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Tomsk


Latest posts by Tomsk

Carrots

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 23:12

How come you can plant them 4" next to each other one way but they need to be in 12" rows the other way? Is this a suggestion they print on the packet for simpletons like me, or could I average the distance to a fixed 6" grid, and maybe plant hexagonally, etc?

I have the planter full of soft, fluffy soil (although it gets harder over time as it settles) and can't afford to change it or mix it with sand, especially if I'm going to plant other things in it next year, so I'll just have to suffer any forking. Given that this is my second year of planting things, I don't mind it all being a learning experience. My tomatoes did taste nice last year (although the early ones were rather acidic) so I expect these carrots to beat the supermarket ones.

Carrots

Posted: 16/02/2015 at 23:20

Thanks for the replies. Today I bought a packet of 'Jeanette' seeds, on the basis that the description on the back said they're especially sweet whereas the various other varieties in Lidl just say they're either early/late ripening or that they keep well rather than mentioning the flavour. These were also the most expensive, at £1.49 rather than £29p, so I'm hoping they'll turn out OK.

I also got a packet of 'Stuttgarter Riesen' onions for 29p, which I intend to plant with them.

The carrot packet seem to suggest they grow in 80-90 days, whereas the onions just have a germination time (15-20 days) and say to harvest them when the leaves die. Is there an optimal time to pick carrots to get them big and full of flavour? If they really will grow in three months, I should be able to grow two crops this year before the summer ends.

Also, I take it slugs and snails are a problem for carrot and onion growing?

Carrots

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 22:10

I want to try growing carrots. Last year I grew tomatoes in a planter, which was my first attempt at growing fruit/veg so this year I thought I'd try something else.

The planter is 18" deep and gets very reasonable sun in the summer months.

I was looking at some carrot seeds in Lidl and they say to plant 4" apart in rows one foot apart, which means I could potentially fit 20 carrots in my planter. That's a much lower yield than tomatoes, so how long do they take to grow and am I likely to grow more than one crop in a year?

I also read that you should grow onions with tomatoes to stop bugs eating them. Does this really work, and should I grow an equal number, because that means I end up with just 10 carrots (albeit with 10 onions as well).

I do use a lot of carrots in soups and meals, so maybe I'm wasting my time growing them in a planter that's 18" deep, 18" wide and 1 metre long, and should stick to tomatoes?

Daff & tulip shoots already?

Posted: 04/12/2014 at 21:01

Between October and November 2013 I planted some Tulip and Daffodil bulbs, which then flowered later than I was expecting in late spring 2014. I assumed at the time this was down to me planting them much deeper than normal (about 8")

Well imagine my surprise when yesterday I went to clear up the garden and found 2" shoots all over the place! It's barely December and they seem to have already made their way up through 8" of soil and 2" beyond.

Has anyone noticed the same, and does this mean I'll now have a longer baron period between my spring and summer bulbs? Perhaps it's down to the long hot summer we had in 2014?

On an unrelated note, I had some dahlias that had a good summer, but as soon as the weather became colder and damp, got completely covered in mildew. The flowers have now all gone and there aren't even any buds on the plant, but the mildew has completely disappeared and there's still a lot of green leaves. I'm leaving them as they are, assuming this is all feeding the tubers for next year?

Wasps

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:31

I'm in London and have seen very few wasps this year. Just a handful in the last few weeks (none during the summer), but really not many. I've had plenty of bees buzzing around my dahlias and other flowers. The wasps seemed to sniff around the dahlias but not stick around.

Now I think about it, I haven't had a single wasp in the house either. They usually get in the roof somehow, make their way down to the ground floor and end up either buzzing around a window trying to get out or you find them dead on the floor beneath one.

I don't see many bumble bees these days either.

Lifting Dahlias

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:25

I have what looks like mildew quickly spreading all over my dahlias. They've flowered well this year, but they're clearly approaching the end of their cycle now. I don't think any of the buds will reach flowering.

Should I also leave my foliage until it dies of its own accord, or could the mildew poison the tubers?

Protecting a planter over winter

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:19

I got a planter earlier this year and grew some tomatoes, which are now all cut down.

Within a couple of days of cutting the old vines down, cats have started jumping into it and messing. The light, fluffy soil doesn't help.

I intend to pull up the dead tomato roots in a few weeks (once they start to decompose) so that the planter is ready for next spring, but are there any tips on how I should protect the planter over the winter? I could cover it, but I'm not sure if that will create a good breeding ground for bacteria or fungus over the winter that could ruin the soil come next spring?

I also thought about laying sticks across the planter, but I think the cats will simply stand on the stick and drop their mess between them!

What do other people do with large planters full of soil over winter?

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 20:21

My vines look like they're done for the year, with rot and blight creeping in everywhere.

Is there a right way to handle vines once you're finished with them? Since you don't grow the same vines again the next year, I don't suppose it matters if you cut down all the foliage, unlike bulbs and tubers?

But within the soil will be a huge tangle of roots, so should I just leave them to rot or do they need manually removing if I want to plant things in the same planter next year?

I remember trying to plant new flowers in an old window box once, and in the end I had to empty all the soil into the compost bin because it was just a mass of roots from previous flowers. There's too much soil in my planter to empty it, so I have to work with the soil already inside it.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 21:03

Here's the sliced tomato with a bit of the skin peeled back:

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/62180.jpg?width=350

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/62181.jpg?width=350

 

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 20:24

There were a couple of touches of blight elsewhere on the vine or adjacent vines, and some damaged vine that was rotting, but nothing looked wrong with the truss, vines or foliage around these tomatoes. Three tomatoes had black spots in total. The rest on the truss had no spots and are uniformly red all over.

This is a high resolution photo of the third tomato, which was larger and had less obvious spots:

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/62176.jpg?width=350

 There have been snails crawling over the vines, blackfly and caterpillars on a very nearby dahlia and probably other garden insects, including bees and wasps (because of the dahlias).

Oh, I've just cut the worst one open, and it seems perfect inside. I peeled back the skin a bit and the black spots don't even seem to be on the inside of the skin, just the surface of the fruit.

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Daff & tulip shoots already?

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Tomatoes - End of season

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Split tomato vine

Unsupported plant collapsed, leaving split vine branch 
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Growing basil and other herbs

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Lidl bulbs and plants

Nice plants, but often wrong colour/variety. 
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1 to 15 of 48 threads