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  • #46
    The peas are still going strong although the plants do look a bit worse for wear after the very dry spell. But they are still producing and after yesterday's rain today I see lots of new flowers developing. The picture shows about half the pea area.

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    Another feature of the garden are the hollyhocks, all singles dotted around the plot. A friend gave me seeds of the yellow ones and I 'harvested' a small portion of seed from a red hollyhock that stuck out onto the pavement from a front garden in Kettering a few years later. They obviously cross and by now I have yellow, white, red, pink and apricot shades of hollyhocks.

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    How are your Giant Bolivian Achocha going Clumsy? Here is mine. Planted inside the greenhouse and then directed outside. They are now flowering. Have yours got fruit on yet? Yours must be at least a month ahead of mine.


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    • triffid
      triffid commented
      Editing a comment
      Beautiful, love hollyhocks.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Love the flowers.

  • #47
    Seed saving is all about willpower at times. Apart from the round courgettes, we have not eaten any yet because the first female flower gets used for seedsaving, if a suitable male flower is present. Which means that we have to wait for more courgettes to develop before we can eat them.

    The day before handpollination I look for a male and a female flower which are going to open the following day and tie a short string around the flowers to prevent them from opening. The next day I handpollinate and close the female flower again so that nothing else pollinates the flower which could result in a cross. I mark the handpollinated fruits with a string. After a few days the flower falls off and the fruit starts swelling. However sometimes it just does not take and I have to wait for more flowers to try again. So far I have handpollinated 3 different varieties and they all look good.

    Asian Round

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    Long Pie

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    and Striato d' Italia

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    Please, please leave them alone slugs and voles so they develop seeds for sharing.
    Last edited by Galina; 14-07-2019, 15:30.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Triffid this is new information, and I clearly missed it on HG. Thank you. Long Pie is not all that long in the fruit but trailing and it stores for a long time, nearly as long as the maxima squashes. Easily 6 months. It also has a very nice flavour and soft yellow flesh. .

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Those courgette's looking good. Mine are starting to produce.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Triffid, I expect you are right there and thank you for this information. I think I have proved it experimentally: Some of the courgette plants are so huge now, that they overlap the path and however much I push them back into the growing area, there will be some accidental stepping on the edges of the large leaves. And there are many female flowers developing on those next to the path. Not so many on those further into the growing areas.

  • #48
    Chickpeas you get two varieties from the asian shops black and yellow ones. These are the black chickpeas 500gram packet I think was 89 pence, I sowed them late march this because I was ill with the flu. You can sow them beginning of march they take a few weeks to germinate,need to be covered with netting because of pigeons and mice once germinated they are couple of inches tall you can take off the netting. Then just leave them to it no need to water or anything,very easy to grow just a pain to harvest and unpod.

    The achocha is huge but no flowers yet small tiny fruit is appearing. It's taken over the greenhouse.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes they are a pain to harvest and with the ones I have grown in the past there were only 2 seeds in a pod. I love their flowers too, the black ones have a very pretty shade of purplish red.

      Interesting about the achocha. Do you think we are getting them to produce earlier that in previous years? When we battled to get fruit before frost. They look very good plants indeed. Thicker stems than mine. I think the white thing at the end of your tiny achocha is the rest of a flower.

  • #49
    On the achocha I meant to say bunch of male flowers like in your photo I can't seem to find any which is strange. Probably early but until the fruit grows big then I know for sure usually from past they will stay small and go yellow.

    Yes chickpeas you get from seed in a pod to 4 in a good year. But more often I get one or two seeds per pod. That's why I grow loads to get a good harvest. Found the seed packet I used.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a small set fruit now on the achocha. Oh I see, a standard Asian Supermarket chickpea packet. And they are doing so well. Fab.

  • #50
    Whilst watering the cauliflowers noticed one of the cauliflower's was ready. Plus pulled out a carrot to see the progress.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Both are looking good, especially happy that not all the caulis spoilt.

  • #51
    Chickpeas are nearly ready. Waithing for the ones on the top of the plants to get to same stage then will harvest everything in one go.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Guess with the heat they will be nearly there by now. They will have loved the unusual weather conditions. Have they stopped flowering so you can harvest all in one go?

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      They have been harvested and unpodded now hand is slowly recovering. The will to live disappears harvesting and podding them.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      These sort of jobs are best done sat in front of the telly and engrossed in a good programme. I know what you mean.

  • #52
    I am just shelling dried pods of several experimental peas. Here Jeyes x Visionary. The single F1 plant has produced interesting seeds. Jeyes has the usual marrowfat seed and Visionary has very small olive green seeds. The cross has much larger olive green seeds and none like Jeyes. There are a few small light brownish seeds, the size of Visionary seeds, but most are Jeyes sized seeds. There is more than one colour within a single pod and one seed has that most unusual colour, a solid purple. I hope this is not boring for others, but I was pretty gobsmacked looking at these seeds. No idea how seed colour will correlate with certain features in the next generation. The idea for this cross is a nice sweet tall shelling pea with Visionary's most unusual flowers.




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    Last edited by Galina; 02-08-2019, 12:14.

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    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting colour's of the peas.

  • #53
    Photo of the greenhouse today.

    Comment


    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
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      Glad your getting some grapes this year. It's gone cold have loads of courgette's to harvest but struggling to get people to come and take them. Some of the plants have powdery mildew. Need to harvest potato's still. Beans have gone to seed failed to harvest on regular basis. The greenhouse I don't know how to enter it without damaging any plants.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      I would not worry about the beans, they can all be shelled and eaten dry or freshly shelled, no waste there. The greenhouse well maybe you cannot avoid some small damage, but working from the door inwards tieing up as you go and being ruthless with sideshoots can get some order restored.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll try to get control of it soon the greenhouse.

  • #54
    really struggling but went to the plot harvested some carrots and tomato's. Got another plot holder to help me harvest around 100 probably more courgette's gave them to another person, said they would give them to everyone around the neighbourhood or the local Sikh Temple. Some of the tomato's might be from your seeds galina.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      I think I did give you seeds of the dehybridised sungolds that vary in colour from yellow over orange to red. The ones in the white dish look like it, should taste nice and sweet and come from very strong plants. Maybe slice and oven bake courgettes in olive oil and with garlic and possibly some thyme or some oregano and portion when done for the freezer. Or slice and braise in a large frying pan with a lid. You will love the taste of summer in winter. Do you have a freezer? And you can store fully mature courgettes as marrows. They will store until the end of the year. They can be sliced in half, with the seeds being scooped out and filled with mince or with vegetarian meatloaf mixture, then baked in the oven. Giving them away is also a very nice thing to do. Our local foodbank take things like that too. And the foodbank trolley in our Asda often has some homegrown fruit and veg in it that people bring in boxes.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Got a freezer near full as it is. Do freeze courgette's sliced. Had to give them away have loads at home still on the kitchen worktop. The tomato's are really nice and sweet.

  • #55
    Harvested Gniff carrots all shape's and sizes.

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    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      They are variable in shape and not very long either. What do you think of the flavour?

      We had the first Papdi beans, just picked and steamed them, they are such a pretty shape bending inwards and upwards on the plant towards the flowers and also he first white flowered squash. Nice texture and it really takes up the flavour well. Cooked it with sliced beef and a sauce. Really good.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Made carrot halwa a sweet dish very easy to do. The taste was actually good ( my mum was not sure of the carrots the colour was not what she is use to). The white flowered squash of mine is somewhere in the courgette jungle. I'll have to take a photo to show. Glad you liked the both vegetables it's something different to try to grow and also taste. Taste varies from person to person.

      They were grown in medium size pots so not enough room it was an experiment to see how they grow in compost compared with soil.

  • #56
    Some photo's of the winter squashes plus the whole area of courgette's and squashes.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      And the nice thing about the white flowering pear shaped squashes is that nobody grows that species. I have not got to worry about cross pollination. Unless they are F1 of course. Which we will find out next time they are grown unless you happen to know, Clumsy. I am struggling to get some other squashes hand pollinated and it is getting a bit late in the year. I am looking at Sweet Meat and at Queensland Blue. Have just had an aborted Queensland Blue handpollinated flower and have to wait for the next male and female match. I am sure you will find treasures in your jungle patch.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      The seed packet I saw it didn't have the f1 written on it. I think their are a few in the jungle patch.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      That is good news, thank you for the info.

  • #57
    Few more carrots and beef tomato's looks like the plants are showing blight.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Blight here too unfortunately, but not in the greenhouse. Had to cut all the remaining potato tops and I am digging up tubers, but it is hard in the heat. Even Sarpo Mira has some blight spots. Only one variety seems absolutely bomb proof, one of Jayb's called Palest Pink Eye. Some that were absolutely without blight in previous years had some blight this year and that includes the commercial potato which was advertised as "blight free", the Carolus. But yields are quite good, so should once again be self sufficient in potatoes until spring at least. The tomato plants are not too badly affected and I have not pulled them up because after removing the blighted leaves the plants may (wishful thinking!) just recover.

    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      The tomato plants the blight is on the stems and they are rotting. Potato's have been big and great yields gave a load away had enough at home. Seem to be struggling to get motivated to do anything.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry to hear that things are getting on top of you Clumsy. Hope you soon find time, peace and the inclination to enjoy the plot. As the weather is turning a bit cooler it is not quite such a chore to work on the plot.

  • #58
    A few pictures of what is happening here. The Chilis are so pretty, did not realise some of the leaves are variegated, thank you for the seeds Clumsy. Despite starting fairly late, they are coming on a treat and nice and hot in the kitchen too.

    We are enjoying the sweetcorn, Golden Bantam.

    The first Giant Bolivian Achochas are now about the length of a finger. This is earlier than in previous years. I transplanted two plants into the greenhouse next to the door and have directed them out to grow outside of the greenhouse, so I don't get the greenhouse overrun with achocha. This seems to work. Maybe we are getting them to acclimatise to UK growing conditions.

    I have a lovely Queensland Blue squash developing, which is a very tasty winter squash and usually stores well. It is still immature and not blue. But nearly full size. Unfortunately only one fruit so far, the female flowers have just stopped altogether and I have not managed to handpollinate to keep this variety going. I am down to my last few seeds.

    I have now dug up all but one variety of potatoes. Some that were absolutely blight proof last year show signs of blight this year. Even Carolus a commercial potato advertised as "blight free" and as well as the Sarpo Mira had blight spots. Maybe we are having different strains of blight this year. However one variety is still entirely unaffected and that is Palest Pink Eye from Jayb. And I am getting good berries from it too. For the first time, they have not produced berries for me before. Overall it was a good potato harvest, but I had to remove the foliage which stops them producing more. All of Jayb's potatoes are still going strong even though they are a few years old now. But I shall never get the same nearly foot long Snookie and Hot Dog tubers that she has.

    Some blight on the tomatoes too, but it looks like the plants have a chance of living through it. Blighted leaves which can be removed, rather than the blighted stems which are the end of the plant. Outdoor and greenhouse tomatoes are producing well.

    And we are eating lots of courgettes, Leprechaun, Asian, Greek, Striata d'Italia and recently the Patty Pan have started too. Blackberries are early this year and I am picking and freezing lots for winter. Beans and runner beans are keeping us supplied too.

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    Last edited by Galina; 30-08-2019, 23:30.

    Comment


    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      The achocha plant is huge but no fruit on mine but I haven't been watering it that much struggling to do everything. I have quite a few winter squashes. Your's look amazing.

  • #59
    I am renewing pure seeds of several squashes by handpollinating isolated male and female flowers.

    The Long Pies are now maturing and have slowed down and I have a handpollinated one. Greek, a white courgette has one mature fruit and this one which was handpollinated 3 days ago. There are 3 mature Striato D'Italia that are handpollinated and should give pure seeds in a few months. Also Asian and Leprechaun are hopefully saved for future years.

    Still struggling with a few others. The Patty Pan had 3 matching sets of male and female flowers yesterday at last and I handpollinated them yesterday, now the wait to see if it has taken. One of the most frustrating moments in the gardening year is when a handpollination has not taken. Followed by an impatient wait for the next matching pair of flowers. Especially as the season is slowly moving into autumn and there is less time for fruits to mature.

    Here a few photos.

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    ​​​​​​​

    Comment


    • #60
      Have you identified any in the squash jungle yet, Clumsy, there may be a lot of treasure under those big leaves.
      Last edited by Galina; 30-08-2019, 12:29.

      Comment


      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
        Editing a comment
        The yellow one I think is Australian butter, the other could be either blue banana or gautemalan blue because they look the same I sowed both seeds. The green one could be di chioggia. I have also cream acorn squash and butternut plus buttercup maybe their somewhere. I'll take photo's to show.

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes it looks definitely like Australian Butter and the other one like one of the Banana squashes. Apart from the bananas they should all be easy to tell apart. Very nice looking,!
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