Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Strawberry moths

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 19:45

Ah yes, the main damage to strawberries is done by the gardener in search of a snack!

Strawberry moths

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 17:52

Oooh, that's interesting, thank you!  Definitely not the second one, but could be the first, and rocket is a brassica.. What's more,  I now find that there are hundreds of them in various places -  on gooseberry bushes,  beans, and on the lawn.  They have just appeared in the last day or two. They are very like the moths that chewed up our lawn last summer, but I don't know which plants they're actually looking for. It's all very odd, but I no longer think there's any risk to the strawberries (except from birds, mice and slugs!).

Help needed with my tomato plants

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 16:59

I think you could get three to a grobag if you use pots as well. You can cut the base out of the pot and sink it into a cutout circle in the bag, so the plants can get their roots down into the bag. To get the water directly to the roots, take a large lemonade bottle, cut the base off, and push the neck of the bottle (without the top) into the grobag. Then you can use this as a funnel to keep the compost moist.

Strawberry moths

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 16:53

The moths are bigger than what I would recognise as white fly, they're about half the size of a household clothes moth. The moths also seem to be inhabiting the adjoining row of rocket, so I am not even sure now that they are specifically a strawberry pest. The plants are out of doors.

Strawberry moths

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 15:19

I have what looks like a bumper crop of strawberries starting to ripen, but have noticed some tiny, whitish moths around the plants. Will these lay eggs/larvae that will destroy my crop? Is there anything I can do to deter them?

Help needed with my tomato plants

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 13:41

There are two types of tomato plants, cordon (indeterminate) and bush (determinate).  Each variety belongs to one or other of those groups, e.g.. Gardeners' Delight is a cordon, Tumbler is a bush. 


Cordon tomatoes are best grown upright,supported with canes. To keep them in trim, you pluck out side shoots as they develop. Bush tomatoes just creep or tumble on the ground or in baskets or beds, and don't need to be nipped out.


Later in the season, it makes sense to stop the. plants by nipping out the leading shoots, so that the plant doesn't waste energy producing fruit that will never ripen. Cordons should be stopped once about 4 or 5 trusses of fruit have appeared.  I also stop my bush tomatoes in late summer or early autumn, otherwise they go on and on making marble-sized green tomatoes.


So you have to know which varieties you are growing, and whether they are cordon or bush types. If it's too late to identify them, you'll just have to do whatever seems easiest - you'll still get some tomatoes. If you know the names of the varieties, google them for details, to find out how best to grow them.

Tomato Feed

Posted: 03/06/2016 at 16:19

You'd need an awful lot of tomato plants to use even one pack of Chempack, it's very concentrated (and thus good value). I wouldn't try storing it for years unless I had a very dry place for it, as the preparation comes as crystals that you dissolve in water. If the packaging gets damp (I think it's usually cardboard) the crystals go all lumpy and sticky.


But the offer would be ideal for a group of gardeners or an allotment group to purchase in bulk.

Bee Hive

Posted: 29/05/2016 at 21:36

I still wouldn't want a nest in my shed. That one is still very small, and if you knock it out with a stick or a broom, the wasps will go elsewhere. It's true that early in the season they are carnivores, but later on they develop a taste for sugar, and that's when they become a bit of a nuisance and a danger, as they attack garden fruits on the bush or on the ground, and also pester anyone with sweet food or drinks in the garden.

Is it a good/bad idea to grow 2 different climbers on the same trellis??

Posted: 29/05/2016 at 21:26

It's the trellis that might come out worst. Montanas can be very vigorous and heavy after a few years. Passion flower is a bit less so, but still quite substantial. They don't flower until late than the clematis, so they coukd complement each other quite well, but your trellis needs to be very sturdy.

Cucumber plants yellow patches on leaves

Posted: 29/05/2016 at 21:19

In the past, mine have had a bit of what appears to be mosaic virus, but it hasn't affected fruit production. It takes a.lot to kill a courgette plant once it gets going.

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