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Latest posts by steephill


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 11:35

You might have the wrong climate for runner beans, they don't like it too hot and will not fruit if it is too hot. For example they won't thrive in a greenhouse in the UK. Although they originate from a similar latitude to Sierra Leone (Central America) they come from the mountains where it is cooler. What are your daily high and low temperatures?


Posted: 19/08/2013 at 23:22

It is a cuckoo bee. Very interesting creatures but not if you are a bumble bee. All part of life though.


Posted: 18/08/2013 at 00:00

Sounds way too expensive for most people. And it looks a bit small for pro work. Have a look on YouTube for lots of other diy examples using electric saws and all sorts of other motors.


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 23:49

In the past few years I have enjoyed growing my own International Kidney (Jersey Royal), Red Duke of York, Arran Pilot, Kestrel and Charlotte. Lots of useful info here



Posted: 17/08/2013 at 23:41

Lots of UK vinyards are now successfully growing classic red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir outdoors, mainly for the sparkling wine trade. You will also find many other red varieties like Rondo and Triomphe d'Alsace. I don't think we'll see Cab Sav or Merlot vintages any time soon but the future does look promising. Several big Champagne houses are buying land in the SE of England because of its potential - same geology as the Champagne region and already producing superb wine (try Nyetimber). The weather isn't always good enough though and last year many vinyards didn't harvest any grapes at all.

The Romans grew vines for wine as far noth as Yorkshire but I would guess that your plant is a dessert type and really needs the shelter of a greenhouse. You can grow them as standards which would take up less room.


Posted: 16/08/2013 at 09:43

More spam, or maybe we all need a holiday from kitchen spam .


Posted: 15/08/2013 at 11:24

The taste and smell tests suggested are absolutely not safe! Sorry for shouting but some of the deadliest mushrooms will easily pass these tests. There are lots of other "old housewives tale" tests which won't save you either such as if animals eat them they are OK for humans, if you can peel them then they are safe etc. Taste and smell can be used to help identify particular species but they are not safety tests.

The safest method is to use a genuine bona-fide expert if you can find one. (Living in France or Italy makes this easier, try the local pharmacist in these countries)  Failing that you can try identifying them using several good books. I cross-reference using at least three books and will also check several sites on the web. I also limit my consumption to a few species which I can reliably identify. Any doubt and the're out!

One useful and easy test you can make is to take a spore print. Place the cap gills down on a piece of paper overnight. In the morning you should have a nice pattern of spores which you can inspect for colour to aid identification.

Your photos look like field mushrooms as others have said. However I don't have them in front of me to make further checks and more importantly you don't know me so how could you trust an internet stranger to identfiy something which might cause you serious harm?

The most likely source is that someone may have used spent mushroom compost in the garden and this will often still have viable spores in it giving you an unexpected but welcome crop. If you have pastures near by then this may be the source of the spores. Exactly where mushrooms grow can help with identification too.


Posted: 13/08/2013 at 10:41

Sounds like it has had a poor start in life. Ideally they shouldn't be allowed to fruit until the third year then the number of bunches should be limited for a couple of years. Even when you reach the optimum number of bunches you may need to thin individual bunches to get good sized grapes.

Have they been watered at all? Grapes are tough but they will need water to swell fruit just like any other fruiting plant. Has it been trained/pruned at all?

I would cut off almost all of the bunches now and let the plant devote its energy to producing better roots. Next year limit it to a few bunches.


Posted: 13/08/2013 at 10:26

Those are bean seedlings, not palms.


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 21:49

Have the haulms died off yet? With the cold spring I would guess that they are 3 weeks behind schedule. Leave them for another 4 weeks.

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12 threads returned