Summer pruning of apples and pears

I am particularly fond of restricted forms of training for fruiting plants. Not only do they allow one to exploit walls, fences, and glasshouses to their full, they make very attractive dividers and enable more varieties to be grown in a given space. Cordons are particularly easy to grow and can be surprisingly productive. A… Continue reading Summer pruning of apples and pears

Pollination of sweetcorn

Sweetcorn or maize (Zea mays), is likely to be the only cereal crop that the general kitchen gardener will grow. It is a grass, and consequently wind pollinated. Generally, it is a low maintenance crop once established, and can be grown successfully outdoors or under cover. Sweetcorn grows a long stem, which, depending upon variety,… Continue reading Pollination of sweetcorn

Great garlic harvest

We have grown garlic for many years, but have always been a little disappointed with the results, with a mediocre yield of mean looking bulbs. Last year, we planted both autumn and spring sorts, but the weather was not favourable and the crop very poor indeed. Onions, shallots, and garlic from the autumn sowing suffered particularly with… Continue reading Great garlic harvest

Well done Mr Rivers

We currently have two fan trained peach trees in one of the glasshouses, Early Rivers and Bellegarde. The latter is supposed to ripen mid September, whilst the former, as the name suggests, is an early sort, and today we shared our first ripe peach.

Where are the ladybirds?

I posted recently regarding blackfly on our broad beans. There I mentioned my expectation that our healthy population of ladybirds would soon assist in addressing this pest. However, we have not seen a single ladybird this year; not that we have been looking out for them, specifically, but we are usually inundated with them. I fear,… Continue reading Where are the ladybirds?

Transplanting leeks

It is rather late to be transplanting leeks, but like everything else this year, I am at least a month behind. Leeks can be sown in a seed bed or seed trays; it seems that the traditional seed bed has somewhat declined in popularity, and I prefer the latter for convenience. However, I then prefer… Continue reading Transplanting leeks

Pressing heather honey

Today I visited Mum and Dad to tackle a job we had been putting off since the end of Autumn last year, when we removed the final supers from the hives. We had harvested some honey earlier in the season that was extracted in the normal way. However, the last supers, which were only partially… Continue reading Pressing heather honey

Chestnut sapling damaged

Whilst inspecting the bee hives today, we noticed that one of the nut trees planted recently had been savaged, with all of the young growth eaten. Given the height and nature of the damage, it seems almost certain that deer are the culprits. Something will need to be done to try to exclude them from… Continue reading Chestnut sapling damaged