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» Tomato Relish
by freebird 21st October 2020, 9:57 pm

» What are you harvesting today?
by freebird 20th October 2020, 9:05 am

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by FloBear 19th October 2020, 7:19 pm

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by Dandelion 7th October 2020, 9:50 pm

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» Bit of a wobble
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» The June garden
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Post by Ploshkin on 7th June 2020, 10:15 pm

My cucumbers are ramping up production now too and we ate my first lettuce. The broad beans have been an exceptionally good crop, still quite a lot of beans coming and I only had 5 plants. Peas are also doing well, I've been harvesting for a couple of weeks.

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Post by Chilli-head on 7th June 2020, 10:22 pm

I have lettuce too. Can I give a plug for Real Seeds Mortons very mixed lettuce seed, which are exactly as the name suggests and have grown really well 2 years running.

My broad beans look to be ready. Haven't picked them yet, but plan to have some tomorrow.
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Post by Dandelion on 7th June 2020, 10:30 pm

I harvested some broad beans this afternoon - they are so badly affected by blackfly that the plants are really showing the strain. There are young pods on the plants but I'm not leaving them to develop, as they are going yellow. It's a shame, but I'm digging the plants up as I go and composting them. I think next year I won't try to start the plants in the autumn: the variety I've got can be planted early in the spring, so I think I'll try that. I nursed those plants through the winter; they were in a cold frame for ages, and it seems like a lot of work for very little return especially as some pods only had one or two beans in (I assume this is a problem with pollination, so could be linked to them being in the cold frame with the lid down.) But on the positive side, they did taste nice!

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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 7th June 2020, 10:50 pm

You know, I have always sown broad beans in November, direct in the garden here. No fuss other than a bit of support in the spring, and hosing off blackfly. Almost always trouble free. That's in well draining sandy soil.

The allotment is a different story. Exposed, heavy clay. 50% rot off before spring, the rest get nibbled by bean weevils. Not worth the bother.

My preferred variety of the moment is de Monica.

A common pitfall with overwintering beans is sowing too early - in October or September. They seem to germinate even in very cold conditions so there is no need, and the danger is that they get too tall and get blown around, damaging the stem at soil level so blackleg sets in. You want a stocky plant, putting its effort into developing a good root system, not a lot of soft top growth.

Sorry if I am teaching egg sucking...
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th June 2020, 8:28 am

I never do autumn planting of anything, I have tried in the past with very little success. It's usually too warm and wet and things rot or get eaten (not by me).

I also have Real Seed's Moreton mixed lettuces (new seed this year) and they are brilliant, the different shapes and colours are lovely I planted out some of the first seedlings into a trough and put a scattering of rocket and mizuna seeds between them. The trough is every bit attractive as a trough of flowers would be.
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Post by Dandelion on 8th June 2020, 5:18 pm

That sounds really pretty Ploshkin

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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 frankbeswick on 9th June 2020, 11:43 am

Very little of my crop is ready,and that seems to be the norm for my allotment, but we are in the North of England, so we are a bit behind. But I am setting up mushroom boxes on the lower shelf of the greenhouse staging.
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th June 2020, 1:01 pm

I'm interested to know how you get on with mushroom boxes. Are they pre seeded (innoculated?) or do you do them yourself?
I've had a couple of attempts with kit ones years ago but after the initial flush I didnt get anything else.
I'd like to grow mushrooms.
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Post by Chilli-head on 9th June 2020, 1:44 pm

My Dad has tried a mushroom kit, and Shitake / Oyster innoculated logs. The logs possibly weren't kept damp enough, and the mushroom kit worked but the mushroom flies were a bother. What really worked was when he used spent mushroom compost in the greenhouse, and got an unplanned flush of mushrooms ! It would be nice to find something that works for him, he loves mushrooms.

We picked a decent amount of broad beans yesterday. Not very strong flavoured because they are still young and tender, but maybe better that way. Lots more left to come.

We had a small number of strawberries at the weekend from the plants Mrs C-H put under the apple trees in the garden. We ate them alongside some bought ones. What a difference; though smaller and less beautiful, the homegrown ones were way better for flavour - the bought ones tasted like slightly earthy water in comparison.
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Post by freebird on 9th June 2020, 2:08 pm

Mmm, mushrooms. Yes, I'd like to have a go at those too. Please keep us posted on your method and progress, Frankbeswick. I am hoping I will have a new greenhouse by the end of the season, and so long as it will fit, twice the size of the one currently here. It will be useful to have things like mushroom growing in mind when ordering staging etc to go in it.
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Post by frankbeswick on 9th June 2020, 2:18 pm

I love shiitake, but they thrive in a hotspot, which I don't have in my house.Oyster mushrooms are cheap and easy to grow. All you need is toilet roll soaked in tea, grain spawn and regular wetting. Keep in a warm place. Sit back and wait for the crop!
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Post by frankbeswick on 9th June 2020, 2:25 pm

Go to www.wizzley.com and search for Growing mushrooms at home You will find my article on mushroom growing. Enjoy reading, then feast on the mushrooms that you grow.
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Post by freebird on 17th June 2020, 2:05 pm

Took the leek seedlings down to the allotment this morning, to plant into their final homes. Some volunteer potatoes from the previous incumbent had grown up in the meantime, so I left them as long as I could, but they had to come up today to make room for the leeks. They yielded a small harvest, which we had for lunch, along with home grown salad leaves from the garden, cucumber from the greenhouse and a garlic and chive dip, the chives also being from the garden. My first completely home grown meal in our new home.

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Post by FloBear on 17th June 2020, 11:02 pm

Wonderful, freebird. Cucumbers already!
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Post by Ploshkin on 18th June 2020, 12:36 pm

Well done Freebird. It's always satisfying to look at your plate and know that it's all home grown.

I am currently disappearing under cucumbers and I take a lot of the ones forming off the plant to try and slow down production a bit.
I have had some fabulous strawberries after the plants suffering in the extreme heat. They are everbearers (Flamenco) so hoping that they will do what they are supposed to and carry on producing. In the heat they sent out runners and they are first year plants. I didn't know whether to leave them or not so I have left one or two on some of the plants and cut them all off the rest. I'll see how they fare.
I've just picked the last of the mangetout broad beans and peas from early polytunnel sowings.
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Post by freebird on 18th June 2020, 1:39 pm

How high above sea level are you Ploshkin - well, your poly tunnel, actually? I am hoping, by having a greenhouse twice the size of the current one, I will be able to have three or four large planters in there to start earlier crops next spring. Currently, I've no broad beans yet (nearly), and picked my first sugarsnap (just the one!) from the allotment yesterday. I don't think we are all that far from each other, so probably get very similar weather.
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Post by Ploshkin on 18th June 2020, 2:57 pm

Freebird, my polytunnel is about 700'. The big difference between its location and my garden is that the tunnel is in the sun all day. House and garden, although only 50' lower are down in a hollow surrounded by tall trees. I think the tunnel probably gets 5 or 6 hours more sun every day in the summer.
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Post by freebird on 18th June 2020, 3:34 pm

Ok thanks. We are just shy of 800 feet, though the greenhouse will be in almost the best spot for sun.
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th June 2020, 4:17 pm

We had sugar snap peas and broad beans last night. We have 3 cucumbers in the fridge and 3 almost ready in the greenhouse. Tzatziki it is then ...

I did dig a few new potatoes for Mrs C-H's birthday - they were still a bit small really, but I've planted a lot this year.
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Post by Chilli-head on 20th June 2020, 8:25 pm

A rare occasion - I actually harvested my garlic on the longest day ! Well, most of it. There is one row to go. I bought one of those tasting collections of 6 varieties - but the label pen has faded away so I don't know which is which Neutral Still, it will taste good, and I have a year's supply. Many years since we bought garlic.

Also picked strawberries and raspberries for dessert after lunch. Dug some potatoes for tomorrow. Also more lettuce. And oregano and chillies for pizza tonight. With fresh garlic Idea Very Happy

And of course cucumbers. Now 5 in the fridge !
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Post by FloBear on 21st June 2020, 9:31 am

Since the broad beans finished last week, I have nothing else ready though I did manage to pick 5 of my Autumn raspberries the other day!

Oh, yes, leaves I planted for the chickens are producing well.
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Post by freebird on 21st June 2020, 6:53 pm

First carrots. Haven't attempted to grow any in the soil as it's fiendishly stoney. Just harvested from a trough, about a finger thick and finger length. Looking forward to having them with some salmon tonight.

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Post by freebird on 21st June 2020, 9:55 pm

And then thought, what the heck, might as well cut the first calabrese to go with it.

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Post by Dandelion on 23rd June 2020, 5:03 pm

That is wonderful looking calabrese, Freebird!
I found myself asking my other half "Would you be bored if we had strawberries again for tea?" They are doing really well - I had expected them to be a bit tired and exhausted, and not fruit well, as they got all confused late last autumn and tried to flower and fruit again. But they seem to be fine. We've also had peas and kohl rabi from the garden this week.

................................................................................................................................
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 June 2020, 5:28 pm

Mmm, they look good Freebird.
Dandelion, I'm growing kohl rabi for the first time. How do you use / cook it?
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd June 2020, 5:47 pm

Those are indeed rather perfect calabrese. So much so that I'm going to test the Like button on them Laughing
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