Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

The free tomato seeds on the mag cover

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 12:58

I grew Maskotka last year, outdoors,  and they were very good. They are a bush, trailing type, producing cherry-type tomatoes with a good flavour.


Posted: 04/06/2012 at 10:18

I have some coriander plants that appeared as seedlings from last year's compost heap. I left them in place where possible, and now, like you, I have big tall plants with feathery leavesand flower-heads appearing. The leaves are stilll fine to use, but the tallest of the plants has just fallen over in the wind and the stem is partly snapped, so it will be returning to the compost heap soon. I suppose I should have dead-headed them. But thanks for the tip about freezing, Italophile, it's worth a try.

I am hoping that a couple of the plants will go to seed, because you can dry the seed and use it as a spice, like the seeds you buy, and also in the hope of sowing some of the seed for next year. I may even get some to germinate later in the summer, when I think they're less likely to bolt.

top 5

Posted: 03/06/2012 at 15:39

Hellebores, for lovely classy blooms in winter and spring.

Quince tree (proper quince, not the climbing Japanese quince) because it's one of the first to come into leaf and the last to drop its leaves. It's lovely when in blossom, and we even get a few quinces as a bonus.

Snakeshead fritillary - I mean, a check-patterned flower? Magic!

Lavender for instant aromatherapy.

Clematis of various sorts, for their profuse blossoms.

Ask me again tomorrow and I'd think of five more, no problem. And that's just the ornamentals, I could start all over again when it comes to vegetables and herbs.


Baby lettuce plants

Posted: 03/06/2012 at 15:29

Yes, I got a big bag of baby-leaf salad seeds from a 99p shop last year and grew some as baby leaves, but also planted some out to grow on into bigger plants. Give them a high-nitrogen feed when you plant them out, to encourage more leafy growth.


Posted: 03/06/2012 at 12:28

Hmm, I'm now beginning to wonder if mine have arrived and they're so small I can't find them ... must go and have a look around the letter-box or under the edge of the doormat and see if any mini-plants are lurking there!


Posted: 01/06/2012 at 09:18

Thanks for the update, Max. We may be away for a day or two so I will ask a neighbour to keep an eye out in case mine arrive in our absence.

Tomatoes And Herbs

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 09:49

Most herbs are not fussy about soil/compost, as they grow very well in the wild with no cossetting. Tomatoes wil be fine in multi-purpose, although they will need feeding eventually, especially if they're kept in pots, regardless of the compost you use.

broad beans

Posted: 30/05/2012 at 17:19

I've just pinched out the tops of some of mine. They are in full flower and the bottom flowers are just starting to wither. I did it now because I spotted the first blackfly on one of the plants. In the past I've done it like this and have had no problem with blackfly once they're pinched out. You can also eat the tops that you pinch out (assuming they're not covered in blackfly!), cooked lightly.

Talkback: Cleavers

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 10:30

A bit of research with the help pf Mr Google suggests that it's fine to put cleavers on the compost as long as you do it before it's set seed (around August).


Posted: 28/05/2012 at 18:18

I agree, it would be very helpful, as you don't want to have them left on the doorstep or in the shed for too long, if you happen to be away for a day or two. If you knew they were on the way you could make sure someone was looking out for them.

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