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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

1 to 10 of 494

Any blackberry jam makers out there at the mo?

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 22:32

I think with icecream it's a matter of stirring or beating it frequently during the freezing process, to break up the ice crystals. That's how ice cream makers work, by agitating the mixture constantly. I have been told that if it does set hard, you may be able to improve it by blitzing the whole lot in a food processor and re-freezing, but I haven't tried this myself. 

Some recipes have whisked egg white added to make them lighter, but I'm not sure how safe raw eggs are now.

How do I find a gardener?!

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 10:02

Yes, visiting other local people's gardens and talking to them is extremely useful. They will be dealing with the same soil and climate conditions as you, and most gardeners are pleased and flattered to be asked for advice, such as:

What's that shrub? Is it evergreen? When does it flower?  Does your pond have a pump? How often do you cut the lawn? When do you harvest your carrots? as well as things like:

Where did you get those stepping stones? What's the best nursery for bedding plants?  Can you recommend anyone to cut back overgrown trees? 

Gardeners are a friendly lot (look at this forum - it's one of the kindest, most easy-going places on the web) and are usually happy to help and advise each other.

 

How do I find a gardener?!

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 22:55

Our experience was that there are good people out there who will help with garden design, landscaping, building walls and paths, etc, but we never really found anyone who understood plants and how to treat them. We have a great guy who comes  in regularly now to help with lawns and cutting back overgrown stuff, but again, he's not a plantsman.

However, it's possible to find out most of what you need to know about garden management from books, forums like this, and simply trial and error. In time you will get to know your plants and get a feel for what matters to you in the garden, and how to get it as you want it.  Soon, you will know it better than anyone else could.

Cutting a hole in the patio to plant an apple tree

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 20:24

I would think the main issue would be getting enough water to the roots. Maybe you could fix up some sort of feed-in from the guttering?   Or try to ensure that the ground around it slopes and directs the rain water to the soil around the tree.

When to pick tomatoes?

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 20:20

Yes, it's probably sudden heavy rain that has caused your tomatoes to split. We have had heavy rain today, and I expect to find some split tomatoes tomorrow.

You can pick tomatoes any time after they start to colour up, and they will continue to ripen indoors. If you pick when they're still green, they will stay green.

POWDERY MILDEW

Posted: 06/08/2015 at 21:43

I don't worry too much about this. My courgettes always get it, but they keep on fruiting well.

cucumber

Posted: 01/08/2015 at 22:14

I love this forum! Where else could you ask a question like "Why is my cucumber soft and spongy"  without risking a ribald reply?

Cooking or eating apples?

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 20:11

If they grow beyond the size of, say, a supermarket Granny Smith, they're probably cookers. 

Sage gone wild

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 22:13

Jo47, I didn't cut it terribly far back to get the second flowering, I think I just cut off the flowering stems.

Sage gone wild

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 16:51

It does get very leggy, but pruning should help keep it manageable. You could try taking cuttings to produce a new bush, which could replace the old one in a couple of years.

This year I cut back one section of my sage bush straight after flowering, and the rest some time later. The first section has rewarded me (and the bees) with another crop of flowers, so I will try to remember to trim the whole bush as early as possible next year.

1 to 10 of 494

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