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‘pests’ Category

  1. Snow at last

    03/02/2015 by grandad

    Not a lot, but hopefully enough to freeze a few slugs and overwintering nasties, and give the fruit trees enough of a cold period to get the blossom ready for Spring


    fern under snow blanket


    fern under snow


    graperfuit under fleece, just too large & heavy to lift into conservatory, in shelter of walls & covered by fleece

  2. What a difference a week makes

    08/04/2014 by grandad

    Back from a long weekend in Kent, noted spring seems a about a fortnight ahead there, bluebells & apple blossom are out, ours, in my part of south Hampshire, are still just promising buds

    So I got back home yesterday and the Climbing French beans “Cobra” have lived up,to the name and now look like the namesake getting out of it’s basket. 2013 seed from Johnson’s [Wilkinson]

    The dwarf French bean, “Ferrari” 2007 seed from Mr F,sown at same time, and on right of picture, is so far a non show, and not looking too well with fungus on the top of compost. Time will tell but I suspect not a goer

    Climbing French Bean "Cobra"

    Climbing French Bean “Cobra”

    The tomatoes have really grown, now I have put them into my conservatory, should be OK but will have to keep an eye on weather just in case late frost arrives, but they are looking good

    Tomato seedlings 08 April 2014

    Tomato seedlings 08 April 2014

    Tom seedlings, taller varieties

    Tom seedlings, taller varieties

    Now an Apricot problem, any one any ideas?
    My outdoor dwarf apricot, about 3 years old, has never fruited, possibly due to being so young. However this year there was a bit of promise, lots of potential buds, leaves & blossom, now I see a lot of the lower branches are bare. I suspect birds, but I have never seen any near the tree, and the tree is near the house, so not bird friendly space TBH. Any one any ideas? Next year I reckon fleece over it, but this would stop pollinators, so small mesh net may be the option for 2015

    Note the bare branches, did have potential buds

    Bare apricot branch

    Bare apricot branch

    Normal apricot branch

    Normal apricot branch

    And lastly, first picking of my rhubarb for 2014, Red Canadian [wilko] plus an old variety from my granddad, 1940s I guess, maybe Victoria? No real idea but a good !”doer”

  3. Sod’s Law

    01/05/2013 by grandad

    Towards the end of last year I noticed my clematis had shrivelled & died, cause unknown, thus last week I bought a replacement from Morrison’s, pot grown Mrs N Thompson for £5. And a nice looking plant it is, here’s it’s picture


    Clematis Mrs N Thompson

    I have been hardening it off over the past few days, and today I was checking it’s planting location, when I spotted fresh clematis shoots ! It seems my “dead” clematis has risen from the dead and lives again, now I have a dilemma, do I plant the new one & let them both mingle? I do not know the variety of the old one, a mystery from Lidl

    Here is the Lazarus shoot, there are a couple of others now I look closely

    Cleamatis new shoots from "dead" plant

    Cleamatis new shoots from “dead” plant

    Whist out generally checking plants over I noticed my potted strawberries have all succumbed to vine weevil – Booo

    I have never really had much success with strawberries, given the effort & space required, so doubtful I will bother again, just concentrate on the other easier soft fruit

    Here are the poor old nibbled strawberries


    strawberries chewed by vine weevils

    strawberry root  chewed by vine weevils

    strawberry root chewed by vine weevils

    And to end on a positive note, now hardening off the Runners & French beans, all looking well in their loo roll innards

    Runners & French beans -April-2013

    Runners & French beans -April-2013

  4. Agghhh, Lily beetles

    14/04/2013 by grandad

    Today the sun is out, and so are the bloody lily beetles. But I think the cold weather has beaten them, my lilies are only just starting to poke through the soil surface, thus they had nowhere to hide

    Size 10 put paid to the 2 I found

    Also potted up my new fig bought, reduced, from Wilkinson’s

  5. figgy fings

    14/08/2012 by grandad

    The new fig I bought from Wilkinson’s this year is going well in the conservatory, so well in fact that it now has two embryo figs on it. I know outside I would remove these overwinter, but I am tempted to see how they do overwintered in the conservatory

    Here is a pic


    My new fig, already with small fruits

    Another new addition this year is my Thornless blackberry, from Blackmoor. As I posted last time the fruits are now ripening, not enough for a pie, but certainly enough for a good taste in few weeks


    Thornless blackberry ripening August 2012

    And, yet again, my Stargazer lilies have come up trumps and fill the air with scent every evening, plus bees / hoverflies love them

    Stargazer lily Aug-2012

    Stargazer lily Aug-2012


    But all is not good, poor old Lady Di runner beans have been munched by slugs & snails. I have had a few meals off the beans, but no more to come unless the weather holds & more flowers appear. I have murdered the slugs etc with pellets, but as we all know this year was a good year for them

  6. I have a bean

    25/07/2012 by grandad

    Just back from a few days away, and the garden has leapt ahead with all the recent rain & now the warm sun.

    However all too late for my strawberries, a very poor year, again. Slugs, mould & birds took their toll. But seems better news on the gooseberry scene, I took the precaution of covering my bush with fleece, which seems to not only have kept the birds off but the sawfly as well, and now they are ready for a crumble later in the week

    My Autumn raspberries are just starting to ripen now, but seem a bit watery & tasteless so far :-(

    Lady Di runners are starting to crop, well if you can call two beans a crop that is. I only have 6 plants as I have no need for huge crops, may cook them later just for a taster


    Lady-Di-runner bean July-2012


    Lady Di runner beans crop to come July 2012


  7. Spiders galore

    12/04/2012 by grandad

    Had bit of a surprise this morning, found my tomato seedlings on the window sill had gained a herd of baby spiders, guess some eggs may have been in the compost.

    Not that I mind spiders, but do not want loads of garden spiders trampling around my lounge when they grow up. I have moved the spiders outside onto the grapefruit, which is in a fairly sheltered position so they should be OK. Still have a few escapees to round up later



    spiders on tomato seedlings

    spiders on tomato seedlings

  8. Weather is so nice the sowing cycle starts

    26/03/2012 by grandad

    Down here the sun, daffs & blossom are all out

    Men wearing shorts have also appeared, maybe tomorrow is t*t Tuesday?

    Anyway decided to get in and sow some beans & sunflowers. My bean choice is

    Runner – Lady Di

    French climbing – Cobra

    I have grown Cobra before, a good & reliable climbing French.

    Runner Lady Di is a new to me. After last years poor performance by St George, and half price seed offer from Wilkinson’s, I have decided to give it a go, but may yet revert to Wisley Magic in 2013

    Also have sown some of other Wilkinson’s 75% off  impulse buys from last year, sunflowers

    Little Leo & Black Magic

    Not really for me, but my son has a corner, adjacent to public footpath, that is crying out for some “impact” and hopefully they will provide this

    Beans were sown in loo roll middles, sunflowers in seed modules

    Completely of topic, also saw a huge queen hornet taking advantage of the nectar on my gooseberry flowers

  9. Loo roll saving time

    21/01/2012 by grandad

    Listening to yesterday afternoon’s Gardeners Question Time on radio 4 there was a visit to Spalding, and one of the items was about peas & beans, which jogged my memory to start saving loo roll middles to sow my Runners into in a couple of months time

    I do this every year, I sow in the loo rolls, indoors a bit earlier. Which gives me earlier, more even & controlled germination, and more importantly stops mice, slugs & anything else eating the beans before they have got going

    This year it is going to be Lady Di I think, due to last year’s poor performance of St George. I have since read St George are RHS awarded, so maybe it was the 2011 weather and not the variety

  10. Peaches ripening now

    25/08/2011 by grandad

    A couple of years back I decided to forgo “run of the mill” fruit growing, in the main because my garden is too small to fit even a mini orchard in
    So I decided to grow more “exotic” fruits, the sort that never cheap to buy, luckily I live in south Hants, so weather is not much of a problem for this

    All the above explains why I now have my first peaches ripening, and being eaten as well.

    Ripe peach

    My first ripe peach

    I bought a 2 year old, bare root, patio peach “Bonananza” in Autumn 2009, from Blackmoor nursery, potted it up and cosseted it a bit in my unheated, plastic, greenhouse

    Last year was nothing, but 2011 has bought me a bonananza, about a dozen peaches ripening

    Trouble is, never have grown a peach before I was unaware they also can have pests, a few have been nibbled by little green caterpillars, and ruined

    Rotten peaches

    Peaches ruined by caterpillars