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Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

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Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  plantoid on 12/28/2012, 5:04 pm

I never realized how lucky I am living in this green and temperate land till I sat down and read my Times newspaper on my kindle.

All around the world weather patterns are going crazy (here too ) but for most places the weather is quite extreme with biting cold or searing heat and little rain.
By midnight tonight 28 Dec we should have exceeded the highest rainfall since the weather records began in the UK nearly 200 yrs ago. The next three days should see around another six inches on top of this record breaking nights tally . We are looking at something like 49 inches of rain for the year by the end of 31 Dec. Temperatures are slightly above average too.

Over the Christmas period we have seen days and days of flood alerts & dire warnings usually a couple of hundred each day all over the UK .
The flooding is mainly along river courses and over flat low lying land, not much but ranging from six or seven inched to over 8 feet .

It has affected my SFG’s in ways that I never expected as I have fantastic drainage in all my beds . Over the last eight weeks all my broccoli , cauliflowers calabrese and many of my autumn cabbages have been sent silly , the curds have gone black and rotten and the hearts of what should have been delicious heavy 5 pound balls of solid light green cabbage have exploded like palm trees by growing out through the crowns .
Slugs are having a real slob feed at my expense, as soon as I collect any and put the slug pellets down the rain comes along and washes them out . The saucers of beer are instantly diluted to less than the whiff of a barmaids apron it’s been raining that much .
I've covered the last set with roof tiles sat on bricks .

I’ve been hanging back to see if I can get a few dry days to set my garlic and over wintering onions but fear it will be too wet.
My glasshouse has taken on the appearance of an indoor pond with almost two inches of water on the floor when it rains really heavily. It looks like I’d be better off raising golden carp instead of trying to grow veg this coming year.

I still have some very tender red globe beet roots, carrots kale, Brussels sprouts and celery in the beds.
In the earth gardens there are some promising spring greens on the way, providing I can keep the slugs and birds off them. I took the final unripe strawberry of the strawberry barrel today.

We are out tomorrow taking Munchkin for a grown up meal of her choice and a trip to the cinema (She’s 11 on 31 Dec ) after I buy four bags of lime free washed fairly coarse horticultural sand .
I’ve slowly but surely squirreled money away this last year ,thanks to numerous eBayers who purchased some stuff I no longer needed .
It has enabled me to afford to buy two 12 inch reflectors that hold some 60 LED plant growth light bulbs ( full spectrum ) , timber to make sand trays , pond liner to make the trays waterproof and some seed trays as well as an under sand heating cable c/w thermostatic control..

Over the next few days I’ll be making the plant /seed growing station and start off a few onions, leeks and lettuce. If the weather continues wet it looks like I’ll be striking onion sets and garlic in 3 inch pots in the grow trays and putting them out into the green house on the heated propagation bed out in there when they are big enough .

That’s about all for now save for Alison, Holly & I wishing you all a great happy and prosperous new year for 2013

David and family.


Last edited by camprn on 12/29/2012, 8:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : expanded title)
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  bnoles on 12/28/2012, 5:13 pm

Thanks for the great update David and sorry to hear about the crazy weather on your side of the pond. Seems like we are all facing pearls of some kind these days. Let's hope 2013 will provide a little closer to normal pattern for all of us.

Have fun with the birthday celebration and a most Happy New Year to you also.

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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  Triciasgarden on 12/28/2012, 10:49 pm

David, wow is too little to say! You sure have gotten more than your share of rain this year, and another 6 inches will be added to that! Maybe it's time to raise all your beds to several feet above the ground, lol! I just can't imagine what a feast those slugs are having! I would love to see a picture of that cabbage growing out of itself! Eleven is such a wonderful age! Have lots of fun David, Allison and Holly on your special date!
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  gwennifer on 12/29/2012, 12:37 am

Oh my goodness that was a fun read! Laughing out loud at the description of your slug fest. Can't be much fun being that soggy - I can relate a bit since I live here in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully with the record rainfall, no rivers are overflowing and ruining people's homes?

Enjoy your time out with the birthday girl!
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  plantoid on 12/29/2012, 7:43 am

Thanks guys,
Darwin said that those that adapt survive , that's why i chose to find a place 117 mtrs /350 feet above sea level , 9 miles in land from the Bristol channel on a valley side ,sheltered from the worst storms but with some sunshine when ever it is sunny and on a 20 % slope away from the bungalow on two sides .

If I get flooded out by rain there will be something very wrong all my brick built bed have a series of weep holes in the foundation course of bricks to let excess water out. Though I did see an old beared guy & some animals etc. in a massive wooden boat as I drove up from the local village . Wink
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  cheyannarach on 12/29/2012, 10:39 am

Wow, that's a ton of rain! The weather in my neck of the woods seems pretty normal but hearing about all your plant life left really makes me ancy for spring! Hope you have a great birthday celebration!
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Slug fest slobbery

Post  plantoid on 12/30/2012, 3:29 pm

This is a green lace curtain formerly know as a potential spring cabbage courtesy of Mr & Mrs slug & family BTDS! Laughing



This is a suposedly giant ball cabbage imitating a date palm . The slugs and weather take no prisioners at all .


Here we have what is supposed to be a Romaine cauli head , it should be a compact spiral of tiny light green flowerheads . The evil wet weather has caused it to go black & mouldy and caused to to try and break out into flowering mode ( Just wait till the ice and snow weather of this coming February my lad ) .



The warm winter weather & tremendous rain fall this year has caused so many plants to reach for the sky . These dwarf kales should be no taller than 13 inches ... they are 27 inches tall .



But if you look carefully in the picture you can see that my swedes are " tickety boo " .. magnificent specimens and as tasty as can be too .

This is some of the " Bolt hardy " red beet root .. quietly growing and giving a quality crop.



Finally these two ball headed cabbages should have reached at least a foot across . I had to undress them of outer leaves because of slug & cabbage white butterfly caterpiller damage .
There will be one less tomorrow as the victim will be in the pot by late afternoon .
Note the weather damage where the frost has damaged the cell walls becasue the cabbages are too full of water because of the excessive rain .
Had it been drier there would be no cell splitting in occasional frosts of - 3 oC

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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  camprn on 12/30/2012, 5:39 pm

golly gee whiz NICe looking kale! and beets too. The last photo of cabbage doesnt look so bad at all. Sorry about all the slug damage.

Hey, when and what do you plant first in the Spring?

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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  bnoles on 12/30/2012, 6:27 pm

plantoid wrote:Finally these two ball headed cabbages should have reached at least a foot across . I had to undress them of outer leaves because of slug & cabbage white butterfly caterpiller damage .

There will be one less tomorrow as the victim will be in the pot by late afternoon .

Which one, the cabbage or the caterpiller? What a Face
(Sorry, I couldn't resist David)

Make sure those worms don't take swimming lessons, I don't want them crossing the pond and us having to deal with that mess.

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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  plantoid on 12/30/2012, 6:28 pm

It depends when I think spring is here, last oficial frost date is 30 May but as I'm down in south wales 9 miles from salt water in the Bristol channel and in a partially sunny but sheltered spot I reckon I can get away with 10 april when the bees usually start flying in earnest & the crows start hankering for sitting on their nests to lay eggs .

I will most likley already have things like onions , baby leeks and lettuce in pots ready for outing to the beds. There will like as not still be carrots , parsnips and some brassica's that have overwintered in the open or with the help of a bit of fleecee every now and again .

In the UK it is said a man can have a cauli or a couple of leeks a week if he plants the right variaties .. same is nigh on true for cabbages and carrots .

I'll most likely start the cabbages , four seeds at a time in a cup of vermiculite on the heated seed propagation bed with full spectrum led lighting at the start of the last week of Feb. Then transfer to propagation bed with a bit more natural light but not so much heat in individual 2 inch pots out in the glasshouse . Then bung them out in the veg bed about 14 days later when they have been hardened off. Perhaps if the weather is so forecast , drape a fleece over them to keep them warm should we get a sudden drop in temp overnight .


Last edited by plantoid on 12/30/2012, 6:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  plantoid on 12/30/2012, 6:32 pm

bnoles wrote:
plantoid wrote:Finally these two ball headed cabbages should have reached at least a foot across . I had to undress them of outer leaves because of slug & cabbage white butterfly caterpiller damage .

There will be one less tomorrow as the victim will be in the pot by late afternoon .

Which one, the cabbage or the caterpiller? What a Face
(Sorry, I couldn't resist David)

Make sure those worms don't take swimming lessons, I don't want them crossing the pond and us having to deal with that mess.


Both ........... no sense in wasting my meat ration when eating veg is there ?

ps
Q What worse than finding a caterpiller in you gravy & cabbage .



A Finding half of one !
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  plantoid on 12/30/2012, 6:40 pm

camprn wrote: golly gee whiz NICe looking kale! and beets too. The last photo of cabbage doesnt look so bad at all. Sorry about all the slug damage.

Hey, when and what do you plant first in the Spring?

Camp the last piccy .. the one on the left ...has been frost damaged because it's so wet & mild it is full of water and has not deveoped its winter antifteeze sugars .. it will be tasteless .

The one on the right is decimated on the underside my Mr Slug & family .
I reckon they are slug pellet junkies and eat them as desserts instead of dying like they are supposed to do after having come in contact with them.
Though in truth it's much more to do with the rains washing the chemicals off the slugs before it has time to acton them .
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Re: Dec 2012 & Jan 2013 Europe

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/4/2013, 2:10 am

I happened upon this youtube post about killing slugs and remembered that you were having a fun time with them! For some reason I cannot watch videos on my laptop (I think one of the many updates my computer does did not include whatever is set up on my laptop for videos) so I was not able to view it but wanted to at least let you know of its existence. I am hoping that my tiredness did not make we word this weird like I sometimes do! I am going to sleep, night!
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