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Gardening What are you sowing now?


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Bobthebuilder
21 minutes ago, MrXxxx said:

Been watering my Beetroot with Tomato feed and they have gone ballistic; loads of vegetative growth and they look as though they are about to bolt...should I dig them up and eat now (they have been in for a year as they were small last summer), or leave?

If you harvest them, leave them on the side for 24 hours before you cook them, otherwise you will think you have shit a kidney out.

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This bloody cold weather better stop soon, it's now getting ridiculous what i'm moving in and out every night 

Bumper crop of cherries this year. 

Started pulling these May 2nd. About 100g each, one a day, have about 30 or so.  Went in the ground 2nd week in March.  Fully harvested by end of the month, unless I collect seed.  But I want to use t

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spunko
1 hour ago, MrXxxx said:

Been watering my Beetroot with Tomato feed and they have gone ballistic; loads of vegetative growth and they look as though they are about to bolt...should I dig them up and eat now (they have been in for a year as they were small last summer), or leave?

It's not the end of the world but tomato feed is high potassium (the K in NPK) which is good for fruiting growth i.e. growing the actual tomatoes.

What you want ideally for a beetroot and other root veg ideally is high "P" phosphorous. A good way to get this is blood fish and bone, or lime. It's not the end of the world to use Tomorite on them tbh.

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Royston

Currently in the process of removing a ''lawn'' of extremely long, tussocky, overgrown grass, it's thatch is so thick that even a petrol brushcutter can't get through it, I'm having to do it by hand on my knees ripping chunks of turf up after cutting through the base of them with a pruning saw.

Hoping to have it done by Sept when I intend to reseed it as a wildflower meadow

Any tips and guidance on successfully sowing a wildflower meadow gratefully received!

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jamanda

Apparently you need lots of that yellow stuff that overrides the grass, whose name escapes me.  Mrs. across the road had tried to meadow her lawn but only seems to have 5 fritillaries popped up.

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sarahbell
14 hours ago, MrXxxx said:

Been watering my Beetroot with Tomato feed and they have gone ballistic; loads of vegetative growth and they look as though they are about to bolt...should I dig them up and eat now (they have been in for a year as they were small last summer), or leave?

They flower in their second year. You can pull them now but they might be a bit woodier than you'd like.

 

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Royston
8 hours ago, jamanda said:

Apparently you need lots of that yellow stuff that overrides the grass, whose name escapes me.  Mrs. across the road had tried to meadow her lawn but only seems to have 5 fritillaries popped up.

Yes Yellowrattle, it parasitises the roots of grasses.

It's no good trying to plant wildflowers in an existing lawn, all the rank grass has to be fully removed back to bare earth first.

 

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Very impressed with the local farmers beetroot. He has started to harvest it already.

He must have about 10 or more acres. I have about 35 small plants.

_IMG_000000_000000.jpg

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MrXxxx
21 hours ago, reformed nice guy said:

If they have a bit of a stalk already rather than just leaves coming up from the top of the body then it probably wont grow any more. You could leave them in and eat the young leaves, or just pull them now.

 

Can you eat the older leaves and the heads that look as though they will be flowers?... pulled them just now and am a little disappointed, the biggest is about the size of a golf ball, and most look like those mini carrots...after being in there for so long!...what did I do wrong, apart from getting Charlie Dimmock to help me? ;-)

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reformed nice guy
3 minutes ago, MrXxxx said:

Can you eat the older leaves and the heads that look as though they will be flowers?... pulled them just now and am a little disappointed, the biggest is about the size of a golf ball, and most look like those mini carrots...after being in there for so long!...what did I do wrong, apart from getting Charlie Dimmock to help me? ;-)

You can still use them. The ones that are too small can be chopped up and thrown in soup.

When you are chopping them, if they feel a bit woody then it might suggest underwatering.

Small new leaves can be used fresh in salad. Older ones can be cooked like spinach. Doesnt really taste like much but fills a hole. If your familiar with chard its the same

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spunko
9 hours ago, Royston said:

Currently in the process of removing a ''lawn'' of extremely long, tussocky, overgrown grass, it's thatch is so thick that even a petrol brushcutter can't get through it, I'm having to do it by hand on my knees ripping chunks of turf up after cutting through the base of them with a pruning saw.

Hoping to have it done by Sept when I intend to reseed it as a wildflower meadow

Any tips and guidance on successfully sowing a wildflower meadow gratefully received!

I did my own wildflower meadow, started in 2019. Will upload a photo after this post. Here's what I did if interested - it's not very, err, organic.... !

1. Spray everything off with Roundup so it's dead.

2. Leave it for a few weeks, you could rake it over at most.

3. Weeds will start to grow, unwanted ones! Roundup again and kill them off too

4. After they've died, sow your wildflower seeds. The weed seeds already in the soil won't grow as much now, if it all.

 

The first time I tried doing a meadow, I didn't kill the new weeds so they took over and I had to start again.  I wouldn't worry about yellow rattle too much for killing off the grass initially, it's really only meant to keep it from growing back after sowing.

BTW if your budget affords it, and it's a small area, you can get wildflower turf. It's pricey, about £14 a roll whereas normal turf is £3 or whatever, but it is really good for smaller areas.

If you're going to sow by hand, it's way cheaper, but if you can ,try to get a local wildflower mix. The cheaper ones are just made up of non natives, mostly American prairie plants, while these aren't bad in themselves, a lot of them are a) invasive and b) not as useful to local wildlife and insects. I bought a "Weald mix" (ie Kent/Sussex) online, there are plenty of others to choose from depending on where you are.

 

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spunko

Photo of my roses because they're looking pretty good if I may say so.. .

IMG_20210611_194953.jpg

 

And an old wisteria that was here when I moved in but was very sad and forgotten about.

IMG_20210611_195621.jpg

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Royston
9 hours ago, spunko said:

I did my own wildflower meadow, started in 2019. Will upload a photo after this post. Here's what I did if interested - it's not very, err, organic.... !

1. Spray everything off with Roundup so it's dead.

2. Leave it for a few weeks, you could rake it over at most.

3. Weeds will start to grow, unwanted ones! Roundup again and kill them off too

4. After they've died, sow your wildflower seeds. The weed seeds already in the soil won't grow as much now, if it all.

 

The first time I tried doing a meadow, I didn't kill the new weeds so they took over and I had to start again.  I wouldn't worry about yellow rattle too much for killing off the grass initially, it's really only meant to keep it from growing back after sowing.

BTW if your budget affords it, and it's a small area, you can get wildflower turf. It's pricey, about £14 a roll whereas normal turf is £3 or whatever, but it is really good for smaller areas.

If you're going to sow by hand, it's way cheaper, but if you can ,try to get a local wildflower mix. The cheaper ones are just made up of non natives, mostly American prairie plants, while these aren't bad in themselves, a lot of them are a) invasive and b) not as useful to local wildlife and insects. I bought a "Weald mix" (ie Kent/Sussex) online, there are plenty of others to choose from depending on where you are.

 

 

Thank you very useful, it's not a huge area, about 10m x 30m (but big enough when you're having to rip out the tussocks of rank grass by hand one clump at a time!)

I was hoping to use minimal or no roundup and just keep pulling up any grass that has survived my initial rip up.

I definitely want to seed it rather than turf it, much more satisfying in the long run! And I do intend to use only uk native species, I'm not sure what species I could use that are specific to my region, I'll maybe contact the local Wildlife Trust to see if they can offer any advice (and possible freebees)

Did you have a problem with birds going after your seeds?

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spunko
1 hour ago, Royston said:

Thank you very useful, it's not a huge area, about 10m x 30m (but big enough when you're having to rip out the tussocks of rank grass by hand one clump at a time!)

I was hoping to use minimal or no roundup and just keep pulling up any grass that has survived my initial rip up.

I definitely want to seed it rather than turf it, much more satisfying in the long run! And I do intend to use only uk native species, I'm not sure what species I could use that are specific to my region, I'll maybe contact the local Wildlife Trust to see if they can offer any advice (and possible freebees)

Did you have a problem with birds going after your seeds?

Yes pigeons are a nightmare, but I over seed ie do it at twice the recommended rate. If I had netting I'd use that.

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spunko

@Royston I just remembered, if you're doing a large area and don't want to spend a fortune on wildflower seeds by overseeding it, then you could try hanging up some old CDs on bamboo sticks tied to string. It seems to work as a pigeon/bird scarer. Kind of like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/500744052301303278/

Or you can get reflective tape off Amazon which works really well too when hung off trees.

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Royston
1 hour ago, spunko said:

@Royston I just remembered, if you're doing a large area and don't want to spend a fortune on wildflower seeds by overseeding it, then you could try hanging up some old CDs on bamboo sticks tied to string. It seems to work as a pigeon/bird scarer. Kind of like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/500744052301303278/

Or you can get reflective tape off Amazon which works really well too when hung off trees.

yes I've seen CD's used previously although I'm not convinced about how effective they are, I'll probably just net it.

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spunko
1 hour ago, Royston said:

yes I've seen CD's used previously although I'm not convinced about how effective they are, I'll probably just net it.

I've used that reflective tape with a lot of success. The only requirement is that the site gets a bit of wind. Last year there was one wind-free day and the birds stripped my cherries.

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Royston
1 hour ago, spunko said:

I've used that reflective tape with a lot of success. The only requirement is that the site gets a bit of wind. Last year there was one wind-free day and the birds stripped my cherries.

Sounds worth a go then, would be a lot cheaper and easier than netting.

I've not got any trees to hang it vertically from but I suppose I could string it across the seed bed in horizonal crisscross lengths attached to canes, it is quite an elevated and breezy spot so should flap about a fair bit, with the noise and movement hopefully deterring them.

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Carl Fimble
On 11/06/2021 at 19:28, spunko said:

16234360666971808212863775766292.jpg

 

16234361947363961117323190569302.jpg

Fucking hell Spunko! That photo at the top!! The fence the sun and that field, is that all yours?

Beautiful!

 

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spunko
2 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

Fucking hell Spunko! That photo at the top!! The fence the sun and that field, is that all yours?

Beautiful!

 

Not many people know this but I do own the sun yes. :D

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Stinky Wizzleteats

My allotment has been a bit of a washout so far this year. Everything I've planted has been munched by vermin or birds! Strawberries and raspberries looking good to go though. 

Must admit I'm considering ditching the allotment in favour of growing in tubs outside the back door. If anything I think I'd get more produce with less effort!

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Bobthebuilder
8 minutes ago, Stinky Wizzleteats said:

My allotment has been a bit of a washout so far this year. Everything I've planted has been munched by vermin or birds! Strawberries and raspberries looking good to go though. 

Must admit I'm considering ditching the allotment in favour of growing in tubs outside the back door. If anything I think I'd get more produce with less effort!

Don't want to put a downer on allotments, but I came to that conclusion with mine. Realized the allotment holders around me used them much as you would a garden at home, speaking to them most lived in flats with no access to a garden. I had a garden, it almost didn't feel right being there so, gave it up.

Grow veg in pots on my patio these days.

A friend of mine has an allotment and grows amazing stuff, even cauliflowers, works well for them.

I tend to buy a lot of seasonal veg now, cheap as chips when things are in season.

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