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Smar Tarse
01 Feb 17 08:34
Date Joined: 01 Feb 07
| Topic/replies: 7,357 | Blogger: Smar Tarse's blog
It is time to get the veg plots prepared and the greenhouse/polytunnel cleaned etc, ready for a new growing season.

This year i am trying Onions from seed, sowing them individually in yoghurt pots (today) to start them off indoors. The variety i am trying is Rijnsburger

Also today i will be potting my Sweet Pea seeds, several seeds around the outer edge of a 6" pot. This year i am growing a variety named after a great man Sir Henry Cecil Love

Anyone else busy in the garden yet ?
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Report Deltâ December 6, 2017 8:12 PM GMT
33's was raw carrot blackbarn, didnt realise you had heston blumenthaled it!
Report blackbarn December 6, 2017 9:01 PM GMT
You could have askedCool
Report Deltâ December 8, 2017 2:19 PM GMT
hurry up ...
Report Smar Tarse December 9, 2017 6:44 AM GMT
Finally got my seed order Crazy  Delay due to a warehouse move, they should hurry up ...
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 12:39 PM GMT
420 pictures to look at, here is just one of them. Date and time are correct.

Took a minute to spot it Grin

Report Deltâ December 11, 2017 2:29 PM GMT
CAT Shocked
Report Foinavon December 11, 2017 2:35 PM GMT
The hedgehogs are hibernating in the compost heap, it's warmer there.
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 4:36 PM GMT
I hope not! I am still forking stuff into it Scared
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 6:08 PM GMT
Rats Mischief

Report Deltâ December 14, 2017 2:40 PM GMT
hurry up blackbarn ...
Report Smar Tarse December 24, 2017 9:27 AM GMT
My lawn is growing again Mischief The birds are singing like it is spring already.

Talking of birds, i have an odd couple in the garden for about a week or so now, a Starling and a Pied Wagtail !  They walk around the lawn together, and only appear in the garden together.

The Starling is a bit of a surprise as i haven't seen one in my garden for donkeys years.
Report sixtwosix December 24, 2017 4:29 PM GMT
Still got peppers turning red on plants in the back bedroom on Xmas Eve .
Report Smar Tarse December 28, 2017 8:56 PM GMT
-6.1°c in the polytunnel last night Plain My Sweet pea seedlings are still looking well in there.
Report Foinavon December 28, 2017 11:59 PM GMT
I like a bit of hard frost, it puts the slugs in their place. Hard crunchy snow and ice here. Having to feed the birds twice a day. Mr Robin perches on a twig near the shed making sure he's the first to the suet pellets as the hit the ground whereas Mr Blackbird sits on high waiting for me to go inside before venturing down to scavenge for mealworms. Loads of activity while the food lasts.
Report Deltâ January 12, 2018 1:37 PM GMT

disappointed no mouse bait update!

Zeina cucumber seeds still on exhibition seeds for 2018 @ £4.50 for 5

Thompson & Morgan ceased their retail packet but their wholesale arm direct2grower are getting rid of the last of the seed at £10.50 for 100, if you are interested
Report blackbarn January 12, 2018 3:19 PM GMT
Delta - Sorry mate!   Nothing in all four first time round, then discovered Mrs Barn had changed our usual brand of peanut butter - Discovered by Grandaughter 1 - "Grandma, I don't like this peanut butter".

So back to Sun Pat! and Bingo, back to normal, six of the bu88ers in a week, and nothing since.  Sophisticated, those Long Tailed FieldmiceWink

Might get some Zeina for this coming season. We grew a new exhibition variety last year - cant remember the name or find the label.  They were really good.  Straightest we have ever grown and very tasty too.  I will let you know when I find the label.
Report Deltâ January 12, 2018 3:44 PM GMT
Report Foinavon January 28, 2018 4:12 PM GMT
It was a lovely morning today so went to do some tidying up on the allotment.
The garlic heads that were left in the ground last summer are growing strongly now and are ready for transplanting when I get around to it. There are a couple of dozen of these so plenty to eat fresh too.

Report Deltâ January 28, 2018 8:46 PM GMT
done me first bit of digging over Cry
Report Hank Hill February 12, 2018 11:04 PM GMT
First time planting garlic and had about half of them sprout. The trouble is a handful of times I'd go up to the plot I saw some had been dug up. Any advice in stopping whatever it is from digging them up? Is there something in particular that likes to get at the buried garlic?
Report Deltâ February 12, 2018 11:17 PM GMT
net them ?

its time again [end Feb] for Garlic planting 2 for your later crop
Report Foinavon February 12, 2018 11:40 PM GMT
Hank, they are being pulled out by birds who see the straw coloured tips poking out and think there might be something interesting to eat underneath. Just bury them a bit deeper so they are properly covered, they will still grow through.
Report Deltâ February 26, 2018 9:08 AM GMT
meant to start this years plantings yesterday, but minus 6 overnight for Monday and Tuesday has put paid to that!
Report Smar Tarse March 9, 2018 7:24 PM GMT
Gardeners' World

Episode 1 of 29 | Season 51
Fri 9 Mar

Report breadnbutter May 12, 2018 4:51 PM BST
Anyone got trouble with thar Rhubarb flowering ?,forced mine and got a nice load of stems a month ago then bang ,goes wild with rapid growth of flowering heads ,now a mass of flowers .Thought it might just be due to forcing but every Rhubarb patch I see is flowering .Must be temp related and possibly due to the warm period and then the cold blast from the east .Any know if the flowering heads should be removed or left ? And is it ok to eat ,some saying it does not taste so good once in flower but can't say myself . Anyone make wine from it ? Was reading you should not eat the leaves and some say not to compost them ? Must have a resident Rhubarb expert ,also what is best to feed and when ?
Report Smar Tarse May 12, 2018 5:09 PM BST
I have got three different spots with Rhubarb, all shot up to about 4 feet tall in a very short space of time. I was warned by the person who gave it me though that it did nowt but flower. I thought a change of ground/care might change that.

I have always composted all of my Rhubarb leaves, my compost gets mixed into everything i grow without any problems.
Report breadnbutter May 12, 2018 5:43 PM BST
Yea ,notice the slugs don't bother with it ,sometimes chop some leaves up and put around the young  Runners ,seems to work . Have a main patch of traditional thick stem stuff but it's not the best tasting after a month or so and a couple of smaller patches of "champagne " but they don't seem to be so vigorous ,taste better (sweeter) and  have smaller stalks but can't take too much or they seem to slow right up ,the older traditional stuff is supposed to be best suited to forcing ,a lot of the traditional crop strains have been super ceded but the knew gens don't like cold spells /wind/wet and it can all go wrong ,more low nighttime temps forecast this coming week but 3rd week in May is about the long term average for late frost . Hardly any bees on the go and if the pear trees fail again they going on the fire .Been fed and it's last chance saloon time,going to try and do some pollination with a fine brush just to see if that is the issue but pissed off with them and if they don't set fruit the axe awaits .
Report sixtwosix May 12, 2018 8:55 PM BST
Apple trees flowering , one is a 3 in 1 variety.
Pear tree after five years growing but still no flowers just lots of leaves.
At least 100 strawberry and pineberry plants growing
Gooseberry , raspberry , blackcurrant and blackberry all look like flowering and fruiting
11 bags of spuds , purple salad , pink fir apple and shetland black varieties
vegetable patch has
about 30 pea plants climbing up the netting that surrounds it to keep my and other cats out......and cabbage whites.
broad beans
New Zealand yam(oka) ....supposed to produce potato like legumes , but not until the end of its life , so not to be picked until frost has killed the plant.
Report Deltâ May 28, 2018 3:42 PM BST
gonna be a bumper year for fruit, is my prediction!
Report breadnbutter May 29, 2018 1:14 PM BST
Looks that way ATM but not so sure the end result will reflect the current apparent abundance ,a bumper year for tree fruit a cheap lay imo . Gave my Pear trees a shake last and the set fruit is falling fairly easily ,there is a huge amount and although it's natures way but for some reason  Pears are notorious for shedding the lot.
Report Smar Tarse August 17, 2018 7:57 AM BST
Light Frost here in the sunny East Midlands this morning !  Shocked
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 8:18 AM BST

Been a great year in the garden sun loving plants have done really well and my herbaceous borders have looked a treat Sunflowers in their pomp at the moment though the dahilias have been a tad disappointing.

Summer feels as though it has now gone and the beginning of Autumn is just around the corner,

Bedding plants now beginning to fde and rudebeckias in full throttle.

Sweet peas have been a disaster this year and for some reason my fuchias have been disappointing.

Echinacheas have done really wellas have roses and marigolds.

Preparing for Autumn plantings soon and coming up with some bulb design ideas for front and back gardens,

Dont you just love it when you have the time!!!!
Report Smar Tarse August 17, 2018 12:13 PM BST
Poor looking fuchsias and sweet peas here. Best looking Geraniums i have had in many a year though.
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 12:48 PM BST
yes sun loving plants havinig a ball this year

silver birch trees have had it grim . loads have died around hereCry
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 12:50 PM BST
Are there any bugologists in the house?

Can you tell me what these wee beasties are and how to get rid?  Suspect they're hatching from hundreds of wee green eggs on the same sapling.  This is the only plant in my garden that they are on.  More pics awaiting approval ... for a change WinkLaugh

Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 12:58 PM BST
For bugologist, read entomologist Grin

How many people knew that?
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:14 PM BST
what plant is it trilb?
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 1:16 PM BST
It's a sapling I potted that was growing in my veg bed.  Some type of tree.  Will post pics w … hold on - I'll get one now ...
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:17 PM BST
looks like a caterpillar of some description bit like cabbage white?
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 1:18 PM BST
Bols, forgot I can't do that trick on Win10 & my Win7 takes an age to fire up.

Will post pic when it's authorised.  Just a regular tree, I think!
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 1:19 PM BST
There are white cabbages here but are they catapillars with so few legs and only at the front?
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 1:21 PM BST
They look a bit like newly hatched but nothing like the yella fella
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 1:22 PM BST
and the eggs are green - not yellow
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:34 PM BST
just checked on internet and they are most certainly sawfly larvae and i bet the tree is a hazel tree
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:37 PM BST
Gardeners Sawfly caterpillar questions
How to control or eradicate sawfly caterpillars ?

Rose Sawfly © 2014 Steve Ogden

Once identified, gardeners understandably then want to know how to control sawfly caterpillars.

This isn’t always so simple as the use of pesticides can have a detrimental effect on beneficial insects, resulting in a loss of pollinating bees and natural garden pest predators such as hoverfly and ladybird larvae.

Prevention and removing recently hatched caterpillars is the best solution. A little time spent checking susceptible plants such as Roses and Solomon’s Seal in the spring and early summer is often effective.

Adult sawflies may be spotted and any dark slits in stems containing eggs can be scraped out.

Small sawfly larva early feeding signs © 2014 Steve OgdenTiny windows appearing in leaves are often the first signs of hatching and feeding larvae.

These leaves, complete with clusters of caterpillars, can easily be removed before the caterpillars have time to grow and spread to the whole plant.

Another effective method is to place a bucket underneath the leaf and flick the caterpillars into it using a feather or paint brush.

If large caterpillars are found it’s surprising how effective it can be to spend a little time picking them off.

Fortunately, even during the day, when many other caterpillars hide, sawfly caterpillars are often easy to spot.
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:38 PM BST
When will sawfly caterpillars stop feeding and disappear?

Quite often it’s just after a period when the caterpillars are at their most destructive that they suddenly disappear.

This may be because either the food source has become depleted and they have to go in search of another plant, or they are fully grown and wander off in search of somewhere to pupate in the soil or leaf litter.

The time period from hatching to pupation can be less than a month for many species.
Will plants recover from a sawfly caterpillar infestation?

Concern for the welfare of the plant is understandably the gardeners main concern.

In general, a healthy tree, shrub, fruit bush or perennial flowering plant won’t suffer long term damage as a result of a single sawfly infestation.

However, repeated attacks may cause weakening of the plant, leave it susceptible to disease and fungal infection, as well as stunt growth.
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 1:39 PM BST
got the above info at

have a look see if you agree
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 2:12 PM BST
Nice one Drag - ta!  Very, very similar to the hazel.  Mine also have two parallel black lines going down their backs & other markings are slightly different.

Firing up the old pc just now and will manually load the other pics.  Six in total.
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 2:25 PM BST
The first one is of the sapling, dug up from right next to where it is now, then we have the eggs (some have legs wtf?) & other bugs loitering with intent.  Do you recognise any as sawflies?  There are only one of each of the fliers - not loads.

Report Smar Tarse August 17, 2018 3:00 PM BST
That last one is a Ladybird, that will eat all the things you don't want on your plants Love
Report trilby22 August 17, 2018 3:48 PM BST
Thanks Smar.  Never seen one like that before!  Yup, ladybirds and spiders are good guys, for sure Love
Report The Dragon August 17, 2018 7:01 PM BST
nasty load of bugs wre you live trilb. only prob i had this year was white aphids on my lupins
Report The Dragon August 18, 2018 11:37 AM BST
what you reckon trilb sawfly lava?
Report trilby22 August 18, 2018 11:45 AM BST
Aye, prob a 1.03 shot, Drag.  Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Happy

That wasp-like thing in the third pic up looked a bit different from our native species.  Check the green larvae on the stem Shocked  Must be c. 200 of the feckers on the plant Sad

The next two pix up certainly go with the way sawflies larvae congregate in the fold of the leaf.

Amazing species and how they differ from plant to plant.  Odd thing is, I've not seen any confirmed sawflies - unless that waspy thing is one?
Report The Dragon August 18, 2018 3:22 PM BST
where you live trilb?
Report trilby22 August 18, 2018 3:25 PM BST
A few miles along the A85 west of Perth.
Report trilby22 August 18, 2018 3:26 PM BST
Near Crieff
Report The Dragon August 18, 2018 4:04 PM BST
scotland???????????????????????? full of bugsLaugh
Report SlippyBlue August 18, 2018 4:08 PM BST
Indeed T.D. I have spent quite a lot of time in Scotland and mostly in trilby's manor in Perthshire, mainly Blair Atholl and the surrounds and never in my entire life have I known such vicious mozzies and midges!
Report trilby22 August 18, 2018 5:09 PM BST
Pretty much on the boundary of midge territory here.

They really are vicious wee muthas and the further west you go, the harder they bite.

They don't like garlic though Wink
Report Make my hay August 19, 2018 8:18 AM BST
Got up nice and early today to trim my rather long conifer hedge. Chainsaw, hedge trimmers, loppers, trailer, wheelbarrow etc it's a big job but everything was all in place and ready.
Started work about an hour ago and after only 10 minutes of trimming an evil looking hornet flew past my face and landed on the tree next to me.

- All my cutting equipment is now back in the garage and work will resume on my hedge in the winter.Cry
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 3:54 PM BST
Can anyone tell me what this badger is?

Good guy / bad guy?

I get them in the house sometimes and squish them.  Should I not be doing that?

Btw, I sprayed the hazel (?) sapling with Raid yesterday and all the bugs are broon breed Happy
Report The Dragon August 21, 2018 7:01 PM BST
looks like a death watch beetle?
Report Make my hay August 21, 2018 7:18 PM BST
on a bees nest, it's a honey badger.
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 7:22 PM BST
Similar Drag but it's jet black and has more of an agile abdomen.

Granite wall, Hay, with spider webs.  I'll look at wtf, honey badger's a BMF lizard!
Report Make my hay August 21, 2018 7:52 PM BST
well if it's not a honey badger then it's probably just a 'pterostichus melanarius' it's a very common black ground beetle, get lots round here. I  don't squish them though, make too much of a mess.
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 8:39 PM BST
That's exactly what it is!

Thank you very much!

Do they bite humans?  I sometimes think one might crawl in my eat whilst asleep Excited
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 8:40 PM BST
ear ffs Cry
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 8:42 PM BST
It's like wee feckin' Terminator.  I just terminate them.
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 8:43 PM BST
Do they fly and do they eat bug eggs?
Report trilby22 August 21, 2018 8:45 PM BST
Pestorius Melanius, kinda like a weird South African / First Lady experiment
Report Deltâ August 21, 2018 9:57 PM BST
shouldn't be using Raid on owt
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 3:50 PM BST
There are times that need requires, Del Plain

Can someome ID these shrooms, plz?  Growing on wild farmland in Perthshire.  Edible?

Two different hedgerow red berries here.  What are they?  Edible?  TIA Happy

Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 3:53 PM BST
Rose  hips are out inforce, as are the blackberries Tongue Out

Any CC recipes for hose hip syrup?
Report Foinavon August 31, 2018 5:52 PM BST
It's a type of inkcap mushroom Trilby.
Report Foinavon August 31, 2018 5:58 PM BST
I think this is the one.
Report Foinavon August 31, 2018 6:05 PM BST
Before you eat anything, make sure you have a positive identification. (there are poisonous types of inkcap).
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 6:22 PM BST
Shaggy Ink Cap, that's the one Fion.  Thank you Dr Happy
Report JOMO II August 31, 2018 6:40 PM BST
Have never had hose hip syrup, but trilby you just took me back to my yoof for a moment there with rosehip syrup. Remember my mum making it a few times (there were rosehip bushes all the way down the road from where we lived).

It was amazing stuff. Remember being given it like Ribena with hot water when I had colds. And as a sauce over ice cream. I also probably necked some of the stuff neat. Scared It was like Calpol, only without the drugs.

Don't know the recipe but my guess would be: Put 6oz of rosehip berries into a blender. Add 1 cup of hot water. Add 4 cubic tonnes of sugar. Mix well. Serve (adding sugar to taste).
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 7:14 PM BST
JOMO, cod liver oil and rose hip syrup was my morning daily when I wos a yoof!

Mum always knew which way to feed it and if I was naughty, she'd ask, "Are you sure?"  Grin

Can ripe rose hips be eaten raw?  I don't think so Confused
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 7:15 PM BST
Foin, my apologies.  Not Fion Shocked
Report Foinavon August 31, 2018 8:22 PM BST
Or Fiona, Trilby Happy
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 8:28 PM BST
At your age, Yung Man? 

Are those Rowen's?  What about the clusters?
Report Foinavon August 31, 2018 8:42 PM BST
I don't know what the berries are. The ones that look like unripe blackberries don't have the right shaped leaves so are summat else.
Report trilby22 August 31, 2018 9:12 PM BST
I've not seen the red clusters before.
Report Deltâ September 17, 2018 2:59 PM BST
Wilko [in store] seem to be doing all seed packs [vegs salads herbs etc] at 30p each for Unwins and 10p each for own brand - usual price between £2/3 and long shelf life 2021/2022

grab a bargain
Report Smar Tarse September 17, 2018 4:39 PM BST
Good luck finding any. My niece works at wilko and even she wasn't quick enough to get me any Plain
Report Deltâ September 17, 2018 7:00 PM BST
I bought 25 packs today - £53 notes for £7.50

probably a 1000 still there
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 7:12 PM BST
Forgot about this Blush

I need help IDing some purple plum like fruit - very small, growing wild, south facing - will post pics in a bit.

Think they might be bullaces, as opposed to damson or sloes.
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 8:33 PM BST
Any ideas guys / gals?

Could they be anything else?  Poisonous?  The open tastes very tart.

Report blackbarn September 17, 2018 9:43 PM BST
The middle photo of the three is Skimmia Japonica I think and the bottom looks like clusters of haws on a hawthorn bush. Re your black sloe like fruit, difficult without some size indication. Assuming no thorns (rules out sloes) and smaller than damson size, they could be bullaces.
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 9:47 PM BST
Many thanks, Blackburn.  That's a £1 coin in the lower photo & the fruit are circa 13mm diameter.
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 9:48 PM BST
No thorns.
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 9:50 PM BST
I picked that branch on Saturday morning and the fruit are becoming much softer.  Can they be eaten as is or do they need to be cooked?
Report trilby22 September 17, 2018 9:51 PM BST
Report Smar Tarse September 18, 2018 10:06 AM BST
Deltâ  17 Sep 18 19:00

I bought 25 packs today - £53 notes for £7.50

probably a 1000 still there

Hmmmmm well i wonder if the niece was telling me porkies because she had forget about my request Devil
Report breadnbutter September 18, 2018 4:36 PM BST
Been doing a bit of research on rosehips ,lot of false info about the effects of boiling on vit C which led me to think if only the British gov knowed this when using it during WW11 .Turns out a lot of tinternet exspurts are full of it ,the truth is VIT C is not destroyed by boiling ,it is depleted but the hips have so much it’s still a goer and reason they have to be boiled is to destroy an enzyme that destroys the vit c after they are picked .Got a load picked and mixed with some brambles and produced a very nice syrup that’s a treat drunk hot.Reckon jam is ok but is a bit dated with the use of sugar ,it’s there as a preservative imo and think most fruits frozen and used raw is the way to go or stewed and stored . Vintage year for fruit (that’s a wine term that also needs researched ) and the freezers are already getting full.Good time for non fruit tree owners to buy British food although find it perplexing why the  uk grown hard fruits are not cheaper atm .Soft fruit must be getting dumped by the ton load or left unpicked .The big food conglomerates want to hike prices due to import costs but there must be more than enough uk stuff atm ,suppose they need to favour the suppliers who can produce stuff out of season for them .                        Never seen the trees so laden ,my pears are diff class this year ,gave them a bit of an early season prune and they had been fed but reckon it’s all down to the weather ,everything has came up trumps although was a tad late getting stuff in and still waiting on the onions but what a growing year ,feck I even have pumpkins .
Report trilby22 September 18, 2018 5:45 PM BST
Nice one Bread Cool
Report Deltâ September 18, 2018 9:53 PM BST
^ agree

tho paragraphs would have been good
Report trilby22 September 18, 2018 11:37 PM BST
… and breathe ...
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