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default January, welcome in a new gardening year

Post by Chilli-head on 1st January 2019, 10:18 am

So, drought of 2018 behind us, let's hope for an easier growing season this year.  

Not a lot happens in January here.  Scrub the greenhouse maybe.  Start off some big onions ? Maybe earliest salad sowings ?

But mostly I'll be thumbing the seed catalogues.  I fancy something new this year, and I'm thinking of quinoa.  It is better eating than the Amaranth I already tried.  And try again on the caper bush; my first attempt died last summer while we were away in Japan Sad

Anyone else have gardening plans yet ?


Last edited by Chilli-head on 4th February 2019, 1:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by freebird on 1st January 2019, 5:46 pm

My garden plans centre around nurturing cuttings and keeping things I have potted up alive - all destined for my new garden. I'm not intending to grow any veg once my winter crops are over. I haven't the time with all the work still to do on the house, and am reluctant to start crops that I may not be able to harvest - in particular, anything grown with my own saved seed. I don't want to use it and not be able to replace it.
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Post by Chilli-head on 4th January 2019, 2:56 pm

How certain is your move being this year ? You could always keep your self-saved seed, but sow a few cheap shop-bought packets if you think there's a good chance you'll still be about at harvest time. I know you said you're busy, but a year without produce ...
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Post by freebird on 4th January 2019, 4:55 pm

You've got a point, CH - and the surest way to sell the house quickly will be to plant crops. Sods law and all that.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th January 2019, 11:23 am

Kind Mr D bought me two blueberry bushes yesterday. I didn't even know I liked blueberries a year ago, but I'd never tried them raw until the summer. What a revelation! Does anyone have any tips about growing them? I'm going to grow them in pots and have bought ericaceous compost. I did think, though, that I've never tested the Ph of the soil here, so that will be an interesting thing to do. I did read that pine needles added to garden soil could make it more acidic and more suitable for blueberries. At last I can find a use for the neighbour's pine needles which are liberally scattered all over the garden!!

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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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default Re: January, welcome in a new gardening year

Post by Chilli-head on 13th January 2019, 11:38 am

We have a blueberry, in a pot of ericaceous compost on a sunny patio. I'll offer no further cultural advice, because we can't get ours to fruit again, despite one good year. I suspect pruning wrong, or feeding wrongly.

Will be off to dig leeks later to go with our lamb tonight.
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th January 2019, 3:49 pm

Aside from digging leeks and composting the Christmas tree, I made a small start on the season by putting some caper seeds to soak. You may remember I successfully got one to germinate a couple of years ago - the plant got to about 5" high, but suffered from the long dry summer last year, and having been overlooked in a slightly small terracotta pot - I fear it is a gonner. Try, try again...

Also, after a few glasses of wine, ordered more seed than I probably should have done ...
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Post by FloBear on 14th January 2019, 4:24 pm

I don't feed my blueberries as a rule and I grow them in pots of ericaceous compost which gets topped up every year. Regular watering seems to be the key for me.

Trehanes, the first to cultivate blueberries in this country, have a website with some good info. They are close to here and grow for M&S, among others, so have a wealth of experience. Trehanenursery.co.uk.
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Post by Ploshkin on 14th January 2019, 4:47 pm

I've got a couple of blueberries in the ground (i assume our soil is fairly acid as it is peaty round about but I've never tested it. I get a reasonable crop every year if I can beat the birds to them. The berries unrivalled up last year because I didn't water them in the hot spell. I've never fed or pruned them but u do recall top dressing with a bit of ericaceous compost just once a few years ago.
Chilli Head - I think they like to be in pairs, that could be the reason for your lack of fruit.
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Post by Dandelion on 14th January 2019, 9:00 pm

Thank you everyone, that's really helpful. What sized pot would be good? I've found a couple of 30cm diameter pots: would that be big enough? The pots they're in now are much smaller.

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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: January, welcome in a new gardening year

Post by Chilli-head on 20th January 2019, 9:38 pm

A busy day today. A frosty start, but the greenhouse thawed out enough for me to clean the glass inside and out, and set up two propagators ready to go for the tomatoes and chillies in a few weeks. By the time I was done, the spilt water on the patio was freezing already, so retreated in to the fire.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd January 2019, 9:44 pm

Brave man!!

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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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default Re: January, welcome in a new gardening year

Post by freebird on 23rd January 2019, 1:23 pm

Ploshkin wrote:
Chilli Head - I think they like to be in pairs, that could be the reason for your lack of fruit.

Just looked this up on t'internet : Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) bushes are self-pollinating to an extent, but grow larger fruit through cross-pollination by a second variety. Bees and wind help bushes to cross-pollinate, although the bushes need to be near each other to be productive.

That might be your answer CH.

I bought a 3-variety package a couple of years ago. All in pots with ericaceous compost. Last season I had a smallish but well spread crop from all three, which I was happy with for their first year.
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd January 2019, 4:59 pm

Drat, I need to buy a third one, as both the ones I have are of the same variety! (I can't believe I've got to go to the garden centre and buy a plant - and probably have coffee and a cake while I'm there. Life can be hard...)

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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 23rd January 2019, 5:19 pm

Oh no Dandelion - would you like me to go for you ...... ?
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Post by freebird on 25th January 2019, 12:44 pm

Ooh, lovely surprise. Just seen some bulbs coming up in a pot that I had completely forgotten I had planted. Iris reticulata just showing flower buds. Favourites!
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Post by FloBear on 25th January 2019, 2:14 pm

I love iris reticulata though they rarely come up for a second time for me. I was feeling a bit down in the dumps last weekend and thought I'd treat myself to a pot of them from the GC. Nothing in flower, sadly.
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