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Odds and ends in the November Garden

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default Odds and ends in the November Garden

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd November 2015, 9:11 pm

It may be November, but it began with a record-breakingly warm Sunday.  And the weeds are taking advantage and still growing quickly !  Keeping on top of them will be most of the work for this month, I shouldn't wonder.

There are a few jobs to do in the vegetable garden too though;  if you didn't plant them in October, overwintering onion sets can go in now.  And it's perfect time for planting garlic and sowing broad beans for overwintering - Aquadulce and The Sutton for example.  I got my garlic in on Saturday afternoon - and noticed that the onion sets I put in in October are just peeking through.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 3rd December 2015, 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd November 2015, 9:51 pm

A couple of beautiful sunny days here too - it's not often that Mid Wales is the warmest place in the UK! My bees have been out in force as if it was midsummer & are foraging on the ivy. I can see the growing potential of my polytunnel by the weeds that are starting to flourish - I think I may put terram on the paths or I will be spending all my time trying to control weedy paths. I won't be planting anything outside now but will try some broad beans & winter lettuces in the tunnel. I need to get a watering system set up - I have been keeping the beds damp with a watering can to date.
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Post by Dandelion on 8th November 2015, 1:19 pm

I'm still picking ripe tomatoes from the greenhouse - who would have thought it?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 8th November 2015, 3:49 pm

Our waterlily is still flowering.
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th November 2015, 5:49 pm

I've cleared my tomato plants from the greenhouse now and picked the final ripe tomatoes - with the late warm weather it turned out to be a good crop. I've got some nice cabbages too but not a winter variety so need to get using them.
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Post by Chilli-head on 9th November 2015, 2:41 pm

Yesterday at the allotment it definitely felt like the season was over. Sticky mud everywhere ! But there was some cause for cheer; the onion sets and broad beans I put in at the end of October are up already.

A few things still to harvest - I came home with the last of the green cabbage and a red one, celeriac, carrots, a few "bonus" broccoli florets - the secondary shoots after the main head has been cut - and probably the last of the Greek Giant beans.

Fortunately some of the weeds at least have also decided that the season is over and a dying back a little. This is a good thing - I'm for once feeling kind of pleased the garden is shutting down a bit - I have a lot of other projects to start attending to !.
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Post by Dandelion on 9th November 2015, 10:13 pm

I'm waiting for some colder weather so the rhubarb dies down, as I'm planning to dig it up and split it. I'd like to try forcing some in a pot in the greenhouse - has anyone else tried this?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by FloBear on 10th November 2015, 12:32 pm

My rhubarb is still putting up stallks (stems??) and doesn't know it's November.
I managed to clear the raised but haven't got around to covering them against weeds yet because they are being a nursery for a few odds and ends that have nowhere else to go yet.

Have never forced rhubarb. If I did, I think I'd just cover some stems (stalks??) in situ and not try to take any of it inside.
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Post by Ploshkin on 10th November 2015, 2:07 pm

I've never forced rhubarb either - I've been lucky to get a crumble out of the few stems that I usually get. However, I wondered if the plant was not healthy so got a new one this year for a different spot - I didn't harvest anything from it but it looked more promising.
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Post by Dandelion on 10th November 2015, 7:36 pm

The first rhubarb plant I put in was too near our giant Western Red Cedar, so it suffered from a bit of shade and must have been quite dry. It didn't ever really thrive (I'd thought that rhubarb was one of those things you could stick in difficult places and it would cope, but I was wrong!) I bought a new plant and put it in the main part of the garden where it has flourished, but is now quite old and needs rejuvenating. I might leave a bit in the soil as you suggest, FloBear, but also try some in the greenhouse as an experiment. The worst that can happen is too much forced, sweet pink rhubarb in the Spring!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by FloBear on 11th November 2015, 9:30 am

By accident rather than design I found a spot that rhubarb likes though realised that variety is an important factor. I had a dark red one for years (can't remember the variety) and it never did really well. When we were splitting the school rhubarb (a vigorous and tasty plant which has never bolted) I took a couple of small sad bits home and put them next to my prize plant. It took a couple of years to get going and I didn't mollycoddle it - though it had a couple of dressings of horse poo and worm poo early on - and I now have plenty for our needs. The site has morning sun but is reasonably shaded in the heat of the day. It happens to be in the corner of the flower / shrub garden but I think it's decorative enough to warrant its place.
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th November 2015, 10:51 am

I really should try to train myself to like rhubarb. Trouble is it is marred by memories of the pinky green biitter slime beneath a crumble topping served at school !

My dad used to grow it in a very unpromising spot behind the greenhouse. He'd apply a fair bit of manure each year, and put upturned buckets / flowerpots whatever over some of the crowns to force it. It always frustrated him that I couldn't bear to eat it. That and swedes, shudder,
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Post by freebird on 11th November 2015, 11:30 am

I have a great recipe for rhubarb cake, and another for rhubarb and strawberry crumble (with walnuts in the topping). Fancy giving either of those a try, CH?

Mind, if you really can't abide something, no amount of disguising makes it better. I've tried beetroot in every guise I can think of, and it's vile.
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th November 2015, 12:16 pm

We are perhaps digressing a bit, but ...

The Rhubard cake sounds interesting. Oddly enough, I bought some fudge from a canal boat festival I happened upon when out cycling with C-H Jnr on the Grand Union canal towpath by Cosgrove, north of Milton Keynes. The lady assured me that all her fudge was flavoured with exactly what it said on the label ... and one of them was rhubarb. To my great surprise it had a lovely fruity, almost citrusy character. So perhaps it does belong in a cake !

Don't suppose you'd have time to pop the recipe in the recipes section, would you FB ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 13th November 2015, 6:45 pm

I spent an irritating time today walking round the garden with a bag of 50 mixed narcissi trying to find somewhere to plant them. I didn't want 50 mixed narcissi but they came free with an order of bulbs. I don't like to waste things but I haven't found a spot for them yet. If I wanted 50 mixed narcissi I would have ordered 50 mixed narcissi. I would rather just have had what I ordered.
Am I just ungrateful?
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Post by freebird on 13th November 2015, 9:57 pm

Maybe put them in pots, Ploshkin, then as they flower put the pots where they look nicest.
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Post by FloBear on 14th November 2015, 5:36 pm

Sounds as if the company is overburdened with narcissi, Ploshkin, and just passed the problem on to their customers!
I had a load of snowdrops that I had to dig up when grass was laid last year and I bought some cheap plastic troughs to dump them iin. There was a very nice display this Spring.
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Post by Ploshkin on 14th November 2015, 7:29 pm

That's a good idea putting them in pots, don't know why I didn't think of it. It will be nice and easy - my main problem was not having enough strength in my hands and wrists to make holes in long grass with a bulb planter, I gave up after the first couple.
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th November 2015, 7:39 pm

You maybe could put them in nice pots to serve as a gift ? Better than cut flowers because you can plant them out for subsequent years. Mrs C-H sometimes does that, you can fit quite a few bulbs in layers of different types to get a long flowering season.
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Post by Dandelion on 14th November 2015, 11:00 pm

Because my mum is chair-bound, all she can do now is look at the garden out of the window. I don't have time to do much in her garden, but I have dug a hole in the flowerbed to accommodate a largish plastic flowerpot. She can see this easily from her chair: the flowerpot is sunk in so that the top is just a little higher than the level of the soil. This means that I can plant up a different pot as the seasons change, doing it in the comfort of my shed, then just swap the pots over. I've done something similar in my own garden from time to time, sinking in a potted fern to a gap in the flowerbed to make it look full. Just thinking that if you pot the bulbs up now, you could then sink them into the garden when you have time later.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 30th November 2015, 4:46 pm

I dropped by the allotment on Saturday. It seemed like the moment to call time on the 2015 season. The calabrese went for compost as it was all running to seed. The climbing beans I have left in were completely dead, but to my surprise the remaining pods on the Gigandes, revealed by the leaf fall, still had quite a few good beans in them - I picked off what was good and composted the rest. I got probably a couple of meals or more of beans.

Pulled a few more carrots and a couple of celeriac. These were Prague Giant, and although they have made a lot of growth, the root itself is disappointing. I'll try a different variety next year.

Spent an hour tying in the apple and pear trees I'm trying to shape into espaliers. I still need to tidy up the soft fruit beds, but it was all a bit too muddy for that. Hopefully we'll get a fine spell sometime soon so I can finish up.

Spent some time last night rummaging through the seed box deciding what I need to buy for next year.
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Post by Dandelion on 30th November 2015, 10:27 pm

Yes, I've been waiting hopefully for that same fine spell CH!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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