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Grow your own 2008


Farley
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LOL, that's exactly the situation I was in last year. If you don't have room for them give them away to family and friends - they're a great gift. Don't try to grow them all yourself in too small a space, they'll block each other out trying for the light and you won't get such good plants.

Yeah, that's my plan, except most people I know would just kill them. Although having said that, that's exactly how I'd have described myself a couple of weeks ago, so maybe I'm being harsh on my friends. I definitely only want to grow two. Or three. Four at the outside (though I don't think I've got suitable windowsills for four, and I don't fancy their chances outside).

I only stuck so many seeds in there in the first place because the internet told me they were so difficult to germinate, so I assumed I'd only get a couple coming up anyway!

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I've never grown anything in my life so far, but this year I'm trying tomatoes, strawberries, chillis, rocket,mint, rosemary and parsley. Because there's nothing like throwing yourself waaaay over your head into something you know nothing about!

The strawberries are growing almost more quickly than I can handle - there's a dozen fruits quietly ripening, on two plants, and another four plants look like they're doing just as well.

The mint is doing fine, as is the rosemary. The parsley doesn't look too healthy though. The rocket is doing brilliantly too.

The chillis: I just cut open a dried chilli I had, and used a Suttons seed propagator. Two seeds per pellet. About a week later, I had 24 little green shoots pressing against the roof of the propagator! Following the instructions, I brutally massacred half of them, leaving one per pellet, and now they're thriving. Still in the propagator, because apparently you want four pairs of leaves before moving them to pots. I intend to have them inside on the windowsill (no real garden), but I've only got space for two or three at most! I don't want to have to kill the rest, but I don't know what to do with them.

This growing stuff is brilliant. Can't believe I've never done it before!

You want to be careful with mint - spreads like anything. Most people keep it in pots to stop it taking over the garden.

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You want to be careful with mint - spreads like anything. Most people keep it in pots to stop it taking over the garden.

Everything's in pots or growbags. I don't have what you'd call a real garden. A small square of paved yard is all.

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Everything's in pots or growbags. I don't have what you'd call a real garden. A small square of paved yard is all.

That's what I have as well. Using pots has its advantages - you have complete control over the compost etc you use and you can put copper tape around pots to stop slugs/snails. Plus you can move them around if you need to.

See my earlier post - all that is grown in pots on my patio.

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my chillis and peppers are going great. From itsy wee seeds a few weeks ago to 5 inches of green amazingness. Also: Sunflowers (not for food obviously) are about 4" tall now, and poppies doing really well.

All from seed. I'm dead pleased with myself.

Here's a question: How do you know when its time to repot into a bigger pot?

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Here's a question: How do you know when its time to repot into a bigger pot?

When there's roots coming out of the bottom! It's down to experience really, you don't want to overpot really, but still give the plants room to grow.

With seedlings it's usually when they have their set of two or four leaves.

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That's what I have as well. Using pots has its advantages - you have complete control over the compost etc you use and you can put copper tape around pots to stop slugs/snails. Plus you can move them around if you need to.

See my earlier post - all that is grown in pots on my patio.

Copper tape? What, pray tell, is this miracle? And where can I get some?

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Copper tape? What, pray tell, is this miracle? And where can I get some?

Garden centre, or online at Suttons or somewhere. Try and get the stuff with pre-cut nasty sharp bits. It's supposed to give them a shock when they try to cross it so you tape it around the pots. Worked well for me last year.

Be warned - 5m sounds like a lot, it's not.

Don't bother with the organic garlic granule stuff - I saw slugs climbing all over it last year without being the least bit bothered.

The only true way to stop them though is to go on slug patrol every night. Leaving a bit of board down helps - they all gather under it then you can dish out whatever evil punishment you want.

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The weather here has been poor lately, plenty of sun but really high winds and storms at times. My poor Dwarf beans and courgettes have taken a battering with many plants not making it :lol:

My Mint, Bay and Sage in pots have all come on again (had them last year) and my onions seems to be doing well so all is not lost. Ohh the potatoes are coming through but they are pretty hardy so would expect nothing less !!

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I'm in. I cheated a bit due to not being prepared earlier in the year and after a trip to the garden centre I've got tomatoes, parsley, peppers, chillis, spring onions, leeks and strawberrys on the go.

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Update:

ACK! APHIDS! Hundreds of the buggers on my tomatoes!

Despite using egg shells, slug pellets, copper tape, vaseline smeared around the base of the herb pots AND siting the herbs right in the centre of a square of gravel, the basil, mint and thyme are being decimated.

The strawberries are a success beyond my wildest dreams. There's twenty enormous fruits just starting to get a blush on them, with another dozen flowers promising a second round of deliciousness. All off only six plants. Hooray!

Two of the chilli plants just withered and died, for no reason I can figure out. The other ten are doing brilliantly though.

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Two of the chilli plants just withered and died, for no reason I can figure out. The other ten are doing brilliantly though.

I've always grown (or at least got the girlfriends old man to grow) chillis in a greenhouse. They may not do especially well with a good bout of british spring/summer, especially if the plants are young.

As for slugs a wildlife pond is your friend. Frogs, and especially toads, will decimate slug populations. The insects it will attract help to control a lot of pests too. Only problem is if the pond starts to attract birds.

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The weather here has been poor lately, plenty of sun but really high winds and storms at times. My poor Dwarf beans and courgettes have taken a battering with many plants not making it :huh:

I feel your pain dude. Last year almost my entire tomato crop got scorched by wind and I've had to reseed quite a few this year after the rain basically reduced them to shreds. A greenhouse would be very, very nice.

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The strawberries are a success beyond my wildest dreams. There's twenty enormous fruits just starting to get a blush on them, with another dozen flowers promising a second round of deliciousness. All off only six plants. Hooray!

The day you think "you know, they'll be ready for picking tomorrow" is the day they're ripe enough for the birds.

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We're growing strawberries...

strawbs1.png

strawbs2.png

and tomatoes.

tomato1.png

tomato3.png

Strawberries look a little iffy, but they taste like heaven.

We've also grown some mustard greens.

We were having some for lunch today, and I found a tiny snail on my plate. :)

And then we have blackberries.

Blackberry.png

Shortly after this picture was taken, this bug flew after me in a rage.

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Well, my strawberries have suddenly all ripened at once, so my prediction about no bowls of strawberries and cream was wrong. I got exactly ONE bowl, which I ate with gusto. Delicious!

The tomatoes are growing slower than I'd been led to believe they would. Not even any flowers on them yet, let alone actual tomatoes. Will they survive the winter and produce fruit next year (bear in mind I don't have a greenhouse to keep them in, so they'll be exposed) or have I missed the boat with them? I'm not too bothered if I have, it's all an experiment and learning experience with me, which I'm enjoying immensely.

Same with the chillis: they leapt out of the propagator, but since they've been transplanted to pots, they've stalled somewhat. I'm not worried about this though - they're for the windowsill, so I'm confident I can keep them alive until next year if necessary.

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I was going to make my own thread for this related query, but here it is anyway.

Is anyone else fortunate enough to have their own apple tree of some sort? In my garden there's a tree which grows a crop which is only good for 2 days in the whole year (!) but when ripe they taste excellent, completely unlike any store bought stuff. With a skin that can only be described as tasting "fizzy" (I'll try taking pictures later this year).

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We've got a cooking apple tree in our garden, left over from the orchards that used to be where our house is. It's ancient and massive. We've also got a quince tree, a crab apple tree and a fig tree (which produces amazing figs).

My plants are going quite well. Got a flower on one of my tomatoes, my radishes which I planted the other day are growing rapidly, I did some spinach the other day which has just come up. No disasters yet, but this wind is having a good go.

Oh and we've had loads of raspberries so far this year, yum!

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