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Gardening resources and tips, etc.

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Gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:23 pm

The home of gardening queries, tips and resources.



blight watch - really useful to check the likelihood of blight, where you are, during the year.
free to join met office service.

and if you didn't already know about him - charles dowding

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:36 pm

Ooh thanks for reminding me of this, Scully. I lost all twenty tomato plants a few years back to blight. I have on order some grafted tomato plants, but also having a go at growing not so resistant ones from seed.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Renee » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:20 pm

I lost three Gardeners Delight tomatoes a few years ago to blight and I haven't bothered since. I bought an extra large grow bag which I placed down the side of my bungalow. In my previous home, I had a large greenhouse and grew about three different varieties each year. I just have herbs now.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:27 pm

I have chilli and calendula plants germinating nicely in the loft

I have carefully planted them in modules, so I only have to transplant them once, into their eventual containers. If they all germinate I might have to thin out the calendula a bit

But the last few years I’ve suffered terribly from damping off, I get healthy looking seedlings that suddenly go spindly then collapse

I’m not using the heating in the propagated, as I think it may be too hot (cheapone, not adjustable)

I’ll remove the lid asap

Any tips on preventing damping off?

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:39 pm

I have about 30 pots of various things on the go (I have a spread sheet this year :) ) all but 5 of which have seeds that have germinated in them (the laggers are all the soanums althugh some of each have come up).
Plus 39 sweet pea root trainers - all but one germinated.
I am probably jinxing things by starting a pinterest page :oops: , but it's nice to have visual references in one place. It's coming on slowly though as some sites won't let you link directly and/or put your own comment in the caption anymore. (Sarah Raven...)

I am not an experienced from-seed grower. Some of these seedlings look very fragile. None have true leaves yet. They are in the house in a warm room. I am taking things out of the heated propogator as soon as they germinate. Perhaps I should take the lid off the non-heated one. edit. Ah I already have.

I also have goodness knows how many littel pots of things in the unheated lean to and outside at varying stages of hardening off.

Some double cornflower plug plants arrived this morning. Blue boy. They were so lovely planted with aliums last year. Not sure if my aliums are coming up. A bit early I suppose.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:19 pm

Stokey Sue wrote:But the last few years I’ve suffered terribly from damping off, I get healthy looking seedlings that suddenly go spindly then collapse [...]Any tips on preventing damping off?

usually it's from being too cold and too wet. try keeping them a little drier and not compacting the soil too much when you sow them. are they getting plenty of light once they've germinated? if they don't get enough they get etiolated and 'soft' - if you haven't got a sunny window a growlight might help, too.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby jeral » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:32 pm

I grew sweet peas from seed once up against a fence. Quite a memorable picturesque sight, albeit their season wasn't long in full bloom. Never managed to grow them again, I know not why.

A few of my houseplants died this year including one I'd had for 30 yrs. Maybe it was old, but since they all turned brown I wondered if blight (or carpet moth killer spray) but think I might have over fed them :( Killing them with kindness was not the plan I hasten to add. One is showing signs of new life so perhaps a second chance and a lesson learned.

If soil is too damp, I stand pots on kitchen paper, which draws out excess moisture if soil is touching it. Dunno about propagators though.

Good luck folks.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:21 pm

Last year I decided quite late in the season that I really wanted sweet peas. I bought plants an put them in pots and they were just lovely. I picked a posy to on my table next to me in the sitting room every other day. The frgrance was lovely.

Cheaper to grow from seed. So far so good... :?

Sorry about your houseplants.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Badger's Mate » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:38 pm

Apparently, stroking or gently wafting a breeze over seedlings so they wave about helps to reduce etiolation.

Last year I had a very bad time with curcubit seedlings damping off. Melons, two sorts of cucumber and various squashes. This year I'll make a more freely draining compost for them. However, I'll also be around much more this Spring, no need to sit the pots in puddles.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:42 pm

I think I just have to be very careful about keeping the moisture level just so

The light level is good, they are under a Velux window - by under I mean about 40 cm below

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Postby Uschi » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:03 pm

Have a look at the compost, if you find, teensy, weensy transparent larvae, they might be the culprits.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciaridae

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:48 pm

Badger's Mate wrote:Apparently, stroking or gently wafting a breeze over seedlings so they wave about helps to reduce etiolation.

no, etiolation is due to low light levels.
i think the breeze thing works to strengthen a stem - when it also has enough light.

i'm pretty sure fungus gnats and compost gnats don't damage seedlings, they're just bloody annoying!

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Wic » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:48 am

I’ve had success with killing off fungus gnats by putting a little dish of vinegar beside the plants. The gnats obligingly dived in ...

I used raspberry vinegar, because it’s been at the back of the cupboard forever, but I think any would work.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:15 am

wic I have tried that too. We had an infestation. Turned out to be the string of smoked garlic that had gone very past it :)

I have been stroking my seedligns and talking to them. Not sure if they have enough light. They are in the house so only get it from a window, and not from above. And some get more than others.

This is my current set up for the seedlings. Goodness knows werhe they will go when I prick them out.

IMG_1152.jpg
IMG_1152.jpg (159.6 KiB) Viewed 1659 times


Should this be ok? I am turning them regularly so that they don't grow in one direction.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby Suffs » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:34 pm

Cover a sheet of cardboard with tinfoil and put it behind the seedlings facing the window to reflect the light and make it a bit more even.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:41 pm

ok. Plenty of big pieces of cardboard, now there are no recycling collections.

I could rejig things in the lean-to which has a glass roof. It's very cold in there, though. Maybe when they are bigger.

My new cold frame is in Mitcham at the moment apparently, but it won;t house all these even if it were warm enpugh to put them out in it.

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Postby Earthmaiden » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Just to say that not only local garden centres but also a couple of those local hardware stores who tend to sell seed potatoes, seeds and bedding plants etc. are advertising on Facebook here that they will deliver. If you don't use FB it may be worth ringing such places to see if they will deliver if you need anything.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby scullion » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:42 pm

are you keeping them in a south facing window? they do look as though they could do with a bit more light. maybe think about a grow light - they aren't overly expensive.
my son has one for his chilli seedlings that he was growing in the north facing window of his flat in 'ludnud'. they are robust little plants now.

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:48 pm

I think that by the time one arrived it would be too late, Scully?

Yes south facing.

I could line them up in a single row on the window still if only I could find all my trays that have disappeared to put them on!

Now my cautious confidence that they were doing well has dribbled away!

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Re: gardening resources and tips, etc.

Postby herbidacious » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:03 pm

Right well, it's semi academic now as I just maanaged to tip a quarter of those upside down on the floor whilst trying to move them.

If any survive, I won't know what they are as the labels all fell out.

Clearly I should just stop trying to do anything at the moment :(
Last edited by herbidacious on Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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