Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Frogs spawn everywhere!

Posted: 10/03/2016 at 22:13

If you get a hard frost, it can kill frog spawn,  but the frogs will probably replace it before long. I haven't noticed any spawn in our pond yet but have heard frogs croaking, so there's at least one frog who's up for it!

Seed Bed?

Posted: 06/03/2016 at 10:21

Four feet wide sound fine to me. You shuld be able to reach the middle from either side quite easily. Some of my beds are four feet, some four and half, and the latter are a bit of a stretch but still manageable, and I'm an average sized female.

Clear plastic cups

Posted: 01/03/2016 at 09:00

I use those clear plastic cartons that grapes, paeches etc are sold in as mini-cloches. They do tend to blow away, though, so I secwurd them with sticks or tent pegs pushed into the ground via one of the holes in the base (which is now the top).


Posted: 28/02/2016 at 18:50

Love your photo, Chris!  Sorting out the seed packets and planning the next season's crops is such an exciting thing to do at this dull time of year. Roll on the spring!

Aldi bargains

Posted: 26/02/2016 at 20:44

I think the perennials at Aldi were £1.99. Just small ones, in 3 or 4-inch pots, but they mostly looked quite healthy. Foxgloves,  acillea, ersyimum, coryopsis were ones I spotted.

Aldi bargains

Posted: 26/02/2016 at 18:49

I think I'd have cautious expectations of things like fruit trees from Aldi, but the little potted perennials and the tools and hardware items looked pretty good.

Aldi bargains

Posted: 26/02/2016 at 12:51

If you are near an Aldi store, it's worth calling in at the moment for some great gardening bargains. Our store has:

Little potted perennials

Fruit trees

Little bedding plant plugs

Stainless steel hand tools

Seed trays, flower pots etc

Seed compost,  perlite

Blood fish and bone

Gardening gloves

and more, all at bargain prices.

Getting back into fruit & veg growing

Posted: 03/02/2016 at 22:14

Yes, I would second the recommendations for "Food from Your Garden and Allotment" (Readers' Digest). It has useful ideas about how to use and store the produce as well as grow it.

And the Hessayon "Expert"book is my constant companion. I even have two copies, one for indoors and one for the shed. Although it's been around for decades and is stilla bit dated, it has been updated from time, and now has a section on raised beds. It's the handiest book to remind you about spacings, planting depth,  when to sow and harvest, etc.

F1 Seeds or Standard Seeds

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 22:49

I buy F1 only in order to get a particular variety that I can't get otherwise, such as Sungold tomatoes; or if I only want a very few plants anyway (say, courgettes) and don't mind only a few seeds.

Simplify Gardening - Close to perfect tools?

Posted: 19/01/2016 at 18:27

You could start by looking at some of the innovations of recent years;  some are useful, others not. It seems to me that the successful ones are those designed to help in ways that would not have been necessary in bygone days. This could be:

- aids for old and infirm gardeners, or for the disabled (kneeling pads, stools)

-child sized tools for kids to use

- things to do with pots and planters, whic are used much more these days. (e.g. wheels/castors to move heavy ones around).

- devices to help cultivate plants that are not native and need special measures (cloches, fleece).

- gadgets to feed birds and keep other creatues off the food..

-cat repellent devices

and so on. I know these already exist but tbey might point you in a useful direction.

Then you could  look at some of the daft things you see in catalogues, like spiked over-shoes so you can stomp around aerating your lawn; or whole ranges of tools made in pink, so that women can use them (yuk! - and I speak as a woman),  and ponder on their daftness.

The only thing can think of that I lack at the moment is a gadget for turning the compost on the heap. An old fork or rake will do it, but maybe you can come up with a better idea?

My favourite gadget of all time is the wheelbarrow, but someone has already invented that. 

Hope this helps you develop some ideas.




Discussions started by Green Magpie

Strawberry moths

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Aldi bargains

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Drama in the compost heap

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Tomato thriving on neglect!

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Secateurs open?

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Lobelia for wedding at end of May

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Runners on new strawberry plants

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Nettles for butterflies

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Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25
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