Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 22:07

Fishy - yes Porlock has the steepest "A" road in the country, I believe, with a wicked hairpin bend as well!  Even the toll road - slightly less steep - is a bit of a challenge.  But the moors are wonderful, and at the moment are clad in deep purple heather.  The sweeping views across the moor and over the Bristol Channel are amazing.

I think I have a good recipe for green tomato chutney somewhere - I'll try to find it for you.  And Philippa, thanks - I look forward to a chilli sauce recipe tomorrow. 

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:54

Philippa - Porlock, West Somerset.  No frost predicted (Porlock Vale has its own micro-climate anyway) but temps down to about 3 or 4.  Just a bit too cool to risk it, I think.  The fleece will  help to keep the coolness at bay, I hope.

My GH chillies are doing very well - do you have a good recipe for chilli sauce that I can use?  I was going to freeze them, but a good sauce sounds just the job.

What is this strange plant growing on a gorse?!

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:50

I don't think I've ever heard of this before!  Quite spooky, and the clip from the bbc is fascinating.  And the first little flower that starts to open just looks as if it is a demonic smiley face!  (or that's just me being fanciful).

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:42

Fishy - we've all been there!  "Just" straightening/tidying something or another, and then finding we've presented ourselves with another problem!  Quite often, it can be overcome, so best of luck!

btw I grow my outdoor toms in troughs supported with canes that are connected with cross-pieces (if that makes sense).  I gives them strength, and they are pretty robust.  Mind you, with the air turning a lot, lot colder, even though the benign Somerset ought to be OK, I've taken the precaution of throwing a bit of fleece over them for tonight!  I'm picking pounds of the fruits, and would hate to see all my hard work undone by a bit of unseasonal weather!

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 16:33

How frustrating!  Yes they will ripen.  Hang them in the kitchen, say, with plenty of air circulation and they'll ripen ok.  (This is what I do at the end of the season when the last ones are cut from the vine before the cold weather.)

Alternatively, put them with a ripe banana, and they will ripen more quickly. 

Climbing french beans

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 20:30

I have climbing French Bean envy!  This year, mine have barely reached half-way up the canes, and the cropping has been pretty poor.  I have grown them for many years, and found that "Cobra" are reliable - except for this year!  I;ve planted a few more alongside to see if I can manage to get a late crop - but I;m not holding my breath!

Courgettes:  I have grown the compact plants, so they don't trail all over the place, and they just keep cropping and cropping!  Fantastic - if you like courgettes, that is

What peas are the best

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:20

Hurst Greenshaft are reliable, I have found.  I tie the odd one here and there to the pea netting, and the others cling with their tendrils and shoot upwards. 

I didn't have any infestation problems this year, but past experience has been that it is the later pickings that are susceptible, and regular harvesting seems to minimise the problem.

tree disease Laburnum

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:13

I wondered if it could be honey fungus?  Have you checked the soil for tell-tale "bootlace" fungus, or under the bark for evidence?  I've never seen it other than in books, so I could be way off the mark, (but maybe this helps to eliminate it if nothing else).

Good idea to check fruit cages regularly for birds

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:11

Yes - I gave up with a fruit cage for that very reason - though I might reconsider green netting if future (good tip).

Surprisingly, the redcurrants (which were loaded this year) were ignored by the birds and I had a full crop (jelly made, lots of berries in the freezer for future use).  But the blackcurrants were attacked regularly, and I had less than a couple of pounds from two bushes!  Obviously the birds have discerning tastes.  Come to think of it, they predominantly left the raspberries alone as well.  Perhaps it is a matter of colour of the fruit .

Help !!!

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 20:01

I bought some seeds from Poundland (well, at that price, it's worth having a go!) and the packet says "Balsam Camellia".  Rather an odd name, and nothing I can find in my RHS books.

But, just like your pictures, Rebecca, it's quite a spectacular plant, and is doing very well.  The packet says it will flower from June to October - so it will be nice if there is still some colour on it in the early autumn.  I shall certainly grow it again.

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