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    Originally posted by B.A. View Post
    Never had much interest in the garden but this year I took a notion to plant some spinach, rocket and lettuce in a fish box I found washed up on a beach. It's actually addictive when you've managed to grow something yourself. I also got into bonsai recently so I planted a variety of trees from seeds over the winter. Much my surprise I now have a bunch of sycamore, ash and mountain ash which I hope to train and wire over the next few years.
    Dat will keep busy while you're away in Cuckoon land
    Stand up for the Ulcer men

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      Originally posted by B.A. View Post
      Never had much interest in the garden but this year I took a notion to plant some spinach, rocket and lettuce in a fish box I found washed up on a beach. It's actually addictive when you've managed to grow something yourself. I also got into bonsai recently so I planted a variety of trees from seeds over the winter. Much my surprise I now have a bunch of sycamore, ash and mountain ash which I hope to train and wire over the next few years.
      I found a plastic barrel washed up on the beach this morning. Perfect for having a go at growing some spuds. I found half a bag of sprouted potatoes at the back of the lodger's cupboard, forgotten there since she went home when the schools closed on 13th March. It brings me back to my childhood sitting cutting up sacks of old sprouted potatoes ready for Mam to plant in the garden. Sunday job will be to wash out the barrel well, punch some holes around the bottom for drainage then layer in some stones. I'm going to try breaking is some polystyrene over the stones to further improve drainage - I found a good supply during the week when I was dismantling an old pet house.

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        Spent a bit of time the other day clearing a section of overgrown ground for raised beds - of course I picked the hottest day of the week to do that ... ​ - near killed me. When they're done I'll have five of them altogether, each 2m x 2m. The ground there is steeply sloped so I'm stepping/terracing them - driving in some leftover bits of 2x4 at the corner of each one, then screwing planks to them - tannalised fencing boards that were cracked or had a chunk taken off the corner or similar. I'll fill them up to about 18" deep initially with some topsoil I've had in a pile since last year and mix in some compost and some dry chicken manure pellets. Plan is to sow out beetroot seedlings in the upper two squares which will have the greatest soil depth, with spuds in drills in the three lower sections (I've one other spot for spuds, so 16 sq m altogether). Won't have time to get all that finished till the end of the week though.

        In the meantime I've broad beans, peas, shallots, onions, garlic and the first set of carrots in - going to sow out some more carrot seed tomorrow and keep sowing every week or so in order to have a reasonably constant supply later in the summer and into the autumn. Still haven't had time to sow out my tomatoes, peppers, mixed salad etc but will hopefully get that started tomorrow as well. The polytunnel has been a glorified shed for the past couple of summers so it needs a bit of restoration!
        Tis but a scratch.

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          Originally posted by mr chips View Post
          Spent a bit of time the other day clearing a section of overgrown ground for raised beds - of course I picked the hottest day of the week to do that ... ​ - near killed me. When they're done I'll have five of them altogether, each 2m x 2m. The ground there is steeply sloped so I'm stepping/terracing them - driving in some leftover bits of 2x4 at the corner of each one, then screwing planks to them - tannalised fencing boards that were cracked or had a chunk taken off the corner or similar. I'll fill them up to about 18" deep initially with some topsoil I've had in a pile since last year and mix in some compost and some dry chicken manure pellets. Plan is to sow out beetroot seedlings in the upper two squares which will have the greatest soil depth, with spuds in drills in the three lower sections (I've one other spot for spuds, so 16 sq m altogether). Won't have time to get all that finished till the end of the week though.

          In the meantime I've broad beans, peas, shallots, onions, garlic and the first set of carrots in - going to sow out some more carrot seed tomorrow and keep sowing every week or so in order to have a reasonably constant supply later in the summer and into the autumn. Still haven't had time to sow out my tomatoes, peppers, mixed salad etc but will hopefully get that started tomorrow as well. The polytunnel has been a glorified shed for the past couple of summers so it needs a bit of restoration!
          God you'll be feeding the country Chippy!

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            Ha! Tbh I'm looking at the prospect of having no trade at all this year, so right now I'm throwing my efforts into sowing now before it's too late in the year entirely. Plus as you know I'm a wee delicate flower(!) so until the plague is past I have to avoid as much contact with others as possible, including minimising shopping. Our freezer is pretty full and depending on how well things grow and how much the slugs and all their hungry buddies get, this could be our primary source of fruit & veg for the latter half of the year. The gooseberries & blackcurrants that went in a couple of years ago should be bearing a reasonable amount of fruit during the summer, ditto the cherry trees and the grapevines in the polytunnel, and there's loads of blossom on the big plum tree so that's looking hopeful. Same goes for the apple & pear trees. I might yet die from coronavirus or even from obesity, but at least it won't be from scurvy or malnutrition.
            Tis but a scratch.

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              Nah, malnutrition and yourself are not two words I'd tend to associate! (Like myself I should add......)

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                Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                Ha! Tbh I'm looking at the prospect of having no trade at all this year, so right now I'm throwing my efforts into sowing now before it's too late in the year entirely. Plus as you know I'm a wee delicate flower(!) so until the plague is past I have to avoid as much contact with others as possible, including minimising shopping. Our freezer is pretty full and depending on how well things grow and how much the slugs and all their hungry buddies get, this could be our primary source of fruit & veg for the latter half of the year. The gooseberries & blackcurrants that went in a couple of years ago should be bearing a reasonable amount of fruit during the summer, ditto the cherry trees and the grapevines in the polytunnel, and there's loads of blossom on the big plum tree so that's looking hopeful. Same goes for the apple & pear trees. I might yet die from coronavirus or even from obesity, but at least it won't be from scurvy or malnutrition.
                Bail ó Dhia ar an obair
                Gwan Joe!!

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                  Got more than two tons of topsoil dumped into that area for raised beds today. It's on a slope with limited access, so the link box on the back of the tractor had to be mostly emptied using a shovel. Spent a lot of the time doing so blinded with the sweat! Have to break up the sods & clods tomorrow, remove any stones and weed clumps, level it and add the fertiliser, then I'll sow out the first set of seedlings - beetroot first, then hopefully the seed potatoes I ordered will arrive before the end of next week. They'd better be feckin good spuds!!
                  Tis but a scratch.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                    Got more than two tons of topsoil dumped into that area for raised beds today. It's on a slope with limited access, so the link box on the back of the tractor had to be mostly emptied using a shovel. Spent a lot of the time doing so blinded with the sweat! Have to break up the sods & clods tomorrow, remove any stones and weed clumps, level it and add the fertiliser, then I'll sow out the first set of seedlings - beetroot first, then hopefully the seed potatoes I ordered will arrive before the end of next week. They'd better be feckin good spuds!!
                    you won't be missing the gym anyway, that all sounds like a damn hard workout

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                      Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                      Got more than two tons of topsoil dumped into that area for raised beds today. It's on a slope with limited access, so the link box on the back of the tractor had to be mostly emptied using a shovel. Spent a lot of the time doing so blinded with the sweat! Have to break up the sods & clods tomorrow, remove any stones and weed clumps, level it and add the fertiliser, then I'll sow out the first set of seedlings - beetroot first, then hopefully the seed potatoes I ordered will arrive before the end of next week. They'd better be feckin good spuds!!
                      Our seed potatoes arrived yesterday after a six week delivery!!! New to this gardening business so expectations are low!!!! Managed to dog proof the veg patch anyway and put my first load of Charlottes in yesterday. Can’t be bothered with this chitting business as a potato farmer friend once told me it is a load of b’llocks. We will see...

                      Could only get Charlotte, King Edwards and Maris Pipers. I was thinking of keeping the MPs for a main crop and using the King Edwards for second earlies, does that strike you as a stupid plan?

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                        I wouldn't be the best one to advise you on that PP! When it comes to spuds, I very much go by what it says on the packet and I haven't grown them regularly enough to know what to do with different varieties. My own seed potatoes are supposed to arrive today, according to the delivery notification I just got. I'm not ready!! My oca arrived yesterday too, so the pressure's on to get the raised beds finished as quickly as possible - ideally all this would have been in a month ago, so every day counts now.
                        Tis but a scratch.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                          I wouldn't be the best one to advise you on that PP! When it comes to spuds, I very much go by what it says on the packet and I haven't grown them regularly enough to know what to do with different varieties. My own seed potatoes are supposed to arrive today, according to the delivery notification I just got. I'm not ready!! My oca arrived yesterday too, so the pressure's on to get the raised beds finished as quickly as possible - ideally all this would have been in a month ago, so every day counts now.
                          This is the first year we have had a garden with space for a veg patch and it has an ancient greenhouse so we were always going to get growing this year. It is a nuisance that the garden centres are all shut as much for the expertise as anything else. I know what I like to use in the kitchen when it comes to spuds but we just couldn’t get any of the varieties we wanted on line. Ideally I would have preferred to just grow new potatoes as main crop is so cheap to buy direct from the farmer but Mrs PP ordered up the King Edwards and the MPs so I think I had better use them!?!?

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                            Definitely use them!! Just keep track of which ones you planted where. Make sure to sow them in drills - so much easier to get them out of the ground that way.

                            Just finished the second sowing of carrots, although the first sowing from a couple of weeks back hasn't even peeked above the surface yet as it's been so dry and I haven't been diligent enough about watering. After a sodden January and February, there's been no rain here at all since the middle of March. Also have peppers sown and am about to dig out the biggest pots I have for the tomatoes.

                            All that sunshine has meant the amount of blossom on the fruit trees is incredible. The scent from the cherry blossom is just gorgeous, very rich - I'll have to think of how to deter birds from stealing them all this year as the trees are a bit too big to surround with netting. Might try hanging a few old CDs from them. I've a fake wasps' nest up nearby so hopefully that'll deter those feckers from stripping the fruit from the pips while it's still green, like they did last year. Even the birds didn't get to have a go!
                            Tis but a scratch.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                              Definitely use them!! Just keep track of which ones you planted where. Make sure to sow them in drills - so much easier to get them out of the ground that way.

                              Just finished the second sowing of carrots, although the first sowing from a couple of weeks back hasn't even peeked above the surface yet as it's been so dry and I haven't been diligent enough about watering. After a sodden January and February, there's been no rain here at all since the middle of March. Also have peppers sown and am about to dig out the biggest pots I have for the tomatoes.

                              All that sunshine has meant the amount of blossom on the fruit trees is incredible. The scent from the cherry blossom is just gorgeous, very rich - I'll have to think of how to deter birds from stealing them all this year as the trees are a bit too big to surround with netting. Might try hanging a few old CDs from them. I've a fake wasps' nest up nearby so hopefully that'll deter those feckers from stripping the fruit from the pips while it's still green, like they did last year. Even the birds didn't get to have a go!
                              Think the bloody squirrels are going to be the issue in our garden. I have never lived anywhere with so many of the beggars. The kids made a very entertaining scarecrow to try and keep the pigeons off, whether it will work with the pox carriers we will see.

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                                The mini-digger I was expecting at the start of last week didn't arrive, so as well as driving all the stakes for the boards two feet into clay with a sledgehammer (there may have been a pick axe involved a few times too) I ended up digging and barrowing about 3.5 tonnes of topsoil by hand in order to finish the first couple of raised beds (I also had to lift & re-lay part of a patio this week - ah well, have to work off all the extra home-drinking somehow ...) Anyway, they're sowed out with spuds and beetroot now, although I still have prepare somewhere for the other 20+ seed potatoes I have left. If each one I've sowed thus far produces another 8-10, then I'll have around 400 to harvest which will definitely take us beyond the new year. The broad beans we sowed about 3 weeks ago started to appear above the surface a few days back, as have the onions & shallots. Still no sign of any peas though - might sow out a few more if there's no change by the end of the week.

                                I'm hugely relieved to see that the oak trees I transplanted a few weeks back are all putting out leaves now. Seeing as I'm that bit further north, I'm thinking I might be able to get away with transplanting a few damson trees this week (don't think I would risk it beyond this weekend though). They're just about still at the sapling stage and are in leaf ok but those aren't full size yet, plus there's no blossom on any of them so I'm not expecting any fruit from them this year regardless. Whenever I transplant a tree, I'm pretty careful about excavating the roots without breaking them and having their new location already prepared, so the tree only spends a few minutes at most out of the soil. Helps to put a good shake of bone meal into the hole before setting the tree in and to give it a serious soaking as soon as the soil has been trodden in, to the point that the soil is nearly waterlogged. Worked out the other day that I've space for maybe four more fruit trees without them crowding one another, but I've plenty to work with in the meantime so that can wait until autumn/spring.
                                Tis but a scratch.

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