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What have you done in the greenhouse/polytunnel today?

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Post by Chilli-head on 31st March 2014, 8:04 am

Planted my greenhouse tomatoes into their final places on Saturday.   All in homemade compost this year  Cool (most smug looking smiley I could find).  

I repotted my 3 rocoto chillies which have overwintered to kick them back into life.  Hoping for an early crop !

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Post by freebird on 23rd April 2014, 4:52 pm

I've finally made it into the greenhouse. All of last years plants (shrivelled and dry) were still in place, so I've been clearing them out, and have so far planted three peppers and three tomatoes. They all been sitting in my calligraphy studio getting much too big.
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Post by freebird on 9th May 2014, 9:10 pm

Really pleased to see that the courgettes, cucumber and runner beans I sowed at the beginning of the month have just germinated. I'm especially pleased about the courgettes as they were sown from saved seed dated 2011. That was the first and only time I've saved courgette seed, and had no idea if it was viable. The plants have been so prolific and reliable in the garden that I'm keen to keep them going. Trouble is, we use loads of courgettes in stir fries, ratatouille, large ones for marrow chutney, and I dry what I can't use. It will be hard to give one up for seed!
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Post by Chilli-head on 10th May 2014, 7:43 am

Ha ! .Most people seem to struggle to use all their courgettes. Squashes of all sorts are said to cross pollinate easily, so you may get a surprise !
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Post by freebird on 10th May 2014, 8:26 am

Oooh, I hadn't thought about that CH. I don't think any of my immediate neighbours grow veg though - don't know what distance they would need to avoid cross-pollination.
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Post by Ploshkin on 10th May 2014, 12:30 pm

I'm at the point where my toms need planting out in the greenhouse (that should make me finally clean the GH out properly). My GH has a concrete floor & for the last several years I have grown my toms in fat grow bags, 3 to a bag with a growpot or bottomless pot for each plant which has worked pretty well. The fat bags are rather pricy & I've had some pretty solid ones before now that have clearly been around since the previous season & have needed some muscle to get the compost de-compacted. I've been contemplating whether or not individual pots would be a better option especially after CH saying that tomatoes like to grow in the remains of their dead comrades. I probably won't have sufficient home made compost to use this year but could get into gear for next. What are peoples' thoughts on growbags vs pots for tomatoes?
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Post by freebird on 10th May 2014, 4:16 pm

Well I have seen ordinary growbags used on their side, so you get the depth of compost without forking out for a larger bag.

Then there was that guy on Gardeners' World last year who grows his tomatoes in pots with a minimal amount of compost, but attends daily (or even more often) to the feeding and watering. Personally, I don't want to make that sort of commitment.

For three or four years now, I've been using Easy2Grow pots (awful name, great idea). Basically ordinary pots but a self-watering system along with them. I started using them as there was no-one I felt I could ask to water the crops when I'm on holiday. Last year for the first time, I filled them with homemade compost. Best crops ever. Could have been down to the good summer weather.

I wouldn't go back to growbags now. I think these pots are great, and suit my rather haphazard life style and working arrangements.

This is a link to a site, so you can see what they are (not necessarily recommending this site though): http://www.greenhouse.net/easy-2-grow-autopots.html
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Post by Dandelion on 10th May 2014, 5:30 pm

I've only used growbags once for tomatoes, and they all had blossom end rot so I haven't repeated it. I love tomatoes so I have some in large pots in the shed/greenhouse, some in the garden itself, and some which are in pots which go in and out depending on the weather!! I grow in a mixture of New Horizons and home made compost (because I haven't got enough homemade to go round!)

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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 14th May 2014, 11:43 am

FB wrote:I've been using Easy2Grow pots
As you've used these, presumably the pot size is sufficient for tomatoes.  I was a bit worried about 8.5 litre pots as I currently do 3 plants in a 50 litre growbag with additional compost in a growpot on top.
How many pots do you have on one tank & how long will the tank last before refilling?
Do you keep permanent diluted feed in the tank or if not how do you feed?
I've actually got some fat growbags for this year but thought I might try a couple of these pots for a couple of extra plants or for my cucumbers as I always seem to have problems with those.
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Post by freebird on 14th May 2014, 6:23 pm

You can have a maximum of six pots on one tank - I started with four, for a couple of years, and added extra last year. Six works just fine.

While the plants are small they don't take a lot of water up, but at full size and fruiting they get through it much more quickly. I can't say for sure, but I know I can go away for at least a week and know that the water won't run out - I think it may last for two at the height of the season.

The only feed I've used is the liquid from my wormery, which I strain into the water reservoir, once I think the plants need it.

It's not counsel of perfection, but it's a lot better than I can do by just watering and feeding by hand. It means I can top up the water when it's convenient for me, and not have to rush out there on a scorching day when I've jobs to get out to.
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Post by freebird on 17th May 2014, 7:31 pm

Following on from the above post about Easy 2 Grow pots - they were shown on a gardening programme 'Beechgrove Garden'. It's on BBC Scotland on Thursday evenings, though I watch it on the iPlayer. It will still be available for a few more days if you want to see. The pots were shown about 13 minutes in to the programme, and came highly recommended.

If you've not seen the programme before, it's rather reminiscent of how Gardeners' World used to be. I actually prefer it to GW these days.
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Post by Ploshkin on 19th May 2014, 10:38 am

I think I have seen that programme an odd time, I'll have a look at that one.
I ordered 4 of the pots to try out. I used the Organic Gardening Catalogue as they were a bit cheaper than most others & postage was reasonable too. They were also the only site that didn't appear to think I wanted them for growing illegal substances! Most of them assure you that they send out their stuff in plain packaging & I also got a couple of links to cannabis growing.
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Post by Ploshkin on 30th July 2014, 4:17 pm

Thank you Chilli Head for your timely advice re cucumber feeding. After getting 3 really great cucs the rest were all going yellow & dropping off at about 15mm, as happens every year. I then noticed that the main stem was starting to rot so I cut it off below the rotting part & started feeding the plant with high nitrogen fertiliser. It now has 3 very strong growing shoots, nice & green with a total so far of about 8 fruits forming & not going the slightest bit yellow.
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Post by Chilli-head on 30th July 2014, 4:25 pm

I'm glad it worked for you. I do sometimes get those odd stem rots, often seem to be triggered by an abortive fruit starting to rot back. I normally dust with sulphur if I can catch it early, or cut off the affected bits if I notice it too late.

I'm giving my cucumbers a scattering of chicken manure pellets. Good job the greenhouse door can stay open !
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th January 2015, 7:54 pm

Today I was back in the greenhouse for the big annual clean up.  This involves:

Taking out and cleaning the staging
Emptying and cleaning the black tank I keep under the bench as a combined water butt and thermal store.
Removing all the sand from the large tray on which I grow the tomatoes by ring culture - I'll redo this with clean sand when I need it in March.
Cleaning the glass, inside and out.
Scrubbing out the electric propagators and seed trays.
Putting everything back again !

Now I am almost ready to start the new growing season.  Just need to mix up some seed compost, then it will be time for sowing tomatoes, peppers and leeks-  usually I start early Feb happydance
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Post by Dandelion on 25th January 2015, 8:58 pm

Yesterday when it was sunny but very cold, I had one of those cold weather sick headaches, so didn't get much of anything done. But this afternoon I sat in the shed and sieved compost and topsoil for potting up, and found the coir compost I had bought last year, so now I'm ready for the sowing season...just in time for a very cold and possibly snowy forecast in the week to come! So maybe no early sowings this year.

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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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