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Daphne

So how is the season so far?

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This year - apart from the experimental bag of Carbon Gold grochar I'm using Westland's Growsure. I always thought that was a normal bag of compost but I see it says organic at the bottom. No worries - even better. I had been using New Horizon organic but last year it was horrible stuff so changed to Westland with far better results. Overall the Carbon Gold has been very successful. The Westland isn't too bad but more "woolly" - it's weird but nice and soft. The New Horizon had lumps of wood that were fresh and not decomposed enough - gave me splinters too! :shock: The mix of both CG and Westland has been good too. I'm not happy with one of my packets of seeds - only one spinach plant germinated - and that's using both composts separately - first sowing nada, second one plant. Not impressed - can't be the growing medium. The other one is a lettuce, although the second sowing has produced a couple more seed. Again not impressed. But I should have enough to pick the leaves off for salads.

Nice outside today so I'm going to sow some more parsnips in the beds and 2 varieties of carrots just to see what they do. Plus some saladini and other salady bits.

Sown some chard yesterday too.

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First sown parsnips under fleece are popping up now. Just planted the broad beans, harvested the last of the leeks. Sweltering now! More parsnips and carrots to be done after lunch. I could murder an orange juice and some bitter lemon at this moment!!!!

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Hubby is down the allotment as I type (I'm cuddling one of the cats :lol: )

 

We are now at that stage where every usable window sill in the house has something on it germinating!! I've taken a back seat on the growing side of things, being responsible for the cooking and preserving :wink:

 

We've had the last of our sprouts (and the trees have been brought up the house for the hens to devour!) And the first of our purple sprouting broccoli. kale is still going nuts, and I'm going to try prepping it and freezing it for use in risottos and soups.

 

We finished the last of the frozen broad beans last week, so hoping we won't have to wait too long for some of our over wintering varieties. We still have loads of frozen tomatoes and some frozen French beans.

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I planted the last of the seed spuds this morning that's 49 varieties in the ground but I'm short of 5 tubers to finish the 2 beds. just got the 100ish tubers to pot up now

also sown 2 rows of parsnips and half a row of spring onions this morning was going to get my carrot pots started this after but it's to hot to mix up the potting mix

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Finally planted some seeds today, also bought two hanging basket tomato plants which have gone straight into their baskets and are hung up in the greenhouse. :D

 

We cleared and rotovated the allotment on Saturday so the potatoes will go in later in the week, as will the broad bean plants and lots of other seeds hopefully, especially the carrots, can't remember the last time we were this late with them. :roll: I havested loads of last year's carrots on Saturday too, which I have washed and put in the fridge and given some to friends. They are still really good :D

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Dug up the last of the parsnips and the leeks. Both processed and in the freezer. Sowed 2 varieties of carrots, American land cress, purslane and I completely forgot about the next lot of parsnips. Oh well one lot coming up anyway. Broad beans are in.

Something has munched one of my French marigolds - can't see a slug or a snail anywhere. Also a leaf on another one now. I've sprayed the anti-slug and snail stuff on. Will have to see how it works.

 

Planted 2 aubretia plants that the butterflies are loving. I'm loving the butterflies!

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They sure do. Many a time I've put them out to be covered in slime on the stumps like a little petrified forest. The slime is absent in this case - not even on the compost - so it may be some insect. :think:

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about half of the tomato varieties are up or are starting to show above the compost, looks like all the seeds in each pot have germinated as well. looks like the older onion and shallot seeds are a no go but they were only a suck it and see test so no great loss

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Sunflowers, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash (summer and winter), cosmos, sweetpeas, zinnias and dill are coming up in pots in the conservatory and cold frame. 8)

 

No sign of the broad beans or peas in the ground yet, but hoping the warm weather will spur them on!

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I'm going to have to add my second tier on the propagator - the toms are touching the top!!! And the roots are peeking out the bottom! I think if they outgrow the next tier then it will have to be OH's old big bottles that he got from a friend at a farm - they sold water machines for businesses. Lovely firm plastic - great for cloches and should sit nicely in a big flowerpot. Oooh I'm looking forward to testing those black Russians!!!!

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black Russian is one of the toms I'm growing this year it's one I've grown before but it failed the last 2 years once my toms look like plants I'll pot them up into 3" pots then they'll bye out of the propagator I find they do better with out the extra heat

finally got Emir a melon to germinate after 2 failures last year only sowed it Sunday to the beetroot has started to germinate as well plus the leek from the Sunday before last.

certainly made the right move changing the compost to a higher peat content this years the best and quickest germination I've had in about 4 years and no weed or rouge seedlings

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OH took the day off today, and we have now planted the potatoes and broad bean plants and some seeds too :D

 

I have a cucumber showing already and I only sowed the seed on Monday afternoon :shock:

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I seem to have lots of wheat grass dotted around the garden - can't think how that happened! :roll:

 

I hope the cat doesn't dig it up. I've only got one seedling from mine, but today I see another little patch of green so I'm hoping it's just a ratbag slow variety. Edited to add - Ali's spinach I mean!

 

Wow, speedy cucumber. All this sun is brilliant! Which means I must water mine as they've had nothing for days - and I need to keep the nematodes happy!!!

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May I suggest a sprinkle of hemcore or aubiose around the plants that slugs and snails like. I dig in the aubiose from the chooks run into my veggie patch and hey presto minimal slug damage. :D if only it worked on caterpillars :roll:

 

I have put my spuds in, and the rest of the seeds are in little pots in my propagator and mini greenhouse. I would add my veggie patch is tiny.....it's the front garden...safe from chooks.

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My slugs and snails don't care about the aubiose - I've seen them trundling across the stuff in the run to get to the food! I've got some organic squirt on the leaf stuff that's supposed to make the plant stronger and unpalatable for the slugs and snails. It has to be renewed when it rains but it gives them a head start. I'm wondering if it's seaweed? But it's safe for pets and beneficial insects - and humans and can be used on veg. Bearing in mind the snails love my runner beans and lurk in the dry stone walls I'm hoping for good things. My broad beans have grown bigger and haven't been nibbled, so perhaps the nematodes and the spray are both working.

I was going to order more but I see it's already sold out!!!!

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Aha quick check and it's back in stock!

 

Edited to add you can get it from either The Organic Gardening Catalogue or Harrod Horticultural - both are the same price.

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News Flash!

 

The Broad beans are poking their heads above the soil! The first thing to grow on the allotment! Woohoo!

Just wish the peas would show themselves. I have a feeling mice have seen them....

 

Planting sweetcorn in pots later today.

 

Scented stocks planted in the flower area, plus fressias. 8)

Is it normal for my squash seedlings to be so leggy? 6" tall and no sign of true leaves yet?

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Squash or sunflower! LOL! Pop it in a bigger pot up to the first lot of leaves - test with one first as it sounds like they are fighting to find light. Yaaay a round of applause for the beans! If your beans are poking through then perhaps the peas will come along soon. I think the mice or ratties would go for the beans too. They did last year - ate the bean and left the shoots!

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it is not normal as said it sound like a light issue or their 'blind' i.e. no growing tip I've had that happen with cucumbers but they don't get vey big before they turn turtle

 

I've had a sweet corn pop up this afternoon plus 4 or 5 swedes. 15 out of the 20 sunflowers have germinated in the last 24hrs most since this morning 3 out of 4 melon seeds are up and I think the 4th is just braking through that's a 100 % up on last year, certainly turning into a very good germination year for me this year a fast one to boot

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The sunflowers are 4" tall, its the squashes that I'm concerned about as they should be getting enough light in the conservatory? I can see the first leaf appearing now though...

 

Peas are up! :clap::clap: Well, 2 are, so that's a start! :lol::lol:

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You are all doing so well, a real burgeoning :D I've noticed hedges and trees finally starting to green up, it feels like its been quite a long winter, although quite mild, but the last fortnight are making a difference with all the sun and warmth. I am already imagining Spring feasts with new peas, spuds, asparagus and carrots, although not from my growings unfortunately.

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I was going to ask if the squashes were still in a proper gator, because than can cause plants to go leggy, it may be that they are lacking in light any kind of indoor conditions restrict light unless they are in the middle of an empty greenhouse. I find I have to move things around on the shelves of the greenhouse regularly because one side is near a fence and plants start to lean towards the other side.

 

I have loads of basil seedling in pots in the greenhouse now too, two cucumbers in the same pot typically nothing in the other one, how often does this happen :roll: and one tomato is just showing :D

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