Latest posts by paull2

Too wet to plant fruit trees?

Posted: 01/01/2014 at 10:33

I've had problems in the past with planting in heavy clay. If the hole you dig retains water at the bottom then it may be wise (apart from relocating your hole) to dig a bigger/deeper one, back fill with broken bricks etc, then organic material before planting. Look for signs of poor growth/yellowing in the next few months after because you can save the tree for a better location before the wet conditions kill it entirely.

Identifying orchard tree varieties

Posted: 18/12/2013 at 11:48

I find this quite helpful:


Posted: 27/10/2013 at 13:52

Yes, the budding figs have no future and most will drop off over the next few months. Any left in the Spring, I pull off before the real crop begins to show.

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.

Discussions started by paull2

Little figs

Pruning solution? 
Replies: 4    Views: 452
Last Post: 10/10/2016 at 19:27

Cucumber wilting leaves

Replies: 2    Views: 793
Last Post: 02/06/2016 at 11:13

Chilli plants fruiting

Flowers and fruit before plant established? 
Replies: 1    Views: 506
Last Post: 28/05/2016 at 13:44

Mulberry wine recipe?

How to use the fruit 
Replies: 2    Views: 915
Last Post: 10/09/2014 at 19:07

Pear tree survival?

Trees return from the dead 
Replies: 2    Views: 877
Last Post: 23/08/2014 at 22:49

Broad bean burn?

Is burning part of a process? 
Replies: 5    Views: 3875
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 15:03

Blossom-end blues

End rot despite careful watering 
Replies: 3    Views: 924
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: 1191
Last Post: 11/07/2014 at 10:20

Fig crop drop

Figs dropping before ripening 
Replies: 6    Views: 1588
Last Post: 29/08/2012 at 00:52

Sweet potato

grow from sprouting peel? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1694
Last Post: 29/07/2012 at 12:44

Dragon fruit

Replies: 10    Views: 1928
Last Post: 26/07/2012 at 20:50

Tomatoes not setting fruit

Plenty of flowers but few fruit set 
Replies: 8    Views: 2283
Last Post: 05/07/2012 at 08:54

Split stem courgettes

What causes split stems 
Replies: 0    Views: 2219
Last Post: 05/06/2012 at 09:38

Cherry picking problem

What's eating my cherry leaves? 
Replies: 3    Views: 1348
Last Post: 21/05/2012 at 12:19
14 threads returned