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Source: (consider it) Thread: Happy Gardening 2014!
Yangtze
Shipmate
# 4965

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I spoke too soon re the slug'n'snails. One bean has had it's lower leaves stripped and I don't think is going to survive.

Little blighters.

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Posts: 2022 | From: the smallest town in England | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
If it's allowed I'd second the suggestion that you do what you can and cover the rest. Depending on the landlord you might be able to rent as little as a quarter plot, which would be much more manageable.

I do now have a quarter plot, most of which is covered with a tarpaulin. It's about finding a weekday evening when it's not raining, I'm not supposed to be somewhere else, and have the energy to go. It's a bit too late in the season to get anything started now, anyway. But I ought to make an effort at some point soon.
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daisydaisy
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# 12167

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At this time of year I find that harvesting and dealing with it takes more time than doing much else. My freezers are now full of (mainly) soft fruit, and yesterday I started off blackberry wine. Next is jelly and jam making - blackberry jelly to start with, then marrow (really large courgettes!) and ginger jam, and later on gooseberry (from the freezer) jam. But I still need to keep an eye on the weeds and general maintenance of the plot - who needs gym membership [Cool]
Posts: 3184 | From: southern uk | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
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# 14768

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I think I'm going to have to go up the garden with a pair of disposable gloves and a bin bag, as I suspect that something I have vaguely labelled in mind as a generic weed may be a return of the very interesting plant I found on my first entering the garden when I moved in. Datura stramonium, aka Jimsonweed, aka thornapple. I just looked it up because of having mentioned it to a neighbour today, and thinking of an odd reference in Kipling*, and saw a picture of the leaves. When I moved in it was bigger, and in bud, and my brain instantly flagged it up as a problem. After rejecting the possibility of its being giant hogweed, it produced the right identification. The RHS produced the care with which it should be disposed of, and as our local council incinerates household waste, that's where it went. That was five years ago, and I didn't let its fruits mature.

*In the poem La Nuit Blanche about someone having a night of hallucinations, he writes "they said I had the "jims" on", and once, some time ago, I saw a suggestion that the expression derived from jimsonweed. All I can find now are references to "jimjams" as originally a description of the DTs. The described state could also be related to the states induced by the alkaloids of datura. If anyone out there has come across the reference, I'd like to know. It was in a book, as a footnote to the poem, and not findable by a search engine.

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Chamois
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# 16204

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Two days of rain have made the runner beans go wild. I've just dug up the first carrot (it was going to be two carrots for supper, but the first one turned out to be enormous) and it tasted delicious!

The down side of the rain is that a lot of my remaining tomatoes have split. The small, cherry tomatoes are generally OK but some of the big yellow ones have split and so have most of the ones with red and orange stripes. Luckily the striped ones were almost finished.

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Likewise the runners are going berserk - being on a floodplain by a river, we can get night mists at almost any time of year, and the runners love it, all that moisture really helps them set!

Lifted my spuds last night - one stub of Kestrel and one of International Kidney (which I should have eaten weeks ago...) suffering from tuber blight*, but what was really odd was that everything that wanted to munch my spuds had concentrated on the one row of Marfona! They were slugged to hell, and a mouse had made a nest under the first stub, and dined out as well. Just one other stub apart from the Marfona with any significant slug damage!

AG

*Helicon players should be unaffected, though.

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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daisydaisy
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# 12167

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News from the allotment is mixed - all the heritage tomatoes that I planted at the allotment are fruiting well but unfortunately are blighted, however the ones at home seem to be fine.
Courgettes are still merrily setting and growing and I plan to try out some marrow wine with them.
One butternut squash has set, although I don't think there is time for it to become useful - this happened last year although they've been fine previously.
Raspberries are disappointing again - I'll have a hunt for some advice on how to get them happy once again.
The blackberries have been superb - really plump & juicy, and still fruiting - now the freezer is full I am jamming and wine-making, and enjoying them at every opportunity.
I'm looking forward to getting digging and cutting back - I love a good bonfire (and we are allowed these).

Posts: 3184 | From: southern uk | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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We have had an amazing year for tomatoes, literally hundreds and hundreds of them. Jerusalem artichokes rather stunted this year, possibly not enough rain, or they are going into decline.

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Roseofsharon
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# 9657

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My runner beans were a bit slow to start, but in the past month have steadily provided enough for us & the next door neighbours, however, we've had several misty moisty mornings recently and they have gone berserk!

The neighburs are on holiday this week, so we've been beaned out. Fortunately the church craft group met this morning, so I got rid of a good basketful there.

The plants have grown way out of my reach, even standing on a stool, so it's out with the stepladder this afternoon to reach the topmost bunches. The resulting pickings will have to go out at the gate in the hope that someone will take them.

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Half of my small crop of small tomatoes grew against the wall of the growhouse. I cannot describe how revolting it was to reach for what looked like a nice truss and get a handful of large slug. Every one they could get, they got.
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Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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I've had to fight the slugs for my tomatoes, too. Luckily I caught sight of a big brown slug disappearing under the fence next to them - HE won't be cold this winter!

The runner beans are in full production, the courgettes are doing well (the slugs got two of the plants in spite of pellets), the carrots are excellent and at the weekend I dug up several pounds of bonus potatoes. I didn't plant potatoes this year but I was evidently not too careful about harvesting them all last year and several plants came up.

My raspberries have been excellent. They are still fruiting but I'm no longer picking them because they've lost their flavour.

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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One of mine has died and so I have to take it all out - it is one with red pictures and I don't know why it died.
I always feed the birds out there and there are many little ones as well as the very big ones. They enjoy the food and often sing. So I whistle to them as I put in the food as well as working about the ones that need tidied, at least not the red one.

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monkeylizard

Ship's scurvy
# 952

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The watermelons were a bust. They never fully ripened before the cucumber beatles spread their filth and caused the vines to wilt. The squash and zucchini succumbed to the squash bugs, but I managed to get enough harvested from them that I'm not sorely disappointed. I was getting tired of zucchini. [Smile]

Brussel sprouts are forming well. The weather is cooling so they should start coming along quickly.

I put out a fall crop of swiss chard, spinach, sweet peas, and a couple of lettuce varieties. They're sprouting now. I should have some lettuce in about a week with spinach to follow a week after.

Cherry tomatoes are still throwing off fruit like crazy.

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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. ~ Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

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Ariel
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# 58

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Cross-gartered? And yellow and red? And smiling? Forsooth!

Thread closed

Ariel
Heaven Host

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Chamois
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# 16204

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Er, anyone here? I've been hiding in my garden shed waiting for H&A Day to go by.

Is it safe to come out yet?

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Chamois
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# 16204

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(Looks over shoulder nervously.... everything seems to be back to normal ....... let's give it a try.........)

During all the recent excitement on the ship I've been picking the last of my tomatoes. The 4th truss on Yellow Perfection wasn't ripening and neither were the 3rd and 4th trusses on Tigerella, although Gardener's Delight was still doing OK.

I've now got a big tray of green and greenish tomatoes in the kitchen. Any suggestions for speeding up the ripening process indoors?

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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ArachnidinElmet
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# 17346

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
(Looks over shoulder nervously.... everything seems to be back to normal ....... let's give it a try.........)

During all the recent excitement on the ship I've been picking the last of my tomatoes. The 4th truss on Yellow Perfection wasn't ripening and neither were the 3rd and 4th trusses on Tigerella, although Gardener's Delight was still doing OK.

I've now got a big tray of green and greenish tomatoes in the kitchen. Any suggestions for speeding up the ripening process indoors?

The traditional method is a paper bag or enclosed space and a banana. The banana gives off some kind of chemical that speeds up ripening in other fruit.

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'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

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Drifting Star

Drifting against the wind
# 12799

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All good methods, but green tomato chutney is wonderful - much better than red. You don't even need to skin the tomatoes because the green skin dissolves away all by itself.

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The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Heraclitus

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Ferijen
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# 4719

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I'm thrilled that for the first time in years I've got some tomatoes ripening (late, very late, for the south coast UK, although I think I planted them out quite late - can't remember) without getting blight.

I've tried growing them more years than not, and EVERY year I've been caught, apart from this one.

Unfortunately I now have a toddler who is very interested in picking green tomatoes off the plant, but I can't have it all.

Just hoping that we can continue to have a bit more sunshine to ripen enough to make it worth it (the first couple are ready).

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Roseofsharon
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# 9657

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quote:
Originally posted by Ferijen:
I've got some tomatoes ripening <snip>without getting blight.

I can't grow tomatoes in my veg plot as it is in a blight hotspot, but usually manage to get a few fruit off a couple of plants in pots on the patio before the first signs of blight appear in late August.

This year conditions have conspired to give me a wonderful crop from two very small seedlings bought at a charity plant sale at the end of May. They remained blight-free until a humid spell last week.
I discovered the blight at the weekend, so have stripped the plants and am eating the remaining fruit as fast as possible.

I'm still in the throes of a runner bean glut.
We eat beans as an accompaniment to our dinner every day (as do our next-door neighbours), and I serve up a few recipes of beans as main courses. There have been a couple of boxes of beans put out at the gate for passers-by to help themselves to. Thankfully they do!

The various cucurbits have done well, and the neighbours have benefitted from our surplus courgettes and cucumbers as well as the beans. Several varieties of winter squash are being revealed as the leaves die back, again a better crop than previous years. At least they'll keep for a bit!
I have 2 large spaghetti squash waiting to be cooked. Mr RoS loves them, but I find the 'spaghetti' too wet however I cook them. Luckily I only had one seed germinate, from a fairly old packet. I'm not planning on buying any for next year.

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Talk about books -any books- on our rejuvenatedforum http://www.bookgrouponline.com/index.php?

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Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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Thanks for the suggestions about ripening tomatoes. The stripey ones seem to be ripening OK on the open tray but I'm going to try the bag method for the yellow ones. Which are still decidedly green.
Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Roseofsharon
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# 9657

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quote:
Originally posted by Roseofsharon:
I have 2 large spaghetti squash waiting to be cooked.

Make that 4
[Roll Eyes]

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Talk about books -any books- on our rejuvenatedforum http://www.bookgrouponline.com/index.php?

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georgiaboy
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# 11294

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And there's always that southern USA delicacy for this time of year: Fried Green Tomatoes!

Prep is very simple:
slice the green tomatoes (not too thinly)
dredge in corn-meal (do you Brits call this 'maize meal'?)
fry until just browning in hot fat (should really be lard or bacon drippings, but you can't have everything!)

In October you will likely find this in every family-style restaurant and/or diner south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.

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You can't retire from a calling.

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Over winter we plan to completely redesign our back garden, with a view to digging everything up ready to make a fresh start in spring.

Up to now, we have just been tinkering with the garden which was there when we moved in, making small tweaks. Now we want to give up and start from scratch.

There are quite a few softwear garden design packages, some free. Can anyone recommend one? It's quite a small garden, so we're going to have to put quite a bit of thought into making the most of it.

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L'organist
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# 17338

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I'm still cropping runner beans - so far have frozen c10kilos. I'm beginning to wish they'd come to an end - and the sweetpeas, come to that - because I want to clear the ground and plant something else..

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4950 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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We have a gardener: his fees fit within our budget: he strims the front garden which is mostly granite, mows the lawn in the back and trims the palm trees. He had no car and no phone and no watch: he just shows up twice a month! He even prunes the palm tree!

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I've been away during the most prolific week for beans - a neighbour was watering and had one crop - I'm working on the last couple of picks.
I looked out this morning and saw that the brassicas were not as leafy as they were last time I looked, and found three clutches of Large Cabbage White caterpillars of different ages, one of Small Cabbage White, and huge quantities of frass. After squirting them with soap I remembered I had some safe for veggies spray and used that. This afternoon I went out after the rain with the hose and washed the cadavers off onto the ground so the birds didn't eat them. Hopefully they will survive. The cabbages, not the caterpillars.I have two small cauliflowers that I won't be able to eat for a week, but I think I'll take them in and wash them daily to avoid anything nasty happening to them - I didn't spray them. I think the damaged ones are brussels sprouts. The caterpillars didn't get at the kale, the savoy cabbage or the caulis very much. I'm going to need much more effective netting next year. Those butterflies are too clever by half. Got me softened up by pollinating the beans...

[ 04. October 2014, 19:38: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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I'm afraid anyone who sees my allotment will realise very quickly that it's not been planned by software but by bunging stuff into whichever space there is! Sorry, NEQ.

However, I've had a thoroughly decent day's work out there. I didn't get as much digging done as I'd intended as stuff is still going - the runners are almost finished, thank goodness - but I've cleared out my compost bin and got loads of lovely well-rotted rich chocolate cake coloured and textured compost stacked up ready to go - I needed to get it done now, or things would start to nest in it. I don't mind them overwintering in the fresh stuff but I need to dig the rest in! I've also propped up the compost bin - considering I built it out of old pallets and bits of wood the best part of ten years ago, it hasn't done badly! On top of all that, I've burnt all the stuff that was too dry to rot down - again, before anything needed to be cleared out of it. I love a good bonfire!

There's even been a minor blessing in my dismal failure with sweetcorn this year - someone just across the path had their entire crop pushed over, broken off at ground level, and the cobs stripped. We can only guess that it was muntjac or maybe badgers. Mine was crap, so I've only lost about two cobs.

After all that I've gone home, had my supper, had a long relaxing bath, and I'm just about to have a well-deserved fermented beverage!

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

Posts: 3574 | From: The wardrobe of my soul | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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My only edibles are sapotes that are growing and hopefully won't be eaten by the squirrels. There are a few that are low enough that I will hopefully be able to enjoy them!

My non-edibles are making me very happy! My cattleya which usually has twins, now has a triple bud! One of the phalaenopsis has a flower spike and one of the dendrobiums (which I received as a gift in 2002) just finished blooming and has put out two more flower spikes. But, the one I'm most excited about is a dendrobium that I adopted, and which almost died last year, has its first blooms!

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Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

Posts: 18017 | From: 'Twixt the 'Glades and the Gulf | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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Had a cucumber that swelled up this week for tea.
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monkeylizard

Ship's scurvy
# 952

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Harvested some of the last of the tomatoes this week. I have one for my lunch today. I'll probably manage one or two more regular ones and a dozen or so cherry toms before they're done for the season.

My August plantings of leaf lettuce and swiss chard are doing well. The spinach, not so much. Sweet peas are growing. We'll see if they produce or not. Cauliflower and Brussel Sprout plants have really grown a lot now that the weather is cooler. No curd yet on the cauliflower, but I expect it any day now. Small brussel sprouts all along the stalk. but it has had those for a while now. I don't yet know when/if they'll produce.

Lessons learned from my first season of vegetable gardening:
  • Buy all of my seeds in spring, even if they won't be planted until fall.
  • Cabbage takes up way too much room.
  • Rabbits like lettuce, spinach, & kale. Oddly, they don't like my carrots or much of anything else.
  • Watermelons do not do well in my region.
  • Don't bother with bird netting after the seedling phase. It gets in my way, is easily defeated by rabbits, and birds don't care much for cucumbers after all.
  • Organic gardening is hard. It's tempting to go get nuclear pesticides and take care of squash bugs and cucumber beetles once and for all.
  • Herb plants produce a lot. Keep that dehydrator working.
  • There's little more satisfying than sitting down to a meal made with things grown in my own garden.


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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. ~ Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

Posts: 2201 | From: Music City, USA | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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I have cut down a dead cotoneaster from one corner of my garden and have discovered a tall (5ft) but very spindly holly amongst it. It hasn't got any branches, just the central stem. Nice glossy green leaves though. I'd quite like a holly bush there. If I leave it, will it bulk up? It was being supported by the dead cotoneaster, and needs staked to remain upright. Now the cotoneaster's gone, it will get more light, but not much more.
Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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If my experience is anything to go by, cutting it to the ground will guarantee a vigorous shrub in no time.

But generally, nipping out the growing point on a stem is supposed to encourage side shoots.

Posts: 17302 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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I've cut several other things to the ground, so I hope they don't resurge too quickly!

We've looked at several of the "free" garden design softwear available online, only to discover most of them are adverts encouraging you to use certain products.

I also got a book from the library which cheerfully remarks "Of all the garden shapes, wide, shallow plots can be the most demanding to design."

Our back garden is 18m 70cm wide, but only 5m 80 cm deep. Redesigning from scratch is going to be interesting.

Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Carex
Shipmate
# 9643

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The best layout we've found was to make each bed as long as the soaker hoses we have for watering it. In your case, NEQ, we would decide whether to water from one side (a few long hoses) or from the back (more shorter hoses connected to a distribution pipe along the back, possibly with a shutoff for each bed.)

Once the watering system is figured out, that will define the beds.

At the old house, with most of a hectare to work with, we had a number of narrow 50 foot beds, each with one or two hoses running the length. That makes it easy to reach all the plants. Note, however, that as you make the hoses longer the plants nearest to the source will get more water. One way around this is to connect two hoses end-to-end (or use a single hose for a shorter bed) and double it up so each part of the bed gets watered by two places along the hose.

From year to year we simply moved the crops to a different bed for rotation. For example, the garlic got planted into the bed where we had just dug the potatoes because it was empty at the right time and the dirt was well-worked.

Beans, peas, cucumbers and other climbers went in a section with a trellis - usually some wire mesh supported by fence posts. Two such sections spaced about 16" ( 40cm ) make a "tomato hedge" that lets the plants grow upwards while we can reach through the mesh to pick the fruit. This also kept the plants up off the ground, and allowed plenty of air flow to reduce problems with mildew. (Plants were about 30cm / 12" apart inside the hedge.) As our garden shrunk we would use the same frame for everything.

At least, that is what worked well for us when we had a large garden. Now we're down to a single raised bed, which is a lot less work!

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Sparrow
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# 2458

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I have a japanese Acer on my patio in a pot. It has now dropped all its leaves for the winter. I really want to re-pot it, would now be a good time to do it? Or if not, when?

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For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Sounds like a good time, since they always tell you to move trees when they're dormant for the winter. I wouldn't do anything like adding major fertilizer to the new pot, though.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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It is cold now for what we have in our gardens, and quite often lots of rain. I have had to get out the ones who died and make it look better - and some just fall down out! I just have a few flowers to look at and enjoy!

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London
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Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
monkeylizard

Ship's scurvy
# 952

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We've had a few cold nights with light frost here in Nashville. I'm getting tired of covering the whole garden each night that frost threatens. We have a cold spell coming up where I'll have to do it for 4 or 5 nights in a row and even that may not be enough. Lows will be in the 20's F. I think the cauliflower and brussel sprouts will just have to fend for themselves. Both are large healthy plants, but neither is producing anything. Seeing as how I'd probably have to maintain them for at least 2 or 3 weeks after they begin to show signs of producing (which they are not), I just don't see a harvest coming from them this year. [brick wall]

My snap peas, chard, and lettuces are easier to cover, so I'll try to keep them going through the coming weather.

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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. ~ Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Yesterday I spent a while to remove all the white ones fallen down from green ones when they were a long time. And it will be none eventually this future.

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London
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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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Argh, buttercups! At long last I've shifted most of the little sods from one end of one plot... but they'll be back! Meanwhile, I await the floods...

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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daisydaisy
Shipmate
# 12167

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Yesterday I almost finished removing the worse of the weeds from my plot. The soil was pretty claggy and so that'll be the last time this season that I'll be trampling on it, I hope. The rest of the work is to cut fruit bushes back, and have a bonfire, so hopefully it'll all be done by the end of the year.
I'm looking forward to browsing the seed catalogue over Christmas.

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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Amazingly my little quarter plot is clear, after months of it having been left to, er, be fallow. I haven't even started to think about what to actually do with it. I want some rhubarb but I'm told if I put that in, it will be 2 years before I can start using it.
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