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default Fooling around in the April garden

Post by Chilli-head 2nd April 2022, 9:33 pm

Lots of sowing in the greenhouse today.  i timed it perfectly, got the outside jobs done in the fine weather of the morning so I could retreat to sowing in the greenhouse while it snowed ...

Potted on: Tomatoes. Sowed: Leeks, shallots, onions, lettuce, amaranth, mizuna, mustard, cucumbers, celeriac, lemon grass, cumin and samphire (no, really !)

It feels like the year is really started now.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 2nd August 2022, 10:40 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Dandelion 2nd April 2022, 10:01 pm

Wow, samphire! I've seen it growing by the beach on the Welsh coast - do you have to replicate any of the seaside conditions to grow it?

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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 2nd April 2022, 10:46 pm

The garden has taken a back seat this week, as the cold weather has returned. I'm just nurturing the existing seedlings until we're through this cold snap. Think tonight should be the last minus temperature for a while, so I'll probably sow my sweetcorn tomorrow. Maybe my greenhouse cucumbers too, and perhaps some broad beans to go outside. I already have some started in large planters in the greenhouse along with some sugar snaps. Last year's experiment with those was very successful, so being repeated.
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Post by Chilli-head 3rd April 2022, 9:30 am

Dandelion wrote:Wow, samphire! I've seen it growing by the beach on the Welsh coast - do you have to replicate any of the seaside conditions to grow it?

Yes, the instructions say to water it with salt water. This is Mrs C-H's idea of setting me a challenge. It seems a big ask to me, far from its natural environment.

I have fewer chillies and peppers this year. Partly by plan, I want to see if they do better with more space. But also emergence was poor, even on some fairly fresh seeds.

It is weird to be flung back into winter ! A week and a bit ago it felt like summer - I was roasting in my south facing office as EH turn the heating off on 1st April regardless of the weather. Then we sneaked off for a week in the sun on Lanzarote - and returned to snow ! I'm hoping to set up some cloches for radish and spring onions today. Maybe it will warm up.
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Post by Dandelion 5th April 2022, 9:24 pm

The weather seems to be annoyingly unpredictable - I'm hardening peas and kohl rabi off, as they've got used to warmth in the greenhouse, but we've got more frosts forecast for the end of the week, so I'll play it safe and put them back (as well as a beautiful little acer in a pot, which I don't want to suffer frost damage. The three nights we're now predicted to have frosts were well above zero in the forecast at the beginning in the of the week - it feels as if the Met office are making it up as they go along!

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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 10th April 2022, 4:20 pm

We've had pretty constant frosts for 3 weeks. I'm struggling a bit with keeping seedlings warm in the greenhouse. Annoyingly, a particularly hard frost damaged the fruitlets on my fig and apricot despite them being enclosed in a fleece tent in the polytunnel. The potatoes in the tunnel were also caught even though they were covered. I think it was below -5° that night. I'm also getting very patchy germination - I'm sure it's the compost, the seedlings are a bit yellow too.
Next year I'm making the 56 mile round trip to the little nursery that is near where I worked. They sell bags of the seed compost that they use themselves and I've always had excellent results with it.
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Post by Dandelion 14th April 2022, 9:07 pm

My seedlings are also looking a bit yellow (particularly gerbera and squash) - is this an issue with peat-free compost?

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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 14th April 2022, 10:05 pm

I've given all of my seedlings a high nitrogen feed and sprayed the tomato ones with Epsom salts as they are looking a bit magnesium deficient.
I've only had this issue the last couple of years. When I used to take excess tomato plants into work people always commented on how green and healthy they looked.
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Post by Chilli-head 16th April 2022, 9:01 pm

I think I've stated my theory before that many peat free composts contain so much poorly composted woody material that nitrogen depletion is likely. Nettle juice or hoof and horn ?
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Post by Ploshkin 16th April 2022, 9:23 pm

My compost isn't labelled peat free but I think even the peat ones have a fair proportion of rubbish in them.
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Post by Dandelion 17th April 2022, 8:46 pm

That makes a lot of sense, thanks both. I think I'll also continue to mix in some home-made compost - with chicken manure in it, I'm assuming it would be pretty high in 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: Fooling around in the April garden

Post by Ploshkin 21st April 2022, 12:06 pm

I've been a bit neglectful of my remaining outside beds and find it difficult to keep the ever present weeds under some sort of control. The countryside, beautiful as it is, is a very poor gardening neighbour. It's mainly brassicas I grow outside now as the polytunnel takes care of most other things with much greater success.
I've had a complete revamp as my original raised bed surrounds were rotting as were the stakes in the surrounding fence. For many years I've used a brassica cage (4' high) with butterfly netting to keep the caterpillars at bay but have always found it a bit of a pain having to lift the netting and crawl around underneath it to weed. So, I have spent the last few weeks erecting a walk in mesh tunnel. We were having a lot of the farm fencing replaced so I nabbed the contractor to put in a new fence between the garden and the yard and, having asked what I was doing, he offered to level the site of my old raised bed too.
There are still some finishing touches, I have just received the pegs to hold the netting down round the base and need to do something for the door. The compost bins will be relocated as and when they are emptied. I have dug 6 beds in the tunnel which will hopefully make it manageable - I can cover the ones not in use. My hope is that, as well as being able to stand up in it, the tunnel will provide some protection from the wind and rain that seems to be a feature of most summers and prevent access to wind blown weed seeds (dandelions, thistles and rosebay willowherb).
Anyway, here it is ready for planting.
Fooling around in the April garden P1030311
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Post by freebird 21st April 2022, 12:59 pm

Wow - that looks the bees knees! I would love to have enough space to be able to consider something like that. Still, since giving up the allotment, I am actually quite enjoying having to be more inventive with how and where I grow things.
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Post by Dandelion 21st April 2022, 7:26 pm

That looks brilliant Freebird

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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 1st May 2022, 8:33 am

At last, some desperately needed rain. It seems to have been raining gently, but steadily, all night. The dry conditions and cold nights have really been holding things up in the garden. Nothing below 7°C at night for the next two weeks, according to the forecast, so I'm quietly hopeful for my apple blossom. All my trees are pretty new, and I had blossom for the first time last year. It came to nothing though with the incessant late frosts.
I really miss having apples in the garden.
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