Despite them being so common, the way these growths
Clusters of closely growing, many-branched twigs in the crowns of trees.
Ot ctslike birds nests, but with no birds.
Leaves or needles stunted on affected branches develop isn't fully understood, but even enormous witches brooms don't seem to affect the trees vigour.
Cut out severely unsightly growths.
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Try propagating dwarf shrub varieties from cuttings.
While the plot is less full it's a good time to test your soil's pH. You can test at any time as long as it's over three months since you added any lime, as this can affect the result. Manure can affect results too, so when you take a soil sample make sure it is soil and not organic matter you pick up – dig down a spit or so to make sure.
To get a sample, take soil from several points across your veg bed in a W pattern and mix it into one sample.
If you have a large allotment its worth doing this for each area and getting separate results for each one, because pH can vary from one end of a plot to another.
To extract the soil, dig out one spit and take a slice from one side of the hole one spit
deep – this slice will be your sample. Do this for each point of your W and mix them all together in a clean bucket. You'll end up with a large bucket of soil but you'll only need a spoonful, so mix thoroughly Home-testing kits are widely available and easy to use. Kits can be slightly different, so follow the directions on your pack. Usually it involves taking a small spoonful of soil and mixing it with water and a powdered indicator to create a coloured liquid. After the soil in the liquid has settled you can use the colour guide that comes with the kit to determine the pH. Hold a white piece of paper behind the vial of liquid to help see the true colour.
Which veg is best for my soil?
Great for growing brassicas, which will be protected from club root. Legumes and grape vines like it too.
Ideal for growing most fruit and veg. The exception is acid-loving fruit bushes, blueberries and cranberries.
Most plants thrive in it, but potatoes, rhubarb, currants and gooseberries do particularly well.