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View Full Version : Fruit, Vegetable & Flower Gardeners' Thread (Gardeners' Question Time)


Radar66
24th Jul 2011, 21:25
First homegrown tomato of this season....

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/Somerset%20LIfe/mutanttomato.jpg

What the bally'eck has The Wholigan been feeding them?! :eek:

west lakes
24th Jul 2011, 21:27
They should have worn their foil hats! Or was it the same stuff he uses to keep badgers away from the compost heap?

:E:E:E:\:\:\

DX Wombat
24th Jul 2011, 21:37
Were they meant to be beefsteak tomatoes Radz? An Ozrellie also grows large tomatoes like this and they make good tomato sauce. :ok:

Firestorm
24th Jul 2011, 22:39
You can cream for growths like that: just ask your Doctor. I wouldn't put them in a salad.

parabellum
24th Jul 2011, 22:41
If you take the one on the right, turn it through 90 degress to the left and stick a hat on it you will have a new garden ornament!:)

ShyTorque
24th Jul 2011, 22:53
I think it's caused by intermittent watering.

(Probl'y due to his age).

Wholigan
24th Jul 2011, 23:00
It's called "catfacing" and is caused either by insect damage during early growth (unlikely as no insect problems at all) or by temperatures being cooler than normal and overcast at the time the tomatoes bloomed. The result could be that the blossoms stuck together or to the developing fruit, causing catfacing.

A tomato with catfacing.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT8M60KMxN1AuwlFXBVwBhBMpdtsq6hY5FlCU6ExaW ExsehcnCd

Howard Hughes
25th Jul 2011, 01:40
At the risk of repeating myself, do you live downwind of a nuclear power station?:E

Pseudonymn
25th Jul 2011, 02:53
Looks almost like a boxing glove. :ooh:

green granite
25th Jul 2011, 07:16
At least your beefstake marters are ripe, mine are still green. :{

Firestorm
25th Jul 2011, 07:17
Are they a Siamese variety?

The SSK
25th Jul 2011, 07:32
My cat is deeply offended.

She says it looks more like a boxer or a pug.

goudie
25th Jul 2011, 07:38
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3A7WSIW6XMv-RE161-OKselFLemVDelfq-vgmNIJ60C23qA7KYQ

Could've been worse:eek:

Lon More
25th Jul 2011, 07:39
Obviously wrinkly fruits. The new PPRuNe mascot.

probes
25th Jul 2011, 07:40
Looks like someone evil and four-fingered has squeezed it and left its fingers there (esp. obvious the pic on the right)

goudie
25th Jul 2011, 09:04
Come to think of it, I've seen tomatoes like those on sale, on the stalls some people put outside their homes. Are they safe to eat?

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 09:07
Actually very tasty. :)

Radar66
25th Jul 2011, 09:31
The tomatoes are very happy where they are! Also a chilli plant to the lower right.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/Somerset%20LIfe/Photo1403.jpg

We've also got 5 'sacks' of potatoes that are not far off being ready

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/Somerset%20LIfe/Photo1404.jpg

Runner beans going mad - we've already had quite a few off them

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/Somerset%20LIfe/Photo1405.jpg

Plus two 'herb beds' - except the Dill Triffid has gone :mad: crazy!

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/Somerset%20LIfe/Photo1406.jpg

We plan to expand on this selection next year....:ok:

sisemen
25th Jul 2011, 09:45
Some call it karma. It's all that mod badness coming out :eek: It's got to go somewhere :E

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 09:52
Eggzackly sisemen! :E

Actually the tomatoes have always loved that growing position. It's against a south facing wall and the wall is about 2 and a half feet thick, so retains the heat overnight.

In fact I think I'll continue to grow tomatoes there even when the raised beds and greenhouse are all up and running.

parabellum
25th Jul 2011, 10:05
Are you and Radz setting up for 'The Good Life' Wholi?:)

henry crun
25th Jul 2011, 10:05
Doesn't look like you are pinching out the laterals on those toms Wholi.

Storminnorm
25th Jul 2011, 10:19
My laterals got pinched years ago.

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 10:22
All been pinched out up to about 10 days ago.

henry crun
25th Jul 2011, 10:25
Must be more plants there than I first thought. :)

beaufort1
25th Jul 2011, 10:26
I manage to grow bananas which fruit outside, they aren't edible and once they fruit the main tree dies. I started off with just two banana plants about 10-15 years ago and they send up suckers which grow into mature trees which top out at about 15 feet high and provide useful shade for the dogs and the decking area.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/grantdi/Plants/IMG_1338.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/grantdi/Plants/Banana2lo.jpg

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 10:29
Yep Henry there are 4 in each tub. Too many really, but regular feeding and copious watering seems to counteract that. Plan to use 3 tubs next year with 3 in each.

Radar66
25th Jul 2011, 10:39
Liking the Bananas! Shame they aren't edible... why is that?

beaufort1
25th Jul 2011, 10:56
Liking the Bananas! Shame they aren't edible... why is that?


They are very small, about two inches in length. I don't think we get enough heat here so they don't ripen. I researched what sort of bananas they were and it turned out they were Musa banjoos. They are quite hardy as I don't protect them in the Winter and they have had snow and ice on them. The gales in Winter are the problem as the leaves get shredded, by the end of October I usually trim each tree back to just a main trunk.
For anybody with a greenhouse and this is something we have done locally for an early new potato crop. This should be easy for you aviation types ;), we used tri-islander tyres,laid on their side (get permission first):E and planted out seed potatoes (Jersey Royals are the best but hard to come by) when the time comes to earth them up, just throw another tyre on top and fill with compost, keep topping up until three deep. The rubber in the tyres acts as insulation, we planted initially in November under unheated glass and the crop was ready to eat by late February. :)

Lon More
25th Jul 2011, 11:47
It's against a south facing wall The ex quite liked that position too.

Storminnorm
25th Jul 2011, 11:58
When I was a lad I can remember banana plants being grown
in the hot house in Stamford Park in Ashton Under Lyne.
We were amazed to see such a sight.
They never got any usable fruit off them though. They grew too
small as well. But it was still amazing to see them.

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 18:33
Westie posted in TRABB that:


Oh and something is eating my sponions, only got 4 left out of about 20


This is a tip that I got from my late wife's grandfather a very long time ago, and it seems that "the web" agrees with him. By the way, in my experience it works.


Carrot fly hate the smell of onions and onion fly hate the smell of carrots.... Plant carrots and onions side by side and you ( hopefully ) eliminate both types of fly.

west lakes
25th Jul 2011, 18:40
Carrot fly hate the smell of onions and onion fly hate the smell of carrots.... Plant carrots and onions side by side and you ( hopefully ) eliminate both types of fly.

Hmmmm, but given they disappeared overnight I suspect something either with 4 legs or that runs on slime!

IB4138
25th Jul 2011, 19:33
westie

Have you had a Frenchman, wearing a berry and riding an old bicycle in the area recently? :hmm:


If you lived here, you would hate banana trees!

Chilli pepper and tomato crop doing well. Grew all the plants from seed.

Also loads of passion fruit this year.

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 19:38
Aaaaah Westie, in that case the on-line advice is to get yourself a gun, a dog, 2 frogs and a hedgehog. That should solve it!

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 20:50
I agree with that wholeheartedly BandAide. It is indeed a joy.

Radar66
25th Jul 2011, 20:51
Beaufort? Have you tried Koottu (http://elitefoods.********.com/2009/04/unripe-banana-koottu.html)? Also a few more here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/search?keywords=green%20banana)....

4mastacker
25th Jul 2011, 21:08
During a visit to the Eden Project, I saw a network of these:

http://nutriculture.com/images/products/autopot/EASY_2_GROW_KIT.jpg

Having suffered a succession of poor cropping I thought I would give it a try. It really does work and does away with the daily watering chore as one only has to top-up the reservoir every few days. The float valve regulates how much water goes into the base so there is no chance of water-logged compost and all the problems associated with erratic watering.

henry crun
25th Jul 2011, 22:23
beaufort1; Why on earth are Jersey Royal seed potatoes hard to come by there ?
I would have thought you would be ideally positioned to get as many as you need.

Rollingthunder
25th Jul 2011, 22:39
http://www.localdelicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/heritage-tomatoes.jpg

Is all good

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 22:51
The really observant may have noticed the odd splodge of bright orange around the base of the tomatoes. That is another tip from the grandfather previously mentioned; this tip is also backed up by t'internet.


For many decades in certain parts of the old world it has been the practice to grow African or French marigolds of a certain type to repel white fly on tomatoes in greenhouses or outdoors. It has also been found that the tomatoes grow better and bear more fruit with marigolds around them.


PS: you can also eat the marigolds should you wish.

Wholigan
25th Jul 2011, 22:55
does away with the daily watering chore


We find that the daily watering chore is the perfect excuse for wandering around the garden with the first bottle of beer of the day in hand!! ;)

Mechta
25th Jul 2011, 22:55
I'm impressed that Beaufort1 got as far as actual fruit on his Musa Basjoo (banana). My personal best was one plant about 5ft high and the same across. It produced a couple of offspring which I repotted, but the winter before last killed them all. I guess I should have cut the leaves off and brought them inside.

The grape vine is this year's crop of note at Chez Mechta. It grows over most of the south facing wall of the house and at worst has produced three bunches of grapes. This year they are everywhere on it, and after pruning off every spur without fruit and everything after the tentacle after any (potential) bunch of grapes, its appears to be thriving.

A potted three year old palm tree which also got clobbered in the snow has also surprised me by producing three shoots from the bottom of the dead trunk. I really thought it was inert, but hadn't got round to emptying the pot and throwing it away. I've put it up on the flat roof to give it sun for as much of the day as possible.

The apple trees are heaving with fruit, as is the cherry plum. The Victoria plum looks decidedly average this year though.

henry crun
25th Jul 2011, 23:38
A practice you might like to consider Wholi, is to defoliate.

I only use the single stem method and as soon as the fruit is still green but of reasonable size, I cut off the lower leaf stems.
This allows the sun to get at all the fruit without being shaded at any time of the day.
This plant is about 6ft tall and has plenty of healthy leaf stems further up, so does not miss the lower ones.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/crun9/toms092.jpg

sisemen
26th Jul 2011, 02:47
It's funny how the gardeners amongst us are constantly striving to grow things in places where they ain't supposed to grow.....bananas in the UK, daffodils in Australia.

The one thing that really gets up the nose of gardening relatives visiting here is the ease at which geraniums grow; prolific and large. And they over-winter! I've chucked out more geraniums as weeds than my brother has ever grown on purpose.

beaufort1
26th Jul 2011, 06:31
Cheers Radz will try and give those a go later in the season.:ok:

henry crun you would think they would be easy to get here but them folks SE of here are very protective of their spuds especially against us Guernsey folk. :suspect:

sisemen We're not in the UK or a part of it. Pedant mode off.;):8 The bananas have been in the ground for about 10 to 15 years now.

IB4138
26th Jul 2011, 06:57
Here in you need to keep all foliage on tomatoes to protect the fruit from the sun.

I fully agree with Wholi, wandering about the garden in the early evening inspecting things growing is perfect time for uncapping a beer in a bottle. :ok:

henry crun
26th Jul 2011, 07:51
Not just the in the evening either.

Nothing better than to sit down with a can of beer on a sunny spring Saturday morning and watch the asparagus grow.

Mr Optimistic
26th Jul 2011, 08:26
You can't grow daffodils in Australia:confused: Why not ?

4mastacker
26th Jul 2011, 08:27
We find that the daily watering chore is the perfect excuse for wandering around the garden with the first bottle of beer of the day in hand!! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gifMe dad used to use that technique for the leeks and onions on his allotment. Apparently it worked best after the beer had been filtered by his kidneys before being mixed with rainwater in the allotment's water butts.

Cacophonix
26th Jul 2011, 08:29
I put money on this thread becoming the most popular, not only in JB, but on PPRuNe.

Now why won't those bloody daffodils flourish?

Rollingthunder
26th Jul 2011, 08:42
Every year, every year, the Dutch send Ottawa hundreds of tulips in rememberance of our help in WWII.

http://www.canadianpainsummit2012.ca/media/5237/ottawa%20tulip%20festival%20and%20parliament%20hill.jpg

henrybluebottle
26th Jul 2011, 08:48
Nothing wrong with our daffodils. First ones just flowering now. Others (doubles etc) will come later ...

Mr Optimistic
26th Jul 2011, 08:54
Phew..........siseman's panic now over.

sisemen
26th Jul 2011, 09:01
Well.....you can grow daffs (some of the colder parts of Oz manage very well) but in this part of WA they're a bit of a one shot wonder. If you want to grow them year after year then you have to dig them up and put the bulbs in a fridge.

It's all on account of 45 C days and no rain you see. If nature had intended daffs to grow in WA then it wouldn't have invented kangaroos (and them barstewards keep nipping the tops of the ones I'm trying to grow at the moment).

Same with bananas in the British Crown Dependency of the Channel Islands [/pedant mode]off. Maybe you need a few more kangaroos there. :}

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/allan907/Roos.jpg

Said roos hiding behind the wormwood as they dine on my daffs

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/allan907/roos2.jpg

And these are the buggers on the other side of the house eyeing up the veggie patch.

beaufort1
26th Jul 2011, 09:09
It's already been done, Prince Blucher von Wahlsatt introduced wallabies to the island of Herm in the 19th century.;) I quite like the idea of kangaroos bouncing around on the cliffs though. :}

Wholigan
26th Jul 2011, 09:15
Thanks for that Henry. I'll give defoliation a go.


Jeez, I suppose I'll have to change the title again then to add flowers. ;)

Mr Optimistic
26th Jul 2011, 10:23
I suppose I'll have to change the title again then to add flowers

Oops,I never could stick to the subject.

Anyway, just picked first plums (Opal), first tomatoes and bought a mulberry to replace the one what died. Can't plant it for months though as the clay here is like concrete.

CATIII-NDB
26th Jul 2011, 10:58
My tomato plants initially grow well but then I get dieback, preceeded by a silvery effect on the plants foliage - Wht's going wrong -

PS the baby pepper plants are getting their leaves chewed off big time.
I have sprayed both types for black fly will this help.

CAT III

green granite
26th Jul 2011, 11:08
Thanks for that Henry. I'll give defoliation a go.

It also helps in the fight against blight.

Wholigan
26th Jul 2011, 11:13
Is this what you get CATIII?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/Wholigan/tomatoblight.jpg

If so, it's tomato blight.

Try here:

Advice on treating tomato blight (http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/techniques/pests/tomato-blight.htm)

Parapunter
26th Jul 2011, 11:15
I've had blackfly infestations kill off a good few of my Nasturtiums. I've sprayed with soapy water to little effect, but would be interested in ideas for keeping the buggers off my plants.

beaufort1
26th Jul 2011, 11:27
Try planting Marigolds, they will encourage predators (hoverflies,lacewings and the like) that will in turn eat the blackfly.:)

vulcanised
26th Jul 2011, 11:47
I always have a huge crop of blackberries, does that count?

sisemen
26th Jul 2011, 11:48
PS the baby pepper plants are getting their leaves chewed off big time.


Bloody kangaroos mate. They're everywhere!

Parapunter
26th Jul 2011, 12:21
Thanks Beaufort, I get to keep the garlic away for another day!

cargosales
26th Jul 2011, 13:40
Para,

Save the garlic for planting next to your roses - it's great for keeping them free of nasty bugs :ok:

west lakes
26th Jul 2011, 17:55
The mystery deepens, there were 4 sponions this morning, only 3 now! So I'm wondering feathers & two feet!

Trouble is that the cat is 17 and just eats, sleeps etc.

MIDLGW
26th Jul 2011, 18:22
Netting, Westie, is your friend. Get some from one of those places that does garden stuff ;) along with some tall sticks.

My lovely courgette plants are exhausted, bless them. They're still producing, but the leaves are turning yellow. They've given a great harvest, though, so very pleased. Tomato plants are somewhat happy, although they're obviously inspired by Jack's beanstalk story... Chillies are abundant but not ready yet. Spring onions are tasty.

The garlic should be ready to pick soon. I suspect I will need to do summat to them after picking? Advice please if anyone can.

Sweet potatoes. It looks like they're happy, not sure when to harvest, but I reckon September should be a good time.

This year is the first time I've EVER grown anything (apart from mould on a forgotten piece of cheese in the fridge). Very proud :O

Oh, and I don't want to talk about beetroots :sad:

Solid Rust Twotter
26th Jul 2011, 18:30
I believe ginger is pretty easy to cultivate. Anyone have any experience with it?

EDDNHopper
26th Jul 2011, 18:48
All I know about cultivating ginger is it don't last long in liquid form... ;)

Mr Optimistic
26th Jul 2011, 19:28
Garlic ? If memory serves wife dug them up, left in well ventlated spot to dry out, left leaves on, then plaited like onions. She would have made a fine peasant.

ShyTorque
26th Jul 2011, 20:43
Just eat kangaroo, ready concentrated veg.

Solid Rust Twotter
26th Jul 2011, 20:55
Dabbling with self sufficiency, Mr Hopper...:ok:

CATIII-NDB
26th Jul 2011, 21:41
Bad News for me. Yep that's the beast - I will have to destroy all the plants in question - CAT III

Well spotted. Thanks.

parabellum
27th Jul 2011, 00:32
MIDLGW - regarding your tomatoes, once the plant has produced three or four good trusses you should not only take the side shoots out but also the top, thus inhibiting upward growth and allowing the fruit to develop.

A useful link here:
Google (http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&cp=7&gs_id=s&xhr=t&q=growing+tomatoes&pf=p&sclient=psy&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=growing&aq=0&aqi=g5&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=e66c6e0adf04fb7&biw=1013&bih=591)

Re garlic, Mr. Optimistic has it, six weeks minimum drying time to harden them off.

Tried to grow ginger in Europe and Australia but no success, managed a reasonable plant/root in Singapore though, any tips please?

gingernut
27th Jul 2011, 07:01
I believe ginger is pretty easy to cultivate. Anyone have any experience with it?

Mrs gingernut?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXGe1mioLug

Radar66
27th Jul 2011, 08:32
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/emoticons/drooling.gif Log porn. Salad porn. Allotment porn. Greenhouse porn.

Next year Ginger, next year... Wanna be our 'advisor'? http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/Radar66/emoticons/flirty.gif

Sailor Vee
27th Jul 2011, 09:53
Well it's been interesting reading all this gardening malarky. I'll be planting my martyr & chilli seeds shortly, can't grow them in the summer here, too firkin hot!

gingernut
31st Jul 2011, 18:45
Sorry C, 'aint that expert :-) will stick to M&H.

Anyway, here's mine this week...

‪IMAG0002‬‏ - YouTube

prospector
31st Jul 2011, 21:55
The ice garden at the end looks very productive!.

gingernut
6th Aug 2011, 11:28
How to string onions ?

Jack Hargreaves....

‪Jack Hargreaves - Stringing onions‬‏ - YouTube


or 20royalsuperkings....?

‪OnionString‬‏ - YouTube

beaufort1
6th Aug 2011, 12:37
Well that's probably done it. :uhoh:

I've had this Amaryllis for a good few years in a pot and it was definitely getting too big as it was a good four or five inches proud of what very little soil it had left and the bulb must have been a good ten inches across. It had thrown up lots of other bulbs and unfortunately the only way to separate them all was with a garden spade. :eek:
Anyway, I've repotted them all and handed some out to friends and relatives, see what happens now. Hopefully they will all survive, I hope so as the main plant used to flower three or four times a year. :)

Rule3
6th Aug 2011, 18:38
Sampling the best tasting locally grown Strawberries, Raspberries, and Cherries at the moment. Succulent large yellow and red tomatoes, all at ridiculously low prices.
Today I purchased 3 large Egg Plant, a medium cabbage, 2 carrots, 1kg each of potatoes, yellow and red tomatoes, 5 capsicums, a bunch of spring onions and a bunch of dill for the equivalent of 4GBP.

gingernut
6th Aug 2011, 19:51
You were ripped off, spend an hour weeding my plot and I would have chucked in 2lb of 'tatties to.

Rule3
7th Aug 2011, 13:31
Spent time in April in Western Russia getting my hands dirty preparing for planting, now in Borat country tasting the fruits of their April planting.:ok:

west lakes
13th Aug 2011, 19:29
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/294382_2004913556599_1056423095_2863727_1772496_n.jpg

So I got a herb planter half planted.
Two types of Parsley & Rosemary in the left, Mint(2) and Lemon Balm in the right.
The other section being planted with: - 2 types of Thyme, Sage, Chives & ??
Now I've seen it suggested that plants should be in groups of 3. Or is it in groups of odd numbers?
As you can see I have four to put in but should I be looking for one or two more herbs to plant? Suggestions for what to buy also appreciated
The empty area is the same size as the other two combined and twice as deep

Radar66
14th Aug 2011, 00:06
Watch the lemon balm Westie... it's an invasive thug much like mint. :)

As for suggestions - well you'll just have to wait a wee while before you can see for yourself! :p

west lakes
14th Aug 2011, 14:13
Got Oregano, coriander & dill. :ok:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/184025_2006656160163_1056423095_2866023_7785753_n.jpg

green granite
14th Aug 2011, 15:14
We've had 10lbs of beans off these so far, still lots to come

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i11/orangeherald/beanery.jpg

and the tomatoes are doing well.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i11/orangeherald/gh1.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i11/orangeherald/gh2.jpg

The local vermin control operative, doves and wood pigeons a speciality.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i11/orangeherald/angus.jpg

west lakes
1st Sep 2011, 16:51
So on the way through the Lake District I called in at a famous garden centre in Ambleside (it must as they run coach trips to it!)
Bought myself 4 strawberry plants. Then a planter at one nearer home.

Netting to tidy up at weekend.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/294046_2046296471146_1056423095_2910400_2964536_n.jpg