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Daphne

So how is the season so far?

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I "don't dig" either.

At this time of year the raised beds are covered with a layer of mulch, then cardboard, then black plastic.

Last year we tried not burying the potatoes in a trench and just covering them with a thick layer of grass.

I must say that this was not really successful. A lot of the spuds were green and there was a lot of slug damage. I have read somewhere that to avoid this you should be fertilising your potatoes with inorganic fertiliser. We are on clay here so I should think there is plenty of fertility so will just forego the grass.

At the moment husband is busy collecting up the molehills and adding those to the compost in a ton bag so that we can plant something there.

Two corners of the field have large piles of composting grass from out autumn cut where I am putting squashes and courgettes.

The cowslip plugs are overwintering very well in the greenhouse and some of the seeds I sowed are germinating too. I have two cold frames full of foxgloves planted last autumn and these are all destined for our wildflower meadow.

The Asparagus bed has been deeply mulched in readiness for our first crop this spring....can't wait.

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I have made the mistake in previous years of eagerly starting seedlings off, and then having them limp and leggy because it was too soon to put them in, so I'm still at the planning stage.

 

Snap! It's so easy to get a bit keen and cracking too soon :oops:

 

I have never had any luck with tomatoes or peppers so this year I am going to admit defeat and not bother. Haven't had any problem with fennel though

 

One from a few years ago

 

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Another favourite is pak choi which seems to do quite well. This weekend is set aside for planning, aswell as keeping everything crossed that the rats have moved out of the veg beds!

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I got the first batch of spuds on Saturday (29 varieties 87 tubers) and a couple of packets of seeds

3 of my beds on the allotments are rough dug one now has the extra soil and muck on, and I've started to put the extra soil on the 2nd

the slug attacked spuds wasn't down to the grass cutting, it's keel slugs that do the damage and they live in the soil and don't come above ground even if you mulch spuds you still need a few inches of soil over them

I don't start seeds of before March 1st it cost to much to heat them

I'll order the seeds I want for this year after the Shropshire potato day as there's a good seed company that attend there that has a few different varieties of tomatoes and squashes and one or 2 other thing that I might like

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Because we should be moving within the next month or so I can't really do anything. I'm hoping we'll be in in time to get all the veggies planted

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with keel slugs it nematodes or plant varieties that aren't attacked by them which basically is Kestrel but I've had that attacked before know so I just put up with them

I'll put the list of varieties up when I've finalized it and typed it up as I've not net finished getting spuds or got my conservation and heritage ones out of the shed and sorted through but so far most are new varieties and coloured fleshed ones plus a few that I regard as staple varieties like Cara ,Kestrel ,Blue Kestrel, Kerrs Pink ,Ratte Arran Victory ,Roseval King Edward, Red King Edward and PFA plus if I can get them Edzell Blue and Red Cara

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Not doing spuds this year. We had great success with the Charlottes last year in pots. Still have some in the cupboard although they need using up before they turn into spiders!

 

I have - virtually in planting order:

Peppers - Lipstick, Oro and Snackbite Orange (F1)

Tomatoes - Tigerella, Black Russian and Sungold (F1)

Brussels sprout - Doric (F1)

Beetroot - Boltardy (yuk I don't like beetroot)

Parsnip - Gladiator (F1) did well last season so worth another try - not experimenting this year

Onion - Giant Zittau, Sturon Globe- seeds to sow in modules and planted out later.

Lettuce - Freckles and Red Batavian - Relay,

Celeriac - Prinz

Basil - Sweet Genovese

Leek - Bandit (not experimenting with lots this year - this is a good one with long stems, although all leeks do well here)

Calabrese - Belstar (F1)

Parsley - Moss Curled

Spinach - Reddy

Pea - Oregon Sugar Pod (not really a pea as such) and I still have my Gladstone variety that I save the seeds from. In my view the best pea I have ever tasted

Climbing beans - Blauhilde, Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco (no wonder they get abbreviated to Borlotti :roll: ), Cobra

Runner bean - Czar and only to try as a butter bean eventually.

Cabbage - Filderkraut

Courgette - Midnight (F1)

Carrot - Berlicum, Yellowstone

Leef beet - Rhubarb chard, Canary Yellow

Salad - Oriental saladini, Land cress and Purslane.

Also French marigolds and rudbeckia for pet insects that will chomp pests! :wink:

Oooh forgot pak choi but I think I have seeds from last year. The girls like that so I rarely get to eat them, so do extra specially for the birds.

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Have just pulled out the seed box, but not got round to venturing through it yet.

 

We got a nutriblast for Christmas and are beginning to get used to what veg we prefer in it rather than others. We are getting through loads of spinach, kale, beetroot, carrots, so going to grow more those type of things rather than paying £1 for a bag of air and a few leaves!

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Just doing my seed order today from T&M and Seeds by Post. One or two things seem to have been discontinued which is annoying. I've also decided not to order the onion sets on-line as last year T&M kept messing me about then decided not to send any of the ordinary onions - I bought some from my local garden centre for a quarter of the price and they were much better than the heat treated ones that I did get from T&M.

 

Mind you looking at my garden today I can't imagine when I'll get anything done, but I guess it's always like that at this time of year :anxious:

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Valkyrie - *bows down in respect* :D

 

My list is going to be:

Toms - whatever small plants look strong in the market/whatever I get given; the seeds of bizarre varieties I took over last year just didn't grow so well as the natives

Peppers - market plants, no idea of varieties

Chili peppers - can't remember the variety, but I know I have seed left

Lettuce - a red batavia type and a green frilly one, again its leftover seed

Courgette - Defender, grown it for years, steady and reliable and prolific

 

er...that's it!!

 

I know I could grow so much more, the neighbours do, but I'm not up for all the watering for beans; spuds and onions are cheap to buy and very delicious (the Portuguese grow very yellow white potatoes, they are lovely. I may take some red Mozart seed spuds if I can find them for a change), and leafy greens are also cheap (possibly less delicious as they are virtually all cabbages :lol: although I am keen on turnip tops which you find from time to time).

 

However, I will be planting loads of cosmos as it does well there - not sure its a beneficial plant as far as pests go, but I love to see it waving about and the flowers just keep coming. Plus dahlias and gladioli as I'm fond of them as well and they seem to flower well as there are next to no slugs to bother them. And sunflowers, because lets face it, what's not to like :D

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I'm going to grow smaller amounts and save the seeds for next time. I usually grow too much, spend too long pricking out and then run out of room! :roll: The tomatoes I will only sow a few and then use the side shoots to make more plants. Well that's the idea anyway - I hate throwing seedlings away too. I feel they've tried and I should at least give them a chance!

Arghhh I love turnip tops! Um, fidgets and wonders about getting a packet of those too!

One year I thought my lettuce seed was old so just scattered it in the garden. I don't think I have ever been that successful since - even bewildered the slugs and snails! :lol: Now sow it in neat rows and they get chomped. Note to self - order nematodes!!!

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Went to get veg from the family run market garden up the road. Well not exactly up the road, but I fancied a ride out while it was nice. She said that she's not going to start the tomatoes and peppers for at least another 10 days because the weather is so unpredictable at the moment. She is just getting the greenhouse ready and putting bubble wrap on and sorting out the propagators. She's only doing things that don't need heat because she said it's too expensive for her to run the propagators just yet. So there we have it from the horse's mouth. Sit tight for a bit longer.

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I forgot - I have Broad beans too Aquadulce Claudia (I think)

 

 

That's a great broad bean.... One of our favourites :D

 

Peppers are in, broad beans are in but that's as far as we've got.

 

Still harvesting Brussel sprouts, kale and cabbages. We've finished the leeks and the onion bed is looking good.

 

Freezer is still full of broad beans, some runner beans, loads of tomatoes but I've finished the last of the French beans and peppers.

 

Not sure of everything that hubby is planning to plant yet :think:

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Went to get veg from the family run market garden up the road. Well not exactly up the road, but I fancied a ride out while it was nice. She said that she's not going to start the tomatoes and peppers for at least another 10 days because the weather is so unpredictable at the moment. She is just getting the greenhouse ready and putting bubble wrap on and sorting out the propagators. She's only doing things that don't need heat because she said it's too expensive for her to run the propagators just yet. So there we have it from the horse's mouth. Sit tight for a bit longer.

I don't start anything before March 1st anymore heat far to expensive now a days I'll think about my seed order next week I have got most of the ingredients for my new raised carrot bed mix so that's my next task hopefully next weekend work permitting

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Can I plant anything straight out to grow from seed at the min or is it far too early & cold yet? I have the polytunnel, but I also want to utilise a large patch that the pigs turned over for me that is well fertilised - so as to save room in the polytunnel for other stuff. I do have some fleece that I could drape over early outdoor sowings.

Thanks...

Emma.x

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If the ground is OK to work then no reason why you can't do broad beans - they are tough things. And when we had our allotment the guy on the next plot always did his on New Year's day - and he had super plants! I'm raising mine in the greenhouse but haven't sown them yet. Perhaps fleece over the top several days before you sow just to keep it a bit warm would help and leave it on after sowing. I did my parsnips under fleece this year and have had a pretty good crop so far. Plus it kept the neighbour's cats off! I'm a bit wary of sowing other things outside because the wood mice like to nibble. If it's cold they come in the greenhouse to nibble too, so strategically placed plastic covers they cannot nibble through!

 

Edited to add Space Chick, I wasn't able to get Aquadulce last year so experimented with a couple of different varieties. Not impressed with them, so this time I saw and I pounced before they'd sold out! I also like the old crimson flowered variety but not so prolific being a short plant - not got any left and space is at a premium nowadays.

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Masterpiece green longpod are a great variety of broad bean for a bit later. You get loads of beans per pod and they are a lovely green colour, exactly as the name suggests. They also take a fair whole yo go tough and taste great.

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Great stuff! I'll get my broad beans & parsnips in then. Could I sow some carrots too whilst at it? Will warm the bed with the fleece first like you said & leave on for a while after too. Thanks for your help!

Emma.x

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If the ground is OK to work then no reason why you can't do broad beans - they are tough things. And when we had our allotment the guy on the next plot always did his on New Year's day - and he had super plants! I'm raising mine in the greenhouse but haven't sown them yet. Perhaps fleece over the top several days before you sow just to keep it a bit warm would help and leave it on after sowing. I did my parsnips under fleece this year and have had a pretty good crop so far. Plus it kept the neighbour's cats off! I'm a bit wary of sowing other things outside because the wood mice like to nibble. If it's cold they come in the greenhouse to nibble too, so strategically placed plastic covers they cannot nibble through!

 

Edited to add Space Chick, I wasn't able to get Aquadulce last year so experimented with a couple of different varieties. Not impressed with them, so this time I saw and I pounced before they'd sold out! I also like the old crimson flowered variety but not so prolific being a short plant - not got any left and space is at a premium nowadays.

 

I grew Crimson Flowered about 12 years ago but it wasn't a short plant it was about 4 foot tall I kept it going for 3 or 4 years by saving seed but lost it due to a really late cold and damp spring which resulted in zero pollination I don't eat broad beans myself I only grew them for Mom so I don't grow them anymore much prefer French climbing and runner beans

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Mine have always been midgets! Sulk sulk! :lol: Although the dwarf beans went ballistic and I had to add poles because they found one of their climbing genes last year! :roll: Contrary seeds here!

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Mine have always been midgets! Sulk sulk! :lol: Although the dwarf beans went ballistic and I had to add poles because they found one of their climbing genes last year! :roll: Contrary seeds here!

I've had that happen with saved seed some climbers some dwarf but I've also had it with brought in seed I put it down to the wrong seed in the wrong packet as there's a couple of Bolotti beans that have both dwarf and climbing types I tend only to grow climbing as I find they tend to do better and their better croppers

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Yes indeed - agree the climbing beans I very much prefer for yield and space and have no dwarf ones this year to mess around with.

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