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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Tomatoes - possibly my second mistake of the year!!!!

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 08:51

Looking at that, I think I can see tiny side-shoots just appearing: if you look at the back edge of the pot and then just above it, you can see that there's a big leaf going our to the right, and then between it and the main stem, a tiny sprouting shoot, and the same at the next joint up. These are (unless the camera deceives me) new sideshoots and should be pinched out. That is where you find the side shoots, at a leaf joint between the leaf and the stem. They come back sometimes and you have to keep doing it.

Having said that ... my daughter has an allotment and grows Gardener's Delight, which is an upright and should have the sideshoots removed. She was too busy/careless to bother (and went on hol in August), and she still had a terrific crop of tomatoes. The old boys on the allotment were critical at first, and then quite envious of her success, as she had far more tomatoes than anyone else! So it's not that crucial.

Miracle Gro is a "balanced" fertiliser and won't do any harm - it will have fed the roots, leaves and shoots. At the worst it might leave the plants low in magnesium, which would discolour the leaves, and it may have made them a bit leggy.  But they'll be fine, I'm sure. Eventually you should get yourself some tomato feed, which will have the right balance of nutrients (high in potassium to help fruiting, and probably with magnesium too), and start administering that when the first tiny fruits start to form.

Fleece Cloches

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 16:54

I had some old hanging basket frames that I got in a car boot sale, and last year I covered them with fleece or with that thin polystyrene sheeting they use in packaging, using a stapler. In fact I am going to reassemble them soon, to put over my courgettes and cues when they go out.

Shady veg patch

Posted: 08/05/2014 at 16:43

Some herbs like it hot and dry, but parsley does better in shade and damp.

Secateurs open?

Posted: 06/05/2014 at 19:16

Some time ago I posted a question asking whether secateurs should be stored with the blades open or locked shut. Opinions varied and there was no real consensus that I can remember.

I can now report that I have come to a conclusion. Unless you are a very careful and organised person, keep them closed! Otherwise you might do what I did today: I had the secateurs lying in my tool caddy, with the blades open. I reached into the caddy to find some item lying at the bottom and - you know what' s coming - my finger caught the sharpest part of my Felcos, which sliced into my right-hand index finger.

I am typing this without my index finger, which is now bandaged up. And from now on I will close the secateurs when I put them away!

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 16:27

Thanks for that, chicky. I have brought them into the summer house where, even with the door propped open, it's warmer than outside it. The air is still quite cool and I think a bit more shelter will help. If they're not flowering in another week or so I'll bring them into the house, but I don't want to soften them up (or whatever the opposite of "hardening off" is)

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 10:42

At the end of May (4 weeks today!) our daughter is getting married and I have undertaken to provide baskets of lobelia for table flowers. I bought bedding plants some weeks ago, which are now planted up in pots (3 plants per 6-inch pot). They're sitting in a sheltered corner of the garden; the plants look healthy and some are showing signs of flower buds. They had a feed of liquid seaweed a couple of weeks ago when I potted them up, and I did a little pinching-out of tips.

My question is this: how likely is it that these will be in full flower in four weeks? I find myself worrying that they will flower too early and be over, or too late and not be ready in time. I could bring them indoors to hurry them on, but if they start to flower, should I cut off any blooms until a week or two before?

Of course there is a fall-back plan - if they're not right, I shall go to a GC and buy whatever plants look bright and healthy (and blue!). But I'd welcome any tips on how to get these lobelia  to be at their best by the very end of May.

 

Tomato problem

Posted: 27/04/2014 at 15:46

Well, Bf206, you should think yourself lucky that May has started at all - it's still April here in the south-west!

Tomato problem

Posted: 27/04/2014 at 09:10

Yes, last year mine were tiny at this stage, and even when I planted them out late in May they were very small, frail and discoloured. But once the summer sun came, they did very well - and with almost no blight last year either.

Tomato problem

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 10:41

White patches can also result from sun scorch in a green house - check that there aren't any hot spots close to the glass.

The purplish colour may be due to cold, but if it persists, it may be a shortage of magnusium, which can be added in a liquid feed or by spraying a solution of Epsom salts on the leaves.

I don't think either sympton sounds like a virus.

Quince Tree

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 07:49

Our quince tree has leaves, and the flowers are now in bud but not full blossom - this is in Devon, in quite a mild spot. We had a good crop of fruit last year, although most of the blossom doesn't set to fruit.

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Secateurs open?

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