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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie


Posted: 12/07/2012 at 13:52

Ahmadmirza: I really don't know about pruning the branches. I think you'd ned to cut off quite a lot to make the branch stronger, and you might just cut off the bits that were supposed to flower, and leave the bits that weren't. This is just a guess, I don't know. I don't think this year's  crop is going to put much strain on the branches!


Posted: 11/07/2012 at 15:45

The decorative ones (Japanese Quince, withe the pretty red flowers) are quite different from the true quinces. The fruits tend to stay rock-hard, and although you can grate them and attempt to make quice jelly from them, I never had much success with this. The sort that grow on a tree look a bit like pears and are quite different.

no apples!

Posted: 11/07/2012 at 15:18

Our two best-cropping apples trees, which are fairly early ones, are doing well, but those that blossomed a bit later have very little fruit. I think this is probalby because in March there was that lovely warm weather (remember it? Hot sun, trips to the beach...) and the bees were very active. But a few weeks later it was too cold and windy for the bees to get out much, and I think the later apples probably just didn't get pollinated.


Posted: 11/07/2012 at 15:14

We have a Vranja quince tree about the same age that behaves in a similar way - it blossoms profusely, but only has a few fruit. By last year we had maybe a dozen decent quinces, which was great, but that was out of hundreds of blossoms. This year I am not so hopeful of getting any fruit.

I think, as Leggi says, it's probably due to a lack of pollinators at a critical time. I've also noticed that the fruits our quince tree had were towards the top of the tree, which also suggests it's to do with pollenators.

We love our quince tree anyway, as it's an elegant tree, its leaves open early in the year, it's pretty in blossom, and it's one of the last to drop its leaves.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 09:38

This week's Radio Times has a letter making some of the above points. I'm sure it's not the only one RT has received on the subject. As you say, GGrandma, they do take notice of the number of complaints, so it all helps. The Beeb ought to be pleased really - it's quite a positive thing to have a programme so well liked that people get really upset when you take it off the schedule.

I've nothing against tennis - in fact I intend to watch the men's final this afternoon, but first I am heading for the garden as it is SUNNY!

Potato blight soil

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 13:54

I think it would be OK to use straight away with anything but tomatoes or potatoes. It's not too late for quick-growing salad crops, chard, late carrots, or even some dwarf French beans.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 11:03

One thing that I miss is that GW is topical and more or less in real time. This means they can refer to  things like exceptional weather (!!!) and advise us how to cope. By the time they're back again, my broad beans will have died from chocolate spot, my strawberries will have rotted, and my petunias will all be torn to shred by the gales and rain. I don't suppose GW could have prevented any of this this, but they might have been able to give some encouragement and useful tips as to how to limit the damage.

potatoes again

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 11:01

Don't worry about the lack of flowers. I grow Charlotte and sometimes they don't have many flowers. This year mine hardly have leaves either, but that's another matter .. You've done very well to get a crop in such an awful summer, so just pull out some Charlotte as you need them (they will stay fresher in the ground) amd eat them with a little butter and salt. Yum.


Posted: 05/07/2012 at 12:07

My plants have come at last (posted on 3 July). they are indeed extremely tiny, and will need some individual care before they're anywhere near ready to go out in the garden. The whole lot fitted into a pack the  size of a slim phone directory. Would I have ordered them if I'd known how small they'd be? Probably not, but I'll try to make something of them now they're here.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 09:24

When I sent my complaint to the BBC, I was assuming that (as they'd said) sport was the reason GW was taken off. But on the first GW-less Friday, BBC1 showed a compilation of outtakes from "Would I Lie to You?" and then an edition of "Have I Got Old News for You" (an out-of-date edition of a topical news show - what's the point in that?) So rather than fresh, original comedy, we had a whole hour of outtakes and repeats, which no one would have missed if GW or Wimbledon had been allowed to replace them.

And yes, there are (a few) other gardening programmes around on other channels. But GW does its best to engage our interest in various ongoing and topical projects (Monty's pond, etc) and then just when we want to know more, they suddenly vanish for a month. That just makes no sense.

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