What are you growing this year ?

Out by the shed, near the chicken coop. The place everyone hangs out to discuss the various edibles they raise in their gardens/allotments.

Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » March 31st, 2017, 9:16 am

Unread postby StokeySue » March 30th, 2017, 6:54 pm
scullion may of course have other issues

i probably do - but not about james wong - that was badger's mate.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » March 31st, 2017, 9:20 am

What's wrong with James Wong?!


I've never met the guy, so shouldn't be too harsh. I too have got 'Grow for flavour' which is why I was very interested to now how the 'Glen Coe' raspberries turned out. Thanks for your comments, I will probably try them now.

What annoys me is that he makes much of being a scientist, then makes statements such as 'Grow tomatoes that are 1.5 times sweeter with 50% more vitamin C'. The scientist in me tuts and asks "than what?" There are many examples of this. Also several 'myth busting' revelations that are essentially demolishing straw men.

Many years ago there was an excellent pair of books from the National Vegetable Research Station called 'Know and Grow Vegetables'. It was written by staff at the NRVS, and summarised current research findings and how they can be used by home gardeners. This is what 'Grow for Flavour' claims to do, but these days it has to be presented by a 'celebrity'.

Despite my grumbling, I'm quite happy to try new varieties and ideas. When I finally get around to making a strawberry bed I will try some red plastic under it. Haven't yet got around to spraying aspirin in the greenhouse though... :D
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » March 31st, 2017, 9:55 am

Badger's mate wrote:What annoys me is that he makes much of being a scientist, then makes statements such as 'Grow tomatoes that are 1.5 times sweeter with 50% more vitamin C'. The scientist in me tuts and asks "than what?" There are many examples of this. Also several 'myth busting' revelations that are essentially demolishing straw men.


unfortunately, the media has to pander to the masses - and most of they there masses don't have a science based degree or keep up with new findings so information has to be given in an easy to digest way. my partner shouts the same sort of things, as you probably do, at the telly. i am a little more tolerant.
maybe there should be a channel for those needing more accurate facts.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby StokeySue » March 31st, 2017, 10:19 am

Sorry I misidentified you, I keep scrolling too fast on this tablet and not getting things lined up.
I like the way Trust Me I'm a Doctor deals with the evidence, bright and breezy on screen, tabulations and references on a web page. In a book there seems no reason not to put these details into a block that you can read or not, as some of the newspapers do.
Sue
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » March 31st, 2017, 10:48 am

I bought some red plastic, Badger. (Not that easy to source.) Yes I was a little wary of implementing some of his suggestions. I don't grow enough of anything to risk some 'deaths' in the name of scientific experimentation!

I think I based a lot of my tomato choices on his recommendation. Not sure if these will even arrive (in time.) I decided to give a specialist company a second chance after they messed up spectacularly (and most amateurishly) last year - and not just with me. On a big scale. The tomatoes arrived too late in the season to crop much. I shall get some backups (and will probably end up with 20 plants!)

The Ben Sarek blackcurrant and the black raspberry were Mr Wong's suggestions too.

Re not so good science, the same is almost certainly true of most academic disciplines shown on tv etc. History, I notice, in particular.

Meanwhile, I am worried that my psb is not coming on quickly enough (for me.) Lots of seedlings but no true leaves and I am going away on the 12th for 10 days. I can arrange for things to be watered but am worried that if they are not ready to be pricked out by then, they may be while I am away. Mind you I have too many... Survival of the fittest?!

I am going to put some manure around my fruit bushes when I get home today. Ah the joys of getting home in the light!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » March 31st, 2017, 11:05 am

i picked a second lot of purple sprouting (from our garden) yesterday from a plant that has been in the ground for three or more years.

as long as they have enough water i wouldn't worry about the need to be pricked out for a couple of weeks if they're not looking far enough on. they'll catch up/survive. i have, in the past, collected the baby spring cabbage plants dropped from farm trailers on the road and planted them in the garden before now. they're much larger than most people would leave before pricking out, survived being bare rooted for a while (in the middle of the road) and still grew. they're quite resilient.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » March 31st, 2017, 11:36 am

I'm generally wary of celebrity endorsements but on vegetable varieties the suggestion to grow the tomato 'Andine Cornue' was a season wasted. That was Monty's fault. I used to think Monty was a right plank but I have warmed to him in recent years. Maybe I'll become a fan of James after a few funny raspberries. :D

In spite of myself I also took some advice from 'Kew on a plate' and bought a few 'Belle de Fontenay' seed potatoes to try. RB's strawberry suggestions sound interesting, so I would probably start the bed up with those.

Assuming the PSB is to crop next spring I wouldn't worry if you have some 'mustard and cress' to deal with on your return. The growth might get checked a bit when you come to untangling it but there is plenty of time for recovery. I grow way too many seedlings and sell the surplus at bring & buys for a couple of charities.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Zosherooney » March 31st, 2017, 2:49 pm

Mr. Z. has dug over two of my veg beds and they will be planted with carrots and 'snips in the next day or so. :bounce:

I have just planted in old supermarket meat trays (punched to allow drainage) some of all the seeds we bought back from Dubrovnik. so that will be, big pear shaped toms, long plum toms, yellow peppers, short knobbly cucs, and long skinny sweet peppers. These trays fit in my propagator and will overnight in that, and will go into the greenhouse weather being warm.

I ordered today from Westcountry Lupins a chocolate vine and a red jasmine. Now to find somewhere to locate them when they arrive !!!!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 2nd, 2017, 8:39 pm

I had an email today from my specialist tomato growers today (not a personal one, mind, but a self proclaimed round robin to prevent mass complaints... like last year) to say that they sowed their seed later than planned and a lot of it has not come up??!!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 2nd, 2017, 8:42 pm

thanks for your reassurance re PSB, badger. Peas are coming up now too. They seem more robust though.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 3rd, 2017, 8:20 am

If the seedlings are a bit pale, tall & skinny ('etiolated' :geek: ) you could always try stroking them... :D
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 3rd, 2017, 9:44 am

or put them in the light!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 3rd, 2017, 12:23 pm

I have been stroking them, actually, Badger :D Considered talking too. Some of them are showing signs of true leaves now. My cat sitters are likely to be faced with a whole kitchen table of things to water at this rate. (Although there's a quandary in itself. Where to put hem. Basil (cat) tends to jump on the table.

I know I worry too much (about trivial things)...!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Luca » April 3rd, 2017, 12:31 pm

Amongst other things I am growing French Tarragon from seed this year and have many little seedlings. I know that I should thin them up quite a bit but when should I do this and at what height (approx) could I plant out individually? Thanks from a novice Tarragon grower!
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 3rd, 2017, 1:10 pm

You could try potting them on. I suppose it depends upon how many tarragon plants you want and how many seedlings you've got, but the time to act is once they are big enough to handle and before they start competing with each other and getting their roots tangled up.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 3rd, 2017, 1:17 pm

Sorry, I should add that my French tarragon successfully overwinters on the plot, but a young seedling might be too tender, so I would be inclined to keep them in trays/pots until May, in case of frost. I used to regard May 1st onwards as frost safe when I lived in Edmonton. So I would plant them outside based on time of year rather than size of seedling. Once established they should be OK, especially in town.

HTH
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Luca » April 3rd, 2017, 2:09 pm

Thank you Badger's mate. Very useful. I think I shall have to pot them on next weekend and I will keep on windowsill for the time being. I'm hoping to grow a lot as friends have asked for some. We shall see! :D
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 4th, 2017, 9:15 am

Should one wait for the true leaves to appear?

And do peas have them?!

I am in a slight quandary at the moment as some of the seeds in my heated propagator have come up and some haven't. Not sure whether it's ok to leave the ones that have come up in there. Will they go spindly? Sorry real 'from seed' novice here. My mum gave me lots of little plant pots at the weekend :)
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 4th, 2017, 10:21 am

Can you move the propagator to somewhere better lit? Otherwise either prick out the germinated ones, or move the whole tray to a well lit place and let the others take their chance. They will still come up if they're viable, just take a bit longer, assuming the temperature is above their threshold for development, which for peas is quite low, about 5°C I think.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 4th, 2017, 12:52 pm

I use plant modules for some things, one sort is a tray with 49 compartments. If I use it for tomatoes, I can fill it with three or four varieties and they all come up at roughly the same rate. If I use it for peppers and chillies, there might be a delay. One of these trays has just been sown half with tomatillos and half celeriac. I expect there might be differential germination and I'll have to take a punt on the best time to move things. Celeriac seedlings are tiny and there are bound to be losses on transplanting, hence modules can help. Pea seedlings are relatively robust. They've got seed leaves, but are typically transplanted once they're a bit bigger with true leaves, again though, as long as they're not getting their roots tangled up too much. They can grow perfectly well sown directly into the ground. However if I did that they'd be mouse food. I use 'rootrainers' for peas and beans, and reuse them for sweetcorn.

For cabbages and their ilk, various flowers and herbs I use quarter sized seed trays and prick them out into small pots for growing on.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 4th, 2017, 2:27 pm

yes, peas do have true leaves. the seed leaves are the cotyledons that held all the energy for the young plant to use before it started taking on fuel from the ground and are pushed up as the first photosynthesising leaves before the true leaves grow.
i wouldn't bother putting peas and beans in a propagator, they will germinate quite happily in a cold frame at the moment, if they're in pots or, if you soak them in paraffin - and give an order to the cat to watch over them - they can be sown straight into the garden. we have them in long trays of modules and fibre modules, hanging from the roof of the polytunnel as we have had mouse attack before now.
peas, beans and things like sweetcorn are less happy to be pricked out than things like tomatoes - they're not too happy at having their roots disturbed once they're growing.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 5th, 2017, 10:35 am

okra, bulgarian carrot chillies and more courgettes went into the propagator yesterday (with the heat raised) and the melons came out. the sweet potato slips are taking their time so they may like the slightly higher temp, too.
today i'll sow some of the long beans i was given last week - some for home, some for the community garden.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 5th, 2017, 1:17 pm

Never tried okra. is it something you do regularly? Last year I grew quite a bit of South American stuff; various herbs, of which pipiche was probably the most useful, and a couple of trial veg, achocha and cucamelon. Didn't rate the latter much - piddling little things that taste vaguely of cucumber. Another James Wong recommendation, incidentally. Achochas were very productive, but I wouldn't want many.


Got some early spuds and red onion sets in. There's often a late frost on the site (once wiped out a row of bush tomatoes that were mulched with straw, covered in a mesh tunnel, with fleece over it :() and spuds sometimes get a check, but the earlies are covered in fleece and won't be up for a while in any case. We're going away for a bit and I'll sow a load of things just before we go to spare the plantsitters too many seedlings to tend.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 5th, 2017, 3:52 pm

My propagator peas are mostly up. My outdoors ones are not. Which is fine, as if they if come up, they will be staggered, I imagine. I have some coming up from last year, mysteriously... must have fallen off the plant I grew in a pot, I suppose. No idea what they are. Could be purple mange tout.

I have some pipiche coming up, I think. (I sowed several South American herbs - labelled but not examined which have come up.) I grew cucamelon a couple of years ago. It was successful but I didn't really rate them either so haven't bothered again.
Yes, a few of those Suttons exotics have been a bit of a waste of money e.g. Chilean Guava - never had a fruit off the several plants I bought. I need to try and curb my attraction to the novel!

I grew oca last year - lots of foliage, but no tubers.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 6th, 2017, 10:28 am

no, it's not a regular. i tried it years ago but had no success. these are seeds given to me by a friend (along with the 'yard' long bean seeds). she's grown them before, over in aggie, so i'm giving them another go for the poly tunnel and a few plants for outside just to see how they do - if they germinate..
achocha is a good one for kids to grow - they produce loads and can be eaten straight from the plant but i agree, the flavour is 'subtle'. we grew oca a couple of years ago, too. the tubers we were given were of a really decent size. the lad who grew them grew loads every year. they didn't like our garden very much - it's amazing what a difference a couple of miles makes.
we'll be digging the poly tunnel potatoes in a couple of weeks and the outdoor earlies are well up.

see if there's a seed swap near you. you can end up trying loads of different things for the cost of the part used packets of seeds you take or the seeds you've collected from good varieties you've grown or a small donation. we get a lot of heritage seeds donated from a seed bank, too.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 6th, 2017, 11:22 am

My accidental peas from last year have been consumed by slugs, I just discovered. I had put the pot somewhere I thought was safe :( Meanwhile new outdoor sown peas are coming up today. (They have made visible progress this morning!) Also spotted some (possibly) flower seedlings coming up. Odd as the equivalent sown indoors have not (poppies). But they could just be weeds...

My oca was in a large pot. I'd like to try them to eat, but don't think I will bother trying to grow them again. It's a relatively long haul project for possible no reward. (Not that I put much effort into it.)
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Badger's mate » April 6th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Someone told me recently that they grew both oca and yacon last year, the oca was a poor yield but the yacon was much more worthwhile.

In addition to pipiche I grew papalo and huacatay. Papalo is quite a distinctive citrus/menthol sort of flavour that I grew for a couple of years, it makes an interesting addition to salsa. I haven't bought seed this season, but might do so again.

Huacatay is Tagetes minuta which you can buy more widely under its botanical name. It's sort of minty, I prefer mint. It is however, supposed to be possessed of weed suppressant qualities. Not sure about that...

Pipiche is a great sub for coriander at those times when one lot of coriander has gone to seed and the next isn't ready.

I have grown tomatillos for a number of years, both the violet and the green ones. For some reason I have never saved seed from them, I suspect it's easy.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Zosherooney » April 6th, 2017, 3:39 pm

This warm weather is really working a treat, my propagator goes into the greenhouse during the day and comes indoors and gets plugged in at night. 2 tommys through and 3 cucs.

The chocolate vine is now winding its way up the arch over the drive and the red jasmine is thriving with a generous watering in the evenings. New rose looks happy.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 6th, 2017, 4:49 pm

It is my pepich that is coming up. I didn't sow much. I also sowed some...? Not sure I had an order which included the pepiche, papalo, quillquina and the latter two sachets are missing. Hmm.

These are my indoor started peas. Time to prick out or no? They are in two inch peat pots for ref.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 6th, 2017, 4:50 pm

Zosh I want to so sow cucs. WIll it still be ok to do so in two weeks time, do you think?
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 7th, 2017, 8:16 am

don't prick them out. the peat pots are designed to be planted along with the peas.
if they are indoors start hardening them off by putting them outside, in a sheltered place, during the day and bringing them in at night (for a few days) before planting them out.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 7th, 2017, 9:56 am

There is more than one per pot though...

I did put them outside yesterday. Wondering whether to put them outside before I go on holiday. They won't get watered if they are outside, and they may get slugged... could netting protect them from the latter? (Somewhat.) Sorry I am going on about them too much.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 7th, 2017, 10:51 am

no, leave them all in the same pot, they'll do just as well, really, if your soils ok, and splitting them up might give them a check.
they may get slugged - but no more than overnight if you were at home. netting may not be particularly effective as slugs go through the soil, not just on top. try slug pellets. you can get iron based ones rather than the copper variety which aren't harmful to birds.
if you're not expecting it to rain while you're away you could make some self watering devices with plastic bottles (we've mentioned them in the past).
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby liketocook » April 7th, 2017, 7:16 pm

I'm hoping my toms & chilli seeds appear soon, 24 types of tom a mix of basket ones and cordons and 2 types of chilli: red alert which my friends brought back from New Zealand and Hungarian Hot Wax. As you can gather I do like my toms :D and I find because I'm all in pots the yield isn't as good. I've been good this year and only planted a few seeds of each type, if they come through spares will find a good home with friends and family :)
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Zosherooney » April 8th, 2017, 6:17 am

Herb, I take it you mean in pots in doors or in a greenhouse ? Too cold outside - Bbbrrrrr ! Mine are now showing through, given the frosts I would do mine indoors, when you do come to put them out in the greenhouse overnight in 3+ weeks make sure you use some sort of slug repellant, or the blighters will come along and nibble the tops off.

Peas are looking good :tu: :tu: What are the foreign sounding things you are growing ????
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 8th, 2017, 10:02 am

i was assuming she meant to plant them out.
as she's in london she will have the 'heat island effect' and have similar temperatures to down here, at the moment. i planted pea plants of the same size outdoors last week.
i have two large pots of clivia that have had to spend the last couple of winters outside. their leaves are beautiful and glossy - and they have two flower spikes on, as does my strelizia which has also spent the last few winters in the garden. global warming has a lot to answer for - but a benefit on that account.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 8th, 2017, 2:59 pm

Actually I just meant lot them on. There are two peas per pot. I am pretty sure they would be rare. If I put them out now when they are so small.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 8th, 2017, 3:02 pm

I grow my toms in a quad grow ltc. Works well self watering and feeding. That's a lot of pots/tomatoes! And a lot of watering.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby liketocook » April 8th, 2017, 3:44 pm

I grow my toms in a quad grow ltc. Works well self watering and feeding. That's a lot of pots/tomatoes! And a lot of watering.

Thanks I've looked at these and tbh can't justify the expense just now but definitely on my wish list. That said I don't mind the looking after them - I've far too much time on my hands these days and I'm limited in what I can do/manage so it gives me something that I can potter about with and enjoy :D
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Zosherooney » April 9th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Sad to say, I managed to poach my cucs, yesterday :( So have sown a new lot and will be more vigilant in future..... these temps are a little extreme for the time of year.... just need a bit more stability...
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby liketocook » April 10th, 2017, 5:17 pm

The first of my tomato seedlings are through :D
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Zosherooney » April 27th, 2017, 2:15 pm

My cucs need pricking out, my tommys will need doing fairly soon and my carrots are (finally) through. No sign of the 'snips ??
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Hope » April 27th, 2017, 3:20 pm

I've planted potatoes (in the ground and bags) but some got frosted last night. I've never known a frost this late before! I've been eating homegrown C&CA salad for a few weeks and have another pot almost ready to start harvesting. I've planted a pot of small carrots (but the seed might be too old) and another pot of peas. I can't grow much veg in the ground because the slugs and snails eat it all. I sowed courgette seeds at the weekend and some more salad leaves - I'm trying really hard to sow them successionally so I don't have to buy any salad. And I bought two tomato plants today (which I will take cuttings of to increase my stock). Probably sow some beans next week.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Luca » April 27th, 2017, 4:01 pm

I have lots of rocket and mixed lettuces growing outside along with sorrel, tarragon (plenty inside too in case of further hailstorms) and spinach. Over the weekend I hope the weather will be clement and I can get to a nursery and look into tomatoes and courgettes...
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Catherine » April 27th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Luca wrote:I have lots of rocket and mixed lettuces growing outside along with sorrel, tarragon (plenty inside too in case of further hailstorms) and spinach. Over the weekend I hope the weather will be clement and I can get to a nursery and look into tomatoes and courgettes...


:tu:
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 28th, 2017, 9:44 am

liketocook wrote:
I grow my toms in a quad grow ltc. Works well self watering and feeding. That's a lot of pots/tomatoes! And a lot of watering.

Thanks I've looked at these and tbh can't justify the expense just now but definitely on my wish list. That said I don't mind the looking after them - I've far too much time on my hands these days and I'm limited in what I can do/manage so it gives me something that I can potter about with and enjoy :D


I wonder if you could make your own. Really it's just pots, with a 'wick' threaded through them, then positioned on top of a 'tank' of water and plant food. You can buy the 'wicks'. They look a bit like thick j-cloths, but they aren't expensive anyway
http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/feedermats.html

I must order some more. No sign of tomato plants yet from my supplier :( But still quite early.

I would say that just over 50% of the PSB that I priced out are ok but not doing much. Need to do some more pricing out. Sow some more peas. Prepare raised beds with nematodes then plant out peas? Or wait a bit longer?

Lots of my fruit trees have tiny fruit on them. Glass pin head sized on gooseberries, small on the various coloured currants, bigger on the jostaberries. Need to investigate netting.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 28th, 2017, 10:21 am

planted a couple of courgette plants in the poly tunnel, the rest will be going outside in a couple of weeks. potted on more tomatoes (- currant ones - we have quite a few tomatoes - some to sell on), the melons, some okra, and some more young courgettes.
i've taken the first slip off the sweet potato in the propagator and put it in water to root. i'm looking forward to the outcome of this experiment.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby scullion » April 29th, 2017, 4:17 pm

i am absolutely gobsmacked - can't think of a better way to put it - the slip that i took off yesterday morning has roots on it already, about a quarter to a third of an inch long. I've taken a couple more off.
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby liketocook » April 29th, 2017, 8:40 pm

I wonder if you could make your own. Really it's just pots, with a 'wick' threaded through them, then positioned on top of a 'tank' of water and plant food. You can buy the 'wicks'. They look a bit like thick j-cloths, but they aren't expensive anyway
http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/feedermats.html

Not quite the same but I sink a small holed plant pot in my pots and then up end a cut off water bottle in to it. A cheap way of giving a water/feed - it's not very pretty but does the job and easy to top up :)
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Re: What are you growing this year ?

Postby Herbidacious » April 30th, 2017, 8:12 am

I have done that too ltc.

The claimed positive of the quadgrow (apart from not having to water the plants frequently) is that it gives a consistent and continual source of food and water - no famine or drought for the plants. In principle, I imagine your method could be doing the same.

A funny thing happened to both my potted figs on Friday. They were both looking a bit wilty, so I watered them. But they didn't perk up as they usually do, and when I got back from visiting my mother, that leaves had completely shrivelled and died. This seems very strange. So, to tie in with the thread title, I suppose I won't be growing figs this year. I hope the plants survive. One of them (in a huge pot) was bought as a sort of little wedding present to self (we didn't have much money in those days...) i.e. it's about 16 years old.
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