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Latest posts by greenjude

preserving tomatoes

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 21:27

Hi folks

I have lots of lovely tomatoes that I want to dry. I'm going to rely on the oven rather than the sun. Does anyone have any tips on storage and how long will they keep? I know I can freeze toms but the flavour is never as good, and I love the intense tomato-y taste of them fried on toast. I don't want  to make pickles, chutneys and the like.


Posted: 17/07/2015 at 13:10

I slice and blanche 1 minute in the microwave, then let them cool and dry on the grill pan mesh thingy (can't remember its name!). Then I bag and freeze them. They keep their texture and flavour better with blanching.

re-using compost in containers

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 17:05

Which?Gardening did a trial about 2 years ago and found it ok to re-use. They just fluffed it up and added slow-release fertiliser. I've been doing it for years and I've never had a problem. Do look out for pests like vine weevil though.

Bush Identification and advice...

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 01:04

Could it be a Griselinia? hey're often used for hedging in coastal areas.

Plant id please

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 00:45

I agree - Jasminum beesianum. I have one ramping over my wall and now it's beating at the window. It can be a bit of a thug so I let it flower as Tetley suggests, then I give it a hefty trim. Sometimes it has a second flowering.

Last winter it got burned and looked tatty by spring so I trimmed it in April. It still flowered, later that usual in July.

Will my pelargoniums be OK?

Posted: 23/01/2015 at 20:50

You can start to water them if they're limp, but otherwise, leave them in the garage, cool and dry, for another month, unless you can give them really good light. Water if they're very limp but just enough to keep them going. If they've lived this far, they should certainly survive. You can replant and they'll grow in the barrel this year, but if they start to look drawn and leggy it would be better to cut them back to make them bushier. You could then use the prunings to take cuttings. Win win!

They're semi-succulent so they like it cool and dry over winter. If they're damp and shady, they get very leggy. Usually, indoor light isn't good enough so you'd be better to keep them dormant until light levels and temperatures improve.

Hope this helps!

Friend or foe

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 01:50

I cut the bottom off plastic 2litre bottles and slot them over the poles of the feeders. You may have to cut up the side too, to get it to fit. Then you need two overlapping, with the splits offset. The rats can't bypass the bottles so can't get up the poles. Looks a bit weird but it works.

Tomato gro-bag compost

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 11:57

Hi Ann. What a bad year for you! Still, one tiny ray of sunshine is that the compost is perfectly safe to add to your bins. You could even use it to pot other things in. The blight spores won't survive. New ones will arrive next year, of course, but we may not have the conditions for it to infect our plants then. They need a Smith Period, which is 48 hours of minimum temperature of 10C and very high humidity, about 90%, to germinate. We had this in August here in Kent, and my outdoor toms got it.

I've found that if you keep an eye on your plants and promptly cut out any leaves or stems showing symptoms, you can delay the damage and get a crop.

Help ID my plant please???

Posted: 22/04/2014 at 10:57

It looks like a Sorbaria to me. If so, it's tough and will grow more or less anywhere, but may sucker. I have S. sorbifolia 'SEM' in a pot though my neighbour has it in the ground where there's lots of competition. It's suckering gently.

plants and container for small rockery

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 01:41

If you're anywhere near Rainham in Kent, the Apline Garden Society is holding its spring show at Rainham Girls' School on Saturday (22nd). Lots of inspiring exhibits and some great nurseries.

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