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New beginnings in the February garden.

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default New beginnings in the February garden.

Post by Chilli-head on 1st February 2018, 10:57 am

I've just been using my gardener's yearbook thread to look back at what we were doing in previous years. I started to feel a bit behind, but reminded myself it is still only the 1st today !

February for me is the month of first sowings. The greenhouse should be ready (but isn't quite !). The early sowings need to go in - for me that's indoor tomatoes, peppers, chilies of course, leeks and maybe onions. I say maybe, because I just might be tempted to try direct sowing once more, in the allotment where I've had a good layer of mulch on top of the ground over winter. May just be able to make a tilth there before it is too late - no chance on the native clay soil, which is too heavy and wet until it is too late to sow !

Oh, and salad trays - with "salad" in the broadest sense -baby leaf leaves of the usual lettuce and rocket, but also all the slightly out of date brassica can make sprouts to use like cress. I've got a collection of the black plastic trays from supermarket veg for this, now that I know they don't get recycled anyway, they may as well get a second use !

Ah well,. hopefully I can make a start this coming weekend.
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Post by Ploshkin on 1st February 2018, 11:29 am

As I was harvesting lovely carrots from the polytunnel yesterday evening I realised that previously I have sown my first carrot seeds in there before the end of January so I need to get into gear.
A few sunny days could give me the incentive to get going but we don't seem to be getting many of those.

I think most of my growing may be confined to the tunnel this year.  We're getting connected to mains water and the trench for the supply pipes will be coming through my two plots of raised beds so I won't really be able to do anything until that's done.  It's not altogether a bad thing because my outdoor growing areas need a bit of a revamp anyway.  The fencing stakes and gateposts are starting to rot as is the wood of my raised beds and the paths need some attention too.  I need to rethink my outdoor growing anyway because of the success of the polytunnel - it was so productive last year that a lot of outdoor veg got wasted because I just didn't need it all.  I have also been thinking about a fruit cage as the raiding behaviour of the blackbirds now seems to be hereditary.  I think my fruit bushes are losing their oomph too - they've mostly been there, and very productive, for nearly 20 years.
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Post by FloBear on 1st February 2018, 12:08 pm

I have ordered 5 autumn raspberries called Julia J for my new raspberry bed. I have been reading about getting two crops from autumn rasps so decided not to bother with summer ones. My old Autumn Bliss will perhaps benefit from some tlc too.
Pleased with my fruit cage, I actually got crops from my blueberries last year.
Sometimes an enforced re-vamp is a good thing, isn't it Ploshkin? I have my first flock of chickens to thank for my garden's partial re-design!
Speaking of which, we're getting a daily egg now and some days two from my two girls :-)
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Post by freebird on 1st February 2018, 12:20 pm

Thanks to 'no dig' all my veg plots are ready and waiting including three that haven't been in production for years. This is the first time in my entire gardening career that I have been in this happy position. Due to the time saved, I have been able to rejig the greenhouse to give myself more growing space, and I'm really looking forward to the new season.

The only fly in the ointment are some awkwardly placed holidays - I am going to have to consider when I sow seeds very carefully.
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default Re: New beginnings in the February garden.

Post by Chilli-head on 1st February 2018, 12:38 pm

I know what you mean about awkwardly placed holidays. Having a teenage son, we are still confined to school holidays - the obvious ones interfering with the peak of the growing season, or meaning that you miss the best of the harvest ! Still, I know that time passes quickly, and the years when he still want to do stuff with his old Dad may not last a lot longer. Although, if he is anything like his cousins he'll still be using us for free holidays for some years to come.

As for having a trench dug through your plot - my allotment could do with a digger through it to get rid of the neighbour's couch grass that has infested my Autumn Bliss raspberries ! Current plan is to take some shots with a bit of root and pot them up to grow on as replacement plants, then clear the whole bed, digging a trench to put a barrier down the side to stop the couch returning.
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default Re: New beginnings in the February garden.

Post by Chilli-head on 18th February 2018, 10:17 pm

Made a start to 2018 this weekend ! In the garden, cleared the veg plot, and did a bit of re-jigging my stepping stone path to avoid being snagged by the apple trees when using it. I set out a line of cloches and sowed a few radish under them.

In the greenhouse, I got the heated propagator set up, and sowed trays of baby leaf salads: Greek cress, rocket, pak choi, spinach, rhubarb chard and of course lettuce. Oh, and some peas for pea shoots, which I think are rather nice eating.

Then to the allotment, turned the compost, and dug some of the last leeks. Then some weeding; the beds I've spread with manure in the autumn have a few weeds, but just a pass over with the rake uprooted them and made them easy to collect. It does seem that there is something in this no-dig business, if you can get enough organic mulch.

The Hugelkultur bed also was easy to clear. I'm thinking dwarf beans on the top, and salads on the sides this year.
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Post by FloBear on 19th February 2018, 8:58 am

I haven't done much apart from obtain raspberry plants which have been planted in the bed that Jamie-the-gardener dug for me. Must get my head round some planning!
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Post by freebird on 25th February 2018, 5:20 pm

All my tomatoes (4 varieties) have germinated. Two of my chilli varieties are up today - Apache and Red Basque. No sign yet of other chillies or peppers from seed swap. I wait with bated breath .....
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Post by FloBear on 25th February 2018, 5:30 pm

Ooh, freebird, how exciting!
I've been having a huge greenhouse clean - the gh is only 8 ft x 6 btw, it's the clean that was huge . Autopots to be set up next though I haven't actually started any seeds off yet.
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th February 2018, 5:37 pm

How long ago did you sow the tomatoes, chillies and peppers, FB, and at what temperature ? Some chillies like to be quite hot, and take 10-20 days. Usually just long enough for me to panic and sow more ...
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Post by freebird on 25th February 2018, 9:30 pm

All sowed on 15th Feb at about 27*C in heated propagator.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th February 2018, 10:14 am

I really need to get some seeds in the propagator.  It's only 2 weeks until we start lambing so need to get them done before then.
The polytunnel is right behind the lambing shed so I should get a chance to do a bit in there during the pregnant pauses.
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Post by Chilli-head on 26th February 2018, 10:34 am

freebird wrote:All sowed on 15th Feb at about 27*C in heated propagator.

They should be warm enough at that. 10 days is quite quick for chillies though, I'd give them a bit longer berfore worrying too much.

Mine are yet to be sown. Just not got around to it, given the limited time of daylight hours free. Hopefully this week, I like to have them in in late Feb. My potatoes are set up to chit, so got something done at least.
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