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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8726

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 16 8:28 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

If you can harden the plants off before planting out- putting them outside in the day and bringing them in at night, it should be late enough to plant most things out now. Watch out for any frost warnings though and have some fleece of something to cover overnight.

I agree about the non-digging policy. If you have deep rooted perennial weeds, digging is the only way.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14804
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 16 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can plant mint in a pot, sunk into the ground. Just leave the top sticking up a bit to stop it spreading.

Plant out your leggy stuff. You've got nothing to lose, and you never know (I've got a whole greenhouse full of leggy stuff to plant out )

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32881
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 16 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a neat trick when planting most types of mint is to put the lower part of a plastic bottle (approx 2 litres worth) in an extra deep hole ,refill it with soil and plant the mint on top so as it can put roots into the wet or surrounding soil.

this gives an reservoir of extra wet soil for the mint as well as room to spread.

some do best with a bottle base or even a bucket under them a few do best as pond marginals and some need a "normal" moisture location and very very few prefer a dryer location.
ie a 2lt res is a fair bet whatever sort of mint you have .

mint can be a bit invasive so it is sensible not to plant it near perennials such as fruit or herb bushes but at the end of a deep bed is ok as the spread can be removed by hoe or when planting and it smells ace underfoot on a pathway

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8726

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I might try that tip with the bottle Dpack, because although mint is supposed to grow like wildfire, I can't get it to grow here. To anyone trying mint, I would suggest following WWs advice and grow in a pot or bucket as if it is happy it will take over the garden.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32881
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re the mint/bottle thing, i worked that out when i had about examples of about half the national mint collection on a roof garden.(35 named varieties and 15 un named/unidentified ones)

re m r's problem iirc your soil is quite chalky as well as fairly easy draining ,most mint prefer a slightly acid high nitrogen soil so adding farmyard manure under and to the soil will help as does a vegetative growth high nitrogen liquid feed.
most prefer full sun but a few do best in good light but little direct sun which scorches the leaves

re invasive spreading any sort of impermeable barrier sunk at least 500 mm into the soil will prevent(well seriously reduce)side spread but eating,hoeing or mowing the excess also works.spreading is only a bad problem if one variety starts to swamp another but they can be a pain if they get among perennials that they out compete .

pps it will grow in containers or soil dividers but it does best in oversized spaces (ie repot every year) once the roots reach the perimeter and start to grow back through the existing root system and so compress it it seems to stress them to death rather than just containing them.

imho it is worth growing several varieties as they are often good for one use but not others eg the apple mints make good mint sauce ,penny royal is ace for home made mint sweets,spearmint is good as a potherb with lamb or for making raita etc etc etc .some taste horrible but are hardy in unlikely conditions or perhaps are very medicinal.

i have just got a "chocolate mint" which might refer to use or to it's dark brown leaves ,i look forward to experimenting with it.

ps ace for digestion but it seems to inhibit wound healing so best avoided if you are damaged.

i only have a few at the mo due to space considerations but if and when i have more space i will be collecting mints again as they are both useful and interesting.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks for all the info

mint in till pot bound but looking happy enough on the plot - bed 4 is dug and planted with parsnips and radishes - and i have planted courgette seeds into pots t o transplant next month (hopefully)

i cleared out the shed and cleaned it up today - covered a few gaps on the inside of the shed before my son silicones it and it gets some paint in nect few weeks

my son and i have cleared a lot of the overgrown grass around some fruit bushes and rhubarb -and found what looks like a makeshift animal hutch buried in the long grass - am thinking about how i could adapt it to put over smallish plants that need protecting from birds - creative i am not :/

bed 5 has been started - and i took most of my tomato plants to allotment today to start hardening off - hopefully i can get them in the ground soon

...and about stones - i have several thousand - including a big pink laundry basket half full of them that i have inherited from the previous guy - just trying to have a think about what to do with them !!! any ideas? other than my idea of a bed in the corner with a border of about 10cm x 15cm deep for my wild flower seeds i have between the several sedum plants that i have ??

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32881
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

as heaps they do provide homes for the slimey hoard but trampled in they are good for paths and help reduce mud issues in the wet season

we had a chat about using a hole full of heat sink material ,a pv panel and a pooter fan for temp buffering in a green house.iirc broken glass was mentioned but stones would work.i dont recall if anyone tried it yet.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

d pack - if i understand correctly - it can be trodden in as flooring for greenhouse or for paths instead of the grass paths i have atm between beds?

re the mint - i have been thinking of a rectangle plastic window box sunk into soil with mint in (maybe within a herb bed or border) - giving it some growing room but still containing the growth

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8726

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the info on growing mint Dpack. It could well be that the soil isn't rich or heavy enough. It used to grow really well where I lived as a child, but that was on clay.

Stones are good for paths, but depending on the soil, they could sink and move outwards so you end up digging them up again. Dick Strawbridge tried the broken glass method of heat storage in his greenhouse in 'It isn't easy being green', but not heard of anyone using stones. It should work in the same way I should think.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 16 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

so far it's been a really productive week - especially as I am able to work from home for the next few weeks and have booked leave for the next 2 weeks from my weekend job

i have built 3 compost bins and finished bed 5 - it is a wide bed but decided to follow where previous tenant had left black plastic for a couple of years so it was mainly very soft and weed free - however it had loads of stonmes and some glass in it - planted out tomatoes in it - and ended up with loads from 2 other allotmenters - the man who gave me his his spare wheelbarrow came over - took a look at my tomato plants nad said 'well - they don't look very healthy!!' - and came back later with 3 plants for me...not to be outdone - another great man who has been huge in practical help and encouragement came over the next day with 11 tomato plants - and they look the healthiest of the lot - so i have 21 in the ground and about 17 still in pots!! WHeelbarrow man - when i returned his pots and bucket to him yesterday showed me his lettuce - pulled some out and plonked them in my bare hands - with nowhere to put them I have placed them inbetween the tomatoes and will hope for the best.

bed 6 has been started and i did a load of pulling up grass at the top end of the plot by the shed - i think that i have done half the area now

on sunday my grandkids are coming over and we are going to build a scarecrow

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32881
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 16 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

lettuce are compatible with toms.

composting is addictive but for feeding a mixture tub works wonders

get a 50 gallon barrel,add stuff add water let it ferment ,dilute as required for feeding plants

good stuff includes ;nettles,comfrey,rats,chicken manure,pigs heads,nasty perennial weed roots,farmyard manure(pig is ace)a few wood ashes now and again and many other similar things.

tis rather smelly but it makes stunning plant food and compost heap accelerant and uses stuff that would be horrid or wasted in a compost heap,a lid helps but it is best kept at the far end of the plot

once it is very active a good mixture tub will eat almost anything organic including bones

if you tip it out after a year or two keep some sludge as a starter for the next fill and use the sludge under things like pumpkins, cucumbers, melons.rhubarb and fruit bushes/trees

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 16 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have had the plots almost 2 months now and all is going well

I have loads planted and growing as they are supposed to and have been eating the fruits I have inherited - from what I have grown only the lettuce and radishes as nothing else is ready - but the runner and broad beans are doing great - tomatoes are also looking good but have been warned that we get late blight every year and crops amount to nothing - my sweetcorn is getting taller and I will soon need to think about getting a strong border around to keep the badgers out!!

with a huge increase in extra hours at work, weeding and watering have been the main focus so new beds have taken second place - however I have finished digging my 14th bed today - and still have about a quarter left before I can say I have dug the whole plot - altho about a most of this quarter can only be dug in autumn when i thin and move the currants, raspberries, valentinas and gooseberries as they are very closely clumped together

I have 5 days off work next week so will see if i can finish the rest of the beds (while keeping the weeds down)

I made a lovely (well I think it is lovely!) wildlife area - and have little frogs making their way out - I just hope some stay and that all don't locate elsewhere - I already have resident frogs - the one in the strawberry bed does not like me weeding!!

I am really looking forward to harvesting some of my labour, and when fellow allotmenters have asked about plans for next year - well I have no idea - I am too bust trying to stay on top of this years work

(a big thank you to the poster in the brexit thread for keeping me smiling - it is so good to see online allotmenters with a similar mind -albeit with a different sense of humour - to me, when I am surrounded by vastly different thinking on the allotment by me )

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8726

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 16 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you have frogs emerging from your pond, the survivers should be back next year to spawn. They return to their home pond on the whole, although they have been known to deviate to more inviting ones nearby.

Sounds as if you are doing well. Great.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1392
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 16 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The more you work the allotment the easier it gets, so don't despair!

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 16 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A quick pick your brains session

my gooseberries have loads of fruit on them - but they are a tangled mass and picking the gooseberries was extremely difficult with many scratches and pricks this evening - will i damage the bushes if i prune them back hard now? - or should i wait till winter as advised in tutorials i have watched?

Mistress Rose - I have 3 resident frogs on my plot (that I am aware of) - one in strawberry patch has been there all along - one amongst the potato plants and a little one that I think must be from my puddle as it lives in the logs I have placed around the edge

and thanks MR and greg

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