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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Nettles

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:51

If you do leave some nettles, they're an important food plant for many butterflies and caterpillars, so you can feel virtuous about the ones you miss.

Lupins

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:43

Yes they should do. Mine don't have aphids yet but snails are a problem. Lupins seem to be very tasty to various creatures, pity we can't eat them!

bean seed germinating

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:42

I grow Cobra every year from saved seed and usually they crop from the second half of July for a few weeks. This year mine are very slow, they've been out for a couple of weeks and I think it's been too cold at nights. 

I have to report that the dwarf French beans I mentioned in an earlier post, sown direct about two weeks ago, have all germinated but they are tiny and yellow and stunted, with leaves about the size of my little finger nail. Again, I think low overnight temperatures may be to blame (down to 5 or 6 last night), so today I sowed some more in modules in the mini-greenhouse.

Bees

Posted: 03/06/2015 at 16:42

Don't worry, they won't be aggressive, and they won't stay there more than a day or two. Soon they will be off to a more suitable home.

please id climber

Posted: 29/05/2015 at 20:19

I agree with nucutlet.  We have one of these, and although ours is quite sturdy, it is very prone to black fugal infection, due probably to sticky secretions from aphids. I sprayed ours earlier this year and it has perked up quite a bit.

DIY bug hotel

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 13:47

I was a bit taken aback when some distinguished gardener - I think it was Carole Klein- suggested gathering hollow-stemmed sticks and pushing them into a slice of a plastic bottle. Such a nearly-good idea, but why ruin it with plastic? Natural materials (e.g. jute twine to hold it all together) are so much better, as you can tuck the whole thing into a corner of the garden and forget about it, letting it degrade when it's ready.

Climbers with non invasive roots

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 13:40

Lonicera roots can do dreadful damage to drains, as we (and our insurance company) know to our cost.

For autumn colour, you could plant a Virginia creeper, although it's bare in winter.

Bees

Posted: 26/05/2015 at 17:04

Although Bee-Friendly Beekeeper and I agree on certain things (for instance,  that it's worth taking a bit if time and trouble to learn about bees before taking them on), we don't share the same approach. I would say join your local BBKA and take a course with them. They will introduce you to beekeeping and show you some hives so that you can begin to learn how bees live and how best to care for them.

Just building a hive and getting some bees is not actually very bee-friendly at all. You need to have some idea of what threats the bees may face (diseases, cold, robbing attacks by wasps, etc) and how best to help the colony survive.  If you want to get honey from them, that's another lot of skills, knowledge and equipment that you'll need. It's a very rewarding hobby, but it's not like setting up a bird table or a nesting box, it's much more complicated than that.

 

Seed sowing.

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 22:15

Preparing the ground is the bit that takes the time and effort. Actually sowing the seed is very satisfying and only takes minutes, unless you're growing on a commercial scale.

Bees

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 20:52

There's no reason they would attack anyone. The only bee you need to worry about is the one you haven't seen (and so you sit on it, stand on it, etc). Once you start watching them go about their business, they're fascinating creatures.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

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Nettles for butterflies

 
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What not to grow

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