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  • Anybody sowing already for 2017?

    Happy New Year to all members here. I wonder whether anybody has dusted down the propagator or grow lights already and is busy sowing? Now that the Christmas decorations are stowed away, I am starting to feel the itch to get some seeds in but haven't yet. I am thinking about a couple of extra early tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers and onions. And lettuce, but that does not need any heat. Is anybody sowing already and what? Just being nosy

  • #2
    I've started some chilli's since start of the new year not as many as last year. The picture is not very good. But hoping to get some more chilli seeds started next week.
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    • #3
      Oooh lovely, every seed germinated. They do look good.

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      • #4
        Broad beans almost ready to plant out, first peas are germinating, also one tomato and one cucumber. Chillis and peppers are still biding their time. About half of last year's pepper plants are looking like they might get through winter, but before they can go in the greenhouse there will be a lot more inclement weather, I expect a few more casualties. So, a start has been made. I had a couple of quite old pea seeds and rather than sowing them I put them in the sprouter on the kitchen windowsill. They were sown later than the peas in potting soil and one variety is up already and has now been planted properly.

        At least all plants are still in the house. Storm Doris has caused a bit of mayhem in the garden and I had to pick up broken greenhouse panes to go to the council skips. Glass can go into the recycling but they don't want broken panes for some reason. Need to have more panes cut. Glass fell on top of the vine and has sliced right through one of the branches on its way down. But it was only a branch that would have likely been cut off at the next pruning anyway. A few cloche covers are past repair, but I can always use fleece of which I bought a big roll in the special offer.

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        • #5
          Apart from chillies I haven't sown anything else yet. The weather is putting a bit of dampener. I got a polytunnel which was donated to me by the probationers but it got damaged by storm doris. I was planning what to grow in it but hey never mind. I will try to repair it when the weather is alot better.

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          • #6
            Sorry to read about that. Another very windy day tomorrow. Hope you can repair it soon and that we finally get something a bit more like early spring. Quite fed up with winter by now. But some of the peas are by now an inch tall and other seedlings are appearing too. Peppers are still slow though. Can you use windowsills at home for sowing or do you need to mend the poly first. Hope you can get started soon.

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            • #7
              The poly needs fixing as you can see in the picture below. I'm not sure what's happening, I seem to have lost the desire to grow. Normally I'm ready but this year not so eager. Maybe when the weather changes I will get going. First time I've been to the allotment this year. At least the coriander was growing in the greenhouse happily.
              Last edited by clumsy; 04-03-2017, 17:24.

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              • #8
                Sad sight, the poly does need tlc and a lot of it. No wonder you find it hard to muster the enthusiasm. Maybe rope in a friend and turn it into a working party? The coriander, on the other hand, is a beauty. When did you sow that? I had no idea it was so winter hardy. Presumably this is a cold greenhouse? I'd love to copy next winter.

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                • #9
                  The coriander was sown after the cucumbers were lifted I think end of september. I have few harvest from them before christmas. I then left them to it. It's a cold greenhouse plus no watering is required it seems to grow without water which amazes me. It grows better in winter than normal spring or summertime. No slug issue in winter as well. I'll send you seeds if you want. I let the spring coriander go to seed keep some of green seeds for dishes and let the rest grow brown on the plant to harvest for sowing. You have to break the coriander seeds in two halves for it to germinate and grow the best.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Clumsy. I have plenty of seeds, but now even more questions. How do you split them into halves? That's a new one for me too. I find that I don't need to water either. There is so much moisture in the soil that it seeps under the greenhouse too. Have hardly watered the lettuces, perhaps twice since planting and they are doing well.

                    Been planting peas out. Very careful with the F1s that I crossed last year. Each has its own 5ft stick and a bottle cloche over it. Hope the winds don't dislodge the bottles because peas without protection don't survive long in our garden with the voles. Should it get down to a really hard frost, I will fleece over the bottles - drape fleece between the supports. And there are many F2s, 3s and 3s and a number of peas just for eating and seed saving too. The pea bed is always a large part of the garden.

                    Did you muster the energy and tackle the poly repair?

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                    • #11
                      Leaving the polytunnel repair for a later date.

                      Went to allotment 5.30am on saturday spent the first few hours sowing peas and chickpeas covered with rabbit manure and straw and placed netting on top. Then got rid of the grass and few weeds. started to spread the cow manure and at the end rotovated it to mix with the soil. Spent about 11 hours well worth it. On sunday sowed more peas and chick peas covered them with hops just need to put some netting on them will do that tomorrow.

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                      • Galina
                        Galina commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Bet you had sore muscles after all that hard work

                      • clumsy
                        clumsy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Erm I was ok, just tired at the end.

                    • #12
                      Looking really good. I fear my soil preparation is not that good for the peas, because it still too wet to dig the clay here. But the pea plants had to go in. A quick coarse scratch with the fork and a bit of chopping into large clumps with the trowel was all I could do. I wondered whether an azada might be a better tool for this, but never have used one. The peas went in with a bit of added commercial compost and covered with bottles. The 'bottle beds' have been sprinkled with Fish/Blood and Bone granules and been mulched with the first cut grass on top of that. The broad beans were planted in similarly badly prepared soil but they have taken off and looking ok. All ground had been dug in autumn, but not in spring. I have a rotovator, but we are weeks away from being able to use it, because it is still way too wet. Compliments on a job well done, Clumsy.

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                      • #13
                        Looks great, Clumsy.
                        I'm wondering whether you've had much previous success with chickpeas. I tried them once but had a very poor crop. Any particular variety?

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                        • #14
                          Ok I did this a few hours ago. Splitting the coriander seeds into two. Basically I put some seeds in a a flatish plate shown in the picture then use the shoe to press and rub or grind them until they split. I think that makes sense. Yes some seeds go all over the place, in the allotment it doesn't matter when you do this. Their might be an easier way of doing this but this works for me when at the allotment to split the seeds. They seem to germinate a lot better and you're using less seeds in the process. Hope it makes sense.

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                          • Galina
                            Galina commented
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                            Makes very good sense, thank you Clumsy. And best of all you can do it with a shoe right there and then before sowing. Will get some in here asap. Thank you.

                        • #15
                          Two photos. First one shows the peas. I haven't put all the sticks in yet, But it is a sea of bottles And around the trunk of the ancient Bramley tree, the daffodils are all out.
                          Last edited by Galina; 27-03-2017, 14:36.

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                          • clumsy
                            clumsy commented
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                            Daffodils looking beautiful. Wow thats lot of bottles, bet it takes long time to cover those peas. Thats some dedication. We have problems with pigeons.

                          • Galina
                            Galina commented
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                            Clumsy, oh yes we have those too and all sorts of shiny and 'bangy' things get added later. They always get some in spite of it, but never as much damage as the voles do.
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