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Gardening between the April showers

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default Gardening between the April showers

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd April 2018, 11:59 am

April showers indeed. It is tipping down here, and I'm starting to get standing water on the lawn.  I'm going to seek shelter in the greenhouse this afternoon.  Glad I did the compost digging before this started.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 2nd May 2018, 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd April 2018, 2:26 pm

It's very squelchy here too - I did a dramatic slide on the lawn in the muddy grass when I went down the graden to look for wood for the log burner. I really need to take the cold frames off the broad beans, but that will have to wait for a dry day

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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 2nd April 2018, 9:34 pm

The rain stopped ! I potted up my tomatoes and chillies, and in the process realised that I'd forgotten I'd sown them into a seed compost, not a general purpose blend. So, low in nutrients. Probably why they had stopped growing then. Hopefully they will be happier in my homemade compost/vermiculite/hoof and horn blend.

I also sowed some lettuce in modules, and some watercress under cloches - I think it should be happy at the moment Rolling Eyes

I even got time to wash some plant pots and trays. Not because I need to use them, but so that I can put them away tidily and make some space in the shed !
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Post by Dandelion on 4th April 2018, 5:14 pm

AND you can feel virtuous (even though now we're told you don't really have to wash them.) I still wash mine if I can - it just feels nicer sowing seeds into a clean pot rather than a claggy one.

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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 5th April 2018, 10:09 am

These pots are mostly ones were given to me by my old allotment neighbour when he was giving up; so I have no idea what they have been used for, and how clean they are. I also washed out the rings I use for tomatoes, as I had a terrible caterpillar problem in the greenhouse last year which has made me more cautious. Not that the caterpillars themselves are likely to have overwintered though.

Its sunny here this morning Very Happy ... but I am in work Sad I might sneak out for a run later.
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Post by freebird on 8th April 2018, 6:18 pm

Potted on all my tomatoes, peppers and chillies now. Got all the automatic watering set up in the greenhouse - a revamp whereby all my autopots and my drip system are fed from a single header tank. Getting rid of the water reservoirs that come with the autopots has freed up some greenhouse space, so room for more tomatoes and chillies.
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Post by FloBear on 9th April 2018, 2:04 pm

Sounds like a great system, freebird.
I'm waiting for my tomatoes to be big enough to go into the Autopots.
I've also run out of space on the staging and am trying to work out how to make something to go above or below it.
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Post by freebird on 9th April 2018, 9:07 pm

Mine aren't in the autopots yet either. I have capillary matting on the bench with drip nozzles wetting it, so all my newly potted on p,ants are on that at the moment.
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Post by FloBear on 10th April 2018, 9:18 am

freebird wrote: so all my  newly potted on  p,ants are on that at the moment.

Don't you just love typos? Hehe
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Post by Dandelion on 10th April 2018, 6:15 pm

I've bought tomatoes (first time for many years I haven't grown them from seed. Still no news of my op, so I'm getting on with life!) I'm not planning to put them in the Easy2Grow system for quite a few weeks - I just don't trust the weather now (can't imagine why!), and at least while they're in individual pots I can bring them into the house if the weather goes all silly again.

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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 19th April 2018, 10:07 pm

A bit of sun (40° in the polytunnel yesterday) made me realise how behind I am.
My tomato plants are looking great - I've had them on a heated mat which I've not done before.  I also try to remember to leave a jug of water in the greenhouse so that it warms up.  Yesterday, I potted up my peppers and sowed sweetcorn and sweet peas in root trainers (I love having some sweet peas in the tunnel)   My 2nd sowing of broad beans are germinating in there with a net hat to keep the mice off this time and I bought some dwarf pea plants for an early pea crop.  I need to start off some cucumbers, squashes and courgettes tomorrow.  I've done nothing at all outside, my potatoes are a bit overdue for planting.
One really exciting thing is about a dozen figs coming along.  There's a way to go and they may well drop off but I'm feeding and watering the plant and watching them in hope.  The biggest ones are about 10mm so far.
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Post by Dandelion on 19th April 2018, 10:34 pm

My aunt In Wales could grow figs in warm years. We used to have an annual family picnic in a country park in Berkshire (because it was central to those of my family who were in London and Wales) and I can remember her proudly producing figs one year. The fig tree was graon against a wall of her house, so not ina glasshouse or polytunnel.

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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 19th April 2018, 10:37 pm

Ihave six tomato plants in my greenhouse, in 3" pots. (Remember I said I was leaving them in small pots so I could bring them into the house if it got very cold again??) I watered them before I left for work this morning - by the time I got home they were all very frazzled and shrivelled looking. I think when the weather normally gets this hot, they're all planted out in much larger pots, so can withstand the heat better. Hopefully they will have recovered by tomorrow (or it's back to the garden centre!)

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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 21st April 2018, 11:33 am

The unseasonable hot weather has played havoc with my flowering bulbs. Tulips, fritillaries and hyacinths appeared at the beginning of the week, but are now all dead. Daffodils seem to have coped better.

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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 FloBear on 21st April 2018, 7:47 pm

That's a very shortflowering period, Dandelion. Mine are doing fine, even the lily beetle is very little in evidence.

As for April showers we are having one right now - and a thunderstorm. Poor dog is a tremblng panting blur.
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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd April 2018, 8:47 am

What I did in the garden yesterday was not in my garden, but my Dad's. Poor old lad has been kept so busy looking after Mum that the garden was mostly weeds, full garden waste sacks were starting to compost in the garage, last year's tomato plants were still in the greenhouse, and a bucket of apples he'd presumably got disturbed whilst picking had mixed with rainwater and turned into the roughest scrumpy I've ever known.

Together we emptied out some pretty good compost from his two darleks, and re-filled them with the various remains. Greenhouse swept out, and two dumpy sacks of rubbish cleared to the tip. Hoping we can arrange things so he has more time for his garden - after a morning digging compost there was a smile on his face.

Today I need to tackle my own allotment !
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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd April 2018, 8:46 pm

Spent the day rescuing my soft fruit from invading couch grass and rebuilding their cage which had been destroyed by a deer trying to clear it and landing on top.

As I was clearing I came across a few chafer grubs. I was joined by a friendly robin, who obviously liked chafer grubs and came to within about 2 feet of me to collect them, and sat on my spade handle as I used the form to dig. Wonder if he/she has chicks already? Seemed to be taking then away, not eating them on the spot. In any case, a very useful service.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd April 2018, 9:34 pm

Chilli-head wrote:What I did in the garden yesterday was not in my garden, but my Dad's.   Poor old lad has been kept so busy looking after Mum that the garden was mostly weeds, full garden waste sacks were starting to compost in the garage, last year's tomato plants were still in the greenhouse, and a bucket of apples he'd presumably got disturbed whilst picking had mixed with rainwater and turned into the roughest scrumpy I've ever known.

Together we emptied out some pretty good compost from his two darleks, and re-filled them with the various remains.  Greenhouse swept out, and two dumpy sacks of rubbish cleared to the tip. Hoping we can arrange things so he has more time for his garden - after a morning digging compost there was a smile on his face.

Today I need to tackle my own allotment !

It must have,meant so much to him to have you working with him

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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 23rd April 2018, 8:37 am

I've started squash, courgette and cucumber seeds, all destined for the polytunnel.
Last year I grew a butternut called Butterbush.  I was looking for something a bit compact  because squashes are like triffids in the tunnel.  Butterbush is supposed to be one that can be grown in pots.  Well, I would dispute that but I did find that they weren't as rampant as others and produced some excellent fruits though a completely different shape to the dumpy ones on the packet picture.  Mine had very long, curved necks but were a really good size.  It could be one to try if you like a butternut.
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Post by FloBear on 26th April 2018, 8:26 pm

I have successfully started several seeds of B Squash from the seed swap but now don't know if I've got the space to grow the plants!
Tomatoes, also from the swap, are taking a while to get going though the variety, Jen's Tangerine, has gone into the lead with several sturdy little plants. I have risked putting a couple outside after my last two years of blight disaster, but in a different area of the garden. They will be joined by others in due course. Two of each variety are destined for the autopots in the GH.
Planted tall peas out a couple of days ago. I had 10 to plant and by the time no.10 was settled in, no.1 had started to curve a tendril round the netting!
Also managed to give back grass a cut between two showers yesterday morning - good thing, I was in danger of losing sight of the dogs.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th April 2018, 9:58 pm

I've not done before but have had my tomatoes on a heated mat.  I have also watered them with non cold water - ie left in the greenhouse from the previous day so that it has warmed up.  I'm sure it has made a huge difference to my plants, they are really strong.
I bought some dwarf pea plants for the polytunnel and am doing battle with mice.  I'm not sure how they manage to remove a piece of corn, impaled on the spike of the trap, without triggering it.  The slightest movement when I'm setting them and I'm likely to have my fingers caught.  3 nights running the corn has been taken from 2 traps without  springing them.  One plant has vanished completely and 3 more have had the tops nipped off.  Luckily there were more than I really needed.
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Post by Chilli-head on 28th April 2018, 8:40 am

I took shelter for the showers yesterday and finished off sowing the tender stuff that goes out at the end of May- courgettes, squash, outdoor tomatoes (garden pearl from the seed swap), cucumbers, sweetcorn and some herbs - including Greek sage and thyme I collected on Mt Taygetos last summer. See how it does- I fear it may notice the weather is not as good as it is used to !

Need to pot on the indoor tomatoes sometime soon.
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Post by FloBear on 28th April 2018, 9:33 am

Put 6 indoor toms into the autopots yesterday even though still quite small - just wanted to be doing something
Wild plants are perfectly happy with current conditions. Much as I enjoy seeing happy little dandelion faces, they are bidding for world domination so had to have a cull. There are still plenty popping up everywhere.
Honesty, white and purple, is having a very good year in its habitat around the chicken run.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th April 2018, 7:56 pm

(I've got a happy little dandelion face...)

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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 FloBear on 28th April 2018, 9:16 pm

Laughing Laughing
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