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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Beetroot

Posted: 16/08/2012 at 18:25

I've planted two rows of beetroot this year, at different times. thei earlier ones were not bad - they didn't get past golf-ball sized but they were sweet and tasty. But the later rwo, of the same variety, is doing almost nothing - small leaves and no swelling of the roots at all. I think it's the weather - they need a bit of warmth and they just haven't had it.

newly planted perennial plugs

Posted: 16/08/2012 at 12:38

I received mine in July and some are still a bit small, but like Hollie-hock I have planted my foxgloves out now. The rain has ensured that they are well watered in! I'm hoping to do ths same with the most of rest during the next month or so, rather than have to look after them in pots all winter. Also, if they did get too big for pots during the winter, I  wouldn't want to plant them out in cold weather. I do have a plastic mini-greenhouse so if necessary I can leave some of the smaller ones in there over the winter, although I'm hoping not to have to do this.

The free tomato seeds on the mag cover

Posted: 15/08/2012 at 10:16

Ignore my message above! I was confused. The tomatoes I am growing thsi year are Losetto, which are nothing like Maskotka. Maskotka are, as far as I remember, medium-sized rather than a true cherry tomaoto. but they still had the normal tomato colouring and skin texture, no spotting or toughness.

Rubard just won't die back...

Posted: 15/08/2012 at 09:33

Slugs aren't a problem with my rhubarb either. I think it's so huge and sturdy that it intimidates them. Or possibly it's a carnivorous type of rhubarb that eats slugs for breakfast - it certainly looks as if it could (sorry, Italophile, it's our compensation for cool, wet weather).

The free tomato seeds on the mag cover

Posted: 15/08/2012 at 09:27

Those don't sound anything like my Maskotka toms (which were not from the magazine, I think they were T&M or something). Mine are vigorous bush plants and now (at last!) they are producing cherry tomatoes, which are a normal tomato colour and very small. Mine don't have any blotches and the skin isn't particularly tough. It may be yours have some virsu or something, but if they're quite large, it doesn't even soudn as if they're Maskotka at all. Maybe someone else who got a free packet will confirm.

Rubard just won't die back...

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 20:43

On Gardeners' Question Time recently, one of the panellists said that there was no reason not to go on using rhubarb as long as the plants look vigorous. Mine is always very big and strong, and this year it is massive, so we had a rhubarb crumble last weekend. Both I and the rhubarb are still fighting fit, so I don't think it did either of us any harm.

Get Rid of your Lawns

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 17:41

I heard that interview (with Bunny Guiness arguing in favour of lawns) and thought that what Bob said made little sense. He alleged that lawns required a lot of maintenance and heavy machinery, which isn't always the case. He did say he wasn't advocating concrete, and then suggested that people might instead install a fruit cage, or a pond, or a shrub border. He didn't explain how you get maintenance-free ponds or fruit bushes, or how you even walk across the garden if it's packed with features like that. And isn't the point of a shrub border that it usually goes round the edge of ... a lawn? You can't pack your room wall-to-wall with furniture, or your garden fence-to-fence with busy features that you can't get past. Threre's got  to be some open ground, and grass is what will tend to grow there.

I don't think he's thought it through. He was either being provocative or lazy in his ideas.

No apples and few crab apples.... :(

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 09:49

I'm sure that's right. Some of our apples are cropping well but some are not. We have almost no pears, no quinces at all (despite copious blossom) and very few pears. At certain times this spring there were simply not enough insects flying to do the pollinating. Bees, for instance, won't fly when it's too cold, or wet or windy, which was the case for several weeks at a time. They are out and about now but it's too late for the tree fruits.

Invasive plants to avoid

Posted: 01/08/2012 at 15:12

Don't plant a Pernettya. Not if you don't want to find it straying around putting up prickly suckers all over your border or bed, regardless of anything else that may be growing there. Not if you don't want to spend ages trying to pull out bucketfuls of the pesky roots and suckers, and ferrying the whole lot to the Council tip.

And if you really, really do want some, come round to our place and I'll pull up a bit for you. We still have lots to spare!

And Vinca Major (periwinkle) is another thug to avoid.

tomatoes

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 18:37

Spraying against blight: you can use either Bordeaux Mixture (but not for much longer) or Dithane. BM clings to the leaves quite well even after rain. If you see the first signs of tomato blight, pick off the affected leaves and spray the rest - there's a good chance you'll slow down the blight enough to save your crop.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

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Searching the site?

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Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
12 threads returned