Latest posts by Robot

First Day Out

Posted: 30/06/2012 at 20:50
obelixx wrote (see)

Be patient.  Our resident sparrows can produce three broods in a good year so the last lot fledge very late.  I would wait till September if you can.

Yep - quite right.  Mine are all at it again

potato problem

Posted: 30/06/2012 at 20:36

Hi Stapler,

Unfortunately you posted the same question twice and I answered you on the other thread.  Hope it helps.

Peppers & Margarites - the same malady?

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 18:27

Oh well.  C'est la vie .

No leaves on tree yet

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 18:26

You are very welcome.  Fingers crossed for you. 

Is it blight

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 18:20

I don't grow potatoes anymore because of the blight which originated from a neighbour's plot but it sounds to me as though you have infected plants.  With all the wet weather there has been in UK I'm not surprised.  Unfortunately the blight is spread by the air and can spread easily to other crops like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, squashes and melons if they are nearby.  Having an Irish family I know all about the blight but, if my ancestors had left their spuds in the ground to mature instead of digging them all up and throwing them away, a lot would have survived the famine.  So, you can cut off the foliage if the blight goes mad and leave the spuds to mature and then eat them - although they do not store well. 

It is important to cut off the infected parts of the plant when they are thoroughly dry i.e. not on a damp or wet day or if dew is still on them.  This is because the infection can transfer onto your clothing etc and you will transport it elsewhere.  When you cut off the infected parts, take them a long way off to destroy them.  Never put them, nor the potatoes, in your compost.  It's best not to put even bought potato peelings in compost as they could be carrying the disease.

You may be lucky and be able to salvage your plants by spraying with fungicide.  The sooner you start on uninfected foliage the more chance you have of saving them.  You will have to do this almost daily or at least twice a week minimum to fight the blight as all new foliage has to be sprayed and when the plants are growing well you can almost see them producing new growth as you stand there.

To avoid blight in the future, don't plant any of the susceptible plants in the same plot of ground and if possible protect outside potatoes and tomatoes from rain.  There are neat contraptions these days for doing so - like poles with umbrellas on top - or grow tomatoes, peppers etc under cover altogether as I now do without problems.   Never water from above - a drip system is best - or old plastic bottles with the ends cut off and sunk into the ground beside the plants can be filled with water and feed when needed.  Make sure the plants outside get wind around their stems - this sounds crazy since the blight is carried on the wind but it keeps the bottoms of the plants aired and it helps to cut off the bottom leaves so they are not touching the ground.

I'm really sorry if your potatoes are infected.  Have a look around your neighbours to see if anyone else is infected then perhaps you can see the source.  All is not lost though.  You can still have some potatoes with some luck and you may even halt the blight altogether with fungicide.  I know home grown taste like no other but when you see the amount of work involved - and the heartache sometimes - it is a wonder any of us carry on with it. 

Good luck.

 Crikey - this is a long reply - sorry....

encouraging the local woodpecker to come back to the garden

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 14:57

I see our marauding gang of four Magpies are gearing up for another nest rampage and today there is a female Jay lurking.  I'm going to put an electric fence around our laurel bays - where the LBJs nest - and a big notice saying - Pip Off !!

The following deterrent usually works but is absolutely useless this weather ...................




Talkback: Seed germination

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 23:43

I've given up on my borlotti beans.  Seeds sown in the tunnel early and transplanted outside are pathetic and I might as well dig them up.  Seeds sown directly in the ground (unsoaked) on 30th May have done sweet nothing and seeds sown (soaked for 24 hours) in the tunnel 10 days ago have all rotted away.  Why do we bother?

Lost 3 haricot vert plants today to the dreaded chafer grubs.  I hate the bu**ers

strimmer that picks up

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 23:32

You probably won't believe this but my hubs invented a strimmer in the early '60s, long before the strimmer was officially invented.  Briefly, he used an electric motor, a handle and some wire.  Everything worked fine and he strimmed the lawn edges but was frustrated that he couldn't find a wire which would last more than a few minutes.  He didn't take it further and of course, as they say, the rest is history.

encouraging the local woodpecker to come back to the garden

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 10:57

The key is consistency and patience.  If the woodpecker has been for a visit and liked what he got then he'll be back provided you keep supplying what he wants.  Their eyesight is phenomenal and you will not get anywhere near to photograph him without a long lens and a bit of cloak and dagger.  I truly envy those photographers who get amazing shots.  

Anyway,  I took this in the winter through my patio door so it's not a clear shot.  She was about 6 meters away - which is very near - but I was completely covered by the curtains with just the camera lens poking through.  Even so, she knew I was there.  Hope to see your photos here soon - good luck.


I do see them still at the bottom of the garden but they don't come near the house as we are outside quite a lot now.  There have been one or two green ones too and I would love to get a photo of them.  I've moved a bird feeder further down the garden so if a fairy brings me a really good telephoto lens, then perhaps.......


No Ladybirds

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 10:41

That's really strange.  We have loads of butterflies and the bee numbers seem down a bit.  Lots of the big black ones but fewer of the smaller brown ones (don't ask me names). 

We also had a very hot spell after 3 weeks of snow and then a massive frost which nuked so much.  No plums, pears or cherries this year and lots of shrubs killed off or maimed for life.  I guess the ladybirds went the same way.

I've a large patch of nettles which I let be for the butterflies - maybe that helps.  Unfortunately, lots of cabbage whites too.  I was on my veggie plot yesterday with my bucket, weeding tool and fly swat as I had to take off the covering on the brassicas.  I even put some cabbage leaves out on the grass as a decoy but those little pests tried really hard to lay their eggs near me.  Didn't manage it though.....

Discussions started by Robot

No Ladybirds

Replies: 16    Views: 2641
Last Post: 07/07/2012 at 07:56

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

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Peppers & Margarites - the same malady?

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Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 10:46

First Day Out

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Last Post: 30/06/2012 at 20:50

What is this little bird please?

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Last Post: 23/09/2012 at 14:55

Will anything benefit from these old pipes?

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Last Post: 25/06/2012 at 19:31

Should my bargain do this?

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Last Post: 24/06/2012 at 20:00

Is it wild phlox?

If so, how do I make some more? 
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Last Post: 20/06/2012 at 10:45

Page numbers not working in My Posts

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Last Post: 02/07/2012 at 21:30

Sh**s Sorrel

Identified at last 
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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

Replies: 8    Views: 7065
Last Post: 18/05/2017 at 08:01
12 threads returned