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

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


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?


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:

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

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!:)

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

(Probl'y due to his age).

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

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. :{

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

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

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

25th Jul 2011, 07:38

Could've been worse:eek:

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

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)

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?

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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.

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.

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

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. :)

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.



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.

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

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.

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.

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!

25th Jul 2011, 19:33

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.

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!

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

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)....

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


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.

25th Jul 2011, 22:39

Is all good

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.

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!! ;)

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.


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.

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.

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 ?

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.

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?

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


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.

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. :}


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


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

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. :}

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.

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.


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.

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


If so, it's tomato blight.

Try here:

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

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.

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

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

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

Bloody kangaroos mate. They're everywhere!

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

26th Jul 2011, 13:40

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.

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?

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.

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:

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.

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?

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

Mrs gingernut?


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!

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

Anyway, here's mine this week...

‪IMAG0002‬‏ - YouTube

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

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

Jack Hargreaves....

‪Jack Hargreaves - Stringing onions‬‏ - YouTube

or 20royalsuperkings....?

‪OnionString‬‏ - YouTube

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. :)

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.

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.

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

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

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:


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


and the tomatoes are doing well.



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


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.