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» The frozen February garden
by freebird Yesterday at 12:48 pm

» What arts and craft things have you been making lately?
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by Dandelion 15th February 2019, 6:11 pm

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by Chilli-head 17th January 2019, 3:36 pm

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The frozen February garden

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default The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head on 4th February 2019, 1:33 pm

I finally ventured out to sow early onions on Saturday. I have had poor results with onions grown from seed, with the exception of Long Red Florence, which has worked reasonably well multi-sown in modules. I do like Italian red onions for Mediterranean cookery, but I'd like some other varieties too. I wonder if my mistake is not getting them started early enough. So, on Saturday I dug out my trusted tomes by John Seymour and Geoff Hamilton. Both seemed to suggest mid to late winter sowing, in seed compost, then pricking out when the second leaf reaches 1/2" long into a more general purpose compost. Decided to try that this year.

When I got to the greenhouse, I of course found I had hardly any seed compost in, so had to content myself with sowing a few lettuce for early baby leaf, and a trip to the garden centre. Came home with a bag of frozen solid compost; I'll leave it to defrost a day or two I think !
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Post by Dandelion on 6th February 2019, 2:24 pm

Ha ha - I went out to buy compost at the weekend, as a first step towards planting some early tomatoes for the greenhouse. I sieved the soil on Sunday afternoon, and thought it was remarkably lumpy, until I realised that it was actually frozen into lumps. I left it to warm slightly in the shed - I must go and see if it has defrosted!

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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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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Dandelion on 7th February 2019, 2:56 pm

Plans for sowing early tomatoes are off - I heard this morning that I have to report at our local hospital early in March to have my second knee replacement. Our hospital does have quite a reputation for cancelling operations, but I will travel hopefully (and buy tomato plants later in the season!)

................................................................................................................................
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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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Ploshkin on 7th February 2019, 9:36 pm

New knees are harder to come by than tomato plants, Dandelion so I think you've made the right choice.
Ive actually done a bit of tidying up in the garden. I cut the old leaves off the hellebore as the flowers are looking good now and I've started cutting back the autumn flowering perennials. I think I'm going to try and get back into my trug-a-day routine. Keeping up with the weeding and tidying in my garden is quite daunting so I try to fill a large trug with weeds every day (weather permitting). I weed round the plants as and when they are coming up - hellebores and daffs at the moment. It will get to a point where the weeds just grow too fast but I can get a good start.
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Post by Dandelion on 8th February 2019, 3:27 pm

I like hellebore leaves in the compost heap at this time of the year, as there isn't much else at our place apart from kitchen scraps and chicken droppings, so it's pretty wet stuff, and the crunchy hellebore leaves add some air spaces and some carbon to all my nitrogen.

................................................................................................................................
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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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head on 17th February 2019, 8:22 pm

We seem to have defosted this weekend, so I ventured to the allotment. Dug some leeks. Overall, it isn't looking too bad. Less weedy than usual, though the blackcurrants had a lot of chickweed around them so I cleared that, and dug out some of a compost heap to mulch them and my gooseberry. Whilst weeding I noticed that the council workers have strimmed through the plastic netting of the cage over my blackcurrants. They shouldn't really be anywhere near it, it is over 2m down from the top of my plot, but I know when the next door plot changed hands they took a bit of the top of that plot to use for vheicle turning space, and I suspect - because I usually only use the top bit of my plot as dropping off space for manure and woodchip - I am in danger of losing it if I don't re-assert my claim. I'll get a mountain of woodchip dropped there ASAP as a kind of spraint mark of my territory ! I also need to make a new gate, and need to renew some posts for the muntjac defences.

In the greenhouse this afternoon, sowed some lettuce in modules, some trays of baby leaf salad and peas for pea shoots. I've also sown onions in seed trays - I'm going to try pricking them out into small pots this year, they seem to run out of steam in modules, and I can't get them going early enough directly in the ground.

I set up a row of cloches in the garden veg patch, to warm the ground ready for my lettuce, when it is ready to plant out.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th February 2019, 7:10 pm

So now we can add council workers to the list of pests to look out for at the allotment!!

................................................................................................................................
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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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by freebird Yesterday at 10:20 am

That's a bugger, about your netting CH.

Got sowing envy, but really no point doing any here this year.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head Yesterday at 10:31 am

The netting is the fairly tough, about 20mm square mesh plastic stuff, I think I can probably patch it with an offcut and some small cable ties. To cure the problem of the council workers doing it again, I have ordered a truckload (and I mean that literally) of woodchip to be dropped off at the top of the plot. That should help to re-assert my possession of that area as part of my plot. I wanted to re-cover my paths with it as the grass is a pain to keep cutting, and unlike the woodchip doesn't help with the mud. I need to replace some fence posts and the gate anyway, so I'll enclose the top bit too I think.

Mrs C-H has suggested I take the unproductive blueberry bush to the allotment. The soil is not suitable for direct planting, but I was thinking I might make a large wooden planter out of old pallet wood (of which I have plenty), with a good slop of linseed oil as a "green" preservative. Could make a nice feature.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by freebird Yesterday at 12:48 pm

And maybe get it a companion. Perhaps it will start to be productive then.
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