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Edible Plants / Re: No dig system and the moon
« Last post by Beersmith on Today at 19:56:03 »
Thanks Tee Gee, interesting observations.

Well, the science behind global warming is very solid. Much of the evidence locks together like a jigsaw.

But the difficulty is that it definitely does not mean that everywhere gets equally just a little bit warmer. What we will get in our own specific locality is very difficult to predict. 

But we have already burned enough fossil fuel to ensure the warming will continue for decades even if we stopped burning tomorrow.  So, personally, I doubt things will "return to normal" and I think more change is in the pipeline. I hope we are not in for a very rough ride.
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The Shed / Re: Likes
« Last post by johhnyco15 on Today at 19:09:19 »
we all thankyou for your wealth of know how you share season by season your a national treasure
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Edible Plants / Re: Late Pear Suggestions please
« Last post by johhnyco15 on Today at 19:05:43 »
Cheers. I think I have found one locally. Thanks.
fanastic please let me know how you get on not sure what part of the country you live but its a all rounder in my opinion as far as weather goes good luck
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The Basics / Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Last post by winecap on Today at 17:44:42 »
I think its all been said, but that isn't going to stop me repeating a few things. I have two plots, and I grow for myself, neighbours and friends. If you've got the time and energy, you can't have too much space. Great opportunity to diversify and indulge a bit.
Just thinking about what I do that I would have to curtail with half the space -
Firstly I love my fruit trees. 20 apple trees at the moment. All dwarf except one that I inherited and all but 3 I grafted myself. Also, 2 plum, 5 pear, 2 peach, 1 nectarine, 1 apricot, 1 quince and 1 persimmon which may never successfully fruit but with extra space you can try things that don't work! I also have a purple filbert. Finally there is a wild cherry tree which is rather large, and birds take all the fruit but I inherited it, and in the spring when its full of blossom and humming with bees its great.
I also have space for 2 beehives and 6 chickens. Each plot has a shed and two greenhouses. Room for grapes, citrus trees, and a dozen different tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, physalis, pepino.
I have a good range of soft fruit, with loganberry, blackberry, wineberry, boysenberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, whitecurrant, redcurrant, jostaberry and worcesterberry.
I like to grow a good bed of sweetcorn usually about 80 plants, preferably with two varieties to spread the season. The asparagus bed also needs quite a lot of space.
Finally I tend to grow all the usual suspects found on an allotment, as well as less common things like quinoa, oca, yacon, sweet potato and melon.
I recently considered taking a third plot, but decided I didn't really have the time to do it justice. My mother had  three and a half at her most industrious. To be honest as I look ahead to the time when I may need to cut down to just one plot, I have no idea how I'll squeeze it all in. Oh, and I forgot to mention flowers. I started out with strictly veg only, but now there are lots of flowers too. And I also forgot mushroom on logs and beds! Have fun with your two plots!
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Edible Plants / Re: No dig system and the moon
« Last post by Tee Gee on Today at 16:40:49 »
Quote
With your many years experience and your habit of record keeping, What are your observations?

As mentioned in my thread their doesn't seem to be any specific pattern emerging other than we don't seem to have distinct seasons any more! e.g. Spring-Summer-Autumn-Winter .

For example; 2017 we had an exceptionally warm April followed by a very cold May which in my opinion is a really bad thing for gardeners!

In April the weather was suited to planting stuff out had it been ready but as I was working to my Spring flower calendar (see prev thread) I seem to recall; the spring flowers were flowering pretty much as they would in a normal Winter/Spring.

However the warm weather killed off my Daffodils very quickly and the Tulips came into flower somewhat early.

My fruit trees came in to 'bud burst mode' which is very early in this part of the world and I was concerned that if they flowered there would be very few if any pollinators about, and sadly they did flower but strangely enough quite a few pollinators came out of hibernation and did the business!

Then in come May and it turned out to be a very cold May.

What I found that my stuff was ready for planting out but the weather (in my opinion) was not conducive to planting out  so I held back as long as I could before planting out.

In the end this threw me around 3-4 week behind but as always due to the resilience of the plants (not me) my harvests were pretty much normal.

Another thing that this abnormal weather did was;  it affected the pollinators life cycle,

According to the press this was experienced over the whole nation not just in my patch and there was great concern being shown by many growers.

What I noticed was that those pollinators that came out in April suffered in May because there was very little, if any plants in flower  due to the cold spell.

As I mentioned previously; my Spring flowers were burned off in April and the May flowers was delayed! Meaning there was very little feeding around for those early pollinators so I guess many of them died off, added to that beneficial insects such as Ladybirds that year were very few, and it is my opinion these died off at birth due to the cold!

OK the rest of the  year went ahead in a fairly normal manner and I harvested fruit and veg that was of good quality and quantity.


2018: well for me it was probably one of the most disappointing years I have ever had which I put partially down to the weather and the fact that since July I had planned on giving up at the end of the year so I don't think I put the same effort into my growing regime.

In terms of weather; the year started off pretty normal, then we got "The Beast from the East" which I found was not much of a problem to me as it was no worse than what I have experienced years ago when we really got 'Winters'

I think the most difficult thing I found was coping with the extremely high heat.

For example I have never in all my gardening experience had to shade my stuff from the sun and that coupled with the lack of rain my watering regime was greatly increased. This was another thing that I have never had to go to such extremes to ensure my plants had sufficient moisture!

What I ended up with was the crops were pretty much the same quality of past years but the size right across the board of my produce was much smaller than normal.So much so that crops that I normally store e.g Onions and Potatoes which usually last me into March/April were finished in mid-December!

Fruit was generally excellent apart from my early Strawberries which were due for replacement plus I think suffering from "The Beast of the East"

 
In 2016 I re-wrote my website in part which meant correlating my recent diaries with those that I had used in previous editions.

What I particularly looked for was; " Effects of Global Warming" and to be quite honest there was not a great difference. I probably would say that early season tasks (sowing etc) were a few days earlier to my previous averages but I am not sure if I would put this down to " Global Warming" alone.

What I found was that due to the milder winters and my Spring Flower calendar I was starting things off around a week earlier!

So the question is the milder winters down to " Global Warming"?

I don't know so I will leave that to anyone reading this article.

OK I hope that answers your request Beersmith.

My conclusion would be:

Something is happening with the weather in my opinion but I am not convinced that it 'Permanent'so I guess only time will tell!



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The Basics / Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Last post by Beersmith on Today at 14:09:20 »
I tend to concentrate on anything you can't buy in the shops. Also expensive stuff like asparagus is a great treat for very little effort if you have the room. Globe artichokes likewise.

For me the absolute #1 candidate is ripe plums.


Two excellent ideas here.
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The Shed / Re: Likes
« Last post by Beersmith on Today at 13:55:10 »
And our thanks to you for all the advice given so generously on these threads.
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Competition / Re: Charity Photo Competition
« Last post by Obelixx on Today at 13:47:51 »
Very grey and wet here so no chance of any photos.  Stying in and keeping warm and dry is the order of the day.
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Edible Plants / Re: No dig system and the moon
« Last post by Beersmith on Today at 13:43:05 »
Quote
I am pleased that we have had an interesting and good natured exchange of views

...and I for one have enjoyed the views given.

In fact my thoughts during this summer were if this type of weather continues the breeders will have to get the finger out and breed new species to replace the indigenous British plant species that are not designed for weather  such as we have had this year. What I noticed  on my plot was that species that originated from warmer climes did quite well, but the indigenous stuff faired quite poorly.


Tee Gee, as a respected and venerable contributor to these threads, I'd be interested to hear your views on the changing seasons.  Do you feel spring is arriving a little earlier? Do you feel our summers are a hotter and dryer? Each year is unique so it is hard to be sure what is variation and what is real change.

With your many years experience and your habit of record keeping, What are your observations?
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The Basics / Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Last post by Vinlander on Today at 12:41:09 »
I tend to concentrate on anything you can't buy in the shops. Also expensive stuff like asparagus is a great treat for very little effort if you have the room. Globe artichokes likewise.

For me the absolute #1 candidate is ripe plums. Unless you have a pick-your-own farm nearby these are impossible to source. All the ones in the shops are rubbish - no flavour at all - and they will never ripen off the tree. Mail-order for  ripe plums is virtually impossible - they wouldn't survive.

I would recommend Victoria - it's the back garden favourite for a reason - a good crop because the subtle flavour can be achieved without a lot of thinning - it's the perfect example of the difference between subtlety and blandness. For a real flavour I'd recommend Cambridge Gage and Oullins' golden gage. Both are medium croppers - Oullins' is best picked at first hint of softness - the flavour definitely improves further on the tree but the birds and wasps will get every single one before they reach that apricot flavour. Kirke's Blue is a lighter cropper but the flavour is outstanding with a powerful damson kick.

A lot of the plum varieties sold by the big suppliers are heavy croppers - but in my experience the amount of flavour produced by the tree is the same - heavier crops just mean blander fruit, and you need to thin them to get true dessert quality - a nuisance job, and one you can avoid by planting medium cropping varieties - they've effectively thinned themselves.

The flip side of this is pears - there's no point planting a pear variety like Conference since the ones in the shop will ripen perfectly well off the tree - it makes more sense to grow something like Doyenne de Comice that is much better and much harder to get any other way (though mail-order does suit apples and pears).

Between plums and pears are apples - there are apples that will blow your socks off for flavour, but none of them are in your local fruit shops. Ashmeads Kernel is always first choice and William Crump is also brilliant in a completely different way (the surprise you get when you hand a red apple to someone and it isn't mealy and tasteless - it's a joy to behold).

I grow pepper and tomato varieties you can't buy - the flavour is exceptional.

Many people today have never tasted a sweetcorn that has more actual flavour than a sugar cube. The older varieties give you outstanding flavour, plus a balanced sweetness that comes in exchange for the simplest thing - you just pick them as you leave the plot and boil them the minute you get home.

If you really like sweetcorn out of season then you need to freeze the modern varieties - but you're missing far more than you gain from a few mediocre meals.

I do grow parsnips, but that's because it's less work to grow them than to walk to the shops!

Cheers.
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