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Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    How's your damson Hairy Celt?

    Mine are well into blossom now and fruitlets setting nicely. Providing there is no late severe frost, it should be a good year I think.

    Asparagus poked their noses through the manure today - 11 for starters. Can barely wait. I have two beds of asapargus (2 m long each), and they give us about 300 spears in a season.

    Lettuce ready for cutting and strawberries coming along nicely now, quite a few fruits in evidence and tons of flowers.

    My pollination attempts on the peach this year are looking distinctly iffy - haven't seen anything that looks like a set yet.

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    How's your damson Hairy Celt?

    Mine are well into blossom now and fruitlets setting nicely. Providing there is no late severe frost, it should be a good year I think.

    Asparagus poked their noses through the manure today - 11 for starters. Can barely wait. I have two beds of asapargus (2 m long each), and they give us about 300 spears in a season.

    Lettuce ready for cutting and strawberries coming along nicely now, quite a few fruits in evidence and tons of flowers.

    My pollination attempts on the peach this year are looking distinctly iffy - haven't seen anything that looks like a set yet.

     

    Stop, you're making me green - with envy... The only edibles here so far is rhubarb still, which is nice enough but a bit limited...

     

    Damsons, Czar and Victoria all flowering like crazy. I think it's all going to be wrecked next week though. Again.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    I for one, and I think most gardeners will be with me on this one, am not hoping to see the very cold frosty weather that the models are predicting for the end of April. I'd be ecstatic if it was Dec to Feb, but not now when so much is out in the garden, the trees are in blossom and the animals have their young.

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    Posted
  • Location: Downton, Wiltshire
  • Location: Downton, Wiltshire

    I for one, and I think most gardeners will be with me on this one, am not hoping to see the very cold frosty weather that the models are predicting for the end of April. I'd be ecstatic if it was Dec to Feb, but not now when so much is out in the garden, the trees are in blossom and the animals have their young.

    Totally agree. Our biggest Wisteria is just about to come out in all its glory. I remember a few years ago we had freezing rain, followed by frosts at around this time of year which absolutely decimated it. It was horrible. :(

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    The greenfly are just starting to have a go at the damson tree today. I was in two minds as to whether to spray as both the greenfly and the tree will be stuufed by the forecast weather starting tomorrow night...

    Edited by Hairy Celt
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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    The greenfly are just starting to have a go at the damson tree today. I was in two minds as to whether to spray as both the greenfly and the tree will be stuufed by the forecast weather starting tomorrow night...

    Leave them be, the frost will have them.

    We have fruitlets set now and in their vulnerable phase. If we do get a -3 or -4C type frost most of those will be killled off. Will be out this evening and Monday evening to put fleece and newspaper over asparagus, potatoes, and tomatoes. Toms are easy as they are in polytunnel, asparagus and spuds are outside and so I need to secure the fleece or it will be blown away.

    Edited by picog
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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    Leave them be, the frost will have them.

    We have fruitlets set now and in their vulnerable phase. If we do get a -3 or -4C type frost most of those will be killled off. Will be out this evening and Monday evening to put fleece and newspaper over asparagus, potatoes, and tomatoes. Toms are easy as they are in polytunnel, asparagus and spuds are outside and so I need to secure the fleece or it will be blown away.

     

    The frost didn't get them but I think today's snow will have done for them. Unfortunately the snow's almost certainly done for this year's crop of plums and damsons too.

     

    Got vulnerable young plants covered up just in time this morning but it could be quite a while before last week's good growing conditions return this far north.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    The frost didn't get them but I think today's snow will have done for them. Unfortunately the snow's almost certainly done for this year's crop of plums and damsons too.

     

    Got vulnerable young plants covered up just in time this morning but it could be quite a while before last week's good growing conditions return this far north.

    Of course, you guys had snow! Here it dropped to -2.7C during the night, and was below freezing from virtually midnight onwards. That's a lot of frost so not sure how the tree fruits have taken it. The stuff I covered seem OK, so I'll be doing the same tonight.

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    Posted
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Weather Preferences: Ample sunshine; Hot weather; Mixed winters with cold and mild spells
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

    Cooler weather heading to here too this week. A pain as I've got all my peppers, chillies & tomatoes outside now. I was brining them in but they've got a bit too big for the house now so a bit tricky! 

    Peppers/chillies wise some are setting fruit nicely now and some are a bit behind not helped by the aphid infestation i've been fighting with for months now. 

    Tried spraying them with weak dish soap, neem oil as well as just rinsing them off in under water. Hand squishing has featured heavily too but is very labour intensive.

    Now they're outside a bit more ladybirds are appearing to finally make mincemeat of them!

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    Posted
  • Location: Reading
  • Location: Reading

    We are fortunately in a bit of an urban heat island where damaging frosts are rare at this time of year.  In fact some of the bedding plants in our planter at the front of the house usually survive a mild winter (most have this year).

     

    On a completely different subject...

     

    Are there any pest control experts out there?  We have a laburnum at the bottom of our garden, and last year its flowers and leaves were severely chomped by an army of snails (I have often gone out with a stick after rain and knocked 50+ snails off the tree, but can't keep up with the sheer numbers we get climbing up it).  Tried a ring of Vaseline around the trunk, but that doesn't deter them.  A neighbour tried copper tape but said it didn't work for him either.  Anyone got any ideas for blocking their path up the tree?

    Edited by Stargazer
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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    We are fortunately in a bit of an urban heat island where damaging frosts are rare at this time of year.  In fact some of the bedding plants in our planter at the front of the house usually survive a mild winter (most have this year).

     

    On a completely different subject...

     

    Are there any pest control experts out there?  We have a laburnum at the bottom of our garden, and last year its flowers and leaves were severely chomped by an army of snails (I have often gone out with a stick after rain and knocked 50+ snails off the tree, but can't keep up with the sheer numbers we get climbing up it).  Tried a ring of Vaseline around the trunk, but that doesn't deter them.  A neighbour tried copper tape but said it didn't work for him either.  Anyone got any ideas for blocking their path up the tree?

     

    I've found copper tape and vaseline both work - copper tape is pretty much 100% guaranteed if no gaps, it's like walking on fire for slugs and snails. Are they finding another way in, perhaps off adjacent shrubs or something?

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    Posted
  • Location: Reading
  • Location: Reading

    Thanks, HC - maybe our neighbour was either unlucky or as you suggest allowed the snails to get into the tree another way.  I've carefully cut back our tree so that no branches touch the fence next to it, and when it rained a couple of days ago the snails were quite happily sliding up the trunk over the Vaseline, so that obviously didn't work.  Maybe our tree is so delicious they're willing to accept a bit of discomfort!  After the rain I beat off about 30 of them.

     

    Off to Ebay to look for copper tape, methinks :)

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    Thanks, HC - maybe our neighbour was either unlucky or as you suggest allowed the snails to get into the tree another way.  I've carefully cut back our tree so that no branches touch the fence next to it, and when it rained a couple of days ago the snails were quite happily sliding up the trunk over the Vaseline, so that obviously didn't work.  Maybe our tree is so delicious they're willing to accept a bit of discomfort!  After the rain I beat off about 30 of them.

     

    Off to Ebay to look for copper tape, methinks :)

     

    Yeah that's what I do every spring!

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    Posted
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Weather Preferences: Ample sunshine; Hot weather; Mixed winters with cold and mild spells
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

    I used to suffer with loads of slugs back in Nottingham - an endless battle it was! I tried using upturned pots with beer in them, making sand barriers, making hair barriers and all sorts. In the many damp summers we've had it was very hard to keep up with.

    Gladly being on the 5th floor and with a far drier, sunnier & warmer spring/summer climate they are non-existent for me now. Instead I battle with leaf miners, aphids & the endless watering everything needs. Been tinkering with an irrigation system to help me along a bit as in the frequent warm, sunny periods things dry out in hours.

     

    Left some of my peppers outside last night and this morning they were very unhappy with the 3c low they took. All leaves were drooping and floppy. Thankfully once they warmed up in the afternoon they perked up.. phew thought i'd lost them!

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    Are slugs and snails more of a town/city probelm? I used to live in Southampton and had a lot of issues with slugs in particular. For the past 16 years I've been living in the countryside surrounded by fields and to date have never had a problem with slugs or snails. In the warmer evenings, the grass is often littered with slugs, yet they do not attack any of the flowers, shrubs or veg, including yummy stuff like lettuce.

    Generally, we don't suffer with green or blackfly either. It's remarkably pest free. Surrounding fields are organically farmed (beef cattle) so it's not due to local pesticide use.

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    The greenfly are just starting to have a go at the damson tree today. I was in two minds as to whether to spray as both the greenfly and the tree will be stuufed by the forecast weather starting tomorrow night...

     

    After a week of not quite frosty nights, the damson tree looks as if by some miracle it's got some tiny fruitlets starting. However the bloody greenfly are still here :diablo:  Damn and blast their miserable souls - drink poison, fiends!

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    I've just managed to germinate a pomegranate seed. I'll have some photos in a few days when it's shoot grows above the soil.

     

    Stupid question time: how do you know it's germinated if it's not above the soil?

     

    Also, are you hoping for fruit on either this or the lemon tree?

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    Posted
  • Location: Reading
  • Location: Reading

    Well I put a couple of bands of 30mm wide copper tape around the tree yesterday (about 500mm from the ground, separated by about 20mm), and after last night's rain...(drum roll)...

     

    Knocked off about 40 snails again today :doh:  There was a bit of a queue below the copper tape, so perhaps some of them are a bit tentative about crossing it, but most didn't seem to care.

     

    Do you think 2x30mm bands isn't wide enough, or do we just have snails here that don't care about sliding over copper?  I'm just imaging a little army of them quietly whistling 'The Great Escape' :)

     

    So what's next - another band bridging the two existing ones, or connect a small battery between the bands? I'm beginning to suspect Reading's super-snails won't mind what I throw at them, so has anyone got any other ideas?

    Edited by Stargazer
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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    Well I put a couple of bands of 30mm wide copper tape around the tree yesterday (about 500mm from the ground, separated by about 20mm), and after last night's rain...(drum roll)...

     

    Knocked off about 40 snails again today :doh:  There was a bit of a queue below the copper tape, so perhaps some of them are a bit tentative about crossing it, but most didn't seem to care.

     

    Do you think 2x30mm bands isn't wide enough, or do we just have snails here that don't care about sliding over copper?  I'm just imaging a little army of them quietly whistling 'The Great Escape' :)

     

    So what's next - another band bridging the two existing ones, or connect a small battery between the bands? I'm beginning to suspect Reading's super-snails won't mind what I throw at them, so has anyone got any other ideas?

     

    Vogons are the answer I fear.  Either that or just a minor tactical nuclear strike.  Send me your postcode and I'll arrange something suitable this afternoon.

     

    More seriously, I think the snails must be pretty desperate to go over copper, I've never seen that. I've tried to persuade the ones here over copper and they just curl up, frothing slightly.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    Vogons are the answer I fear.  Either that or just a minor tactical nuclear strike.  Send me your postcode and I'll arrange something suitable this afternoon.

     

    More seriously, I think the snails must be pretty desperate to go over copper, I've never seen that. I've tried to persuade the ones here over copper and they just curl up, frothing slightly.

    Maybe 30mm is too narrow. If you still have some copper left perhaps make the lower band wider. If they are large snails they will easily span 30mm.

    HC pleased to read you may have some damson fruitlets. Fingers crossed on the greenfly front.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    Planted out my tomatoes yesterday in the polytunnel. A couple were a touch frost bitten despite newpaper protection.

    A close inspection of my 2 apricot trees revealed 3 good fruitlets on one tree, and at least a dozen on the second. Could this be the year I actually get an apricot?

    Peppers and chillis out today, along with melon, squash and gherkin.

    Parsnips have done well, 16/18 have germinated on the first attempt.

    A total of 52 asparagus should be ready to cut this week. Mmmm. They are really thick spears too, so they have responded well to the consecutive years of heavy manuring.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    Where did you get apricots from? I've been trying to grow one myself, but no shop seems to sell them.

    I ordered them online from Thompson & Morgan. They are modern varieties that blossom later than the older types. I did have an 'Early Moor Park' local variety which used to flower in January. Not a thing from that, even in the run of mild winters, and it got killed off by the intense cold of Dec 2010.

    I know one variety I have is Flavorcot, but I can't remeber the name of the other tree.

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    Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    Where did you get apricots from? I've been trying to grow one myself, but no shop seems to sell them.

     

    Fresh apricots are something beyond delicious. No chance whatsoever this far north so I indulge mightly when we go to south of France on holidays.

     

    I've tried growing tomatoes from seed this year and they look so weedy compared to the little plants in the local nursery.  I thought they might have been getting frazzled by sun in the porch but they got no sun yesterday and they look even sadder today.  Any expert tomato growers in here?

     

    Various beans all above ground and growing steadily now.  They were so popular with the family last year that the amount of ground the get has now increased at the expence of onions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

    Fresh apricots are something beyond delicious. No chance whatsoever this far north so I indulge mightly when we go to south of France on holidays.

    I've tried growing tomatoes from seed this year and they look so weedy compared to the little plants in the local nursery. I thought they might have been getting frazzled by sun in the porch but they got no sun yesterday and they look even sadder today. Any expert tomato growers in here?

    Various beans all above ground and growing steadily now. They were so popular with the family last year that the amount of ground the get has now increased at the expence of onions.

    I'm not a tomato expert, but I do grow them every year. It sounds like yours are too cold. Considering you live in Scotland, they should really be either inside or in a greenhouse or polytunnel. I keep mine inside the house until they look big and strong in 3 inch pots - about 6 inches tall I guess. Only then do I put them into the polytunnel. Your porch maybe sheltered but I expect it is too cold. You could always try bringing them indoors onto a sunny windowsill for a week or so. Edited by picog
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    Posted
  • Location: Reading
  • Location: Reading

    Maybe 30mm is too narrow. If you still have some copper left perhaps make the lower band wider. If they are large snails they will easily span 30mm.

    HC pleased to read you may have some damson fruitlets. Fingers crossed on the greenfly front.

    Thanks, picog - will try that tomorrow evening perhaps when the rain has stopped - I managed to get 4 metres of tape for about £3 on Ebay so have plenty.  The snails here are huge, so maybe that'll work.  In the meantime I guess I'll have to beat the snails off with a stick again :doh:

    Edited by Stargazer
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