Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Do we have a bird expert on the forum?

Posted: 11/10/2015 at 11:58

It's that time of year, isn't it? We saw several skeins (I have learnt a new word today!) flying over the river Dart the other day, all honking loudly.

If you have ever been on a busy road in India, everyone sounds their horns all the time - it's not seen as aggressive, it's regarded as helpful to other drivers. As most people  drive with open windows, the hooting helps them to locate other vehicles with their ears as well as their eyes. I think geese in flight are doing the same thing, to help them stay in formation and know where the other members of the group are.

Tomato blight

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 22:15

I grew Losetto (bush, cherry-type) which are supposed to be blight resistant. I had a great crop, with little or no blight until well into September.

Sungold Tomatoes

Posted: 06/10/2015 at 19:53

Our Sungold, grown outdoors, have been super, although quite late. I find that with this variety, freshness is key: eat them straight from the plant and they have a wonderful, aromatic, tomoatoey flavour, but a couple of days after picking, they're just a very pleasant, sweet tomato. As soon as they are ripe, I have a daily treat of a tomato or two straight from the vine - yum!

Just been on holiday for 2 weeks and all my tomatoes, which were almost over when we left, are blackened and blighty ooking. I actually bought some at Aldi today,  for the first time in many weeks.


Posted: 17/09/2015 at 09:10

One thing I did that probably helped is every week or so I went through the plants and picked off any unhealthy-looking leaves, especially lower ones. This hleps to keep the plants ventilated, especially the bush ones. They are almost leafless now. I have to admit there are a few blight-looking tomatoes now, but so many good ones that I no longer care, it's the end of the season.

Hedging help please!!

Posted: 14/09/2015 at 15:22

That looks like a good choice, especially for a really low hedge.

Hedging help please!!

Posted: 14/09/2015 at 07:51

Thanks for the advice about Grisellina, Tetley and Gertie. The variagated one seems to be a shorter-growing variety, so will probably be more suitable. All we have to do now is get rid of the old hedge!

Hedging help please!!

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 23:09

We are planning to replace a very straggly hedge of lonicera nitida, and are considering griselina littoralis "variegata".  We want the hedge to be about 1.5 metres high. I'm not giving a firm recommendation, as we have yet to begin this operation. It's more of a piggyback question, to see if anyone has any thoughts on this.

Oh, and how difficult will it be to get the roots of the lonicera out of the soil?


Posted: 13/09/2015 at 17:57

I would pick any that are starting to ripen, as they'll colour up indoors. Really green ones may not.  The blight may have reached them already, in which case they'll start showing symptoms soon, but it's worth a try.


Posted: 13/09/2015 at 11:27

I did get a lot of splitting with the Sungold, which seem a bit prone to that. I think the occasional deluges of heavy rain are responsible for this. The Losetto suffered more from caterpillar damage, but honestly I have so many now that the caterpillars are welcome to some.


Posted: 12/09/2015 at 22:34

I am growing Losetto, a bush cherry tomato that is blight resistant. The other one I grow, the delicious Sungold (cordon type), isn't marketed as blight resistant but doesn't seem to suffer much. I have had huge crops, especially from Losetto, to the point where I am making loads of tomato soups and sauces to freeze, and giving away pounds of them. I really recommend Losetto - they are expensive seeds, with only about six to the packet, but six plants have us knee-deep in tomatoes.

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