Latest posts by steephill

Which grapes variety

Posted: 02/09/2017 at 13:07

Might be Siegerebbe. If so then it is a good dual purpose wine/dessert grape. Wait until all the grapes turn colour then taste every few days till you get maximum sweetness. Or turn your back on them for a couple of days and blackbirds will have the lot .

Star fish (fungi?)

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 23:11

My guess is it is Clathrus Archeri or Devil's Fingers. Introduced to Europe from Australia/NZ. It should be very smelly.

Wild strawberries question

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 23:01

It might be easier to find a friend/neighbour who has them and can offer some runners. The round fruit variety grow like weeds in my garden and I am constantly pulling them out even though I like the fruit. 

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 16:53

"Our" roebuck was back in the garden yesterday morning, scrumping for apples.

No manners at all, if he didn't like the rotten apples all he had to do was say so!

Handsome little fellow though.

Not so welcome when he starts on the non-fallen apples though.

Climbing Hydrangea

Posted: 01/08/2017 at 23:27

It is very vigorous and will easily cover your fence, in fact it is capable of growing up to 12 metres high or more. So keeping it under control will be a big issue. Can your fence take the weight? I suspect it would overwhelm any fence and really needs a solid wall to support it so might not be the best choice.

Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 22/07/2017 at 14:28

Never seen a stonechat before as far as I know, cute little thing. Great views of the corries too.

We have lots of youngsters in the garden at the moment - juvenile jay.

Young thrushes, I think.

Bench renovation

Posted: 19/07/2017 at 17:04

Plants make oxalic acid to protect themselves from predators, famously in rhubarb leaves but also in edible plants like spinach and swiss chard. Even a cup of tea has around 50mg of oxalic acid in it! So nature can cope with it but of course it is the dose that makes the poison.

If you have a hard surface in the garden you could do the job on that as I suspect that most rocks will help neutralise the acid, especially limestone. Just use plenty of water to wash it away and you should be OK.

Base for a low gabion wall

Posted: 17/07/2017 at 23:41

You should be OK with just a soil base as your gabions are quite small. Anything higher than 1 metre would need a compacted hardcore base. If in doubt ask your gabion supplier what they would recommend, they will have lots more experience than anyone else.


Posted: 15/07/2017 at 14:03

If you just want to keep it tidier then trim off the growth two nodes beyond the last bunch of grapes on each stem. You could also trim off any leaves which are shading the grape bunches to get maximum ripening.

Bramley seedling bugs

Posted: 15/07/2017 at 13:58

Dog urine isn't helping certainly so try to stop that until the tree is well established. Poor fruiting is usually a result of poor pollination. Your Bramley is a triploid and needs two other pollinators and won't act as a pollinator for your other tree. If there are other apple trees in gardens around you then you should be OK provided they are in the correct pollination group. A crab apple tree is a very useful all-round pollinator if you don't have any other trees around. 

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