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It May finally be spring in the garden today

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default It May finally be spring in the garden today

Post by Chilli-head on 1st May 2016, 11:37 am

Some nice sunshine here.  Mind you, we had sun and hailstones yesterday !

My tomatoes are out in their final positions. Looking good at the moment.  I don't know why,  but they always look huge when potted on.  Definitely needed doing, especially as I'm otherwise occupied next weekend.   I've used homemade garden compost with some hoof and horn again this year. It does seem to be a magic ingredient. Hopefully by May the chances of damaging cold temperatures under glass is minimal.  But I have a heater set on low just in case.

It does mean lots of other stuff needs to be moved on to make space.  May is always a time when the greenhouse is bursting at the seams !


Last edited by Chilli-head on 1st June 2016, 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Dandelion on 1st May 2016, 9:21 pm

I'm growing tomatoes to sell at school again - I've been potting them up over the last two days, as they've been in danger of growing a bit spindly and are out-growing the modules they've been in. I counted this afternoon - eighty tomatoes potted up and twenty four left to do tomorrow!

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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 Ploshkin on 2nd May 2016, 2:09 pm

My tomato plants are sulking a bit now after persistently cold nights for the last 2 or 3 weeks. They won't be going to their final positions for a while yet. Peppers are good but they still have some heat at night.
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd May 2016, 5:57 pm

My four pepper plants have been the same size for the last few weeks, and aren't getting any bigger. Will they perk up when the weather gets warmer do you think?

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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 Chilli-head on 3rd May 2016, 8:00 am

Aside from the cold weather, one of the causes of sulking peppers I've come across is the compost running out of steam, especially if they are still in their seed compost, or one of the very woody peat free composts we have to struggle with these days. If it could be that, potting them on even if it is not quite time can help.
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Post by Ploshkin on 3rd May 2016, 8:58 am

I have been potting on my peppers as soon as I see the first sign of the roots at the base of the pot. They are currently in 1 litre pots and about to get their 3rd potting on.

I've never grown them successfully (apart from a few small but very nice ones in 2006) and am trying to give them the best possible chance of succeeding in the polytunnel so they have been rather mollycoddled. I'm a bit blasé about tomatoes as they usually catch up after a slow start but they could have done with similar treatment if I had had the capacity to keep them growing with some heat.
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Post by Dandelion on 4th May 2016, 7:05 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Aside from the cold weather, one of the causes of sulking peppers I've come across is the compost running out of steam, especially if they are still in their seed compost, or one of the very woody peat free composts we have to struggle with these days.   If it could be that, potting them on even if it is not quite time can help.
That sounds right as they've been in their little pots for quite some time. I'm a novice with peppers!

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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 9th May 2016, 2:04 pm

Oh dear. It is looking like another year of fighting aphids. I guess it is the lack of a proper winter, but I have the on my peppers. They are even on the carniverous plants ! But maybe not for long.

Everything has come on a lot this weekend whilst I've been away at the Bodger's Ball. Lots of catching up to do now !
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th May 2016, 2:20 pm

I'm hoping that all the frosty weather we have had recently will make up for the lack of proper winter. My peppers are so far untouched.
It's real growing weather now - warm, humid & thundery.
Does it matter that the potato flowers on my polytunnel plants are dropping off before opening? I guess not as the flower doesn't have any bearing on the tuber. The plants are getting copious watering but the dropping off may be due to the 3 weeks of zero degree nights we had (although they were under a layer of fleece) or the huge temperature difference over a 24 hour period.
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Post by Chilli-head on 10th May 2016, 7:46 am

I shouldn't have thought it would matter either Ploshkin, unless they've fallen off because the plants are too dry - though this year, and in Wales, that seems unlikely.

You are well ahead by having the polytunnel. My early potatoes out in open ground have only just come up in the heat of last weekend. Lots of stuff burst into life - I noticed my vines have leaves this morning. I want to try dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) with them this year.
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Post by Dandelion on 10th May 2016, 9:26 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Aside from the cold weather, one of the causes of sulking peppers I've come across is the compost running out of steam, especially if they are still in their seed compost, or one of the very woody peat free composts we have to struggle with these days.   If it could be that, potting them on even if it is not quite time can help.

I potted up the pathetic little peppers - seven days later they have grown noticeably, so you were right!

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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 Ploshkin on 10th May 2016, 9:46 pm

I noticed a pink tinge on a polytunnel strawberry today. It's a good thing I've got it as the only thing in the ground outside is some early spuds which are only just starting to emerge. I've got all the beds weeded ready and it is warmer now so I hope to get some stuff sown and planted soon
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Post by freebird on 11th May 2016, 8:56 pm

I've spent a glorious hour and a half sowing seed. Since the weather has warmed up at last, I've sown runner beans, sweetcorn, courgettes and melons. All the seed is old though, as I've not been growing get veg for a couple of years. I'll give them a fortnight to germinate and if nothing doing, it won't be too late to buy some fresh seed.

I'm really hoping the courgettes germinate. It has been a lovely variety and I saved seed a few years ago. I had 24 seeds left and I've sown the lot!
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th May 2016, 10:04 pm

freebird wrote:
I'm really hoping the courgettes germinate. It has been a lovely variety and I saved seed a few years ago. I had 24 seeds left and I've sown the lot!

I'm pleased to hear that you are back growing vegetables FB. But what will you do if even a half of those courgettes germinate ? Open a market stall ? Laughing
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Post by freebird on 19th May 2016, 9:14 pm

Well two of them have! Just seen them this morning. Hoping the runner beans will emerge as well - the seed was just as old as the courgette seed.

Bought in some sugar snap peas, a couple of cucumber plants and some chillies. Put every protection I could think of around the peas when I planted them out, bar some clever Harry Potter type spell. Looked at them the next morning and found 4 plants nipped off at the base, lying wilted on the ground. Sigh.
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Post by Dandelion on 20th May 2016, 10:28 pm

freebird wrote:Well two of them have! Just seen them this morning. Hoping the runner beans will emerge as well - the seed was just as old as the courgette seed.

Bought in some sugar snap peas, a couple of cucumber plants and some chillies. Put every protection I could think of around the peas when I planted them out, bar some clever Harry Potter type spell. Looked at them the next morning and found 4 plants nipped off at the base, lying wilted on the ground. Sigh.
Mice or slugs, do you think?

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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 Dandelion on 23rd May 2016, 8:50 pm

I've just invested in a self-watering unit, with two large pots to grow tomatoes. If it all goes swimmingly there is the option of adding more pots later. The instructions suggested making up a potting mix with 30% perlite. I've never used it before - it was revolting, and made me cough a lot as it was excessively dusty. Has anyone else tried one of these units (it's called Easy 2 Grow. My other half is winding me up about beginning hydroponics, and what other exotic crops I might experiment with...)

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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 freebird on 23rd May 2016, 10:59 pm

I use those pots, Dandelion. Don't recall anything about perlite though. I put 2 or 3 inches of pebbles in the bottom of the pot then fill it with whatever compost mix I'm using. Maybe they've changed the instructions since I bought mine, or maybe I've just forgotten!

I like them, as I'm really not good at watering stuff in pots. Any houseplants I own have to be drought tolerant.

Well, 5 of my courgettes have germinated now, and just when I had given up on the runner beans and bought fresh seed, I saw one this afternoon that wasn't up this morning. Pretty sure the sweetcorn isn't viable, so have bought fresh seed for that, and succumbed to some French bean seed too. It's rather later than I would normally start things, but they'll soon catch up. Not too quickly I hope, though, as I'm still trying to rescue a couple of the veg plots from couch grass and bindweed.

If you could eat couch grass and drink bindweed tea, I'd never need to go shopping for food......

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Post by freebird on 25th May 2016, 11:38 am

I was just forking over the last couple of feet of the veg plot and now I've broken yet another garden fork. Not going to use my new border fork to finish the job, so I guess I'll have to get another.

My bought-in sugar snaps are starting to find their feet now, tendrils attaching to the netting. Bought-in tomatoes and peppers also looking good. Potted on the chillies, but not ready for final homes yet. Courgette seedlings moved out the propagator into the greenhouse to make room for newly planted French bean seeds. Sowed another batch of sweet corn yesterday using the fresh seed I bought.

I've ended up starting a lot more veg than I had intended - it's kind of addictive, isn't it.
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th May 2016, 12:04 pm

If you were nearer, I could offer a fork re-handling service ! I turned a new one from ash for my garden fork, and it seems plenty sturdy enough.

I'm glad it is not just me playing catch up against the weeds this year. I went to the allotment last night to do a bit; planted out brassica, sowed some beetroot and parsnips (a bit late really). I now need to clear the horse tails from the bottom couple of beds as best I can to prepare them for squashes, beans and sweetcorn. Then once the manure pile has gone on those, I can get the woodchip in to re-do the weeedy paths. My treee surgeon friend has been refusing to deliver them to the allotment until it has dried out, because he almost got his truck stuck last year and made rather a mess getting out.

As I was working my lotty neighbour showed up, and tossed a shovel over the fence, saying "Any use ?" It is quite a heavy old one, so I've popped it in the shed for now. The shed also came from the same guy, who seems to be addicted to giving stuff away. He tries to give me all maner of vegetables when I have a glut too - I keep telling him he needs to find a friend who doesn't have an allotment !
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Post by freebird on 26th May 2016, 6:22 pm

Chilli-head wrote:If you were nearer, I could offer a fork re-handling service !  I turned a new one from ash for my garden fork, and it seems plenty sturdy enough.

Mmm, that would nice, CH. Think I will have to look out an old fashioned hardware shop and see if they do replacement handles. I have three forks with broken handles lying about in the garden now, along with another that has a broken tine.

Decided to have a 'please myself' day today. Sod doing anything I ought to, just a day for doing whatever. I hadn't anything planned, but ended up spending it in the garden, removing a huge and vigorous clematis that had grown into my cordon apples, cutting back mammoth brambles, a visit to the garden centre for a new fork and some hardy geraniums, and finally planting those geraniums.
Off to play badminton now.
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