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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

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?

Seeds

Posted: 29/01/2013 at 16:18

I can recommend two internet-based sources: Moreveg and SimplySeed. Both have a good range of seeds at very reasonable prices, and modest postal charges.

last years compost

Posted: 25/01/2013 at 12:52

I really wouldn't re-use compost for crops in the same family (like tomatoes/potatoes). Not only might there be diseases lurking there, but the compost will have given up most of the nutrients required by those plants. Even in open soil, most people avoid re-planting the same crops in the same place each year, and compost in pots runs out of nutrients faster than soil/compost in garden beds.

But you could try try some different crops or plants in the old compost (salad leaves, herbs, baby carrots, flowers, bulbs).

Dilemma - Corkscrew Hazel

Posted: 20/01/2013 at 14:31

I would think that keeping one in a pot from the start would be differerent from trying to move one into a pot from the garden. You may well find its rootball is much too large for it to transplant successfully now. I suppose you've got nothing to lose by trying, but I have my doubts ...

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 10:02

I've grown Maskotka a couple of times and was very pleased with them. Like everything else they struggled last summer, but they're a bush-type tomato, easy to grow, with small, tasty fruits. They are suitable for growing in pots and containers, but I just let mine straggle around in a raised bed.I'm planning to grow them again this year.

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 15/01/2013 at 16:51

Thanks from me, too, for that link on tomato growing. It looks useful and sensible, and I'm sure I'll be consulting it again soon.

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 15/01/2013 at 10:00

I was very disappointed with Tigerella when I tried them last year, but I was growing them out of doors and perhaps Tigeralla were disappointed with the weather! I aslo grew a few Legend (Chili Lover above) but they were a complete failure as they simply didn't mature and ripen (sulking again, I should think)When they do well they're enormous bush tomatoes. Sungold has my vote, and I'm also planning to grow Maskotka (bush cherry tomato) again.

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 14/01/2013 at 19:13

I found Sungold at least as good as Gardeners' Delight, and they seemd to resist the blight quite well too.

Completely new to veg growing

Posted: 30/12/2012 at 19:54

I always go for climbing French beans (Cobra), as I think they're much nicer than runner beans, and easy to grow as long as you don't try to start them off too soon. I also grow mange-tout (similar to sugar peas), which are as easy as peas and there's less waste as you eat the whole pod. As you say, they're never cheap to buy, and it's lovely to have them really fresh. Norli are a good variety.

Personally I think onions are a bit of a waste of space as they're generally cheap to buy and the ones you grow taste much the same as the ones you buy. Have you thought of shallots? They're also dead easy, and you end up with something that is not cheap in the shops. You just buy a bag of seed shallots, stick them in the ground, and each one turns into a little bunch of shallots.

on their way to garden near you!

Posted: 23/11/2012 at 07:55

I saw the thing about the new disease, which was referred to "avian pox". Can't think why they didn't call it "tit pox"! (Will this post be censored, thus proving my point?)

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