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The potting shed - the tea is on, come in for a natter.

(118 Posts)
radiohelen Sun 27-Mar-11 16:45:43

It's nearly April... So far in my ickles plastic greenhouse - aka the four tier tardis - I've got tomatillos, tomatos, leeks, beetroot, peas, parsnips, green cauliflowers and some flowers, sweet peas and nasturtiums.

I planted my spuds and more rows of broad beans. Still got the onion sets and garlic to put in.

I've pruned my new apple tree and gooseberry bushes, dumped potash on the goosegogs and currants and mulched with compost.

I've also potashed my peonies in the hope of better show than last year.

What have you been up to?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 27-Mar-11 17:05:18

I haven't yet started seed-sowing (that's top of the list for tomorrow). I've spent weeks tidying up as the arrival of the snow last year meant I just abandoned the garden rather than putting it to bed properly. The main casualties of the cold spell were pots which shattered, but there are a couple of my favourite things (black bamboo and callicarpa) that I fear are dead so am keeping a close eye on.

I have planted a few things today - sage, santolina, cistus, achillea - because I need to shift them out of the cold frame to make way for new stuff going in.

Oh, and I discovered today that my solar-powered radio doesn't work any more. ::sob::

Mirage Sun 27-Mar-11 17:15:55

I have dug over the couch grass covered slope in my garden,that has languished untended for nearly 6 years,planted my onion sets and some charlotte spuds in there.Then pricked out some Marmande tomatoes,sunflowers,sweetpeas and bell peppers.Sowed some swiss chard and californian poppies in the border and some aubergines in the propagator.

Yesterday I investigated my polytunnel-what a mess.I hadn't been in it since the snow last year [it is on my parent's farm a mile away] and all the tomato plants were still in their beds,brambles and weeds all over.I cleared it all out,sprayed the brambles around the outside and mended the hole made when a runaway calf put it's head through there last year.angryI have crated up my already pricked out plants to transport down there tomorrow.

I ache from all the digging and pulling out.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 27-Mar-11 17:23:55

I am an urban gardener so completely clueless shock at dealing with the depredations of rabbits, deer and runaway calves!

How long ago did you sow your tomatoes, Mirage? ::panics::

AliciaFlorrick Sun 27-Mar-11 17:33:11

Growing indoors at the moment are toms, peppers, broccoli and thyme.

Outdoor I've set off some onion sets, half a row of carrots and some lettuce in the cold frame, have also planted some parsnips and spinach.

All the fruit bushes have been pruned and look lovely.

Still have lots of planting to do and am waiting for a delivery of some railway sleepers so I can make a herb garden and DS2 can plant some salad stuff.

This is my first year of growing so I'm very enthusiastic. I'm also in France so I think my soil might be a bit warmer than in the UK so everything might be a couple of weeks ahead of you.

GnomeDePlume Sun 27-Mar-11 17:38:50

I am starting to unmothball my allotment. Parsnips and carrots for dinner tonight as a result. I cant believe how good the soil is after a couple of seasons digging. Next week I will get the rotavator onto it to really break it up.

My greenhouse is full of broad beans, garlic and chitting potatoes. The sweet peas are in the propagator because there is no more room.

Thank heavens the clocks have changed. I have a chance of getting onto my plot during the week.

Mirage Sun 27-Mar-11 19:02:03

Maud,I started at the end of Feb,but it was too early really.I always do them too early every year,but I have a little stall with an honesty box for selling plants,so panic that we will have an early,warm spring and I'll be caught out with nothing to sell.I love tomatoes and grow about a dozen different sorts.

I have had 2 or 3 of those solar powered radios and none of them have lasted very well.I've given up now and take my ipod to work with me instead.In my own garden,I don't like to listen to anything apart from the birds.

radiohelen Sun 27-Mar-11 19:10:01

I know what you mean Gnome I can't wait for the lighter evenings so I can get on a bit.

I planted my tomatos about two weeks ago, second week in March I think. I got the seeds from a seedswap site and I wanted to get them started so I stand a chance of getting some before the blight gets us. It seems to happen every year <sighs> I'll probably succumb to some more plants at some point. I usually do at plant swaps and in garden centres.

Mirage - I just read in my Monty Weekend Gardener book that couch grass hates turnips... can't grow in the same patch. Don't know if that's helpful or not! I was looking for companion planting for my broad beans.. turns out the raab and the caulis can go in there. Every day's a school day.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 27-Mar-11 19:14:46

Spent the day at allotment and sowed lettuce, peas, carrots, White Beetroot, rocket, shallots and red onions. Took a bit of sage down and sone chives. Neighbour gave me some oregano and am making a path to shed from stones. Did back in bending to get a stone right at the end.

Garlic, broad beans, lettuce in greenhouse, spuds are chitting and Yacon and aubergines on windowsill. DH has chillis on the go.

CheeseEnforcementAgency Sun 27-Mar-11 19:22:17

I've decided this year I'm not growing toms from seeds I end up with 100s and then I buy them as well so this year I'm just buying. 50p a plant from yhe Market & cheaper at the plant sales so it's no much difference.

We have totally revamped our garden this year. Fruit trees are in , black currants, raspberries, strawberries. Gooseberries going in tomorrow then just the red currant/ blueberry bed to go.
Veg wise we have peas, beans, rocket, garlic, herbs, shallots, walking onion, spring onion. Need to get some broccoli , leeks, potatos sorted.

Not much in the way of flowers yet. That's dh department.

cuppateaplease Sun 27-Mar-11 20:04:09

Ooh you are making me so jealous! We moved house last year and have big back garden that was mainly lawn so really looking forward to having big veg patch and loads of flowers. Have managed to dig a small veg patch and put in onion sets and asparagus but most of time has been spent on clearing front garden - covered in pebbles and huge conifers plus various concrete rubble. Have nearly finished clearing and piling the rubbish - just need to organise a skip for all the concrete. Looking forward to being able to plant things rather than the manual labour currently involved.
Definitely need a brew

MavisEnderby Sun 27-Mar-11 20:08:45

What are good things to grow for a new gardener in the edible line?I grow herbs indoors,but would like a bash at something edible outdoors.Have clay soil and no greenhouse.Could I do potatoes,or tomatoes or something??Sorry,clueless

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 27-Mar-11 20:18:21

Potatoes are good in clay soil because they help to break it up (we grow lots of potatoes on our allotment, which is pure clay). For tomatoes, I'd grow them in a grow bag with bottomless pots on top or in large pots, because the roots need to go deep and they may struggle to get through clay. Also, it's supposed not to be good for the soil to repeatedly grow tomatoes in the same place.

What do you and the children like to eat? Salad leaves, radishes, herbs, beans and peas are all pretty easy to grow. smile

EssieW Sun 27-Mar-11 20:24:02

Can I come in?!

Have some seeds planting taking up windowsill space - chillis, purple sprouting broccoli, sunflowers, sweet peas, foxgloves, ox-eye daisies, zinnias and lots of basil.

Pea tips in cold frame.

Aiming to have a seed planting session this week. I've just put in 2 new raised beds to go with the 4 we did last year. Want to plant carrots, beetroots, peas and broad beans outside. I've also tried to make a mini polytunnel of some big hoops and polythene - it's a bit rough and ready but should do to start some things off. I'll then move the chillis and tomatoes in there.

I've spent a lot of time over the last few weeks starting our woodland garden. We have some big trees on one side so have underplanted with spring bulbs, ferns, dicentra, euphorbia and foxgloves. Lots more to do though. It means I probably won't get round to planting more soft fruit this year but have done raspberries as we're running out of time.

Mirage Sun 27-Mar-11 20:34:43

radiohelen-well,you live and learn! I never knew that about turnips! And me a trained gardener too.Luckily I have some turnip seed and plenty of couch grass left.I'll have a go and see if it works.Thankyou.

radiohelen Mon 28-Mar-11 13:51:39

Pull up a chair Essie - it's a big shed smile

Mavis I'd grow things you like to eat - I grew runner beans for a number of years before it dawned on me - I hate them! Suttons have got a speedy veg section on their website... for the impatient gardener. Otherwise - courgettes are always a winner, strawberries, tumbling tomatos in a hanging basket work well, rainbow chard, potatos in one of those bags, garlic/chives and any kind of salad you like... butterhead lettuces are my favourite.

Mirage if it doesn't work we can blame Monty Don wink

Driftwood999 Mon 28-Mar-11 16:02:08

May I join you?
We have cleared an overgrown garden/allotment over the last two years and are adding to it all the time. Going into year 3 I'm determined to stick to the things that we like and are treats. Not bothering with Toms this year. Not because we don't like them but because we have to carry the water and perfer other stuff. Have put in some fruit trees, pear, apple and shrubs, blackcurrant and blueberry; his and hers gooseberries, one golden and one pink! Thorny devils aren't they? Globe artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb and herbs, bay, thymn, sage, chives, hardy rocket, all of which will stay where they are. Still picking purple sprouting smile It's hit and miss at times, I do have some useful books which I refer to so am getting more knowledgeable. Have met some lovely people along the way who have given lots of useful tips, cuttings and plants and we enjoy giving away any surplus. We were very successful with runner beans last year and had a few french beans which I will grow more of, the dwarf as well and the climbing variety. I am devoted to the compost heap, it has a strange fascination for me and I enjoy turning it over. Does anyone have experience of adding seaweed to the compost, or using it as a general mulch? A neighbour recommended it. Thanks smile

EssieW Mon 28-Mar-11 20:47:56

radiohelen - I'm with you on the runner beans! Also decided not to grow them this year as they were just too stringy last year. Will do lots of French beans though.

Lovely long day in the garden today as DS and DD happy to potter around outside.

Driftwood999 - no experience of seaweed and compost. Can imagine that it might be good though. I need to turn my compost though and keep neglecting it.

GnomeDePlume Tue 29-Mar-11 09:19:21

I have decided this year only to grow what we really like and is actually good value. Soft fruit is definitely worthwhile.

radiohelen Tue 29-Mar-11 16:31:18

I think I might actually have to confess to being a soft fruitaholic.... I can't walk past bare root soft fruit without bringing it home.
So far this year I've bought a white currant in a pot, a gooseberry and some raspberries... someone stop me.
Add this to the obsessive strawberry runner cultivation going on in the garden.... is there a support group? If there is it's probably a subgroup of gardeners anonymous... it's a 12 step programme you know.

I've also just bought an auto spade and received an envelope full of seeds for signing up to a newsletter.

Confession does make you feel better doesn't it grin

ChickFlit Tue 29-Mar-11 17:20:39

Lots of soft fruit going on in our garden too - DS2 very excited because we've bought a yellow raspberry bush.

He's happily planning his own little garden and is planning on growing melons, strawberries and pumpkins. I might shove in some herbs when he's not looking.

GnomeDePlume Tue 29-Mar-11 18:21:38

I know what you mean about buying fruit bushes. I have red, white and blackcurrant bushes in the allotment already and then I saw a pink currant bush for sale and had to have it. It is now in a pot in my greenhouse waiting for me to try and sueeze it onto the plot.

CheeseEnforcementAgency Tue 29-Mar-11 19:51:33

I'm not allowed in places like Wilkos as I come home with fruit bushes ' but it was only £2'

We have about 25 raspberry canes in pots after moving ours , saved in case of some failing but dh won't let me cram them all in.

I now have 18 window boxes of strawberries after last years runners but I'm still tempted by strawberry plants on the Market.

Driftwood999 Tue 29-Mar-11 20:17:25

I have lots of raspberry runners/daughters from stock we bought last year. Have put them on Freecycle for our area. If they don't go I'll try putting them at the end of the driveway for a day or two! Does anyone use seaweed in their garden? Sorry, that is a repeat question smile Have had a bit of rain today which is quite welcome for the seeds. Also a Dianthus produced the first flower!

radiohelen Wed 30-Mar-11 13:59:20

It's raining in the Midlands smile

Good news for me 'cos it was looking like I was going to have to water the allotment and our taps are still off. I knocked down a recently dug bit of ground yesterday and the dust was blowing all over. There was even a willy willy!
My seedlings will be very happy.

Driftwood - does this help?
http://www.thisisjersey.com/community/history-heritage/vraic/
http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=53546.0;topicseen

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