Gooseberry problems

Yesterday, I put the washing outside on the line and noticed that some of the tips of the gooseberry bushes were a bit white. So, I got the secateurs out and pruned this out (as well as another plant nearby). I brought the clippings into the house so I could spy on them with my USB Digital Microscope and took some photos.

mildew1Is this American Gooseberry Mildew? Not many shoots were affected and these have been removed. I’m not the world’s greatest pruner but the 3 gooseberry bushes all had been pruned last year (for the first time!). 


Perhaps I need to be more brutal and prune harder (or more). Overcrowding (poor air circulation & increased humity) encourages this mildew.

sawfly2Another problem was spotted – the Gooseberry Sawfly larva. I think I spotted them later last year. Only saw a couple of the larvae – now squished. Last year, I noticed them when I spotted the “poo” on the lower leaves. This time, it was just sheer luck I spotted a partially eaten leaf.
sawfly1On the other plant I pruned, I spotted some caterpillars.

caterpillyAnd while it was crawling on my desk… it left something behind….




More sowings

Sowed some more root things down the plot yesterday – scorzonera, carrots (Chantenay Red Cored 2), also some of those flat small onions (Cipollini Yellow). Also, sowed Spinach Mustard leafy things.

Almost all the seed potatoes have been planted on Friday, though 10 of the Sarpo maincrop were given to another plot holder. I found 5 seed spuds that hadn’t gone down to the plot.

Some parsnips sown

Sowed, on Wednesday, a couple of short rows of parsnips (Avonresister)  marked by 2 different radish (ran out of seed of the one – Radishes – Short Top Forcing & Sparkler).

Plot looks remarkably good. OH has been preparing marrow/squash/pumpkin beds. I’m not sure if putting the marrow bed next to the main path was a good idea – the pumpkins like to ramble, so we’ll have to train them (don’t want a great big pumpkin blocking the path).  Anyway, shouldn’t be a problem.

Before Easter, we harvested the lone red cabbage – very tasty.

We’ve also had 2 rhubarb crumbles this year, plus given some rhubarb to my mum (another crumble? or stewed?). However, some plants are throwing up a flower spike. I think the best advice is to chop this. 

Might potter about in garden sowing more seeeeeeeeeeeeeds.

Second earlies, seeds…

Second earlies were planted last Monday, 30th March. Just the maincrop to go now.

On Tuesday, I sowed some more seeds – Chillis Pinocchio’s Nose, and Pyramid as well as potting on some of the February-sown seeds. Tomatoes – 3 Kenches Gold, 3 Snow White Cherry, 3 Sugar Italian Plum are in new pots, as are some parsleys – Laura and Moss Curled.  I I also made some rhubarb crumble with the first pickings this year of rhubarb. Yum. Plenty of rhubarb to be had this year, so am on the lookout for jam recipes… 

On Thursday, sowed some more seeds – Aubergine Farmers Long, Lemon Coriander, Karmazyn Broad beans, Seakale, and Cauliflower Violet Queen.

Friday saw the transplanting of onion seedlings – Red Baron, Up-to-Date, Rosca Di Toscana, Bedfordshire Champion, and Tondo Musona. I also sowed a short row of turnips – Purple Top Milan.

OH has tidied up the fruit section on the allotment, putting stakes and wires up. Also, he has been preparing the marrow/pumpkin beds. I think we will look for more squashy seeds. The allotments are looking very tidy (for once at this time of year).

There is blossom on the fruit trees down the allotment. The soft fruit bushes are more “advanced” in the garden – flowers already attracting busy bees. Only the one gooseberry on the plot is ahead of the garden gooseberries which aren’t yet in flower.