Latest posts by frensclan

Strawberries for the north

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 06:59

Thankyou for that Fairygirl and Alina N. I had thought of taking runners and potting them on, and will certainly try that again. I have tried it in the past with varying success, not with this bed which I planted when we moved back up north 3 yrs ago. I was just thinking of trying a variety with a little more flavour. These are great for jam but I hoped to have a variety that would do well up here that had a little more flavour raw so to speak. The alpine strawbs are a good idea Alina but as you say very small.

Strawberries for the north

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 08:59

My strawberry plants have really clogged up the bed this year. I don't know what variety they were as I bought them from a well known German food chain for pence 3 years ago. We had a bumper crop but they are now choking the fruit bushes they are under. Does anyone know which varieties would go well in the very north west and have a really good flavour? Also could I dig these old plants up and move them or are they running out of steam?


Posted: 02/08/2014 at 15:25

Thank you for that idea pansyface  . I had looked at buying in live worms but had not thought of your suggestion. In fact I don't think I knew that worms laid eggs or if I did had forgotten. My next door neighbours brother has a farm locally so I will have a word with her when she comes back off holiday. Don't suppose you know if there is a "best " time of the year to do this?


Posted: 01/08/2014 at 21:14

Wormless; is what my garden is! I have been in it 3 years now. It was once part of a field and is on solid clay which floods when it rains and drains really slowly. I have created many raised beds for plants and vegetables but regardless of how much compost and manure I put on in I have yet to see a worm? This means that the compost etc is not being pulled down into the soil structure which is not being broken up by the worm activity. Can I purchase worms and introduce them to the garden and if I do will the thrive and multiply?

Pear tree

Posted: 13/06/2014 at 08:48

I planted a couple of comice pear trees 3 years ago when we move into this house and each year the leaves have had the same black mould and gradually the trees have died back and now are about 2/3 the origional size. Also have the same blackening of leaves on a crab apple that was OK for a couple of years ( they are usually pretty robust so was v surprised) and my plum? My garden is on very heavy clay and is very wet so assuming this is not helping so had replanted in slightly raised beds to try to get them off to a better start; and of course sprayed last year.

I wonder if anyone can tel me if there is any point in spraying this late in the season. for the first time ever my crab apple seems to have set no fruit. All the fruit trees I have in pots are fine so am assuming it must be something to do with the ground conditions? What kind of soil do you have?

Welcome to the fruit & veg forum

Posted: 31/01/2013 at 16:01

Hi everyone, We moved from south west wales ( been there over 20yrs and had a sheltered veggie garden on sandy soil) back home to northernmost Cumbria. Struggling with a garden on clay which resembles a pond most of the time. My husband built several raised beds to lift the growing surface 6" & 12" off the origional soil level but I am still finding that even the top of this soil is very wet. I struggled last year with all but broad beans and sweet peas; any suggestions about how to get the topsoil dryer and warm enough to plant my seeds this spring. I have got my garlic in pots in a cold frame. No greenhouse as too windy. Cheers

Cats causing problems

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 13:26

My neighbour recommended Caninia to me as she had used it the year before. We clubbed together to buy some of the plants and we have had them in the garden all sumer. From having persistent visits from a local cat my garden has been cat deposit free all year as has hers for 2 yrs now. I had about 10 of the plants dotted about  mainly in the veg bit. We kept them in pots and they are not overwintering in my workshop. One I inadvertently left out was killed off by early frosts up here in North Cumbria. I don't know if we can get them through the winter to be put out next year but I do hope so as they worked pretty well for us. I used to try the Jeys fluid (bought from the supermarket and diluted ( much cheaper that ready made garden ones) and it worked fairly well in a previous garden but I was worried about the effect on my veg so stopped a couple of years ago. The above plants are not cheap however hence our attempt to save them for next year. In warmer parts they may well over winter outside with some protection.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 11:04

Trying again! North Cumbria; woke up to a white winterscape. Had a very heavy frost and to the south the lake district hills look white with snow as do parts of the pennines to the east. Still although bitterly cold it is not raining  and the sun is actually shining so aim to make the most of it although no way to get out onto the garden and dig as the ground is frozen solid and according to the weather forecast will remain like that for some time. Hey ho!

Talkback: Dealing with a waterlogged garden

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 10:40

Much the same in North Cumbria. On thick clay we have had a pondy garden for the last year as it seems to have been raining here since July 2011!! when we moved back here Like you we have nowhere to drain the water to as we are lower than all the surrounding ground if only slightly. Our solution has been to raise everything up a bit where we can so decking and raised beds. Where we can not we have created a small wildlife pond. Were we planted our fruit trees ( thinking long term they would suck up a lot of the water) they have nearly drowned so we have put them in small raised beds and in the spring will dump a load of top soil on the grass and re turf, hopefully this will allow us to walk on it without sinking into water covering our wellies. Does anyone know why the top level of soil in my 12" raised beds is still "wet" and what I can do about it as I have had to sow my garlic in modules in the hope it will dry out by spring?

December offers online

Posted: 29/11/2012 at 12:58

Yes I have been getting stuff from them for longer than I can remember ( or care to!) I have had the odd thing arrive a bit the worse for wear over the years ( well only two that I can recall) but have phoned them up and they have readily sent replacements which were fine. Warning about the peonies noted but alas or perhaps hurray; too late as they are already ordered almost to spite the dreadful gardening year up here in north cumbria.

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