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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

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. 

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

Posted: 23/06/2014 at 17:54

My potatoes have severe (and very early!) blight. Although it's been dry for a couple of weeks, we had frequent rain and mild temperatures for some weeks before this, and there's no stopping the blight now. My plants never even got as far as flowering.

Happily, the spuds themselves are not affected (I always grow Charlotte for this characteristic) but the yields will not be as good as it should.

Tomato thriving on neglect!

Posted: 19/06/2014 at 18:52

Just thought I'd share this with you: when I potted up my baby tomato plants, one of them snapped off near soil level. I pushed it down into the compost, but was running out of space in the mini-greenhouse, so I left the damaged one out on the ground in its pot. It's an outdoor variety (Maskotka) but this was only mid-April. 

I took good care of the other tomatoes, putting bubble-wrap around them on cold nights. At the end of May I planted them out in the bed, and noticed that the "runt" was still alive. So I found a spot for it in another corner of the garden, just to see if it would survive. And guess what? It's now the bushiest and greenest of all my tomato plants.

So maybe we don't need to mollycoddle our plants so much. This one has been injured, left for dead and exposed to the elements since April, and it's thriving!

Has anyone else had an experience like that? -not personally! (left for dead, etc) - but with a supposedly tender plant that turns out to be a toughie?

Gooseberries

Posted: 15/06/2014 at 15:52

I make gooseberry wine and blend it with elderflower wine. The gooseberry on its own is bit acidic, but it blends beautifully with the elderflower and makes a lovely wine.

courgette

Posted: 14/06/2014 at 16:55

I agree, that's what courgettes do when they're not pollinated. I see they're in pots - are they in a greenhouse? That would help to explain it. It's early in the season, so there's still time for them to come good. Hang in there but make sure they can be accessed by insects, or pollinate them manually.

Plumless plum tree

Posted: 10/06/2014 at 17:46

We have a plum tree that's about six years old and this is the first year there's been any sort of crop from it. I think you just have to be patient.

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