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    Tuesday was forecast to have a widespread frost, so I went out in the early evening and started covering the likes of spuds (whose upper leaves were already blackened from the cold snap), carrot seedlings etc. Then I looked at all my fruit trees and wondered how the feck I was going to protect them - this spring was the first time that all of them were completely covered in blossom, as the majority are only in around 4 or 5 years. But quite a few are over 2m tall by now and spreading out somewhat, in spite of several being planted and then transplanted again since then. So I ended up carefully tying/pulling the branches together with a lot of string, then wrapping them with long lengths of garden fleece I had previously bought "just in case". Had to do it very carefully & gently so as to avoid breaking off the twigs/blossom etc.

    Of course, I ran out of fleece before the job was done and ended up taping bin bags around/over some of the smaller trees, until there was nothing left to use and the light was fading and the temperature had dropped so low that my fingers were barely able to tie a knot in the string. I had to leave six trees completely unprotected, and the difference a few days later is pretty stark. The blossom is mostly gone from those ones, whereas the others look and smell fantastic. I should still have a reasonable crop of apples, pears and cherries this year.

    I started unwrapping them earlier on, then I thought I'd take a few pics to keep a record of the difference between one that wasn't protected and those that were. NB I deliberately leave large sections of grass to grow wild in the orchard - have started to see a lot more wildflowers, butterflies and bees in the past couple of years. Plus I hate mowing!
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    Last edited by mr chips; 28-April-2017, 14:42.
    Tis but a scratch.

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      We were back home for a few weeks to see the Toulouse & Glasgow games, and returned to find the rhubarb turned into practically a sapling - around 5 ft tall, with loads of white flowers. Neglect on our part probably but Ive never seen it happen before. I'd be grateful for any ideas

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        These here, my friends, are the beginnings of my first grape harvest, here at 55 degrees north. :8J_revamp_by_bad_bl

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        There are dozens of tiny bunches on three spreading vines.
        Tis but a scratch.

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          Chateau Chippy here we come

          edit: maybe Chateau Le Frite works better?
          "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

          Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

          Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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            Pisse-Vieille* Pommes-Frites to you!!

            *As a young buck, I spent a summer harvesting grapes in the Beaujolais region, based in a little village called Cercié-sur-Saone. The wine produced was labelled "Brouilly Pisse-Vieille", which I thought was highly amusing. Still have the empty bottle somewhere! Apparently it stems from a local oul' wan who misheard the priest's instruction at the end of the service, "Allez, et ne péchez plus" (Go, and sin no more) as "Allez, et ne pissez plus" (Go, and piss no more ...) Her other half nicknamed her the Pissy Old Woman, for which the wine is named.
            So now you know.:p
            Tis but a scratch.

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              Sitting at the fromt of my house ladt night all wi dows doors in house open as it was too hot.There was a nice breeze blowing through the house and I became aware of a very pleasant smell...I have night scented stock in containers outside the back door..the scent was drifti g through the house.
              I grew these from seed and meant to thin out into boarders but didn't.They are amazing seem to shrivel up during the day then open out at night and the smell is Devine.More powerful than bluebells..Im going to grow more and have them everywhere.

              Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
              Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. (Marcus Aurelius, 121-189 AD)

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                Originally posted by Pixie View Post
                Sitting at the fromt of my house ladt night all wi dows doors in house open as it was too hot.There was a nice breeze blowing through the house and I became aware of a very pleasant smell...I have night scented stock in containers outside the back door..the scent was drifti g through the house.
                I grew these from seed and meant to thin out into boarders but didn't.They are amazing seem to shrivel up during the day then open out at night and the smell is Devine.More powerful than bluebells..Im going to grow more and have them everywhere.

                Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
                Excellent. We always try to have stock outside the porch door for the smell...must try the nightstock

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                  Off the veg topic for another bit I have a fair bit of grass and am experimenting leaving sections uncut. I planted Ox-Eye daisies and poppies into them from modules as well as a few other 'meadow mix' I grew in modules from seed..so far so good. Hopefully I will strim it all at the end of July or August and save a load of cutting.

                  Also on flowers I am thrilled with Tree Lupins...had to send away to UK for seeds and it took over a year but what a plant...tons of blossoms, nitrogen fixer, bees love them and the should stay until summer.

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                    Originally posted by zeno View Post
                    Off the veg topic for another bit I have a fair bit of grass and am experimenting leaving sections uncut. I planted Ox-Eye daisies and poppies into them from modules as well as a few other 'meadow mix' I grew in modules from seed..so far so good. Hopefully I will strim it all at the end of July or August and save a load of cutting.

                    Also on flowers I am thrilled with Tree Lupins...had to send away to UK for seeds and it took over a year but what a plant...tons of blossoms, nitrogen fixer, bees love them and the should stay until summer.
                    My mam does that. I bring her over a bunch of California daisies and she lets them run riot.

                    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
                    "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards - checkmate!" Zapp Brannigan

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                      Ooh my potatoes are starting to flower.

                      Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
                      Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. (Marcus Aurelius, 121-189 AD)

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                        Having a square of untouched field bar the grass being cut, and being the start of July is there anything I can do with it now (vegies or plants) or is it a case of preparing it for next spring?

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                          Originally posted by Mrenda View Post
                          Having a square of untouched field bar the grass being cut, and being the start of July is there anything I can do with it now (vegies or plants) or is it a case of preparing it for next spring?
                          I think you're better off to turn it over now and prepare for next Spring. Apparently there are a lot of various bugs in grassland and some of them mightn't be to kind to some of your veggies but turning it over now and digging again later should get rid of a lot of them.
                          The early bird catches the worm but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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                            Hoping to diy build a polytunnel this summer...anyone done this before ? Any tips ?



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                              Originally posted by Mrenda View Post
                              Having a square of untouched field bar the grass being cut, and being the start of July is there anything I can do with it now (vegies or plants) or is it a case of preparing it for next spring?
                              You could probably get away with sowing some carrots in the coming days, especially if you can get seedlings for a reasonably quick-growing variety. Maybe beetroot too, plus peas & beans. All for mainly autumn harvesting though. There's no reason not to sow lettuce as well, for later in the summer.

                              One thing that might be helpful for sowing outdoors is to buy a seed tape of wildflower seed for along the borders of where you want to grow stuff. They might come through this year, but should certainly show up next year and can serve as a useful slug barrier to protect your stuff. If you've a decent amount of space, allow at least a foot for them to develop without encroaching on your food cropping area.
                              Tis but a scratch.

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                                Originally posted by TokyoCrusaders92 View Post
                                Hoping to diy build a polytunnel this summer...anyone done this before ? Any tips ?
                                You can get kits very cheaply these days, but I don't know how robust/durable either the frame or the plastic will be. I built my own one from scratch a few years ago, mainly using off-cuts of timber for the frame and doors. It's still standing! To anchor it, I got 6' lengths of steel rebar driven two feet into the soil (leaving about four feet above the ground, four "posts" each side) with the help of a pal, using a tractor bucket as a more controlled version of a piledriver. I sleeved over that with lengths of plastic water-pipe I cut to length to form the hoops (bought the whole roll for £50, still have enough for another few hoops!), then build the wooden frame to be snug inside that and fixed the hoops to the frame with steel strap, keeping any sharp edges/fixings away from where the plastic would go. That gave me a 5m x 3m polytunnel with double doors at each end.

                                Where I paid a bit more than the bare minimum was for good quality clear plastic that should last at least 5 years and has the right UV filtering - sorry, can't remember the specifics of that but it should be easy to look up. Total cost to me was about £180, half of which was the plastic and the rest the extra 5m sections of tannalised timber to run the length of it. As well as the usual strawberries/tomatoes/peppers etc, I have grapes growing in there now.
                                Tis but a scratch.

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