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» What are you harvesting today?
by Dandelion 29th September 2022, 9:28 pm

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» What have I done in the workshop today?
by Chilli-head 1st September 2022, 4:52 pm

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» The merry May garden
by Dandelion 31st May 2022, 10:04 pm

» Fooling around in the April garden
by freebird 1st May 2022, 8:33 am

» March into the garden
by Dandelion 1st April 2022, 7:26 pm

» Mow Suggestions
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» Some thoughts on resilience
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default The merry May garden

Post by Chilli-head 1st May 2022, 9:08 am

The real start of summer ... mine has to start with mixing up compost for the tomatoes, which involves digging out the compost heap in the garden.  This is the worst job of the gardening year,  I reckon. It is tucked away behind a scratch pyrecanthus, with little room to work. This is a good spot for it until you need to use the compost.

In other news, I have samphire plants. 3 of them.  I need to read up on what to do now.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 2nd August 2022, 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by freebird 1st May 2022, 1:01 pm

I posted this morning on the April thread - forgot we were in May already.

No frost being forecast for the foreseeable, so with last night's rain, I'm hopeful things will start moving along. Also quietly hopeful for my apple blossom this year on my new trees.

Sugar snaps in planters in the greenhouse have already reached the top of their supports, and dwarf broad beans are in flower, also in greenhouse planters. Sweetcorn in the coldframe waiting for slightly warmer temperatures so it can be planted out, and more, taller broad beans to try in pots, which I will stand amongst my fruit trees (upright cordons). Time to do some more sowing I think - climbing French beans and probably dwarf too.
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Post by Ploshkin 2nd May 2022, 9:52 am

Yes, the frosts were relentless through April.  How have people further east fared?
I've been running round with swathes of fleece every evening, both outdoors and in the polytunnel. Like you, Freebird, I have very young apple trees, the 2 stepovers in the fruit cage were planted in 2020 and the two trees in the polytunnel plot last year.
A joyful sight in the fruit cage today, this is the James Greave.  The Worcester has some flower buds, not yet open and only on one side because I had t start a new leader on the other side last year.  Why is it that when I buy 2 plants as pollination partners I always end up with one strong one and one weak one and they never seem to flower at quite the same time.  If I could swap one from each pair I would have 2 well matched trees in each place!
The merry May garden P1030312
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Post by Chilli-head 2nd May 2022, 7:34 pm

I am a bit late this year, but no signs of frost damage on the potato tops.

A busy weekend. Compost heap dug out, potting mix made, tomatoes in their final positions, lettuce out. Allotment mostly dug. A surprising amount of effort to plant out sweet peas - which involved removal of some ugly concrete edging to replace with some nicer sandstone, and incorporating organic matter - partly manure, partly buried lawn edge trimmings. I hope they appreciate it ..
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Post by Dandelion 2nd May 2022, 9:40 pm

I've been racing around trying to get the garden into some sort of shape before the chickens come out, and it's not so easy to get up and down the garden. (Because chicken keepers still have to follow strict biosecurity measures, I've had to make a little enclosure for them which keeps them away from under our big tree, which has various birds in it, and various droppings underneath!!) So the garden is now fenced off, and I have to get through two temporary fences to get to the compost heap. But the grass is all mowed short, I've tackled some edging which has needed doing for several years and used cardboard and compost on top to flatten a bed of invasive plants. (I did the same last year, and this year some of the plants are pushing up leaves. I reckon one more lot of card and compost next year might fix it finally!) Tomorrow's job is to sieve some compost and earth up the potatoes.

It looks as if my pear tree might finally have a good harvest this summer. It's a family tree, with Conference and Williams pears grafted onto one trunk. I must have had it for at least seven years - last year was the heaviest harvest (7 or 8 Conference pears) but the blossom of the two varieties has never bloomed at the same time. But this year there is plenty of blossom of both types, so I'm hopeful!

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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 FloBear 27th May 2022, 9:18 am

Helloooo! I'm still here, just haven't done a lot of garden stuff lately.
The Aged P. (Mum) has been having a bad time of it with falls and such-like since Feb. and my head is full of Things To Be Done With My House so time goes by. Builder next, just hoping I can get anything precious out of the way before scaffolders' size 12s cause mayhem.
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Post by Ploshkin 27th May 2022, 11:11 am

Plants can be very resilient Flobear. I watched half my flowers disappear under builders rubbish, heavy boots and lumps of concrete for 15 months. I was particularly disappointed to see my lily of the valley patch entombed just as it was growing nicely as it had taken me years to get some going. Last spring up it popped completely untroubled by its experience. Hostas and clematis that bore the brunt are fine too. In fact the clematis is probably the best it has been for years because I cut it right back to the ground.
My flowers are lovely so far this year, and the polytunnel is looking good but I wish I could say the same for the outdoor veg. The only things growing are some cabbage and sprout plants that I bought. Beetroot seedlings are just sulking, carrots germinated and promptly vanished, spinach beet snd French beans seem to be a no show. On the plus side the mesh tunnel has prevented a lot of wind blown seed landing on the beds. It's quite satisfying seeing it sitting on the mesh.
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Post by freebird 28th May 2022, 1:23 pm

Know what you mean about sulking veg, Ploshkin. I planted my sweetcorn out as early as I dared, and although I think we are now finished with frosts, the overnight temperatures remain resolutely cold. Greenhouse veg are romping away, but anything outside is struggling. Going to put my Mr Fearns out today as we are due to go on hols soon. Haven't even sown runner beans yet.
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Post by Ploshkin 28th May 2022, 2:49 pm

Yes, I hadn't thought about the cold nights. I didn't get over to shut the polytunnel until about 9.00 last night and the thermometer was showing 7.9°. I daresay it got colder than that, I forgot to look at the minimum temp this morning.
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Post by Ploshkin 28th May 2022, 6:48 pm

I've just looked, the temperature last night got down to 4°
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Post by Dandelion 28th May 2022, 8:39 pm

FloBear wrote:Helloooo! I'm still here, just haven't done a lot of garden stuff lately.
The Aged P. (Mum) has been having a bad time of it with falls and such-like since Feb. and my head is full of Things To Be Done With My House so time goes by. Builder next, just hoping I can get anything precious out of the way before scaffolders' size 12s cause mayhem.

It sounds as if you have had to go into survival mode, FloBear. Hope your mum is bearing up, and you get through the builders coming unscathed.

................................................................................................................................
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 29th May 2022, 9:32 pm

My 'wildcard' this year is a watermelon plant, given to me by a friend who wondered if she could grow them. I suppose a lot depends on the kind of summer we have. Mine is in a big tub of compost in the greenhouse. has anyone grow one before? Any tips?

................................................................................................................................
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 Chilli-head 29th May 2022, 10:45 pm

The merry May garden 20220510

Well after years of arguing against raised beds ...

This box is a "pallet collar", which make sides of a crate around a pallet, and have hinged corners to pack flat. The layer are 200mm deep, and I used two of them for the obvious re-use - a small raised bed. Filled it with a mix of allotment soil and the spoil from the greenhouse pots.

It i currently the happiest corner of the allotment, despite it being very dry which ought not to favour being raised up. There are carrots, spring onions and a few volunteer oregano plants. I'm hoping that the claims that carrot fly don't fly above 40cm off the ground are true ...
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Post by freebird 30th May 2022, 3:44 pm

Looking good CH. I see nothing wrong with raised beds per se, but just get frustrated that new gardeners think that it must be the only possible way to grow vegetables. I tried without here, but with a soil depth of only 6-7 inches, and incredibly poor soil at that, I quickly decided that raised beds were the only feasible option. I've made room for a second one about 2ft x 7ft 6in inside my fruit cage. Might seem like a strange place, but this year at least, it is giving my pea plants much needed sparrow protection.
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Post by Dandelion 31st May 2022, 10:04 pm

I love the look of the wood, CH. Maybe in addition to the carrots being off the ground, the oregano and spring onions will also mask the smell of the carrots

................................................................................................................................
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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