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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Tomato Blight

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 22:47

I have no idea why they would taste salty or seem seedy, it's not normal for home grown toms. What variety are they?

This year I grew a cherry-type bush tomato called Losetto which is blight-resistant and has been very successful. I also grew Sungold, a cordon variety that doesn't seem to get much blight either.  They had very little sign of blight until a week or two ago, when the crop was coming to an end anyway. They're both F1 varieties so the seeds are expensive but I'll grow them again, rather than lose so many to blight as I have in previous years.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 15:03

Yes, Tomsk, that looks very like blight to me. It can spread very quickly, and the rest of your tomatoes are likely to get it soon. You could pick them and put them aside to.ripen, but they may well develop blight anyway, so keep an eye on them.

Maggots in compost bin

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 17:58

My dalek-style compost bin seems to have more animal matter than vegetation at the moment. There are not only worms but hundreds of woodlice as well as fruit flies and some sort of flying ants. I.don't know how they all get in there, as it's sitting on gravel, but I suppose they all help to process the compost, and then when they die they enrich it. I take the lid off from time to time, to allow the winged creatures to fly off.

Advice needed

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 17:30

If you do need to take up the leeks, they don't keep for very long, but you can chop them up and freeze them, then use them in soups and casseroles later.

I am envious. My leeks have been totally ruined by leek moths. 


Talkback: The best crops for flavour

Posted: 20/09/2014 at 20:09

I agree with the choice of Sungold. They are sweet, with that aromatic flavour you only get with garden tomatoes. Like Dove up there, I love them straight off the plant, when the flavour is at its finest. And they seem to be quite resistant to blight. They are expensive F1 seeds, though.


Posted: 20/09/2014 at 20:03

On GW last Friday, Monty was gathering basil by the bucketload, and says he makes pesto to freeze. My only concern was the cost of the pile of pine nuts that would be required - they are really expensive now. I used ground almonds for some sort of pesto-like sauce once.

Rose garden mixed with edible fruits share same bed safe?

Posted: 20/09/2014 at 19:51

Yes, it's pesticides you'd have to be careful about - things you might use against aphids or black spot. Many insecticides are OK for edibles as well as ornamentals, but most fungicides can't be used on food plants. Fertilizers don't contain anything toxic and won't be a problem.

Hi, I want to grow some veg, I have a small list & need advise on when to plant

Posted: 19/09/2014 at 22:46

Dordogne damsel, I'm sure you could get seeds from online suppliers such as Moreveg. But choose with care - it may be that things like swedes grow best in cooler climates.


Posted: 18/09/2014 at 20:52

I know a woman who eats fuchsia seeds. Mind you, she's a bit strange....

Winter onions sets...

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 20:48

Meant to add: garden centres  and seed stores will sell garlic, but we've had good results from ordinary kitchen garlic from a local greengrocer. Look out for Isle of Wight varieties, or possibly French, rather than(say) Chinese, which are less likely to do well in our climate.

Onion sets are available from garden centres etc from early spring. Small local traders (hardware/garden stores) often sell them loose so you can buy exactly the number you want, but sometimes you have to buy by the bag.

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