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Anticipation in the April garden

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default Re: Anticipation in the April garden

Post by Dandelion on 23rd April 2016, 10:25 pm

On the subject of keeping an unheated greenhouse frost-free, I've been surprised at how much heat is stored in house bricks by the end of the day. I've put a couple of bricks near to pots which need to be kept above freezing: after a sunny day with a cold evening, the bricks are still warm to the touch in the evening.

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Post by Dandelion on 23rd April 2016, 10:30 pm

I think I mentioned a few years ago that I have a variegated sedge planted by my wildlife pond. It offers protection and shelter to the tiny frogs, but is spreading fast. I did cut it back (that was why I mentioned it - it's probably one of those plants which will survive a nuclear attack!), but this year I have decided that it has to go. Under the spiky leaves there is a mat of stems and fibrous roots which is about 4 inches thick: after half an hour's hacking with secateurs and an old bread knife I had filled an old compost sack with debris, and had cleared a square foot! So only another six times that amount to go now...!

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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 24th April 2016, 8:29 pm

The allotment is finally starting to dry out a little. But the wet conditions have really favoured the mare's tails, which are coming up everywhere. I gave in and sprayed it off with glyphosate. Digging it out is simply not effective (without a JCB anyway).

Dug a couple of beds. One bonus parsnip found, which must have escaped the harvest. It looks still edible ... I've decided to do away with some of my permanent paths; it more bother weeding them than they are worth. The grass weeds have really taken over on the paths that I'm keeping, so I'll have to clean those up and put down some fresh wood chip.

I did plant a few potatoes; I had planned not to grow them this year, but found a few potatoes in a paper bag in the garage that I'd forgotten about. They are from a plant that did really well; it was a volunter, but it evaded both blight and slugs, so worth giving another go I thought.
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Post by Ploshkin on 24th April 2016, 9:38 pm

Potatoes are the only thing I have planted in outside beds to date.  It's been really cold even when the sun is out.  The flowers are forming on the few extra earlies in the polytunnel.  I'm enjoying having the tunnel as it means I have stuff growing instead of twiddling my thumbs waiting for things to warm up.  There was an icy wind today but it was 32c under plastic.  So far I've got broad beans, spinach beet, carrots, lettuce, mangetout, potatoes and strawberries growing well and today I planted out some cauliflower seedlings. I have never done cauliflowers before but they're supposed to do well under cover.
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Post by Dandelion on 26th April 2016, 9:58 pm

I have some cauli plants in the greenhouse, but I'm going to plant them out in one of my raised beds(as I have no permanent beds in the greenhouse.) I've grown them outside a few times with variable results - my book says that cauli plants need to be coddled a bit and don't like cold weather. This surprised me a bit because I had thought that brassicas were as tough as old boots!

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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 27th April 2016, 5:46 pm

Well it went down to 0° last night in the greenhouse, so it was with much trepidation that I went to check on my tomato and pepper plants. They seem to be fine. It was 30° in there this afternoon, with the auto roof vent wide open. Poor things must be wondering what's next!
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Post by Ploshkin on 27th April 2016, 6:06 pm

I can trump that Freebird, the polytunnel went from 0° to 40° yesterday. It has managed not to drop below zero but has been very cold every night for ages now. I put fleece over the potatoes each night as they are about to flower. I've still got the toms and peppers in the greenhouse and the peppers are in the base of an old electric propagator to have a bit of heat. I've got cucumbers, courgette squashes and sweetcorn germinated too so I hope things warm up at night before too long.
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Post by FloBear on 27th April 2016, 8:03 pm

Having other things to do, I did not get round to seed sowing in any worthwhile way so have bought a few plants - flower, veg and wildflower. At the moment I'm having to traipse the more tender specimens in and out of the house night and morning. Down to almost 0* some nights and up to 40* in the greenhouse some days
Currently have an ailing chicken in residence in the GH, good thing I'm not using it at the moment!
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Post by Dandelion on 29th April 2016, 5:32 pm

Oh no - poor chicken. What's wrong?

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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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