beverley

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • in reply to: Top tips for Apple Thinning #70509

    beverley
    Participant

    HI Thierry

    Thanks for raising this – I need to do mine too! Follow this link to find what the RHS has to say about thinning apples https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=340

    Cheers
    Beverley

    in reply to: The future of this forum #70458

    beverley
    Participant

    I agree with all the comments posted so far. I read the forum daily; I rarely log in. I loathe Facebook; love this forum.

    Best wishes
    Beverley

    in reply to: Planting Blueberries #52794

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi CP
    I have a collection of 3 different types of blueberry. I “compromised” by creating a small raised bed for them, which I filled with ericaceous compost. In the winter, I mulch with pine needles.

    I understand that blueberries are moisture loving plants, so watering seems to be inevitable; I give mine priority for watering and endeavour to keep the soil moist.

    Useful information can be found at:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingblueberries1.shtml

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/fruit/blueberries

    Keep them covered as the birds love the berries and they will disappear in the twinkling of an eye!

    Best wishes
    Beverley

    in reply to: Celeriac – Any advice gratefully appreciated… #51819

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Paul,
    I too struggled with celeriac for many years and have had encouraging results of late – mainly due to planting in very compost rich soil and watering well. This is a link to some detailed instructions that may be helpful https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/learning/plant/celeriac
    Also check Charles’ books for instructions.

    Fundamentally, sow seed early indoors, plant out in compost rich soil, water well, remove outer leaves later in the season. Harvest and enjoy!

    Good luck!

    Beverley

    in reply to: Help with some English vegetable names #51752

    beverley
    Participant

    HI Erik

    These are good questions indeed! They have been lurking in my mind for some time and your post motivated me to find out,

    Brassica =
    .
    Brassica (/ˈbræsɪkə/) is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustard plants. Crops from this genus are sometimes called cole crops—derived from the Latin caulis, denoting the stem or stalk of a plant (Wikipedia)

    CABBAGE – a specific member of the brassica family,

    LETTUCE/SALAD – Lettuce is a specific leafy vegetable usually used in salads. SALAD can be a generic term that includes, as well as lettuce, other leaves used in salads, including chicories, herbs, edible flowers and a whole host of other leaves. SALAD can also refer to vegetables used in salads, such as cucumber, tomatoes, etc.

    CLABRESE/BROCCOLI – I too have been curious about this and apparently the two terms are generally confused. The website QUICKGROW.COM says:https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/learning/plant/brocolli-calabrese

    The supermarkets have helped to confuse the issue of what is broccoli and what a calabrese by calling both by either name. The large green heads you see in the photo (and generally referred to as broccoli) is Calabrese whereas the much smaller heads which can be green, purple or white are broccoli. The flavour of calabrese is milder and much preferred by many to sprouting broccoli and it is an easier crop to grow.

    Celeriac and celery are two forms of vegetable derived from the wild plant apeum graveolens. Celery is grown for its stalks and leaves; celeriac is grown for its bulbous “roots”.

    Thats a start and may be a help. it was an interesting exercise for me to look into the difference.
    Best wishes
    Beverley

    in reply to: Onion thrips on leeks? #50416

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Ellgee,

    Many thanks for your reply which sent me to the RHS website to confirm. RHS say leek moth is very similar to allium leaf miner and on following up the description of that pest, I think that is likely what I have.

    I found this picture of the pupae and it is these that are infesting my leeks https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/news/take-part-our-allium-leaf-miner-survey

    As with your moth, the control seems to be covering with fine mesh in March and in September October.

    Thanks for you help in identifying these.

    Best wishes
    Beverley

    in reply to: Carrots #50341

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Plantmark,

    My carrots this year look very similar to yours! I put it down to the bed that they are in – I think it is quite stony, but perhaps as Charles says, there are other contributing factors.

    Nevertheless, I regard this years crops as a major success – especially as I had to sow 3 times to get any carrots at all! Not pretty, but plentiful and great for soup making. Another positive is the low incidence of carrot fly this year.

    I did a late sowing in two other beds and will check to see if these are more akin to the classic carrot shape.

    Cheers,
    Beverley

    in reply to: Question re growing cut flowers in a no dig garden #46916

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi,

    I believe the theory behind this is that rich soil leads to lush growth of foliage at the expense of flowers.

    My allotment started off as a cutting garden 11 years ago. It has evolved into a no-dig potager style garden, with some beds dedicated to flowers, some to fruit and veg, and some where flower planting becomes part of the crop rotation plan.

    Like you, I was at first worried about the quality of blooms from the beds that I dress more generously with compost. However, flowers grow strongly and flower abundantly – and I think they sometimes do better in the “richer” beds, especially in long dry spells – as they probably have access to better reserves of moisture.

    A major confession – I have never managed weed free no dig! This is partly because I rely on annuals (and some biennials) self seeding. These volunteer plants are much more vigorous than those from seeds I sow and provide many more blooms. I notice this especially with sweet rocket, cornflowers, calendula, ammi, and cosmos (the latter has no problem at all with self propagating and flourishing in compost rich soil!). Sunflowers, reputed to be greedy plants that leech all goodness from the soil, benefit from the conditions that no dig can provide, as do sweet peas.

    So if my experience is anything to go by, rest assured your cut flower garden should thrive on no dig. The added benefit is the wonderful variety of insects the blooms bring to the garden – as well as comments from appreciative passers by.

    Best wishes

    in reply to: Poor seed germination, onion, beetroot, spinach… #45977

    beverley
    Participant

    HI,

    Thank you all for this interesting and helpful thread.

    I too have had disappointing results from Organic Catalogue seeds over the years. Like others on this post, I always thought it was down to my mistakes. Now I know I can cross that supplier off the list.

    Rhys recommended Real Seeds to me a couple of years ago and I am very impressed with the performance of their seeds – mostly very good germination rates with healthy, strong plants full of vitality resulting. As previously mentioned, they dont do any F1 hybrids – consequently I am cutting down on those in my plantings, but follow Charles’ recommendation of Mr Fothgills for any F1 or other varieties not supplied by Real Seeds.

    Cheers, Beverley

    in reply to: New garden, mystery self seeder #45668

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Rbp

    Is it forget-me-not? You can check against this helpful site http://theseedsite.co.uk/weeds4.html

    Best wishes
    Beverley

    in reply to: Garden Peas Greenshaft #44604

    beverley
    Participant

    Many thanks Don for saving me time searching for the info. I had seen the video and use the method for beetroot, etc – just hadnt registered the peas! I will give your method a try this year.

    Best wishes,
    Beverley

    in reply to: Garden Peas Greenshaft #44546

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Don,

    Could you point me in the direction of the instructions for Charles’s clumping method please?

    Many thanks

    in reply to: Bees and Butterflies #44326

    beverley
    Participant

    Hi Matthew,

    My allotment is planned as a potager, so I grow a lot of flowers alongside my veg and fruit and always have a wealth of bees and butterflies. Some ideas:

    – for early spring, I let some brassicas (purple sprouting broccoli, kale) go to flower. This provides a source of food for bees early in the season. Limanthes (poached egg plant) is also good for this time of year. For later spring, flowers such as sweet rocket are useful.

    – Summer favourites include English marigolds, cornflowers, poppies, sweet peas – all easily grown annuals. Sunflowers are great for bees, butterflies and the seedheads feed birds.

    Lavender is a favourite of bees and butterflies – I have planted an edge of my plot with a lavender border and it is always alive with numerous insects when in flower.

    Our allotment site “cultivates” a patch of stinging nettles, which becomes a breeding ground for certain types of butterfly. We also have a couple of buddleia bushes which butterflies love.

    You can find more ideas by searching the internet for flowers for bees or butterflies. Many seed companies now identify flowers that are particularly attractive to pollinators with a symbol of a bee.

    Best wishes


    beverley
    Participant

    Hi,

    What are CN salad turnips?

    Best wishes,

    in reply to: Asparagus beetle #25409

    beverley
    Participant

    HI Charles,

    The soil should be in good heart.  The bed was well prepared before planting 5 years ago.  Since then, I dress it every autumn after cutting down the ferns with seaweed fertiliser, rock dust, and a liberal dressing of manure. I keep the bed well weeded, and endeavour to keep it well watered.  The soil itself is, I think, London loam(?), so not too heavy and not too light.

    I have been practising the no-dig approach for at least 3 years, so my allotment as a whole should be full of healthy “vibes”

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