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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

New gardener advice on growing tomato's please

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 15:48

If they still haven't appeared, you can cover the top with cling film until they do, so they won't dry out. But remove it once the seedlings emerge.

I have a little bottle-top sprayer that fits on a 2L pop bottle, and is ideal for giving a fine spray on seed trays etc. Can't remember where I got it, but you can probably get them in garden and plant centres etc.

potatoes

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 17:11

If you do plant them out and then are worried about late frosts, you can protect the shoots with fleece, or even just newspaper overnight. I'm not rushing to put mine out yet - for one thing, it is so miserably cold in the garden that I don't want to do it!

FORKERS CLOTHING

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 12:04

My favourite gardening gloves are those "builders' gloves" that have a rubber palm and a cotton back. I bought a big multi-pack from eBay last year and it's nice to have a stock of them ready for when they wear out (which they don't do readily).

And this weather I also wear (if I go out at all) an old, padded waxed jacket, cord trousers, and an old pair of walking boots, which are much warmer than wellies. I am, by the way, a female magpie, which isn't obvious from my picture, or indeed from my garden clothing, as it's all a bit shapeless and unisex.

Evergreen climbers

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 11:56

The "Freckles" clematis, recommended above, is a dainty little thing and won't grow quickly or give much cover for a while. For a fast-growing evergreen clematis, get something like an armandii. And yes, ivy is great for wildlife but the plain green native ones can get a bit out of hand. The smaller-leaved, variegated ones might be better.

Morrisions

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 11:51

I've had some good plants from Morrisons (e.g clematis, hollyhocks, a little amelanchier tree and bedding plants), all much cheaper than at Garden Centres. If you're after bedding plants, though, I'd wait until the weather warms up as it's much too cold to put them out now.

Seeds

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 16:27

That's a neat trick with the bottle, and I may give it a try. But my tomatoes and chillis are staying in the kitchen for a while yet.

What about direct planting in beds - is there any chance of germination for the broad beans and carrots I sowed a couple of weeks ago? It's not snowy here (Devon) but it drops to zero or below most nights, and the max temp in the daytime is about 5.

Best and worst

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 12:24

Likes: obviously I like harvesting crops, picking a bunch of flowers, or eating rasps or peas straight from the plants. Less obviously, I quite enjoy weeding, picking stones out from the seed-beds, dead-heading and similar repetitive tasks.

Dislikes: I don't like any of the spraying or plant-feeding tasks that are sometimes required. And I don't like anything requiring a ladder, e.g pruning fruit trees.

 

 

Seeds

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 16:28

One way to test germination (and thus avoid wasting time and garden space if they turn out to be too old) is to try putting a few seeds on some damp kitchen paper. Cover with another sheet of damp paper and put them somewhere warmish and darkish. Keep them damp, check them every few days and if they show any sign of little roots or shoots, you know you've got viable seeds.

What not to grow

Posted: 31/01/2013 at 09:50

Yup, I had already dismissed celeriac because I can imagine how small and lumpy mine would turn out (plus, it sounds as if you have to start them in modules or something). And swedes - well, how many swedes can you eat? I buy one occasionally (most recently to have with haggis!) but not very often.

But, to be positive, I am going to plant my shallots soon. They always do well.

What not to grow

Posted: 30/01/2013 at 16:43

Every year I decide to try to grow at least one new vegetable, and I have to say I've been disappointed with my recent efforts:

Celtuce - bitter green leaves with no point or interest to them.

Asparagus peas - didn't thrive, stayed tiny and produced only a few, tough little pods.

Chicory - mine turned messy and slimy, and tasted horrible

Petit Posy, a sort of sprout-kale cross that turned out to have the worst features of both.

Scorzonera - long rope-like tubers that were almost impossible to dig out of the ground and tasted of nothing when cooked.

Now you'll be thinking it's just me, but I grow lovely carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, chillis, peas, beans, parsnips, potatoes and salads. I just can't seem to be successful with anything more unusual (unless you count the chilllis, or land cress). Perhaps they are unusual for a reason ...

Anyway, I am undaunted and this year I'm trying cavalo nero (black kale).

How about you?

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Leaking squash, help!

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Moths and lavender

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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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Flatworms?

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Runners on new strawberry plants

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Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

 
Replies: 10    Views: 1068
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25

What not to grow

Replies: 25    Views: 1235
Last Post: 31/07/2014 at 18:08

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 25    Views: 13770
Last Post: 06/06/2014 at 22:33

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 1802
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
12 threads returned