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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

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?)

on their way to garden near you!

Posted: 20/11/2012 at 17:06

They're in for a big disappointment when they get here (Devon). Our holly tree usually keeps them pecking away for several weeks, but this year it's devoid of berries - the few that did appear have been gobbled up by blackbirds.

Are others having good crops of holly berries or is this a local thing?

Cheap seeds - again!

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 13:33

Chili lover, I've tried Legend a few times. The first time, two years ago, I got some enormous specimens, one weighed over a pound!  But in the last two summers, they've not ripened well at all - I think they need quite a bit of heat. I also found that they are not early, in fact they're later than most others (again, it may be that they need more heat than some). They are supposed to be blight resistant, and were OK the first year, but the blight does eventually get to them. They were expensive seeds, so you've not much to  lose by experimenting with your bargain packet.

We're in south Devon, where the summer it tends to be wetter and cooler than in the east. You might get different results where you are.

Magnolia Stellata

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 13:25

There was a similar question on GQT on the radio a couple of weeks ago. The panel said don't worry, just enjoy the extra flowering.

Raspberry Canes on Allotment

Posted: 17/11/2012 at 09:56

I suppose laying them at an angle makes it easier for you to lift them out later without too much root disturbance.I think they'd be OK like this for a few weeks or so, but don't hang about too long or the ground may freeze and delay your plans.

autumn colour

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 09:00

Doris, my acer is an Acer Palmatum "Shaina". I think it was quite expensive, but it's certainly earning its keep now. If anything it's an even brighter red today. But most of the summer the leaves are a darker, purplish colour.

autumn colour

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:17

 I just remembered I had taken a photo of the acer mentioned above. I've neer uploaded a photo here but it's a doddle, isn't it? So here you go.

autumn colour

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:10

We have a red-leaved Japanese acer in the garden that has turned the most fantastic, almost fluorescent red in the last week or so. I think it's because it has managed to hold on to its foliage until there was an overnight frost a few days ago, and it was after this that we noticed that the red had become brighter and more intense.

raspberries and rhubarb

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:07

When we moved into this house we had one rhubarb and two gooseberry plants that had to be dug up in the autumn while the garden was re-shaped. All the plants were shoved into corners and left alone for some weeks, and eventually replanted in the new raised beds. They've all flourished wonderfully and cropped really well ever since.

We were perhaps lucky that it was a mild winter - heavy frosts might have damamged the roots or made replanting difficult. But if you move them now before the soil gets too cold (avoid frosty weather) it's a good time to move dormant plants. I should think the same applies to raspberries, as this is when rasps are sold for planting out.

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