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Daphne

So how is the season so far?

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Thanks Alis a Girls. My back has been bad for a few years since an accident at work, but as long as I am careful (haha) it'll be ok.

 

Just back from dog training and its raining :dance: hoping my water butt will fill up and its a good start for everything I've planted do far.

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Thanks Valkyrie - made me feel better about the decision. I felt guilty if I couldnt get up there and on London clay you are limited as to what grows. I am looking forward to my little veg patch and am looking forward to reading Christians thread on his new one. Good luck with it Christian - your fellow allotmenters sound a friendly lot.

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Clay here but next door is chalk. We have a little bit of chalk and flint too but not a whole border of it! Plenty of compost over the years has made it easier to work. This year as I've already mentioned is a no dig experiment. It's hard not to, but I have resisted the urge . . . and made OH lug the stuff up and down the garden instead! I just rake it over and get the easy bit! :lol:

I did a version of no dig for my parsnips last year and we've had a super crop from it. The weeds also were easier to pull as the roots didn't get a hold in the compost. The turned over bit was really weedy and constantly pulling up birds eye and scarlet pimpernel, willow herb and bittercress - probably because the roots had a good hold in the clay!

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Sorry I didn't realise I got in the way! But the compost has been raked over the far side. The left had parsnips in - and they were easy to pull out too! It has a top layer of compost on there now and we have yet to pull the last of the parsnips.

 

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Some little flowers and a few seedlings not quite ready (although the sprouts have been pricked out)

 

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Toms and peppers and basil - peppers all pricked out and now some of the toms are ready for the next pot!

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Now that the peppers have germinated I've turned the thermostat down too. I'm loving my new toy. :dance:

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Another grim reaper pic Valkyrie :shock: - are you in the UK or abroad? Geography wasnt my best subject - can just find my way to work and back :lol: No dig - have heard of this - must look it up. appeals to my back!! :lol:

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Arrr I be in Hook, Hampshire me matey!

 

I'm finding the fewer sown seeds is much better - work wise it's a doddle. And with my toy and good compost - reliable germination! And finding places in the veg patch has always been a struggle to squeeze something in. One of the best years was sweetcorn with beans growing up them with courgettes at the bottom. Then a broadcast of clover was good ground cover to make it moist and attract the good insects.

 

Although when we get our holding and go into full time semi-self sufficiency I may rope the other half into doing some of the work.

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That really is a picture, there is something so pleasing about straight rows of bountiful harvest :D I'm loving the seedlings as well - I think you are a very good grower 8)

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Thank you. Recent years haven't been so good - weather conditions all contrary, plus going away on holiday when I needed to plant things out. One of which had that terrible flooding in the June - and we were in Scotland basking in hot sunshine! Then there's the assorted pests. One year had so many flea beetles that they were on the roses and all the other plants. Yuk! Goodbye broccoli! :lol: Last year was a bit better but I think this year will be a good one. Well I hope it is anyway!!

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Thank you. Recent years haven't been so good - weather conditions all contrary, plus going away on holiday when I needed to plant things out. One of which had that terrible flooding in the June - and we were in Scotland basking in hot sunshine! Then there's the assorted pests. One year had so many flea beetles that they were on the roses and all the other plants. Yuk! Goodbye broccoli! :lol: Last year was a bit better but I think this year will be a good one. Well I hope it is anyway!!

that's a sign of a true gardener : :pray: this year is always going to be better than last year and next year better than this :lol:

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Well the sun came out late yesterday afternoon so I was out with my trusty old trowel that we found on our allotment (along with an equally rusty hand fork which I also love to use) and popped in the rest of the early onions. Just filled over half the cold frame - room to spare for the summer ones. Now I'm feeling much happier and a little more room appears in the greenhouse. I still have plenty of room - it's just pots and trays untidy in the middle! :oops:

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I got an hours seed sowing in yesterday afternoon sun was nice but the gale force wind wasn't

started off:-

2 varieties of leeks ,sprouts and cabbage

5 or 6 varieties of onions ,1 shallots and one unknown either onion or shallots some of which is a bit of a gamble as the seed is a bit old

14 varieties of tomatoes

white alpine strawberries, petunias, dahlias

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Wow - that's a lot of seed, particularly the toms, they must be a fave of yours :D Are the dahlias for fun, or are they for some sort of companion planting? Or show?

 

I have a shallot Q - they are very expensive in Portugal but as I like to make pickled onions and I can't buy them either, I have to use shallots. I was wondering if I took some with me, would it be too late to sow seed/plant sets when I arrive in late Apr? I did grow some onions last year, but it was a bit hit and miss and I'd rather try shallots.

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dahlias are for fun

toms sound a lot but I only grow one plant of each and one or 2 aren't that productive most are heritage varieties I tend to sow about 20 varieties of toms but I expect about a 20% failure in germination as some of the seed will be at least 3 yrs old each year

as for the amount of seed that isn't that much there really some of the stuff only had 15 seeds in the packet 5 or 10 year ago a packet of cabbage or sprouts would last me 3 years I'm only looking for about 20 plants of each of the brassicas about 40 of each of the onions and shallots and the leeks will just fill up what every space is left and I'll work only about 20% of that lot wont be any good for the table so will end up as chicken food

flower seed I've cut right back on 10-15 years ago I'd sow about 15 different types of flowers looking for about 200 - 300 plants and I'd only by the stuff I couldn't or wouldn't grow from seed

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Things are growing really quickly now. The broad beans are going to have to be planted outside this weekend as they are almost out of the pots and walking out the greenhouse by themselves! I've watered the veggie patch with the slug nematodes - I hope it works.

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the Sprouts started to germinate yesterday afternoon and all 3 pots now have seedling in them not bad for 4 days and the one packed is at least 2 years old

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all the brassicas bar the red cabbage have germinated the gold bear onions has started to come up and I think the Dahlias have to

sowed another 6 varieties of tomatoes, 2 varieties of melon 5 varieties of beetroot ,1 varieties of sweet corn, swede ,sweet pepper and turnip plus 20 seeds of sunflower hopefully that will give me a good mix of colour this year last year I only did 10 and ended up with all but one the same from a packet of mixed seed that has about 8 different colours in.

might start the peas tomorrow

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Leeks are sprouting. I have another variety for later - this is an early one. Sugar snaps are about half an inch high now. Not all germinated but I'll sow some seeds at the same time when I transfer them outside to get a later lot (and hop the pigeons keep out - and the wood mice!

 

The tomatoes that I transplanted in to the in between pots are almost at the top of the propagator. Luckily I ordered the second tier to add on until the frosts have gone. I have some cabbage things to sow and beans - most don't need a propagator now so it's all exciting isn't it.

 

Sounds good sjp. :D

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Just had a look at the forecast and while it says lows of 2 degrees in the night, no frost has been mentioned. Still a little cold but under fleece and coldframes things should be OK.

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Feeling jealous :mrgreen: I bought some canes yesterday to take to Portugal, "Ooops, word censored!"ody would dream of buying them there, so they don't sell them, you just hack down a suitable sapling :shock: They are for my toms. Last year I grew some mixed dwarf sunflowers in amongst the toms, they worked very well as cut flowers, and were so beautiful with their velvety petals, I particularly liked the darker colours. I am taking a few dahlia tubers and a packet of dahlia seed to try out although it's a bit late really. All I can do here is hope I get enough rhubarb for a feed before we leave. OH is in Greece and the other day it was 4 degrees during the day :shock:

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Leeks are sprouting. I have another variety for later - this is an early one. Sugar snaps are about half an inch high now. Not all germinated but I'll sow some seeds at the same time when I transfer them outside to get a later lot (and hop the pigeons keep out - and the wood mice!

 

The tomatoes that I transplanted in to the in between pots are almost at the top of the propagator. Luckily I ordered the second tier to add on until the frosts have gone. I have some cabbage things to sow and beans - most don't need a propagator now so it's all exciting isn't it.

 

Sounds good sjp. :D

I'm quite pleased with this year's sowings just had a look in the propagators bare in mind this is since this morning I've got a tomato up plus 2 more lots of onion but the real surprise is the petunias I've never had them germinate in less than 14 days these are up in 6 and a half days the only thing I've done that I've never done before is I put a sprinkling of vermiculite on the onions and petunias and I'm using a different compost this year one with a high peat content the last 3 or 4 years I've been using one that has a very high recycled content last years I had a lot of weeds germinate and vey poor seed germination and over 30 rouge tomato seedlings out of one bag alone

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