

Hi Philippa: I've been 'spuggiewatching' whilst enjoying a quiet cuppa in the garden. Adult birds were feeding fledged chicks with small pieces of grit from the weathered cement capping along my limestone boundary wall. Occasionaly the adults would dive into the nearby clematis/ forsythia thicket and tender a tasty caterpillar morsel to the waiting brood!

Hydrangea help!

Posted: 03/09/2014 at 20:26

 Hi, Amy: Two pics of my favourite 'mophead' - one is in full bloom, whilst the other is on a drier site and has 'gone over' more toward the papery texture you should get on the old flowerheads if left over Winter. I'd advise leaving those flowerheads on until you see the new buds forming, then cut back to double (opposite) buds to achieve a dense form on the bush. Enjoy!!

Unusual bird behaviour

Posted: 02/09/2014 at 19:14

The resident 'gang' of sparrows visit our pebbledashed walls around a sheltered courtyard and 'hang' in various attitudes whilst they search the crevices for tiny spiders and other tasty morsels. They revisit several times within the day and then leave the area to be recolonised before their next foray about a week later!

Our Silent Fliers.

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 18:35

Just by the by, Alan: do you notice any differences in the species visiting you now you're on the East coast compared with the ones you used to get at Tenby?? Here in Pembroke Dock I see rather more Red Admirals than when I lived in Surrey.

advice please

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 20:56

I've had enormous pleasure from tending a "Lady Boothby" fuchsia for over three years now - I leave the parent plant outside (in its big pot), but take 'insurance' cuttings about now - mid September and have them potted up before winter sets in. **NB: Coastal Pembrokeshire is mercifully mild in winter but can be very wet - hence the cuttings are kept indoors until they show signs of getting tall shoots (a distinctive Lady Boothby trait). Enjoy!!


Posted: 18/08/2014 at 21:18

Hi, Fidgetbones: I had heard that comfrey could be 'a bit of a brute' and take up a lot of room? Hence I'd shied away from giving it a go. Maybe Bocking 14 is better behaved?? [Btw: I've pm'd you on 11/8 re: Damsons].

Climbing french beans

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 20:02

You have my sympathies, DyersEnd - I had a similar problem with Climbing French beans 'escaping' their cane wigwam and happily setting off up a 25' holly tree! Tasty beans, however, but I had to pick them wearing heavy welding gauntlets!! (Sadly no pics available, we ate them all!).

Whats in my Keyhole!

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 20:57

Last late-summer (mid September) I noticed several of the window box fuchsias had neat circular portions of leaf removed. Over the next several days I had multiple visits from the same Leaf-cutter Bee; working steadily and ferrying its cargo away to its nest site (it always flew away in the same direction over the rooftops!). No photos, but there's always this year?

Wind damaged Buddlea

Posted: 10/08/2014 at 20:56

Thanks, Fishy: good luck with your 'bonsaied' buddlea! [plenty of cuttings materials there, no doubt!]. The multi-caned outdoor tomatoes have fared rather better than my italicised single cordons.

Discussions started by David Matthews2

What shall i do with a 'Hairy Onion'?

Head of bolting onion has grown 4 feet, then sprouted 'hair' 
Replies: 2    Views: 120
Last Post: 10/08/2014 at 19:47

Please help to identify this miniature shrub

Small evergreen shrub withsharply-pointed glossy leaves and white 'malteser-sized' bobbles supported on short stems. 
Replies: 18    Views: 593
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 18:17

Gardening featuring in Seasonal Greetings...??

Do other 'forkers' know of examples of gardening techniques and practices being featured? ing in  
Replies: 1    Views: 294
Last Post: 26/12/2013 at 06:47

Getting Crafty in my old age...

Planting and discussing spring bulbs with my grand-daughters prompted an ad hoc craft session with them the playroom 
Replies: 4    Views: 351
Last Post: 23/12/2013 at 21:26

Huge Bee on Winter Clematis "Freckles"

Sighted this afternoon in my sheltered courtyard....can anyone identify the bee species? 
Replies: 11    Views: 632
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 06:56
5 threads returned