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Old 12-03-2009, 16:02
ejak
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As LaChatteGitane has said the plant goes long and thin making seed instead of the root bulking up. There are varieties that are bolt resistant. If you want hassle free just grow them in paper pots to get them established and plant out late spring.
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Old 12-03-2009, 23:55
Ignazio
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Anyone got an allotment? I've just acquired a plot and am focussing on clearing and building raised beds right now - collecting materials this week to start that - although have planted some garlic out which has done well this first week. Hard as nails, garlic Have onion sets to put in next and have planted various seeds which have mostly been disappointing - going to try again though - think I was too early, not enough/too much light, planted them too deep etc etc...
Hello mal - as a child most of our fruit and veg came from the garden - and the memories that evokes. The jam, the puddings, not to mention the taste of crisp, uncooked veg. Digging out the spuds, podding the peas or scrubbing the carrots a mere 30-45 minutes before eating them is a pleasure impossible to explain.

Sadly I don't have the time to look after the veggie plot as I should, so although I have a variety of herbs in the garden, I'm inclined to sow very easy seeds. I actually find lettuce very rewarding - sow a mixed pack of seeds and you have a variety of lettuce - red, green, flat, curly etc. that would cost a fortune in the supermarket. Tomatoes are easy and oh so sweet. Peppers and gourds present no problem, but my broccoli was all leaves and no flowers, my courgettes germinated well but few actually produced a courgette and my rocket ..... rocketed: but when a tiny seed becomes a plant, and the plant produces the fruit it is so exciting - I feel like a parent watching their offspring grow and develop.

Ooooh - spring is on the way.
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Old 13-03-2009, 15:07
squirts mum
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Thanks all for the tips on growing beets, I'm going start them in pots and plant them out later.
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Old 13-03-2009, 21:29
malaikah
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Am going to get some planted tonight in peat pots - half a dozen each of beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips - just to see how they go on, if germination is more successful than my last attempts!!
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Old 13-03-2009, 22:48
googleking
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As LaChatteGitane has said the plant goes long and thin making seed instead of the root bulking up. There are varieties that are bolt resistant. If you want hassle free just grow them in paper pots to get them established and plant out late spring.
Thanks both. I don't want any bolting so will do what you say.
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Old 15-03-2009, 18:16
sheddy99
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Well I got my mini greenhouse put together today and planted chives, garlic, peppers, chillies, and spinach. Got rocket and coriander to go in the ground at the beginning of april. Can't wait
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Old 17-03-2009, 16:04
Altheya
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Finally got some planting done at the weekend, parsnips, leeks, beets, melon, chillies, peppers, strawberries, squashes and beans, very excited!

Does anyone have any experience of using peat pots? I had a few disasters last year using them that I didn't have the year before and wondered if they had anything to do with plants not growing properly?

has anyone used them successfully?
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Old 17-03-2009, 16:15
squirts mum
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I gave up on peat pots a couple of years since they were a disaster for me, ended up using normal pots, don't know why, maybe it's me as well.
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Old 17-03-2009, 18:05
malaikah
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What do you mean by disaster??
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Old 17-03-2009, 19:01
sheddy99
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are strawberries easy to grow? thinking of getting some seeds
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Old 17-03-2009, 19:41
LaChatteGitane
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are strawberries easy to grow? thinking of getting some seeds
Don't get seeds, get young plants instead. They are easy to grow with plenty of sun and water.
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Old 18-03-2009, 11:35
Altheya
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What do you mean by disaster??
LOL! Disaster might have been a slightly extreme word

They seemed ok when the seedlings were very small and (as the instructions said) when I planted them out I left them in the pot which should then disintegrate - but the plants just never grew. I've also somewhere got the idea that peat isn't a good thing to use but lord knows where I got that from!
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Old 18-03-2009, 11:36
Altheya
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are strawberries easy to grow? thinking of getting some seeds
I think they're quite tricky, mine last year didn't come to anything but I'm giving them another go this year so will let you know!
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Old 18-03-2009, 11:55
LaChatteGitane
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What do you mean by disaster??
Try this http://www.feesworld.com/how2make/paperpots/index.html

or this http://www.ehow.com/video_1745_creat...-starting.html

I've made the ones like in the second link for a couple of years now.

edited : actually these are the pots I make http://www.geocities.com/newspaperpots/

they are great, they can stay folded till you need them.

Last edited by LaChatteGitane : 18-03-2009 at 12:01. Reason: added a bit
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Old 18-03-2009, 19:23
malaikah
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LOL! Disaster might have been a slightly extreme word

They seemed ok when the seedlings were very small and (as the instructions said) when I planted them out I left them in the pot which should then disintegrate - but the plants just never grew. I've also somewhere got the idea that peat isn't a good thing to use but lord knows where I got that from!
A fellow allotmenteer was saying today that parsnips don't like anything blocking their roots? So if the pot didn't disintegrate quickly enough it would stunt growth I imagine. Maybe different makes of the peat pot behave differently/are more resilient than others.
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Old 18-03-2009, 21:04
Sallysally
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Yes, parsnips grow divided roots if the main root comes across a stone. This is how all those amusing vegetable photos originate!

I actually feel quite virtuous today. I cleared a huge area of ground ready for planting out broad beans next week (fingers crossed for no deep frost), then later chillies, peppers and aubergines.
Half the potatoes are in, all the onions and carrots. I have sown some chard to replace the chard that is already in the ground. This overwintered quite well. It got really hammered by the very hard frosts - but amazingly, today I looked and I will be able to have a meal from it this weekend.
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Old 19-03-2009, 10:20
malaikah
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Sallysally I going to get a 30 walk in 'mini' poly greenhouse to put on the plot and grow tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in I think Might try aubergine in there too. I got a huge lot of pallet collars last night and am just about to cart them up to the plot and start to do some raised beds.
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Old 19-03-2009, 10:38
squirts mum
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when I said disaster with peat pots , it was a disaster, they didn't grow very well I ended up digging them up breaking up the pots myself and replanting them as some didn't disintegrate, other ones disintigrated whilst they were still seeds and seedlings and ended up losing a whole batch. The year before I'd been really successful with them so I'm not sure if it was me or a dodgy batch of pots.
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Old 19-03-2009, 12:20
ejak
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Sallysally I going to get a 30 walk in 'mini' poly greenhouse to put on the plot and grow tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in I think Might try aubergine in there too. I got a huge lot of pallet collars last night and am just about to cart them up to the plot and start to do some raised beds.
unless we have a long warm summer or a very sheltered plot the aubergines might struggle in a poly greenhouse.
I grew aubergines for two years running in my greenhouse. Despite having the most beautiful plants with lots of blossoms i still ended up with no fruit
My elderly neighbour who used to grow everything on his small holding, told me that my greenhouse was too cold for the blossoms to set. Even though we had some nice warm days it just wasn't long enough. So last season I grew two plants in my conservatory, beautiful to look at and yay delicious aubergines to eat
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Old 19-03-2009, 17:33
kassieq
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I grew some wild rocket seeds last year, left a couple of plants to go to seed and I had fresh rocket all winter even the snow didn't seem to worry it and it is still going strong.

I plant salad leaves rather than hearting salads I get a mixed packet and sow at two week intervals, one packet lasted all summer.

Saw some pea shoots for sale in M&S so bought a bag to try and they are very good in a salad, I have loads of pea seeds so I shall be growing some of those.

Got my runners, french beans and peas growing on, I plant nasturtiums close by because they tend to attract any blackfly, also the flowers are very tasty in salads slightly peppery. I also plant a few sweet peas among the beans and peas, the scent attracts pollinating insects and helps with the yield.

Great thread by the way.
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Old 19-03-2009, 18:09
Sallysally
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I've only used peat pots once - and they were a disaster, so I have never used them again. For some reason, the pots did not disintegrate, which meant that the root growth was so restricted the plants did not grow at all well.

What I tend to do now, other than for things like carrots, is individually plant seeds in shuttle trays in my (very small) greenhouse. It is time consuming, but by the time it is OK for them to be planted out, they are quite large plants. I also have a huge problem with slugs, so if the plants are larger, they stand a better chance. whispers quietly I also use slug pellets. I have done this with beetroot, parsnips, chard, spinach, all types of beans, courgettes, marrows, pumpkins, all kinds of the cabbage family etc etc.

As for aubergines, peppers etc. I did think of a green polytunnel, the warmth would be great, but I did wonder about pollination. I got very nice peppers outside last year, but the aubergines were small. The chillies I had to dig up, repot and bring into the greenhouse before they went red. But generally, I found that if they were planted against a south-facing wall, they would do fine. But then, I live in the warm and sunny SE!

I had to be elsewhere today, but I am looking forward to moving my compost heap and finishing off the prep of the rest of the garden this weekend. I love Spring!

PS I too plant salad leaves rather than whole lettuces etc. They are a wonderful idea!
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Old 19-03-2009, 21:17
malaikah
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How do you mean salad leaves as opposed to whole lettuces??

I had the day off work today, and have done a lot of digging and turning and picking out buttercups and couch grass and chopping at tree roots with the marvellous thing that is a 'mattock'! ! The area where I am starting the raised beds, I assumed I'd need to bulk them up a lot with manure, compost, topsoil etc after weeding. But in actual fact, after a good spadin' and a good forkin' there is masses of substrate!! In fact I am slightly extending the first bed area to allow for this. I also found an old pallet amongst the brambles at the top of the plot which I've used as a gate! I'm looking forward to getting my onion sets in - hopefully this weekend!! The soil is lovely too, wonderfully rich and dark and loamy.
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Old 19-03-2009, 21:33
kassieq
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salad leaves means you can just pick a few leaves off the plant you don't have to wait for the lettuce to mature and heart up, the main plant stays in the ground, also called pick and come again. They are mainly sold in mixes. I am trying a new mix this year called Niche it has leaf radish, leaf carrot, wrinkled cress, red kale, red amaranth, purslane and burnet and you are supposed to be able to harvest it most of the year. I also grow an italian lettuce mix which was very good last year.

I must admit I prefer to grow my salad greens in containers near the kitchen door I have those long containers and put them in slightly larger trays which I put pebbles in, helps keep the slugs at bay. Also means if it gets hot I can move them into shade for part of the day helps to stop them bolting.
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Old 19-03-2009, 22:29
Sallysally
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Kassieq - I have not tried niche, but I usually pick seeds with a nice variety of leaves. I can walk into my greenhouse from the kitchen door, so that is where I grow my leaves. And I too grow them most of the year.
I was interested to see that you could grow wild rocket outside even in the winter that we have just had. I might put some in then. Did you get the seeds from a garden centre? I have only ever seen the cultivated variety for sale.
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Old 19-03-2009, 23:58
kassieq
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Hi Sallysally, I can't remember where I got the rocket from, I'll go through what I laughingly call my filing system and see if I can find the catalogue.

I am also going to try an oriental salad leaf mix, which again says on the packet it can be grown all year round. I got the salad leaves from Thompson & Morgan, they sent me a 5 voucher in a catalogue so I thought I would order some, I've never had seeds from Thompson & Morgan before.
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