London (change)

Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Friend or Foe

Posted: 22/07/2014 at 10:49

I think it may be Cyperus Alternifolius (umbrella plant). It has appeared in my garden too - just one clump at firtst, which I didn't knowingly introduce. But this year I've noticed it starting to spread, with seedlings appearing here and there. 

I rather like it - it looks impressive in flower arrangements or just by itself, a few stalks in a vase. But I think it has big ambitions and I intend to keep an eye on it.

 

Salix Problem

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 16:29

They are probably the Great Willow Aphid, a particularly fat and ugly beast. I had them on a Kilmarnock willow a couple of years ago, and didn't notice them until the tree was full of wasps, which feed on aphids. I have to admit I sprayed the tree as it was getting to be a bit of a problem. Now that you've mentioned this I must go out and check my tree!

Carrots, hard in centre?

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 10:23

I think Autumn King may improve if you leave them a bit longer, but Nantes should be ok now.

Potato blight?

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 17:22

Winniecat, I'm also in the south-west and my Charlottes have bad blight. The tops have mostly died off, but the potatoes are fine. Charlotte tubers don't seem to be affected by blight, although they won't grow any more now. I try to remove the blighted tops to stop it spreading to my tomgatoes (OK so far....) but I'm leaving the spuds in the ground until I need them.

Advice on growing indoors herbs

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 22:53

With basil and chives, you can let them grow quite thickly, although 40 to a pot is rather a lot unless it's the Greek basil.

What have you learnt this year?

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 16:24

I say this every year but I never learn - four courgette plants are too many! And I will not kid myself that yellow courgettes are any less prolific than green ones.

New veg for raised bed

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 16:19

If youw sow some dwarf French beans you might get a small crop from them. Salads, rocket,  etc will all be fine.

I agree about the aspargus peas, I found them disappointing even though I like almost all veg. Mine were tough and tasteless and not evev very pretty.

Acer Palmatum

Posted: 26/06/2014 at 16:07

Too hot and too dry, perhaps? We nearly lost one last year when we didn't water it enough in hot weather. It dropped most of its leaves in the middle of the summer, but it seems to have recovered well. I think ours will need repotting eventually - every year the pots are more root-filled, so they dry out more quickly and suffer in the heat.

Is this the start of potato blight or just something of nothing?

Posted: 24/06/2014 at 10:47

Claire, your description sounds very like my potatoes. You're supposed to remove the blighted leaves and destroy them. I do find that with Charlotte, the potatoes themselves are unaffected even when the whole top.has died off, and they will stay fresh in the ground until you want them, although they won't grow any bigger.

But some other varieties of potato tuber seem to succumb to the blight, so maybe lift and store them, or eat them first?

Is this the start of potato blight or just something of nothing?

Posted: 23/06/2014 at 20:39

Bordeaux Mixture may help to prevent blight from spreading but it won't get rid of blight that's already there. I have a feeling it's another of those things that's due to be phased out but there may still be some in garden centres etc. 

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