Wednesday, 31 May 2017


I use plastic bottles with top and bottom cut off then the top end trimmed with pinky shears to give an edge slugs won't want to cross.
Then organic pellets inside for any of the bugger's that come up that way.
Other than that nightly patrols which isn't really practical for you.
I agree the plant sounds like creeping buttercup, I am infested with it, though slowly getting on top of it by constant pulling up and soil improvement.
Hope that helps

How To Make Potting Soil For Container Gardening.

- How To Make Potting Soil For Container Gardening (with recipe!):
Container Mix Potting Soil Ingredients
Peat moss or coco coir *
This is your base ingredient.
Peat moss and coco coir are both great for water retention, aeration, and adding nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
The only difference is that coco coir is more sustainable than peat moss, and coir a very renewable resource (it’s the bi-product of coconut processing), and peat moss is more acidic than coir.
Buy peat moss here, or coir here.
Compost or well composted manure
Container garden plants (especially vegetables, fruits and herbs) need tons of nutrients to get them through the growing season, and compost is an easy and natural way to add tons of nutrients to the soil. You can buy compost here.
Like I mentioned above, potting soil for container gardening needs to be light and porous. Perlite is a natural ingredient that prevents soil compaction, and is a key ingredient for a well draining potting mix. Buy perlite here.
Another natural ingredient, vermiculite helps the soil retain moisture longer, and also works to keep the soil light and fluffy. Buy vermiculite here.
* if you prefer, you can use a general purpose potting soil instead of peat moss or coco coir as your base ingredient. Any type of all purpose potting soil will do, but I recommend buying an organic potting mix that doesn’t contain any added chemical fertilizers, and avoiding any type of moisture control potting mix.
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Monday, 29 May 2017

Saskatoons (Juneberries)

BUY at:
Saskatoon (Juneberry)'Smoky' -£15.95
Pick: Early-season
Smoky is the sweetest-flavoured Saskatoon or Juneberry, and one of the main commercial varieties. It is very heavy-cropping.
The fruits ripen unevenly - regarded as inconvenient by commercial growers, but a useful for the gardener who wants to be able to pick fresh Saskatoons over a longer period.

Saskatoon (Juneberry) 'Northline' - £15.95
Pick: Mid-season
Uses: Eat fresh | Cookery
Northline is a popular Saskatoon or Juneberry, with a fruity sweet flavour, and one of the most productive.
The fruits ripen evenly at the same time, so the whole tree can usually be harvested in one go.

- Saskatoon bushes for sale | Buy fruit trees online | Free advice: Orange Pippin Ltd is a company based in England.
Orange Pippin Limited
33 Algarth Rise
York YO42 2HX
United Kingdom
Please note that unfortunately we cannot allow personal visitors to our nurseries.
Telephone - UK: 01759 392007 (callers from Europe please dial +44 1759 392007).

'Thiessen' saskatoon bushes - £15.95
Botanical name: Amelanchier alnifolia 'Thiessen'
Pick: Early-season
Thiessen is one of the most popular Saskatoon or Juneberry varieties, with a particularly good sharp tangy flavour.
The tree is vigorous and the berry-like fruits are amongst the largest of their kind, and ripen early in the summer.
The fruits ripen over a period.

- Saskatoons (Juneberries):
Higher in antioxidants than blueberries and known to have superior nutritional properties, being high in fibre, rich in vitamin C and E and an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, Saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia) are regarded as a superfruit.

Also known as Serviceberries, or Juneberries, the fruits look like blueberries in respect of their size and colour, but they have a flavour more like that of a blueberry crossed with a cherry, with a hint of almond. They are delicious eaten fresh, but can also be cooked, dried or frozen and are perfect for making into jams, pies, muffins, syrups, salad dressings and even wine.

Unlike the acid-loving blueberry, Saskatoons will thrive in any good, well-drained, moisture retentive soil and will tolerate alkaline conditions up to a pH of 7.5. They are bushy deciduous plants that can be grown as a large shrub or a small tree, reaching a maximum height and spread of approximately 3-4m (9-13ft), although this can be kept down if required. They can also be used to form a dense, but productive hedging.

Saskatoons prefer to be planted in a position in full sun to part shade and are very hardy, so are suitable for growing nationwide, but as they flower early it is best to avoid planting them in a frost pocket. They are also self-fertile, so do not require a pollinator, although fruiting may be improved when two or more plants are grown together. First crops are normally seen within two years of planting and once established they can produce up to 4.5kg (over 9lb) of fruit per year.

As well as their nutritional benefits, Saskatoons are also known and grown for their ornamental value and will add interest to your garden through the seasons. In spring, plants are covered in a mass of attractive white flowers shortly followed by berries that turn from pink to deep purple as they ripen during late June/July. Finally their foliage become a blaze of orange and reds as autumn approaches.

- BUY at Suffolk: APPLE SERVICEBERRY OR JUNEBERRY (Amelanchier lamarckii):
APPLE SERVICEBERRY OR JUNEBERRY (Amelanchier lamarckii) - £12.99
All orders placed between November and March will usually be despatched within 14 working days, these will be barerooted and the prices stated on the website reflect this.

BUY at: - Juneberry Amelanchier alnifolia Obelisk - £8.00
Saskatoon. One of the best of the juneberries for its larger fine edible fruits.
This variety is narrow and upright, growing to 4m (13 ft) high.
Please email to reserve for winter 2017/18 -
Agroforestry Research Trust Dartington
46 Hunters Moon,
Dartington, Totnes,
Fax: +44 (0)1803 840776
mail (at)

- Anyone for a bowl of bubbleberries? This summer's craziest fruits - Telegraph: "Bubbleberries"
Sweet and juicy with a dark purple skin, juneberries resemble large blueberries but taste like a cross between blueberries and plums. Juneberries will be available at farmers markets around the UK from late June to early July.

The scientific name for a Juneberrry is Amelanchier alnifolia. It is a deciduous shrub, native to the Canadian Prairies, where it is known as a Saskatoon Berry and has grown wild for centuries. The city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada is named after this berry which was originally called ' misâskwatômina' by Cree peoples.

The berry looks very similar to a blueberry, however as part of the Rosaceae family, a Juneberry's closest fruit relative is the Apple. Commercial production of Juneberries began in Canada during the early 1980s and is now the second largest fruit crop from the Canadian Prairies, second only to Strawberries. Commercial production in the UK started in 2013 - becoming Pershore Juneberries.
Pershore is a market town in Worcestershire, England. -

- Juneberry, the blossom with benefits | Life and style | The Guardian:

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Sunday, 28 May 2017


LAVENDER: Choosing,Planting,Growing,Pruning,Harvesting and Using lavender plants:

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Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for June

Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for June:

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My honeyberry.

- Why honeyberries could be the next soft fruit to conquer the produce aisle:
The “honeyberry guru of the world” Lidia Delafield, of US-based Berries Unlimited, has developed many new honeyberry varieties, including the cultivars:
Happy Giant, Blue Moose, Blue Palm and Strawberry Sensation, which has a hint of strawberry flavour.

Stewart Arbuckle, one of the first British growers to plant honeyberry trees in the UK:
Happily, honeyberries grow best in temperate climates like the UK, which is why Arbuckle is keen for other domestic growers to invest in the variety - a new 'superberry' from Siberia and Japan.
Honeyberries are harvested around 10 to 14 days earlier than local native (outdoor-grown) strawberries.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

French Tarragon and the Russian Impostor.

French Tarragon and the Russian Impostor – Laidback Gardener:
There are, in fact, two tarragons on the market: French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) and Russian tarragon (A. dracunculus dracunculoides, sometimes simply written A. dracunculoides).
The two were derived from the same wild plant, but are definitely not equivalent, especially when it comes to cooking.
French tarragon is the aromatic herb made famous by French cuisine.
It is one of the four official “fines herbes” recommended by French chef Auguste Escoffier in the early 20th century for use in egg, fish, and chicken dishes, the other three being parsley (Petroselinum crispum), chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and chervil (Anthriscus cerfefolium), a quartet still promoted by chefs of the French persuasion worldwide.

French tarragon has a distinctive taste: a very intense mixture of anise and camphor with its own special touch.
It’s strong enough that you only need a pinch when cooking.
Its lanceolate leaves are medium green and borne on a shrubby-looking plant about 24 to 30 inches (60 to 80 cm) high.
You have to propagate French tarragon vegetatively, by stem cuttings, layering or division.
Over all, it’s a fairly short-lived plant: even under ideal conditions, you need to take cuttings every few years to keep it going.

Russian tarragon is an impostor.
It has little taste and is not considered of much use in cooking.

You’ll find seed packets of tarragon, for example, but they necessarily contain seeds of Russian tarragon, since French tarragon doesn’t produce viable seed.
Nursery shelves are sometimes filled with pots of Russian tarragon, because they can grow it inexpensively from seed, which makes it much more profitable than cutting-grown French tarragon.
Abundant flowers usually indicate Russian tarragon.
Pull off two or three small leaves and munch on them. If the taste is intense, in fact, out and out bitter, it’s French tarragon.
If they have little to no taste, it’s Russian tarragon.
And be forewarned: Russian tarragon can become invasive.
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Seeds to sow indoors in Early May.

Seeds to sow indoors in Early May – Laidback Gardener:
African Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
Annual Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans)
Annual Flax (Linum grandiflorum, L. usitatissimum and others)
Annual Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)
Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila spp.)
Balsamine (Impatiens balsamina)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Batchelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus and others)
Brussel Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera)
Castor Bean Plant (Ricinus communis)
Celosia (Celosia argentea and others)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Cleome or Spider Flower (Cleome hasslerana)
Cockscomb (Celosia argentea cristata)
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus)
Felicia (Felicia bergeriana, F. heterophylla)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Flowering Cabbage (Brassica olearcea acephala)
French Marigold (Tagetes patula, T. patula x erecta)
Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
Joseph’s Coat Amaranthus (Amaranthus tricolor)
Kingfisher Daisy (Felicia bergeriana, F. heterophylla)
Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate (Persicaria orientalis, syn. Polygonum orientale)
Kohlrabi (Brassica olearcea gongylode)
Lettuce (Lactuca sativus)
Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
Melon (Cucumis melo)
Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp.)
Mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum, V. olympicum, etc.)
Nolana (Nolana paradoxa, N. humifusa)
Perennial Flax (Linum perenne, L. flavum, etc.)
Phacelia (Phacelia campanularia, P. tanacetifolia and others)
Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
Rodgersia (Rodgersia aesculifolia and others)
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
Statice (Limonium sinuatum and others)
Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Swan River Daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia)
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Watermelon (Citruillus lanatus)
Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)
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How Many Vegetables per Person?

How Many Vegetables per Person? – Laidback Gardener:
Asparagus 5–10 plants
Bush bean 10–15 plants
Pole bean 10–15 plants
Beets 10–25 plants
Bok Choy 3–5 plants
Broccoli 3–5 plants
Brussels sprouts 2–5 plants
Cabbage 3–5 plants
Carrot 15 plants
Cauliflower 2–5 plants
Celery 2–8 plants
Corn 10–20 plants
Cucumber 1–2 plants
Eggplant 1–3 plants
Garlic 3–5 plants
Kale 2-7 plants
Leek 5–15 plants
Romaine lettuce 2–5 plants
Leaf lettuce 20–30 plants
Melon 1-3 plants
Mesclun 2-7 plants
Onion 10–25 plants
Peas 15–20 plants
Bell pepper 3–5 plants
Chili pepper 1–3 plants
Potato 5–10 plants
Radish 10–25 plants
Rhubarb 2 plants
Spinach 5–10 plants
Swiss chard 5–10 plants
Summer squash 1–3 plants
Winter squash 1–2 plants
Tomatoes 1–4 plants
Turnip 3–4 plants
Zucchini 1–3 plants
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The honeyberry.

Laidback Gardener – Welcome to Larry Hodgson’s world:
"The honeyberry mature very early: in May in warmer climates, June in colder ones.
That’s still well before any other northern fruit.
The plant flowers very early in the season too: in April or May, again depending on the climate.
Since early blooming is associated with a risk of frost, you’d normally be concerned about cold damage, but remember that this plant comes from a boreal climate and can cope with cold.
As a result, the flowers can handle temperatures down to 19°F (-7°C) even when in full bloom and thus readily resist spring frosts.

The plant begins to produce fruit starting in its second year and can continue to produce for 30 years and more.

Unlike blueberries, which have an absolute need for acid soils, haskaps are tolerant of both acid soils and alkaline ones (pH 4.5 to 8).
You need two different varieties to ensure pollination.
The haskap also prefers a relatively cool summer. "

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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Harvest season has begun.

Rhubarb, pea shoots, onions, asparagus, chard, radishes.
Supermarket salads are washed with chemicals to prolong the shelf life of the leaves.