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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Honey Bee swarms

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 16:58

My husband keeps bees and his have swarmed a couple of times already, today being one example. He says that swarms are not as dangerous as they look, as the bees gorge themselves on nectar before setting off, and they are usually very placid. They usually settle in some temporary spot not far from the hive, while they consider their options, sending out scout bees to report back on suitable new locations (honestly, I'm not making this up!) and it's sometimes possible for a beekeeper to capture the swarm before they set off again. Other times they settle high up in a tree and can't be reached.  This time he has set out a spare "bait" hive nearby, in the hope that they will relocate there. Sometimes this works.

grape or currant

Posted: 02/05/2015 at 21:25

I'm sure the large one isn't beech, and I don't think it's lime either. Could it be hazel?

Best year for Rhubarb?

Posted: 01/05/2015 at 15:14

Rhubarb is very low in calories - in fact it's one of those foods that some people allege use up more calories in digesting that it provides in energy. But it's difficult to eat without sugar and/or something sweet and creamy, which rather counteracts its virtues.

Ground Elder

Posted: 01/05/2015 at 12:52

Vinca (periwinkle) will compete with ground elder, but it can be quite invasive too.

Best year for Rhubarb?

Posted: 01/05/2015 at 12:48

I still have a couple of bags of last year's rhubarb in the freezer, but looking at the monster rhubarb now looming in my garden, I think I'll put the old stuff on the compost and start again. I made some rhubarb annd orange chutney last year that was very good, and I do rhubarb and ginger jam.

I do also make rhubarb wine, but I have to say it's not great. It always retains a bit of the rhubarb flavour, and it's not the best wine I make. But it's cheap, and means that whenever a recipe calls for a generous quantity of white wine (it does end up white,  and usually very clear) I can supply it without feeling that it's a waste of wine.

Cat Poo on my raised veg beds

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 16:23

I got one of those solar ultrasonic scarers and it seems to work really well - in fact I went and got another one to protect another part of the garden. I move them around from time to time in order to confound the cats, and to protect whatever seedlings need it most. You can get them on Amazon for about £13.

what licence to sell produce do I get?

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 09:32

As regards planning permission, a slight change of use is OK if it is incidental to the use of the house as a dwelling. If it is more than that, it needs planning permission. But I can't see that being a problem here. Most home "offices", hobby workshops etc would not need permission, unless they are obviously set up mainly to serve a business. Anything involving extra noise, traffic, parking etc is more likely to come to the attention of the planners than clerical/office uses.

what licence to sell produce do I get?

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 21:25

I can't imagine that a domestic garden would produce enough to require planning permission etc.  A bit of produce sold at the gate, a bit more at carboot sales, a bit via your local shop..... that would take care of us much as most gardens could produce. If you end up infringing any regulations, someone will soon tell you! I really wouldn't meet trouble half way by asking the Coucil about trading regulations. You don't want to have to start declaring all your profits for tax, keeping track of all your expenses and outgoings, etc. I say keep it casual and under the radar, unless you really have the makings of a viable business.

how deep rooting are courgettes?

Posted: 31/03/2015 at 22:33

Yes,  I would think courgettes would be fine, also outdoor cucumbers and squashes,  peppers, chillis, peas, beans and salad greens.  It's a bit late to start shallots, but onion sets would be fine. NOT carrots, parsnips , chard or potatoes. Strawberries would be OK too. Some herbs don't mind it being a bit gravelly (thyme, sage, maybe oregano, chives).

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.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Onion Smut!

Replies: 11    Views: 289
Last Post: 21/07/2015 at 17:08

Weird mutant bluebell?

Replies: 10    Views: 477
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 20:02

Leaking squash, help!

Replies: 12    Views: 511
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 08:57

Moths and lavender

Replies: 0    Views: 286
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 12:14

Drama in the compost heap

Replies: 5    Views: 430
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 21:18

Tomato thriving on neglect!

Replies: 5    Views: 475
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

Replies: 5    Views: 777
Last Post: 06/05/2014 at 21:27

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Replies: 6    Views: 550
Last Post: 04/06/2014 at 22:39

Flatworms?

Replies: 8    Views: 964
Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

Replies: 6    Views: 779
Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

 
Replies: 10    Views: 1871
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25

What not to grow

Replies: 25    Views: 1746
Last Post: 31/07/2014 at 18:08

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 29    Views: 20902
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 10:01

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 2174
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
14 threads returned