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  1. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    Gardening

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by KatieValino, Jul 12, 2014.

    I am currently growing some of my own veg and I was wondering if any of you have any experience of this and have any tips. I am growing red spring onions, seem to be doing well, I keep trimming their hair and they are smelling lovely.
    My Kos lettuce has come through but is pretty....wide. That is the only way I can describe it. It looks like lettuce and tastes like it but it is just not like Kos lettuce looks. Not that I am complaining. I am just glad they have come through to be honest.
    My tomatoes are coming on strong, tall, sturdy and I am taking the new stalk buds away regularly.
    My peas are a bit odd, one is doing incredibly well, tall but has not flowered. The others are small but have flowered, so goodness knows what is happening with them.
    And finally my peppers have actually come through but no flowers nor multiple leaves. I have a feeling they might not make it :/

    Anyways any advice and stories would be welcomed :D
     
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  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am growing vegetabls in my garden too! :) I keep wanting to go around and photograph it all, but I still haven't done it. I've had mostly successes and some disasters as well. In the greenhouse I have massive cucumbers, a few grapes, ripening tomato plant, Thai basil, peppers, mint, all doing well. Also propagating various stuff like herbs, lemon balm, daikon and replacements for the veg.

    Outside, rainbow chard is super successful, as are purple carrots and potatoes. Broccoli hasn't all succeeded, but what did is very tasty. Just harvested some broccoli heads, yum, and leaving for more side-shoots to develop.
    image.jpg

    Cauliflowers in the row next to it are taking a lot longer, no visible heads yet, so we'll see what happens.

    Most of the tomatoes (different varieties in pots and the ground) are doing well but one big fail are the Black Krim tomatoes. They got potbound in tiny pots (just didn't have the time to plant them out on time) and now they are miniscule bonsai tomato plants with the smallest tomatoes I've ever seen (like small cherries). Pretty disappointed about that, hoping they'll be super tasty though.

    The parsnips I sowed directly got overtaken by weeds and in the end I (and by 'I' I mean 'my husband' :D) had to weed everything out. Next time I'll plant the seeds in the greenhouse, single cardboard pots (carrots as well, for convenience) and transplant with the container into the weeded soil, so hopefully will have some for Christmas.

    'Three sisters planting' was a success - maize is doing really well, courgette jungle too (although not as many fruits developing from all the flowers, but it's early days). The Italian beans are a partial fail because they were meant to climb up the maize, but I planted them too late and the courgettes underneath have overtaken them, so they are struggling a bit. But definitely growing so fingers crossed.

    What else... I planted one area with masses of wild flower seeds, nigella, zinnia, cornflower, poppies, daisies, a couple of roses. They are coming up. Herb table is looking great, with pots of sage, mint, coriander, parsley, chives and basil. Blackcurrant and raspberry bushes got neglected, so just about 200g of blackcurrants, don't know about raspberries, but there's a huge blackberry bush with loads of fruit on it. Also have a couple of good crab apple tees, a small plum with a few good sized fruits, a barren couple of cherries, an ancient golden delicious in desperate need of a tree surgeon, and a couple of really old pears, with useless fruit. We just recently moved there, so I plan to sort out the trees this winter.:agreed:
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  3. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Jazzabel, you'll just love the Black Krim!:) I've found that any 'black' tomato is just outstanding in terms of taste and sweetness. Have you tried Paul Robeson??

    It sounds like you have quite a setup there---with a greenhouse! I have an acre wide garden myself with vegetables to one side and fruit on the other. I'm finding that it's a great year so far for tomatoes and peppers since the amount of rain has been even and we haven't had a lot of wind damage.

    Here in upstate NY there's a huge deer population and we have a 12 ft. fence set up. There is also an overabundance of bears and other difficult rodents, and we are having a huge problem with voles right now :(.

    Katie, have you tried composting your pepper bed? Also, when the tomatoes get big it is sometimes necessary to tie them up or brace them somehow, especially when the wind comes:). The 'big' varieties are not so bad, but oh my gosh those cherry tomatoes will take over the house if you let them!:D
     
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  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @aikoaiko : It's my first time growing vegetables on this scale, so it was all a bit hit and miss, but I'll make sure next year I get those tomatoes nice and big before they go in the ground, so the delicious dark fruit is bigger. They are my favourites out of heirloom tomatoes, I'll try the Paul Robeson next year, thanks for the tip!

    Your nature sounds a lot more wild than ours down here. The biggest pests/wild animals we get in the garden are the neighbour's cat, a mole, occasional fox (she mostly hangs out around my neighbour's chicken coup though, third one in as many months, poor chickens), my dog, some cabbage butterflies and a blackbird :D Although I had to fence off the garden because the dog could get under the natural hedge and pester people and dogs walking past, his favourite activity after catching a tennis ball in mid air and eating cheese.
     
  5. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I'm green with envy. Best I can do in the way of gardening is to grow herbs in a window box. I would have been growing tomatoes on my balcony but for the fact my pigeon problem has resurfaced, and there are presently four babies at various stages of development nested there. I've been having to destroy fresh laid eggs each morning, (breaks my heart) and once the little'uns have their flight feathers, they and their parents are getting evicted. I have a plan to afix wooden batons on the overhang so I can screen off the area to prevent them gaining entry again.

    Fingers crossed.
     
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  6. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    There's a wonderful salad to make with fresh garden tomatoes:). You cut up a bunch in a bowl (if you have different colored varieties it is absolutely gorgeous to look at--try green, black, orange, yellow, red, and different sizes). Then add basil (fresh is best), a drizzle of olive oil, and feta cheese. You could substitute mozzarella for feta if you like (or any favorite cheese) but the result is so delicious that even kids will eat it! Now that my boys are older I need about 20 or 30 tomatoes at a time (don't ask, they are all teenagers!:dry:), but it is the best salad ever.

    And I empathize with your neighbor's fox problems! Yikes! We had one last year that took out 10 or 20 chickens and even a few ducks. There is probably no predator alive that is more daring, savvy, or intelligent. Even coyotes don't compare, though we had a mink get in once and a neighbor of mine lost some to a mountain lion. :(.

    Best of luck on this wonderful project!
     
  7. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Herbs in pots is a great idea, Obsidian! Our soil here is very heavy (clay) and herbs love drainage, so I've got them stacked on my porch as well. It's certainly more convenient because you only have to go out the door when you need something. I've also been able to drag some in for the winter, so they've gotten good and tall and copious:). Bird nests aren't as much of a problem here, but your solution sounds like a good one!
     
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  8. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I grow fruits. I used to have peach and apples, but evil forces, which shall not be name, caused their unfortunate deaths.

    Now I have figs, persimmons, blueberries, raspberries, and I have plans to add more exotic fruits, such as dragon fruit. The only problem with these kind of fruit-bearing trees is that they take years to yield. Except for that blueberry, which, despite its size, can produce its own cost in berries every year. I can never bring myself to cut away those delicious berries for the sake of a faster growing plant.

    Maybe I should invest more in melons next year.

    As for veggies, I leave that to my father. My backyard is like a mini-farm full of veggies I would not know the name of. We cut them in fresh for cooking and sell the surplus that we do not use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
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  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @aikoaiko The pigeons have been giving me grief for a while. I'm wish I could screen the balcony off now. I've tried pretty much everything else. I had a really good fake owl with huge luminous eyes. It kept them away for a while, then one night when I was away a storm blew in, knocked it's head off, (it swivelled) and on inspection the following morning one of the pigeons was perched triumphantly on top of it.

    I'm actually rather fond of them by now, but if I can't get them moved on, the housing association will bring the hawks in to permanently get rid of them. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
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  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @aikoaiko : That's my favourite salad too! It's what I had in mind when I went nuts planting all the tomatoes :) Mountain lions are very cool, scary, though. My mum has a fox coming to her for years now, he comes and sits with her in the garden, brings his family, plays with a cat, she even found him curled on her bed once. A woman down the road has a licence to care for and feed the foxes (so they don't go through rubbish) and that one wants to be my mum's pet. Also, neighbour next door has a chicken coup that's like Fort Knox so the foxes can never get in and are forever casting wistful glances at the chickens :D

    @Nilfiry : That sounds so yummy, I love fruit! I must try some blueberries next year.

    @obsidian_cicatrix : Poor pigeons, I really feel for you (and them!).
     
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  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    [Leaves to go pull weeds and fix the back fence.] :(
     
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