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  • FIRST POST
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 2nd Jan 19, 7:11 PM
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    Dizzy Ditzy
    The all new 2019 growing your own thread!
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 19, 7:11 PM
    The all new 2019 growing your own thread! 2nd Jan 19 at 7:11 PM
    Welcome to the new ups and downs of growing your own!

    Everyone is welcome. Come and tell us about your growing shenanigans

    What do you like to grow?

    Are you going to try anything different this year?

    Did you try anything different last year? Did you like it? Would you grow it again?

    Do you have any tips for growing?

    Do you make anything with what you grow?

    How much does growing your own save you?


    I'll use this post for links that folks might find useful. If you want something adding in, please just let me know

    There's a fab Facebook group called "Allotment Club - Mind your peas and cues" I'm not affiliated to it in any way but it's a fab little group. It's a closed group but is worth looking up if you're on Facebook. Or there is a fab group called "The allotment shed"

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 07-03-2019 at 8:14 AM.
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    Biggest aim of this year - hope that my terminally ill brother sees Christmas and 2020
Page 67
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 8th Sep 19, 4:37 PM
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    unrecordings
    Good to hear about your brother's progress
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • euronorris
    • By euronorris 9th Sep 19, 7:43 AM
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    euronorris
    So sorry to hear about your Brother's diagnosis Dizzy, but I'm glad that he is exceeding expectations and responding well to chemo. Long may it continue x
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 10th Sep 19, 9:25 AM
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    zafiro1984
    Dizzy:- That's good news - long may it continue.

    Collected all the squash and put it on some tough mesh I found, well off the ground. It may be my eyesight but I think I can detect a slight change in colour already.

    Today's job is to finish off the bed that had the onions in and put out some late veg that is hanging around in the greenhouse.

    I'm thinking about taking down the runner beans as they seem to have finished but I'm wondering if anyone gets a late flush of beans and it would be best leaving them in situ for the time being.
    • euronorris
    • By euronorris 10th Sep 19, 9:54 AM
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    euronorris
    Mine are still flowering and producing beans. They were late to produce any beans though, so don't know if that has anything to do with it.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 10th Sep 19, 1:35 PM
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    unrecordings
    my beans are still languishing all tangled up in small pots in the workshop. Doesn't look like they flowered but they might have - they're half way down a long list of things to do
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Sep 19, 3:26 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Dizzy:- That's good news - long may it continue.

    Collected all the squash and put it on some tough mesh I found, well off the ground. It may be my eyesight but I think I can detect a slight change in colour already.

    Today's job is to finish off the bed that had the onions in and put out some late veg that is hanging around in the greenhouse.

    I'm thinking about taking down the runner beans as they seem to have finished but I'm wondering if anyone gets a late flush of beans and it would be best leaving them in situ for the time being.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    I'm getting a late flush of beans flowering and forming after returning from hols and finding lots that other people had missed. They were obviously getting complacent towards autumn and picking has whipped them out of their reverie!

    My butternut squash typically take 2-3 days after they are on top of the leaves to change colour.

    As for the yellow cucumber I have grown (shop-bought seedling when I thought all of mine had failed) - it has gone quite simply berserk. I must have harvested 40-odd with about the same number in progress!

    Still got possessed courgettes playing grandmother's footsteps too - turn your back and they grow inches bigger!
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 10th Sep 19, 9:04 PM
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    unrecordings
    Managed about an hour out there today, mainly pruning rosemary then repotting a couple of sprigs to see what happens (Monty Don says they take really easily, so let's see if his brown corduroy pants are on fire).
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Sep 19, 6:47 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I was finally pruning the lavendar (flowerheads spent, hanging over path) and querying if it's too late to try and root lavendar cuttings - I did them and Rosemary just in a bed with a puddle of sand - he's right that Monty - about 6 of the rosemary cuttings took and now I have to cut them back hard as they have grown to full plants after I forgot to move them.

    It's a good thing, as they are away behind the pig shed and are now the only Rosemary without beetles!
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • euronorris
    • By euronorris 12th Sep 19, 2:18 PM
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    euronorris
    Have achieved precisely zero in the garden this week as been battling a cold. Had a very quick look this morning before dropping DD to nursery, to find two of the tomato pots had fallen in the wind. Again. Set them up again, and leant against the wall for support. That was all I had time for this morning. Oh, and evicted several slugs that were munching on low hanging strawberries! lol
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 12th Sep 19, 4:30 PM
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    unrecordings
    Managed another couple of hours out there now the leaky legs saga seems to be behind me. Started seriously cutting back my tomatoes leaving just the good leaves & ripening fruit. I started the same with my padron peppers then realised I could potentially overwinter them, but that said they'd have to come into the house and share a windowsill with the cat, so I can't keep all of them
    https://www.seaspringseeds.co.uk/growing-information/chillies-and-peppers/overwintering-chillies

    Of the two damsons on the tree I found one had fallen - only minor peck marks, so I'll have that for breakfast tomorrow, along with the second one which I picked (and might not be quite ready). Blackberries still motoring along, and voice from the other side of the hedge this afternoon promised apples.
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 14th Sep 19, 7:02 PM
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    unrecordings
    Couple more hours out there today. Mrs Un worked her way through 50m of privet. I managed to clean some pots and plant up some ginger root for (hopefully) stem ginger next year.
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 14th Sep 19, 11:02 PM
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    zafiro1984
    Yet more tomatoes but I haven't time to do anything with them until tomorrow. I'm finding it hard at the moment to do everything that's needed. The housework is suffering as well as the plot, so tomorrow I'll have to make time in the afternoon to try and catch up a bit. I started at 6am today and tea was put on the table at 8.30 tonight, far too late and i did want to watch 'Strictly' but it had nearly finished. Good job I've never needed much sleep. I mustn't moan - just get myself better organised.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 15th Sep 19, 8:06 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I love the idea of over-wintering a chilli plant! one of mine is in a pot (the rest are in window-boxes). I will discuss with DH as it is quite a large pot and there is only one suitable windowsill...

    zafiro1984 - I have just chopped all my tomatoes up and they are on the hob in a little salt now, with bottling jars in the oven to sterilise. I just cut out marks on the skin and the stalk-root and chopped them up. I will blend them when they are cooked before decanting them using my jam funnel. I watched a youtube channel of an old Italian Nonna here is the link and without the industrial quantities it works for me, and takes up around a quarter of the space they do in the freezer. It's the second batch I've done and the first batch were fantastic.
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 15th Sep 19, 10:10 PM
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    • 11,694 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    Just looked at the link, it's a good idea, I'll keep it in mind for the next batch, but this morning I peeled them, squashed them and cooked them with a couple of chilies, a couple of garlic cloves and black pepper. Turned it into quite acceptable soup for lunch and low calorie into the bargain. There's more in the fridge for tomorrow and I'll freeze the rest in individual portions.

    Today I took the runner beans down but as it was quite late the tidying up will have to be tomorrow, Turned the bed over, I'm thinking of piling on fresh manure tomorrow and covering it with black plastic (the sort that lets the water through) for the winter. the worms should have it in a good state early next year and no weeds!!!

    The squash are now going quite a lovely golden colour. I'm going to leave them a few more days especially if the weather is fine.

    I dug up a few Carolus potatoes today. This is the third year I have grown them. I can certainly recommend them, they are blight resistant and make the most fabulous roast potatoes (and chips) - crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. However, they are no good for mash as they fall apart.

    I must remember to try and pick more blackberries/brambles. I keep saying to myself 'I'll do it tomorrow' but one day there will be none left. The turkeys have eaten all the ones along their side of the fence and are now working their way through the fallen crab apples. Autumn is definitely on its way.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 16th Sep 19, 7:24 AM
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    Primrose
    I love the idea of over-wintering a chilli plant! one of mine is in a pot (the rest are in window-boxes). I will discuss with DH as it is quite a large pot and there is only one suitable windowsill...

    zafiro1984 - I have just chopped all my tomatoes up and they are on the hob in a little salt now, with bottling jars in the oven to sterilise. I just cut out marks on the skin and the stalk-root and chopped them up. I will blend them when they are cooked before decanting them using my jam funnel. I watched a youtube channel of an old Italian Nonna here is the link and without the industrial quantities it works for me, and takes up around a quarter of the space they do in the freezer. It's the second batch I've done and the first batch were fantastic.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Suffolk lass I've overwintered chillies in the past. Once they've finished fruit ai prune them really hard back, including some of the roots, add a little fresh compost to the pot and keep on a window sill. The small shoots on the main stalk quickly sprout again and you get an earlier crop the following year. The only problem I find is vulnerability to an attack of whitefly which can severely weaken the plant.

    Zafiro Thanks for the You Tube link I watched with fascination and horror at the sheer quantities involved, but reduced to an ordinary domestic scale this is doable. However I have my magic stick blender which when used in even my biggest cooking pan would eliminate the need for all this bulk equipment. I still have some ripe tomatoes to come. I have frozen all our sauces everything to date but may have a trial run with preserving jars to see how it works. Do you think ordinary jam jars with their sealable lids would work? We reuse them without issue for marmalade and jam preserving.
    • euronorris
    • By euronorris 16th Sep 19, 7:54 AM
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    euronorris
    If you don't have time to do anything with tomatoes immediately (and you know you will be making a sauce, or similar), then you can just pop them in the freezer whilst you wait. When you take them out, run under a hot tap and the skins will fall off really easy.


    I tidied up the garden a little bit yesterday. Nothing major. Mainly just topping the tomatoes, as that is all I had time for. The two 'clones' were still producing lots of new flowers, but there realistically isn't enough time for them to grow to full size AND ripen . Especially the black ones, which take forever!


    Also had some signs of blight on the three stripey tomato plants, so have cut off the bad parts in an effort to delay it.


    Harvested quite a few tomatoes as well, on both Sat and Sun morning. Harvested a few beans. Not many left on the plant, and it has suffered so badly from blackfly. I've battled it all season, but it's a losing fight!
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 16th Sep 19, 8:32 AM
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    zafiro1984
    I was wondering - would be a good idea before the winter sets in and we spend less time on the plot to assess what has been worth growing, and what not to grow, bearing in mind we live in different parts of the country and have different growing conditions.

    I live in the south, soil is greensand ie sandy and very acid generally 5-5.5ph.
    Recommend:- Carolus potatoes - great for roast
    sweetcorn a variety called 'Incredible', tall plants 2-3 cobs per plant
    Courgette:- Defender loads of courgettes and still going strong, no mildew.
    Earlier in the year mangetout 'Shirez', good flavour, good crop and being purple I could spot each and every one before they got too big.

    Wouldn't grow again:- Sweet pepper variety 'sweetonia' i think it was my mistake as the plants grew well and produced loads of peppers but the size of each one was very, very small - each no bigger than a plum. Last year I grew 'Snackbite' they were about 3-4 times bigger very sweet, but still smaller than the ones in the shops - suited my needs well.

    I'd be interested to know what others think as it may well influence my choice of varieties for next year.
    Last edited by zafiro1984; 16-09-2019 at 8:35 AM.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 16th Sep 19, 11:46 AM
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    • 3,690 Thanks
    unrecordings
    I was wondering - would be a good idea before the winter sets in and we spend less time on the plot to assess what has been worth growing, and what not to grow, bearing in mind we live in different parts of the country and have different growing conditions.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    Going to be a week or so before I can say, I'm still catching up, but I think last year I started clearing properly in early November (give or take a week to allow for chemo cycles)

    Hoping to get out this afternoon, just back from the hospital and awaiting go/no go bloodtest results for (hopefully) this weeks chemo
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 16th Sep 19, 12:56 PM
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    Primrose
    Apart from Tumbling Tom bush variety tomatoes for patio pots which mature early, I,ve limited my upright tomato varieties to Ferline (blight resistant) ( large salad tomatoes and Prima Bella (from Victoriana nurseries) which are an excellent flavoured cherry tomato.

    My good old reliable Cobra climbing beans have performed copiously again despite having to resort them as first batch germinated very poorly. Musselburgh leeks looking good (little sign of rust this year) and Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard splendidly vigorous and has completely avoided any attack from slugs, butterflies or any other pest.

    My soil here is very light, free draining and needs a lot of humus/compost added to retain moisture. My single butternut squash plant produced just one large fruit, by which time it had taken over a third of the vegetable plot so won't grow that again. My two Defender courgettes now looking very sick with mildew .

    Redcurrants so prolific I confess i,ve ended up leaving many of them in the two bushes for the birds as freezer still amply packed with last year's crop!
    I,ve had more mixed lettuces from the Living Leaves salad punnets bought from Sainsbury's, plus own sowings than we've been able to eat.

    My two mini cucumber plants, grown in a border have cropped so prolifically that neighbours now run a mile from them!

    All in all, a productive year. The garden has more than earned its keep!
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 16th Sep 19, 5:12 PM
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    silverwhistle
    Suffolk lass I've overwintered chillies in the past.
    Originally posted by Primrose

    So have I, in a pot on my south facing Hampshire patio. It wasn't intentional , so thanks for the advice. I might try deliberately this year. :-)



    On the subject of toms, I used to live in Italy (in a flat), but every local hardware shop would have on sale the equipment and jars for making tomato passata.



    I still have little idea what I'm going to do with my new allotment so the different comments on varieties is interesting. I've sent away for a few seed catalogues to read in front of the fire, although some of the smaller ones are online only these days.
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