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  • Happy Christmas! Happy Holidays!

    May we wish all of you a very peaceful and worry free time. We may be celebrating without family and friends but I hope we nevertheless will enjoy festive and happy (merry even ) days. Hope there will be presents too, especially garden presents and generous vouchers for seeds and plants.

    And may you all enjoy a far better and more sociable and carefree New Year. It goes without saying that 2021 will be the best ever in our growing spaces too!

    Have fun and stay safe all.

  • #2
    Merry or Happy Christmas.

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    • #3
      Merry Christmas!

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      • #4
        A happy celebration of light in the midst of darkness to all.

        How lovely to sow two trays of onion seeds yesterday, a marker of new growing ahead. Much to look forward to.

        I hope that this next year will bring new hope of better things for us all and, of course, much richly rewarding sowing, planting, nurturing, experimenting and harvesting to savour and enjoy.

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        • #5
          Happy New Year
          So much to do, yet so unwilling to go out and freeze my fingers and toes! The shallots will have to hold on a little while longer.

          It's been a couple of years since I found this place and I'm grateful to have stumbled into a small community of throughly pleasant folks open to discussion, advice and general musings about our favourite hobby.

          Warmest regards to all.
          Last edited by triffid; 02-01-2021, 11:45.

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          • #6
            And for me, not much longer than a couple of years. And similarly, I appreciate enormously what it has to offer, including past conversations full of experience, knowledge and expertise.

            And similarly, guarding my fingers and toes. I began to prune grape vines a couple of days ago as I gather they should be done early in the dormant season. It was purgatory taking gloves off to tie knots. Gave up after ten minutes.

            I have to content myself with nursing the carrots I've sown in a holey bucket which are still in the house and with regular checking of four trays of onion seedlings. A ridiculous number of potatoes are set out to chit on the two windowsills which have any depth to them and a small forest of pepper plants in the spare bedroom, brought into the house to see how many can be coaxed through to next season. (Knowing there won't be any visitors for a good while has freed up some space for such indulgences!)

            The Panther seedlings have survived this run of frosts we've had here, and are now four or five inches high. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with them next. Hope they hang on till February and plant out then? How are yours doing, Triffid?

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            • #7
              Mine are the same, a little too tall for my liking and much taller than the other varieties. I've pinched the tops off half of them. But, like your batch, no issues with hardiness yet.

              Peppers are something to be started very soon as are the leeks. From last year's crop we have two bags of forgotten Heiderot spuds with shoots already 30-40cm long; can I remove these, or will that kill the generative tissue?

              What is your carrot strategy? 'Bucket-culture' is something I'd like to utilise but I'm concerned about them getting enough light, and not sure when to sow!

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              • #8
                Pinching the tops out of the Panthers is something I'd wondered about. A good idea I think. I'll follow suit.

                I usually do aubergines in January, peppers in February and tomatoes in March. Do you have lights for the young plants?

                I sowed leeks in February last year. Many of them bolted and generally look a bit sorry for themselves now. Based on this I wasn't sure about timing this year. It seems that some people recommend sowing them as late as April. So I've bee thinking I would sow early ones in early Feb perhaps, King Richard and Bulgarian Giant, and then the later hardier ones in March or early April.

                I had the same problem as you with sprouting seed potatoes. I've moved them into the light and a colder environment now. And I did take the longer shoots off assuming that there are quite a lot more eyes to produce more shoots. Think I did the same last year without ill effects.

                I sowed the carrots about a couple of weeks ago. Like you raring to go! I put them on a tray next to a radiator and turned them each day. There was fairly good germination over a few days and I then moved them onto a windowsill. As you say, there's always the worry about light at this time of year. They're slightly leggy but not too bad and as soon as this run of frosts has finished I'll move them into the greenhouse. I'm a bit worried about the sudden transition into a much colder environment, but it will be interesting to see how they fare. If further frosts threaten I can either fleece them or move them back into the house for the night. But it's an experiment, so success not guaranteed!

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                • #9
                  I have often wondered why it's common practice to remove the tips of sweet peas to increase branching and flower production, but not to remove the tips of edible peas. Anecdotally it has the same effect.

                  For the winter leeks I'll also be sowing Mar/April, but the pips of perennial varieties I've planted out today. The ones that I missed and left in the ground have been growing for months.

                  My growlight isn't very good so I've been wary of indoor sowings this early. But I should give it a go at least.. nothing ventured nothing gained. Do you have access to fresh stable manure? May be a way to keep your bucket warm in the greenhouse.

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                  • Jang
                    Jang commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, I do have access to fresh stable manure but not really the space to construct a hot bed. Tempting though, and you have me wondering.

                    Ah yes, the perennial leek pips. I think you had seed of the Telsing Andrews cross. How have you got on with that? I have seed ordered but waylaid somewhere across mainland Europe.

                    My grow lights are only conventional strip lights but they do keep me going reasonably well. Needs quite a lot of care and juggling though. It's always difficult to curb impatience in January and February!

                    Some of my carrots today look like they might be damping off, so success certainly not guaranteed

                  • Galina
                    Galina commented
                    Editing a comment
                    With peas branching may be more than just a stimulus of pruning the tops off. I see differences between my crosses. Some are well branched others not so much. But I have not pruned them, just let them do their own thing. It will be interesting to see whether ability fto branch is within a variety or an external stimulus.
                    .

                  • triffid
                    triffid commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You're absolutely right Galina, in that different pea varieties exhibit varying degrees of inherent branching. Some much more than others. But I do wonder whether the ones that don't branch can have their yields improved by pinching off the growing tip.

                    Jang, I had a single plant of the TA cross from Backyard Larder; it disappeared from the bed soon after planting! I was left with a very suspicious messy hole in the ground surrounded by upended shallots. Fox vandalism. Fortunately I still have Babingtons, Minogues, and perpetual leeks of unnamed varieties.

                    I hope your seeds get to you safely, and soon.
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