Latest posts by biofreak


Posted: 04/02/2014 at 15:29

Muddyfork what sort of yield did you get?

I have bought hessian gravel carrying bags which take up to 65Kg. Just unwrapped one - Measurements as per I mentioned before and certainly manageable,

Pots have always been brilliant from Poundland as you say, but I have other cunning plans for them this year, to maximise veg plot space. I can line bags up along the hedge. Nice to know I can start in Marcg, I have always waited until Easter or as per the old gardening tip - Lilac Time. (When the first lilac flowers come out). Am going to try Belle de Fontenay this year for a change - Nearest taste I can get to Jersey Royals apart from Pink Fir Apple.

Re Maincrop - Just can't wait that long to tuck in, and really cheap here. Recommend Apollo - Fantastic Roastie and Baker. Not sure if it is available in UK though.

Swedes & Turnips

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 15:20

Um, seems I too will have to give up on this one, but how about my turnips? I've been growing Golden Ball because they are so much tastier than the standard whites.

Any tips?

Brussel Sprouts

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 15:18

I have a Pot Garden which includes some veg in Summer. The Potager is surrounded by herbs and fruit so no space there. Horizontal wires I had not thought of, not compaction of soil! Back to the drawing board I think, unless? - Thanks Mandy - can I intercrop Brussels with anything?

Brussel Sprouts

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 16:50

Now I know this may be crazy, but brussel sprouts (indeed all brassicas) take up alot of space for a long time. I have 60 or 70 large clay pots stored at the back of the garage doing nothing year after year. Could I (It's a big ask!) Could I pop the Brussels in a Large Clay pot of ordinary soil (so nice and firm) ,and grow them on in a group lining the veg plot instead of in it?? Playing with this idea as I really need to free up space, and I have grown potatoes really successfully in  pots before. I could fleece wrap the pots in winter to avoid cracking. Any thoughts?

Swedes & Turnips

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 16:44

Every year I sow these in my sandy/loamy veg plot, and every year all starts well.But I end up with swedes and turnips taking an eternity to grow, and puny little balls of admittedly tasty delights are the result. Am I doing something drastically wrong, or should I just give up and go to the Greengrocer? Instructions please!


Posted: 03/02/2014 at 16:37

Watched Monty Don grow potatoes in bag last Season, but don't know what size he use. Just bought myself 5 Builders Bags for £2 as cannot justify £15 for 3 listed in Seed Catalogues! Same material. same design, 60cm wide (2ft) by 90cm high (3ft)

Now I need to know how other's have fared with this method, and when and how I plant it up. (eg. How many potatoes can I put in each bag?) All suggestions welcome.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 16:24

Sticking with this thread, as so many of my own questions to ask on other subjects!!

I agree obelixx, you will get another chance (or several!) to sow and plant etc. Obviously a certain amount of common sense comes in. If the weather is horrendous, none of us would set foot outside to do anything! One thing I have noted though is that 9 times out of ten last year - on a non-gardening day, I would not have gardened anyway, due to weather. Equally, yesterday for example was calm and mild. the wind had dropped and yes I did use up last year's opened packets to pop some seeds as per Calender in the Cold frame. (I'm still a little sceptic!!)

What would be great is if we could compare notes as we go along. So, for example if one of you was brave enough to sow something already this week, diary it, and let's both see if it does come up/crop better etc and when.What shall we call ourselves? I am sure someone will be 'clever' and say 'loonies'! How about 'Lunites'? - Any ideas?

Just in passing, husband reminded me that we are 1 hour ahead of you in France, so I have adapted the FrenchLunar  Calender to English time.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 17:49

Lunar Calender 1-8th February 2014 (Moon rising)

1st Feb:- In greenhouse 20-22C sow begonias semperflorens & geraniums. Do not cover the begonia seeds Sow cauliflowers.

2-4th Feb:- Sow under heat white cabbage.(Calender says you should be able to plant these out 9th April for cropping in June/July) In Cucumber Frame sow early lettuce and batavia.

5th Feb:- No gardening between 7.40am-5.45pm (descending noeud lunaire)

6th Feb:- In all regions sow round as opposed to wrinkled peas and mangetouts. In mild regions sow Broad Beans.

7-8th Feb:- Outside -Sow Red & Yellow Onions 1-2cms deep.You should be able to harvest these July-Sept.



Posted: 31/01/2014 at 15:49

My first 'new' snowdrops out today!! Planted them 'in the green' under my apple trees after flowering last year. Seem really happy.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 15:47

Great to have you behind me on this one! Yes, most French Gardeners are Bio/and Lunar followers, in particular Bio-dynamic gardening uses the constellations and this is being introduced on the Radio and TV this year.

Anyway, back to the Moon's track across the sky and when you DON'T garden.

When the moon is at it's highest point and furthest away from the earth it is called 'apogee' - When it is at it's nearest point it is called 'perigee' - In both instances it is deemed harmful to plants and seedlings grow weakly and are prone to sickness. The primary cause is because if you imagine 'high and low tides' which we know are caused by the gravitational force of the moon/earth - At the highest and lowest position of the moon, it is effectively ineffective - neither pulling or pushing growth.

So these 2 points are known as 'noeuds lunaires' or knotted moons. ie. Fixed and doing nothing.Thus it makes sense to do nothing but basic maintenance on these days as indicated in the Calender.

Each Constellation favours Roots/leafy veg & herbs/Flowering veg/Seeds & fruits, and as the moon passes through the Constellations, strengths and weaknesses are denoted in growth

As the moon rises and passes through Capricorn & Taurus, and a descends through Virgo it covers Root Vegetables such as: Garlic/Beetroot/Carrots/Celeriac/Shallots/Turnips/Onions/Leeks/Potatoes & Radishes.

As the moon rises through Pisces and descends through Cancer & Scorpio it affects leafy vegetables such as: Asparagus/Cabbage/Spinach/Lettuce/Leeks/Chard/Rhubarb and aromatic herbs.

As the moon rises through Aquarius and descends through Libra & Gemini it has a favourable action on Flower-Vegetables such as: Artichokes/Broccoli & Caulifowers.

As the moon rises through Aries & Sagittarius and descends through Leo it favours the maturity of seeds and fruit such as: Aubergines/Cucumbers/Courgettes/Beans/Peas/Melons & Tomatoes.

This makes perfect sense to me as the higher it goes in simplistic wording - the more it pulls plants upwards, and the lower it goes it forces roots down. Following the course through the constellations would indicate it's strengths and weaknesses through each constellation on the relevant veg family.

Hope you are following this so far, because then you can begin to understand how the Calender works.

Any Questions?

Calender to follow in next couple of hours - Plus some answers to questions (I hope!)



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