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Daphne

So how is the season so far?

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Some people pay well for sundried tomatoes! :lol: Sad to come back to though. But it all sounds good in spite of the dry spell for some things. Some you win and some you lose. My neighbour drowns my greenhouse plants - and I only went away for just over a week. Luckily the peppers were saved in time. I think they'd be in Davy Jones' locker if I went away for 3 weeks!

 

Had to net the bed of leeks. Naughty blackbirds have dug out the compost and pecked the plants out. A couple of weedy ones have been destroyed (and possibly magpies may have been playing tug of war with them too). So replanted those that were laying on the path and scooped up the compost. Most of the plants in the centre of the bed were untouched - just round the edges were the worst. Then I looked up to see the pekin digging around in another bed - how the heck did you get in madam!!! Blooming birds!!!

 

Bought some buffalo mozzarella from the farm down the road and ate it with the basil and the Black Russian toms in the garden. Not quite got the rapeseed oil refinery yet, but I did manage to get some locally produced - so food miles pretty low there! Picked lots of runner beans today. I don't think we have much room in the freezer for any more French beans! So I'm thinking of letting them go over to collect the seeds and make our own version of baked beans! I only like runners fresh. Definitely a brilliant year for them. I haven't had such good results from the runners for a long time now. I wonder if it's because I left it quite late? Plus the dry weather has kept the snails off for the most part. Nematodes sorted out the slugs.

 

I think it's time to cut off some calabrese heads too. I am enjoying this year (in spite of the tomato issues) - but not enjoying the heat!!!!

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runners don't do well in hot weather early in the season when the nights are warm and dry it tends to stop the beans setting but when you get to late August early September the nights get cooler and a bit of moisture in the air then the beans set better partly why I don't plant out my beans until early June.

it could also be that the sparrow fledglings have moved on as well as they get a tasted for runner bean flowers as they contain a little drop of very sweet nectar

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Our sweet corn is fabulous this year, the plants are over 7ft tall and we have a forest of them. Sweet corn is my OH's favourite veg, they are so sweet this year, the chooks will be in heaven too they love the trimmings from the cobs and the dodgy ones which are few and far between so far. :D

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Our sweet corn is fabulous this year, the plants are over 7ft tall and we have a forest of them. Sweet corn is my OH's favourite veg, they are so sweet this year, the chooks will be in heaven too they love the trimmings from the cobs and the dodgy ones which are few and far between so far. :D

what variety is it please? as I really need to find a good one the one I've grown for the last couple of years is useless. I'm hoping that once we get a trade deal between the UK and the USA we start to get seeds from the states again and I can get sweetcorn Indian Summer seed again

 

Pick the first apples this afternoon Greensleaves an eater and Dr Harvey a cooker some good sized apples of both and a fairly good sized crop only draw back neither are very good keepers. a few grub damaged greensleaves but the Doc ain't to bad

picked some more carrots this morning the White Satin are getting a good size now the sweet candle are a little bit smaller but are a good quality at one end of the row but a little bit forked at the other the St Valery(sp) are a little bit of a disappointment in the ground size wise but the few in the box might have a bit of size on them I just hope the hold for another month as I want them for a display

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Dug the last 4 roots of second early Jazzy today. Cut the tops off ages ago and they've kept really well in the ground - massive yield. Also picked up all the windfall Bramleys and picked any that gave easily.

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Dug the last 4 roots of second early Jazzy today. Cut the tops off ages ago and they've kept really well in the ground - massive yield. Also picked up all the windfall Bramleys and picked any that gave easily.

Bramleys aren't that far of been ready to pick- early October - period of use Nov - Mar if stored right

it's not one I grow sadly as it don't do well trained the way I grow my trees

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Our sweet corn is fabulous this year, the plants are over 7ft tall and we have a forest of them. Sweet corn is my OH's favourite veg, they are so sweet this year, the chooks will be in heaven too they love the trimmings from the cobs and the dodgy ones which are few and far between so far. :D

what variety is it please? as I really need to find a good one the one I've grown for the last couple of years is useless. I'm hoping that once we get a trade deal between the UK and the USA we start to get seeds from the states again and I can get sweetcorn Indian Summer seed again

 

Pick the first apples this afternoon Greensleaves an eater and Dr Harvey a cooker some good sized apples of both and a fairly good sized crop only draw back neither are very good keepers. a few grub damaged greensleaves but the Doc ain't to bad

picked some more carrots this morning the White Satin are getting a good size now the sweet candle are a little bit smaller but are a good quality at one end of the row but a little bit forked at the other the St Valery(sp) are a little bit of a disappointment in the ground size wise but the few in the box might have a bit of size on them I just hope the hold for another month as I want them for a display

Sorry I can't help, there were about 4 super sweet varieties, packets long gone. They haven't cross pollinated too much either, I am alway warning OH not to mix the varieties, I thought he might learn after last year, but he has got away with it this time!

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I pulled 6 cobs today and ate 3! :shock::lol:

I usually plant Swift and don't mix varieties. They were really slow to start this year, but in the past month have gon mental. Still have 15+ cobs to pick :lol:

 

I sowed directly into the soil this year as forgot to sow in pots, but there doesn't seem to be a difference.

 

After the slugs ate the first 4 sowing of beetroot, :roll: the last sowing is now ready for harvest. I need to get some sand to store them in, also to store the carrots.

 

 

Beans are poor this year, raspberries are like a weed. I've picked 15 lbs so far. Was at work for 6 days so couldn't get to the lottie and have lost another 3 lbs as they've gone over. Have made 30 jars of raspberry jam so far, with more fruits forming 8) I LOVE raspberry jam. :D

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Our sweet corn is fabulous this year, the plants are over 7ft tall and we have a forest of them. Sweet corn is my OH's favourite veg, they are so sweet this year, the chooks will be in heaven too they love the trimmings from the cobs and the dodgy ones which are few and far between so far. :D

what variety is it please? as I really need to find a good one the one I've grown for the last couple of years is useless. I'm hoping that once we get a trade deal between the UK and the USA we start to get seeds from the states again and I can get sweetcorn Indian Summer seed again

 

Pick the first apples this afternoon Greensleaves an eater and Dr Harvey a cooker some good sized apples of both and a fairly good sized crop only draw back neither are very good keepers. a few grub damaged greensleaves but the Doc ain't to bad

picked some more carrots this morning the White Satin are getting a good size now the sweet candle are a little bit smaller but are a good quality at one end of the row but a little bit forked at the other the St Valery(sp) are a little bit of a disappointment in the ground size wise but the few in the box might have a bit of size on them I just hope the hold for another month as I want them for a display

Sorry I can't help, there were about 4 super sweet varieties, packets long gone. They haven't cross pollinated too much either, I am alway warning OH not to mix the varieties, I thought he might learn after last year, but he has got away with it this time!

super sweet's don't do any good on my ground I find the older varieties with the bigger cobs do the best but it gets harder every year to find them I've grown one called Incredible for the last 2 years on recommendation plus I was given the seed but never again it's useless this far North I grew on called Fiesta a couple of years back the did quite well but I lost it to the badgers we had on the lottie site the seed catalogue I use don't stock it anymore. Swift I don't like

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Will definitely be growing more gherkins next year. They've been great. The pickles aren't supposed to be kept in the fridge longer than 6 weeks - but we are lucky if they last 2. Potential son-in-law has gone home with a jar too.

 

We had the last surviving carrots - all 6 of them - last week. Quite disappointing size-wise. Finally the beans are going over and I need the space for my winter onions!! Beetroots have done nothing too.

 

Peppers are just turning red in the greenhouse now and the tomatoes are gradually being used up. Only the Sungolds to harvest now.

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I think I'm going to sow carrots late June again next year this years are the best I've ever grown they over took the early ones I think I'll need to empty out the growing box through to get shot of the carrot fly I'll stick with Sweet candle and the white one but St Valery I'll replace with Flakke and I'll add yellowstone that did well last year and one of the purple ones and possibly try Icicle or one of the other ones that will over winter

tomatoes and spuds were terrible this year toms all growth and next to no flowers and 'tuber' blight on the the fruit of one variety that's a first for me had blight take out the entire greenhouse full of plant but never just fruit and on only one plant that will need investigation I think picked the last of the runner beans last weekend the rest will be for seed hopefully I can pick some of the French bean seed tomorrow they had started to dry out last weekend

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Took down the runner beans today. I'm going to plant Autumn onions in heir place but want to leave he bean roots in for a few weeks first.

 

Currently harvesting leeks and carrots and still using onions and potatoes. Leaving my 3 parsnips in the ground until a frost!

 

Next year I'm going to do more onions and put the carrots in containers.

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My runners and birlotto beans are only just starting g to crop!

 

Pulled all my red and white onions and I too am waiting for the frosts for my 5 parsnips. Been pulling beetroot all summer now, I love it.

 

Ive been collecting a basket like this most days. Really satisfying. :D

 

image_zpss5o8hiec.png

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Wow Christian, it's what it's all about isn't it, a basket (or trug!) of home grown produce, it makes me come over all warm feeling seeing homegrown produce, it doesn't even have to be mine :lol:

 

I didn't think I'd be posting here again this year as we don't have much to harvest or tend. But I have, rather late in the day, realised quite powerfully, how different our growing conditions are and how slow I am to adapt properly. It's not just the extreme heat, and this summer has been the 2nd hottest on record, it's the extreme heat during the night as well. This year nights have been regularly between low 20s and 30. Plants have to be super acclimatised to cope, perhaps they don't 'rest' as much?

 

Now it's September and still warm (today is 30 which is exceptional) but the nights are much much cooler, it's dark before 8pm and not light till later, so much more understandable growing conditions. It's taken all this time for me to appreciate just how vital giving sufficient water is, you have to account for the night as well as the day, and I am now super envious of my neighbours with boreholes and springs. I know one chap has diverted the water course from a spring and he grows the best cucumbers I have had in Portugal, along with his super fast everything else. One neighbour has his own spring and tank which fills from it, he also uses irrigation channels around his veg, another one has a complicated series of hoses from the river, and another one has a water mine and underground pipes across her land. Our Spring/tank neighbour dowses so we are seriously considering asking him to give our patch the once over.

 

The long range forecast says we won't get rain till the end of November, normally we have a heavy week of rain in Sept to reinvigorate the landscape, but it's not happening this year.

 

And now a possible intrigue. We have an apple tree with about 10% extreme dieback. This morning I examined the tree with the intention of pruning it out, and all the dieback is associated with a single, large limb of the tree, which happens to overhang the land and grapes of a neighbour. Below this limb I found a small hole, either bored or drilled into the drunk, quite fresh, could be an insect. But below that I found a much larger hole with a cork pushed into it, which still had some 'give' in it, and a fairly bright colour, so it's not been in that long. Explanations??!

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weedkiller, possibly copper but the normal way to use copper is a ring of cooper tacks or nails right around the base of the tree spaced with the head not quite touching but that's a slow method of killing trees. weedkiller wood end up killing the whole tree it's normally the way to deal with a stump that's still growing drill a number of holes about 12mm dia at intervals over the whole surface of the stump about 50mm deep then pour in neat glyphosate weedkiller

sorry but hope for the best but expect to loose the tree

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You confirm my suspicions, SJP. I was hoping it might have been some old wives tale about keeping wasps at bay or suchlike, but I took the precaution of asking our very friendly neighbour about it this afternoon. He took one look at it and said 'call the police' :shock::shock:

 

Needless to say, we won't, but we will be having stern words with our other neighbour. Part of me is amused, but part of me is annoyed, its the principle, not the tree, which hasn't the best flavour, but it is a good cropper - we give the fruit to our local goatherd, although I slightly worry I have inadvertantly poisoned them - is that likely do you think? Our nice neighbour, and his elderly mother, said it wasn't a laughing matter (or words to that effect!); it was serious and given how little people round here have, I really feel it. Rather bizarrely, just yesterday the lady who had planted the tree (as a twig from yet another local) turned up, and told us a story about how nasty neighbour had poisoned a line of trees she had planted on another boundary because they were shading his grapes. We have spent 4 years disregarding gossip about this man, but as of today, I think I have to agree with it.

 

SJP - I can see the hole is in one limb only, not the main trunk, and all the dead branches are associated with that limb. Will the weedkiller spread to the whole tree do you think - its about 10 years old, about 15-20 feet high and similar circumference. The trunk has a width of about 8 inches, and its not in brilliant condition (woolly aphid and possible canker) Would you wait and see for a season or just take it down?

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You confirm my suspicions, SJP. I was hoping it might have been some old wives tale about keeping wasps at bay or suchlike, but I took the precaution of asking our very friendly neighbour about it this afternoon. He took one look at it and said 'call the police' :shock::shock:

 

Needless to say, we won't, but we will be having stern words with our other neighbour. Part of me is amused, but part of me is annoyed, its the principle, not the tree, which hasn't the best flavour, but it is a good cropper - we give the fruit to our local goatherd, although I slightly worry I have inadvertantly poisoned them - is that likely do you think? Our nice neighbour, and his elderly mother, said it wasn't a laughing matter (or words to that effect!); it was serious and given how little people round here have, I really feel it. Rather bizarrely, just yesterday the lady who had planted the tree (as a twig from yet another local) turned up, and told us a story about how nasty neighbour had poisoned a line of trees she had planted on another boundary because they were shading his grapes. We have spent 4 years disregarding gossip about this man, but as of today, I think I have to agree with it.

 

SJP - I can see the hole is in one limb only, not the main trunk, and all the dead branches are associated with that limb. Will the weedkiller spread to the whole tree do you think - its about 10 years old, about 15-20 feet high and similar circumference. The trunk has a width of about 8 inches, and its not in brilliant condition (woolly aphid and possible canker) Would you wait and see for a season or just take it down?

cut the limb off as close to the trunk as possible ASAP as will it kill the tree that's in the hands of the gods it depends on how long ago the weedkiller was used. aphid is treatable canker is controllable to a degree just cut out and branches that are affected well below the canker older trees can cope with it as long as it's not to low down on the main trunk I lost a James Grive to canker as it got it right on the graft point but I've saved a Ballerina tree that had it about 4 inch above the graft had 3 nice big eating apple of it this year first since I cut the tree back. the apple from your tree might need to be stored for a while before there 'edible' it's a popular misconception that all apples are ready to eat when their ready to pick, I'm slowly going through half a box of Greensleaves that I picked about 10 days ago the taste/flavour has improved already and is nothing like it was at the beginning of September. I do eat a few from the tree as I like the occasional sharp apple munched on a very nice cooker yesterday afternoon,

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Thanks SJP, your help is greatly appreciated :D OH has woken up this morning saying he is going to have calm words with our neighbour so he knows we know and to tell him we want to be good neighbours, so please talk to us if he has a problem in the future, in an attempt to shame him and stop him doing anything similar again. Once he has done this, we will get the saw out to take down the limb. I don't know if I've posted this before, but the same neighbour steals my prunings and uses them to mulch his grapes. I leave piles to rot down or ready to burn dotted about close to the boundary and they disappear, only to reappear under his vines :roll: Poor old tree, its doesn't deserve this; I found paraquat here when we moved in, so goodness knows what he has used on it. I now have my suspicions about a pear which is planted next to it, and which was dying when we arrived 4 years ago, although it bore fruit this year miraculously. I had assumed it was ancient and past it, but now I wonder :shock:

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Thanks SJP, your help is greatly appreciated :D OH has woken up this morning saying he is going to have calm words with our neighbour so he knows we know and to tell him we want to be good neighbours, so please talk to us if he has a problem in the future, in an attempt to shame him and stop him doing anything similar again. Once he has done this, we will get the saw out to take down the limb. I don't know if I've posted this before, but the same neighbour steals my prunings and uses them to mulch his grapes. I leave piles to rot down or ready to burn dotted about close to the boundary and they disappear, only to reappear under his vines :roll: Poor old tree, its doesn't deserve this; I found paraquat here when we moved in, so goodness knows what he has used on it. I now have my suspicions about a pear which is planted next to it, and which was dying when we arrived 4 years ago, although it bore fruit this year miraculously. I had assumed it was ancient and past it, but now I wonder :shock:

that's the trouble with old country farmers they keep all sorts of banned chemicals and use all sorts of cocktails of them

I forgot to say about your apple tree it must have some redeeming features for the previous owner of the property to go to the trouble of growing it from a cutting you don't do that if it's 'rubbish'

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Thanks Valkyrie :D OH found himself having a friendly chat with MrsNastyNeighbour the other day, who is quite nice, and so he took the opportunity to show her the tree. She became, unsurprisingly, quite spiky, but given OH didn't directly accuse her husband I think he might have done a good thing. Now Mrs knows that Mr has done something stupid it might really stop him doing something else.

 

We took down the massive branch and all its dead little branches. I can see the hole goes into the main trunk, so it was about 2 inches in length. We will have to wait and see if the tree survives. I feel quite sad that somebody would set out to kill a tree, especially a food bearing one. "Ooops, word censored!"ody around here has ornamental trees, they are all productive.

 

You are right SJP about the tree having some merit, the apples don't taste bad, its just they are small and not as good as a neighbouring tree, which luckily for us has really quite special fruit - its got a very complex flavour, quite pineappley, decent size crisp and juicy, sweet but with enough acidity to stop it being boring. There is a variety called Bravo which is grown locally, and I think the good tree may be a Bravo or Bravo cross.

 

I have also made a new deduction, which is exciting. We have a mature fig, which is a beautiful shape but with horrible fruit. I didn't think such a thing was possible :lol: However, yesterday I discovered that some figs bear an early Spring crop which is known as breba - and this is what ours does. The fruit are dry and tasteless. However, about a week ago I spied some proper black figs at the top of the tree, and I managed to get one down, and lo, it was delicious! So, I am going to try taking all the Spring fruit off next year and see if we get more maincrops, instead of the half dozen I can see. I am particularly excited, as I love black figs!

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only take figs of that are ripe leave the small and very small green ones on their the next 2 years fruit. figs is a funny plant as it has 3 years fruit on at the same time.

the apples are they 'dirty' green colour and a bit conical shaped if so they could be pitmaston pineapple they don't get any size on them but after a few days off the tree are a really good eat

the good tree could be Bravo de Esmolfe

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Thanks for taking the trouble SJP - yes, I'm pretty certain it is a Bravo de Esmolfe having seen the pictures :D It is highly perfumed, and I see its described as the Queen of Apples in Portugal. We are a little bit further south than its main growing area, (its seems to have its own festival in mid October!) but we are still in its DOP area and the apple certainly does put up with our scorching summers very well. Its really nice to know its a very old variety, I feel as though I am doing my bit - I used to like visiting Brogdale and I have an apple and a cherry from there back in the UK :D

 

The other one is not greenish. Its fruits are small and quite dumpy - a bit like a tomato, its broader than it is high. Its definitely yellow, and has a tendency to be a bit dry, whereas the Bravo is always juicy. I don't water the trees so maybe that could improve it.

 

I was reading about the figs that the breba crop is usually beneath a leaf, whereas the summer crop is above it - I inspected our tree earlier today and that certainly seems to be the pattern for us.

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it could be a cider apple one clue to that is when you try to eat it it's like trying to eat blotting paper

try juicing a few a cider apple will produce more juice pound for pound than all most all other apples their also smallish apples

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