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Latest posts by Peta

8 returned

Talkback: Fig trees

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 14:25

I forgot to say - the reason I wanted the fig in a bag in the ground, rather than in a pot above ground, was because I'm not very good at remembering to water my plants.  At least in the ground it has a better chance of not drying out.

Talkback: Fig trees

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 08:50

So, having pruned my fig hard, I can now expect no figs this year!  At least I shall know why, thank you Dove! 

Incidentally, a couple of years ago, I planted my pot-grown fig sapling into the ground, in a special root control bag which I bought from the catalogue of a prominent fruit grower beginning with P (I don't know if I can mention their name here).  The bag restricts the growth, which is just as well, as the fig's planted against a sheltered south-west facing fence,so would romp away given half the chance.  Much easier to dig a hole for a bag, rather than manhandling slabs of concrete, etc.  Generally, the fig fruits well, but possibly not this year!

New Garden!

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 08:16

Do you have to replace the buddleias?  Do you know what colour they are yet?  I think I'd be inclined to prune hard the moment you move in (it's better to prune end Feb/March), let the bees enjoy the flowers this summer, and then make a decision about removal.  It sounds as though you have plenty of space to plant another one elsewhere, if you want to.  Anyway, you'll have enough to do with all the other gardening jobs on top of settling in to your new home, without digging up two budleias as well!  Pruning is easier.

Your excitement about your new garden is almost tangible!  Looking forward to reading more in April.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:20

I've just come across this thread, and have really enjoyed reading all your comments.  Just before I went off on holiday a couple of weeks ago, I was doing a final hasty weed in the veg patch and noticed some tomato seedlings there.  The seeds must have been in my home-grown compost.  So I left them, and now they're about 20" (50cm) high, with one truss of flowers on each of them.  All by themselves!  I haven't bothered watering them, even though they're in a hot south-facing garden, because they look absolutely fine and healthy, but I have noticed that if the hose does catch them they immediately keel over at soil level, so whoever advised planting them deep - thank you.  I'll  'earth them up' this morning to make the stems stronger.

Feeding blackbirds

Posted: 14/01/2013 at 07:50

Thank you all so much for your responses.  I know the pigeons need to eat too, Heliotrope, but they do seem to hoover up anything and everything.  Perhaps the most helpful suggestion comes from Flower Lady - I wonder where you got your food tray?  And I had to laugh at Nutcutlet's idea; I must admit that those fat breasts look mouthwatering!

Feeding blackbirds

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 10:17

Does anyone have any bright ideas about how I can make sure that those huge fat pigeons can't get at the fried bread and seed I put out for blackbirds and other small birds which don't use hanging feeders?

New Home -Blank plot

Posted: 20/10/2012 at 08:26

How exciting - a blank canvas!  Mine had to be cleared of leylandii, elderly shrubs, and undergrowth first before I could assess the space.  Then I used a large notebook/ringbinder to record thoughts, ideas, and photos. 

First, I discussed with my husband what we wanted the garden for.  He said he wanted somewhere nice to sit and vistas to view (! our garden is very small!).  I wanted to be able to pick my own fruit and vegetables, and have colourful climbers on the walls and fences, amongst lots of other things.  What do you want to DO in the garden when you're not actually gardening?

I think that Autumns and Winters are actually the best time to prepare the 'bones' of the garden, with shrubs and trees and any hard landscaping.  And besides the bulbs for Springtime, perhaps you could put in some instant colour with pansies and primulas, for example.  Find ways of stocking the garden without spending a fortune.  Don't forget to keep a record with regular photos.  I agree with Hollie-Hock; It's a long-term project, can't realistically be done in one year, if ever, and I have learnt to be much more patient!  Just enjoy all the processes, including just looking at it.

A book I found very helpful was 'Creating Your First Garden' by Paul Thompson.  He also calls it 'Virgin Gardener'.

Freezing veg

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 08:35

Runner beans are so easy.  Slice them thinly on the diagonal, as you would to prepare them to cook straight away, and place them on a plastic tray (I use lids of plastic food storage boxes) in a thin layer.  Carefully put them in the coldest part of the freezer, to freeze as quickly as possible, and after a few hours take them out and tip into freezer bags.  Because they've frozen in a single layer they remain separate, so you can pour out just as much as you need for each meal, just like supermarket veg.  You can freeze prepared beans every few days and just add them to the one freezer bag.  I've also used this method for blackberries and raspberries - I think you may run into problems with watery fruit and veg such as courgettes, and it's better to keep prepared pieces small so that they freeze more quickly.  I've never bothered with blanching, or sucking air out of the bag (although I do squeeze out as much as I can), and the food always tastes as good as the day it was frozen.  Try it!

8 returned

Discussions started by Peta

Feeding blackbirds

Keeping the pigeons off! 
Replies: 12    Views: 1073
Last Post: 21/01/2013 at 09:44
1 returned