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Source: (consider it) Thread: Blooming hard work. The gardening thread
daisydaisy
Shipmate
# 12167

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Picked most of the black currants and half a bush of the red gooseberries this evening. The rest of the reds and the green gooseberries will have to wait for tomorrow. I'm freezing them while I get around to whatever I do with them next. Which will have to include some left over from last year too.
Posts: 3184 | From: southern uk | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:


Annoyingly it's forecast to sod up our big cricket match but hey ho! More to come too, about sodding time!


AG

When exactly is sodding time? My lawn needs some patching, and I'd hate to miss the right time to sod.

John

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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For those of you in Britain waiting for rain our travels and Staycation start on Friday 17th for about ten days, so expect no cricket in that period.

It will be good sodding time too if the ground is soft enough to be worked before sods are laid.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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I think when you say "Sod it!", it's sodding time.

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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Well, I'm as likely to say that in mid-December as in mid-summer, and that's a really nasty time of year to be out laying soc ...in 2 feet of snow.

John

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Beethoven

Ship's deaf genius
# 114

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It's been raining lightly here on and off since Saturday night - hooray! I'm hoping that the constant gentle damp might mean it soaks in better than a heavy torrential downpour...

I managed to do a tiny bit of weeding this weekend - just two small raised beds - and cleared a lot of blanketweed out of the pond (again), but there's so much more needing to be done. And that's without having to mow the lawn as it's been so hot and dry it just hasn't grown!

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Who wants to be a rock anyway?

toujours gai!

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Penny S
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# 14768

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It's too wet to go out and work in the garden, but not wet enough to make much difference to my ad hoc collection of collecting devices. I certainly can't take the drill out to fix up the guttering, so am relying on buckets and bowls for the moment.
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Chamois
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# 16204

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STILL no rain.

Not a drop. And it poured yesterday where I work, about ten miles north.

I'm watering as fast as I can but my poor garden is suffering badly.

[Frown]

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I have had a bad something or other* this week which has meant that I can't move around easily, or stand for long, so I have not been out in the garden - things are looking the worse for wear. I managed this evening to soak things, and will do it again tomorrow morning, but it's not good.

*I usually explain it as back, but it isn't, it's lower abdomen, where something twangs for no apparent reason - the first time was when I bent over to pick up an envelope - and I have to use a load of different muscles to do things, which then start complaining themselves. Nearly better now. It's always self limiting, so I don't bother the doctor. But I'm really glad I bought a rising chair because of its pattern, and because I though it might be useful for my Dad.

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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I have two blackcurrant bushes, planted five years ago, which have been unexpectedly successful and has outgrown their location. Specifically, they are encroaching on my neighbours and while they're ok about it I'd like to minimise any inconvenience to them. I plan to move them while dormant later this year. I'm going to put blueberry bushes in their place.

In the meantime, can I prune them back bit by bit i.e. prune branches as and when all the blackcurrants on that branch have ripened and been picked? Or should I wait till all the blackcurrants on the bush have been picked? Does the fact that they're going to be moved alter anything about pruning?

I picked the first of the blackcurrants yesterday.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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The raspberries are cropping madly. We had some for pudding last night, I put more in juice smoothie this morning, I'm about to take a punnet to friends and yet more went into a bottle with an equal measure of sugar and topped up with vodka. And still they come.
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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
STILL no rain.

Not a drop. And it poured yesterday where I work, about ten miles north.

I'm watering as fast as I can but my poor garden is suffering badly.

[Frown]

Chamois, are your gardens mulched to keep moisture in? Hay, straw, compost, rocks, old under felt will help.

Digging in compost and other organic matter helps the soil enormously to hold extra water. Water crystals take up the water and the plants can access it. These are in the ground, not sprinkled on top.

When you do get some rain try to get your plants accustomed to less water by giving a couple of deep waterings or so in a week, rather than a sprinkle every day. Deep water encourages the roots to go down more deeply for moisture and makes a stronger plant.

Grass will brown off if not watered but will spring back to free after a storm.

I have used all these things down here in Sydney.

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
I have two blackcurrant bushes, planted five years ago, which have been unexpectedly successful and has outgrown their location. Specifically, they are encroaching on my neighbours and while they're ok about it I'd like to minimise any inconvenience to them. I plan to move them while dormant later this year. I'm going to put blueberry bushes in their place.

In the meantime, can I prune them back bit by bit i.e. prune branches as and when all the blackcurrants on that branch have ripened and been picked? Or should I wait till all the blackcurrants on the bush have been picked? Does the fact that they're going to be moved alter anything about pruning?

I picked the first of the blackcurrants yesterday.

The one thing you don't want to do is to encourage weak new growth to spring up. You're probably best off to follow your usual practice, whatever and whenever that is. I'm guessing it's to prune while dormant?

In any case, the day you plan to move them (dormant) is a good day to do your pruning if you haven't already. That way the root loss is balanced by the leaf/stem loss at the same time. Plus your plant won't be awake for any of it.
[Biased]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Okay, I found this. http://www.nsalg.org.uk/crop/blackcurrants/ If you need to prune now so you have new growth for fruiting next year, then you're probably right to do it as soon as possible. What you want to avoid is having fragile baby bits at the time of moving--so either prune as soon as sensible, or as late.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Tree Bee

Ship's tiller girl
# 4033

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What we usually do is to prune black currants while picking, ie cut off the whole branch that has the fruit on. Makes it easier then to pull the fruit off, we use a fork.

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"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple."
— Woody Guthrie
http://saysaysay54.wordpress.com

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Beethoven

Ship's deaf genius
# 114

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For the past few weeks I've been ignoring the wasps' nest at the edge of the lawn, but yesterday morning Op 1 decided to put a stone over the entrance which infuriated them and led to 20+ wasps appearing at once to deal with it, instead of the previous 2-3. Now that it's been disturbed, it clearly needs dealing with before we have real problems - I think both dogs have already had narrow escapes - so does anyone know any good methods?

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Who wants to be a rock anyway?

toujours gai!

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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You will be balancing $ versus efficacy. You could:
Boil the largest kettle of water you can carry, and pour it all down the hole. (Wear long sleeves and pants, draw your socks up over your pants cuff, and wear long gauntlets. If you have a hat with a long veil us it.)
Buy a spray can of wasp killer from the store. They will propel poison from a (relatively) longer distance, but it won't go as deep.
Hire an exterminator. They will be licensed to handle insecticides that are not available to homeowners. This is the only solution if the nest is VERY large.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Chamois
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# 16204

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Lothlorien, thanks very much for the advice.

Beethoven, my advice is hire a pest controller straight away.

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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Beethoven

Ship's deaf genius
# 114

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We've gone for the boiling water method - early morning before they're too active, and again in the evening when they're settling down, as well as a time or two in the day. Mr B thought it looked very quiet yesterday evening, so he's now filled the hole in and we'll see. If there are any signs of new activity there, we'll step it up, but hopefully this might be sorted now...

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Who wants to be a rock anyway?

toujours gai!

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I've just been making a summer pudding with blackberries from the garden, and found little crawling larvae which did not like being heated.

Too late to put anything on the brambles to prevent further instances, of course. I've had berries from this strain for years, here and back at the last place, and never found any infestation before, so I had taken no preventative action. Could be fruit flies rather than beetles (as in raspberries).

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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"Summer pudding - now with extra protein!" [Devil]
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Huia
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# 3473

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Beethoven, good that you sorted out the wasp nest. I remember my brother and the boy next door finding one on council land around November and dropping a cracker (Mighty Cannon) down it - the wasps were very displeased and they were lucky to escape being badly stung [Roll Eyes]

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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It was very wet yesterday and so it helped them! I often have to carry wet for them.

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London
Flickr fotos

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Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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Originally posted by Penny S:
quote:
I've just been making a summer pudding with blackberries from the garden, and found little crawling larvae which did not like being heated.
Very common in blackberries in my experience, but definitely a nuisance in summer pudding!

On a similar note, my plum trees were attacked particularly badly by plum moth this year. Nearly all the fruits on my dessert plum were mined by caterpillars and I've ended up having to stew them instead of eating them raw.

It's interesting how the populations of the different insect pests vary from year to year. This has been a good year for gooseberries, with very few sawfly caterpillars, and an extremely good year for wasps - I've hardly seen any at all.

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I used to hate raspberries as a child because of all the beetle larvae. My reactions now are not nearly so pronounced. I picked out the ones I could, and am not bothered about the others. They were very small, about one per fruit, and, as my sister said about flour beetles, one knows what they have been eating, so what's the problem? (I do remove flour beetles, though. She was referring to the detritus of their lives.)

I was going to garden today, but got bogged down in file managing, and then it rained. As it will tomorrow. The good thing is that I'm well on the way to replacing the binfull of rainwater that mysteriously disappeared the day the cable TV guys were in the garden.

[ 25. August 2015, 19:19: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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marzipan
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# 9442

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I got slightly carried away this evening chopping back the hedge at the end of our garden (it grows up from the neighbours side so I was just chopping it back to the wall line). Not sure when it was last chopped back, but I now have many branches/leaves/bits of bramble... The problem was there were some clematis growing through the whole lot so I couldn't just chop off one branch at a time as it was all tied together... Considering a small bonfire as we don't have anywhere really for a compost heap!

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formerly cheesymarzipan.
Now containing 50% less cheese

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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Does your local council have a recycling centre with a garden waste section? I take my woody prunings down there.
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TurquoiseTastic

Fish of a different color
# 8978

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I have just stuck in a whole stack of plug plants - violas and Sweet William. The blurb says that they can be planted Aug-Oct and will flower through until April. Is that reasonable? I never imagined violas as winter flowers...
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Chamois
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# 16204

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Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:

quote:
I have just stuck in a whole stack of plug plants - violas and Sweet William. The blurb says that they can be planted Aug-Oct and will flower through until April. Is that reasonable? I never imagined violas as winter flowers...
Violas are naturalised in my garden. They seed themselves everywhere and they are certainly winter-hardy. Some of them do flower during the winter but they should really come into their own when the weather warms up in the spring. I like them very much and they are no trouble.

Don't know anything about Sweet William. Sounds like an interesting experiment - do let us know how you get on.

The challenge with establishing pot-grown plants at the moment is attacks by hungry snails and slugs now we've finally had some rain.

Good luck!

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I've just been out in the early morning drizzle pruning the forsythia. I know it's the worng time of year, but it has put on an enormous amount of growth over the summer, and was shading out the peony, and other shade loving plants which don't like that much shade. It has an interesting growth habit - putting on tall straight verticals, but also filling the space underneath with stems heading directly downwards. I thought I had done a decent job of trimming it neatly, but from indoors it is perfectly obvious that I have left it unbalanced, having gone a bit mad with my new long arm pruner on the bits I have never been able to reach before. I think, however, I will leave it like that until spring, and then cut back the rest - hoping that I have left it enough to flower on.
I have now two huge bags of chopped up bits for the dump - I don't think they will break down in the compost. Unless anyone knows better. The other bag holds stems from my rambler rose. They will be very awkward to move through the house.

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jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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I was very pleased to see that one of the baby orchids I bought in the Spring had bloomed this morning! [Big Grin]

Anytime I don't kill an orchid is cause for rejoicing!

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Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

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Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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Wondering whether to bring the last of my tomatoes indoors to ripen. The weather has broken, but we had some lovely sunshine on Sunday afternoon and 3 or 4 more of them started turning red.

Maybe I'll leave them on the plants until the weekend. And see how it goes.

Hmmm. Not sure.

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Chapelhead

I am
# 21

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Part of my allotment is used for flowers to cut for the house, and I'm planning for next year.

The cut flowers have been pretty successful this year, with the house having home-grown flowers from early spring until now (and still going strong). But some have been more successful than others. Coreopsis has been a star performer, having provided colour for months, and it still doesn't look anywhere near finished. The blooms aren't large, but a narrow vaseful makes a lively golden pom-pom. Narcissi and tulips were stalwart, as usual, and sweet peas are a must every year.

Less successful were the dahlias - the ones I grew were a bit short and they tend to drop petals very quickly unless they are put into water straight after cutting (not so easy when you have to drive back from the allotment). Lilies were fine, but you only really get one stem from each plant (I know this tends to be true of narcissi, but at least they are then out of the way before the main growing season - headless lilies sit there looking sad all summer long).

What else would folk recommend for a cutting patch? Ideally they would be repeat flowering and have a decent stem length for use in a vase. Scent would be most welcome.

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At times like this I find myself thinking, what would the Amish do?

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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It absolutely depends upon your climate. But around here the workhorse flower is the black-eyed Susan (rudbeckia hirta) which grows wild. Profuse bloom from June until September.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Chapelhead

I am
# 21

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Hmmm, I grow Rudbeckia at home (both traditional 'black-eyed Susan' perennial cultivars like 'Goldsturm' and dark red, annual 'Cherry Brandy'), but I haven't tried them as cut flowers. I think I'll give them a go.

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At times like this I find myself thinking, what would the Amish do?

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Lots of mine have got gone an I've fixed them now and still have good ones. Yesterday there was lots of water.

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London
Flickr fotos

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
What else would folk recommend for a cutting patch? Ideally they would be repeat flowering and have a decent stem length for use in a vase. Scent would be most welcome.

Dianthus, carnation, something of that kind. I have that and lavender in my allotment.
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Chapelhead

I am
# 21

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
Dianthus, carnation, something of that kind. I have that and lavender in my allotment.

The Sweet Williams did well this year (I like the 'similar but different' appearance of the flowers). Perhaps I will try some of the other dianthus for cutting - although the ones in the garden were rather floppy and a bit disappointing. Lavender is one of those plants I grow, but never think to bring it into the house.

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At times like this I find myself thinking, what would the Amish do?

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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There was something called the Big Allotment Challenge on BBC2 that had a cutting flower challenge, as well as vegetables and fruit (and an eat challenge). The additional cutting flowers the participants were challenged on were:
roses, gladioli, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, zinnias, larkspur and helichrysum.
(That's from the Wikipedia page)

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I have cleared a lot of things out of the way of the scaffolders who should have arrived today for repainting. They have not come.

I am wondering whether to get the last of the tomatoes in and attempt to ripen them by putting them with a banana. I should be collecting the last of the blackberries, but I am exhausted. Two nights ago I woke, completely, for two hours in the small hours, and last night I was late to bed after watching, with a friend, a streamed council committee meeting which overran- a lot. I did not want to get up early for ephemeral scaffolders.

I have to keep moving things for workmen, and have had no time when it is not raining for actual gardening, apart from the veggies. It is a mess.

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Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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I like aquilegia as a cut flower. The flowers are small but delicate, come in lots of colour variations and the plants flower again and again after cutting. Also, the plants seed themselves and don't get eaten by snails, which are top criteria for my garden!

Haven't brought my tomatoes indoors yet. We had another couple of beautiful sunny afternoons here over the weekend and I'm still hoping some more of them will ripen naturally on the plants.

Can anyone here advise me about broccoli plants? I've had them netted all summer to discourage the butterflies. The butterfly season is finished and they are now being eaten by slugs and snails, so I'd like to take the nets off so I can reach the plants more easily to pick the snails off. But I've been given dire warnings about pigeons. Is it safe to leave brassicas un-netted in the winter? What do you do?

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I've had a good year for tomatoes, until this week. Half of the plants have suddenly shrivelled and turned grey, and some of the fruit have rough patches like russetting on them. The fruit damage appeared first, and the leaves overnight midweek. Everything is dry, so late blight seems a bit weird, but I've harvested all the decent fruit which are now residing in a deep bowl with a banana, and black-bagged up all the plants to take to the dump for incineration. Otherwise, the results from growing outside in pots because of the cable layers have been much better than growing in growbags in plastic shelters, so I'll be doing it again next year.

[ 03. October 2015, 20:29: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Is it safe to leave brassicas un-netted in the winter? What do you do?

From experience, either the pigeons will not touch them, or they will strip them utterly and crap on what is left. There appears to be no in-between. I've been growing them under netting for the last three years, after having everything stripped.

AG

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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From my experience pigeons are lazy buggers when it comes to feeding. Their attitude seems to be "Why search for different food when you can eat the same just in front of you?" That it might be an idea to eat a slightly more varied diet than hundreds of unripe cherries does not seem to occur to them.

From my perspective these are unpickable wild cherries the problem is cleaning the windows!

Jengie

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Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
M.
Ship's Spare Part
# 3291

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We've had quite a good year for tomatoes as well, they're still coming in the greenhouse, though if this is the end of the good weather, they might all have to come in and be put in a drawer with a banana. We've started to get some with discoloured skins, but they'll be fine for making into sauces with onion, which we freeze in those flat boxes you get takeawas in.

We were a bit taken aback today to be able to pick enough courgettes for a meal, although they're quite small. I think it justifies our laziness in not having cleared the plants yet....

M.

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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Someone else has been picking the courgettes from my allotment and went off with one of my lavender bushes last week.

So I popped round this afternoon to tidy up some more and make it obvious that the plot is actively used. During that time an Eastern European couple with a child in a pushchair strolled in, sampled the pears and apples from someone's tree, then produced a carrier bag. At that point I got one of the other people from a nearby plot and we intercepted them. I'm not convinced they were genuine although they tried to convince us they had the plot next to the fruit trees and the code to the gate.

After they left I locked the gate and about 20 minutes later there was sufficient noise for me to look up and see some bloke actually attempting to climb over it. As by now there were only two women (one of whom was me) left on the plot this was a bit unnerving. I think he must have changed his mind about climbing over as there was no sign of him when we went to look, but honestly, some people are really brazen.

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Roseofsharon
Shipmate
# 9657

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
From my perspective these are unpickable wild cherries the problem is cleaning the windows!
Jengie

We have a cherry laurel in our boundary hedge and a house with white walls. Next-door-neighbour and I attempt to prune out all the flower heads, and any newly formed fruit before they ripen - because it's impossible to clean the purple stains off the walls if we don't.

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Posts: 3060 | From: Sussex By The Sea | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Roseofsharon
Shipmate
# 9657

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quote:
Originally posted by M.:
We were a bit taken aback today to be able to pick enough courgettes for a meal, although they're quite small. I think it justifies our laziness in not having cleared the plants yet....

M.

I'm still picking courgettes and runner beans - about every third day.
I brought in a pound of beans yesterday, and half a dozen medium to large courgettes. I'm also picking ridge cucumbers faster than we can eat them.
I have no intention of clearing the beds before the plants give up producing.

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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Ariel, I used to live in a place with a fairly small front yard. There was a central path to door and an apple tree one side of the path and a double grafted plum the other. One Sunday afternoon, I sensed movement outside. Two young Asian women had started stripping the plum tree. They told me they always ate green plums and were very annoyed when I sent them on their way.

I left dog in front yard for several days till plums ripened.

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Posts: 9745 | From: girt by sea | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I dug up two potatoes yesterday (the only ones in a bag which started with a potato left over from a Tomtato grafted plant last year (the only fruit)) and had to dump them. They were crawling with tiny white worms, less than a mm thick and about 6 or 7 mm long. There were serious hollows in the tubers as well. I had tried washing them off in the butt - they were large potatoes, and I thought salvagable, and a lot dropped off (this was when I found the hollows), but some were left with their heads (I assume) buried in the flesh, wriggling away. At this point my stomach rebelled and I put them with the haulm to be taken to the dump (where they incinerate rubbish rather than send it to landfill).

Any idea what they could be? They don't seem to fit any of the pictures or descriptions on line. Definitely not beetle larvae, and the tuber damage doesn't look like wireworm or cutworm.

Second ideas for disposal - I think I'll put them on the bird table.

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