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13 Jan 2018 16:38
Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions :)
12 Jan 2018 09:32
08 Jan 2018 12:07
I have planted Comfrey Bocking 14 in various spots around my garden, including the front bank of the house. Now that it has all died back for winter, it is looking somewhat bare and unattractive. I was wondering if it would it be possible to plant bulbs or something similar around the Comfrey that would give some ground cover and interest at this time of year. I was thinking possibly snowdrops or maybe primroses. I live in the countryside so would prefer something in-keeping and not too fancy and would love something that could have a use.
Any ideas would be gratefully received.
Many thanks :)
10 Dec 2017 16:51
Thanks for the reply Philippa. We do eat a lot of strawberries! Well, a lot of berries in general actually :)
Getting out there to remove dead leaves etc. is no problem. But aside form that you'd leave the healthy leaves alone and not give them a thorough haircut?
The plants were bought as plugs last spring. They were grown in pots last year because the area was still being developed and prepared. We do hope to grow new plants from runners but felt it would have been too soon this year. Perhaps we'll aim to do that next year then.
As an aside, when we do do that is it ok to grow the new plants in the same area or is it best to practice crop rotation with strawberries?
08 Dec 2017 17:48
I've been reading about this and finding mixed opinions, so I thought I'd post here to get some more opinions and find a consensus :)
Some say strawberry plants can just be left to their own devices. Others say you should just remove any dead, dying and diseased leaves. Others still say to give the plants a massive haircut, taking them down to three inches above soil level.
I've gone for the first of those but more because I have not got round to dealing with them! What do others think I should do? Pic below...
07 Nov 2017 17:09
That's good to hear. I looked on line a few days ago and found a fair few diseases the symptoms of which were yellowing leaves. But then it is autumn, and that's what happens this time of year. So I was left feeling unsure.
Thanks for the reply.
Last edited: 07 November 2017 17:11:22
06 Nov 2017 21:37
Now I must apologise in advance if this is just normal autumnal behaviour!
...but it looked a little strange to me. My summer raspberry plant leaves have been turning a pale yellow and some have brown crispy patches. These photos were taken a week ago (I was supposed to do a post then, but life got in the way!). Does it look like a problem and if so any ideas what it might be? I've taken a photo of some canes as well
18 Oct 2017 17:31
I've just recently come back from a week away... I've got 8 - 10 spaghetti squashes in the garden. The plants have pretty much gone completely now, but the squashes are still on the vine. I noticed this morning that a couple of them were lighter coloured at the stem end, and upon looking further and giving them a prod I found that they are rotting and have gone soft where it is lighter coloured.
Does anyone know why this is happening and what I can do to prevent it happening with the other squashes? I've also got some butternuts and uchiki kuris and want to make sure they'll be ok if possible. Some will need to be stored long term over winter...
03 Oct 2017 09:49
Back again with another question about my veg! :) This time it's the kale and sprouting broccoli...
The plants are rather large and on the whole looking quite healthy. However, for a while now the bottom leaves on many of the plants have been turning yellow and falling off. I've already removed and composted a fair few over the past month or three, so the photos taken this morning only show a small amount of the problem. Does anyone know whether it is a problem, why it is happening, and what can be done to help?
Also, when and how should I be harvesting and using the kale? The SB I know I need to wait until next year for harvesting, but is there anything else I should be doing to that to help it on its way?
We have some growing in pots, and some growing in a bed. It's a bit overcrowded in the bed! I did following instructions in terms of spacing, but they have got so large it would seem the suggested spacings were perhaps on the stingy side.
Photos below. Many thanks for any thoughts or comments.
Last edited: 03 October 2017 09:52:38
20 Sep 2017 16:32
Thanks for the quick reply. Maybe mine was a bit on the strong side then... Eek!
One thing I forgot to ask in the first post... Once you've got the colour/mix right, how much should you then give each plant? Would appreciate any thoughts on that please.
Last edited: 20 September 2017 16:32:29
20 Sep 2017 15:44
I've made a few comfrey posts this year, but this is definitely my happiest :) I've just decanted my first brew. I didn't expect to have all that much, but I got 5 litres! And that's pure unadulterated undiluted black nectar. Plus, the 5 litres I've got is AFTER having fed everything that needed it.
So it will definitely see me well into next year. But what I wondered is whether it stores ok? Will it still be usable and in the same condition by next spring? Fingers crossed!
My other question is in how to use it properly. I was guestimating how much to put in each watering can load and just going by the resulting colour, which was about the colour of a cup of strong green tea. I'd say about 100ml per 7 litre watering can. Was I in the right ballpark, and if not what should I be aiming for please?
17 Sep 2017 21:31
I've recently been working on creating a path. Pics are much easier than trying to explain it!
From the top:
From the bottom:
I want to plant a variety of ground cover type plants in the soil strip. My check list in no particular order is:
- I'd like all the plants to be useful. Edible preferably, but if not I'd like them to at least have some benefit to the garden other than looking pretty!
- I think having some of the plants hang over the wall would look nice, but not too far - I want to be able to walk on the path!
- Nothing that gets too tall.
- Something that can stand a bit of mowing and will "blend" with the lawn. One of the reasons I did not want the lawn all the way up to the "wall"was because the bank slopes which would make mowing difficult. And I didn't want to damage the wood with the mower. However, when mowing the lawn I don't want to have to be too careful where the lawn meets the plants. Haven't got time for that!
I've got some creeping thyme to put in but other than that I'm short on ideas.
Any thoughts most appreciated.
12 Sep 2017 12:53
Oh dear, I thought I had responded back to this thread but upon checking that doesn't seem to be the case!
Firstly, thanks for such helpful replies and info. HiHat – very nice to hear from you on the forum :)
To answer a few points raised… In spite of appearances, I didn’t actually remove any flowers. There are a fair few, but some are quite droopy and therefore not readily obvious in the photos. In terms of spacing, I opted for the “minimum requirement” of 2 foot or so between plants. I know they look a bit closer, but I think that’s just testament to their growth rate and the enormous leaves they have put out.
It might sound silly, but I don’t think I could bear to dig one up and see what the roots look like. Not that I’d be able to tell even if I did! But nice idea and thanks for the kind offer of a calamity rescue plan :)
Villaverde123 – my garden is small, and by the time I had learnt of the wonders of comfrey pretty much every available planting spot was taken up. So I dug op the grass/weed bank at the front of the house and put most of the plants in there. That’s what you can see in the first photo. It’s a north facing bank, and – as you can just about see – there is some oleaster growing above it; and above that an old hawthorn. So it’s north facing AND shady and has still grown really well. I'm no expert but I’d say go for it (base din my experience this year). Oh, and although mine is by the roadside, with live in a very quiet village with little passing traffic.
Fidgetbones – interesting that you say flowerless as my comfrey definitely has flowers…
I'm left with one uncertainty… As autumn kicks in, what do you do with comfrey? Just let it die down naturally? Remove and put it on the compost? Or harvest it as it starts dying down and use it for feed/mulch, etc?
12 Sep 2017 12:25
Thanks for the helpful replies. Glad (and yet sorry at the same time) to hear that others are having this happen to their squash/pumpkins as well as me.
Someone else mentioned that it might be due to the fruit's not being pollinated, and recommended hand pollination as a solution. That hadn't occurred to me, but now that I think of it, I remember the same being true of courgettes when I looked into it a year or two ago (because the end of my courgettes were rotting).
But one thing I should add is that we have had some larger fruits do this as well, ones that are around the size of a mango. So it's not just the tiddlers.
05 Sep 2017 18:36
Sorry to be back so soon with another "what the heck is going on" type post!
This time it's about some of my small uchiki kuri squashes. The good news is that some of them have made it to a decent size and are maturing nicely. But some of the small baby ones and adolescents start by getting small brown patches like this:
And end up going fully brown and soft like this:
This isn't just now; it's been happening for the last few weeks.
Does anyone know what might be the problem and what I can do to prevent it? If not this season, would at least be good to know for future reference.
Many thanks as always
03 Sep 2017 18:28
The curry came out great! So thanks again for them links. My partner (the main cook of the house) was also impressed with the website :)
And thanks also for the "tap it" advice. It did indeed sound hollow so I went ahead and peeled it. I was frying it for the curry... Perhaps if I were roasting I would have tried leaving the skins on. We did a few winter squashes like that last year and the skins were lovely.
30 Aug 2017 18:00
Many thanks - much appreciated.
I've found a curry recipe from that first link which I'll be doing. The recipe calls for the squash to be peeled. Where possible, I prefer not to peel things as there are usually many of a fruit's/vegetable's nutrients in the skin and just below the surface. But it needs to be edible at the same time!!! With the squashes being passed the small and tender stage, will the skins be too tough and should I remove them? Any thoughts from anyone here to a kitchen novice? :)
30 Aug 2017 14:25
I have a couple of squashes which I bought at the roadside. I think they might be either pattypan or star squashes, although perhaps they are a bit on the large size to be either of those? Here's some pics to help identify...
My partner is working today and I'm having a day off gardening on account of the rain. So I'm going to venture to that place I don't often go... THE KITCHEN... and try to cook something nice with them. So I wondered if anyone has any tried and tested tasty recipes to share. We are both vegan, so they'd need to be vegan recipes or at least easily adapted to a vegan recipe.
20 Aug 2017 16:39
OK, thanks :)
RE the brown pips = ripe advice, is that true of ALL apples? I've been wondering if the apples on the trees in my garden are ripe yet. I ate a discovery yesterday and from what I remember the pips were more a creamy white colour. Wasn't sure if that is just the case with certain varieties though.
20 Aug 2017 15:38
Thanks fidgetbones. That's exactly what I've read too, with the exception of in the first year when they should be left to establish and build good root systems. But perhaps they've done that already and are therefore prime for a harvest :)