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Smar Tarse
01 Feb 17 08:34
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Date Joined: 01 Feb 07
| Topic/replies: 7,063 | Blogger: Smar Tarse's blog
It is time to get the veg plots prepared and the greenhouse/polytunnel cleaned etc, ready for a new growing season.

This year i am trying Onions from seed, sowing them individually in yoghurt pots (today) to start them off indoors. The variety i am trying is Rijnsburger

Also today i will be potting my Sweet Pea seeds, several seeds around the outer edge of a 6" pot. This year i am growing a variety named after a great man Sir Henry Cecil Love

Anyone else busy in the garden yet ?
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Report Foinavon August 18, 2017 4:51 PM BST
Dug a few Manitou main crop potatoes the other day. Good yield with plenty of baker-sized tubers. Some slug damaged but no more than usual for this time of year. This variety looks worth growing again. Good harvest of carrots (Early Nantes). Some runner beans and French beans but yield well below average this year due to weather. Pumpkin plants don't look as luxuriant as they should either. They needed more rain in June and more sun late July/August. Hoping for a warm September to rectify the situation.
Report Deltâ August 18, 2017 7:02 PM BST
is this true..?


if you have seed potatoes, knock a few of the shoots off before planting which will result in less potatoes but bigger ones?
Report Foinavon August 18, 2017 7:11 PM BST
Yes, I do it with main crop and just leave two or three shoots at most. Wider planting, up to a point, also increases tuber size. It all amounts to the number of shoots per square yard, apparently.
Report Smar Tarse August 18, 2017 7:44 PM BST
Magnificent toms, Mr Tarse. Congratulations.

Which variety, and what feed (if any) did you use?


I went back to my all-time favourite variety this year, Sweet Million F1 Dead easy to grow.

I will use any high Nitrogen liquid or soluble feed whilst they are growing and then any high Potassium feed whilst in flower/fruit. This year i used the two cheapest they had in Home Bargains Happy  I water a little everyday and feed once a week.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves August 18, 2017 10:24 PM BST
Thanks. I only grow tumbling toms, in the greenhouse, and they always do OK. But with a south-facing garden down here in Zum, I really ought to make use of the location and grow a few toms outside.

When did you sow the seeds? February?
Report Smar Tarse August 18, 2017 10:30 PM BST
10th of march, in a heated propagator, in yoghurt pots.
Report Smar Tarse August 19, 2017 8:16 AM BST
I should state that my way of growing has completely changed since i moved house, i now grow all my veg in tubs/pots (apart from one tiny raised bed, soon to be gone). If i were growing toms in the ground like the previous 20+ years then i wouldn't feed at all.
Report Dr Crippen August 26, 2017 8:50 PM BST
I'm pleased to report that everything in the garden is lovely.

Runner beans
Tomatoes.
Chilli peppers.
Capsicum
Potatoes.

Even the line prop has started to sprout.

Of course you have to talk to the plants.
Thanks for the tip Charlie. Much appreciated.
Report blackbarn August 27, 2017 1:05 PM BST
Smartarse - Re Sir Henry Cecil Sweet Pea.   It was I, and I grew it alongside my two usual varieties and it did not match them in any capacity (Stem length, number of flower heads, scent or longevity).  My two usual varieties are Sir Robert Uvedale and White Supreme.
Report Smar Tarse August 28, 2017 9:59 AM BST
This was my first go at growing a Sweat Pea so i can't say if it was good or not, just i wasn't impressed with the scent, or lack of it. It is still producing a good amount of flowers now.
Report Smar Tarse September 11, 2017 2:13 PM BST
Today was the end of my Courgette plant. Pulled it up and put it on the compost heap.

It was also the end of half my tomato plants Sad A great big Wood Pigeon was scared into the polytunnel by a Sparrowhawk ! I was sat there at the time and seen it from the start, the Sparrowhawk wasn't actually after the Wood Pigeon, i often see the Sparrowhawk land in the big Oak tree and the Wood Pigeons which are just a couple of feet away don't move at all.

So, the Pigeon snapped half my tomato plants Sad

I managed to get rid of most of the moss in my lawn by cutting it longer this year, i did use a moss killing treatment too ( iron Sulphate )

How is everyone else's stuff doing ?
Report Smar Tarse September 15, 2017 9:11 AM BST
Well that is the end of my Runners ( Lady Di ). First time i have grown these and i really like this variety, excellent yield and very tasty. Will do these again.

I read somewhere about NOT pulling runner beans up when they are done, they have stores of nutrients attached to the roots apparently, so i have just cut the plants off level for now.
Report blackbarn September 15, 2017 10:34 AM BST
Correct re the beans!!   - https://www.gardenseeker.com/vegetables/peas_beans/
Report Smar Tarse September 26, 2017 1:09 PM BST
"I managed to get rid of most of the moss in my lawn by cutting it longer this year, i did use a moss killing treatment too ( iron Sulphate )"

Still a load of moss lurking in there Crazy  It's bleddy hard work doing it by hand with a rake Whoops

Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 10:42 PM BST
Not very nice weather today but I went to the allotment to harvest a few provisions.
Early Nantes carrots are superb this year, Large blunt tipped roots and very sweet.
Collected some Borlotti beans for shelling as haricots.
Last of the runners, they were a bit stringy which is not unexpected this late in the season.
Harvested the first two winter squash and roasted some chunks for dinner. There is enough to last a month on these and the rest of the crop will be left on the vine until the first frosts.
Collected a carrier bag of golden coloured quince. I love making compote for eating at breakfast time and these won't last long unfortunately.

Report Deltâ October 2, 2017 2:21 PM BST
been a good year all round i think for carrots,
had some Butternut squash in, but done poorly, however last years throwaways on the compost heap took hold and some lovely ones on there to harvest!
potted on 50 odd strawberry runners today, fingers crossed
first crop to sow for next year this w/e
Broad Beans, its all starting again Grin
Report Foinavon October 2, 2017 2:32 PM BST
I've never been able to get a crop from butternut squash and don't think the climate here in the Midlands is suitable for them without protection. I prefer to grow the two varieties shown in my photo, Marina di Chioggia (green skin) and Crown Prince. I've had a successful crop from them every year for at least the past ten years and they taste as sweet as butternut. They are pest-free too.
Report Smar Tarse October 8, 2017 4:01 PM BST
A couple of those runner beans i cut off have re-shooted and are curled 7 inch up the canes again Crazy

I pulled up my sweet pea plants today, there were still a few flowers at the top but otherwise they were done.

I cut the "everlasting" sweet pea down to a few inch. And my Clematis only had a few flowers at the top, so i have cut that down to about 6".

I noticed lots of bulbs showing tips in my borders today.
Report Foinavon October 8, 2017 4:26 PM BST
Runner beans are perennials given the right climate but are usually killed off by our winters.
Last year (late spring 2016) I had some roots survive and push up shoots.
I collected the last of my Borlotti beans today which now need shelling and left some mature runner bean pods on the vine for next year's seed. French beans (Cobra) were very poor this season, too cold and wet at the critical time. I will grow them again though, as we can't predict the weather.
Harvested more carrots and a few of the pumpkins and had thick, peppery pumpkin soup for dinner.
Have left most of them out on the allotment for another week but will keep an eye on the forecasts in case of night frosts.
Collected a bag of Jonared apples for making crumble and apple sauce. Quite a few have bird or wasp damage so won't store.
The Pitmastons are not ready yet so will leave until needed. I think Blackbarn told me that they can be left on the tree well into winter.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 8, 2017 7:14 PM BST
Gleaned a carrier bag of potatoes this morning while walking the dog. The farmer had harvested yesterday and they were just dotted around on the surface. Some lovely big ones too. Means I can leave my very late crop in the ground a while longer at home. The other crop I planted very late was carrots, and they've done surprisingly well. Just scattered the left-over seeds from the ones I planted at the correct time, and the later ones have done much better.

Went scrumping yesterday evening. Three trees from an abandoned orchard, where the apples are otherwise just left to rot. The best and biggest crop I've ever seen. Filled two rucksacks with flawless red apples. It's extraordinary how many people walk past those trees every year and just ignore all that food lying on the ground.
Report Smar Tarse October 13, 2017 3:23 PM BST
I have just opened a 25ltr tub i had filled (and topped up) with Comfrey leafs many months ago, at first i thought what people said was true, it really doesn't smell bad......then i gave it a stir !!! Whoops

I have purchased a PPM meter (parts per million), and was wondering what PPM do others dilute their Comfrey solution to ?  I have read online that somewhere around 600 PPM should be about right ? For this batch that equates to about 35ml added per 1.0ltr of water.
Report Foinavon October 15, 2017 9:27 PM BST
I don't have any comfrey, Smarty, so can't help you there. I would try a very dilute solution first and see how you go, colour of weak tea perhaps?

Collected the rest of my pumpkins today. Have 28 in all from originally 30 seedlings. Some were wiped out by slugs before they got going in June. Most were smaller than last year due to the weather but there are more than enough for various friends too.
Battened down everything including composter lids in case the high winds materialise tomorrow or Tuesday.
Need to get the allotment prepared for winter now, I don't do digging but weeds need chopping down with the adze and the ground mulched with leaf mould and rotted grass cuttings to feed the worms who will do the digging for me between now and next April.
Report Smar Tarse October 15, 2017 10:31 PM BST
I still have two tomato plants in the polytunnel, they got some of the Comfrey diluted to 600ppm two days ago. It was probably the very warm weather this week that has made them send more side shoots out and flower rather than the comfrey "tea". I can't see any odd colouring or "burn" in the new growth, so i would say 600ppm is a safe mix.

I will separate a few of the new plants in the spring and do a comparison with home brew comfrey against whatever i buy in.

I pinched the tops out on the re-growing runner beans. Just out of interest to see what they do now.

Potted three dozen or so Sweet Pea seeds i collected from this years pods, some Sir Henry Cecil and some "Everlasting". If they germinate i will pinch the tops out when they are 5 inch (ish) tall.
Report Smar Tarse October 23, 2017 2:09 PM BST
Just had the biggest Humming-bird Hawk-moth i have ever seen in my garden, feeding on my Antirrhinum. 70mm ish and as fat as a fat man's thumb Happy
Report Deltâ October 23, 2017 3:09 PM BST
garlic in here today,

still got to get up for winter store [exc brassicas/parsnips] carrots, celeriac, butternut squash,

+ grass wont stop growing Devil
Report Foinavon October 23, 2017 9:28 PM BST
I find that autumn is the best time to plant garlic and I usually have mine planted by now.
This year I can't find the energy to prepare the ground and will give them a miss. I could plant a few in the spring to ensure I have cloves to plant next autumn.
Report Smar Tarse October 29, 2017 1:55 PM GMT
I have just mown my lawn. I have thoroughly cleaned the mower and sharpened the blade (and paint sprayed it) and put it away for the winter. Hopefully that is job done for my lawn, for now.
Report Foinavon October 29, 2017 1:59 PM GMT
I did my lawn a couple of days ago. Definitely the last time before spring.
I admire the care lavished on your lawnmower, mine will have to fend for itself in the shed until needed again.
Report trilby22 October 29, 2017 2:59 PM GMT
I've been away from this Fred for yonks - nothing personal :)

My tomato crop was nowhere as good as last year ... due mainly to the wind wiping a few plants out mid-season.  Long story.

Courgettes much better than last year with circa 20 reaped from two seeds Shocked

Internal peppers in my window did great and they're still at it!  They kept dropping their flowers early season and they taste rather bland ... but sticking them in a Thai curry rocks 'em up a bit ...

eyalb bakke ... got a Thai on Wink
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 29, 2017 4:29 PM GMT
We always get another growth of fine grass in November (at least down here in Zummerzet we do). Relied on it when I used to have horses to graze, and could turn them out for an extra month without haynets.

Every year everybody expresses surprise when it appears though, and puts it down to global warming.
Report Deltâ October 29, 2017 5:38 PM GMT
frost tonight threatened!

winter store cupboard therefore taken off garden today and tucked up.


and madness I known, but the Autumn b/beans have popped up so I fleeced 'em Crazy
Report Smar Tarse October 29, 2017 7:15 PM GMT
It got down to 3°c inside my polytunnel last night, and like you say Delta it is meant to be getting colder tonight.
Report trilby22 October 29, 2017 7:29 PM GMT
Feckin freezin in Perth
Report Smar Tarse October 29, 2017 9:50 PM GMT
My dog has just sniffed out a big fat Hedgehog in my garden Love Its been a lot of years since i last had one in the garden. Hope it doesn't find its way to a bonfire Scared
Report Smar Tarse November 1, 2017 7:06 AM GMT
Another Hedgehog last night, a lot smaller this time. 

I think i have just cottoned on to the sudden appearance of these Hedgehogs after all these years !  I started a Mealworm "farm" in one of my man-caves a couple of weeks ago, they must be able to smell them Whoops
Report Smar Tarse November 2, 2017 4:28 PM GMT
The seeds i saved from the Sir Henry Cecil sweet pea plants i grew this year have germinated in the polytunnel. I was given an "Everlasting" sweet pea plant by my neighbour, nothing showing from those saved seeds yet. 

Tomorrow i am going to build a couple of Hedgehog homes. I have got plenty of wood kicking about plus half a roll of roof felt, so i should be able to knock something together the Hedgehogs will use Love
Report Deltâ November 2, 2017 5:35 PM GMT
Hedgehogs are suffering crippling bone disease because of a common treat we leave out for them in gardens.

Britain's national hedgehog charity has now asked people not to feed the animals mealworms.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5014573/Hedgehog-charity-urges-people-not-leave-treats.html
Report Smar Tarse November 2, 2017 6:23 PM GMT
That is interesting Delta, and shocking Sad

I had already read about the lack of calcium in the shop bought mealworms, i was reading a forum where the experienced amongst them (reptile owners) recommended giving the mealworms eggshell as a supplement feed, this gives the mealworms Calcium, so that is what i have already done with the ones i am breeding.

I wasn't thinking of feeding the Hedgehogs anything to be fair, plenty of food for them in my garden already with the slugs and worms on my lawn. I will be happy just to house them over the winter Happy
Report Smar Tarse November 4, 2017 10:28 AM GMT
A couple of the "everlasting" Sweet pea seeds i saved from this year have now poked through.
Report Foinavon November 4, 2017 8:29 PM GMT
Frosty nights are coming and the gorgeous blooms of Dahlias and Cosmos will soon be at an end.
I decided to take a few photos as a reminder of a colourful Autumn.








Report Smar Tarse November 4, 2017 9:43 PM GMT
I love the third, cracking photo that one Cool
Report Foinavon November 4, 2017 9:57 PM GMT
Thanks, that's a Cosmos, you can see the delicate needle shaped leaves in the background.
Report Foinavon November 5, 2017 7:09 PM GMT
A nice crisp morning here so did some tidying up on the allotment. Dug a bucket of red spuds, some carrots and parsnips. I didn't manage to dig all the garlic during the summer and the bulbs left in the ground have sprouted and look like shallots, with a rosette of six inch high shoots. Will collect some for use as fresh garlic during the winter and leave the rest to separate into individual plants and plant out six inches apart in the spring.
The Pitmaston Pineapple apples were easy to separate from the spurs, so collected them all even though they need more time to ripen. These will be good eating around Christmas time.
Finally brought in the runner bean pods with the seeds for next year. Will dry them off in the shed for a few days before shelling them.
Have a sore back now but no doubt serves me right.
Report Deltâ November 5, 2017 9:46 PM GMT
Foinavon



great pics + post

thanks for doing so...
Report Foinavon November 5, 2017 10:02 PM GMT
You're welcome, Delta. Happy
Report Smar Tarse November 6, 2017 10:47 AM GMT
Got my Hedgehog house made. Bit of old roof joists, floor boards and a table top, plus my shredded documents for bedding. Proper recycling/repurposing jobbie Laugh





Report Foinavon November 6, 2017 10:53 AM GMT
Excellent work, Smarty, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle will be pleased. Let us know if one moves in.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves November 6, 2017 2:45 PM GMT
Incredibly impressive all-round effort from Mr Tarse there. Not just using tools so effectively, but hanging them up so neatly afterwards.

Might be worth securing the lid and/or generally wedging the house in place, so it can't be tipped over by inquisitive cats, badgers or foxes.
Report Smar Tarse November 6, 2017 4:34 PM GMT
I did put a fastening on the lid, well two screws and a bit of wire wrapped around them, so i can easily have a look inside sometime.

I hate not being able to find my tools, anyone not hanging them back up in my man-cave gets a real ear bashing Devil
Report Smar Tarse November 14, 2017 4:34 PM GMT
I spent the afternoon jet washing the garden paths and slabs. They were particularly green and slippy this year.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves November 14, 2017 4:53 PM GMT
Gave the lawn its final cut on Sunday. Always important to get the grass level as late as possible, so if it does actually snow, you don't get any green tufts poking through. That way you can pretend that even an inch of the stuff is a proper snowfall.

The Qualcast Panther is back in the shed now, cleaned and oiled. Just some carrots and potatoes left in the ground, protected by the lawn clippings.
Report Deltâ November 14, 2017 5:19 PM GMT
24 raspberry canes on their way to put it this w/e - to renew some under performers and actual space them properly  Happy
Report Smar Tarse November 18, 2017 7:32 AM GMT
My lawn looks a right mess at the minute. I have this years young Squirrels ( 3 of them ) burying nuts all over it, and then i have the Magpies digging them out Crazy  I would say most of my large tubs around the garden have been raided and most if not all of the Bulbs taken by the Squirrels Devil

I don't blame the Squirrels, they are doing exactly what they should be doing. Next door has a different attitude though, he has told me he is going to trap the Squirrels and "get rid of them".
Report Smar Tarse November 19, 2017 8:22 AM GMT
Just making a cuppa and admiring my handiwork with the jet-wash when i noticed several yellow Poppy's in flower, these are self seeded in my north facing front garden, they went to seed ages ago Crazy

And yesterday whilst walking my dog i noticed a few violet flowers on a neighbours Aubretia. And a lovely looking Red Admiral on my row of Hebe plants.

Is any of that normal considering the hard frosts we have had all week Confused
Report screaming from beneaththewaves November 19, 2017 10:08 AM GMT
You always see one or two red admirals around on milder days, right into winter. They're the lazy ones who for some reason haven't bothered to migrate. I don't know whether any of them actually survive into the spring though. You can't really ring them to find out.

Just had a look, and I've currently got a dozen or so flowers on the aubrieta on the drystone wall outside the living room window. It just seems to be an incredibly hardy plant, which I suppose wallflowers have to be by nature.
Report Smar Tarse November 26, 2017 8:47 AM GMT
Just ordered a few things from Fothergill's one quid sale.

Couple of old favs and a few i haven't grown before Excited

Tomato (Cherry) Sweet Million F1 Seeds
Carrot Extremo F1 Seeds
Courgette Primula F1 Seeds
Tomato (Beefsteak) Belle F1 Seeds
Beetroot Boltardy Bumper Seed Pack
Delphinium Pacific Giants Mixed
Cornflower Polka Dot Seeds
Report Smar Tarse November 26, 2017 8:54 AM GMT
I have lost all but two of this years Leeks to the Allium Moth and or Leaf Miner  Cry  Devil
Report Deltâ November 26, 2017 10:40 AM GMT
blimey didnt even know Leeks got attacked!


I tried an experiment yesterday with a left over half packet of Spinach Beet. Planted them in the greenhouse to see if any early 2018 greens will appear!
Report Foinavon November 26, 2017 11:23 AM GMT
Leaf miners are a serious problem for gardeners here in the West Midlands. Commercial growers can spray but the only solution for us is to protect with enviromesh or fleece during the egg-laying period. I can't be bothered with that and the only allium I grow these days is garlic where they are not of concern to me. The grubs bore down the leaves but do not damage the cloves and I find tiny orange brown pupae in between them which can be crushed.
Report Foinavon November 27, 2017 4:15 PM GMT
The number of pesticides applied to crops in the UK has risen since the 1960s. The biggest increase of 17 times was for onions and leeks. See this article.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/27/number-toxic-chemicals-applied-vegetables-has-risen-17-fold/

Given that allium leaf miners were unknown in the UK until fairly recently, I suspect that there might be a connection. The other suspicion is the supermarkets insistence on receiving unblemished fruit and vegetables due to consumer pickiness.
Report sixtwosix November 27, 2017 5:48 PM GMT
Carolina Reaper and Trindad Scorpion chilli seeds bought a few ago now sprouting in bedroom window sill ...........Grin
Report Smar Tarse November 28, 2017 10:45 AM GMT
I couldn't give my Razzamataz chilli peppers away, nobody interested in those particular freebies !  Tomatoes, Carrots, Lettuce etc oooh yes please, hot chilli peppers errrr no thank you was always the reply Mischief
Report Smar Tarse December 4, 2017 4:43 PM GMT
Think i might have something in the Hedghog House !  Well i can't be sure but i think the gret fat ginger cat that has been sitting on top of it staring at the entrance for the past hour might be a clue  Devil
Report screaming from beneaththewaves December 5, 2017 1:50 PM GMT
Mice (nap)
Rats (nb)
Report Smar Tarse December 5, 2017 6:46 PM GMT
I have seen both in my garden this year, but not lately. I have one of those Trail cameras, i really should get around to setting it up in that area. Blush
Report Deltâ December 5, 2017 10:10 PM GMT
I want to know now ...


hurry up ...
Report blackbarn December 6, 2017 4:01 PM GMT
B loody mice - Living as we do in the middle of the Sussex countryside, mice in the roof-space are a regular occurrence in winter.  No matter of course, several Little Nipper traps baited with Peanut Butter does the trick. 

Until this year, all traps unsprung, mice still shuffling about all hours of the night. I put this down to a significant deterioration in the quality of Peanut Butter.  I have today baited four traps with Carrot (newly dug), Cheese(newly unwrapped), Chocolate (ditto) plus a fresh loading of Peanut Butter (Control sample!)  More news tomorrow.
Report Deltâ December 6, 2017 6:02 PM GMT
4/6 Peanut butter
5/4 cheese
5's chocolate
33' carrot
Grin
Report blackbarn December 6, 2017 6:28 PM GMT
Delta - At the beginning of the season, I would have agreed with you.  Two factors to consider, Peanut Butter has not worked thus far, over three weeks of the season. The Carrots are my own out of the garden (I dug them this morning!). Said carrot was carefully poached in salted water with a little black pepper, then carefully drained, drenched with a little butter and placed carefully on said Little Nipper.

Anyone required details of the cheese or chocolate is welcome to post. Our usual mouse variety is (almost invariably) the Long Tailed Fieldmouse.

I will have a fiver on Carrot, with a £2 saver on chocolate.  You can rely on me to be scrupulously?? (and totally) honest with any results.
Report Smar Tarse December 6, 2017 6:42 PM GMT
Got rat sized holes in my compost heap today Devil That is next where the hog house is and where the fat cat hangs out, the cat was there again today.

Delta - no large batteries atm, iam going to hook it up to mains psu and leave it out for weeks.
Report Deltâ December 6, 2017 8:12 PM GMT
33's was raw carrot blackbarn, didnt realise you had heston blumenthaled it!
Report blackbarn December 6, 2017 9:01 PM GMT
You could have askedCool
Report Deltâ December 8, 2017 2:19 PM GMT
hurry up ...
Report Smar Tarse December 9, 2017 6:44 AM GMT
Finally got my seed order Crazy  Delay due to a warehouse move, they should hurry up ...
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 12:39 PM GMT
420 pictures to look at, here is just one of them. Date and time are correct.

Took a minute to spot it Grin

Report Deltâ December 11, 2017 2:29 PM GMT
CAT Shocked
Report Foinavon December 11, 2017 2:35 PM GMT
The hedgehogs are hibernating in the compost heap, it's warmer there.
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 4:36 PM GMT
I hope not! I am still forking stuff into it Scared
Report Smar Tarse December 11, 2017 6:08 PM GMT
Rats Mischief























Report Deltâ December 14, 2017 2:40 PM GMT
hurry up blackbarn ...
Report Smar Tarse December 24, 2017 9:27 AM GMT
My lawn is growing again Mischief The birds are singing like it is spring already.

Talking of birds, i have an odd couple in the garden for about a week or so now, a Starling and a Pied Wagtail !  They walk around the lawn together, and only appear in the garden together.

The Starling is a bit of a surprise as i haven't seen one in my garden for donkeys years.
Report sixtwosix December 24, 2017 4:29 PM GMT
Still got peppers turning red on plants in the back bedroom on Xmas Eve .
Report Smar Tarse December 28, 2017 8:56 PM GMT
-6.1°c in the polytunnel last night Plain My Sweet pea seedlings are still looking well in there.
Report Foinavon December 28, 2017 11:59 PM GMT
I like a bit of hard frost, it puts the slugs in their place. Hard crunchy snow and ice here. Having to feed the birds twice a day. Mr Robin perches on a twig near the shed making sure he's the first to the suet pellets as the hit the ground whereas Mr Blackbird sits on high waiting for me to go inside before venturing down to scavenge for mealworms. Loads of activity while the food lasts.
Report Deltâ January 12, 2018 1:37 PM GMT
blackbarn   


disappointed no mouse bait update!


Zeina cucumber seeds still on exhibition seeds for 2018 @ £4.50 for 5


Thompson & Morgan ceased their retail packet but their wholesale arm direct2grower are getting rid of the last of the seed at £10.50 for 100, if you are interested
Report blackbarn January 12, 2018 3:19 PM GMT
Delta - Sorry mate!   Nothing in all four first time round, then discovered Mrs Barn had changed our usual brand of peanut butter - Discovered by Grandaughter 1 - "Grandma, I don't like this peanut butter".

So back to Sun Pat! and Bingo, back to normal, six of the bu88ers in a week, and nothing since.  Sophisticated, those Long Tailed FieldmiceWink

Might get some Zeina for this coming season. We grew a new exhibition variety last year - cant remember the name or find the label.  They were really good.  Straightest we have ever grown and very tasty too.  I will let you know when I find the label.
Report Deltâ January 12, 2018 3:44 PM GMT
tar
Report Foinavon January 28, 2018 4:12 PM GMT
It was a lovely morning today so went to do some tidying up on the allotment.
The garlic heads that were left in the ground last summer are growing strongly now and are ready for transplanting when I get around to it. There are a couple of dozen of these so plenty to eat fresh too.

Report Deltâ January 28, 2018 8:46 PM GMT
done me first bit of digging over Cry
Report Hank Hill February 12, 2018 11:04 PM GMT
First time planting garlic and had about half of them sprout. The trouble is a handful of times I'd go up to the plot I saw some had been dug up. Any advice in stopping whatever it is from digging them up? Is there something in particular that likes to get at the buried garlic?
Report Deltâ February 12, 2018 11:17 PM GMT
net them ?



its time again [end Feb] for Garlic planting 2 for your later crop
Report Foinavon February 12, 2018 11:40 PM GMT
Hank, they are being pulled out by birds who see the straw coloured tips poking out and think there might be something interesting to eat underneath. Just bury them a bit deeper so they are properly covered, they will still grow through.
Report Deltâ February 26, 2018 9:08 AM GMT
meant to start this years plantings yesterday, but minus 6 overnight for Monday and Tuesday has put paid to that!
Report Smar Tarse March 9, 2018 7:24 PM GMT
Gardeners' World

Episode 1 of 29 | Season 51
Fri 9 Mar
8:30pm-9:00pm

Happy
Report breadnbutter May 12, 2018 4:51 PM BST
Anyone got trouble with thar Rhubarb flowering ?,forced mine and got a nice load of stems a month ago then bang ,goes wild with rapid growth of flowering heads ,now a mass of flowers .Thought it might just be due to forcing but every Rhubarb patch I see is flowering .Must be temp related and possibly due to the warm period and then the cold blast from the east .Any know if the flowering heads should be removed or left ? And is it ok to eat ,some saying it does not taste so good once in flower but can't say myself . Anyone make wine from it ? Was reading you should not eat the leaves and some say not to compost them ? Must have a resident Rhubarb expert ,also what is best to feed and when ?
Report Smar Tarse May 12, 2018 5:09 PM BST
I have got three different spots with Rhubarb, all shot up to about 4 feet tall in a very short space of time. I was warned by the person who gave it me though that it did nowt but flower. I thought a change of ground/care might change that.

I have always composted all of my Rhubarb leaves, my compost gets mixed into everything i grow without any problems.
Report breadnbutter May 12, 2018 5:43 PM BST
Yea ,notice the slugs don't bother with it ,sometimes chop some leaves up and put around the young  Runners ,seems to work . Have a main patch of traditional thick stem stuff but it's not the best tasting after a month or so and a couple of smaller patches of "champagne " but they don't seem to be so vigorous ,taste better (sweeter) and  have smaller stalks but can't take too much or they seem to slow right up ,the older traditional stuff is supposed to be best suited to forcing ,a lot of the traditional crop strains have been super ceded but the knew gens don't like cold spells /wind/wet and it can all go wrong ,more low nighttime temps forecast this coming week but 3rd week in May is about the long term average for late frost . Hardly any bees on the go and if the pear trees fail again they going on the fire .Been fed and it's last chance saloon time,going to try and do some pollination with a fine brush just to see if that is the issue but pissed off with them and if they don't set fruit the axe awaits .
Report sixtwosix May 12, 2018 8:55 PM BST
Apple trees flowering , one is a 3 in 1 variety.
Pear tree after five years growing but still no flowers just lots of leaves.
At least 100 strawberry and pineberry plants growing
Gooseberry , raspberry , blackcurrant and blackberry all look like flowering and fruiting
11 bags of spuds , purple salad , pink fir apple and shetland black varieties
vegetable patch has
about 30 pea plants climbing up the netting that surrounds it to keep my and other cats out......and cabbage whites.
garlic
broad beans
parsnips
New Zealand yam(oka) ....supposed to produce potato like legumes , but not until the end of its life , so not to be picked until frost has killed the plant.
Report Deltâ May 28, 2018 3:42 PM BST
gonna be a bumper year for fruit, is my prediction!
Report breadnbutter May 29, 2018 1:14 PM BST
Looks that way ATM but not so sure the end result will reflect the current apparent abundance ,a bumper year for tree fruit a cheap lay imo . Gave my Pear trees a shake last and the set fruit is falling fairly easily ,there is a huge amount and although it's natures way but for some reason  Pears are notorious for shedding the lot.
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