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It's been a glorious, Spring like day today, spent most of it sowing seeds and marking out a new flower bed. The new bed will be eleven and a half foot wide by just over sixty foot long, fronted by a

This is a bit of a bugbear of mine so if I slip into rant mode, I apologise now.   Titchmarsh is right, gardeners are universally regarded as too thick to do anything else, the public perception is a

The Pergola is up, the digging is all done, the gravel is spread and the massive tree has had a trim to expose the trunk and let some light through ; all that's left to do is plant it up and pray for

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I would suggest you carefully dig them up cut them back a bit (both tops and roots) to make them tidy pulling off all old leaves. I then plant a few into a large pot or deep box to over winter in a cold but frost free location. They are very susceptible to mould so giving them a good spray with fungicide will help. Let the fungicide dry off before putting them away. In the spring if you are lucky they will start sprouting. 

If you have the facilities it is usually best to take cuttings in late August and over winter the small plants. They don’t have to be cut back which increases the risk of mould growth. Keep pulling off dead and rotten leaves. You can dust with Flowers of Sulphur to help counter rot spreading or occurring where they are cut. 

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Anyone on here grow gooseberries? Have such good memories of them from my childhood but the varieties I’ve grown recently, although pleasant, are no match in terms of flavour and sweetness. Anyone grow any old varieties? I guess the dreaded mildew has all but eradicated most of them.

Edited by stainesbloke
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10 hours ago, stainesbloke said:

Anyone on here grow gooseberries? Have such good memories of them from my childhood but the varieties I’ve grown recently, although pleasant, are no match in terms of flavour and sweetness. Anyone grow any old varieties? I guess the dreaded mildew has all but eradicated most of them.

Good Morning SB & other posters.

I have a couple of gooseberry bushes on my allotment which I have had for about 3 years & I do not know what I am doing wrong but I have only had i gooseberry between them in that time. Anyone got any suggestions apart from giving up? I grow raspberries and blackcurrants without any trouble. 

Thanks

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20 minutes ago, claret047 said:

Good Morning SB & other posters.

I have a couple of gooseberry bushes on my allotment which I have had for about 3 years & I do not know what I am doing wrong but I have only had i gooseberry between them in that time. Anyone got any suggestions apart from giving up? I grow raspberries and blackcurrants without any trouble. 

Thanks

Gooseberries must be very securely netted from birds, they will strip the bush of fruit even before berries are ripe. Wood pigeons are the worst culprits. A good time to net the bushes is after the fruit has set but before they swell too much. 

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On 27/03/2019 at 09:52, Lauren said:

Would we say the risk of frost has passed in Kent? I'm toying with idea of planting out my tomato and pepper seedlings.

Way too early. I wouldn’t plant them out until mid May, especially the peppers.

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3 hours ago, stainesbloke said:

Way too early. I wouldn’t plant them out until mid May, especially the peppers.

That's what I decided in the end. Got a little collection of seedlings going indoors at the moment.

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My seedlings are growing to much in their little pots and plastic covers.

I would say if you plant them out put a plastic lid over them to protect them and getting the heat in the little space.
I always plant out early but by the coast and sheltered garden so normally get away with it, in fact the main thing that kills them here is any heavy rain.

It also depends on what space you have, ie i dont have a greenhouse so its much easier to keep them for longer with the space and protection that greenhouses give you.

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5 hours ago, Lauren said:

That's what I decided in the end. Got a little collection of seedlings going indoors at the moment.

Me too. I’ve learnt not to sow too early as everything quickly catches up. We had that late frost 2 springs ago that killed quite a few plants on my allotment site. Tomatoes and peppers hate cold and once they get a ‘cold shock’, they take ages to recover, if at all. Will you be growing your peppers outside?

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2 hours ago, stainesbloke said:

Me too. I’ve learnt not to sow too early as everything quickly catches up. We had that late frost 2 springs ago that killed quite a few plants on my allotment site. Tomatoes and peppers hate cold and once they get a ‘cold shock’, they take ages to recover, if at all. Will you be growing your peppers outside?

Yep in large pots as well as the tomatoes.

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One of my lemon thyme plants in a trough (in a well-drained compost/grit mix) which lost most of its leaves over the winter appears to be struggling - it isn't shooting-out very vigourously and the leaves that are appearing seem to have brown blotches.  Could it be rust fungus?

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On 18/04/2019 at 16:32, chrisbell-nottheweatherman said:

One of my lemon thyme plants in a trough (in a well-drained compost/grit mix) which lost most of its leaves over the winter appears to be struggling - it isn't shooting-out very vigourously and the leaves that are appearing seem to have brown blotches.  Could it be rust fungus?

Depends how old it is. Can you see rust? Brown leaves from drying out?

Also needs to be gently moist. Not saturated. Well drained can dry out very quickly. 

The lemon thyme I have is growing away vigorously for a thyme. Always take cuttings and have small plants over wintering. Cuttings are dead easy to get rooted. Soil just moist and initially possibly a bit of a dome over them. Usually just cut some thyme and stick them in small groups in one of my gravel beds in the greenhouse. Some die back but most grow. 

At the end of the day just chuck it and start from scratch. 

Edited by Snipper
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2 hours ago, Snipper said:

Depends how old it is. Can you see rust? Brown leaves from drying out?

Also needs to be gently moist. Not saturated. Well drained can dry out very quickly. 

The lemon thyme I have is growing away vigorously for a thyme. Always take cuttings and have small plants over wintering. Cuttings are dead easy to get rooted. Soil just moist and initially possibly a bit of a dome over them. Usually just cut some thyme and stick them in small groups in one of my gravel beds in the greenhouse. Some die back but most grow. 

At the end of the day just chuck it and start from scratch. 

Cheers.  Seems to be doing better since I cut the old stuff back.   Some of the newly-formed growth seems red around the leaf margins though - could that be rust?  If so, can it be sorted-out or is it a case of get rid of it?  I've got a sage up the other end of the same trough which seems OK other than a tendency to develop powdery mildew (same with a mint plant in another container elsewhere in the garden); unfortunately, suplur dust is useless if there's even a hint of breeze as it ends up more on me than the plant!

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Too be honest herbs have a very short life if conditions are not ideal. I always take plenty of cuttings. Cuttings planted as group seem to work ok for me.  Keep slightly humid until rooted

In my herb garden got a lot of self seeded herb plants, which I pot up. So plenty of fresh stock to replant with. Stuff like sage work well with layering (Irish cuttings). 

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Just been snipping (and consuming in my salad) my coriander before it turns to cilantro which I like less. I have the most amazing lettuces and the beans are beginning to look good, Courgettes have got well pollinated flowers and my potatoes and cabbages are coming on well. The tomato plants are slow, as are everyone's here, but they are strong and are beginning to flower. In the absence of Monsieur who is in the UK for 10 days, I have been stopping the slugs getting at the starwberries (aka snarfing them because the hedgehogs rid of my slugs so well!), they are rather good and I am sure they will wait for Monsieur as there are so many flowers and immature fruits. Looking forward to a large gooseberry crop as they are looking laden and good.

The weather has been so difficult for the garden. Hot then deluge then cool. Of course you always dread the hail like we had two days ago but it was not large enough to do damage.

Bon courage avec les fleurs et les lugumes!

Edited by Spikecollie
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Good crop of climbing beans this year they seemed to like the rain.

Tomatoes are very slow to ripen compared with the past 2 or 3 summers they're just ripening in dribs and drabs at present 

Edited by Summer Sun
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