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» What are you harvesting today?
by Chilli-head 19th September 2021, 9:55 am

» The garden in August
by Dandelion 9th August 2021, 10:17 pm

» New Kiva loan
by Chilli-head 2nd August 2021, 12:14 pm

» What's left of the July garden
by FloBear 20th July 2021, 2:12 pm

» Welcome guest
by Ploshkin 2nd July 2021, 7:14 am

» Artichokes
by Chilli-head 24th June 2021, 2:53 pm

» Heat in the June garden at last !
by Ploshkin 5th June 2021, 7:22 pm

» whats on the menu
by freebird 3rd June 2021, 8:34 pm

» Fresh shoots in May
by Ploshkin 31st May 2021, 9:17 pm

» What arts and craft things have you been making lately?
by FloBear 23rd May 2021, 7:41 pm

» Peak planting in the April garden
by Chilli-head 4th May 2021, 8:26 am

» The gardener's yearbook
by Chilli-head 6th April 2021, 11:10 am

» Springing into action in the March garden
by Chilli-head 27th March 2021, 6:31 pm

» What have I done in the workshop today?
by FloBear 11th March 2021, 7:17 pm

» A late start to the February garden
by Florence 1st March 2021, 12:43 pm

» Plant labels
by Dandelion 27th February 2021, 9:38 pm

» When we come out of the other side of this ...
by Florence 24th February 2021, 10:14 am

» My anti virus doesn't like this forum
by Florence 22nd February 2021, 2:29 pm

» The January quagmire
by freebird 27th January 2021, 2:47 pm

» The Christmas workshop
by Chilli-head 29th December 2020, 12:03 pm

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The frozen February garden

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default The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head 4th February 2019, 1:33 pm

I finally ventured out to sow early onions on Saturday.  I have had poor results with onions grown from seed, with the exception of Long Red Florence,  which has worked reasonably well multi-sown in modules.  I do like Italian red onions for Mediterranean cookery, but I'd like some other varieties too.  I wonder if my mistake is not getting them started early enough.  So, on Saturday I dug out my trusted tomes by John Seymour and Geoff Hamilton.  Both seemed to suggest mid to late winter sowing, in seed compost, then pricking out when the second leaf reaches 1/2" long into a more general purpose compost.  Decided to try that this year.

When I got to the greenhouse, I of course found I had hardly any seed compost in, so had to content myself with sowing a few lettuce for early baby leaf, and a trip to the garden centre.  Came home with a bag of frozen solid compost; I'll leave it to defrost a day or two I think !


Last edited by Chilli-head on 1st March 2019, 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Dandelion 6th February 2019, 2:24 pm

Ha ha - I went out to buy compost at the weekend, as a first step towards planting some early tomatoes for the greenhouse. I sieved the soil on Sunday afternoon, and thought it was remarkably lumpy, until I realised that it was actually frozen into lumps. I left it to warm slightly in the shed - I must go and see if it has defrosted!

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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: The frozen February garden

Post by Dandelion 7th February 2019, 2:56 pm

Plans for sowing early tomatoes are off - I heard this morning that I have to report at our local hospital early in March to have my second knee replacement. Our hospital does have quite a reputation for cancelling operations, but I will travel hopefully (and buy tomato plants later in the season!)

................................................................................................................................
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: The frozen February garden

Post by Ploshkin 7th February 2019, 9:36 pm

New knees are harder to come by than tomato plants, Dandelion so I think you've made the right choice.
Ive actually done a bit of tidying up in the garden. I cut the old leaves off the hellebore as the flowers are looking good now and I've started cutting back the autumn flowering perennials. I think I'm going to try and get back into my trug-a-day routine. Keeping up with the weeding and tidying in my garden is quite daunting so I try to fill a large trug with weeds every day (weather permitting). I weed round the plants as and when they are coming up - hellebores and daffs at the moment. It will get to a point where the weeds just grow too fast but I can get a good start.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Dandelion 8th February 2019, 3:27 pm

I like hellebore leaves in the compost heap at this time of the year, as there isn't much else at our place apart from kitchen scraps and chicken droppings, so it's pretty wet stuff, and the crunchy hellebore leaves add some air spaces and some carbon to all my nitrogen.

................................................................................................................................
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: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head 17th February 2019, 8:22 pm

We seem to have defosted this weekend, so I ventured to the allotment. Dug some leeks. Overall, it isn't looking too bad. Less weedy than usual, though the blackcurrants had a lot of chickweed around them so I cleared that, and dug out some of a compost heap to mulch them and my gooseberry. Whilst weeding I noticed that the council workers have strimmed through the plastic netting of the cage over my blackcurrants. They shouldn't really be anywhere near it, it is over 2m down from the top of my plot, but I know when the next door plot changed hands they took a bit of the top of that plot to use for vheicle turning space, and I suspect - because I usually only use the top bit of my plot as dropping off space for manure and woodchip - I am in danger of losing it if I don't re-assert my claim. I'll get a mountain of woodchip dropped there ASAP as a kind of spraint mark of my territory ! I also need to make a new gate, and need to renew some posts for the muntjac defences.

In the greenhouse this afternoon, sowed some lettuce in modules, some trays of baby leaf salad and peas for pea shoots. I've also sown onions in seed trays - I'm going to try pricking them out into small pots this year, they seem to run out of steam in modules, and I can't get them going early enough directly in the ground.

I set up a row of cloches in the garden veg patch, to warm the ground ready for my lettuce, when it is ready to plant out.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Dandelion 18th February 2019, 7:10 pm

So now we can add council workers to the list of pests to look out for at the allotment!!

................................................................................................................................
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: The frozen February garden

Post by freebird 20th February 2019, 10:20 am

That's a bugger, about your netting CH.

Got sowing envy, but really no point doing any here this year.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head 20th February 2019, 10:31 am

The netting is the fairly tough, about 20mm square mesh plastic stuff, I think I can probably patch it with an offcut and some small cable ties. To cure the problem of the council workers doing it again, I have ordered a truckload (and I mean that literally) of woodchip to be dropped off at the top of the plot. That should help to re-assert my possession of that area as part of my plot. I wanted to re-cover my paths with it as the grass is a pain to keep cutting, and unlike the woodchip doesn't help with the mud. I need to replace some fence posts and the gate anyway, so I'll enclose the top bit too I think.

Mrs C-H has suggested I take the unproductive blueberry bush to the allotment. The soil is not suitable for direct planting, but I was thinking I might make a large wooden planter out of old pallet wood (of which I have plenty), with a good slop of linseed oil as a "green" preservative. Could make a nice feature.
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Post by freebird 20th February 2019, 12:48 pm

And maybe get it a companion. Perhaps it will start to be productive then.
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Post by Ploshkin 23rd February 2019, 8:35 pm

I've had a bit of a start in the polytunnel today. I sowed carrots, spinach and broad beans and put in 10 tubers of Rocket. I also repotted the fig and a rapidly growing rosemary. I'm getting through a bit of weeding outside.
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Post by Chilli-head 23rd February 2019, 9:35 pm

A lovely day for a spot of gardening. Time to sow tomatoes, peppers and the all important chillies. My onions are starting to emerge, and a good showing from the Greek cress.
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Post by Dandelion 24th February 2019, 2:01 pm

I put some pots of peas in the greenhouse a week or so ago - with all the sun we've had I noticed just now that a shoot is about to break through. I'll be leaving them in my husband's care when I go into hospital (hopefully a week tomorrow), and he will be planting them out. We did put up an aluminium pea and bean support yesterday, which he gave me for Christmas 2017. Considering we both have a degree in 3D design, it took all our ingenuity to put together (not helped by the fact that I had stored the instructions in a box in the porch, not realising the roof was leaking just in that corner, so there is a lot of black mould on what still remains of the paper!!)

................................................................................................................................
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: The frozen February garden

Post by FloBear 24th February 2019, 4:32 pm

Far from frozen, we had lunch outside today and I spent a couple of hours clearing a neglected area where an ornamental tree is going to go.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head 24th February 2019, 6:37 pm

Indeed. My woodchip arrived this morning, and I've been spreading it on the allotment paths. Until dark at 6pm. In a T-shirt. In February Shocked

My pea shoots are shooting, the Greek cress is looking good.
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default Re: The frozen February garden

Post by Chilli-head 25th February 2019, 1:25 pm

As well as unseasonably warm - today is really fine here - it is also very dry. I would not normally be able to do anything much on the allotment in Feb, it would be a muddy mess. But this year, the soil is crumbly and works perfectly, not at all muddy. I do worry a bit about the water situation; Ladybower reservoir up near my parents was still low enough to see the normally flooded ruins in January. I've now got a water butt at the allotment, but they are soon empty in dry weather. Hopefully the mulch of shreddings around the fruit trees etc will help keep the soil a bit more moist.

None the less, I still ended up having to give the woodchip delivery truck a push to get back up from my plot. It was rear wheel drive, so OK when loaded, little weight on the back wheels when empty. Why is it that all those people who don't need 4WD vehicles have them, and the people who really need them don't ?
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