Sue Higham

Latest posts by Sue Higham


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 13:09

Thanks Bob

I needed netting which would allow pollinators in as there were strawberries in the same bed, but now they're finished and due to be moved so, after a thorough underleaf search of the brassicas, I can tighten up my defences against the pigeons which sit in the apple trees ... drooling.  Looking forward to next spring's harvest - I rather fancy pigeon pie with broccoli  

I also strategically placed a tray of left over 'sacrificial' brassicas which seem to have attracted some (at least) of the butterflies attention!  



Posted: 07/08/2013 at 13:59

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere - and also sorry if a half finished version of this ends up on the forum - it disappeared from sight halfway through writing and I can't find it anywhere!

New veggie patch this year and everything is doing so well - can hardly keep up with the produce - what a year!

On 16 May I sowed broccoli and sprout seeds - both varieties were potted on twice before planting out on 11 July.  5 weeks on, while the sprouts are making 'steady' progress, they are dwarfed by the broccoli which is now 2ft tall. I'll have to stake them soon. They're Suttons seeds and not a named variety.Twice the size of Monty's, they are ..... that's a first!    

Anyone else out noticed the same?  Will the plants outgrow themselves and not have enough oomph to get through winter?  Is it just down to this wonderful summer ..... which has also resulted in a hell of a job trying to keep the cabbage whites out - 2 layers of netting is no deterrent at all!  

All responses gratefully received. 

Nasty Painful Bites !!

Posted: 05/08/2013 at 19:36

New Boy 2 - sounds like gnats! You're not aware of actually being bitten till a few hours later. I had 2 bites on my leg, one on my back, one just under my eye - my face just looked like a tammienorrie's for a few days (although they are much more attractive!)

Help! Health of Red Pepper Plant in Greenhouse

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 11:40
Thanks Bob ... already going down the solar panel/fan route for a heat sink - cavity there, just need to fill it! The greenhouse does have automatic roof vents (a godsend!) but I think I've been too cautious with the side louvres given the wide range of temperatures we've had over the last couple of weeks. Will leave them open from now on - I'm learning all the time!

Help! Health of Red Pepper Plant in Greenhouse

Posted: 15/06/2013 at 12:24
Bob - would love to have posted a photo but there's a glitch on the forum site which means that when I'm signed in there are no formatting buttons shown - they're all there when I'm not signed in though! Have reported it.

Thanks for your help but it's not looking good. The shiny black areas on the plant yesterday are, today, growing fur coats and I noticed the same on the yellow pepper and chilli. It looks like Botyritis so I've binned them all before it spreads to all my toms. As I said, it's my first greenhouse season and I'm learning as I go how to control the ventilation - humidity has been very high after the sun has gone down, but as it's been going down to 7-8oC at night I closed the louvres to keep it a bit warmer. Mistake!

KEF Cannot sign in

Posted: 15/06/2013 at 12:18
My problem is this ... how come, when I'm typing in this box, and not signed in, all the formatting buttons are shown? When I am signed in - as of right now - there are no formatting buttons showing!! Weird. Please can you sort it out?

Incidentally, I had the same problem as Pampus a couple of weeks ago - nearly drove me mad it did - but I had no problems signing in on the following day. As far as I remember, I think I just ignored the 'Forgotten Password' bit on the left of the page and went to the usual log in on the right hand side and it worked, but .... technology being what it is, that could all change tomorrow.....

Help! Health of Red Pepper Plant in Greenhouse

Posted: 15/06/2013 at 09:33
I'm new to greenhouse gardening and just noticed black areas on my red pepper plant where the flower stem meets the main stem ... It looks like some kind of rot, to me. Can't find any info or images on line - is this likely to run riot through all my peppers, chillis and tomatoes? Or should I just remove the affected flower stems - or the affected plant? All help gratefully received!

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 15/06/2013 at 09:20
This is my first year with a greenhouse and I thought it better to use bought compost rather than my own to avoid unnecessary weed seeds etc. Used B&Q Verve and it was absolute rubbish. I watered my tomato plants in and the water just poured straight through and was immediately a dark brown colour - leached nutrients? I waited to see if it would soak back into the pots but no - it just sat there, the plants wilted and within 12 hours the water in the plant trays started to smell. I chucked it all out and replanted into Monty's recipe - I already had all of the ingredients! Result - beautiful healthy plants growing away ... Ta-daa.

B&Q Verve is not multi purpose at all - in fact it's only any use as an outside mulch, or as 20% of an outside soil improvement recipe. I have to confess to lurking near the stacks of it at my last visit to B&Q to mention this to potential buyers - but I didn't see any!

Birch Tree losing leaves in July

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 23:45
Hi Nicola ... emailed various organisations for help diagnosing my birch tree's problems and had a very prompt reply from the Plant Health Department at Forestry Commission Scotland - from the photos I sent them they are pretty sure the culprit is as follows ...

"The leaf spotting on the second photo is almost certainly caused by the fungus Marssonina betulae which in a wet summer can cause heavy defoliation and sometimes shoot die back. With large trees there is no practical control of this fungus and although the fungus may cause shoot die back it should not kill the tree although the foliage may be more sparse this year."

Sure enough, Googling the fungus name led me to images which do match my tree's symptoms. Will wait, with interest, to see what the other organisations have to offer, and will post here if there are different views.

Still apprehensive about the long term survival of my Very Old Lady of the Woods if we get more wet summers - leading to more fungus, more die back, and less leaf cover weakening the tree ..... but your 30 year old youngster should be OK!

Chris Beardshaw to join Beechgrove Garden

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 23:32
Last night I found myself unusually able to sit down on a Thursday and tuned into Beechgrove for the first time since the inaugural national showing - in the depths of the snow in March - and, as fate would have it, I found Chris Beardshaw planting around the burn, varieties of the same plants which I've had sitting in pots in various stages of rescue for months, having been too busy making new veggie plot to do anything with them. Result - one problem corner completely transformed in an hour, this morning. THANK YOU CHRIS!!!

Discussions started by Sue Higham


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.... or are they Triffids? 
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Help! Health of Red Pepper Plant in Greenhouse

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A Cautionary Tale .....

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