Archive for justcycling.myfastforum.org Just Cycling
 


       justcycling.myfastforum.org Forum Index -> The Coffee Lounge
Mrs John Murphy

Mary, Mary, quite contrary how does your garden grow?

Just planted my peas and sweetpeas, the plum tree is in bloom (although must remember to put out the anti-moth lamp to stop me losing the crop again this year). Had an excellent germination of tomatoes from a free packet on a magazine and a good crop of herbs out of a packet in an xmas cracker.

So I am quite hopeful after the winter of having a good summer. Anyone else growing anything?
kathy

Basil, Parsley, and the MInt grows itself.  Oh, last year I couldn't find any lavender plants, so I found a packet of seed, and I now have some magnificent specimens!
Fontfroide

Just making the final considerations, which include along debate about what variety of tomatoes to grow.  Normally my wife does the gardening, or rather, does the strategic planning.  I do various jobs that are 'boy's work'.   This year as an experiment, I have half the veg patch to do with as I like.  I have it dug over and compost and well rotted horse shit dug in, but still am thinking about what to plant.  I might go wild and buy some plants at the foire that happens in a week or two.  Wife says that it is too hot down here for lettuce or in that patch, so naturally I shall do those.  Varieties not sold in the shops.  First summer in three years I can eat raw veg, so we shall see.  Only a wee patch, so not many big decisions.

I fear the apricots will not be numerous this year.  Just as full flowering set in, they had one day with no wind and rain, and the bees were busy, then four days of rain and wind, and no bees.  No big hopes on that front.  Big hopes for the cherry tree this year.
bianchigirl

Popped over to Jardiland for tomatoes, chillis and strawbs (plants so much better and more varieties). 2 half barrels of potatoes (belle de fontenay, again from France and some red duke of york's from Waitrose that sprouted in the cellar so I bunged them in - will be an interesting experiment to see which does what). Courgettes - yellow and ronde de nice. Red gooseberries. Peas and beans - french & runner. Husb dug up the small border in the front garden for veg - I'd like to dig up the whole front patch and have a proper parterre. Carrots because Tom loves planting, harvesting and eating them. Nothing sprouting yet as will be sowing this weekend. Herbs in an old freestanding bath - fennel and mint and chives and wild garlic and thyme. We don'thave much space but we do love to grow veg. Oh and Tom is doing zinnias and sunflowers and capucines - at least we'll have a riot of colour as well Wink

So envious of those of you with fruit trees though - anyone tried those patio trees? Thinking of getting some for Tom so he can pick fresh apples, pears, plums, cherries whatever - any experiences with those?
Mrs John Murphy

BG sounds like you have a large amount of garden if you are growing potatoes. I've grown them a couple of times but relative to the amount of labour you have to do to the crop in the end I wasn't sure it was worth it.

I've got a good crop peppers, my first sowing of radishes did well but seems to have been a bit slow since I planted them out. Got a second sowing on the way. My Bucharest Geranium has survived another winter which is good. Waiting for the runner beans to germinate now having sowed them last week.

A little bit annoyed - finally had frogspawn in the pond this spring but it looks like the dragonfly larvae have eaten them all. Hopefully the frogs will come back next year and I'll have to separate the spawn from the rest of the pond.
thunderthighs

my garden is awesome.. tomatoes, peppers,eggplant, radicchio, just a few..

does anyone grwo their (tiny tim) upside down like me.. small tiny tomatoes...

ciao
cardinal guzman

Mrs G does the growing - toms, herbs, sprouts, carrots and she grows a couple of spud plants in big pots by the back door. Very small scale.
bianchigirl

not a great deal of garden by any means - and would love more. We're doing the 'spuds in barrels' thing which doesn't take space and is pretty successful. Layer of compost - seed pots - layer compost, then keep adding more compost as the shoots grow through.

MJM frogs always come back - we filled in most of our pond, just left a marshy bit with yellow irises, but every year the frogs return and we have frog spawn.
Juggernaut

I live in Scotland, so the only thing that grows is moss Sad

Not quite true - had a go at a vege garden for the first time last year. Courgettes did really well, as did the rhubarb, but most other things were a waste of time (peas, beans, lettuce).

This year, we've got a little plastic green-house for the seedlings, to give them a fighting chance. The thing is, I'm not that keen on courgettes and rhubarb Smile
Mrs John Murphy

BG - what size barrels are you using and what kind of size crops do you get?

Juggernaut - what about more hardy winter type veg like cabbages, caulflowers etc. What is your soil like? Shelter seems to play an important role with young crops. My radishes that have been sheltered by the broad beans have done better than the more exposed ones - same patch about a foot further away from the beans and the shelter.

TT - I am not sure I understand. Can you take a photo to show us what you mean?
bianchigirl

I've got a couple of half barrels that I'm using for the first time - last year did a black plastic dustbin, crop a bit disappointing as didn't get enough sun, but you can use a bin, barrel even an empty heavy duty compost bag. http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Grow-Potatoes-in-Containers.htm

You get a good return for little effort - none of that earthing up palaver - and it saves space too
Bartali

I'm afraid I leave the gardening to the staff .... though recently they have been spending most of their time straigtening out the river which was much too wiggly for my liking.  Wink
Fontfroide

This year I was given half our veg patch, usually there is another who is in control and I do work assigned by the controller.  she also plants what she likes in her patch and I do in my patch.  You don't want to know the history.

So far, I am specialising (I used to be a bit of a gardener) in Med veg.  That is, now researching which exact plants to buy (only got autonomy a couple of weeks ago, too late for sowing for some things).  This will involve the woeful task of driving to a few little plant markets, chatting with anyone I know, and selecting, at random, plants I like.  Already I am going to do white aubergines, if I can find them.  Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes and some cherry types.  Less seeds, don't ask why.  Other crucial decisions await the little shopping trips.  I might even nip off over half an hour away where this guy sells about 300 or maybe 150, anyway loads of old varieties.  I remember being struck by Miel de Mexique when I went there four years ago.  Nice trip though, they guy is clearly a tomato nutter.  I asked him which one had finest hit of tomato when you bit into it.  Me sold me several plants.  Probably do the same.  Next Saturday there is a plant sale twenty minutes away and the following week, a big plant market in my town.  Should be well kitted out by then.

I took some photos of the garden, but frankly I can't find out where iPhoto put them.  New MacBook.  Once I can attach them, by finding out where they are, I will send pics.  Saves a thousand words, which I can easily produce.  We are only talking about 20 square metres of garden though, so not much to see.

It has been such a cold spring, being behind a bit might not be a bad idea.  This morning it was 5 and by 1400 it was over 20, in fact it says 26 now, but maybe the thermometer is mounted poorly.  One says 25 the other 21.  So is it spring yet or not?
thunderthighs

once the plant is 10 cm tall.. reverse the pot,less'en the soil.. btu keep roots hidden from sun..but keep soil wet..

murphy brown...ciao
Juggernaut

MJM - cabbage is a good idea, cauliflower did poorly last year (very small), as did brocolli. I think it is more to do with our poor gardening skills, and not so much the climate. It's possible to grow decent veg here, but I think you have to be a bit more organised than in sunnier climates.

The site is south facing and well sheltered, which is a great start, but the soil is poor (in my uneducated opinion) and seems to have little organic matter in it. I've never found an earthworm in it, which is a worry. We started a composte heap in the hope of rectify this, but things take forever to composte up here...
Guiness

Fontfroide wrote:
This year I was given half our veg patch, usually there is another who is in control and I do work assigned by the controller.  she also plants what she likes in her patch and I do in my patch.  You don't want to know the history.


I have sympathy for you. I have experienced the same.  Surprised  I have discovered that Auntie Beeb has a great gardening calender that helps me understand when I should plant things if they are ever to grow!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/
MAILLOT JAUNE

Bartali wrote:
I'm afraid I leave the gardening to the staff .... though recently they have been spending most of their time straigtening out the river which was much too wiggly for my liking.  Wink


Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
Fontfroide

Guiness wrote:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/


I took a look.  I have books that have the same thing.  The trick is to make corrections from those dates, which also need correction (Exeter is not Glasgow or Lancaster) for a very hot area in the south of France, with heavy calcaire soil.  We have the so called bible, Le Guide du Jardinage Biologique, Jean-Paul Thorez.  I should do a study of what they say there and what the website says, but I doubt I will.  

Hard to decide whether to do an hour or two in the garden or go for a ride when the weather is good.  Like today it is 24 degrees and sunny.  The nice author gives a very detailed map of France that tells you what forty day delay there is between bits of France.  We are, fortunately, in the bit where he recommends 10-20 days advance.  But being a bit late is not big deal.  Me, I tend to like the look of the garden as much as the produce.  

Crucial decision coming up is what sort of binding to use, exact size of string or maybe this year, gaffer tape in strips, to use for the tomato construction.
Guiness

Fontfroide wrote:
Guiness wrote:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/


I took a look.  I have books that have the same thing.  The trick is to make corrections from those dates, which also need correction (Exeter is not Glasgow or Lancaster) for a very hot area in the south of France, with heavy calcaire soil.


I agree.  Just like a recipe. You make alterations according to your needs/circumstances/taste buds etc.


Fontfroide wrote:
 We have the so called bible, Le Guide du Jardinage Biologique, Jean-Paul Thorez.


Ah, the bible to organic gardening. Never read it. Friends swear by it.
bianchigirl

Anybody planting by the moon? My neighbour in France used to swear by it and his garden was the dog's - used to invite me over to select what I liked from the 'Marche de Maurice'.

I only do cherry tomatoes because a) Tom loves to go and pick a stem and eat them and b) weather not reliable enough to guarantee beefsteaks and the like. Once did 'Noir de Crimee' in France - looked weird but tasted from heaven, recommend them if you see them, also the Green Zebras. Hopefully this year will be better than last as we got blight Sad
kathy

Fontfroide, if you like green beans (haricots verts, not runners), they grew like weeds once sowed, in our garden in France - very near to where you are, of course.  I tired growing caulis there, but they weren't very successful.  But I did get early broad beans, sown in November, ready late Feb.

I might try the potatoes in a barrel idea next year.  Spuds tend to be dodgy here - I wonder why we never get the nice early Majorcan potatoes that I remember in the UK Confused
cadence

Mrs John Murphy wrote:

TT - I am not sure I understand. Can you take a photo to show us what you mean?


Just guessing here...

kathy

Think upside down tomatoes is this year's gardening fad.

http://oldfashionedliving.com/tomato2.html
thunderthighs

cadence...exactly...ciao.....
Guiness

kathy wrote:
Think upside down tomatoes is this year's gardening fad.

http://oldfashionedliving.com/tomato2.html


Must try this. My boy will love it! We sowed under glass in March some sunflower seeds. As the weather is better we are hoping to head out this weekend and put them direct into the ground in the back garden. Not sure if anyone else has grown sunflowers.... Is there anything I can do to produce longer stems on them? My boy has a pet hamster and someone suggested we collect the seeds to give to the hamster. Has anyone done this too? Books say that 'Summer Sensation' is great for this as it will produce kernels ideal for pets.
Mrs John Murphy

Sunflowers can be a bit tricky. They need staking and the soil needs to be pretty decent and they need a lot of sun. The problem is don't water enough and they die, water too much and they rot off.
Fontfroide

If you like to watch birds, then don't harvest the sunflowers, just leave them and watch the birds eat the seeds.  Plant them where you can see them from a window.  MJM is right, staking and watering is crucial.  Never managed to buy the right kind of grow them well enough to get them high like in my youth.  Still, they had flowers, the turned with the sun and the birds loved them.
mr shifter

Bartali wrote:
I'm afraid I leave the gardening to the staff .... though recently they have been spending most of their time straigtening out the river which was much too wiggly for my liking.  Wink
By George old chap, I don't know how you find the time.
I presume you call the Estate Manager to order then. salut Sar
mr shifter

Mrs John Murphy wrote:

I've got a good crop peppers, my first sowing of radishes did well but seems to have been a bit slow since I planted them out. Got a second sowing on the way. My Bucharest Geranium has survived another winter which is good. Waiting for the runner beans to germinate now having sowed them last week.

Moiphy you are either Bullshitting, OR you live outside the UK in warmer climes. ???? The date of the above post was 17th April.
About that time I was watching (one of the very few) BBC programs "Country File" and the Farmers were saying they couldn't get on the fields to start planting because the ground was water logged.
The winter has been hard this year  and they are so far behind.
My own Apple trees are at least 3/4 weeks late with no blossom out yet.
I have 4 small plots for Vegetables (madam does the flowers and her bushes) which I rotate each year and the greenhouse.
2 of these plots have been covered with canvass (sort of) sheets so my ground would dry a bit.
Some of the Onions have started growing from my planting only 2 weeks ago and my Lettuces are doing well. Plastic cloche's at night because it gets so cold. (seeded in the greenhouse)
Cabbages in three levels of growth (1) over winter will be 3/5 weeks at least (2) next about 6" high just going in (3) seeds on about their third leaf.
Yes I do Spuds but only the 1st earlies which I usually start lifting in June when early potatoes cost a bomb and I also do a row of about 8 main crop "Desiree" that I pinch out of the big bags I buy. (they come in handy for chips when all you can buy is whites)

I havn't checked with my mate in Herne Bay and as I used to live in Thanet (north foreland) and I was always in front down there.

Maybe that's where Moiphy lives as I would expect the weather was a lot milder again.

I had so many niggly things went wrong last week and this topic here is yet another one for not going to Wallonne last Wednesday. (so I have caught up a marginal bit this week)

Now you can Be Lucky
Fontfroide

Just whacked in the five Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, will do the other varieties after 1 May when we have a wee veg fair in town.  All the growers come.  My wife bought some aubergine plants whih are now in.  No idea what kind as she said they were 'long' which only describes the nature of the aubergine, not the variety.  Might get a couple of white ones just for fun, and ask teh grower what they are really called.  Might get some Miel de Mexique or Raisin Verte tomatoes too.  they tasted great three years ago when we found them.  

Catwoman, I am going to put in some beans for sure.  Waiting for the said fair to buy the plants.  I think I shall get some shorter ones, as I already have the structures for the tomatoes and the garden patch I control is a bit small for several sets of structures for proper runner beans.  I also fancy trying some mange touts as well.  I might even try a few oddball lettuces in the shady bits between the tomatoes.

But you have to wait for the second of May for details.

The other thing I did is construct, with sticks and cat deterrent, as our cat loves to roll in freshly turned earth, especially if smells of compost and is near the Kiwi vines that we have had for seven years, growing up a huge structure almost like a porch.  Total output of kiwis in seven years is about seven kiwis.  Our dream of sitting in the shade under the vines and reaching up to pluck a ripe kiwi has been seriously dashed.

I should also report that the apricot tree seems to be a total bust this year.  There is a disease that hits ours, gooey stuff and dead ends of branches where the apricots should be.  Oh well, hard to do right apricots.  And another pal said his have almost nothing as well.  The cherries are visible however, not a lot, but still.  It is only a little tree, maybe the tallest branch is three metres.
bianchigirl

had great (if not v tall) sunflowers last year courtesy of our bird feeders - all those sunflower seeds scattered by hungry birds took root and flowered - obviously left them for the birds to feast.

Bought some nice ridge cucumber plants on Sunday - much prefer them to the smooth. French strawberry plants have flowers and fruit - looking forward to mara des bois and next year intend to get gariguette plants - is there a finer strawberry?
Mrs John Murphy

Er no. I started most of my plants off indoors, then moved them out to harden off under plastic and then planted them out. My radishes are only just about to be ready. The broad beans have done well and have just started to set the first beans. All of these were initially planted out under closhes - the radishes suffered a little as they didn't get enough water and then again when the closh came off as it was just a little too cold for them. Peppers are still in the cold frame along with the tomatoes.


Crab apple is in full bloom and the plum has been in blossom and is now in leaf.
mr shifter

Interesting Moiphy, but I thought that all you did was the pork pies and sit at that confounded laptop.
The whole of your posts on this thread do point to you being quite a distance "South" of the smoke or as we know, you read a lot.
Time will tell as your into one of my subjects that is of great interest to me. scratch

I've just come in for my coffee break and the weather is so good that I wish I had time to clean the bike and go for a ride.
We won't pot runner bean seeds for another couple of weeks and hopefully plant at the end of May when I plant my "Moneymaker" Toms outdoors.
My "In Law" has given me a couple of Cu,kies that I can't pot into their final greenhouse positions until the Guvnor gets her stuff out.

I am looking forward to my Sunday lunch with meat and all the veg is home grown.
Then in late August/September if you visit you can eat anything you like here, provided you have Beans and Tomatoes with it but my bunny rabbit wife eats the rest. Rolling Eyes
Mrs John Murphy

Not for the first time, you got everything wrong.

Picked the first radishes today which is always a good sign. Probably too soon, but I got impatient.

Lost a lettuce in the middle of the patch for no apparent reason - seems to have lost its middle. No slug trails and nothing else has been lost. The leaves which were still attached were droopy - as if the lettuce hadn't been watered (which it had been). It was fine yesterday when I looked and lost this morning. Not sure what it was. I'll check out the roots when I did it out in case it is an attack of something from below.

Having a fight with the local squirrel who seems to think he has buried his nuts where I have my beetroot seedlings. Managed to save a few of the seedlings. Hopefully the fox might do me a favour and eat the squirrel.
kathy

I planted a raspberry cane last week.  For some reason, they don't have raspberries in the shops and markets in Spain, although the place is awash with strawberries.  It's probably a mistake though, because the raspberries will probably go the same way as my grapes - always eaten by wasps before they're properly ripe!
Juggernaut

I'm having more success at hunting/gathering at the moment, having just discovered a large patch of wild garlic near my house. Still no mushrooms through, and I've been searching high and low. Sping is late this year...
bianchigirl

Got some teeny tiny gooseberries on the gooseberry bush
Mrs John Murphy

kathy wrote:
I planted a raspberry cane last week.  For some reason, they don't have raspberries in the shops and markets in Spain, although the place is awash with strawberries.  It's probably a mistake though, because the raspberries will probably go the same way as my grapes - always eaten by wasps before they're properly ripe!


Have you tried - wasp traps or companion planting?

Marigolds - or anything with a strong scent planted alongside to confuse the pests. I lost my whole plum crop to moths last year so I am setting up a moth trap this year.
MAILLOT JAUNE

You need mothballs  Wink
kathy

Marigolds - that's a good idea, and unlike some people, I do quite like them, especiallly the bigger African ones.  There are plenty of those in the market.
bianchigirl

They work brilliantly - just don't let the slugs eat them Wink

BTW anyone tried copper anti slug bands?
kathy

Hm, I have loads of slugs and snails as well - I don't like using pellets and things because of the cats.  My garden has been a bit of a tip, because I didn't do much last year while I was waiting for eye operations.  When I could see it again, I realised what a mess it was- Laughing

I even have a tree which has fallen down which I need to chop up!
Nolte

my father is the gardener around here

we have had apple trees (both cooking and eating apples) and plums trees that have been around in a while

we also have 2 pear trees. last year, he intentioinally made them not give them amny fruit so they could grow more i think.

we also have a small strawberry bush and a few blackberry bushes. 2 other bushes i'm unsure

and at the bottom of our garden., he's also growing some lettuce and scallions \(spring onions to some people)

that actually probably sounds like we havfe a lot of space but no, we don't
kathy

Following MJM's suggestion, I made a wasp trap earlier today and baited it with a mixture of dodgy white wine and sugar.  I haven't caught any wasps yet - perhaps they don't like the wine either Laughing

I think I will feed the slugs and snails on beer, and hope the cats don't drink it!
Mrs John Murphy

Kathy - have a look at this list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants
mr shifter

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Kathy - have a look at this list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants
Thanks Moiphy, that's a better list than the one in her book.
bianchigirl

I put down slug pellets and granules today after consulting my mate in France (a trained horticulturalist) - she gave my French 'organic' pellets that are OK for domestic and wild animals the green light, and she has cats and lots of wild birds (worried about the robin and blackbirds here). Will remember to dig out the box and post the name - guess the point is there are slug pellets that don't harm animals or the garden and do get rid of the bastard plant eaters Wink

Finally planted everything up today even in the grey and miserable cold - no beans seem to want to come up at the moment though, it's like they're staying put until the sun comes out Wink
Biosphere

BG

You can get harmless to pets etc. pellets in the UK too. They're made by Growing Success

http://www.monrobrands.com/growingsuccess/

We don't have a pet and didn't have a toddler when we first started using them, but between birds and passing cats and the fact that we were eating what was in the garden ourselves . . .

We've tried other items from their range and they worked.

Answering older question, copper tape for slugs works fine too, but over time it gets a bit corroded, picks up muck etc. and is not as effective (electrical contact not so good). Sandpapering supposed to help re-invigorate over time. There's also the fact that like worms, slugs provide a valuable service in the garden so leaving wilting plant matter around what you're protecting (left over bits of salad, results of weeding, pruning, etc.) will probably keep them happy. I know that goes against my pellet advice above, but we've got a yard with pots and a rather short 6" wide flower bed, so don't produce much plant waste and when the bastards are chowing down on the salad seedlings we've just planted out . . . . it's war Shocked
kathy

I relocated my wasp trap to the side of a water butt that attracts the wasps.  No wasps, but it's full of dead ants!  At least they died happy.
Mrs John Murphy

Finally had some rain. That of course means the slugs are out with a vengence.

Just started picking the first of the Broad Beans. I like to eat them when they are young before the pods get tough. The flavour is nice as is the texture.
bianchigirl

Love broad beans - my runner beans are up but the dwarf French beans stubbornly refuse to be seen - clearly they ate waiting for the better weather Wink

Strawberries are beginning to appear and ripen, courgettes are going apace - it's great growing your own (and if 'Opeless Osborne whacks 20% VAT on food it'll be a necessity Wink)
kathy

My neighbour gave me some organic broad beans and peas that her husband grows on their chicken farm the other day - the broad beans are delicious!  Funny, I only like fresh peas raw straight from the pod.
bianchigirl

Me too - love em, that's what we grow peas for, to eat straight from the pod. One day I'll have enough land to grow row after row of them and munch myself stupid. That have to be proper peas though, none of that mangetout/sugar snap malarkey.

Any recommended varieties, Kathy?
kathy

I've no idea what they are.  I've never grown peas.  These were probably a Spanish variety.  He grows all sorts of fruit and veg - the only ones I can't stand are artichokes.  The best bit though is their eggs - they are huge and all have double yolks - and they taste like eggs, if you know what I mean!
mr shifter

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Not for the first time, you got everything wrong.

Nailed it and I thought you were a cockney as I sucked in the New X bit. No Chance.

I havn't heard any thing here about Frost.
Well I got caught out one night last week after I had covered the lettuces and the latest 6 cabbages and put other stuff in the greenhouse with a small heater on.
Forgot the couple of rows of spuds which were through, got hit one night and now there are new shoots on their way.
Finally had a shower of rain last night for 5 cms (1/5") of water.  Rolling Eyes

Runner beans starting to come up in the greenhouse pots.
Tomatos (moneymakers) on about 4/5 leaves and both these go out the end of May.

Be Lucky
Fontfroide

Recent sowings of radishes and lettuce came up in fairly neat little green lines.  In some ways, I like the expanse of soil and little green lines quite a bit.  Although you can't the stuff until a bit later.  But it looks nice, after a rain.  Or some watering.  Tidy, neat, before the weeds get hold of it and the beasts begin to take their share.
Guiness

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Sunflowers can be a bit tricky. They need staking and the soil needs to be pretty decent and they need a lot of sun. The problem is don't water enough and they die, water too much and they rot off.


I think you are right. No sign of anything!
Guiness

Fontfroide wrote:
If you like to watch birds, then don't harvest the sunflowers, just leave them and watch the birds eat the seeds.  Plant them where you can see them from a window.  MJM is right, staking and watering is crucial.  Never managed to buy the right kind of grow them well enough to get them high like in my youth.  Still, they had flowers, the turned with the sun and the birds loved them.


My neighbours does this and the birds go crazy. Lovely birds. Lisa and I like to sit in the garden and watch them or hear them whilst we are in the conservatory. We have just bought a rescue cat home called Oscar (Tim - my son - is loving him) and he is going wild round the garden with the birds. Hopefully he will not bring one inside...

Cheers for the tips.
kathy

Guiness, Oscar will be so grateful for a good home that he will think he's giving you the best thank-you present in the world by presenting you with a bird (usually only half-dead!).  Believe me, I know Shocked

This morning, I bought a (very small) olive tree for the garden.  It sounds like my sort of plant because it says not to water very much!
Guiness

kathy wrote:
Guiness, Oscar will be so grateful for a good home that he will think he's giving you the best thank-you present in the world by presenting you with a bird (usually only half-dead!).  Believe me, I know Shocked

This morning, I bought a (very small) olive tree for the garden.  It sounds like my sort of plant because it says not to water very much!



The "present" arrived this morning at 4am - in our bedroom! Half-dead. Tossed around. Girlfriend heard the noise first (as i'm fast asleep. Wouldn't know if WWIII started!). I was summoned to take the birdie away from Oscar and ofcourse out of our house. MJM posted a link somewhere about birds and dometic cats. Can't seem to find it now. Even though the responses to the article said to get a dog I still think cats are the better choice. Far more intelligent creatures.

How's the olive tree doing? Always wanted one for the front garden, but always afraid the freezing weather we get here at winter it would not survive. It's meant to be taken indoors then (if it is small and in a pot!) So as to protect it. Hopefully yours will fair well in such a hot country!
kathy

You know what your mistake is, Guiness - letting Oscar have access to the bedroom.  I keep my cats out, mainly because one of them moults a lot and leaves fur everywhere she goes.  Brushing down throws on the chairs is enough of a daily chore without having to do the bed as well!

The olive tree is very small, only about 30cm high at present.  It looks OK.  They grow very slowly.  Most of the olive trees in the fields around here are probably fifty years old.  My garden isn't big enough for a big tree anyway.  I just like the leaves.  I'm not particularly fond of olives (only some of the big juicy green ones), and mine is a black olive tree - I can't stand them!  But I do like olive oil. Laughing
Guiness

I'm a big softie, Kathy. So is my girlfriend. Oscar has been shedding so much fur these past few days. I've never seen so much fur on our carpets!!! But as my girlfriend would say with a smile on her face, this is an "occupational hazard" we love to live with.
Mrs John Murphy

Planted the garlic and broad beans for next year. So that feels like something positive since most of the last few weeks have involved cutting things down, back etc
MAILLOT JAUNE

Good on you MJM. I bought some seeds (just flowers) and then realised that they needed to be sown in March next year!!!!

How was your crop (in general) this year? Success's / failures /surprises etc.

Plus, how do you plant garlic - can you just let a bulb go to the sprouting phase and then plant the individual cloves?
Guiness

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:


How was your crop (in general) this year? Success's / failures /surprises etc.


The sunflowers came up trumps! That was one huge surprise as they were slow to start with. My boy was very happy as he "helped me" plant the seeds. There were taller than him, so he had fun checking their size every day. The sunny summer helped. They are currently dying so need to cut them back and save the seeds for next year. Ms G's herb garden was huge. That mint just grows everywhere. We didn't have much luck with our climbing roses these year. I think one needs to be in a sunnier position and probably deeper soil... We will keep trying.
kathy

I have an over-abundance of mint as well.  I grew some lavender from seed as I couldn't find any plants, and I have a lovely big clump now.  My new Bougainvillea is doing well - the other one died in last winter's rotten weather.  The olive tree is growing slowly but surely.  I managed to eat more of the grapes than last year, although the marigolds didn't seem to deter the wasps very much.

I also have some pink shrubs with green succulent leaves which grow like mad every year.  I've no idea what they are - they die down when it gets cold, but appear with a vengeance the next year.  They're quite pretty, so I don't really want to get rid of them.

I thought my large cactus had fallen prey to the mealy bug which is rampaging through this area.  But I cut the diseased bits off, and it's now growing quite healthily again.
MAILLOT JAUNE

Mint can be a terror. I've been told that you should keep it in it's pot and plant that into the ground as it helps to stop it taking over.
Mrs John Murphy

Mint spreads via its roots. To avoid problems with too much mint I grow ours in pots. I've just taken a small root cutting and potted it up and put it in a pot in the kitchen so I have mint over the winter when I am cooking.

Success - the plum tree, the crab apple tree, the beans (broad and runner), the herbs (except Basil), the tomato which were a free packet on a magazine were very successful. Not so successful - still no luck with my green leaf veg - spinach etc which bolted far too quickly. No real success with Onions or leeks.
kathy

My mint is planted in some of those continental breeze block type things with hollow middles - but I don't think that has stopped it from spreading elsewhere.  I didn't have any success with basil this year - after a bumper crop last year - I think it's a very temperamental herb.  I have mint all year here - outdoors.  But basil is my favourite!  Roses grow OK here, but petunias, bizzy lizzies, and even pansies wilt in the hot summers.  Pelargoniums will flower almost all year if looked after (!) - as will roses.
mr shifter

Due to the bad spring weather we had on GB and being late with planting out.

We have just finished having runner beans with every thing and I think the last cucumber in the greenhouse is giving up because of the frost outside.
For meals you can have anything you like provided you have tomatoes with it and I can't see my breakfast changing for a couple of weeks.
Tomatoes on toast that is.
Despite the frost we are still pulling beets and carrots. (and lettuce from under clotches)

Soon be time to prune the apple trees which didn't produce much because of the cold spring keeping the bees etc from propagating.
Not to worry as we still have enough to have stewed apples till xmas.

That's it for Europe this weekend as it will be one hour darker next Sunday.

Be Lucky
edit - Here the mint is grown in a container stuck in the ground.
Biosphere

We did more hardy salad leaves (quite mustardy and peppery) in a cold frame for the winter in previous years. Have had a fresh salad from the garden on New Years day in years past. If any of you have a cold frame it and a taste for spicy leaves it might be worth moving it close to house/shelter and giving it a go.

http://www.which.co.uk/environmen...lad/the-best-winter-salad-leaves/

Our garden was quite sheltered though and the basil grew like a weed in spring/summer. Tomatoes didn't need a green house either. Rocket did well at this time of year too. I think I've posted before that it made me laugh that Tesco were selling it in premium bags and calling it exotic, when I was picking great big clumps of it from yard in November.

Didn't grow anything this year cos of our move Sad

Mr.S, tomatoes on toast? Don't you mean Bruschetta?  Wink
MAILLOT JAUNE

I'm loving hearing about all your successes with your vegetables and plants. I tried olives, basil and strawberries from seed - haven't really looked after them and there are only about 2 or 3 little seedlings which I don't think will survive the winter.
kathy

Basil from seed is temperamental.  Sometimes it's rampant, sometimes just doesn't grow at all - don't know why.  Strawberries from seed?? Why bother, when plants are dirt cheap and once you have some they are so easy to propagage.
MAILLOT JAUNE

I just bought some cheap little kits that included pots with the seeds and compost and thought I'd give it a go -espacially since all my mates were propogating all their own veg/fruit, but as I say, I didn't pay them much attention and there are 3 seedlings lurking out there which I don't know what is what, so fingers crossed, they'll survive the winter and I'll get a surprise with what has survived....... watch this space.....

       justcycling.myfastforum.org Forum Index -> The Coffee Lounge
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum