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Damson bumper crop 2014


The branches are almost touching the ground and the fruit is ready for picking now (Merryweather)

Posted on 22 Aug 2014 by Geoff Edwards

Dave Wilson Backyard Orchard

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Location of garden fruit orchard (Backyard nursery)

Spacing between trees 1m x 0.6m 36inches x24inches. The trees are located on a south facing hillside which is subject to westerly gales. They are sheltered by existing shrubs including a mature damson and a bramble patch with trees beyond. To the north there is a large variegated buddleia on the east side there is a low stone wall.

Posted on 22 Aug 2014 by Geoff Edwards

Backyard orchards

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Heeled in bare root hedging plants


Posted on 22 Aug 2014 by Geoff Edwards

Unknown plant

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Nine foot high mystery plant

I have lived in Freshford for over 14 years and have never seen this flowering plant in my garden. It is over nine feet high which I suspect is due to it bolting.  The first phot shows my largest Mamiya tripod (it can extnd to eleven feet high) set up to photograph the flowers.

Head of the plant photo below:

Close up of the leaves:

General view of the plant there is an apple tree close behind it:

Close up of the stem of the plant:

The plant has been flowering every day since before the beginning of July. Its flowers are blue and similar to a daisy:

When I first noticed this plant it was  low growing with large leaves that were sort of convoluted similar to a lettuce and looked good enough to eat. I have since identified the plant and can confirm that it is edible - I'll disclose its name at a later date. I used this site to help me with the identification: Botanical Society of the British Isles

The plant is chicory, believe it or not.


Posted on 04 Aug 2013 by Geoff Edwards

Slugs and snails!

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I have used an electric fence to deter slugs and snails in the past. I also used a fence made of copper tube. I used these methods to protect my food which was being grown in three raised beds. The main problem with the electric fence was that I was losing power. Although the voltage is very high but of course power is very low the system needs to be well insulated from the ground. High voltage? yes 30,000 volts! My electric screwdriver would give me a nasty jolt if I used it to check the fence was live (I only did it once!) The power is only on for a very small fraction of a second so there is no real danger. The badgers didn't like it though, and tried to chew up my plastic insulating sheeting! I think what they also did, was move stuff to so as run the power to earth! Loss of power put the fence out of action.

Although the electric fence does work.  I have not managed to overcome the loss of power -yet! I have bought a heavy duty battery to supply power cheaply I have yet to connect it up. Part of the problem is that all weeds need to be removed around the raised beds. The copper pipe method does work though. I just created a rectangle of 15mm copper pipe around the top of my raised bed using standard pipe fixings. It is very easy to do and will last for ever (I suppose). The use of copper to deter slug and snail damage is well documented but copper strip, the usual form in which copper is used  is expensive, whilst copper pipe is not particularly expensive. The snail or slug has to get over the tube and that must be rather awkward as in addition to the round shape the pipe is slightly above the surface as it is secured by plastic pipe brackets.

If I find that the copper tube solution is not continuing to deter the varmints I'll connect the pipes to the electric fence energiser as well!

For those who grow their food on open land rather than raised beds - where the techniques mentioned above do work - the best Internet reference I could find on dealing with these pests is Organic methods of dealing with slugs and snails

Posted on 28 May 2009 by Geoff Edwards

Don't do That in Your Garden

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I have been reviewing my emails and found a link that I sent last year. The link is to the Renegade Gardener's website. He has very clearly provided a compendium of mistakes that anyone who has a garden may make.

What makes this website particularly interesting is that the explanations as to WHY one shouldn't do something is made particularly clearly. The website is an American one but this doesn't really matter. Renegade Gardener Here is a link to his Home page: Home page

 

Posted on 21 Aug 2008 by Geoff Edwards
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