This week in your Kitchen Garden.

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by Mrs Magpie, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    It's time to start off some types of vegetable seeds indoors or in a greenhouse. If you don't have a greenhouse (I don't and will never have the room either) this is most easily done on a windowsill in a propagator or in flowerpots inside a sealed plastic bag so that each plant has its own mini-greenhouse. It's a good idea to blow into the bag befote tying the top to give the seedlings headroom.

    This week get a head start by sowing chillies, sweet peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, globe artichokes, sweetcorn, pumpkins, marrows and melons.

    I have also bought some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers and will be planting the them in a large container as in a bed or border (I grow my veg and flowers cheek by jowl because of limited space) they can spread where you don't want them and be a bugger to eradicate.
     
    Badgers likes this.
  2. Backatcha Bandit

    Backatcha Bandit ..likes the post, hates the poster.

    I've had various tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce and cougettes in for a couple of weeks now (window sills are full!)

    With the sweetcorn, I stand a load of toilet roll tubes upright in a seed tray and fill with compost - this way, you don't have to disturb the roots when you transplant them. Just plant the whole thing and the cardboard disintegrates (or just tear it off when you plant).

    I've done the cougettes in 6" pots for now (they'll go out when they've got about 5 leaves each - if it's not too cold still).

    I've got a few radish in tall pots, too... should be ready to munch in about 6-8 weeks. :)

    I had a good sort through my seed box and anything that I thought might be getting a bit old (ends of packets from previous years) I've bunged straight out into a seed-bed as a sort of 'see what happens'.

    I've also put a few rows of carrots in on the same basis, and a good few lines of peas and broad beans, which each has it's own little 'clear plastic bottle greenhouse' and is surrounded by a fearsome looking perimiter of holly and gorse to try and keep the mice/birds off!

    I also put in some onion seeds and covered them with black plastic. Never had much luck with growing onion from seed, though.

    I've been using clear plastic cake boxes (the flip-top type that Co-op maple and pecan plaits come in) as mini propagators to start a few of the lettuce off - pretty good so far.

    I'm going to experiment this year with stacking old tyres (3 or 4) and filling with soil/compost for the tomatoes, each stack with a large (clear) polythene bag supported by 3 or 4 canes. The tyres should help retain/regulate heat and moisture. I wanted to disperse the tomatoes this year to avoid last years canker/blight problem, which decimated the whole crop (and the spuds. :( )

    One last 'top tip' for all you green fingered urbanites - Lidl have got some cheap gardening stuff coming in next week, including those polythene tent freestanding greenhouses which are ideal if you are tight for space, various tools etc. and those 'flat hose' sprinklers (tons cheaper than B&Q).
     
  3. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Yeah, I saw the stuff in Lidls...a greenhouse for £50! Shame i have no room....and for those of you going to grow sweetcorn remember to grow them in blocks, not rows. They are wind-pollinated so you won't get much success if you plant them in a row.....
     
  4. Cakes

    Cakes back in town

    Also have fully booked window sills at the moment. Have moved book shelves into the window to maximise on seed tray room. I only live in a bedsit so have to be very cunning with space.

    I'm lucky enough to have a green house and so can start moving the little plants out when they've got a bit stronger. The only problem is that it's on the allotment which I only go to on Sundays, so the seed trays don't get watered as much as my window sill ones.

    So far have seedlings for:

    Peas
    Dwarf French beans
    Lemon basil
    Sprouts
    Leeks
    Sqaush
    Peppers
    Marrows
    Curly Kale
    Purple spouting

    ..and the sprouts are winning!

    I've heard that some root veg don't like being planted out into beds that have that year been covered in manure. The dung is now 18 months old and so well rotted - should I avoid planing certain veg on these beds?
     
  5. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Root veg such as parsnips, carrots and radishes shouldn't be on freshly manured ground iirc...to be honest, most of the concerns I have seen about manure are about possible pathogens (e. coli and the like). 18 months ago doesn't seem too recent for any of the veg you mention. btw, put the seed trays inside large clear pastic bags with something to raise the top so there is room for growth and seal tightly and all the moisture will recycle and you'll probably get away with it....
     
  6. marco mark

    marco mark New Member R.I.P.



    I have a whole box full of seeds donated, bean corn basil various lettuce that are about 2 years past seed by date, is it worth trying, i should i bin the lot ?
     
  7. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    No, they should be fine...parsnip seed is the only exception I can think of, it loses its viability very quickly. A tomato seed from an Inca grave thousands of years old has been successfully germinated, as has a magnolia seed from an ancient Chinese tomb......and all those poppies on Flanders fields had been in the ground for decades, possibly even hundreds of years, and because they grow in disturbed earth and the seeds need light to germinate all that shelling enabled them to germinate
     
  8. marco mark

    marco mark New Member R.I.P.


    thx, i will start this weekend, esp the sweet corn (in blocks), i have a huge space at the back, but it's covered in 12'' clover at the moment, i might 'borrow' some sheep from the farm behind for a few days :)
     
  9. Cakes

    Cakes back in town

    Thanks Mrs M - I'll wrap up the seed trays and do the blown-up bag trick
    :)
     
  10. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Clover is great...it has nitrogen fixing nodules on the roots that make the ground more fertile....forget the sheep, fork it into the ground.....

    http://www.kitchengardens.dial.pipex.com/greenmanure.htm
     
  11. Funky_monks

    Funky_monks Neo-Rustic

    I planted two rows of asparagus crowns, two rhubabrb crowns and two rows of garlic just before the snow.......d'oh! :oops:

    However, they seem to be growing okay so I may just have got away with it.

    Today I planted a row of early sugar snap seeds and a row of purple sprouting broccoli seeds next to them. My plan is to put some dwarf french beans the other side in April. That way the purple sprouting is like a catch crop and hopefully the nodules of the legumes will add some nutriment to the broccoli when they rot down in the autumn.

    Tomatoes have been on the windowsills since jan, I've got them in cells now.


    And this years 'novelty' plant is borage, which I have planted at various locations under half platic drinks bottles.


    I'm feeling very spring-y....... :)
     
  12. Funky_monks

    Funky_monks Neo-Rustic

    Yes, but its the nodules on the roots that provide the nitrogen, like you say. The top half of the plant would be much more effective as manure after being passed through the digestive system of an animal......Then the whole lot can be dug in, no? :)
     
  13. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    You don't want fresh manure on a plot...and green manures are best forked into the soil.....
     
  14. Funky_monks

    Funky_monks Neo-Rustic

    Surely you can just dig it in and it will be sufficiently 'diluted' as it were. It's not cowshit after all. I didnt know that about green manures, I tend to cut my peas and beans off at the soil and leave em to rot before I dig the patch over again in spring.
     
  15. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    Blimey... purple sprouting broccoli is all the rage it seems.... feel a bit left out.

    I also have cleared all my window sills of the huge piles of unopened bills and have a huge amount of herbs: rosemary, thyme, 3 different kinds of basil, mint, dill, chives, garlic chives and BNS, courgettes, tepin peppers (many donated kindly by Mrs M)... and my garlic is coming up lovely ... planted it (as is traditional) on winter solstice. Also planted spinach and lettuce. I've been away for a while on Lundy Island until today, so haven't been able to see how they're getting on... but I fear for them... will take a look tomorrow...

    ...anyway, will have to get me some purple sprouting broccoli so I can be part of the PSB gang!! :D
     
  16. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Well sheep will compact the soil and shit is best left to rot for a year....also putting animals onto lush green stuff can make them ill as they will gorge themselves. Look at the green manure link, if you click on one of the plant types it'll even tell you how easy it is to fork in!
     
  17. chooch

    chooch ladled with fail

    My onions are in. Excitingly.
     
  18. Cakes

    Cakes back in town

    I've heard that borage likes growing alongside strawberries. It's really good for you!
     
  19. Funky_monks

    Funky_monks Neo-Rustic

    Aye, tis a good source of calcium apparently. However, the seed packet warms you not to 'prolong usage'! :eek:
     
  20. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    ooh... my thyme, chives and rosemary are all poking their little heads up! SO exciting. Nothing yet from the others... but I've just bought this mini greenhouse thingy for my balcony so I can clear off my windowsills. Also the garlic is really really shooting now!!

    Busy this weekend, but have a weekend put aside in a couple of weeks for some serious digging!!
     
  21. Cakes

    Cakes back in town

    Have just set more seed trays and am going to have to call it a day now. There are NO surfaces left in bedsitland. There are even two seedtrays balanced on top of the tely. People will start thinking I'm weird(er).

    But now have:

    Peas
    Atlantic Giant Pumpkins (c'mon!!)
    Tomatoes


    Not sure if this is strictly kitchen garden, but also:

    Henbane
    Skullcap
    Wormwood
    Lemonbalm
    Valerian
     
  22. suzee blue cheese

    suzee blue cheese Well-Known Member

    Doesn't borage make an excellent green fertiliser (or am I thinking of comfrey)?

    I can't bring myself to go out in the garden yet.
     
  23. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    It self-seeds like buggery though....Comfrey is a good green manure...borage flowers are great put in ice-cube trays for summer drinks.....
     
  24. Backatcha Bandit

    Backatcha Bandit ..likes the post, hates the poster.

    I think they both do...

    I made up a 200 litre drum of 'liquid green manure' with comfry, borage and nettles mixed up in a soup (let it stew for at least 2 weeks).

    The plants absolutely love it... the trouble is, it smells like a ripe nappy-bucket, as do your hands and anything else it comes into contact with it, it would seem. :(

    You wouldn't really associate the word 'violent' with an odour until you've copped a lungful of this stuff!
     
  25. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    OMG... it's all sprouting now..even the courgettes.. but still waiting for the basil... planted 3 different types and none of it's coming up..


    ..but great excitement at the hot tepin peppers...one of which is sprouting.... :D and my greenhouse thingamebob arrived this weekend, so gonna put them all outside tomorrow in their new home..... meaning I'll have all my window sills free...

    ...so I might plant some more things...

    what happened to our seed swap.... ?

    How easy is it to do this purple sprouting broccoli then??
     
  26. marco mark

    marco mark New Member R.I.P.

    Well my clover still rains supreme, however, yesterday i did manage planting 3 fig trees amongst the green/yellow carpet :)

    edit to add my next planting will be a lemon tree
     
  27. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I hope marco mark got to plant that Lemon Tree.....and that his figs are thriving. I didn't realise he'd posted on this thread till I revived it to get everyone's loins girded for the growing season.....

    I shall come back in a minute...I've just been moved to go and plant some lemon pips and have a lemon tree in my bathroom...they always grow, but you have no idea whether the fruit will be any good when doing them from seed....anyway, thanks for the idea marco mark, may you rest in peace, hopefully in a heavenly scented lemon grove....
     
  28. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Right, done.
    Two lemon pips in a damp mix of compost and grit in a 1½" pot, whole pot popped into a small freezer bag (handiest because you can write on the bag in biro with type of seed and date planted) and on a warm shelf in the bathroom. Citrus pips are really easy, and will almost always eventually bear fruit. They also make a lovely house-plant. The things to watch out for pest-wise are scale insects. Also watch out for thorns. There aren't a lot, but those that there are, are very sharp!
     
  29. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I've been sorting out my composting arrangements today. I have a large container of home-made compost into which will be planted young patty-pan and butternut squash plants. I might sneak in some courgette seedlings too......It's next to loads of upright netting so I'll be growing it all upwards as I don't have the space for sideways.
     
  30. May Kasahara

    May Kasahara thoughts start with a laser sound

    This is very inspiring :) although a bit sad to see marco mark's posts...I thought it was a new thread at first and was very confused :(

    Anyway, I have always wanted to grow things but for various reasons have never started - but I want to start now! I know absolutely nothing about growing stuff and have no equipment or seeds as yet, and indeed no garden or windowsills, but I'd like to start growing some veg, herbs, a chilli plant would be cool...I shall be hanging around here for tips. I didn't even know you could grow lemon trees from ordinary pips like that! :oops: Must give that a try.

    Any top tips for the easiest veg and herbs to start off with, experienced kitchen gardeners?
     

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