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Post by Deryn on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:34 pm

Do you water your polytunnel during the winter if they are empty?
The beds seem to be drying out even with plenty of compost in them.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:38 pm

Deryn, why are they empty? Mine are crowded with lovely Spring Cabbages, Swiss Chard and Beetroots! Very Happy So I am watering!

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Post by cristy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:44 am

Sean Ph'lib wrote:Deryn, why are they empty?  Mine are crowded with lovely Spring Cabbages,  Swiss Chard and Beetroots! Very Happy  So I am watering!

Mine also. This is the main reason why I have polytunnels. I have shallots, onions, peas, cabbages, parsley, lettuce, sweetpeas, early spuds, antirrhinums and anemones. I also have a peach tree that is well into bud. Even if I had no crops in there I would still water. I have noticed that my soil when dry does not absorb moisture easy. Letting the soil dry out over the summer to aid weed suppression and just watering the crops works well and conserves water but, getting the beds back into production in the winter takes some work to get the moisture to penetrate.

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Post by Deryn on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:52 pm

I obviously need some lessons Very Happy

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:38 pm

Deryn wrote:I obviously need some lessons Very Happy
We all had to learn. Knowledge is the lightest burden anyone can carry.

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Post by Deryn on Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:10 pm

Is there anything I should be planting now or do I wait for warmer weather?

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:55 pm

There isn't really much you can plant right now in the way of vegetables except maybe some shallots; you could try some early peas under cover, but there's no hurry for another few weeks. But it's a good time to plant raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants;

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Post by Deryn on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 pm

Thank you Sean, I have all those on order with the apple trees which are due to be delivered next week. I already have these but they are not very productive so I am starting a new fruit patch with fresh plants. Well away from the old ones. Have you heard of fire blight as someone suggested that may be my problem with the fruit trees and bushes

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:53 pm

Yes Deryn, I know a bit about fire blight. Thankfully I only experienced it once - a very productive Doyenne du Comice pear tree I had went down with it some years ago. I cut it down and burned it straightaway and, luckily, my other trees were unaffected. I doubt if it's fire blight that's making your trees unproductive because it would do more than make them unproductive - it would kill them outright - and pretty quickly. They'd look as though they'd been sprayed with weedkiller. Poor performance is generally caused by bad soil conditions, a lack of some nutrient, or poor pollination.

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Post by cristy on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:10 pm

Deryn wrote:Is there anything I should be planting now or do I wait for warmer weather?


Hi Deryn. You can still get Garlic and Jap (early) Onion sets to plant now. Spring Cabbage could be germinated on a sunny window sill

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:32 pm

Cristy, I think you mis-typed. As you know, Spring Cabbage shouldn't be sown till late July.  The cabbage for sowing now is Summer Cabbage, like Greyhound or Primo. The easy way to differentiate between the cabbages is: forget when you grow them, it's when you eat them. Thus, you eat Spring Cabbage in Spring, after sowing it the previous Autumn, Winter Cabbage in Winter, after sowing it the previous Summer and Summer Cabbage you eat in Summer, after sowing it the previous Spring. With a polytunnel it's not so important, and you can get away with sowing any of them any time.

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Post by Deryn on Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:56 pm

That sounds like a good plan. I have some early cabbage seeds will get them started. At least then I will feel like I have started.
Sean I have had 2 trees die in the last 3 years and I don't know how long they were sick as have only been here 3 years but they seemed fairly healthy then. Is this quick enough for it to be a possibility?

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Post by cristy on Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:12 am

Ok Sean. Like you say. My definition may be a bit off but I do plant Greyhound all year and keep the plants cropping for about a year. I find that they do over winter well as seedlings in the polytunnel. They are recommended to be sown in early spring for an early summer crop. I do plant the likes of Savoy, Drumhead etc in july for a winter crop but I would not call them a spring cabbage. I grow spring greens. That is lush green leaves before the hart is formed and planted close together and allow the plants to re shoot for a second crop. This has always been my idea of spring cabbage.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:58 pm

Yes Deryn, if it killed them it may well be fire blight. Cristy, it's only a matter of words. When it comes down to it, cabbage is cabbage and if it grows and you get tasty cabbages, it doesn't matter what you call it Laughing Laughing

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Post by Deryn on Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:42 pm

Seed bed is now ready for planting in the polytunnel, could someone please let me know when I should start the planting of carrots etc. Hopefully I will do more in there this year.

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Post by cristy on Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:23 am

I would not plant your carrots yet. They can be an awkward crop to germinate at the best of times. If you keep the seed bed moist and watch for weed seeds to come up then wait another month you may be ok. Carrots can drive you mad as it did Monty last year when he had to repeat sowings. I make a shallow drill a couple of inches deep and soak it. Then I put spent potting compost in the drill and plant too many carrot seeds in this.  With luck we can thin them later. I have not tried stretching polythene over the bed. It might help. The annoying thing about carrots/ parsnips is that other times I have just cast them with complete abandon on the soil and they all come up. Mad . If you want to grow something now Deryn why not start some seeds off on a warm windowsill (not carrots). Pick hardier varieties like. Greyhound cabbage, All year round Cauliflower, Early peas (which do well planted in bog rolls). Such crops once hardened off can be planted in your poly. It would be well into February by then with longer daylight hours to bring your early crops on. Good luck.

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Post by Deryn on Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks for the advice Cristy. I have grown veg for years but never inside so I am learning as I go.

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