Home Grown - A Project by Carl

excalibur2

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Looking at your fig photo you have several ties round it — not cutting into the bark is it?
It has had no support for about a year, but I'll have to sort out the tiny figs as I counted about 80 o_O. Mind you last year the tree sorted itself out as I only had 16 figs and they didn't mature. :(
 
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It has had no support for about a year, but I'll have to sort out the tiny figs as I counted about 80 o_O. Mind you last year the tree sorted itself out as I only had 16 figs and they didn't mature. :(
You probably know this but in the Autumn any fig you can grasp twixt finger and thumb should be removed— they’ll overwinter and grow a bit but never develop. This year’s figs are the almost invisible ones. You get two crops in warmer climes and I keep leaving the small ones on in the hopes that global warming will give me the s3cond crop but no good so far!
 

excalibur2

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[
Blimey, it looks like we might have to start another forum just for the veg growers. :D
..and to keep the mods happy show plenty of film shots, mind you this afternoon the sun had gone in and it was a bit dark but I wanted to show some quick shot on my nex 3 but the picture on the screen was so dark I couldn't see it properly and couldn't find the way to brighten the screen :rolleyes: You can't beat the easy way to use a film camera (y)
 
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Agree I've had mine for about 3 years but I'll have to study mine as I did what they suggested and planted in a large container in the ground ......
Just had a thought. The traditional method was to dig a big hole and line the sides with paving slabs, ie not the base. If yours is in a pot even with holes in the base it may get waterlogged.
 

excalibur2

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Just had a thought. The traditional method was to dig a big hole and line the sides with paving slabs, ie not the base. If yours is in a pot even with holes in the base it may get waterlogged.
That's a thought I'll drive a steel rod down to pierce the base for several holes although last year the figs that went brown were small and inedible and would seem they weren't getting enough water..but if the roots were water logged and rotted away then that might explain it.
 
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Blimey, it looks like we might have to start another forum just for the veg growers. :D
The aaaarrrnswer loys in the soyill. :LOL:

Talking of which, all afternoon spent round at Mum's house pruning two wisterias and scraping moss out of the gaps in a block paving drive and patio (both large areas, as my back will testify!). Worse still, the sun didn't come out once this afternoon, so I missed the chance of taking some photos of a magnificent magnolia and the damson trees in full blossom.

Scores on the doors: gardening 1, photography nil, due to 'pony and trap' light prevailing. :( Never mind, at least the work got done round there. Now all I have to do is prune two unruly buddleia bushes in my own back garden, which should have been done in February and it's now almost April, and mow my lawn for the second time this year before it rains and makes it too wet to cut. Remind me again why I went off gardening about 10 years ago! :facepalm:
 
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excalibur2

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Everyone should have a Camellia in their garden and it's been flowering for a few weeks now. For a small garden maybe it can be trained fan shape across a fence....one I have is quite large and the flowers are as big as saucers.

Vivitar 28mm CF
 

Andysnap

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Oh my, the first two carrots have popped their heads through the soil.
(y):banana:
 

excalibur2

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Oh my, the first two carrots have popped their heads through the soil.
(y):banana:
Carrots are quite tough and don't seem to have many enemies, I used to get some with holes in mine and were probably caused by slugs or woodlice..or maybe it was the carrot root fly causing them.
 

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Carrots are quite tough and don't seem to have many enemies, I used to get some with holes in mine and were probably caused by slugs or woodlice..or maybe it was the carrot root fly causing them.
Ours are in a raised bed, about 2 feet above ground, so hopefully too high for carrot fly.
 

excalibur2

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Well thinking of more use for my heating seed pad and noticed in the supermarket a packet of spinach is quite expensive, so buying a packet of seeds "Lazio" and the net says:- Lazio is the one usually sold in supermarkets?
Ordered off the net for 99p plus free del, but if in town Wilko are doing them for £1.
We use a lot of peppers so might have a go growing them even though they consistently need warm temps o_O
 

TheBigYin

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We use a lot of peppers so might have a go growing them even though they consistently need warm temps o_O
they grow fine in a greenhouse - neighbour grew them last year - only problem was he didn't realise that they can cross-polinate with the chillis he was also growing - sadly, this resulted in chilli's with no "kick" rather than Red-Pepper sized habanero's....
 

excalibur2

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Well I've learnt one thing is that an unheated greenhouse at this time of the year is quite useless for tomato seedlings as they are not growing much compared to the tomatoes on the bedroom widow sill, which are shooting up and amusingly are bent over to catch the light, I've had to split bamboo canes for sticks to support them.
H'mm if my peppers need warmth to grow I'm going to have the same problem...and it would be too expensive to heat a greenhouse unless full of plants.
 
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Well I've learnt one thing is that an unheated greenhouse at this time of the year is quite useless for tomato seedlings as they are not growing much compared to the tomatoes on the bedroom widow sill, which are shooting up and amusingly are bent over to catch the light, I've had to split bamboo canes for sticks to support them.
H'mm if my peppers need warmth to grow I'm going to have the same problem...and it would be too expensive to heat a greenhouse unless full of plants.
There’s a minimum soil temperature for tomato germination and seedlings — 55C*I think. One solution for heating the greenhouse is to use the polythene bubble sheeting to cut off a section (and line the walls) making a greenhouse within a greenhouse. Electric soil warming cable if you have power there.

If they get leggy before you plant them out just plant them deeper - they’ll grow roots from any part of the stem that’s underground.
Nowadays I just buy the few I need from the garden centre when it’s “safe” to plant them outdoors as I’m not using the greenhouse for them now.

* Edit to write should be 55°F not C as pointed out by Mark below.
 
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Andysnap

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We, finally, have two leeks popping up.:banana:
 

excalibur2

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There’s a minimum soil temperature for tomato germination and seedlings — 55C I think
..and to add to newbie gardener's human vocabulary o_O many plants grow just as fast (or even faster) at night...so my tomato plants in the greenhouse
are getting start and stop shock i.e warm sunlight and cold evenings :(
 

TheBigYin

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There’s a minimum soil temperature for tomato germination and seedlings — 55C I think
er, are you sure you don't mean 55°F - 55C is pretty much death valley in a heatwave...

https://www.tomatofest.com/tomato_seeds_how_to_seed_starting_instructions_s/116.htm

If temperature is kept consistently and sufficiently warm, your tomato seeds will usually germinate within 5 to 10 days. Best to keep temperature range 70 to 80F (21 to 27C). The lower the temperature the slower the germination. However, temperatures below 50F (10C) or above 95F (35C) are poor for germination. (Some varieties need more time to germinate.) When seeds start coming up remove tray from plastic bag.
 
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Carl Hall
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About six weeks ago we went to see the vicar to talk about the wedding plans, and he mentioned that his brother lived a self sufficient lifestyle, lived in a caravan in a field and grew his own food. Not only this, but he had a YouTube channel called Rob's Discovery. One of Rob's videos is about him making kombucha, which I'd never heard of. A couple hours of reading later, and I decided it was weird and unusual enough that I wanted in. This is my first batch!

Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea drink that's supposedly got a lot of health benefits. It's usually carbonated, is quite sweet to taste but has a sharp tang to it as well, and is often flavoured with fruits and herbs. A SCOBY (symiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is used to ferment the tea, and the same SCOBY is used for each batch you make. It's a gross looking off-white coloured rubbery layer about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

It took me about a month to grow a SCOBY using a small bottle of ready made kombucha poured into a large container of cooled sweet tea. After that, the SCOBY can turn a jar of tea into flat plain kombucha in about a week, and then it's carbonated in bottles with extra flavours for a couple of extra days.

I've only had a few sips so far when bottling for secondary fermentation, but it's quite an usual taste! I have one bottle of plain fizzy kombucha and another bottle of cherry flavour.

Home grown SCOBY

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Using the SCOBY to ferment my first batch.

F207S09.jpg

Bottled kombucha going through secondary fermentation to carbonate. They're not as pale in normal light, the back lit sunlight in the garden makes them look a lot paler than they are.

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Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm f/2.8 and 21mm ext tube for close ups. D&S by Filmdev.

More info here!
http://www.carlhall.co.uk/entries/2019410-home-grown-part-ii-kombucha
 
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We went for a walk tonight and discovered absolutely loads of flowering blackthorns. Hopefully it's going to be a good year for sloes! (y):woot:
Depends on how many frosts we get before the blossom is fertilised... and tonight's forecast is -3 C. No doubt some will set and fruit, but it's anyone's guess as to whether or not it's a good year for sloes at this stage.
 
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Carl Hall
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I've had kombucha a few times, it's quite nice to be honest.


That "SCOBY" looks gross though :D
Ahh that's good to know then, hopefully it won't end up being poured down the drain :D

Yep it's gross to touch too, first time I put my hand in the jar to get it out I was like "eww eww eww" holding it away from me :LOL:
 

excalibur2

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20th March and on the order said it would be sent within 6 days.....the problem is: - it is a bare root pear tree and it's getting late in the year for planting as we are having warm weather and my other pear tree will blossom soon.
Well an update: - the tree arrived today..h'mm I'd give £2 at the bootie for it as all the branches have been cut off (they were thin anyway) and there are stubs left about 3" max long and some of these have tiny buds forming, will it pickup into a decent tree is anyone's guess. BUT I can't complain as they have appologised over a few emails and on del note and said "no charge" (y)
So they seem OK as a supplier but maybe it's best not to order in March, although I have read several excuses about the delay in del and the latest was computer problems :rolleyes:
They were going to charge £14.94 inc del for it but the nursery down the the road were selling a potted one for £25 with plenty of branches and blossom and it would have been a better buy.
 
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excalibur2

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Well an update: - the tree arrived today..h'mm I'd give £2 at the bootie for it as all the branches have been cut off (they were thin anyway) and there are stubs left about 3" max long and some of these have tiny buds forming, will it pickup into a decent tree is anyone's guess. BUT I can't complain as they have appologised over a few emails and on del note and said "no charge" (y)
So they seem OK as a supplier but maybe it's best not to order in March, although I have read several excuses about the delay in del and the latest was computer problems :rolleyes:
They were going to charge £14.94 inc del for it but the nursery down the the road were selling a potted one for £25 with plenty of branches and blossom and it would have been a better buy.
Well this is what you get for £15 inc del.....h'mm I'm thinking at my age will I ever see a pear on the tree o_O IMO it's best to go to a nursery and see what you are getting.
Can't get the hang of this Nex 3 as I can only see a good picture in bright sunshine as if the background is darker I can't see the subject which is nearer, also I really need a cloth like in LF ....which all makes me appreciate my film cameras.

 
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Looks like it might make a thumb stick with bit of whittling and straightening :). Actually I think you should just have faith, being a stick it’s not taking up much room.
 

Andysnap

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@excalibur2

Brian, it's a bare root tree, this is how they are, it can take a while after planting before anything happens. We bought 5 cordon trees (i.e smaller versions that can grow in pots) and after about 3/4 weeks they began to produce leaves, the pear has a good few flowers already and I'll post some photos tomorrow. The only one that has not done anything is the apple, still dormant but it can be into June before apples get their mojo on. So, patience Brian, patience, you may well get something next year.(y)
 

excalibur2

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@excalibur2

Brian, it's a bare root tree, this is how they are, it can take a while after planting before anything happens. We bought 5 cordon trees (i.e smaller versions that can grow in pots) and after about 3/4 weeks they began to produce leaves, the pear has a good few flowers already and I'll post some photos tomorrow. The only one that has not done anything is the apple, still dormant but it can be into June before apples get their mojo on. So, patience Brian, patience, you may well get something next year.(y)
Well Andy I was disappointed with my pear tree that there wasn't any tied in branches that would have saved a year or so in growing them. :(
something like this: -
Untitled-2.jpg
 

excalibur2

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but if in town Wilko are doing them for £1.
Just noticed if you want to grow spinach (lazio) they are 50p a packet (reduced from £1) in Wilko h'mm I got ripped off with my buy as it was all in Italian and only got 25 seeds, with Wilko you get 200
 
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Just noticed if you want to grow spinach (lazio) they are 50p a packet (reduced from £1) in Wilko h'mm I got ripped off with my buy as it was all in Italian and only got 25 seeds, with Wilko you get 200
For Italian varieties look for “Vita Sementi® Italian Seeds”, sold in some garden centres and online - such as Thompson and Morgan who I notice are adding their branding to them. You usually get a very large number of seeds.
 

excalibur2

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For Italian varieties look for “Vita Sementi® Italian Seeds”, sold in some garden centres and online - such as Thompson and Morgan who I notice are adding their branding to them. You usually get a very large number of seeds.
...just to add: - if any newbie is wondering why you would want many seeds, well the losses on some vegetables are quite great as some wont germinate if the temp is too hot or cold, or soil is too wet and they rot, and then you have to separate the strong from the weak.
For my variety of spinach Lazio out of nine seeds planted only four became seedlings and one just died so only have three now. :( ....my pepper seeds are a bit of a disaster as one variety of seedlings are coming up and another nothing at all o_O
 
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...just to add: - if any newbie is wondering why you would want many seeds, well the losses on some vegetables are quite great as some wont germinate if the temp is too hot or cold, or soil is too wet and they rot, and then you have to separate the strong from the weak.
For my variety of spinach Lazio out of nine seeds planted only four became seedlings and one just died so only have three now. :( ....my pepper seeds are a bit of a disaster as one variety of seedlings are coming up and another nothing at all o_O
Also some people harvest as “baby leaves” and/or sprouts for which large numbers are an advantage.
 
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