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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

1 to 10 of 385

Goldfish and tadpoles

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 08:17

We have seen newts go round biting the heads off tadpoles, without bothering to eat them. Perhaps they're trying to reduce the frog population, in order to protect their young. Or maybe they're just vicious little thugs.

Goldfish and tadpoles

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 07:32

Yes, tadpoles like basking in very shallow areas, especially as they're approaching froghood, and most fish won't go where it's too shallow. One the froglets can clamber on to a rock or reach dry land, it's the birds they have to watch out for.

Goldfish and tadpoles

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 22:41

Tadpoles aren't all supposed to grow up - only a small proportion need to survive to ensure that the frog population continues. The rest won't be wasted, they will make a really nutritious treat for your goldfish.

Cat Poo on my raised veg beds

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 22:22

I've just installed a Sonic And Flash animal repeller (Amazon, about £14). It works on rechargeable solar batteries, so doesn't need any cables or connections. Early days yet, but first results are encouraging. If  the poo-free condition of this section of the garden continues, we may invest in another one.

In the short term, orange peel deters cats, which hate the smell.

Three Sisters

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 16:50

I tried a sort of two-sisters thing last year, although there was quite an age gap between the sisters. I grew climbing French beans on a double wigwam, and then planted several  squash seedlings on the ground beneath. The squash were mainly on the sunny side of the beans, so there was no shading problem. Eventually the squashes began to climb the bean canes, but by this stage the beans were harvested, except for those I was growing on for seed. It worked well for me and I intend to do it again.

potatoes

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 19:30

Charlotte are not exactly blight resistant, but although the tops may get blighted and wither, the potatoes themselves (in my experience) are always perfectly OK.  I leave them in the ground, sometimes long after the tops have withered completely, and they're always fine. 

Anything you can do to avoid or delay blight is still worth doing, as the potatoes won't grow much once the tops die back.

Peas in a raised bed

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 22:35

I grow mine in raised beds of similar width to yours,  in wide rows across the bed. I can reach the middle of the row from either side, so access isn't a problem.

Courgettes / Summer Squash

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 15:58

I grow them outside, in raised beds in a sheltered spot, and they're always huge and prolific. I did try planting one seedling in the compost heap but the slugs or snails got it.  Really, they seem pretty foolproof. Yellow ones look pretty if you fancy a change.

Croton - some leaves partially dry and yellow

Posted: 16/02/2015 at 19:47

Yes, I agree with Dove, wait until the sap is rising and cut back then.

Help

Posted: 16/02/2015 at 18:39

This was me last year! Daughter's wedding at the end of May,  blue and white colouurs required. The main problem was that most 'blue'  flowers are a bit on the lilac side. 

I decided to go for lobelia in pots, for table decorations. Early in spring I bought 3 trays of white, light blue and dark blue lobelia. I potted these on and eventually planted 1of each colour in 6-inch pots. I fed and tended them on our patio, and by the wedding date they were just right. The pots were placed in home-made baskets, which gave a cottagey, homespun look. We tucked a balloon weight into each pot and attached 3 helium balloons to each one, so the balloons came up out of the flowers. At the end we gave them away to key guests or people who had helped at the wedding.

We didn't do our own bouquets or any cut flowers, as we travelled to the area a few days before the event. 

We made all the buttonholes and corsages, which is not difficult. A bunch of cream rosebuds from a supermarket, a bunch of cornflowers, garden greenery and some blue and white ribbons gave us lots of scope. 

Good luck!

 

1 to 10 of 385

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