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Author Topic: Just a little rant  (Read 993 times)

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Just a little rant
« on: May 29, 2019, 11:02:36 am »
So mu carrots and parsnip seeds failed to germinate - not so unusual but the weed seeds have done well.
My first tranch of lovely healthy brassica seedlings all got eaten - probably be pheasants - and now all my dwarf french beans have been slug destroyed.
We ban slug pellets and weedkillers and give ourselves a warm fuzzy feeling and then import the stuff from other countries chucking both those chemicals about - probably with less regulation.
In mass cultivation biological control can work but usually a waste of effort on a  small scale - you can;t justify a wide enough barrier around the crops.
I'll resow but almost ready to give up.. age and less energy and back-pains just make the process so much less fun for crops you can buy cheaply.
Voss Electric Fence

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 12:03:11 pm »
Been there, seen that, got the tee shirt add an invasion of goats in the orchard (my own goats) deer in the garden (not mine) then you see the attraction of the local farm shop....

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 12:32:40 pm »
I’ve never had much luck in the past with growing veg but am determined this time.
I need to net the bed for pigeons, rabbits and other birds but then how to stop slugs?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 12:41:57 pm »
We are still battling on in spite of creeping decrepitude.  I used to run 2 allotments and I actually found that easier than having a limitless veg garden here.  Over the years we have compacted our growing area bit by bit, until we now have just two areas outside which we use in alternate years, and cover with poultry house cleanings and a tarp over the following year.  I have whittled down what we grow in these flat beds to potatoes and broad beans, both staples of our diet.  I used to grow brassicas of all sorts outside but slugs, high winds, heavy snow and pigeons have won (netting against pigeons works but then I don't weed them, which makes the slugs worse, and the net with snow on smashes down the plants).  I grow a few brassicas, just enough, inside the polytunnel now.  Onion family I used to grow outside, but although they grew well, they didn't store as they were too wet.  They now take up too much space in the tunnel too - garlic, shallots, onions and leeks. Onions are a total waste of time as you can buy organic onions grown in a hotter country, which store well.  All the other crops I grow inside: climbing beans, squashes, cucumbers (gherkins instead this year) , tomatoes, peppers, chillies, all salads, beetroot etc.  The only crop I'm stuck on is peas.  We love them, fresh from the plant, but so do the pigeons and mice outdoors, and spider mite and mice indoors. So this year I'm not growing them, but wish I was. Same with sweetcorn - it won't grow outside, but spider mite and mice, plus sparrows get them inside, so those are off the list forever.  As well as the flat beds outside, we have a couple of raised beds, one for strawberries, the other for French beans, carrots, beetroot or parsnips, whichever I go for each year.  I can keep those weeded except in a wet year.   Herbs I grow near the house in an old dairy water bath so vermin and small male dogs can't get at them.  I have tried herbs in pots but daren't eat them for what might have landed on them!
So the answer to some extent is to cut down on how much you grow, so you have enough for most meals, but no glut, and nothing which gets blootered each year.  I have also become very stingey and don't give any veg away, except rhubarb as we have mountains of it. Most other folk we know are younger and fitter than me, so if they want veg they can grow their own!  :garden:
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 12:48:38 pm by Fleecewife »
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cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 02:53:10 pm »
So mu carrots and parsnip seeds failed to germinate - not so unusual but the weed seeds have done well.
My first tranch of lovely healthy brassica seedlings all got eaten - probably be pheasants - and now all my dwarf french beans have been slug destroyed.
We ban slug pellets and weedkillers and give ourselves a warm fuzzy feeling and then import the stuff from other countries chucking both those chemicals about - probably with less regulation.
In mass cultivation biological control can work but usually a waste of effort on a  small scale - you can;t justify a wide enough barrier around the crops.
I'll resow but almost ready to give up.. age and less energy and back-pains just make the process so much less fun for crops you can buy cheaply.

 For me in Ammanford area of South wales it's been too cold for the seed of carrots to germinate .. they usually need 21 days  above 57 oF .

 Some friends in the USA are station sowing a couple of seeds 1/2 " deep and sprinkling fine vermiculite over the hole & seeds .. dropping seeds & vermiculite a down 3/4 metal tube ( they all have bust up spines like me )

Those doing this seem to be having more success than their friends in the same locality not doing it .
We think it's because the vermiculite allows a better moisture control, allows air to the soil for fungi to grow & release nutrients  and warms up quicker than the soil.
 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 02:59:04 pm »
I’ve never had much luck in the past with growing veg but am determined this time.
I need to net the bed for pigeons, rabbits and other birds but then how to stop slugs?

 Am in the fith o sixth year of using nema slug we have very few slugs these days , pior to it we had slugfest from mid Feb to well into the first frosts .

 I've also used pot noodle type tubs ( holes  burnt in the base with a red hot six inch nail ) to grow individual beans, peas & a lot of other plants  to at least seven inches high before planting them out .. they don't get eaten by birds & other pest so much .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 07:11:02 pm »
You mention Nemaslug Cloddopper.  Does it have a min temp to work?  I have not tried it because we are so cold here.  I have just ordered a similar thing against gooseberry sawfly larvae which are destroying my goosegogs.  I'm wondering if the predators will cope with the temps here this early.  Before they arrive I shall let loose with a soap spray.  There's a limit to how many I can squelch  ;D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 08:42:21 pm »
I had to replant peas as the first lot were eaten by something. Just put in my leaks on Monday and we had frost last night. It's a hard fight. ! :(

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 09:39:11 am »
Growing season seems to be unpredictable this year.
We invested in enviromesh last year, and were rewarded with a wonderful crop of brassicas. As for slugs, I think the best method is hoe and hoe again, taking away any debris.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 12:46:54 pm »
I don't sow any seeds directly outside, except carrots and parsnips, and most years don't get any... I sow inside and then grow on in Keder/polytunnel until ready to do out - I do onions from seed (1st time this year after a long time - growing in a clump of 4 to 5), leeks and some brassicas for autumn, with a lot more to be sown soon for winter eating - lots of kale, PSB and Savoys. I am trying field beans outside and also peas - though comparing the peas inside Keder and outside just shows how massive the difference is - 1st crops on the inside ones (Oskars) and just a few flowers on the outside ones...

I would never sow beans or peas direct - much better to sow into toilet roll insides in the warmth inside (even better to have a night soaking in warm water) and then plant out when large enough. Also always two beans/peas per station/toilet roll inside. Only planting out when large enough to bury the remaining seed bit as that's what the voles here are wanting to eat, I find taking them off is also helpful and doesn't damage the plant at all.



pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2019, 05:01:49 pm »
Like Anke I sow almost everything indoors except the carrots and parsnips. peas outside too under a wire tunnel. My onion seedlings from indoors all had their tops eaten off too when put out....

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2019, 06:42:55 pm »
I’ve always found parsnips problematic. Part of the problem is the time they take to germinate. But also, the seed packets and books suggest sowing them too early in my view. The soil needs to warm up first. Anyhow, this is what I have done the last three years with great success. Mid-April sprinkle parsnip seeds over a damp layer of kitchen towel lining a plastic container. Spread the seeds so they are not touching and tamp down so they are all in contact with the kitchen towel. Cover with a clear lid or clingfilm. Place on a window sill indoors. In a week to ten days they will nearly all have germinated. When the root tail is no more than 2-3mm plant them out in previously prepared ground: 4 inches apart and 1/2 an inch deep. Wear you glasses if necessary. No need for thinning out later.

This year I did an experiment. I sowed a 20’ row using the traditional direct sowing method and next to it a 20’ row using the pre-germination method described above. The seed for both rows came from the same packet (Wilkos).  In a 20’ row there is space for 58 plants at 4 inches apart. The traditional row resulted in 19 seedlings although some of these will need to be thinned out. The pre-germinated row produced 54 seedlings, nicely spaced out.

It might seem a bit fiddly but not that much more than thinning out a row, and it also obviates the need for a parsnip rant. Anyway, I like parsnips and so will continue to use this approach in the future.


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 01:09:44 am »
I shall certainly be trying your method @PK.  Thanks for sharing.  I have tried the alternating radishes with parsnips in the row method a couple of times, but I find the radishes overshadow the parsnips when they are still tiny, and disturb the roots when they are pulled. 
Yours sounds a much more surefire method.  I award you  :garden:  of this thread  :trophy:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 10:51:13 pm »
You mention Nemaslug Cloddopper.  Does it have a min temp to work?  I have not tried it because we are so cold here.  I have just ordered a similar thing against gooseberry sawfly larvae which are destroying my goosegogs.  I'm wondering if the predators will cope with the temps here this early.  Before they arrive I shall let loose with a soap spray.  There's a limit to how many I can squelch  ;D

From Nematodes direct.co.uk information sheets on line ….
 
How Nemaslug Nematodes Work:
These specially selected nematodes attack the pest by entering natural body openings or by penetrating the insect cuticle directly.
Once inside, they release bacteria that stops the pest from feeding, quickly killing the pest.
They do not stop there. The nematodes reproduce inside the dead pest and release a new generation of hungry nematodes, which disperse to hunt down further prey.
Once they have killed the pest for which they have been bred they die back to their natural numbers.
Most importantly Nemaslug Nematodes are environmentally friendly and safe for children, pets and wildlife (except for slugs and snails).
 
The soil temperature should be 5ºC (40ºF) or over (this is also when plants start to grow). Nematodes are capable of surviving the odd frost; so don't worry if the temperature falls after you have applied Nemaslug. Metaldehyde based slug pellets are reported not to be effective below 7ºC.
Use the whole pack before the expiry date, which is marked on the inside of the pack and will be at least a couple of weeks. Apply in a broad band around your plants to increase the chances of slugs coming into contact with the nematodes.
Potatoes are susceptible to slug attack later in the season than most other plants. So you can delay applying Nemaslug till 6-7 weeks before harvest, when the tubers are most likely to be eaten by slugs.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Just a little rant
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 11:19:31 pm »
Get some of the hanging basket warer retention crystals .
 pop 1/2 teasoon  in a strong poly bag that wi hold at least four pints of water . add 1/2 pint of water stir them up and hang it some where for an hour or so till the crystals  turn to jelly 
. give it another stir nd add 1/4 pint of water stir again hang it up till it  sorts itself out again . do this till you get the final jelly just thick enough to stand a few mm above the top of a teaspoon when it is well diluted.

 Pop you seeds in some of this  say 1/4 of a pint in another smaller strong poy bag . stir the seds to evenly distribute them and  hang th bag some where that is light&  warm ( 60 oF 19 oC ) for  24 hrs , check to see if it they have sprouted ,  if not check 12 hrs later  , do this every 12 hrs till they start to sprout , leave the sprouts till they become 12 mm / 1/2 " long .
  Prep your veg bed  rake it as fine as you're able even if it is wet . make  thin drill in the bed are with the edge of a baton of wood to about 1/2 inch. 12 mm  deep .
Snip a 10 x 10 x 10 mm triangle off one corner of the bag and using it like an icing bag  gently squeeze the sprouted seeds along & in the drill .  Mark the exact drill line with start & stop pegs then cover the drill very lightly with soil and give it a light watering in .

Once the seeds have germinated and got the fine hair roots sowing them in a paste solution means they start growing properly with no check in their growth the second you have put them in the drill so cooler unfriendly non germination weather is not a problem . You can even sow them in the rain  so long as  you accurately & lightly cover them over  .

 In the Fenland  of East Anglia around Chatteriss , March & Yaxley where a heck of a lot of the UK's carrots are grown this method of germinating carrots seed and a few other types of seed is used  to germinate difficult seeds in 500 litre  germination tanks  .

The matured germinated solution is then pumped in to the tractors distribution tank & a live solution is gently pushed out of dozens of feeder tubes or spacing wheels to  put the seed into the seed very shallow drill furrow which is then automatically covered over .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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