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Monday, 10 August 2009

Just Bits and Bobs

Nothing very regimented happened over the weekend till now, just lots of different things got done here and there, plus a few things to show you all.

On Saturday morning some kids with wheelbarrows came by selling freshly picked fruits from their uncle’s field. The prices were great at £1.50 a punnet of strawberries and £2.50 for a punnet of blackberries.

Later that day we had family and friends over on, so lots of food and laughter was had by all. With my perpetual spinach, carrots and sweet peppers I made a baked dish to accompany the other dishes which went down well.

Because the doors and window were left open till our guest left some time after midnight, there was a plethora of medium sized moths in the house. I couldn’t resist taking the photos.

Garden Carpet 'Xanthorhoe fluctuata'

Square-spot Rustic

Plume moth 'Amblyptilia acanthadactyla' a migrant species.

Single Dotted Wave

Scalloped Oak, this is a real beauty my photographic skills didn't do it justice.

Silver Y 'Autographa gamma' I found this one today while inspecting the tomato plants.

Sunday found me pottering outside in the veg patch and later in the greenhouse.
The tomato tasks of tying in, pinching out and removing suspect diseased foliage was done and I found that the ‘Broad Ripple Yellow Current’ was sending out new growing tips from the end of some of its earlier trusses and since there were opened flowers already on them I decided to add a couple of 5ft canes to the bed and tied them in. I removed a lot of the surrounding foliage to stop the area becoming too congested and to maintain good airflow. I have also pinched out the tips of these new shoots and any others forming on trusses. The parent plant’s growing tips were also pinched out as it has reached the top of its cane, the variety ‘Galina’ has also reached the top of its cane and so its tip was also pinched out.

One of the other jobs I got done was in the greenhouse where I pricked out into bigger cells the second crop brassicus seedlings of kale, pakchoi, mizuna, turnips, Chinese leaves and kohl rabi. I am also trying an experiment with the little garlic pips/ cloves I got off of the stems of some of the harvested garlic. I have popped them into what looks like empty soil filled cells, when the have rooted I’ll pot them up further into window boxes and pots to grow on through the winter. I want to see if I’ll get decent bulbs off of them and if the crop will also be earlier or maybe I’ll just use them as ‘wet garlic’ in the late spring months.

Today on inspection I have found the first female sweet corn flower on show.
Following from some research I did last night on when to harvest grain amaranth http://www.realseeds.co.uk/amaranthprocessing.html I did the rub test and some of the plants flower heads appear to have ripe seed ready to harvest. I did think this was the case as I had noticed over the last few days of last week that the flower spikes had become droopy as though heavy with seed. Since the days weather appears to be building up to rain later I thought it would be a good idea to harvest what seemed ready today, so as to not lose any by the rain and wind knocking them out.
And I can’t leave with out my flower and critter shots, so here they are:
24-spot ‘Subcoccinella 24-punctata’

Gatekeeper, still tons of these about.

Didn’t know what the heck this was but research has revealed it to be a Thick-headed Fly 'Sicus ferrugineus', it sure loved the water mint flowers.

The kids morning glories are still producing flowers.

This sunflower greeted me this morning, the seed was given to me by my neighbour, and I’m afraid I don’t know the name of the variety but I assume it is grown more for cut flowers as its not an overly tall variety about four feet in height. The flower is about 5” in diameter.

9 comments:

  1. I am in admiration that you know the names of the moths and some of those other insects and beasties. My knowledge is really basic, yet it is slowly growing through you and some other bloggers. So thank you to YOU!

    Also that photo of the thick-headed fly 'Sicus ferrugineus' looks really amazing. What an amazing creature.

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  2. Mangocheeks you give me too much credit, although i do no the names of alot of mini beast out there I'm not that good ;)

    I have to thank the internet for all the right id's, in particular http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/ this site is excellant for id-ing all manner of british wildlife.

    The thick-headed fly 'Sicus ferrugineus' is really out there isn't it. I think it is a perfect template for a scary alien invasion movie :)

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  3. i adore moths but have only seen lots of silver y's, but not my namesake 'angle shades' which is a beautiful moth.lots of yellow underwings on my plot

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  4. Oh hi again angel shades nice to have you back.

    Yes I also fine them fascinating, my girls are both afraid and impressed by them. I keep meaning to do a moth hunt in the backyard to help them get over their fears, must pull my finger out while the weather is still nice.

    Anyway I'm off to see what your namesake moth looks like.

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  5. Hi Kella, A lovely long post and Lot's of interesting topics. You family and friends evening sound like it was good, there's nothing quite like a gathering of favourite and cherished people is there?
    I too am impressed that you know the name of those critters in your house and garden.

    I had a little tiny bulby thing on the end of the foliage of my garlic (would have been a flower I presume ?) is that where you got your garlic pips from ? if it is I think I will do as you have done and try and bring it on.

    I love your children's morning glory the flowers looks all lit up from within, beautiful.

    I recently planted some pak choi and they have grown a bit but still tiny, but going to seed before they have even come to anything. This is my first try in growing it. Do you think it has anything to do with transplanting it ? as it says on the seed packet not to transplant, but I thought that seeing as the garden centre sells them in packs to transplant it should have been ok to do so, what do you think ?

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  6. Hi Maureen,

    I had some of my spring sown garlic just getting ready to flower when I harvested them but some plants of both spring and winter sown garlic (it occured more with the spring lot) grew some pips (I think they are called that) an inch or so up (sometimes much high) the stem from the top of the bulb (not sure if I'm making sense). The pips looks like cloves and had a tendency to form around the stem but some also were just one pip in the center with the stem continuing upwards.

    I'm sorry I didn't take any photos but the pips looks like little cloves in every sense so I wait to see if the produce roots at their bases.

    I always grow my pak choi in cells first or the slugs will decimate them for me. Its very possible you have an early bolting variety. The seeds I grew last year was a mixed variety pack with red, white and light green stem varieties. I found the white stem variety bolted every single time as soon as it got to about 4 - 6 inches except what I had sown during the autumn for the winter.

    Then this year while watching the Chelsea Flower show, I saw a woman who had a salad wall garden exhibited and in it she had some pak choi which appeared to have gone to seed, she said this was a variety that was supposee to do this as the entire plants is eaten when young.

    Which is just as well because since I didn't want to waste my efforts I generally ate the darn thing stem and flowers included as well :) I just wish the seed packet had said something, then I wouldn't have lost patience with the poor plant so often.

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  7. Kella thanks for the answers. I haven't got any of the little pips you described, shame ! I like to experiment.
    I've sown some more pak choi this time in situ and will see if it bolts like the others. I can always count on you for some answers.:)

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  8. Glad to be of service, goodluck with you second attempt.

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