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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2010 :  10:27:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tinklebelle,

If you can keep them dry over the next 2 months and warm there is a good chance they will be okay. I have in the past just added more soil to the pot to act as a cover. Straw is also a cheap insulator (carrier bag over the top). I often run out of space in the greenhouse and have to think of how best to save those that do not get "chosen".

I do not heat my greenhouse as stated in earlier posts, however I am tempted by the cheap heated Propagator for sale at Haskins - less than 15.

Thank you for your comments and hope you have an abundant year on the plot.
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2010 :  09:42:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Forgot to mention about greenhouses, polytunnels and cold frames - even though we are getting some severe frost in the mornings, you need to ventilate the greenhouse etc to help maintain a healthy environment for your plants. I open the door for about an hour a day, usually around lunchtime at the moment, the severe cold has gone and the temperature has not then started to fall for the evening. Air circulation helps prevent "damping off" and assists in the control of Red Spider Mite. Every other day would be okay if we do get really bad weather. (This Friday !!!!).
If you need to water your plants, do it early in the morning, this gives the water time to seep in to the compost and allows the plant to drink before the conditions freeze the water. Little is better than a drenching at this time of year.
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2010 :  19:14:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Remember to clear snow off the greenhouse, it may be a good insulator - but it cuts the daylight out.

One good point about the snow and ice - it kills slugs and their eggs.
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2010 :  20:50:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sowed a few more trays of tomato seeds this afternoon, those planted a few weeks ago are just starting to show through.
Continue with the ventilation of the greenhouse, polytunnel - on days like today the doors can be left open for several hours.
On the veg plot, ground is very wet and cold and I am still waiting a while before the Parsnips go in. (I do start to harvest mine from the end of August - they say wait for a frost to sweeten, however I find that they are still tender and small at that time).
Will start Leeks off in pots in the greenhouse in about a fortnight, then sow more every 2 weeks until the bed is full.
Had planted early peas in pots several weeks ago - nothing showing as yet - will plant some more this coming weekend.
As ever, a small bit of sunshine makes gardeners go mad on the planting front - hold back if you can for a few more weeks when we should be past the worst of the weather.
Going to try Ocra for the first time this year - has anyone got any tips on this.
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BFA
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
410 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2010 :  23:21:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by compost


Going to try Ocra for the first time this year - has anyone got any tips on this.



You need a bloody big fish tank - I think they eat seals.
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2010 :  08:53:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BFA- Thanks for the guidance, I will have a whale of a time growing some.
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John
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
499 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2010 :  17:14:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BFA... the word refering to whales is ORCA....not OCRA.. yer plonker!

Unless you meant it as a joke of course....
It which case it's almost funny
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BFA
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
410 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2010 :  21:54:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was joking of course. Ocra - also known as lady's fingers, I've never planted/grown or tasted them. But I do believe the correct spelling is 'O-K-R-A. Gordon Ramsay hates it (can't be all bad then) and here is all you ever wanted to know but were too afraid to ask.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okra

From that link "Okra is also reported to contain the male contraceptive gossypol"

But my Dad says it doesn't work.

Edited by - BFA on 03 Mar 2010 21:57:47
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2010 :  22:24:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BFA - You are correct with the spelling, was going to correct myself in my last post.
John are you saying us dyslexics are not allowed to grow stuff
Will have a few spare plants if you want to give it a go BFA
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BFA
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
410 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2010 :  22:31:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wish I had the time Compost - the biggest % of my garden is a fishpond which pretty much takes care of itself.

Don't suppose you have any tips on how to keep herons away without making the pond look like Alcatraz or investing in an air rifle?

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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2010 :  23:16:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you know the answer to that one, compost, I know a lot of people in my home town here, who would be mighty greatful!! I used to have a small barrel with a water lily or two in it, as well as a couple of gold fish. It was right on the edge of my property, next to a busy road, and still they'd come, and perch on the side of the barrel, just waiting patiently. I finally gave up on restocking the thing )
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2010 :  07:26:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BFA, Lulu

There is a line of thought that says a Heron will not enter anothers area - hence the outbreak of plastic herons that has started to appear around some ponds. I think that they are not the most realistic models I have ever seen, but if nestled in to some reeds they are not too bad.

Clear fishing line stretched across the pond edges can be very effective and not look unsightly. Only needs to be around the edges if the pond is deep, otherwise a few lines across the pond will do. I am against netting as it really detracts from the look.

Do you have a fountain/water feature running in your pond as this also helps as it distorts fish reflection.
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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2010 :  16:53:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not have a fountain, but I do have a metal heron standing over my barrel. It's a verdigris colour, so not very realistic, but, from a distance, it does look like a heron bending down to look in the water. My neighbours is at the edge of the lake, near where the real herons land. Doesn't seem to phase them. Maybe if we moved the fake herons around from time to time? Mind you, if my fish got taken again, I think I'd just not replenish. I personally don't mind the birds, but then I don't have expensive Koi to worry about.
Just an after thought. I have a friend who used clear netting but placed it just under the surface of the water. It couldn't be seen by the naked eye, and seemed to help, but then, he lost a lot of his fish to the otters!! Who just tear through anything in their way.

Edited by - Lulu on 06 Mar 2010 16:55:23
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2010 :  07:46:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Potatoes should be chitted, place the seed potatoe in a egg carton (cardboard) and leave in a bright place (No not a university BFA, lol) out of direct sunlight. I will be planting my 1st Earlies in early April. This year have gone for International Kidney as the are the closest we will get to Jersey Royals.

Tempted (against my own better advice) to plant a few courgette seeds this weekend, have installed (more thrown together actually) a small hot bed type thing on the allotment and think it might just be okay for an early crop.

Sowed a few trays of marigold seeds (Mr Majestic) in the greenhouse this week, starting to harden off "Black" Hollyhock (This years must have plant). Fox gloves have been potted on- this year I think we will see a return to the traditional cottage garden. Will be sowing Cornflower this week as well as Asters.

Have a great weekend in the garden/greenhouse/allotment
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2010 :  15:47:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I usually buy my gardening requirements from either Manor or Ferring nurseries - support the local businesses, I did visit Haskins and have seen they are selling trays of 15 primroses for 5.99 but you get 1 tray free as well. 30 Primroses for less than 6.00 fill your pots for a bit of early colour without breaking the bank.
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2010 :  20:05:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sowed the courgettes today, as well as some outdoor cuecumbers (both in the greenhouse).
Okra has not germinated and will try some more when the weather warms up a bit ( will persevere until I get a plant).
Marigolds, Asters and cornflower are all through and coming on nicely.
Cosmos through, gone for a pure white variety this year - to contrast with the black hollyhocks.
Will plant my early potatoes on Sunday - hope to start harvesting them 10 weeks later.
Peas are ready to start hardening off and will go on the allotment in a few weeks.
Parsnips were sown about 2 weeks ago, fear they may be ruined by all the rain.
Beetroot will be sown as soon as the weather dries. Swede and cabbage are just showing and will go into a prepared (limed) bed in a few weeks.
Sowed a tray of little gem today, hope to crop in 8 - 10 weeks.
Would be nice to hear how others are doing in the garden,greenhouse or allotment.
Always happy to swap plants, veg seed or swap advice with other gardeners.
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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2010 :  22:09:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tried direct sewing of some peas, a few weeks ago, hoping to get a jump start, but while we've had no more frosts, they haven't germinated! Maybe too wet, but I'll try again in a week or so. I still have some rainbow chard in the garden, and while it looks great, am not sure if it is still edible. What do you think?
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2010 :  06:27:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Lulu

As long as the Chard has not bolted, it will be okay - just strip out the stalk on any big thick leaves as they will be tough.

Direct sown peas could be slow due to the weather, but a lot get taken by mice. Have a careful dig at the end of a row and have a look. If mice are a issue, paraffin dip the peas before planting.

regards
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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2010 :  16:41:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that, Compost. Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I will check for mice, but I don't think that is the problem. It could very well be the weather, as we had an unexpected dump of snow here a few days ago!! Good thing I hadn't planted my dahlia tubers yet!
I will definitley try the chard, as it has not bolted yet.
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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  20:12:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, compost. It's been a while! I have a quick question for you. A local nursery gave me a bunch of Gladiola bulbs that didn't sell this spring. They look a little worse for wear, but are still viable. I was going to plant them, 6 to 8 inches, and then put some protection over them, for the winter. Do you think this will be ok, or should I hang on to them, and plant them in the spring? I just thought that waiting may decrease their viablity even more. What do you think?
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compost
Advanced Member

265 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  18:39:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I would be tempted to store them until the spring, spaced out on a rack so they remain dry but have air circulating around them. (Frost free place)
Alternatively, plant a few, keep a few as described above and if they fail in the ground you have the stored ones, if they fail in the store you have the ones in the ground.
If you have room you could pot some up and keep them in a cold frame through the worst weather, planting out in the spring.
Bit of a catch 22 situation, if you do decide to store & plant - keep the best of the bulbs for the spring.
Be good to hear how they get on, and which option you go for. Hope the weather is good over there.

Regards

Compost
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Lulu
Advanced Member

337 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2010 :  01:33:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I'll try both ways, compost. Half in the garden and half stored in the shed. I was very lucky, as there were a number of bulbs in the box I was given. I gave away 4 dozen to friends, and still have quite a number left. Thanks for the advice!
The weather here has been lovely for a long time, but the rain is putting in it's little wet head. We do need it though. I think fall will come a lot quicker than summer did! The winds have started to pick up, as well. As I'm on a lake edge, I get the brunt of it, so have to batten down my hatches for winter. I've already potted up my geraniums to bring in for winter. I have no safe place to put a greenhouse because of the winds, so I bring them in to the back bedroom and keep them there.
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