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The May garden - catch up time !

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default The May garden - catch up time !

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd May 2017, 1:12 pm

All those cold nights in April mean I'm still playing catch up.  I did a lot of digging on Sunday, to get my beetroot and carrots sown.  These are the carrot seed that never got sown last year because of the weather !  At least they are in.

Monday I spent the afternoon battling the stump of my cedar tree in the garden.  It was bang in the middle of the lawn, about 15" diameter and sawn off 6" above ground. Hard work.  I had a hole about a metre across (like the bilingual units ?), and axed through all the roots I found.  With the help of a big length of metal as a lever, out it came.  I now have a huge stump sitting on the lawn waiting for me to find a way to shift it !  

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are really perking up for being planted out into sieved garden compost.  First flower truss just showing Very Happy


Last edited by Chilli-head on 4th June 2017, 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ploshkin on 5th May 2017, 11:28 pm

Playing catch up here too after various failed germination attempts. I ended up buying some French bean and mangetout plants to plant in the tunnel and they're romping away already so it was worth it - I should get a nice early crop. Peppers are slow even with heat but they're coming on now and the Tom's have put on a bit of a spurt - they always seem to catch up. I'm now struggling with brassica germination with less than 50% of seed coming up. Most of it is new seed. I've only had one cucumber from last year's seed.
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Post by Dandelion on 6th May 2017, 11:15 am

Thank you to whoever put the Striato D'Italia courgette seeds into the seed swap (i think it may have been CH...)
I just went to sow courgette and squash seeds just now, only to find that I must have had a purge and got rid of all the old seeds last year! Thankfully I found these seeds, so I'm happy and just off to plant them.

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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 7th May 2017, 9:18 am

I wanted to try something different in the polytunnel again so have germinated a couple of melon seeds which are growing well and I ordered some sweet potato plants which arrived yesterday. I know it won't be worth growing a small quantity of sweet potatoes but I was just interested to give them a try.
I'm going to have a go with a hot box for the melons. Has anyone ever done a hot box?
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Post by freebird on 7th May 2017, 1:44 pm

Not used a hot box, but grown very successful 'Sweetheart' melons for several years.

Thank you to the person who put Tutankhamun peas in the seed swap. I planted them in the same compost, in the same conditions and at the same time as a brand new pack of sugarsnap peas. The Tut peas gave 100% germination and are all 3"-4" high. The sugarsnaps 57% germination, with some only just breaking through the compost.
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th May 2017, 10:16 am

A day of rain, now a day of sun. I can almost hear the weeds growing !

I've repotted all my squashes into homebrewed compost, which seems to have produced a quick improvement in colour and vigour. New Horizons does not seem to be working well this year.
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Post by Chilli-head on 20th May 2017, 1:59 pm

I gave up growing melons in the greenhouse. I grew the rock melons from Real Seeds, the best, absolutely delicious still warm from the sun. But took up so much space to grow a couple of small melons ! Maybe with the goodness of a hotbed under them they will be more productive.

I'm at the computer because I've been rained off at the allotment. Lots of weeding. I've weeded my Hugelkultur bed and added built up the sides with some well rotted compost, I'm going to sow dwarf french beans into the sides of it it when the rain abates; I'm working on the assumption that the burried logs might deplete nitrogen, so legumes are a good choice. There are some broad beans on the top doing not too badly. Might have beans in a week or two.
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Post by Ploshkin on 22nd May 2017, 9:16 am

I forgot to say, I have no fruit whatsoever on my gooseberry bush this year.  It has never failed to produce a crop before - always between 6 and 12 lbs.
It's been going for about 15 years, do they have a productive life limit or could it be because I forgot to prune it last year ?
It did have a particularly vicious sawfly attack last year, might that have caused it?
As it happens I've got loads of gooseberries in the freezer from the last couple of years but I don't know whether to give it a jolly good cut back at the end of the season or just replace it.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd May 2017, 9:48 pm

Could it have suffered a frost at a critical time? We did have those two very cold weeks after some unseasonably warm weather.
My gooseberry is about 15 years old - I grew it from a rooted bit which broke off from the gooseberry bush in our old house. It goes from strength to strength, so I don't think yours has had it. A good prune could do it good.

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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 22nd May 2017, 10:25 pm

I didn't think about frost Dandelion. You could well be right. I will give it a good cut back, it's got a bit unruly and its a horrible prickly thing to pick fruit from when it's tidy.
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Post by FloBear on 23rd May 2017, 4:36 pm

I have a very old gooseberry plant too - found it languishing when I moved here 28 years ago. It has its ups and downs but produces some fruit - unless the wildlife gets to it before I do. My newish ones aren't doing much other than putting on lots of leaf.
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Post by Chilli-head on 30th May 2017, 3:46 pm

Still May, and I've caught up I think !

Lots of digging on Saturday, now my tomatillos are in the ground, and the squashes, with space prepared for all the rest of the crops - sweetcorn, beans and brassica - to go in to. Peppers are all potted on, and the greenhouse cucumbers are in their final pots. I'm using my homemade compost mixed in with the New Horizons, topped off with a layer of neat New Horizons in the hope of reducing the weeding required by my homemade stuff !

I've sown some of what was labelled "Kathleen's kale" from the seed swap - it has emerged, what do I with it now anyone ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 30th May 2017, 8:40 pm

Chilli Head, that kale grows quite tall. I treat it like purple sprouting broccoli - the shoots in the spring are lovely and come when there isn't much around. When I tried some of the leaves they seemed a bit tough but young leaves would probably be ok. I had one little plant from Kathleen several years ago and it self seeds quite readily or I leave a bit and collect some seeds.

I think June is going to be catch up time for me. The polytunnel is planted up - I'm harvesting potatoes, carrots and strawberries, beans, mangetout and courgettes have flowers and tomatoes, squashes, sweet corn, peppers and chillies are all growing well.
Outside is still a bit bare. Potatoes are up, brassicas are planted out and one courgette. That's all. I need to do some serious sowing and planting this week
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Post by Dandelion on 30th May 2017, 11:18 pm

I thought I was up-to-date with my seed sowing, but the foxgloves I was nurturing to attract bees are not doing too well, so I will re-sow tomorrow. The evening primroses are equally pathetic, but I've run out of time to sow again, so will have to try again next year. I think they got a bit hot in the greenhouse and then a bit wet when I put them outside in the rain Sad

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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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