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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

How do I find a gardener?!

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 22:55

Our experience was that there are good people out there who will help with garden design, landscaping, building walls and paths, etc, but we never really found anyone who understood plants and how to treat them. We have a great guy who comes  in regularly now to help with lawns and cutting back overgrown stuff, but again, he's not a plantsman.

However, it's possible to find out most of what you need to know about garden management from books, forums like this, and simply trial and error. In time you will get to know your plants and get a feel for what matters to you in the garden, and how to get it as you want it.  Soon, you will know it better than anyone else could.

Cutting a hole in the patio to plant an apple tree

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 20:24

I would think the main issue would be getting enough water to the roots. Maybe you could fix up some sort of feed-in from the guttering?   Or try to ensure that the ground around it slopes and directs the rain water to the soil around the tree.

When to pick tomatoes?

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 20:20

Yes, it's probably sudden heavy rain that has caused your tomatoes to split. We have had heavy rain today, and I expect to find some split tomatoes tomorrow.

You can pick tomatoes any time after they start to colour up, and they will continue to ripen indoors. If you pick when they're still green, they will stay green.


Posted: 06/08/2015 at 21:43

I don't worry too much about this. My courgettes always get it, but they keep on fruiting well.


Posted: 01/08/2015 at 22:14

I love this forum! Where else could you ask a question like "Why is my cucumber soft and spongy"  without risking a ribald reply?

Cooking or eating apples?

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 20:11

If they grow beyond the size of, say, a supermarket Granny Smith, they're probably cookers. 

Sage gone wild

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 22:13

Jo47, I didn't cut it terribly far back to get the second flowering, I think I just cut off the flowering stems.

Sage gone wild

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 16:51

It does get very leggy, but pruning should help keep it manageable. You could try taking cuttings to produce a new bush, which could replace the old one in a couple of years.

This year I cut back one section of my sage bush straight after flowering, and the rest some time later. The first section has rewarded me (and the bees) with another crop of flowers, so I will try to remember to trim the whole bush as early as possible next year.

people moving into an area and paving over the front garden

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 16:46

I suppose they could argue that by providing off-road parking, they're keeping the street clearer and reducing congestion.

But there are limits now to the area of hard, impermeable surface you can put down. So gravel is OK but paving may not be, over a certain amount.

Onion Smut!

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 17:08

Oh, you have been helpful, Dove, don't apologise. 

There's no  risk of my saving my shallots this year, they're all in a sorry state. Next year I'll start with new sets in a new bed, and hopefully all will be well.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Onion Smut!

Replies: 11    Views: 360
Last Post: 21/07/2015 at 17:08

Weird mutant bluebell?

Replies: 10    Views: 502
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 20:02

Leaking squash, help!

Replies: 12    Views: 555
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 08:57

Moths and lavender

Replies: 0    Views: 308
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 12:14

Drama in the compost heap

Replies: 5    Views: 449
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 21:18

Tomato thriving on neglect!

Replies: 5    Views: 496
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

Replies: 5    Views: 810
Last Post: 06/05/2014 at 21:27

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Replies: 6    Views: 567
Last Post: 04/06/2014 at 22:39


Replies: 8    Views: 978
Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

Replies: 6    Views: 803
Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

Replies: 10    Views: 1902
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25

What not to grow

Replies: 25    Views: 1777
Last Post: 31/07/2014 at 18:08

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 29    Views: 21488
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 10:01

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 2198
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
14 threads returned