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Is anyone still home?

I'm thinking about summertime, and gardening. I have a lousy garden for an honest-to-gosh veg patch, but I'm happy to container garden. I'm starting to think about what I'd like, and what I can realistically do, and I'm probably months behind the seasoned gardeners, who already have their seeds started and such.

We eat sweet peppers, and they're "container-able". Ditto some tomatoes - apparently there are species that even like hanging baskets. We eat a lot of raspberries but they don't seem to make the list of good candidates. Strawberries, however, will apparently respond to this treatment. Salad greens. Spinach? Does anyone know if spinach works? Herbs. Onions? Can you grow onions or shallots in a container?

I'm tempted to try a rubbish bin potato experiment. Anyone ever done this?

Thoughts and ideas welcome, if anyone's out there ....

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We have a walnut tree. One of these could be useful - http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/003962.php

The listed UK reseller, http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/, also look interesting in their own right.

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Has anyone else noticed the BBC is giving away free veg seeds?

Request form is here, or the one for kids is here

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Last year wasn't a very good year for tomatoes in our area, which is a shame - the small handful I got off the plant tattercoats gifted me were delicious. I made a point of saving some of the seeds, though - and they're now sprouting with enthusiasm on my kitchen window ledge.

I was planning to transplant them to something larger once they have a start, and probably pick a couple of the strongest. Is there anything special that should be done with the seedlings?

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[X-Posted from my own journal]
Although we were pretty good about using up perishables before we went away, I still had some fruit left. The apples were fine. The 5 clementines are, however, almost certainly past their edible best, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with them. (If the apples were an issue I could make crumble - but I'm not convinced by orange crumble.)

Any ideas?

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Most of us aren't in a position to plant half an acre of orchard, but this is still interesting: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/09/02/strange-fruit/
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I haven't put any manure on my vegetables, but here's a rather scary story:

Selective herbicide sprayed on grasses, grass made into silage and fed to animals, animal manure used for fertiliser - and turns out to still have damaging levels of the herbicide in.

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A while ago I bought some onions, which were reduced because their planting instructions said plant September to November, and it was the end of November. I've finally got around to planting them. I expect you can all see the flaw in this plan, and regular readers will probably have anticipated it, but we'll see how they manage.
I did put some broad beans and purple sprouting in several weeks back. I'll pretend I intended to plant the peas next spring all along.
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Has anyone any experience of warm frames?

I know the theory, in that you build something similar to a cold frame and add a layer of composting material, which gives off a gentle heat suitable for seedlings early in the year, but I was wondering if anyone has ever tried it and has any tips?

While I think of it, any tips about building frames from recycled material? I'd been toying with the idea of gluing/fixing 2l plastic bottles together in various ways. Any other ideas?

Current Mood:
groggy groggy
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Leaf sweeping season has started. The tomatoes are finally ripening, even a (very) few of the outdoor ones. (Also a few peppers in the greenhouse - I might try and keep some of the smaller pepper plants indoors over the winter to give them an early start next year, which worked fairly well once before (but that was an even smaller one that never got potted on as a seedling).)
I had a fig from our tree at lunch, and Alice and Pam had a couple a week ago. There are a few more that might ripen this year, and might not - lots for next year though.
We had blackberry and apple crumble yesterday from hedgerow blackberries and apples from the tree that overhangs our garden. I've put quite a lot of sieved compost from our heap onto the raised veg beds, but not really thought about more planting yet (there are french and runner beans, tomatoes, and sweet corn still in them). I might try putting the strawberry plants I had in a pot out and see how they do for a second year, but I think mostly we're just going to do salad.
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