John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding

When is the last time to sow tomato seeds

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 12:16

I have just bought a new variety of super sweet cherry toms seed called sweet aperitif.  I sowed the seed on Saturday last. Saw them advertised in last Sunday week's Times and thought I'd give them a try. Said to be the world's sweetest tomato - time will tell but I have sown seed as late as May before now and it's surprising how quickly they catch up. Sweet Aperitif are supposed to be OK for outdoors as well as in the Greenhouse. (I'll try both & see how they do). John H 

Repotted cucumbers looking limp

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 12:05

Keep it in a light & warm place but not in direct sunlight until the root system has recovered. If it's in direct sun the transpiration will suck out more moisture than the roots can replace hence they tend to flop. I had the same with some Lollo Rossa lettuces yesterday: pricked them out and watered them, then got distracted and left them in a sunny spot for a couple of hours. They looked very sorry for themselves, put them down in a shady spot and an hour or so later they had picked up ok.


Posted: 11/04/2014 at 22:05

I grew lupins from seed last year and they were quite successful. This is their second year and they are growing very well. OK, it hasn't been very cold this past winter though the rain was as bad as its been everywhere else, save that we are quite high up in East Bristol so we didn't get floods. Have added a pic of our lupins as they were at 7.30 this evening. They haven't suffered and slug or snail damage as yet so are looking pretty healthy: having said that though I shall now need to make up some garlic water to deter them




Posted: 11/04/2014 at 18:53
KEF wrote (see)

John lovely garden. Is that a potato barrel I spot ?


Yes, it's one of 5 potato barrels I'm using this year, 2 planted with 3 Vales Emerald in each, 2 planted with 3 Swift in each and 1 planted with 3 Duke of York.



Posted: 11/04/2014 at 14:36

Have been out in the garden & pottering in the GH today - lovely sunny day here in Bristol. The blossom is over on the Peach & Apricot trees but now the Conference Pear & Cherry are in full bloom (Pics added below).

Have bought some netting for the Brassicas this year as they were decimated by Cabbage White caterpillars last year despite hand picking religiously (I don't want to use chemicals so netting has to be the answer). I set Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Hispi Cabbage and Borecole in their allocated bed this morning, went and sat down for a salad lunch at 12.30 and 2 Cabbage White butterflies flitted across the lawn - they're about early this year! - so the netting went up straight after lunch. For Interest the netting & Frame (approx 1.4 metres square) was from Knowle Nets in Dorset and cost was £72.00 inc Vat & delivery.

See pics below





 Last pic is a Japanese Maple 'Purpurea' we bought a few years ago from a Daily Telegraph offer. It's the best its ever been this year.

Crane fly larvae

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 21:50

Hi GA, I'm in Bristol too (in Mangotsfield) but haven't noticed any as yet. Otherwise known as leatherjackets they can cause a lot of damage to root systems especially in lawns where they eat the roots and the grass turns yellow & dies in patches. Best and most effective treatment is nematodes. Crows and Magpies will often dig them out but though we have an abundance of Magpies in Mangotsfield they will not eradicate them where there is a bad infestation.


Posted: 07/04/2014 at 21:47

If you can't take a photo try describing them in more detail. i.e. a vine weevil grub is sickle shaped, about 12-16 mm long with an orange coloured head. These will devastate plants by consuming the roots below ground while the adult weevils spend their time playing 'dead' if you are around & looking for them - or nibbling holes in the edges of leaves above ground + laying eggs for the next generation. Best treatment (& only effective one so far as I'm concerned for these 'orrible little critters) is Nemasys (Nematodes) - expensive but extremely effective & available from several sources including Amazon.

Pinching Tomatoes

Posted: 07/04/2014 at 21:38

I was taught to stop the plant (pinch out the main growing tip) after 4 trusses had set but have to admit I've always let them go on for 5 or 6 trusses. Don't start feeding the plant until the first truss has set fruit or you will just get masses of foliage & no fruit. I do tend to remove all the leaves to just above the first truss once it has set fruit as well so that the plants energy is concentrated on the tomatoes rather than leaf production.

Camera Corner

Posted: 05/04/2014 at 13:23

Ah! I thought I had said - I had a replacement knee on 31st Dec. and have been recuperating. Doing all the exersizes and a whole lot of walking. All has been very beneficial & I managed to plant 4 new fruit trees a couple of weeks ago. Greenhouse is now full of new seedlings etc and you can see some of the brassicas hardening off on the little shelf on the pergola. JH

Camera Corner

Posted: 05/04/2014 at 12:40

I thought it was about time I took a few more pics so have just been out in the garden before I shoot off to Warwick for a concert this evening. Taken in a bit of a hurry but I hope you enjoy them.

A couple of weeks ago I bought 4 new small-ish fruit trees. A Quince that I have planted in front of the pergola; a Conference Pear, a Peach and an Apricot against the fence (left to right). The Pear has just come into blossom so have added that on its own. Then the Cherry which is just beginning to come into blossom and below that is an Erysimum - (if they all upload OK of course)





 John H

PS, the fence faces due south so they will get plenty of sun (if we get a summer!)

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