Advice for a hopeless gardener

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
jennyjj01
Posts: 3501
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jennyjj01 »

jansman wrote: Sun May 19, 2024 5:49 am Blight is an issue right now,both domestically and nationally too. The potatoes coming from shops are far from the best,and that’s an understatement!
It’s rather interesting that the self setting spuds in our heaps are doing ok right now though.Looking at news Mrs J has made sure we have tinned spuds and dried potatoes too.
Once again, I chucked a few spuds and bits of peel in my tardis composter and left the lid off, and it's a veritable forest of lush potato foliage. Far better than anything I planted out. The ones at the allotment are getting devoured by some creature. I rate a low probability that it was blight, just yet, but we have had the sort of weather renowned for blight.

I have a case of tinned spuds and about 40 sachets of dried. I'm inclined to double up or more. Disaster food rations are overdue an audit and refresh.

Meanwhile, a note on Coir compost: I was keen on this stuff last year, thinking it would be an ideal hydroponics type medium ( it has no nutrients ) My limited experiments with seeds has put me off it a bit. But I was slapdash in my experiment so YMMV. As is logical, seeds sprouted well in it and broke the surface easily, but attempts to feed with tomorite were unsuccessful. Basil, tomatoes, peas, onions all grew on much better in a bit of garden soil mixed with bought compost. All the seeds in the coir grew only very briefly and then died. I was trying kratki hydroponics using just enough coir to support the seed.
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GillyBee
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:46 am

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by GillyBee »

I have not been terribly impressed with the coir either. Apparently it is naturally very alkaline and needs to have been correctly treated to reduce this - which does not apply to the cheap stuff.
This year I have had a couple of bags of the same seed & cutting compost used by our local nursery and as soon as the plants are big enough they are going into the home made compost - even if it isnt perfect. Last year's experiment with the Tromboncino squash in the compost heap was an eye opener into the power of home made compost.
jennyjj01
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jennyjj01 »

GillyBee wrote: Sun May 19, 2024 12:32 pm I have not been terribly impressed with the coir either. Apparently it is naturally very alkaline and needs to have been correctly treated to reduce this - which does not apply to the cheap stuff.
This year I have had a couple of bags of the same seed & cutting compost used by our local nursery and as soon as the plants are big enough they are going into the home made compost - even if it isnt perfect. Last year's experiment with the Tromboncino squash in the compost heap was an eye opener into the power of home made compost.
Sounds like it's worth testing the PH. 'The man on the internet' suggests it's PH neutral, But as you say it may vary.
This year I put a layer of home made compost in one of my beds and it's visibly more vibrant than the similar bed next to it. Spuds in my Tardis Composter are growing like crazy, rich vibrant green and suppressing weeds. I expect a bumper crop from the Tardis. Same last year and it didn't seem to harm or deplete the compost.
I have had fair success with a 50:50 coir, soil mix. Maybe I'm just expecting too much of it.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

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jansman
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Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jansman »

It’s interesting that ‘self set’ spuds are ok when farmed spuds go bad. Our gardens here have onions that suffer from disease,but not the perennials. Our perennial cabbage gets the odd pest,but not many ( they are brilliant actually) ,our fruit trees next to the cabbage thrive too.
And so forth. Our garden ( edible side) is now self setting and is well worth having a go at.
In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost.

Covid 19: After that level of weirdness ,any situation is certainly possible.

Me.
GillyBee
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:46 am

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by GillyBee »

My perennial kale planted last year, (Daubenton's Panache)has a bad infestation of grey mealy cabbage aphids. I am at a loss to know how to sort it. Apparently ladybirds won't touch them (too full of mustard oil) General advice is to trash the plant but that is not much use for a perennial and it is too big to easily spray with soap and water and actually get under all the leaves. At present I am removing the worst infested leaves and hoping the aphids will dimish naturally as the season progresses so that the new leaves coming in stand a chance.
Any ideas, anyone?
jennyjj01
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Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jennyjj01 »

A few questions for onion growing preppers, especially Jansman...

I have a bed just for Egyptian Tree Onions as recommended by Jansman. They are pretty well established with about 10 growing plants. They's been mostly un-harvested since planting a couple of years back. Left to do their thing. Within the same bed were about 6 spring onions that have just been left alone, till now.

Q1. I found what I believe to be an allium leaf miner larva in a couple of the spring onions. How can I control that if it's also already found its way into my perennial tree onions?

Q2. The originally planted tree onions are still prospering and the bulbs are as big as shallots. I understand that I can eat these big bulbs, and/or I can harvest the new bulbils that arrive at the tree top. But I like the idea of them being perennial and growing wild. They grow wild apart from a bit of hand weeding. Also, the new bulbils are too tiny to make a decent harvest, Is there an ideal ratio of which bits to harvest to eat so as to not kill it off. Do the older plants become too old to be viable?

Q3. My Trees are now flopping down the 'flower's' which each have about 8 peanut sized bulbules. But the bulbils are already well sprouted. I've assisted them by 'landing them' in some nice soft compost where I want them. Will snapping them off mummy plant hurt them or help them? Should I separate off some bulbils to grow apart, or do I let them stay as clusters?

These really are hardy little devils and I look forward to my 1.2m square bed being full of them. Leaf miner worries me, if it already sneaked in.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
jansman
Posts: 13692
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:16 pm

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jansman »

jennyjj01 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 11:11 pm A few questions for onion growing preppers, especially Jansman...

I have a bed just for Egyptian Tree Onions as recommended by Jansman. They are pretty well established with about 10 growing plants. They's been mostly un-harvested since planting a couple of years back. Left to do their thing. Within the same bed were about 6 spring onions that have just been left alone, till now.

Q1. I found what I believe to be an allium leaf miner larva in a couple of the spring onions. How can I control that if it's also already found its way into my perennial tree onions?

Q2. The originally planted tree onions are still prospering and the bulbs are as big as shallots. I understand that I can eat these big bulbs, and/or I can harvest the new bulbils that arrive at the tree top. But I like the idea of them being perennial and growing wild. They grow wild apart from a bit of hand weeding. Also, the new bulbils are too tiny to make a decent harvest, Is there an ideal ratio of which bits to harvest to eat so as to not kill it off. Do the older plants become too old to be viable?

Q3. My Trees are now flopping down the 'flower's' which each have about 8 peanut sized bulbules. But the bulbils are already well sprouted. I've assisted them by 'landing them' in some nice soft compost where I want them. Will snapping them off mummy plant hurt them or help them? Should I separate off some bulbils to grow apart, or do I let them stay as clusters?

These really are hardy little devils and I look forward to my 1.2m square bed being full of them. Leaf miner worries me, if it already sneaked in.
We ( wife does it now) simply get clusters of seeds,sepearate and plant. If you feel they are needing a new home,move them. Snap them off and the new plant grows ,and the old one too. Tough plants!
In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost.

Covid 19: After that level of weirdness ,any situation is certainly possible.

Me.
jennyjj01
Posts: 3501
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jennyjj01 »

jansman wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 6:54 am
jennyjj01 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 11:11 pm A few questions for onion growing preppers, especially Jansman...
Q1. I found what I believe to be an allium leaf miner larva in a couple of the spring onions. How can I control that if it's also already found its way into my perennial tree onions?
We ( wife does it now) simply get clusters of seeds,sepearate and plant. If you feel they are needing a new home,move them. Snap them off and the new plant grows ,and the old one too. Tough plants!
Thank Jansman.
Agreed they are resilient little things. Reading up, I reckon I can hardly go wrong.

Any thoughts on the leaf miner issue, though? Couldn't that be a show stopper if it spreads?

I'm pretty sure they were some kind of leaf miner in the spring onions. I saw the red streak and even dug out the the pupae
https://www.rhs.org.uk/biodiversity/allium-leaf-miner

Advice is to rotate crops and cover with mesh, but rotation is a bit out of order for a perennial.

Bloomin' critters. Is nothing safe?

In other news, the adjacent planter is now a forest of carrot foliage. I think I'm going to regret not thinning them out, but that always feels like a waste of good babies. I wonder how commercial growers thin out carrots?
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
jennyjj01
Posts: 3501
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Advice for a hopeless gardener

Post by jennyjj01 »

jennyjj01 wrote: Sun May 19, 2024 11:32 am Once again, I chucked a few spuds and bits of peel in my tardis composter and left the lid off, and it's a veritable forest of lush potato foliage.
The spuds in my Tardis are so incredibly lush. So, you get a photo! The vegetation is almost blocking my path to the garden. I'm super chuffed and expecting a great yield.

Meanwhile, I'm also seeing some life in the peas that I lobbed into one of my raised beds. Have a laugh at my shoddy gesture towards supporting them on canes :)

There's also two more beds doing fairly well. One is chock full of carrot foliage. I made the mistake of not thinning it out. Should I do so now? It was partner sown with onions but they seem to be coming to nothing. Bed #4 is dedicated to my tree onions.

Meanwhile, the allotment is in a sorry state of under-maintenance. I could blame the weather, but others have managed with their plots. Call me lazy. I do have a big bed of spuds and onions which had some attention, but some creatures have decimated the foliage. Slugs?
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Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong