This week in your Kitchen Garden.

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

  1. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    I'm having to make do with window-ledges and a table next to a window, for propagation.
    It will be sometime before my jungle-bashing has cleared enough garden to reclaim my allotment - I'm contemplating a polytunnel as I can't afford glass cover for the area I want ...
    Currently making sporadic progress, weather and other commitments have to be navigated. Problem is a bit like one of those tile sliding games. Sometimes it feels as though nothing much is happening, despite spending hours out there. OH and housemates do tell me they can see a tremendous change. Leaf fall is currently obscuring large areas, raking up will be needed I think. One or two of the trees are going to get a mulch of fallen leaves, another pile are going in the hedgehog run ...

    Almost the last of the windfall apples are now in the kitchen, more jam to make - and OH has provided the makings for three fruit marmalade. So plenty to do this week ...
    The peach / nectarine seedling is still going, although it is the only thing currently with red spider mite. I can't quite get rid of the ***** things. The "money plants" are taking over (I wish they would live up to their name and do something positive to my bank balance !) and one of my MIL tongues has passed

    Sorry for the length of that ^^^ !
  2. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    There is a treatment for red spider (dynamec) which can be had but is expensive. Failing going down the chemical route, try hosing, then actually squashing the mites - they are very soft bodied. If you wet the plants, the mites will migrate to the top of the seedling...where you can do some therapeutic squishing...or blast the buggers over the bath using a shower head- they hate being wet so try spraying with a plant atomiser every day.
  3. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I've actually got rid of* my greenhouse - it was just taking up too much room. If it had been sited better that would have helped, but I'm happier with a cold frame anyway.

    One of my tomato plants is still fruiting and it's not in the cold frame. May stick it in there and see if I can keep it going forever.

    *Paid somebody to take down and hide in the absent neighbour's front shed because I can't afford to get it taken away (lowest bid £250) and am somewhat pissed off that my landlord expects me to do that when it's the former tenant's mess, not mine.
  4. mrsfran

    mrsfran Slightly less bulbous

    Sam, if you join an allotment group on FB (check out the 2 groups I'm a member of) and ask if anyone wants dismantled greenhouse bits, someone will snap it up and collect it.
  5. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I've looked, but I think it's too old for anyone to want - you couldn't rebuild a greenhouse from it. Council won't take it either.
  6. mrsfran

    mrsfran Slightly less bulbous

    Honestly, people will just want the glass, and will take the rest of it if they have to. Greenhouse glass is a precious commodity.
  7. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Or freecycle (I got mine from there - I was delirious with joy). Is it timber or metal?
  8. MsMouse

    MsMouse Member

    i've been planting sweetpeas seeds in toilet rolls the past few weeks
    campanula likes this.
  9. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    You know when a plant goes leggy and you give-up on it?

    Well, last year my first attempt at purple sprouting broccoli did just that but I didn't bother to clear it at the end of the season because the plants were so well rooted and I was too sore/weak after the surgery.

    So yesterday I went to clear that bed, only to find that not only had the leggy plants sprouted, they were absolutely covered in purple sprouting florets.

    So instead of digging them out, last night I had purple sprouting tossed in a little grapeseed oil and butter with my tea - and it was delicious - and tons more on the plants to come.

    Think I'll plant some more this year after all. :)
    Biddlybee, Hoss, gentlegreen and 5 others like this.
  10. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    I want to get on with greenhouse and "allotment" this year ...
    ... but the "jungle - bashing" elsewhere is not yet complete, and I need to rebuild two sheds and a greenhouse - due to very bad weather and, embarrassingly, downright neglect.

    However, I have succeeded in pulling up some fallen apple trees and done some quite savage pruning.

    E2A - I need to service the lawnmower, like three weeks ago, and a few similar tasks.
    I use a lot of natural leaf mulch, and the person trying to help was raking it off one of the beds. If you don't use mulch, what do the worms eat ? and it does help suppress weeds.
  11. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    I had almost given upon my PSB - but it has come good over the last 10 days or so , and whilst the florets are not massive , they are decent enough to eat , nicely steamed. (and yes - some of them are a bit leggy - once done the ground will become an area for other material - leeks probably)
    pogofish likes this.
  12. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    That's more PSB planted, plus some kalettes to try and the first tomato plants plus my selection of chillies and peppers that have been brought-on on windowsills since the beginning of the year are out in the greenhouse now. There will still be a few cold nights yet but I think the worst risk of frost is past now. :)
  13. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Potatoes in grow bags are up :D
  14. The39thStep

    The39thStep Well-Known Member

    In Portugal I have planted out tomatoes and peppers and courgettes,just sown yellow, purple and green climbing beans. Have had a steady supply of lettuces over the past three weeks, spring onions, cabbages, carrots and turnips. The aubergine and water melons plants will go out next week. The garlic should be ready over the next month and the broad beans and new potatoes should be ready for eating in the next fortnight.
    Hoss likes this.
  15. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    I cleared and dug over the veg garden yesterday.
    Planting poppies first then er other stuff.
  16. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    tomatoes all in, last minute flurry of spring onions and fingerling carrots...and that's it (on the planting front). Just faffing about weeding and tying in etc. Slacking, in other words since the actual work is more or less done (apart from the later grind of picking and cooking).
  17. nogojones

    nogojones Well-Known Member

    My Jerusalem artichiokes are popping up, but the slugs and snails are doing their best to keep them at soil level. :mad:
  18. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I've finally got around to setting up my automated sprouter on the west-facing bathroom :hmm: windowsill.
    It remains to be seen how well the £5.45 aquarium pump will hold up, but it will probably go on a timer.
    I'll give the crazy snails 24 hours to attempt an entry ...
    I will put up a screen around the sump to stop it becoming a slimy green pond ... I may well rig up a drainage pipe into a collecting tank so I can use fresh water while conveniently having water to use outdoors - the bath is conveniently situated to the left and the toilet cistern below.
    I'm ordering a couple of water level sensors to save the pump if something goes wrong .

    The plan is to have fresh sprouts every day with the minimum of effort. :)


    I realise now I spent way too much money on commercial sprouting trays.

    I can get eight sandwich boxes for £2 - I just need to cut the lids so they stack and a load of holes in the bottoms...

    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  19. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I reckon I could get two stacks of five sandwich boxes either side of the main trays - I have some guttering in the outdoor shed.
    I would like to have watercress available - but that would require continual watering - and fertiliser - so I will have to make do with radish ...


    .... or I could have a second system ... :hmm: ...
    nogojones likes this.
  20. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I realised I was missing a trick ...

    I have never used any chemicals in the toilet cistern and the water gets refreshed a couple of times a day.
    So I now have even more growing space available as well as not having to worry about wasting water or the sump going green.
    Add a few fish and I would have aquaponics :D

    Make them Garra rufa and I could get a pedicure as a bonus :D
    pedicure fish - Google Search.

    (not really ;) )

    So I now have the room for a "raceway" watercress tray across the full width of the window.

  21. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The watercress trough is in place - but I will have to lower it and fit mesh across the open louvres or the snail army will invade en masse.
    I'm torn at the moment between a pumped system using my emergency cistern on the left and either matting or clay pebbles as a substrate - or a "raceway" system with the plants floating on polystyrene rafts with a generous air pump to keep things sweet.
    The first option has the advantage of light weight, and the third has simplicity and no substrate to sterilise.

    I have yet to choose fertiliser and testing methods - I've never done hydro before.
    I will probably go for crude testing and frequent renewal - with the waste going to feed my outdoor plants - perhaps my hanging baskets of fuschias not far from the window - I found some irrigation hose today :)

  22. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The first batch is coming along nicely :)
    Mung, lentils, fenugreek and alfalfa, and a few others on order :- red clover, radish, beet and wasabi.
    Apart from the watercress in the trough, I will be trying microgreens - some of which will need feeding.

    Chemical needs and scifisam like this.
  23. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The hungry hoardes are readying themselves :-
    I haven't found any suitable mesh yet, so I will make up a screen using an only slightly hideous net curtain I have available.


    I swear the other week I found a snail stuck to a towel at the other end of the bathroom - and evidence that it had got there along a washing line....
    nogojones likes this.
  24. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Sprouts for tea :)

    scifisam likes this.
  25. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

  26. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    My first week of bathroom growing has been very successful - I should have done this decades ago.
    My air pump arrived yesterday - the biggest I could get, so I will be hoping to find some water cress in the local shops. I have yet to sort out nutrients, but it will take a few days for roots to form - I may pop down to the local hydro shop next week.

  27. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Meanwhile my bathroom snails are being distracted by my peelings on the shed roof outside - of which there will be a steady supply now that I'm cooking stirfry in the bathroom

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  28. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I managed to find some watercress in Aldi.
    It was a bit beaten up, but I managed to find a decent handful of rootable bits - some with actual roots.
    I've inserted them through foil - to exclude the light - into a large jar filled with water with one of the air-stones making conditions near-ideal for rooting.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  29. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The watercress "cuttings" have perked up a bit.
    I'm ordering some mesh pots and I plan to use some clay pebbles I've had for years and was almost ready to chuck out.
    I'm going to speculate on cheap PH and TDS meters as it's about time I learned to do hydroponics properly.

    I've started using my cheap sandwich boxes for the large sprouts and I think I'm going to order some double brass plated picture hooks as they seem to be the best option for stacking them.
    They're a bit fragile and cracked quite a lot when I tried to drill four at once, so I will use a soldering iron to make the holes in the rest of them.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  30. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Today I did some tweaking.

    I acquired some heavy duty polythene yesterday so made a "bund" and cable-tied the bottom (water collecting) trays to battens running north-south....

    I adjusted the heights to give me the maximum vertical space for the watercress and marked out a sheet of polystyrene to receive the watercress cuttings - small holes initially then when they arrive I will cut the holes to suit the netpots and pea gravel.

    As it happens that window actually faces West so is shaded in the morning, so I haven't ruled-out hanging LED lighting over them to fill-in.
    I way well end up with a white reflector on this side of the trough while conversely I will stick foil to the window-side to keep light out of the rootzone.

    The sprouts in the stacked sandwich boxes are tending to dry out a bit. so I will have to cut up the sheet of perspex I have lying around to at least partially box them in .

    The39thStep likes this.

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