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Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 13:45
Ok folks I have a courgette (zucchini ) mystery that I need solving!!
I only have the one plant, in a tub, and it's doing well, BUT, it's being sabotaged! I dont know who by, or why and I'm not happy. The plant has produced lovely big yellow flowers, however when I get up in the morning and visit said plant for its morning water I find that one flower has been beheaded, its a clean break. The flower is whole, there are no bite, beak or claw (?) marks. It's like some one or something has sneaked into my garden and said...mmmm tonight I'll chop that one off. The flower is left by the plant, intact. Then either the next night or the night after the same happens. Only one flower per night, beheaded and left behind! It's not the dog, she's in bed. I am usually the last and the first visitor to the garden.

So solve my mystery for me please, before I go and get CCTV cameras installed!
Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 14:48
@minsmum What a mystery! All might not be lost though, if it is a male flower that has been beheaded, you can still use it to polinate a female flower. Lots of videos on you tube to show you how to do this. Hope you solve your mystery. If it rained last night - that could explain it. They are so very delicate.
Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 16:31
@Lizbean, I have found any thorns ?!

@Minsmum, do the flowers drop off when they're not required any longer. I tend to think that my plant has two types of flower on.
Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 17:07
@Rawkaren thanks for the pollinating tip, will check out YouTube
@carieoates it's more of a ritual beheading than a drop off!

Maybe my neighbours gnomes are to blame!
Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 17:50
Minsmum wrote: @Rawkaren thanks for the pollinating tip, will check out YouTube
@carieoates it's more of a ritual beheading than a drop off!

Maybe my neighbours gnomes are to blame!

Re: Gardeners Corner
27 Jul 2014, 21:43
@carieoates no tiny prickly thorns beneath the flower? Hum - wonder if mine are aubergines. Small lilac flower with yellow centre, furry leaves, no fruit yet. Back to my notes from the spring I think ........................ :wink:
Re: Gardeners Corner
28 Jul 2014, 00:25
Sounds like eggplant- aubergines. They take a long time before they start to make fruit. Here, they are making fruit in the autumn - too late for them to ripen, but that's here.
Re: Gardeners Corner
28 Jul 2014, 08:12
Lizbean wrote: @carieoates no tiny prickly thorns beneath the flower? Hum - wonder if mine are aubergines. Small lilac flower with yellow centre, furry leaves, no fruit yet. Back to my notes from the spring I think ........................ :wink:

Sorry @Lizbean typo. Yes I have thorns. :oops:
Re: Gardeners Corner
04 Sep 2014, 12:29
No one has written in the Gardeners' Corner since the end of July. I just have to write about my tomatoes. I have planted seed from 10 varieties. I have 5 rows in a punnet in the shed, in an electric warmed base with a plastic cover on it. You can set the temperature and I have it set at 25 degrees. So far, no seedlings have germinated. I ran out of room there so I improvised a tray covered in a black plastic garbage bag and put it on a chair in a sunny spot in the kitchen. Low and Behold. The first ones in the black plastic bag have beaten them all. This variety is called 'Harbinger'. Obviously they are advanced! They germinated in less than a week. I may bring them all inside now. I have taken the little seedlings out of the dark and placed them in the light in the kitchen window. How exciting.
Re: Gardeners Corner
04 Sep 2014, 14:56
@sallyo. Sounds like summer is on its way!
Re: Gardeners Corner
04 Sep 2014, 18:56
Ooh, I just found this tent .... Hello everyone !
I am in recovery from a huge tomato glut. We planted 4 cherry tomato plants in the spring and I have never had so many yummy toms. We also planted 2 "normal" size tomato plants and 2 beef ones (tomatoes, not cows !). We now have chutney in every cupboard and soup and sauce in the freezer too. We have a small poly tunnel we put up last year but it took a real bashing in the winter and the frame has sunk about 1' into the ground so it's very wonky. There are still lots of beef toms to pick. I tried to add a photo but it said the file is too big ! The cucumbers were not so good this year though. And we have lots more apples and plums than last year, but some of the trees have no fruit at all ! We have loads of chilli peppers (didn't think they'd grow well !) and I'm not sure what to do with them as we don't eat them often ! Any ideas ? I got several of those growing salads from Lidl and planted them so have had salad for months now. We have spuds, onions, courgettes and a few sweet peppers. The raspberries were a disaster and my friendly blackbird had most of the black currants (there are still some in bottom of the freezer from last year !). We also managed to breed a family of rabbits in the poly tunnel, they hid under the pallet with the strawberry pots on it ! Leeks and beet root are going well and the sweet corn is nearly ready ... Last year the badgers ate the lot just before they were ripe , grrrr ! I'd like to take all the credit for all of this, but I can't ! We're very lucky as my father in law loves veg gardening and has a tiny garden so he comes over and potters whenever he likes, so everyone's happy ! It's great to be able to pick his brains, he knows so much. My bees have done well this summer too, lots of lovely honey. I think I need a pantry ! All in all we've had a great harvest this year, and autumn is well on its way. I love this time of year. :oops:
Re: Gardeners Corner
04 Sep 2014, 21:33
@mrstee well I am so jealous such produce, well done.

I would suggest Harissa paste for your chill is as a good recipe and a tasty gift or preserve for your use. Have to smile considering the difference between your pests and what I have to contend with as my pests, now my dearly departed big dog Max :dog: no longer patrols our perimeter, my visitors will be wombats, possums and kangaroos, birds and further down the chain white moths and snails :snail: :snail: :snail:

A lot has changed in our veggie bed garden area, big winds caused large limbs to crash over a large bed revealing the large gum next door had borer and a quote for removal revealed the adjacent tree another 80 ft or so specimen had to be gone as well. So now where large trees once stood shading my veggie patch I have wonderful sun. :sun: :sun: :sun: DH has patched up the damage from the fallen limb :hammer:

It is way past time to top up the beds so DH has purchased a load of excellent 50/50 soil/compost in preparation for my summer planting a which will be going into 2 large beds. So am off to my local market thus Sunday to buy advanced seedlings to plant. Another time @Sallyo I would like to grow seedlings from scratch but an army of snails reside on our property and the solution I have found is advanced seedlings, sawdust on the paths and other strategies unmentionable. :frown:

So I am excited that it is that time to start planting out my veggie beds so have a bit if reading to do to find out the best things to plant, will also look at companion planting to work out the optimum of the seedlings. Then with a bit of a plan in hand and a coffee I will be strolling around the local Sunday market happy as :lol:
Re: Gardeners Corner
05 Sep 2014, 03:52
My tomato seeds are in. (doing them in small containers that i bring in at night.)

Decided to go for the big ones this year. even if i only get 1 or 2 in a plant

Mortgage Lifter
Ponderosa Pink

Nothing wrong with toms but nothing like a big fat juicy tomato you can slice on bread. My tomatoes always succumb to virus wilt but i might be lucky this year. Thinking of covering the fruit with exclusion bags too like i used to. Trying some in the garden beds and also in really big pots. Was thinking of grow bags but it seems expensive for one plant

We shall see

Been harvetsing the the third crop of potatoes .. so good. i have another crop ready to harvest in about a month. over 3 foot tall! This time i enclosed them in a cage as the June winds i think damaged my last crops.

Got a punnet of basil seedlings last weekend and i separated them into about 20 seedling pots. ONe more punnet a bit later and ill have my basil all sorted. Ready by November for the first batch of pesto!
Also got dill, broad beans, snow peas, voluntary lettuce and rocket and carrots so ive been a busy bee.

My quail have succumbed to some kind of bug and one of my garden plots is a bit of a temporary cemetry. One dead bird every other day and the crows have come in too so ive had to protect the perimeters of the cage for the first time. Looks like I better get me a new dozen quail soon. Only 8 left and by this arvo, 7
Re: Gardeners Corner
05 Sep 2014, 18:27
Very good to read these posts. I made tomato chilli jam, I think it was called. It was a Hugh Furnely Wittingstall recipe which you should be able to find. Another one of my inside tomatoes have germinated. The varieties i have sown are:
Harbinger: an English variety from 1901 - early variety, high yields, will continue to produce until the first frost.
Daydream - the 2nd to germinate - high yields over a long period, excellent flavour
Legend - cool climate variety, from NW America, forms fruit even in cold weather, amazingly sweet.
Roma - Italian, disease resistant and ideal for bottling sauce etc
San Mazano - Italian, reliable for bottling etc
Silver Fir - Russian heirloom, early season
Break o Day, Australian heirloom from the 1930s, cold resistant, high yields
Black cherry - high yields
Beefsteak, also known as Red Ponderosa, high yields.
Burley Gem, developed by the Victorian Agriculture department for Australian conditions. Prolific.

This is what it says on the seed packets which came form The Lost Seed and also from Southern Harvest. I do love growing tomatoes. It can be tricky up your way,@Juliana.Rivers, with fruit fly and so on. We have to contend with a short growing season. So it is great to find varieties especially suited to cooler climates.

I am also growing broad beans and my snow peas are finally racing up their trellis. I reckon they will start flowering in a week or so and then it's such a short time before you are picking snow peas. I know @Wineoclock, you have been eating such things for months but we are quite a bit behind you. We do have asparagus starting though and i must go up to the bed today and make a first pick.
Re: Gardeners Corner
07 Sep 2014, 09:12
My experiment with growing tomatoes and cucumbers outside has been a huge success and will be repeated next year.

The cucumbers (Mini Munch) are all but done now. I bought three wee plants but lost one through under watering in the early days. I planted them in a large deep pot which I discovered they don't need and makes it harder to keep the moist so next year it will be a shallow pot or even a tomato bag.

The cherry tomatoes are still doing well (Losetto), we are getting enough each week of a couple of salads for 4 people. However when we were on holiday and MIL was looking after them hurricane Bertha hit and I lost a few branches. Personally I would have put the three pots inside the house for a few days until the worst of the wind passed but hey ho.

Along the front border of my garden I have a lavender hedge and it is stunning at the moment. So many people walk past it and stop and take photos - it is full of bees and butterflies. Many years ago I had seen a garden like this and I copied that here. I don't cut back the lavender until spring time as it looks beautiful with frost on it in the winter.

I'm looking for ideas from you expert veg growers. I have a couple of small raised beds in a shady area of the garden (no sun at all). Any ideas what I could grow in it remembering that we are in the cold north and we have sandy soil. I did try onions one year but they didn't come to anything.
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