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Latest posts by Zoomer44

Growingspuds for Chistmas...

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 21:15

I think mine were planted late July and so calculated they would be ready towards the end of October beginning of November. The plan was to leave a couple of bags for harvest in December  I didn't expect them to grow as quickly as they did though. Last year they were planted later and didn't grow to a sufficient size before frost got them and the bags froze solid.

...they've reached this far against all odds, first strong winds damaged foilage before I'd put in supports, slugs and caterpillars have had a nibble at the leaves, they've been saturated with an on slaughter of continual could count the number of times I've watered them on one hand and now me thinks they have late blight as the stems are slowly going brown

I was putting off delving into the bags to check if they are ready as I'm still eating spuds harvested June/July time. I'll check them tomorrow. Don't suppose they can be left in the bags if they have blight?     

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 20:11

Warm and sunny here, went over the border to Yorkshire for the day where it was even warmer. White cloud interspersed with blue skies.

Managed to get into the garden for an hour or so. Planted some garlic, sowed sweetpea and potted some bulbs. It has been fairly warm in the GH, and today I picked another bowl of toms.

Growingspuds for Chistmas...

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 00:00

After growing spuds successfully for several years in bags, I had hoped the 3rd year trying for Christmas spuds might have been within my grasp but me thinks set back with late blight, the plants are not looking very healthy and with the threat of frost is it really worth the effort.

Has anyone actually grown spuds and harvested them,even in November?  

when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 20:49

Hi, franco6832,

It would be nice to hear what you think about the advise given and whether it has been helpful.

Happy gardening

when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 19:40

Sorry Chris, misread your post but agree seaweed is an excellent soil improver.

I can't get enough to cover the garden but sufficient to use it as a mulch in pots, it dries out and rots down very quickly and doesn't smell when used raw.

I made liquid feed from seaweed this year and found it only smells when used in liquid form, in the bin, when the lid was lifted, the smell was enough to make your eyes water but toms and spuds love it and bottled up it keeps for several weeks.

I rinse the seaweed in water first because of salt content but read somewhere there is so little salt on seaweed it doesn't really matter whether it's rinsed or not.

It's also good as a spray to deter some pests like slugs and snails but you need to start spraying early - March time. It's wildlife friendly to, the birds don't seem to mind the smell neither does the cat, which only lasts for a few hours after spraying .. if you have ever lived by the sea it's not unpleasant but land locked gardeners might not like it.

when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 23:17

I'm happy to be wrong, Chris, if adding seaweed as a mulch on clay soil without using bags fulls of the stuff will improve it beyond adding anything else then tells us where we need to look it up for the advise    

when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 22:42

Anyone collecting seaweed from the beach would need to check their local bye laws. Where I live it's ok to collect it washed up on the beach and at this time of year there is usually a lot due to high tides and rough sea's. Picking it off rocks is a big NO.

You'd need to collect bags of the stuff for it to improve your clay soil Caroline, I'd advise horse or mushroom muck.

Seaweed is very good as a feed, pest deterrent spray and mulch though, which I start to use in the spring for the duration of the growing season up to autumn. .  

Greenhouse watering

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 21:30

Hi, depends what you mean by automatic - I experimented with gravel in trays this year and grew some plants in bottomless pots placed on the gravel with the green absorbent cloth under the gravel. Also put gravel on top of the soil in the pots to prevent evaporation.

The weather was pretty rubbish this year in this part of the UK but there were a few hot weekends when I went away. Using gravel like this certainly reduced how often the plants needed watering. I could go away on a Friday and not water again till Sunday or Monday. Also helped the friend who watered on my two week holiday, although she came every day to feed the cat, only needed to water stuff in the GH every other day or 4th day. Over watering isn't a problem so long as there is moisture in the tray as the compost will only take on water it can hold.

You may need to purchase trays for the grow bags to put gravel in. I used a mix of big plastic trays and wooden fruit boxes, the later lined with bin bags. The fruit boxes came free. The bottomless pots were flower buckets with their bottom cut off down to the size of the rather expensive bottomless tom pots you can purchase at GC's. The flower buckets came free too, I've at least 100 and struggle to know what to do with them.        

I'm sure there will be posters with more suggestions.


when is the best to mulch/improve the soil

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 20:30

I usually add leaf mulch and plenty of organic matter in the Autumn, I've room to collect next years then and by spring what has been put on the beds has broken down quite nicely and the soil is nice and black. A lot of the farmers leave organic matter in sacks outside their farms about this time of year which is free and so can collected for next autumn.

I save dalek made compost to mix with multi purpose bought in the spring. Saves on the amount needed to buy and this year multi purpose compost seemed of lesser quality than that bought in previous years so it improves the quality.      

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 03/10/2012 at 20:12

Another day of rain. It's made the day a lot shorter with dark clouds early evening.

I've bulbs still to plant in pots, the one's saved from last year went out in the garden last month mainly daffs and crocus. I've alliums, dwarf tulips and fritillary new for this year.

There are still lots of unripe toms in the GH, think I'll be leaving them a little whille longer too,I'm contemplating making green chutney or relish although relish doesn't seen to save as long as chutney . 

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