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BrummieBen


Latest posts by BrummieBen

Broom

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 01:42

as I said, save some of the seed pods, they germinate for fun. They also grow fairly quickly, my father grew some, and in decent soil in a nice spot had a 3ft plant in 18 months-2 years.

Dead Head Alliums?

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 01:40
Berghill wrote (see)

And you often get self sown seedlings all over the place too.

Interesting point about leaving the seed heads. On some bulbs, Tulips, Narcissus for example, removing the dead flower helps the bulb keep its strength for next season, but with Alliums, it is already too late. They flower after the leaves have done their job and begun to die. In fact the flower stem is almost disconnected from the bulb altogether,

Hence why garlic and elephant garlic going to seed is never a problem for me.. I look at it as free flowers, and no nasty effects on the crop, bees love garlic flowers too.

Tomatoe plants...basic how to guide needed?

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 01:36

First question is how big is the trough? Next question is if it is only about 6 inches deep, and maybe 6 wide, you really will need to move them. (no small task without losing them or severely setting them back) Italophile is right (as usual on tommy matters!) the trick with tomatoes is the watering and feeding. Most people grow toms in 'growbags' which really aren't fit for purpose if you ask me. You plant 3 plants in one then have to water every day and still get split fruit or problems from over-watering. I much prefer to plant my toms in large pots (typically 16"), good drainage is essential, so a good couple of inches of coarsely broken up polystyrene in the bottom is a must. I usually mix in some of my soil to a compost mix with a dash of sharp sand too. (my soil is clay, but it helps give the peat free compost some 'weight' and helps it hold on to moisture) I find this way I don't have to water everyday unless it's been really hot, and the plant has plenty of space to grow a great set of roots and so really throw everything into producing fruit. I'm not saying my way is the best or easiest, but it's what works for me, and it's lots easier than the growbag method.

Back to growing beefsteak outside, you really are an optomist, lets hope we have a terrific summer, otherwise you'll have blight long before your fruits have even finished swelling, let alone ripening. I did the same first time I started, it's a learning curve, currently only toms I grow with any success outside would be tumbling toms. This is mainly due to the size of the fruits and how little heat they need to ripen. I wish you good luck, lets us know how you get on.

PS, it's normal the flowers wilt and fade, it's what they do, the fruit grows from behind them.

Broom

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 13:14

I concur, rarely survive the moving, but on the plus side, they will grow very very easily from seed.

Pak Choi has bolted :(

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 09:07

I always use seed in plant cells, 2 seeds to each cell. Grow them on into seedlings, then plant out, usually the weaker of the two grows on as well if I have space. I sow a tray about every 3 weeks, never had a problem with bolting, but then my raised beds do seem to be very good at hanging on to moisture. (Prob the clay soil it's mixed with.) If yours have bolted you can basically eat the plant still, just might be a little tougher. If you aren't happy with this, just sow some more, they don't take long to grow from seed anyways.

Dahlias..an unintended trial

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 09:39

Main problems with dahlias would be, allowed to get to cold, allowed to be too damp, allowed to be too dry. If you lift them and put them in a frost free dark place typically in a tray of dry compost, they may well get too dry. You should once a month try to remember to check and if the soil is getting too dry give them a misting with a hand sprayer on the surface of the compost. All mine came back this year amazingly (probably a fluke!) at my first time. This  year I'm going to try putting them in old tights or onion sacks, hanging them up, and just give them a mist now and again and see how that works out.

Side note, it is important to check them reasonably frequently, if one starts to rot, it can spread quickly.

weedkiller in peat-free compost??

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:10

lol, thanks for this thread, you really brightened my mood!

The Dreaded Red Spider Mite

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:42

I shall now type something that just goes to show, you may stop lots of stuff with great ventilation, but dryness encourages OTHER beasties. I planted a peach to train as a fan on my southern end of the GH last year. Good old thompson & morgan firstly sent me one with very few laterals on the bottom 2 foot of the plant, after I moaned, they refunded me, but I still planted and am attempting to slowly bend the branches down.

Now last year, I grew loads of toms, took a while to ripen but the GH was packed. The peach developed quite a nasty outbreak of red spider, no other plants affected thankfully. This leads me to believe T&M provided me a plant already infested, as if it had come through the ventilation it would have been hitting toms first. I kept spraying the peach with misted water several times a day, then used some form of bug killer after the toms had finished, I then used a pest candle end of the year, then after cleaning the gh this year used another candle. This morning I found webbing on the growing tips, it's back. Just ordered Phytosieulus persimilis, and a follow up for 2 weeks later, hoping this will clear it up.

I ordered from ladybirdplantcare. Quite reasonable for 2 seperate deliveries 2 weeks apart, £23.90. I shall post updates on here if I remember. I really want rid of RSM, makes me paranoid about everything in my greenhouse at the minute. I've cleared all leaves dropped, and all my other plants are up the other end, misting a few times a day with a hand sprayer til my phytos arrive. Anyone think of anything else I can do to slow them down or help contain the outbreak?

Thanks in advance

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:35

I shall now type something that just goes to show, you may stop lots of stuff with great ventilation, but dryness encourages OTHER beasties. I planted a peach to train as a fan on my southern end of the GH last year. Good old thompson & morgan firstly sent me one with very few laterals on the bottom 2 foot of the plant, after I moaned, they refunded me, but I still planted and am attempting to slowly bend the branches down.

Now last year, I grew loads of toms, took a while to ripen but the GH was packed. The peach developed quite a nasty outbreak of red spider, no other plants affected thankfully. This leads me to believe T&M provided me a plant already infested, as if it had come through the ventilation it would have been hitting toms first. I kept spraying the peach with misted water several times a day, then used some form of bug killer after the toms had finished, I then used a pest candle end of the year, then after cleaning the gh this year used another candle. This morning I found webbing on the growing tips, it's back. Just ordered Phytosieulus persimilis, and a follow up for 2 weeks later, hoping this will clear it up.

So just to let all those gardeners out there thinking I'm getting it easy, I'm not!!! RSM is a REAL pain to get rid of, but I shall perservere. I shall put a thread on the problems forum, and TRY to keep it updated with my findings.

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 00:42
Italophile wrote (see)

BB, not in the slightest. It was a fair point. Not everyone grows in an ideal world. I'm lucky that I've been able to for a long time, first in Oz, now in Italy. The drawback in Sydney was the stinking humidity, fungal heaven; here in Italy it's the uninterrupted fortnights of 40C+. It can fry the flowers on the plants. But I count my tomato blessings.

Spacing is only one of the anti-fungal measures, that's all. Part of the package.

Scrubbing out is always a good idea for a lot of reasons. I think it's your ventilation, though, and the breeze in particular, that helps you. But be vigilant, ever vigilant. As I'm sure you are.

I'm always in the GH pottering, mind with the weather this last few days, it's nearly at the point where you can pass out!! I know what you mean about fortnights of 40, my parents live on Malta, so we get that and usually a breeze. It's hell on the leaves, even with heavy duty shading we finally admitted defeat, we grow to crop now from march - june, and then sep-late october (wind is usually up though). We grow outside, my folks rent a small plot on a field close by, we also grow lettuce and cherry toms on the roof of the apartment block. It's odd getting your head around essentially having 2 growing seasons, and adjusting sowing etc accordingly.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

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