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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

1 to 10 of 355

compost

Posted: 19/10/2014 at 22:33

I'm not sure about putting compost worms into the borders, I think they're a different variety (tiger worms?). They are smaller and redder than most garden earthworms. But even if they end up providing a meal for a robin, they won't go to waste!

pulled my first parsnip yesterday.

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 21:14

It's quite something, isn't it, when you pull a parsnip to go with a roast dinner and find the parsnip weighs more than the joint! Always an exciting moment when you dig one uo, not knowing whether it will be a runt or a brute. And of course if you decide to dig up "just one more", you can guarantee it will be a monster!

I try to leave mine until Christmas, or the first frosts, as they are sweeter later on. Same applies to bought parsnips. Once I bought some from Spain, which looked good but tasted awful - they need a bit of cold.

How old is your houseplant?

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 22:15

I have a kangaroo vine that I've had since the mid 70s. It's a bit big and straggly and I wouldn't mind if it died, but I think it will outlive me.

Perhaps more interestingly,  in 1967 my then boyfriend (now husband) bought me a rubber plant. It became a member of our household and moved around to various parts of the country with us. By the 1980s it reached the ceiling so I chopped it back a bit and it branched. In the 1990s I lopped it again and grew a new plant from the offcut.  Our daughter adopted this one and took it to her home. The parent plant was now so unwieldy that we got rid of it,  but Son of Rubberplant flourished. Then about three years ago, our daughter presented us with Grandson of Rubberplant, which she had grown from a top shoot, just as we had done to produce its parent. It's now about three feet tall and heading for the ceiling....

Hydrangea

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 15:26

I have two climbing hydrangeas - petiolaris and seemanii. Does anyone know whether they should be dead-headed now?

Autumn raspberries - will they need staking?

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 13:46

You can cut them back any time after they're finished cropping. Most books say to do it in the winter, but I like to do it before they weather gets too bad.  You can also leave some of the canes uncut, and they'll give you some summer fruit next year, spreading the crop over a longer period.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 13:43

There's a clue in the name - Money Maker. They're probably going to give a good yield in terms of weight (and thus money) but many other varieties will have better flavour. By this time of year, though, many varieties will have been lacking sun and may not be as sweet as those that cropped earlier. Try Sungold for sweetness and aromatic tomato flavour.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 22:47

I have no idea why they would taste salty or seem seedy, it's not normal for home grown toms. What variety are they?

This year I grew a cherry-type bush tomato called Losetto which is blight-resistant and has been very successful. I also grew Sungold, a cordon variety that doesn't seem to get much blight either.  They had very little sign of blight until a week or two ago, when the crop was coming to an end anyway. They're both F1 varieties so the seeds are expensive but I'll grow them again, rather than lose so many to blight as I have in previous years.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 15:03

Yes, Tomsk, that looks very like blight to me. It can spread very quickly, and the rest of your tomatoes are likely to get it soon. You could pick them and put them aside to.ripen, but they may well develop blight anyway, so keep an eye on them.

Maggots in compost bin

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 17:58

My dalek-style compost bin seems to have more animal matter than vegetation at the moment. There are not only worms but hundreds of woodlice as well as fruit flies and some sort of flying ants. I.don't know how they all get in there, as it's sitting on gravel, but I suppose they all help to process the compost, and then when they die they enrich it. I take the lid off from time to time, to allow the winged creatures to fly off.

Advice needed

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 17:30

If you do need to take up the leeks, they don't keep for very long, but you can chop them up and freeze them, then use them in soups and casseroles later.

I am envious. My leeks have been totally ruined by leek moths. 

 

1 to 10 of 355

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Photinia Red Robin pruning?

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