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February in Europe...what's going on?

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February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/4/2011, 11:24 am

let's see...we have a new flock of gardeners from England, Ireland, and Germany (welcome!)

It seems to be finally dawning on La Dame Nature that it's heading toward spring -- my poppies are exploding out of the front bed, and the crocus, daffodils, and tulips are poking their green noses above the ground.

The ice storm on Wednesday caused a lot of accidents for walkers and drivers, but seemed to have left my garden alone...today it's 10 (50F), but still no sun...we're now spending more days above 0 than below it. The progress is slow, but oh so welcome. Now if La Dame Nature would see fit to give us a little sunshine on occasion, it would be even nicer.

A peek under my little greenhouse revealed a few carrots that have decided to get an early start on things (or late, depending on how you look at it, as I planted them last fall!)...don't worry, I'll make another square come 15 April.

I bought my seed-start soil this morning, and will probably start seedlings this weekend on the shelf in the basement - it's next to a nice big window, so get as much light as possible, and it's in the laundry room, so is at least a *few* degrees warmer than the rest.

I also bought SEEDS hyper this morning (and have three packets of Nantes carrots -- to whom shall I post them? I'll ask that you divvy them up and share, as transatlantic postage gets a little steep....PM me with details...and remember that the package is written in French with metric measurements. I'll try to include at least a rough translation.

And three pots of African violets that were *cheap* and pretty. Not SFG, as they'll stay indoors, but nice to have more green things about. Hubby already calls it the jungle indoors.

So...Icemaiden in Iceland, new posters in Ireland (come back, we miss you!), Mick in UK, Juergen in Germany, and the Dutch SFG family (Zephyros, Mirjam, Pietr...who else am I missing?)

What's happening in your European garden this month?

LaFee

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Buying the seeds..

Post  kimbertangleknot on 2/4/2011, 11:51 am

I'd PM right now but wanted to post it for everyone else too.

I also bought SEEDS this morning (and have three packets of Nantes carrots -- to whom shall I post them? I'll ask that you divvy them up and share, as transatlantic postage gets a little steep....PM me with details...and remember that the package is written in French with metric measurements. I'll try to include at least a rough translation.

I'd be more than happy to pay for the postage to get to me, take what I need, and then I can send it all off to someone else who would be willing to work with the american postage. Or send me a SAE, however people want to work with it. Either or, I'd be more than happy to pay for the transatlantic postage.
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February in Ireland

Post  Andrea and Michael on 2/5/2011, 12:29 pm

Hello,
here it's still quiet about the garden, except the water and the wind/ storm. Seeds are bought or rather still available from last year waiting in the fridge. We have managed to built our 1st table top garden. we have a timber supplier ( cheap ) around the corner. There we got beams 5 x5 inch as legs for the table, boards 6x2 inch as frame and for the bottom we used galvanised wire mesh 2 x2 iches gauge 10. Well, then we took plastic as lining and poked some holes in it, just like flower pots are. Filled it with compost and vermiculite and a compost mix from Lidl which contains peat moss - since you cannot buy it here any more and the "coconut - hair" or coir must get shipped from England. If anyone knows a supplier for coir or peatmoss or something as useful I'd love to know.
Then the thing got a washing line grid and there it stands now in the middle of rain and storm since 5 days. It got well soaked until you could see the bottom hanging. We supported it with smaller beams and a 5th leg/ beam under the middle of the bottom, but the storm didn't get it! Now we're preparing for tomorrow, a few friends come around and we have a chance to do a little SFG Intro. We're not yet approved by Mel, so we don't want to call it a course. But those people are all interested and some of them bought even his books. So we'll do our best. I'll attach a photo of the new box.
Greetings from Cork
Andrea and Michael


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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/5/2011, 1:09 pm

Hurray!

And welcome to the Europe forum -- we're so glad to have a few more sitting round our little table over here in the forum. We try to keep the kettle going all the time!

I'm LaFee, the regional host, blooming where I've been transplanted here in the Paris region. (and planning a trip to Ireland in the not-too-distant future!)

Several of us on this side of the pond have had good luck with sphagnum peat -- it's renewable, and seems to work just as well as the old bog peat.

Good to know about Lidl carrying mixed compost - hopefully it will show up in my store soon, as I'm planning on building a second 4'x 8' (1,2m x 2,4m) box this spring.

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I'm still here...

Post  Mirjam on 2/6/2011, 6:45 am

Hi, I've been way too busy to keep up with posting messages, but I try to visit the forum every week or so, and incidentally react to posts... Here in Holland the frost seems to have gone, during the day we're having temperatures of 8 to 10 (45-50 Fahrenheit), but accompanied by a lot of wind.... my little improvised greenhouse dome hasn't survived the storm, so I will have to sew a new one . I managed to find most of the remains though, so it won't be too difficult. I'll just have to find the time to do it!
This is wat my litlle veggie garden looked like before it got blown away; all cleaned up and ready for spring!

I already have some broccoli and cauliflower sprouted, and four squares of sugarsnaps have been put in under a plastic cover (which survived the storm up until now) I just push pinned the plastic on the fence and the sides of the box.

In the cold frame, I have some rockette and radishes, and a few lettuce seedlings that were getting leggy inside (ofcourse I started seeds way too early..). Don't think the lettuce will survive though. In the bed that formerly had a cover Smile , my garlic is growing, and some leeks I started too late last fall. I've also sown some very cold-hardy spinach. Hope to see some sprouting one of these days, but there's not much going on above ground yet.
Anyway, so far my little garden update. I've also started blogging about it, as there was not much to tell during winter...
I'll try to stop by here more often too!
Bye for now!

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/6/2011, 6:50 am

At least the bed that lost its roof is planted to things that will likely survive the nights!

Sorry to hear the storms wrecked one of your covers -- the wind has been crazy, for sure.

Sure hope the weather continues (I'm always afraid we're going to get a nasty surprise) and we get an early spring!

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  kali291 on 2/7/2011, 4:02 am

Andrea and Michael wrote:Hello,
If anyone knows a supplier for coir or peatmoss or something as useful I'd love to know.

Hi Andrea
Try this one:
http://www.haydenbark.com/index.htm
Ron

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/7/2011, 4:34 am

Took forever and ever to click through to it, but this might help, too:

Commercial Suppliers of Irish Peat-free Composts
http://www.ipcc.ie/compwildpeatfreeirl.html

Commercial Suppliers of Peat-free Composts Around the World
http://www.ipcc.ie/compwildpeatfreewrld.html

and Green Garden Centers and DIY Outlets - Stockists of Peat-free Alternatives
http://www.ipcc.ie/pfgreengcenters.html

It's a lousy website, but the information is there if you have the patience to rummage around for it.

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Peat free compost

Post  Andrea and Michael on 2/7/2011, 5:16 am

Thanks for your help, La Fee. We had a great afternoon yesterday with lots of different interested people, some of them were actually native irish ( we're native german ) so they knew far more than we did. They've told us that you can get peat moss actually in every co op. These are shops for builders, farmers and also private of course. I only know them situated in the countrysides of Ireland. So, we've learned that and we all agreed to meet again by the end of april, after easter and bring photos from their gardens and have a little workshop cheers . The peat free compost is available here everywhere and I've found that particular website as well. When they say peat free compost, they mean just compost and that's what I have ( and most others here around do so ) in my backyard Smile
And thanks to Ron as well, i will have a go for Haydenbark as an alternative.

greetings from a sunny morning ( unbelievable after all the water )
Andrea

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  Icemaiden on 2/7/2011, 6:00 am

Hi everyone!

There is not much happening here, as you can guess from the picture! I'm hoping that under the sloping cover the strawberry plants are getting ready for the spring - but it is hard to tell Laughing

The funny thing is that we have had little snow until last week. Ah well, didn't someone post that it is the poorman's fertilizer?

Love the tabletop model in Ireland.


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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  Icemaiden on 2/7/2011, 7:53 am

Hmm, stupid or what?
I've been intending sowing some seeds in plastic containers and putting them outside to await spring. So, it being a lovely sunny day today, and spurred on by the "what's happening" posts, I rounded up the seed packets, got my containers already, went to get the potting compost... and found it frozen in a solid block!
Now why would I expect anything else given that it is stored outside and it has been below freezing since the New Year? Just call me an optimist Embarassed Embarassed
Time to go to the garden centre I think.

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/7/2011, 8:59 am

Nah, not stupid...a little wildly optimistic, perhaps!

(the SUN is shining here for the first time in a week!)

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  Mads on 2/7/2011, 2:24 pm

Hi all.

This discussion looks like a good place for introducing myself.

I'm Mads, Dane living in Finland. Having a seriously hard time with the cold and the darkness. So I grow hot peppers! Have done that for three years now. So now I know a few things about soil, ferts, greenhouses etc. I feel like growing more stuff.

Through viewing about a million videos on youtube, I got interested in SFG, permaculture, dome greenhouses, tomatoes, companion planting and much, much more!

So obviously it will all happen this summer! Big time!

Oh, yeah, I just need to wait three months to get rid of the damned snow ;-) Which gives me plenty of time reading up on SFG's, doing initial planning and construction, and sprouting seeds.

Had a look in my photos, but can't find any of the garden as it looks at the moment. But I can tell you it's not a pretty sight. There's quite a bit more snow than in Iceland ;-)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to communicating a lot more in this forum and find help and inspiration for some nice raised beds this summer Smile
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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/7/2011, 2:29 pm

Welcome, Mads!

I believe you're the first to join the forum from either Finland OR Denmark...I love to see our European population growing!

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  Icemaiden on 2/7/2011, 3:02 pm

Mads wrote:

Had a look in my photos, but can't find any of the garden as it looks at the moment. But I can tell you it's not a pretty sight. There's quite a bit more snow than in Iceland ;-)


I'll bet! Whereabouts are you?
And welcome to the forum Smile

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  Mads on 2/7/2011, 3:26 pm

I live just south of Tampere in Finland. I just checked, and it's hardiness zone 4 (but almost 5).

This year winter has been particularly cold and lasted forever already. But's also been a very strange one. Yesterday I was in the greenhouse and there was 18 degrees and my thyme had little green shoots coming (and they tasted good too). But then the weather forecast says minus 20-25 for another period this week, so winter might last for a long time still...
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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

Post  LaFee on 2/7/2011, 4:50 pm

YIKE. -25?! affraid (that's in Centigrade, for the American friends -- which is about -15F)

lots o

Thanks, I'll stay right here where I am...we had sunshine and 12C (55F) today. Supposed to rain tomorrow, but I'll keep it.

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Re: February in Europe...what's going on?

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