Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Blight resistant tomatoes

Posted: 02/07/2016 at 17:05

Sorry to hear of your lost tomatoes, Dove. It's been a blighty and mouldy sort of summer so far, with constant dampness over everything. "Do not water from above" say some books. Ha! Has anyone told God?

My Sungold are fine so far, and the other variety I grow, Losetto, is blight resistant. I have never had much trouble with blight on Sungold, although I do give a pre-emptive spray now and then.  We will be interested to hear how your Crimson Crush tomatoes turn out for yield and flavour.

My garlic is all going yellow and mouldy, and the shallots have simply failed to thrive. My rasps have also failed, with most of the canes dying, and the roots all black and brittle.  The strawberries  have a lot of mould, but a great crop nevertheless. Being only a few metres from a beehive has probably helped!  Broad beans have some chocolate spot but are still cropping well.  Mangetout are fantastic this year - a huge crop with no disease.

Win some, lose some ....   Now, how shall we have our strawberries tonight?

Cooking with Rhubarb

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 22:26

I made a lovely rhubarb and strawberry crumble. Can't find the recipe now, but you could adapt any crumble recipe. Mine had walnuts and orange rind in the crumble mix. The strawberries were frozen ones left from last year (frozen ones aren't much use for anything else) but it worked well - a bit like having rhubarb crumble with a big spoonful of strawberry jam in it.

I've also made some strawberry, rhubarb and ginger jam. Oh, and rhubarb wine, which is OK, comes out nice and clear, but always tastes a bit ...well, rhubarby.

Aspirin for Tomatoes

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 20:42

I think "dispersible" is just a more precise way of describing what we refer to as "soluble" aspirin. I have used them in a sprayer without problems.


Posted: 16/06/2016 at 16:02

When buying from a shop, avoid Spanish strawberries and look for English ones now.  If you'll  can, have a sniff at them. The good ones wll have a strong strawberry fragrance.

We have a colossal crop in the garden this year. We've eaten them  every day for a fortnight now, made some jam and given away several pounds. I am getting a teeny bit tired of strawberries now!  We now have a beehive only a few yards from the strawberry patch, which may account for the good pollination.

Carrot Issues

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 16:24

I've tried several and they've all been much tastier than shop-bought carrots. I think growing them in good soil and eating them fresh makes any variety taste pretty good.

Long rooted ones are tricky to get out of the ground in one piece. Stump- rooted varieties are more manageable, and less likely to fork, although you're still bound to end up with some comical specimens.  

You can get various coloured carrots now, but I don't find the flavour as good as the orange ones.

The main thing is to keep the carrot fly off them, by using fleece or other barriers.

Carrot Issues

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 09:09

Wow, very impressive system. That's one thing I love about allotments, seeing all the ingenious uses that people find for simple materials.

Moth Alert - watch your cabbages

Posted: 15/06/2016 at 09:02

Good phot, yarrow2. That looks a lot like the moths I've seen - smaller and narrower than a clothes moth.

Moth Alert - watch your cabbages

Posted: 14/06/2016 at 16:50

Last week I noticed crowds of moths that I thought were infesting my strawberries, only to realise that they were even more numerous on the adjoining row of rocket (which is a brassica). Another member suggested that they might be this pest,  and now it seems likely that they are. They had just spilled over into the strawberries, and other crops too, in their hundreds.

They are not so noticeable now, but I won't be surprised if I find the rocket munched to shreds soon. I don't bother with other brassicas - they just have too many pests!

Carrot Issues

Posted: 13/06/2016 at 23:04

Yes, those carrots in the photo look just like the thinnings I am taking out now. They haven't had  long enough in the ground, that's all. They should come good, although they don't like being moved. A later sowing should get away more quickly now.

Whitefly/Rocket Lettuce

Posted: 10/06/2016 at 22:51

I now seem to have posted two versions of my reply. How do I delete the first one? I think we could do this on the old forum, but this new version is still much less user-friendly.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Strawberry moths

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Tomato thriving on neglect!

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Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

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Lobelia for wedding at end of May

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Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

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Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

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Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25
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