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What have you done in the greenhouse/polytunnel today?

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Post by Dandelion on 6th February 2013, 5:10 pm

Steam sterilizing CH - are you lucky enough to have an industrial sterilizer or is it a homemade system?

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Post by Chilli-head on 6th February 2013, 6:00 pm

Nothing industrial ! I usually only sterilise small quantities at a time - I only ever sterilise seed compost, and then only the leafmold I use to make it, not the sand, vermiculite etc. Since I only want a little, I take a large biscuit tin, knock a few nail holes in the top, fill it up with the sifted leafmold, add a dash of water and put the lid on. Set over a camping stove until heated through and steaming nicely for 5-10 minutes.

Larger quantities can be done the same way with more empty biscuit tins. I have a keen 10 year old volunteer biscuit tin emptier, so no problems there.
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Post by Dandelion on 6th February 2013, 7:54 pm

That's brilliant! I've read about sterilizing small amounts of soil in a microwave, but heard that it's smelly and can be dodgy because of small stones exploding. I like the idea of a camping stove (sadly we no longer have a biscuit tin emptier living here and have to do it ourselves Shocked)

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Post by Chilli-head on 9th February 2013, 8:10 pm

Cleaned it. Washed the glass, inside and out, swept, cleaned gravel trays and the propagators.

Sowed onions, North Holland blood red and Bedfordshire champion, multisown in modules. So the growing season of 2013 begins bouncing
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Post by warlock1 on 10th February 2013, 3:55 pm

cleaned my greenhouse out yesterday then sowed some broad beans seeds in individual seed tray inserts .also sowed some aubergine seeds in the electric propogator as well as tomatoes ' marmande and black russian .
also made around 50 paper pots with my paper pot maker tool (if anyone wants one got mine on ebay last year for £5.99) .Today after visiting my dad in hospital in London got back at 2.30 and then out in the green house to sow some early peas two to a paper pot .Checked my onions i sowed on
the first week of jan just noticed the first seedling breaking through the soil.

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Post by Dandelion on 11th February 2013, 5:09 pm

Thanks, chaps - you both encouraged me to stop being a wimp and spend a bit of time outside. So despite the cold and damp I have reconstituted a coir brick ready for sowing seeds, sieved some New Horizons and am now ready to go!!

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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 11th February 2013, 5:26 pm

Yesterday I sowed some tomatoes and chillies. With a bit of luck, this year I'm growing:

Tomatoes: San Marzano, Harbinger, Red Pear, Royale des Guineaux, and two uncertain varieties from saved seed from tomatoes from a market in Brittany, which deserve a better trial than last year's weather allowed !

Peppers: Gourmet, Lany, Sweet Nardello, Palladio. Most of these are new to me, hope they are good !

Chillies: Ancho, Mulato, Serrano, Rocoto, Hungarian Wax, Thai Dragon, and Early Jalapeno.

They are now sitting in the greenhouse, heated propagators wrapped in bubble wrap for warmth !
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Post by warlock1 on 11th February 2013, 6:12 pm

i have tried sweet nardello they were good , i am also growing rocoto yellow chillis as well as serrano and three other varities
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Post by Chilli-head on 13th February 2013, 10:50 am

Rocoto remains one of my favourite varieties. Hot, but not so fierce as a Chinense type, but with a decent size and good thick flesh. And it is one of the better types for overwintering.

This year I have had a bit of a rethink about my sowing - I thought a bit about what I really need. I know it should be obvious, but often my enthusiasm gets the better of me - like last summer when I ended up with more scotch bonnet and Dorset naga than any one person needs - my family don't eat the really hot stuff. So, this year's are picked carefully from my old favourites - Ancho, Mulato and Serrano for Mexican food. Hungarian wax for stuffing, Thai Dragon for Chinese and chilli powder, Jalapeno for pizza and for smoking into Chipotles, and Rocoto for salsa to spice up family friendly meals. I'm starting to feel peckish now ...
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Post by warlock1 on 14th February 2013, 5:41 pm

tomato seeds have come up today so a lot of pricking out of tomato seedlings at the weekend.have five varities this year
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Post by warlock1 on 14th February 2013, 5:48 pm

i may have a go at smoking chillis later in the year but depends on my harvest.also want to make tomato and chilli chutney this year and maybe even chilli jam
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th February 2013, 10:43 am

One week after sowing, I now have 8 out of 8 seedlings emerged from the tomato seeds I saved from fhe French market, and a total of 2 out of 16 seeds emerged from all the other bought seed. There must be some kind of message here, despite the reputed longevity of tomato seeds I'm sure it must bt that my home saved seed are fresher.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th February 2013, 1:26 pm

Are you growing them in a cold or heated greenhouse?

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Post by Chilli-head on 18th February 2013, 1:35 pm

The greenhouse is at this stage unheated, but the seeds are maintained at a toasty 21C in an electric propagator - it is this high mostly for the chillies which are sharing the same propagator.

When potted on into 3" pots, they will progress into a much larger propagator (6' x 2'6" x 2' high) built from twin wall polycarbonate roofing sheet, with a soil warming cable. They'll go into their final positions in 15L bottomless tubs sitting on a bed of sand with the soil warming cable in sometime in late March/ early April, I guess.
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Post by warlock1 on 19th February 2013, 5:24 pm

first chilli seeds up today
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Post by warlock1 on 20th February 2013, 6:53 pm

pricked out my first couple of chillis and some more tomatoes
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Post by warlock1 on 25th February 2013, 8:34 pm

saturday did three hours of rotovating over the allotments and planted my shallots was a novel experience working in the snow showers .came back and did some pricking out of tomatoes .
sunday did another 2 hours of rotovating and completely finished the allotment with just a little strip where last lears leeks are still in the ground.
dug another six leeks and paid my membership at my local horticultural society and picked up a few new seed labels and green canes
went down to aldi and got some grow bags for £1.29 each .
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Post by warlock1 on 1st March 2013, 4:24 pm

today i sowed some beetroot , brussel sprouts , spearmint , two types of basil , oregano , giant italian parsley , calabrese all in seed trays some went into the greenhouse some in the propogator.
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Post by Dandelion on 1st March 2013, 4:34 pm

warlock1 wrote:today i sowed some beetroot , brussel sprouts , spearmint , two types of basil , oregano , giant italian parsley , calabrese all in seed trays some went into the greenhouse some in the propogator.

Yay for March!!

Have one or two tomato seedlings peeping through, plus some Rudbeckia. Am planning to sow lettuce this weekend, and plant out some autumn sown broadies into the propagator.

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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 1st March 2013, 4:56 pm

Giant Italian parsley bigthink Seed swap perchance ? Whatever, it grows strongly and stands well into winter, bolting to seed (still edibly) in the second year. If you let it seed,as I do, you will not need to sow it again. Possibly ever Wink

Went down to look at the emergence this PM. Tomatoes good, except very old (2008) Franchi Red Pear, which are nowhere to be seen. Chillies good - 100% on Early Jalapeno, Serrano and Thai Dragon. Less complete but promising emergence from Rocoto, Hungarian wax, Ancho and Mulato. Sweet peppera are lagging behind - only just the odd one poking up yet. Good showing from Onion North Holland Blood Red, but absolutely nothing from some old Bedfordshire Champion seeds. I might just re-sow another varity into the same modules.

Now I need an accomplice to help me get the bigger propagator set up. Hmmm.
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Post by warlock1 on 4th March 2013, 4:57 pm

sowed some sweet peas in the greenhouse today and pricked out one more chilli .
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Post by Chilli-head on 20th March 2013, 9:32 am

Been to have a look. My salad trays - various free salad seeds, left over spinach and peas for salad shoots I sow into trays of second hand compost to make the most of the heated space - are coming up nicely. I also have some overwintered lettuce - Meraviglia d'inverno S. Martino from seeds of Italy- which is proving a splendid variety, and is now growing well.

Chillies and tomatoes are sulking a bit, wondering what happened to spring !
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Post by Dandelion on 20th March 2013, 4:30 pm

I know how they feel! Stared to harden off small veg plants grown in modules under glass to plant out into the garden - have just heard the forecast for the end of the week and am planning to put them all back under glass!!!

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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 Sparhawk on 4th April 2013, 7:48 pm

Planted some more broad beans, ready for spring to arrive...

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Post by freebird on 5th April 2013, 8:35 am

Sparhawk wrote:Planted some more broad beans, ready for spring to arrive...

Me too. But stuff I planted in the greenhouse about three weeks ago (when we had a couple of milder days) appears to have been raided by mice. Sigh!
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Post by Sparhawk on 5th April 2013, 9:46 am

freebird wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:Planted some more broad beans, ready for spring to arrive...

Me too. But stuff I planted in the greenhouse about three weeks ago (when we had a couple of milder days) appears to have been raided by mice. Sigh!

Funny you should say that I had 4 different sorts of spudz chitting off, some purple ones, some Charlotte, some Cara & some apache ones.

Went to the greenhouse the other day & the apache ones have disappeared... Evil or Very Mad

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