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Mist in May; what did you do in the garden today ?

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default Mist in May; what did you do in the garden today ?

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd May 2015, 9:56 pm

Mist in May and heat in June bring all things in to tune.

Having been so busy over the last few weeks, this long weekend is such a welcome chance to catch up.  Squashes and sweetcorn are bushing their way up in the greenhouse, so off to the allotment to prepare space for them, and the brassica which are looking good.  I got most of a bed double dug for them, and pruned back my (supposedly) Autumn fruiting raspberries.  Having not cut them back in Autumn, they look set to produce a reasonable bonus early summer fruiting on the old wood; I've just cut out any material that has died back and pulled out the worst of the weeds.

Whilst there I did a perusal; my broad bean Red Epicure are up and looking good, but my look at that garlic ! It is Provence Wight, and what thick stems it has !

My neighbour and I are clearing up a bit the no man's land at the bottom of our plots.  It was not marked as part of our plots originally, but following building on all sides, there is this area left which is part of the allotment site, but has been used as a dumping site by allotmenteers, builders and the local yoof.  Amongst it were a number of felled tree trunks - which have now joined my log pile  Very Happy


Last edited by Chilli-head on 1st June 2015, 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Mist in May; what did you do in the garden today ?

Post by Dandelion on 3rd May 2015, 2:06 pm

I'm potting up tomatoes this weekend - I try to grow extra and sell at school to make money for the school cookery club, which lost its funding in some of the cuts. I try to grow mainly heritage varieties, so the seed swap has been very useful for a few extra seeds - I hope to interest people at school in keeping old varieties alive. So I have about 70 plants to pot up (and find a home for) before I can start to harden them off and take in with me. Every year my attempt to turn the staffroom into a garden centre becomes more of a reality!

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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 TamaraNicole on 3rd May 2015, 6:09 pm

I've just got my raised beds ready for this year. Weeds are gone, compost is in.
On saturday i will buy my seedlings from a local organic farmer, plant everything and hope for the best!
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Post by Ploshkin on 6th May 2015, 12:11 pm

We've had mainly cold, wet, windy weather so far this month. Everything's desperately slow to get going but I have finally spied a few pea shoots starting to emerge and can see a few potato leaves appearing. Lots of seedlings in the greenhouse waiting patiently.
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th May 2015, 4:29 pm

I don't know if anyone knows Primula Sieboldii. I found the name topping a list of good plants for shade. Amazingly I then found that a nursery just outside Carmarthen holds the national collection. I've not got round to finding the nursery but last year they opened a small plant sales area in Carmarthen & I got one. I thought it hadn't survived the winter but it's one of those that disappears completely & I was delighted to see the leaves reappearing. I got another one a couple of weeks ago. They sell big plants for £4.50 which easily split into 4 or 5 decent sized plants. The pink one that I had last year I even got two different colours. I really like them - very pretty but not too showy and most importantly, they seem to like my riverside patch. I can see the collection growing.

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Post by Dandelion on 9th May 2015, 9:50 pm

Really pretty - glad it reappeared!

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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 TamaraNicole on 11th May 2015, 1:39 pm

I like it Ploshkin!

My garden is now planted. The potatoes are growing nicely and the weather is fine. What more to ask?!
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Post by freebird on 11th May 2015, 4:07 pm

Like those primulas, Ploshkin. Have to look out for them.
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Post by Jaded Green on 11th May 2015, 9:32 pm

I admired Mr JG's hard work dealing with our overgrown lawn and making a start on the garden.

We ordered some plants a litttle while ago and they are due soon - but not as soon as I thought, so hte garden may be a bit bare to start with
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Post by Dandelion on 15th May 2015, 10:07 pm

It was all going so well with putting up the greenhouse (we weren't doing it, but someone recommended by the local garden centre.) The problem came when the first package of (strengthened safety) glass was opened, to discover that three out of the four panes had completely shattered. More has been ordered, will it'll be another week until it can all be finished. I've waited long enough for this greenhouse: another week won't matter!

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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 18th May 2015, 11:20 am

Oh dear DL - toughened glass is very vulnerable to knocks on the edges; once it is framed it is much more durable. Hope you get it finished quickly.

I have had a very busy weekend playing catch-up after a busy period of work, and then the bodgers ball. On Saturday I sorted out the garden and greenhouse stuff - hoed around the veg plot, and re-jigged the greenhouse to let me put the cucmbers into their final 15L pots. That meant taking out a piece of staging, so lots of juggling round. The sweetcorn, beans and squashes went out to the cold frame to harden off. The Greek Gigandes are growing like crazy ! Potted up various of the squashes, and the rest of the peppers and chillies.

Tomatoes are doing well. Almost full sized fruit on the earlier vafieties now, and they are just about reaching the top of the greenhouse.

On Sunday I spent much of the day at the allotment. Finished off preparing a space for the brassica to go out, erected a new cage for the blackcurrants, and watered in some "Nemaslug" slug parasitising nematodes. Boy are they needed this year - the tops of my potatoes are already full of holes. Sowed more peas, and resowed the carrots which had emerged then disappeared again (it took 3 sowings last year to get a reasonable crop). Started to prepare beds for the sweetcorn, beans and squashes.

I notice a lot of people are braver than me and already have their beans etc planted out. I have been caught out by a frost in May in the past - when do you plant out tender stuff ?

I really do think that TV gardening programmes have served beginners poorly. You don't see anything like enough of the digging and hard work which are really needed, especially when starting from scratch. The plot opposite mine has been overgrown for years; a new plot holder took it on in spring, paid someone to rotivate it all, watched the weeds grow back, the gave up. A new plot holder has just started. First action - build raised beds. Why do people think vegetables need a few planks of wood round them to grow ? These are about 30cm high, so heaven knows where he's going to get the material to fill them from. Worse still, he has build them from chipboard ! I bet he - and his raised beds - are gone again in a month or two.
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Post by Ploshkin on 18th May 2015, 11:48 am

There's a huge difference between East & West. Everything of mine is still in its first pots though I will be planting out toms & cucs this week. I'm disappointed that I have failed twice with germinating Uchiki Kuri squash - last years seed and new seed. I've not had a problem with them before but its getting a bit late to try again.

I like my raised beds CH but they're only 6" high. I simply did them to make myself organised about where I planted things and to make it easier to keep the weeds at bay. Also, I don't do digging, I just put manure or compost on top in the autumn. My two areas with beds are trapezoid and I used to find my beds going off in all directions without something to contain them. If the wood disintegrated now it wouldn't really matter as the beds and the paths in between are well established now.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd May 2015, 8:29 pm

Another afternoon at the allotment, amd there is, I think, light at the end of the tunnel ... nearly all the digging done ! I planted out celeriac and brassica today.

My allotment is about 25x5 metres. I have organised it with one path running the length of it down one side, tben the rest is split into 9 bedsof about 4x1.5 metres, with space for compost heaps at the bottom and a dropping off space for manure etc at the top. I'm pondering whether to give up on my Geoff Hamilton style beds, and remove some of the paths. Weeding the paths is a pain - much easier to dig the wole lot to clear it in spring. What do you reckon - narrow beds you don't need to walk on, or just a large cultivated area ?
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd May 2015, 9:34 pm

I have paths between my raised beds which are lined with weed-proofing membrane, anchored with those metal U-shaped staples for holding down netting etc. I did put it down thinking that I might cover it with bark chippings, or slate, but this never got done, and actually it's quite serviceable.

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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 24th May 2015, 3:18 pm

Don't know, CH. I've always had 4' beds, that could be reached from either side, paths between each. Since I started cultivating again though (lived here since 1981, moved out 2000, came back 2004 - long story, don't ask) I've had terrible weed problems - mainly bindweed, brambles and couch grass. I can't have any permanent paths as the weeds grow under them. So I have to cultivate the entire area, then just stamp down a path between the plots.

While everything is currently fallow (concentrating on the ornamental part of the garden for a couple of years), I'm having a major rethink about what I want to grow and how I'm going to do it. I might just run some of my thoughts past you people for some feedback, when they're a bit more concrete.
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th May 2015, 10:04 pm

I put down landscaping fabric on the paths, then topped it with woodchip. All was well for a while, but eventually the woodchip decomposed, and weeds took root in that. They are easier to hand pull with the fabric under them, but eventually they got a bit out of hand and I hoed them off - tearing the fabric in places. Fortunately the worst weeds have died during their time under there, but I reckon the composted wood chip on the paths is now better stuff than the beds theselves !

The other problem is that when digging the beds, soil tends to spill onto the woodchip paths, and I keep snagging the edges of the fabric when digging.

I think I am going to remove half of the paths, and see how I get on with that. It might be easier to keep the weeds under control by just digging the lot - I have similar problems to you FB but with mare's tails.
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Post by Dandelion on 25th May 2015, 1:06 pm

Another option(which I know has its own disadvantages) is grass paths. I have a wildlife area around the pond, and only mow once in the autumn, to tidy it up, but around this are grass paths, which get a quick trim once a fortnight. The advantage is that if you get weeds growing in them, they get beheaded every week or so. I suppose the down side is that the grass could seed, and if you're being very tidy you would need to do the edges by hand. (I think by now we've established that I'm not a velvet sward - type gardener, but occasionally tidy is quite nice.)

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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 25th May 2015, 1:10 pm

Today's job (whichI'm going to have to finish another day as it's hard on the knees) is getting rid of a huge patch of Euphorbia. Yes, it has striking lime green flowers which do look pretty impressive, but having been well-behaved for the last 12 years (it was here when we arrived) it has suddenly gone mad. It's sending up seedlings among the veg and around the fruit bushes, and is also spreading along thick roots which suddenly seem to be spreading in every direction. I aslo spotted the chickens eating it yesterday, through the fence which keeps them off the productive side of the garden, which I'm sure isn't a good idea because of the irritating sap.

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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 Ploshkin on 25th May 2015, 1:45 pm

I did landscape fabric + woodchip between my raised beds and like CH it all composted nicely & became a haven for weeds. Just a couple of weeks ago I rolled up the fabric like a big swiss roll and then peeled it back removing the layer of weed turf as I went. It was hard work in places but I've ended up with just the bare fabric which will stay as it is for now. My only gripe is that the woven stuff frays so much but perhaps if I'm not pulling weeds out of it it wont do it so badly.
I've been having a 'war on weeds' day too Dandelion & also trying to get the courgettes & squashes planted out. I'm hoping things will warm up a bit now, thermometer has still been down to almost freezing at night this week.
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Post by freebird on 26th May 2015, 10:03 am

I've tried grass paths, Dandelion. Couch grass unfortunately is no respecter of boundaries. I've had to dig up the lot, and pull up the paving to the greenhouse as it has rooted right through and out the other side. It's also rooted into the hardcore of the greenhouse base. The roots are tough and very sharp - they have been known to penetrate pond liners!
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Post by FloBear on 29th May 2015, 9:16 am

Doesn't time fly when you're weeding? Haven't been around for ages but just having a little catch-up now.
I'm afraid weeds rule in my garden, even though I try to tell them they don't.
I'm seriously thinking of getting someone in to help once a week as OH is not a gardener and doesn't really want to be. The raised beds I bought him have more or less reverted to me now, though I did ask him to weed round the onions last week. He did, though not very thoroughly, and the collateral damage was half of the radish plants, all of the spring onions and a smallish broad bean plant Sad
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Post by Ploshkin on 29th May 2015, 10:58 am

I can sympathise Flobear. I am the sole gardener, Mr P only does things if it involves a chainsaw or a large machine (JCB size).
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Post by freebird on 29th May 2015, 4:34 pm

Yup, know all about that too. Each part of the garden I do now, I am trying to find ways to make it less labour intensive - like a heap of rocks at one end of the small pond over weed-suppressing membrane, and a heap of small logs over the same at the other end. Still not doing veg at the moment.

On the up side of being a lone gardener, I don't feel the need to consult/compromise overmuch about what gets planted and where. I do the work, I get to choose.

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Post by Ploshkin on 31st May 2015, 4:41 pm

What did I do in the garden today ...... FROZE
It's the last day of May & temperature was 8.5c with a strong, biting wind. Two fleeces, a thermal layer and a woolly hat! I'm trying to get all my stuff planted out before we go away next weekend so that I don't have to entrust them to someone to kill them off while we're away. I'm hoping we get a bit of sun this week as I have a lot of semi ripe strawberries in the greenhouse & I will be upset if none of them are ready & the greenhouse waterer gets the lot while we are not here. I can't say 'please will you water the greenhouse but you're not allowed to touch the strawberries' can I?
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Post by Dandelion on 31st May 2015, 4:48 pm

I've heard various things about the weather for next week, from 'heatwave towards to end of the week' to 'unseasonably bad weather on Monday and Tuesday'. Hopefully there will be anough sun to ripen your berries, Ploshkin, or you'll have to take some with you and ripen them over the week!

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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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