Latest posts by paull2

Butternut squash

Posted: 23/10/2013 at 18:55

I always understood that you wait until all the plant has died off, leaving the squash plain to see. It won't grow anymore or ripen in colder weather. Make sure you give the growing fruit a 'dry bed' so it doesn't lie in mud and rot. I use folded cardboard rather than more traditional straw etc.

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.

Discussions started by paull2

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Mulberry wine recipe?

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Broad bean burn?

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

Blossom-end blues

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Fig crop drop

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Last Post: 29/08/2012 at 00:52

Sweet potato

grow from sprouting peel? 
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Last Post: 29/07/2012 at 12:44

Dragon fruit

Replies: 10    Views: 1415
Last Post: 26/07/2012 at 20:50

Tomatoes not setting fruit

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

Split stem courgettes

What causes split stems 
Replies: 0    Views: 1712
Last Post: 05/06/2012 at 09:38

Cherry picking problem

What's eating my cherry leaves? 
Replies: 3    Views: 1002
Last Post: 21/05/2012 at 12:19
13 threads returned