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Latest posts by paull2

Conference pears

Posted: 23/10/2013 at 18:47

As has been said, they are ready to pick when they come away when you lift them with a slight twist. If you have to pull, then it's too soon. In any case they will be rock hard, which is the way my wife likes to eat them but I don't. I put them in a bowl on a windowledge for a week or two to soften slightly.

Quince Tree

Posted: 23/10/2013 at 18:41

I have a Vranja in my orchard which is about 10 years old and 25 ft high. It's in heavy clay and a sheltered spot, and produces a modest but not bountiful crop of around 40-50 fruits each year. It gets some shade from nearby hawthorns. I have pruned it once to try to improve the shape because it's a vigorous grower. Nice pink flowers in May.

Fallen Apples - Dig In or Compost ?

Posted: 23/10/2013 at 18:30

Even if you make cider, as I do, there will always be rotten windfalls. If the fallen fruit is an eyesore for you, compost by all means.  Although left to rot, the apples provide a useful source of food for birds and other wildlife during the winter. One year, I read somewhere that leaving fallen apples where they drop sends some kind of message to the tree not to produce as much fruit the following year. Probably nonsense. Anyway, so I collected the unwanteds in a large pile (I had seven standard trees) to rot but that attracted rats from far and wide.

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 29/09/2013 at 17:41

Mixed bag this year. Marmande toms always deliver and will grow a few next season mainly outside. Tried Harbinger under glass this year but unimpressed with taste, also Yellow Brandywine which ARE tastey but have never produced a decent crop for me. Love 'black' varieties  and grew Carbon again  and continue to be impressed. Good few mediocre croppings in containers, esp Numex chilli, which I blame on cheap compost error (I will splash out next time). Outside, a dwarf variety of Borlotti beans my biggest waste of time/effort, and don't really know why. Annoying!

Tasty and unusual fruit

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 12:31

Like LilyL, I grow Cape Gooseberry plants in containers every year. They grow (too)rapidly in a GH, so I just have a couple outside in a sunny sheltered spot. Leave until just before first frosts in Oct or so for harvesting the sweet spicey fruits.

Also I have three small Dragon Fruit ( plants on the go (from seed) indoors and will be delighted just to get a flower.

Current challenge is Karela ( which I can't yet get to germinate but will try this year. Have also failed to date with Persimon despite chilling the seeds for a few months. Any ideas?


Posted: 03/01/2013 at 11:59

Many thanks Bob.


Posted: 02/01/2013 at 19:17

I grew a hanging variety from seed last summer, and the plants grew and fruited quite well considering. I'm not sure how best to look after them in Spring. Do I break them up from the baskets and 'repot' in fresh compost or perhaps leave them in peace and ( liquid) feed them well when they flower?

James Grieve apple

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 10:38

I have had a similar problem with a Greensleeves variety which seems barely to have stayed alive this year since planting about 12 months ago. I think it's a drainage issue in my case... clay soil, wet Spring, slow drainage. I dug its hole well on a slight slope and added plenty of compost and bonemeal. I'm now considering digging it up, redigging the hole extensively with broken bricks etc too.

Something has taken all my apples !

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 19:50

Boule, yes squirrels are a damn nuisance and , officially, a pest. It is illegal to catch and release elsewhere so they should be destroyed humanely. But for pity's sake, try not to tell the world how you would dispose of them. One chap a few months ago was prosecuted for doing what you advocate. You are supposed to release the beast into a sack then club it on the head, officially. So be more careful or you will attract a passionate reaction from some posters here.


Posted: 26/08/2012 at 20:52

Flo, I always understood that the best pollinator for Comice is in fact Concorde. I have both but the Comice still remains a bit of a failure each year with only a couple of pears. I think it doesn't like my sticky clay soil and would much rather have a chalky or sandy bed for its roots.

Regarding gages, yes they are a great fruit with rich spicy aroma. Better than the best of plums, so it surprises me that I've never planted one or two of my own. My mother-in-law's Old English variety is lovely but I can't say which is the frontrunner for flavour, hardiness, reliability etc.

Discussions started by paull2

Pear tree survival?

Trees return from the dead 
Replies: 1    Views: 35
Last Post: Today at 17:45

Broad bean burn?

Is burning part of a process? 
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Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 15:03

Blossom-end blues

End rot despite careful watering 
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Last Post: 24/07/2014 at 17:41

Filling in lawn centre-piece

How to fill-in area and restore to lawn 
Replies: 4    Views: 156
Last Post: 11/07/2014 at 10:20

Fig crop drop

Figs dropping before ripening 
Replies: 6    Views: 711
Last Post: 29/08/2012 at 00:52

Sweet potato

grow from sprouting peel? 
Replies: 4    Views: 681
Last Post: 29/07/2012 at 12:44

Dragon fruit

Replies: 10    Views: 752
Last Post: 26/07/2012 at 20:50

Tomatoes not setting fruit

Plenty of flowers but few fruit set 
Replies: 8    Views: 895
Last Post: 05/07/2012 at 08:54

Split stem courgettes

What causes split stems 
Replies: 0    Views: 814
Last Post: 05/06/2012 at 09:38

Cherry picking problem

What's eating my cherry leaves? 
Replies: 3    Views: 527
Last Post: 21/05/2012 at 12:19
10 threads returned