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April showers , bring forth May flowers

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April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  plantoid on 4/1/2012, 7:22 pm

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Last edited by plantoid on 4/1/2012, 7:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/1/2012, 7:27 pm

Wonderful, Plantoid. But, but, which Browning wrote it? Guess I could Google, but I'm lazy. Love your description of your gardening year to date. Great place to glean a few new ideas! Thanks.

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Re: April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  plantoid on 4/1/2012, 7:36 pm

plantoid wrote:Oh to be in England now that April’s there : - a poem by John Browning




Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows -
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray’s edge -
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!





Not only that the garden is calling loud and clear .....sow seeds , set plants , renew me , cherish me.


March has flown by , I thought I’d have lots of seeds sown and several things ready for planting out. T’was not to be this year ,still far too much work doing the finishing touches to the 20 ANSFG beds
Well at least today I finally managed to deep clean and disinfect the whole green house and wash and disinfect all the trollies that I use instead of green house staging . I even managed to seal up an annoying water leaking in point , using an aerosol bitumum sealer spray .


The under bed heating for the misting propagator is on and working well .

A few seeds sown too late last year had dessicated in the dry soil of the seed tray .. they might make an attempt to grow into leek plants so I watered them & place them on the hot bed .



What’s to do for me and you .. I’m making some ore MM using purchased products to top up all 20 beds as my own composting manures are not quite ready
Tomorrow Monday , I start sowing small quantities of seeds in neat vermiculite , my “ pots “ are square tubes of white rain water down pipe cut to 3 inch ( 75 mm ) long lengths , with a 15 mm ( ½ inch ) thick wad of open cell foam pushed in the base to make a bottom . You have to remember to write the title etc on the tube before you fill it or sow the seeds in it for all too often you tip it over and empty out the dry contents,

Once sown these get stood in a tray of 15 mm / ½ inch of water for ½ hr or so to get the benefit of a good soak , then the pots are stood in cat litter trays that have drain holes drilled in them and then they are stood on the heated misting bed set at 19 o C / 61 o F till they germinate . I’ll spray mist by hand every day if they need it for the auto system is really only for my cuttings and established pants as seeds will suffer from damping off if your not careful .



This spell of warm glorious weather in the UK is coming to an end and reverting to a more British April weather. This for me means clotches & squares of black pond liner to warm the soil up on the areas where I want to risk a few square feet of carrots etc.
The cabbages I planted as seedlings three weeks or so ago have taken but there is not much growth , which is not surprising as it is only just past the end of March .
Weeds are also starting to show and following Mel’s advice my wife spent 20 minutes or so snipping off any thing she recognised as a genuine weed ( plus a few flowers no doubt ). This snipping of the weeds with a pair of long bladed scissors is good ,for it does not disturb the soil and cause new seeds to migrate to the surface for germination .


We have continued to snip off leave off the dwarf curly Kale , the spring growth of them in MM is really quite different from the leaves eaten whilst they were grown in the mother earth version of SFG. They are much sweeter and more delicate in the structure of their fibres.



The Purple sprouting broccoli was also transplanted as nearly full grown plants with spears from an earth based growth medium into MM , it is still giving us plenty of spears of purple sprouting broccoli.

The peas are now nearly 9 inches high ( 230 mm ) .. I got a gypsies warning later this afternoon ..... two cabbage white butterflies ( CWB’s) went flitting past my nose . Thankfully I do have some netting over the brassicas but it will have to get improved in readiness for when the new season greens start growing in the MM as at present some of the greens are touching the sides of the netting which will allow the CWB’s to gain a foot hold and do their dirty deed of egg laying. Last year they walked through the mesh of the nets and resultant caterpillars turned my brassicas into green lace on sticks in a week or so .



Slugs and stuff. There are now nematode controls available direct from the big seed houses , the garden centres won’t stock them as they need to be kept cool are use within 28 days or so of getting them . I used “ Nemasys neamatode “ for slug and carrot fly control last year .. it looks like it worked well for the slugs and carrot fly were getting the upper hand at one stage.




One tip I’ve recently ( don’t know if it really works ) been given is to use Pyrethium ( sp ) base ant powder to dust the planting holes for all brassicas to prevent cabbage root fly striking your transplants... they also said dust the planted plant as well after the watering in water has dried off .

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Re: April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  GWN on 4/1/2012, 8:24 pm

Hi Plantoid
Great account of your garden.
So is that a PET of yours..... or just close friend Wink

You mentioned cloches, what sort do you use?

I totally admire the old pictures of french gardeners with the large glass cloches, would be a great way to garden, I picked a few glass ones and a sale last year and have also purchased a few large vases to use as cloches.
Then on to the plastic milk jugs.
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Re: April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  plantoid on 4/5/2012, 8:40 pm

GWN wrote:Hi Plantoid
Great account of your garden.
So is that a PET of yours..... or just close friend Wink

You mentioned cloches, what sort do you use?

I totally admire the old pictures of french gardeners with the large glass cloches, would be a great way to garden, I picked a few glass ones and a sale last year and have also purchased a few large vases to use as cloches.
Then on to the plastic milk jugs.







You'll have to PM me with the PET / close friend bit ..I'm half asleep and not following your thoughts......

Clunk ! The penny drops ......

No the turkey is a substitute for the picture I put of my favourite one as some considered it not family friendly or chose to be offended as the turkey was with a former US president ...... I couldn't tell which was which Wink




By now you will have discovered I'm using four gallon office drinking fountain water bottles that I've cut in half with a hack saw blade .



I now add that I should have put half a brick on the bottom halves and pushed a long cane through the top of the upper halves as last night it blew a hoolie , this morning it was 10 minutes of playing hunt the clotches in a bone chilling freezing cold NWesterly

Tonight they are all secured
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Re: April showers , bring forth May flowers

Post  GWN on 4/5/2012, 11:19 pm

t'would a been the national bird, some say.......
I am just loving these cloches, but need to get more with some substance.
Whenever I am at thrift stores I search for very large glass vases, which seem to work well, as well as large glass bowls, which you can also find at thrift stores.

I am doing an experiment to determine which of my flowers is wimpier....
and nasturtiums are loosing sorely.
I have been gradually planting each of the perennials I grew this year in greenhouse, which by the way, has been SOOOOO much fun.
The lupins are out there, have survived a few freezing nights and today I forgot the cloches on them and it was hot, and they are fine... so lupins, you are ON YOUR OWN.
Next hollyhocks, they also have made it on their own and so even though it is supposed to freeze tonite, they seem to be fine.
I think I am going to have to keep the nasturtiums in the greenhouse until the tomatoes are ready to put out.....SIGH....

Next will be the poppies, that are growing with great vigour in the greenhouse, lets see how they do out in the cold.....and then a butterfly flower that I have NO idea about, but is orange and will soon be in my garden.
Columbine appears it might perhaps be ready, and I have to get the greenhouse cleared out to make room for all the basil, peppers, and tomatoes.....oh and them wimpy nasturtiums...... hiding

Anyways, just a brief little trip down perennial lane.....or perhaps just a detour.
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