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» whats on the menu
by Dandelion 25th November 2020, 9:36 pm

» What are you harvesting today?
by freebird 19th November 2020, 8:38 pm

» Frosts come to the garden in November
by Dandelion 10th November 2020, 5:07 pm

» Paper bricks
by freebird 7th November 2020, 10:44 pm

» Astypalea goes green
by Chilli-head 6th November 2020, 8:39 am

» The October garden
by Ploshkin 31st October 2020, 10:25 pm

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

» Ross Cobbs
by FloBear 19th October 2020, 7:19 pm

» What arts and craft things have you been making lately?
by Dandelion 7th October 2020, 9:50 pm

» Red Mite
by Dandelion 19th September 2020, 10:33 pm

» The September Garden
by Dandelion 14th September 2020, 9:59 pm

» Bit of a wobble
by Dandelion 17th August 2020, 9:48 pm

» Ex-commercial hens
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» Welcome guest
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» Pesky blackbirds
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» Cambridge replacement folk service
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» What have I done in the workshop today?
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» July - welcome to the Autumn garden !
by Dandelion 16th July 2020, 6:35 pm

» What can I do with ...?
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Post by Chilli-head on 10th August 2020, 11:13 pm

This year's  chillies. This one is Prarie Fire, overwintered for 3 years (despite being Capsicum Annum). Overwintering is worth it for an early crop.  70,000-80,000 Scoville units (SHU). Quite hot in a managable kind of way.
What are you harvesting today? - Page 18 20200809_183503

This was what went on my pizza.  Chocolate Fatali, a Capsicum Chinense type.  These are 125,000 to 325,000 SHU, or in my terms, properly hot.  I have 4 plants of these, so umpteen chillies.
What are you harvesting today? - Page 18 20200809_183907

But lurking in the greenhouse are 3 plants of these.  Pretty, eh ?  7 pot yellow,  another Capsicum Chinense  from Trinidad.  The name "7 pot" is because one single chilli was considered enough to flavour 7 pots of stew.  >1,000,000 SHU.  However I am going to use all these, I dunno. It is supposed to have a sweet, pineapple fruity flavour.  I love fruity chillies.  I have a copy of Dave DeWitt's  "The Habanero Cookbook", which has many great recipes, but the Carrot, Apricot and Habanero soup is amazing, and would be great with these - though inedible to the rest of my family (and maybe me too !)
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Post by freebird on 11th August 2020, 10:36 pm

Dandelion wrote:
freebird wrote:I'm not sure exactly what it is I hate about beetroot. It smells vile, both raw and cooked. I've tried it in soup, salads and a beetroot chutney recipe my grandmother gave me, which she told me I was bound to like. Tried it again more recently in case my taste had changed (as it did with blue stilton) but nope. Shame, because it's a beautiful colour.

I remember someone saying (years ago) on this forum that there's a compound in beetroot which some people find repellent. It was so long ago that it was easier to Google it than find the original post - the compound is called geosmin. (Interestingly while I was looking for this, one article said that some people have the same feeling about coriander. I didn't know this was a 'thing' - I only tried fresh coriander for the first time a couple of years ago, once by choice and a second time by accident - it was in some swanky chocolates we were given. Both times I really couldn't bear it in my mouth, and I'm not generally a fussy eater.)

I don't know how I managed to miss this post, Dandelion - only just spotted it. Intrigued, I Googled geosmin and was puzzled to find out that it is present in the smell of what was dry soil after rain. I love that smell. Beetroot apparently take this compound up, BUT it is easily removed with lemon juice or vinegar. Since beetroot is frequently to be found in vinegar, and I would obviously have used vinegar to make beetroot chutney, I can only presume that it is nothing to do with the geosmin. Sadly, none of this information makes me like it any better.

Coriander though - now that's something else. Absolutely love it. What ever did we do before fresh coriander?
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Post by FloBear on 12th August 2020, 8:25 am

Slight diversion from harvesting in that I'm not harvesting any Basil. I successfully germinated seeds and grew the plants on in individual pots but once they got to about 15 or so cm the leaves started to go brown and drop off. Several plants have struggled on but I never get enough leafage to use for anything. Some live in the conservatory, some on the kitchen windowsill.
Any successful Basil-growers' hints would be welcome.
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Post by freebird on 12th August 2020, 10:52 am

That's disappointing, FloBear. I have to say I never bother with germinating my own. I buy a supermarket basil in a pot. It needs a couple of weeks of careful nurturing, gradually pulling away the cellophane sleeve, as it hardens off to your kitchen environment.  Once it can do without, I repot it in fresh compost, and have kept a plant for a year by doing this.

I have newly discovered that you can start basil cuttings in a jar of water, like mint. So my last supermarket basil, which was coming to the end of its life, had three cuttings taken from it. They successfully rooted in water, and are now potted up together in a single pot. That seems to suggest that I can keep one original supermarket basil going indefinitely.

They do seem to be very thirsty plants, and maybe some feed wouldn't go amiss. I had to move mine out the South East facing conservatory into the north east facing kitchen, as they were drying out really quickly. My plants don't get huge, but that's probably because I frequently cut pieces off for kitchen use.

If any plants are still viable, try planting some out in the garden, where they will have an unlimited root run. Also, is it the variety you have chosen, or a poor batch of seed? Tbh though, if you're not fussy about variety and aren't going to make industrial quantities of pesto, the supermarket plant is much less faffing about for good results.

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Post by Dandelion on 12th August 2020, 4:58 pm

I was going to say the same as Freebird, FloBear - I've never had any success with growing basil from seed. The one year it did germinate OK, it was completely clobbered by greenfly, so I also buy a supermarket plant and make it last. (I didn't know about taking cuttings though!!)

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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 FloBear on 12th August 2020, 9:38 pm

Thanks for the advice freebird and Dandelion. My best success was planting Basil in the growbags with the tomatoes in the GH but they eventually succumbed to whitefly.

I have previously had success keeping supermarket Basil for a couple of months or more so I'll stick to that in future.
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Post by Ploshkin on 12th August 2020, 10:24 pm

I grow a basil called Minette. It has tiny little leaves but tastes just as good as the usual ones. Ive currently got several plants between the tomatoes in the polytunnel.

As we're on the harvesting thread I'm currently harvesting sweetcorn, tomatoes, dozens of cucumbers, courgettes, gherkins, carrots, beetroot, french beans and spinach from the polytunnel and still going through the garden potatoes. I've had a handful of blueberries from my new bushes and a few autumn raspberries. The jays that pinched the earlier raspberries seem to be leaving these alone.
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Post by Dandelion on 12th August 2020, 10:28 pm

It sounds as if you're really busy, 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.

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Post by freebird on 22nd August 2020, 8:20 pm

First two sweet corn from allotment, French beans, one courgette (they are rotting instead of growing in this daily rain), Tutankhamun peas and 7lb 5oz runner beans! We are totally awash with them. Had to rescue the broken bean support structure today after yesterday's storm. All the plants on one side of the structure were uprooted when the whole thing blew over.
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Post by freebird on 27th August 2020, 1:06 pm

Runner bean rescue #2 after yesterday's storm (second in five days). We've probably lost 3/4 of our plants, but those left are still producing, albeit in a rather bedraggled state. More french beans and Tut peas, sweet corn (some plants blown over) and started lifting my onions. They are enormous - the biggest I have ever grown. Not all have started to keel over, so I've left those for now as I have very limited space for drying them. The eight I lifted are in the new greenhouse, which is now, thankfully, fully glazed and weatherproof.
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Post by Ploshkin on 27th August 2020, 1:52 pm

I'm glad you got your greenhouse finished Freebird. It's been a bit challenging hasn't it. This is one of the worst Augusts I can remember. August is never good here but this year it's exceptionally bad.
I've had my first few runner beans from the garden which is good timing because I've just had the last French beans from the polytunnel and pulled up the plants. I've taken up the Uchiki Kuri - there are only 4 squashes, I usually get double that. They set too early with the hot weather in April. Butternuts are doing better. They are mostly quite small but plentiful. I seem to be at the end of the cucumbers but I've cut the plants back and fed them to see if they produce any more - we often get a decent September. Ive just had the last of the sweetcorn which has been good. I'm still picking tomatoes but apart from Sungold that are loaded they are pretty lacklustre. Courgette has produced just enough but no spare to give away this year. I'm still getting melons. I thought they had suffered the same fate as the squash but after I'd had the last one (7th) they started producing again. We could do with some sun now.
Its all a bit soggy outside and my potatoes are full of slugs!
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Post by Chilli-head on 1st September 2020, 2:20 pm

Last night was Kari sayur night again, so lots of things homegrown. Small potatoes, carrot, green beans, pepper, courgette, cabbage, onion, garlic, chilli, coriander and cumin seed (first for me, that one) all from the garden/allotment. I've still not found a way to produce my own coconuts though Laughing
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd September 2020, 9:56 am

But I'm sure you're working on it, CH!!
We enjoyed autumn raspberries from the garden on meringues made from our eggs the other evening (but we had to buy the cream!)
We planted the raspberries probably about 12 years ago, then I dug them all up. But being persistent little blighters they regrew and regrew, so in the end I let them stay, and we do like the berries. I had to laugh last week - I was doing some sewing in my little work room, and leaned forward, getting a view of my neighbour's garden I hadn't seen before (they cut down a cherry tree last year which has opened up the view). And I saw that they have raspberries for the whole 80ft length of the garden on the side which is next to ours. I had heard one of our neighbours saying a while ago "Oh look, more raspberries have come through", so I have to assume that they have all spread from our humble raspberry patch!!

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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 6th September 2020, 9:45 pm

We've had runner beans this weekend, from the plants which had ended up horizontal in the last storm, and which are now held upright by washing line guy ropes. So it all ended well!

................................................................................................................................
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 freebird on 7th September 2020, 2:32 pm

Ours are trussed up too, Dandelion. We lost over 3/4 of our plants, but they have done so well that we still have sufficient beans, rather than mountains of them.
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Post by Dandelion on 7th September 2020, 10:38 pm

Good news FB! The only snag for me is that I have to be so careful not to fall over the guy ropes, which are stretched right across the garden (my other half has to erect safety nets for archery displays, sometimes in very high winds, and is a dab hand with guy ropes I have discovered!). I still fall over easily especially if I'm rushing and not paying attention - I tripped over the step in the garden last week and landed very heavily on the concrete path. Fortunately nothing is broken and it was a reminder to slow down and live in the moment!!

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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 13th September 2020, 9:17 pm

Today I harvested 130 lbs of honey from 4 hives. I'm picking massive autumn raspberries every day and have just had some with Greek yoghurt and honey straight out of the comb - delicious.
I've been picking the first runner beans and had my first butternut squash from the polytunnel. I didnt think they were doing very well but I've got 15 from 2 plants.
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Post by Dandelion on 14th September 2020, 10:03 pm

I have a little bit of Purple Sprouting from three plants, and the kale is looking good having withstood the cabbage whites (there are some leaves without holes in now!) I tried a lovely Jamie Oliver recipe last year for kale and cannellini bean soup - the supermarket kale was a bit hard and unyielding though, so I'm hoping that homegrown kale will produce a soup with a bit less texture!!

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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 freebird on 16th September 2020, 8:08 pm

Hardly any runner beans! But lifted the rest of my onions, a bit more sweet corn, turnips, swede and two magnificent parsnips, and cut the four Sweet Dumpling winter squash that have grown. They are finishing off in the greenhouse. The squash seed was my own that I had saved, but before that, came to me via the seed swap.

And huge raspberries and a few strawberries.

Oh, and a surprise harvest of calabrese side shoots on plants that I had cut right down but hadn't got around to pulling out.

I spied the beginning of a Romanesco cauli while I was on the lottie. These were the spring seedlings that nearly died, and just failed to grow for weeks, until I realised they had got too hot in the conservatory. Potted them on and nurtured them in a shady cold frame, so it looks as if the effort may have paid off.
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Post by Chilli-head on 16th September 2020, 8:25 pm

freebird wrote:
Oh, and a surprise harvest of calabrese side shoots on plants that I had cut right down but hadn't got around to pulling out.

It can be a mistake to tidy up too quickly !
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Post by Dandelion on 16th September 2020, 10:13 pm

freebird wrote:

I spied the beginning of a Romanesco cauli while I was on the lottie. These were the spring seedlings that nearly died, and just failed to grow for weeks, until I realised they had got too hot in the conservatory. Potted them on and nurtured them in a shady cold frame, so it looks as if the effort may have paid off.

I sowed Romanesco in the spring but had 100% germination failure Crying or Very sad

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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 16th September 2020, 10:21 pm

The Romanesco I had from you Freebird germinated well and I've had nice, strong plants but they've either had no head or a loose, blown one. ( I've never grown standard caulis successfully). If you've got a head I won't give up just yet.
I've only ever grown it once before, from bought plants, and it was perfect.
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Post by FloBear on 19th September 2020, 10:06 pm

Oddly enough, I noticed today that my Romanesco caulis are starting to produce heads. I've never grown them before but think they look a bit loose compared with the picture. Probably lack of watering.
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Post by Ploshkin on 22nd September 2020, 8:09 pm

I thought I would clear my severely slugged potatoes from the bed so that they wouldnt start sprouting next year. I came to a few rows of a different variety that had regrown from last year ( I'd given up digging them when they got eaten by slugs then it went too wet to clear the bed). Most of them are perfect and there are just a few with an odd small hole. I managed to fill a big bucket.
For once I've got a good crop of beetroot - iw can't usually grow them at all. Ive also started picking skme sweet peppers and chillies from the polytunnel.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd September 2020, 9:45 pm

What do you think has made the difference with the beetroot, 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 Ploshkin on 22nd September 2020, 10:14 pm

I have no idea Dandelion. I've had a decent crop only 3 or 4 times in 20 years. Mostly it will germinate just fine then just sit there and hardly grow at all. This year I had some seedlings given to me that I put in the garden and I sowed some seed that I bought in the polytunnel to fill the space when i took something out. They have all done well.
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