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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

26th 27th 28th July

Well we've lifted a lot of produce over the weekend, some to set out for curing and the rest to begin the cooking and jarring process which will see us throught he winter, and also keep the extended family and friends happy...

68 Onions
12 lb of beetroot (enough for 12 jars)
3 cucumbers
3courgettes
2 kgs of peas

And rather frustratingly I have to say that all of our celeriac plants have bolted;
every one of them; and they can be difficult to get to germinate but we managed to get a good bed of plants established, and now??? The extreme temperatures over the last 4 weeks or so I think is to blame.
I've never had celeriac bolt before, but me thinks the crop is finished now, so anyone had experience of bolting celeriac; does the root still bulk up, or does the bolting process finish the root completely???

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping to harvest my alliums this week but the forecast is for wet weather. I'd like to use the sun to dry them for storage. Will see how it goes.
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not an ideal day for harvesting the alliums but the weather forecast is for more unsettled weather.
The sun has been shining, the wind is blowing, so I've decided to make the most of some natural drying. Unlikely to get ten dry days on the trot, though that New Zealand forecaster has predicted another heat wave for us in August.
Onions are huge, garlic small, shallots average and the elephant garlic amusing.
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sirpsycho
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

July 2013:

Peas - few Kg
Lettuces - picked here and there
Tomatoes
Carrots - sweet candle are huge now
Courgettes - by the truck-load
Gooseberries / Blackcurrants / Re currants - by the truck-load
Early spuds - digging them each week when rqd
Spring onions
French beans - Cobra
Brochilli
Spinach
Shard

Awaiting a HUGE glut of sweetcorn - 3 cobs per plant!
Cucumbers - Crystal Apple - nearly ready
Swede - gonna leave for winter
Carrots / parsnips for winter
Brussels for winter
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

medieval knievel wrote:
i'd have known trugs from the brand name which make soft plastic buckets. odd that someone would have been able to trademark a common term.


Not that uncommon I'd say, just simple effective marketing.
I'd actually thought that a trug was any of those flexible buckets. They're great and so versatile. I've used them like an normal bucket but also for things like mixing cement or carrying water and watering plants. Unfortunately the handles tend to break off after a few years.

Don't have one of the traditional trugs. Am using a terracotta pot these days for the potatoes.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rd 4th 5th August

40 stalks rhubarb 10 kg (rhubarb and ginger jammed, and the last pickings for this year)
20 Red Baron onions
I head Red Kale
3 lb tomatoes
3 cucumbers
2 Ronde de Nice courgettes
10 lb beetroot (all for jarring, and the last for this year)

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shedloads of tasty wild raspberries.
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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10th and 11th August

Cayenne Peppers
Bell Peppers
cucumbers & courgettes
4 lb tomatoes

and the first of the vegetable spaghetti squashes (surprisingly tasty)

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At long last the great day arrived, after two and a half months of hard labour we decided to pick a few spuds today and promptly had them for supper. Apart from a few lettuce and spring onion we have harvested nothing yet. After the ponies broke out the other night and damaged a few plants and after having a walk through the plot today for sickly looking and almost dead plants we said we would dig them up to see what the crop was like.

Disappointed after the initial thrill would describe it. Numbers per plant were less than 10, 6-8 was the average of decent size potatoes (2.5 to 3") and that was on the Kerrs Pinks from 5 plants, only picked one Golden Wonder and they were tiny and three Rooster plants which were not big at all, 2" maybe for most of them. Lots the size of marbles. But what we had tasted good. I know we picked the worst of the plants and they were not ideal for picking yet so there should be better out there.

Which leads me to the reason for posting. How small is too small for seed or put another way is there a minimum size for seed potato? All of this years seed was certified so I should be OK for next year yes?

Now I have to make seed trays so has anyone any ideas on what constitutes a good one? I intend to use cedar boards 200 * 19mm. I presume to be stored in a cool, vermin proof, unlit shed is ideal.

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Depending on where you source your information) Golden Wonders, Kerrs Pinks and Rooster are all classified as late maincrop. Their tubers are ready 20+ weeks from planting. You planted these in mid-June, didn't you? You should wait as long again to get the tubers at their optimum size and yield.

I believe that the optimum size for seed potatoes is about the size of a golf ball (though not as round). It should have at least two eyes. Larger seed potatoes may be cut into two or more parts, each with at least two eyes. However, some suggest that such seed potatoes are more vulnerable to disease.
Some interesting info here:
http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about6450.htmlpost-32841.html#32841

Are you thinking of using tubers you've grown as seed potatoes for next season? There have been a number of blight warnings this season therefore the possibility of blight exists on these. Though the seed potato you purchased may have been certified (about 1% chance of being contaminated, depending on EC1/EC2/EC3), this will not be the case of any tubers from grown from such seed.
If I was a gambling man, and I am, I would not take the chance.

Regarding the seed trays, is this for chitting? If so, I use egg trays and egg boxes. When I don't have enough of those I use those cardboard trays that are now very common in supermarkets. Scrunch up sheets of newspaper into strips, lining these trays with a grid of these strips.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@my potatoes: so end of October then for ideal picking, all planted June 9th to 11th. 1 and a half inches diameter then for seed so I can throw away those marbles that I collected yesterday. Am sure that there will be plenty more to pick from later on.
Yes I was planning on using my own seed next year as someone told me that that is OK to do for one year only and buy certified seed every second year. As stated elsewhere I was planning on 8 varieties next year, using the three I have and sourcing 5 lots of seed.

You have me confused now, I thought blight was airborne and now you tell me that it could be sheltering in the unharvested crop and can manifest itself from there. I have not suffered from any blight yet.

Chitting I have heard of but not looked into yet. I just wanted to know what design makes for a good storage box e.g. solid or slatted construction, how deep it should be. I am presuming something like the old wooden fruit boxes would suffice. I have all the materials and tools I need here and have no problem making them. I was thinking of using those euro pallets (I have three of them) that have a solid floor and raising pieces approx. 200mm high (say three high) and have hinged metal corners on them. My question is, does the air need to run through these boxes or should I make up some slatted boxes instead, or maybe drill holes in the raising pieces for ventilation.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
@my potatoes: so end of October then for ideal picking, all planted June 9th to 11th.

Thereabouts. Have a looksee in late September maybe. Watch the weather forecast for frost. Also do some research into pests. I think the keeled slug and wireworm get more active in September. It's a trade-off: yeild and size versus exposure to pests and frost.

tagwex wrote:
You have me confused now, I thought blight was airborne and now you tell me that it could be sheltering in the unharvested crop and can manifest itself from there. I have not suffered from any blight yet.

It's airborne and lands of the leaves. From there it travels to the tubers. Then, of course, there is foliar blight and tuber blight. There's a sticky on this site about Phytophthora infestans, worth a good read.

tagwex wrote:
I just wanted to know what design makes for a good storage box

A whole new topic altogether!
I use brown paper bags and put these in those cardboard boxes that are used to package reams of A4 paper. Not the most advanced method but it's simple and it works. I'm considering using a clamp this year. Not for all the crop, but for some just to give it a go.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goddam blight, is there any getting away from it? I thought I was OK to use last years seed once. I read that article on Phytophthora infestans, couldn't sleep afterwards! Read about chitting too so it's time to start saving those egg crates from now on.

One thing struck me in the articles that I read last night. Somebody was having trouble sourcing Colleen seed. Well we all grow different varieties and most would want to try new varieties now and again and we are a sort of a community now. Notwithstanding what you said about possibly not using last years seed again as it may harbour disease my potatoes, how about this for an idea - if we were to all meet up somewhere central in the country and swapped left over seed, be it last years or an unwanted surplus from next years bought supply. It could work.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In theory that's a good idea, but I dunno if it would work.
When I lived in Dublin the allotment association tried to start a seed swapping event, making the argument that one person does not need 2,000 lettuce seed or would prefer 2kg of two potato varieties rather than the same weight of one variety.

I don't think his email got one reply.

I think most people would rather buy the seed they actually want, rather than swap for a random variety. There's a lot of time and effort involved in growing your own food; getting one's preferred variety spot on is vital.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woooohooooo I'm a Rowan now.
We are definitely gone off topic now!
Ahh well I thought it was a good idea, the reason being that I had quite a few kilos of certified seed left over this year and I am expecting a considerable amount of uncertified seed in the next month or two, allied to that I want to try five new varieties next year and with the way seed price has gone up it could be a worthwhile journey up to central Ireland somewhere.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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