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mullethunter

Gardening thread

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Thanks Valkyrie - missed the boat for a couple of days now but will get them out later this week 😊

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My elderly neighbour moved out and her house was sold and now it's being gutted and worked on which I expected. Today the gutting of her garden happened which also didn't surprise me but honestly I am a bit flabbergasted. It certainly needed work but this morning it was looking pretty in an early autumn way and this evening it looks like it's been shelled. Everything has gone, the little ornamental trees, all the shrubs, just everything. Her old neighbours on the other side were looking over their fence looking very sad. That thing about living with a garden for a year was good advice because they'll miss a treat in the spring time. All the nesting sites have gone as well. It's not my business but I hope there was a point to the destruction. 

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How sad. I’d be gutted at that - especially for the wildlife. Hopefully whatever replaces it will be worth it.

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We are still picking runners and very few of the tomatoes have ripened so far. I've picked some toms and put them on the windowsill to redden in the hope that they will come good; they are destined for passatta anyway. But the mini cucumbers are taking such a long time to reach anywhere near usable....I'm watering like mad and feeding weekly to try and bring them on but they are still tiny. It's so annoying having nurtured these veg over the summer only to fear loosing them as the nights get colder >:(.

We have had some lovely pears though and more to come. The roses need to be hacked but I'm always really scared to cut them hard. I keep getting advice on taking them back to near the ground but it seems very brutal and I fear they won't grow back! I really need to spend some time over the next couple of weeks putting the garden to bed.........not sure when that will happen!

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I followed the instruction of cutting roses back to the first outward facing bud Soapdragon, which works fine. However I cut some mildewed roses almost back to the ground and this year they were great, so this year all the roses will all get cut back hard. One thing we are using now is liquid fertiliser with added elements when bushes are watered; great results with that as well, although it is expensive.

In the village where we used to live quite a few people moved into houses and immediately ripped everything out of the garden and paved them over. I suppose if you have a busy working life there isn't time for gardening and I know people who hate the repetition of pulling out weeds time and time again. i'm not a great flower lover preferring to eat what we grow.

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Quote

over. I suppose if you have a busy working life there isn't time for gardening

I’d rather have a wilderness than paving if I had no time

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I will be brave with my roses then! I've also been told to put banana skins round the base of the bushes....must be some chemical which the roses appreciate!

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This is what the banana skins do for your Roses.  Very good for them.

Fresh banana peels are a healthy addition to your rose-fertilizing program. Since they decompose rapidly, banana peels readily release beneficial minerals such as potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, trace elements and some phosphates into the soil for roses to relish.

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Do you lay the banana skins on top of the soil or have to dig them in for the roses ?

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You can lay them on the top - they rot very quickly. We've been saving banana skins in a kitchen caddy and decant the "tea" as it is a very strong fertiliser that needs a lot of diluting!

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We have a quince tree which last year produced fruit which rotted and fell off. The few good ones were brown inside, so we didn't expect much of this tree. However this year it has cropped so heavily that more than half of the fruit was removed to prevent the branches breaking and none have rotted. One fell off this morning weighing 562 grammes and when cut in half it was perfect. There are still dozens on the tree, some of which are even bigger. What do you do with them?

Seems we have residents in the vegetable plot; field voles, some of which are quite big. They now have acquired a taste for beef tomatoes, having already eaten the carrots and beetroot from underground. Tempted to let the terrier in but suspect she will do more damage than the voles, so it looks like traps are the only option. Apparently we should have cut back the grass for at least 5 metres all around the plot which stops the voles coming out from the fields, as they don't like to be exposed for that distance. So now the grass is cut, too late for this year but hopefully will solve the problem for next, once we have caught the residents.

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I think we need traps too.  I've not heard the owls lately, but the buzzards have been around - and a kestrel yesterday being chased by tiny birds (couldn't tell what they were though) - didn't know about the 5m gap.  I don't think we have that much distance from the fields - including our own!

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There are 4 quince bushes outside, groaning with unripe fruit.  I make quince jam and quince chutney as usual (internet recipes).  This year I am going to also make quince jelly (which is perfectly clear and a very beautiful pale pink, made from cooking up fruits with sugar and letting the juicy liquid strain through muslin for hours) and with the fruit residue I will make 'marmelada' which is a sort of set thick quince paste, which is a Portugeuse favourite (you cut and eat a small square with/without cheese) and the origin of our marmalade.  In fact marmelo is Portugeuse for quince.  You can also slice one and roast it with your meats (very good with pork) or potatoes/pumpkins, it gives a fruit/sharp taste as a nice counterpoint to the richness of roasted anything.

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Yes, well if I never post again it will be because I am trapped under a pile of big yellow fruits!

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Next time I have a banana I will put the skin next to my roses 😊

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It’s not mountains of quince, but one of my tomatoes keeps on producing too! Took off 1,5 kg again this morning and made tomato soup. I don’t expect everything on the plant to ripen before end of the season, but there are still quite a number of almost ripe tomatoes.

 

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Oooh those tomatoes look tasty Cat tails.

My tomatoes were rubbish this year.

In fact, the only tomatoes that have done well are ones that grew themselves - one in my tub of sweet peas that came out of the new compost and another that seeded itself in the greenhouse.

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Jasmine advice required, please! OH bought me a lovely Jasmine plant earlier this year - LOVE the smell - and I repotted it and put it outside on the patio when it finished flowering. I've watered and fed it and it's looking healthy and happy. However, will it need to come back indoors once the nights get much colder or can I just move it to a sheltered spot against a wall? It's grown so well and is looking so cheerful that I'd be gutted to have it shrivel up and die for want of a bit of warmth! I do have a spot indoors where it can overwinter, if required, away from direct heat but in a bright and sunny position. What would you do? :think:

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Pretty toms!

This was one of our heritage ones with a Sungold.  I think it's a Berkeley Tie Dye.  

Went to the Malvern Autumn show on Sunday - what an eye opener!  Enormous veg and lots of super normal veg - which was still rather big in some cases.  I might have been in with a chance with my toms - but not interested in showing them.  Besides it's in the freezer now!  

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I also have Black Russians and I agree - love the flavour too, I think that's my favourite beefsteak variety, so definitely growing those next year.  Black Krim looked more pink, a bit boring but added to the bulk of the concoctions.  I'm not growing Irish Gardeners Delight, Black Krim, Orange Banana, Lemon Tree/Plum or Carter's Golden Sunrise next year.  I'll be growing Sungolds, Tigerella, Berkeley Tie Dye, Green Zebra and the Sundried toms and I'll pop them in the middle so that I have more space for the larger peppers.  For some reason there was a lot of damping off issues and the flower heads just dropped off.  I'm thinking condensation dripping from the roof, so will put them round the edges.  Not bothering with the Minimix or Mini Baby Bells (which although different company, not much difference between the two) as OH whinged that they were too fiddley when removing the seeds.  I'll also be growing peppers outside - I put the really sickly peppers outside the greenhouse and they recovered and ended up looking more healthy than those under cover!  

 

 

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Finally back in the garden after injury!! Pulled the tomato and cucumber plants out of the greenhouse and cleaned the glass while my helper tidied up a load of pests and fallen tomatoes, then put my staging back in and settled my new Venus flytrap and pitcher plant in there. Pretty satisfying day 😊

Next: take out runner beans, clear up rest of veg garden and weed around leeks, brassicas and parsnips; turn compost; empty sweet pea, cosmos and dahlia pots; cut back buddleia; cut back box hedge; cut back shrubs in front garden; plant spring bulbs; plant sweet pea seeds. Phew - tired thinking about it 😂 

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Just reading that list tired me out!  LOL!  The two older generations were out changing over the compost today while it was dry!  This years is very wet, although the worms are gradually working their way through.  We added lots of hay to bulk it out and help dry grass clippings.  Smelt like a farmyard!  

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