Latest posts by Dovefromabove


Posted: 17/08/2012 at 12:22

They're probably better than me at it, I have a shocking memory for faces - embarrassing for a visual artist 


Posted: 17/08/2012 at 11:26

Good morning all  Just thought I'd let you know that while I was washing up I saw a big tawny insect buzzing about my fennel flowers, so I went out with my mobile and stood very still while it flew about buzzing like one of those girocopter thingies.  

Eventually it settled down on the fennel again and I got a photo - definitely a hornet - we've got lots of old oaks in the area so there's probably a nest around somewhere - hornets are good news in the garden as they eat lots of bad bugs, and contrary to myth, they are not aggressive and do not chase you.

 We will make a point of closing windows in the evenings when we have the lights on because hornets are attracted to lights and that is where people's fears come from, they fly in through lit windows and then panic because they can't find their way out again.

  It's a bit blurry 'cos the wind was blowing the fennel about.

I.D. needed please.

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 10:15

I won't tell if you don't 

I.D. needed please.

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 10:07

It is fun to lightly touch a seedpod and watch the explosion - just once or twice!!!

Horse Manure - When to Use

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 10:01

No probs - hope it's helpful and best of luck with growing stuff.

We're big fans here, plus we have pigeons in the garden , but 'fraid it'd have to be Victoria or Roberta

Horse Manure - When to Use

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 09:04

Decide where you're going to grow your potatoes next season, and manure and dig into that plot, then leave for the winter frosts to break down the soil.

As for the rest, I would stack it and cover it for the winter.  In the spring when you've planned out what you're going to grow and where I would spread it and dig it in over your allotment, except where you are going to plant root vegetables.  

Root vegetables do not do well in freshly manured ground, but by the following season the areas you manured the previous season will be fine for them.

I use a bit more on the area where I'm going to grow beans, to improve the structure of the soil and aid water retention.

Brassicas (cabbage family) do not do well in freshly manured soil, but the addition of a little lime can counteract this.  However you can't grow potatoes on land that has been previously limed as they will get scab - that is why it's important to plan where you grow things and understand a bit about crop rotation. 

Information on these sites should be helpful:

If it's not clear ask away, there's loads of people on here only too glad to help 

I suppose I ought to add that some people worry about using stable manure, because of the risk of getting oat seeds in the manure.  It doesn't worry me on a veg patch as they're easy enough to hoe out.  It would be more difficult if I used it in a herbaceous border.

There have also been concerns because some straw has been treated with a herbicide which remains in the soil and affects the plants grown in it although I think that this is less of a problem than it has been.  For your own peace of mind it would probably be good to check with the person supplying your manure, but there are probably other people on this forum who are much more knowledgeable than me about this.




I.D. needed please.

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 08:39

AAARGH!!! Himalyan Balsam!!! Very pretty, bees love it, but one of the most invasive species in the UK, doing untold damage to river banks and the natural flora in a lot of areas .  It  it seeds prolifically and catapults it's seeds across wide areas, which is how it got where you found it -  I'd bag it and bin it if I were you!!!  At our last house a tenant next door planted one (to remind him of his trips to India)  within two years his entire back garden was covered, we spent every spring pulling up sprouting seedlings (and there was a 6 foot fence between us) and so did every garden up and down our side of the street.  He moved out - the landlord struggled to get rid of it and eventually gave up and laid a heavy duty membrane and shingled the entire back garden!!!

We moved away!

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 07:26

Well, two days on and no more signs of blight (fingers very crossed) - still with black blotches on a couple of stems - on the third one the blotch  had been higher up where one of the stems had bifurcated, so I cut that piece off.  I now have three quite healthy looking (apart from the aforementioned two black blotches) Marmandes in pots at one end of the garden, and three more very healthy looking Marmandes in pots, and 7 Red Alerts, at the other end of the garden, all busily setting fruit  

I'm washing my hands after touching them!

A Three-Petalled blue flower?

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 07:14

Could it be a houseplant that someone's chucked out?

or a trillium?  I don't know of any blue trilliums, but I found this

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