Latest posts by Robot

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Posted: 20/08/2012 at 10:06

We've had a Humming Bird Hawk Moth come by every day and I've finally managed a couple of photos.  Not brilliant but they don't stay still long enough to catch them....




August in your garden...

Posted: 14/08/2012 at 20:45

I dare not post photos.  Not had rain for ages.  Grass has mostly died - that's not a bad thing, no cutting - but plants getting very crisp and dry.  Lost some to the drought.  Rainwater supply just about gone for the veggies.  Trying to keep the bog plants going is a nightmare.  Up goes the water bill.....    Too hot to be outside working in the garden anyway so it's feet up in the shade and a good book.....

Growing blueberries

Posted: 14/08/2012 at 20:35

I have my blueberry bushes in the ground and to keep the soil acidic I work in chopped pine needles 2 or 3 times a year and because the roots of blueberries are quite near to the surface I put a mulch of at least 8cms of chopped pine branches and needles over them.  I always water with rain water and as soon as they finish flowering it's on with the fleece.  

They don't like the hot afternoon sun as the leaves get scorched so make sure they are in dappled shade for the hottest part of the day.  Works for me.

Have you seen one?????

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 08:17

I had posted several weeks back that there are no ladybirds here - SW France - and to date I still haven't seen one.  Yes, cabbage whites everywhere but now the other butterflies are out - later than usual but more daily.  Greenfly, blackfly and whitefly in abundance unfortunately.  Fewer bees and the wasps are around early.  There are a lot less flies this year so that could explain that but there are more horse flies - as my poor legs and arms can testify to 

There's a second colony of birds just fledging so the Magpies are hanging around.  I've been putting out cooked rice with the wild bird seed as there's loads of mouths to feed now and they cost us a fortune to feed. 

Still, where would we be without them all ?


Posted: 22/07/2012 at 07:11

When I lived in UK one of my favourite places to go was Langthorns Plantery just outside Dunmow.  They had no end of unusual plants and if there was something special I wanted they would try to get it for me.  Worth a try.


Glut of apples

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 19:28

I'm lucky enough to have had better weather than most of you poor souls but even my apples aren't much bigger than a golf ball yet. 

If Hudson Belle is really inundated - and who are we to say otherwise - then I would suggest after making pies and puddings to make apple juice.  I chop my glut of apples - skin and core included - and cook until really soft and mushy with just enough water to cover.  Then scald an old pillowcase (which I use for the job) for 15 mins to kill any germs and then upend a chair on the kitchen table and attach the pillowcase to the four corners with string.   Put a large clean pot under the pillowcase to catch the drips. Empty the apple into the pillowcase and cover everything to keep out flies.  Go to bed - or out for the day if you do it in the morning.  Anyway, just leave it alone.

In the morning you have a pan of beautiful apple juice.  Don't be tempted to squeeze the pulp - you'll just get cloudy juice.  Put the mush on the compost heap and reheat the juice to just boiling.  You can add sugar to taste if you like at this time.  Probably best to with just cookers but I don't usually add sugar as I use mixed apples.  Pour the hot juice into hot sterlized bottles or jars and seal immediately.  I use most of my juice to make jams as it is the best source for pectin. It will store really well.


Is there anything that can go in now for an autumn crop ?

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 19:11

I start my Chinese cabbages now as any sooner and they bolt.  Watch out for cabbage white butterfly though as they will love them - I fleece all my veg which doesn't need pollinating.  As the cabbages grow, tie them loosely with soft twine or raffia to promote that lovely tubular shape.  Scrummy.

If the autumn is prolonged and mild you may get another crop of peas in if you sow them toute suite. 

bird netting

Posted: 12/07/2012 at 18:03

Hi,  This old thread may help you with your bird problem and with the insect problem you may get with a lot of your veg.  I took my netting off my first lot of broccolli and cabbage last week as they were about ready and the cabbage whites went mad for them but by the time the caterpillars are out and munching we would have harvested and they will be toast

Overrun by blue flowers

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 20:41

Leaving the garden to itself for a year - what to plant?

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 20:37

I have to agree with Sotongeoff if you are just going to leave your garden to itself.  "They" say that if the population of UK was wiped out tomorrow it would take just one year for most urban areas to be smothered by weeds and brambles and that motorways would be almost invisible.  So, imagine what will happen to your garden in a year.  Most of us struggle to keep control on weeds while living in the house 24/7.

Perhaps a membrane would be the answer with a couple of inches of mulch on top to keep it in place and then this could be dug in after a year to boost the soil. 

I do have another suggestion - on the positive side - how about renting out your garden to someone who either doesn't have one or would like to have extra growing space for veggies etc and can't get an allotment.  With the house sitter in situ access wouldn't be a problem and you could either charge a little rent or just let them have the use of the garden for the year as a goodwill gesture.  The house sitter and garden tenant could keep a friendly eye on each other too - if you are not too sure about either.  I expect a contract drawn up and signed by both should put things on a good foundation for avoiding difficulties when you return.  It's just a thought and I put myself in your position and thought that I would probably go down this road.


1 to 10 of 137

Discussions started by Robot

No Ladybirds

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They are at it again - more flipping bird food....

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Is it wild phlox?

If so, how do I make some more? 
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Page numbers not working in My Posts

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Sh**s Sorrel

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Last Post: 27/05/2012 at 19:35


Buds turning brown and dying. 
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Last Post: 26/05/2012 at 14:10

Clematis Montana killed during winter

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Last Post: 18/05/2017 at 08:01
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