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What have you done in the greenhouse/polytunnel today?

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Post by Chilli-head on 31st May 2013, 8:13 pm

Tea bags don't rot because the paper is plasticised. If you leave them for a long time, you end up with little plastic nets everywhere. I empty them all out and compost just the contents. Some (including Mrs C-H) might think this a bit extreme ...

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Post by Dandelion on 31st May 2013, 8:36 pm

I rip my tea bags up and put the contents in the compost container (which leads to some annoying late night spillage situations sometimes...) but I also collect kitchen waste from my mother, and that's where the Miss Havisham effect comes from. Very unpleasant!!

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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 Dandelion on 10th June 2013, 10:09 pm

I've been supplying people at school with heritage tomato plants - the librarian said today that she has planted hers by a sunny wall, and has put old windows in front, leaned up against the wall to make a rudimentary cold frame. I thought that was a really good idea.

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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 27th January 2014, 4:15 pm

So the new year begins. I washed the glass of my greenhouse and swept up at the weekend. Just a bit of pot washing to finish off in time for sowing season. Yes, I like to sow tomatoes and peppers by mid February. And even still, the wait for the first salad always seems painfully long !
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Post by Dandelion on 27th January 2014, 9:25 pm

Chilli, what do you reckon the earliest you could sow lettuce/salad leaves would be? Could they be grown on a windowsill in a pot to deal with that painful wait?

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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 freebird on 27th January 2014, 9:49 pm

I truly don't know how you do it, CH. Despite my best efforts, I didn't manage to get all my vegetable plots cleared before the awful weather struck. The greenhouse is no better, with everything still in the pots they grew in last season. I have got a few kitchen potatoes sprouting, and will plant them in a potato planter in the next week or so. And I did actually manage to sort through my seeds today.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th January 2014, 4:20 pm

I just can't get my head around the garden at the moment - it feels safer to forget about it as it's so muddy, and concentrate on my knitting instead.

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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 Chilli-head on 28th January 2014, 5:30 pm

That's why I was cleaning the greenhouse - the allotment is so wet it is best to just keep off. It is more or less clear but for the few overwintering crops, the weeds are still growing though.

Getting ahead when I can is the only way I can get stuff done.
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Post by Ploshkin on 29th January 2014, 10:26 am

I'm like you FB, haven't poked my nose in the greenhouse since last season, though I did compost the remains of the tomatoes & peppers. Most of my outside beds have still got stuff in. It is always my intention to plant the things that will be in the ground into the spring in the same bed but it never seems to work out like that.
I never bother now with trying to get seeds started before the middle of March, whenever I've done them earlier either they've succumbed to something (probably too cold) or the later sown ones have caught up anyway & there's been no difference. The only thing I might start earlier is some broad beans for planting out.
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Post by freebird on 29th January 2014, 12:54 pm

Regarding things that stay in the ground into the spring, I do have some purple sprouting broccoli - if the pigeons don't get to it. I always make sure I follow that crop with sweetcorn/courgettes, which don't need putting out until the ground has really warmed up.
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Post by Chilli-head on 8th February 2014, 9:58 pm

Sowed my tomatoes ! I made my own seed compost again, using leaf mold sterilised on an old biscuit tin set over the camping stove.

Fantastic feeling to start a new grwio season.
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th February 2014, 11:12 am

CH wrote:a new grwio season.

Fair attempt at the Welsh there CH
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Post by Dandelion on 9th February 2014, 1:00 pm

Diolch, Chilli - you reminded me to sow some tomato seeds this afternoon

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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 Chilli-head on 9th February 2014, 5:40 pm

Argh. Smartphone keyboards and big fingers don't work together well, especially after a few glasses of vino !
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Post by freebird on 12th February 2014, 10:14 am

YEEAAAAAY! At last, I've planted my first potatoes in a planter in the greenhouse. Homemade compost and 3 Charlotte potatoes that had sprouted in the kitchen.

Also started chillies, peppers and tomatoes in the propagator - these will all be grown on in the greenhouse.

So good to have actually done something positive, instead of damage limitation.
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Post by Ploshkin on 12th February 2014, 1:32 pm

Well done FB, I think it will be a month before I get to that stage.
I've never had any joy with container potatoes.  I put 3 Rocket into a big bucket last spring as it was so long before I could get any earlies in the ground. I added 2 more bottomless buckets as the foliage grew so the final tower was about 2'6" tall.  When I harvested them I only had about 15 golf ball sized pots.  I've failed similarly with late ones supposedly for Christmas.  
It doesn't seem worth the effort of watering & the use of the compost.  What sort of yield do you expect from 3 spuds & do you feed them?
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Post by Dandelion on 12th February 2014, 3:49 pm

Me too - despite the photos you get in the gardening catalogues of people emptying masses of potatoes out of their growing bags, I don't get anything like that.

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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 freebird on 12th February 2014, 4:45 pm

The yield is variable, depending on the variety grown and the weather. No it's not massive - about 2 1/2lb from three potatoes. But I use homemade compost and the potatoes didn't cost as they were sprouting in the kitchen. So, for me, it's worth a little bit of effort (and it is pretty minimal) to get some early potatoes. I do similar with French beans, using saved seed and last year's potato compost. Again, the crops aren't that big, but it's earlier than I could get outside, and free.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th February 2014, 5:33 pm

Am really looking forward to starting mine off - in addition to three potato bags I also have an old dustbin which my mother was getting rid of (I offered to get rid of it for her with indecent haste...) which needs holes drilled in the bottom, then I can grow more spuds!

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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 Chilli-head on 27th February 2014, 5:22 pm

My tomatoes are now just showing their first true leaves. Time to break out the big propagator !
Hopefully at the weekend I'll then be able to move the tomatoes out of the little propagator to hot it up for the peppers and chillies. Red onions must need to go in too, and some first sowings of salads. I like to use up dated packs of pea and beetroot seed for this - the early shoots are so much a part of spring salads  Very Happy 
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Post by Dandelion on 27th February 2014, 10:02 pm

Is your greenhouse heated, CH?

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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 Chilli-head on 28th February 2014, 6:17 pm

Dandelion wrote:Is your greenhouse heated, CH?

I start off with a couple of the larger electric propagators in an otherwise unheated greenhouse. Under the staging is a large black water tank which offers some heat storage, and I cover the propagators with a layer of bubble wrap for extra insulation.

Next I switch to a larger homemade propagator - a 200W heating cable in a tray of sand 6' x 2'6", stood on polystyreen and covered with a polycarbonate roofing sheet and aluminium angle "lid" with a bubble wrap front.

Finally I rely on a fan heater from April, when everything gets planted out info the final positions, for frost protection for the greenhouse as a whole.
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Post by Chilli-head on 1st March 2014, 8:56 pm

Got the greenhouse sorted out. Lots of sowing ! Peppers and chillies, aubergines, early salads, onions and sweet peas. Potted the tomatoes into 3" pots.
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Post by Ploshkin on 25th March 2014, 10:43 am

Had a panic at about 4 o clock this morning when I remembered that I hadn't moved my newly germinated tomato seedlings out of the unheated greenhouse for the night - I always move them into the warmer shed if the nights are cold. I expected to find a massacre as there was frost this morning but they were fine - the temp in the greenhouse had been down to 3c. The tray is sat on a thick sheet of Kingspan so that may have helped & as it is a lean to on the shed, there was probably some warmth retained in the wall too.
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Post by Dandelion on 26th March 2014, 5:00 pm

Phew, that's a relief P! I'm just about to fill pots with seed compost to sow tomatoes - I'll gently heat it in the propagator over night before sowing tomorrow. I try to produce more than I need, and sell a few at school to support the school cookery club. On the whole people seem to want the more conventional varieties rather than heritage, but I have a few packs from last year's seed swap I'm going to hit them with, like Black Cherry (so thank you to whoever put that in!)

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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 Chilli-head on 31st March 2014, 8:04 am

Planted my greenhouse tomatoes into their final places on Saturday.   All in homemade compost this year  Cool (most smug looking smiley I could find).  

I repotted my 3 rocoto chillies which have overwintered to kick them back into life.  Hoping for an early crop !
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