Mid Summer Bits and Bobs - 2016.

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Elaine
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Elaine » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:15 pm

Primrose, I have only one bush of Redcurrants and it had really excelled itself this year. Always a good cropper, the branches are bowed down with the weight of the fruit this year. I never really know what to do with them, other than using them to add pectin to low pectin fruits for jam. I don't like red currant jam but I have used half strawberries half redcurrants and that was quite nice. The blackcurrants have been just as heavy cropping....I had to tie up the branches as they were snapping under the weight of the currants.
I might try making redcurrant jelly this year and someone told me redcurrant cordial is very nice.
I judge the redcurrants as ripe when they are bright red....soft to touch but still firm.

Now, the red gooseberries are almost ripe...... :shock: :shock:
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:42 pm

A balmy 31.5 degrees today at lottie - NOT! (Not as per weather report)! Another double watering as it just evaporated on the first round - my fault as had things to do this morning & didn't go down until after lunch, would have waited to water later but it was completely dry when I got there & some things were looking a bit droopy! Last of the broad beans taken for the freezer so they didn't get too big & the french beans have got a real gallop on, so a nice harvest of mixed beans - decisions though, side or bean salad?

Think I've found my old adder as well! Massive scream & cursing of '@%&**% Adder' from the front row - least she's still around! :lol:

Westi
PS: Got 3 QLD Blue baby pumpkins on one vine - or they might be Crown Prince! Kind of exciting having no idea. Won't be saying that when I have the courgette glut! :D
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Ricard with an H
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Ricard with an H » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:23 am

I dug up all my courgette plants, I wasn't using the courgettes and I hadn't realised how much space they take up. I took your advise Westi, re-sowed two rows of carrot and spread slug pellets over the bed. Presumably a weekly repeat of pellets is needed wherever I have vulnerable plants, also presumably, a regular dosing everywhere will deplete an entire generation of slugs. I know some of you are dissatisfied with the natural organic approach using live predators and not only because it's expensive, do any of you regularly use the method ?

The slime deposits where the pellets have done their job are in some ways disturbing though satisfying.
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:02 pm

Slug Pellets are the only thing I use that are not considered organic. I know there are plenty of things out there that are organic that I could try & have tried, but they are more expensive & the blue pellets cheap & available nearly everywhere & this year I have used copious amounts. I am careful with them though & only use them with new baby crops that are under netting or fleece anyway. After the plants get to a certain maturity they're on their own. (Mind it is a bit discerning finding a shiny trail up the wall in the kitchen when I bring some crops home & have escapees before I get the crops washed)! :D

Yep I agree, the slime & yuk is gross but it dries or is washed into the soil in a couple of days, & is satisfying indeed to think you've saved your crop & sometimes it is wow - where were they hiding, the number can be amazing! I'm already looking up courgette recipes Richard, think I may need them! :) (& lots of new friends)!

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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby peter » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:08 pm

First combine of 2016 munching it's way through a large field of oilseed rape this evening here on the eastern fringes of Hertfordshire.
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby peter » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:41 am

First cleared and cultivated field this morning! :shock:
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:11 pm

At last I've picked the first ripe tomatoes. We'll worth waiting for. A new one I've tried this year is Chocolate Cherry and it is delicious.

Talking about new varieties, the black currant Ebony is excellent, very large berries and much sweeter than ones I ve grown before, and another one on the dark side is my new raspberry Glen Coe. This has dark purple fruits with a lovely rich flavour. I posted a query about it last year as I wasn't sure what its growth habit was like. I started it off in a pot but when it got very tall I stuck it on the end of a new row of Glen Ample. It is different but is ok with them, and it is starting to fruit just when the Glen Ample are finishing so just right.
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:19 pm

I have taken a few yellow tomatoes I grew from the free seeds from the KG mag. They taste nice & bigger than expected, but the skin is quite thick, my black ones are maturing so not long & they are very tasty. Lost all my red ones to blight, except the wee cherry ones growing merrily on the lottie blight free, which is not ready yet.

I've got to sort my soft fruit area as the raspberries have encroached & currants are too big & woody, (if they don't make me give up a plot - I'll fight that to the end as my plots are maintained not like the couple of dozen divided plots around the site that are weeds & kid's toys only). Anyway, PP thanks for the tip about a blackcurrant, any recommendations for a red one?

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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:07 am

I've only ever grown Red Lake red currants Westi. They are from some cuttings I was given on a fruit growing course I went on at Arley Hall about 15 years ago and are still going strong. They make a lovely fruity red wine and good jam.
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:21 am

I'm regularly picking yellow and red tomatoes from my tumbling plants. For some reason the yellows seem to be more prolific and I've noticed over the last three or four years that they always crop and ripen well ahead of the cordon plants which extends the season and also helps ensure you get some fruit in years where blight hits early..

I always wonder at the large number of flowers on these plants. This year they have been smothered and possibly not every flower will end up in a developing fruit but I keep them well fertilised and watered and they provide a steady crop, even when the weather is not particularly sunny. I always chop up my banana skins and fork them in around the surface of the compost in the pots as well as some of my other kitchen scraps. They seem to be hungry feeders in pots although I have a few plants growing in a border as well.
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Thanks PP!

I've made the decision to move the entire soft fruit bed from where it is on Lottie 2. I was down tonight picking & watering & took time to really look at the current situation. Both the raspberries & the blackberries have migrated under the membrane I put down for the strawberries & are popping up in the strawberry holes & beyond. The Jostaberry I like, but it is a tree now not a bush, so the lot is going so I can start again with better control as I inherited most of these. The grape I put outside this bed along the fence many feet from the rest has also been encroached, so another decision to be made about keeping these.

Looks like I have a busy 'off season' then!
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:34 pm

Westi

With you taking a current look at the currant situation it is probably a good time to consider if you should move all the bushes concurrently
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Ricard with an H » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:31 am

Thanks to Westi my current carrot sowings are sprouting.

I'm still amazed that after three years I needed the advise to scatter slug pellets along the rows of carrot sowings, just shows that no matter what, it's best too share your problems.

Another problem I had was that the sea buckthorn windbreak didn't produce many berries last year and none the year before so in the absence of advise (so far) I have to assume the berries grow on new wood because I regularly cut it back. Right now because I haven't trimmed it at all this season it's getting far too big but I would like berries in Autumn and I'm sure some of the flying wildlife might appreciate the berries.

If I had the work in me I quite fancy a few fruit bushes but it means clearing some more ground, presumably the best time to plant fruit bushes is Autumn ?
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:16 am

Ricard with an H wrote:
If I had the work in me I quite fancy a few fruit bushes but it means clearing some more ground, presumably the best time to plant fruit bushes is Autumn ?



If planting bare root stock, yes. If pot grown you have more flexibility allegedly but I still tend to stick to whilst they are dormant
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Re: Mid Summer Bits and Bobs.

Postby Ricard with an H » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:03 am

I suppose bare root stock will be Autumn to spring and though I had success bedding in bare root stock during spring I would be interested in any views or benefits of Autumn bedding in considering that stock might have to survive regular strong winds off the sea.

I planted blackberry Rubén but it doesn't like where I planted it, probably too dry, this is a complete surprise considering how healthy all the indigenous types are that grow from just about anywhere.

For the first time ever I have success growing lavender, it grows happily at the edge/top of banks but blackberry Rubén hates it unless it hates the cowpoo I dug in prior to planting. Some plants simply hate nutrition and pots.

I'm learning.

Slow-but-sure.

I finally cracked sourdough baking.
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