LL's Gardening Diary

Members adventures in the Vegetable Patch all year round
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Mo
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Mo »

That all sounds very complicated.
But I get the picture, and recognise the chain of unexpected consequences snags and frustrations.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
sandy
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by sandy »

Good grief you really do have the patience of a saint:-D I love the fact you do something, it dosent work and you fathom it out)t'
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora,Janice,Jo,Robyn,Chrissy and Joyce
The Peds…Mork,Mindy,Bell,Saphire &
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky

Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
Spreckly
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Spreckly »

This year both my strawberry bed and rasps have failed. The gardener who comes to do jobs neither I nor my sons can, is coming to strim the whole former vegetable area, leaving some of the self seeded plants alone.
At the weekend one of my sons emptied my planters with dead plants into the compost bin. So disappointing, but I cannot lift a water container at present.
Honeysuckle is growing in the hedge between me and the neighbour whose garden is totally overgrown. To her nesting birds are more important than keeping the hedges at a reasonable height. Her weeds grow through into my garden, it is unlikely she will ever change. The honeysuckle has long stems, and smells amazing.
This year I made a second request for her climbing hydrangea to be trimmed away from my brickwork. Currently it grows over half the back window, the wash bouse wall, and chimney stack. Thankfully her adult son has cut it back from the boundary. Their idleness makes a great deal of extra work for me, and no doubt the neighbours at the other side.
lancashire lass
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Pond armageddon

Post by lancashire lass »

All 3 koi and 2 of my biggest goldfish (Big Bertha the Shubunkin, and my orange tailed Sarasa) died earlier this week{cry} I'm partly at fault but I think it was a combination of factors which caught me off guard.
First, the neighbour's tree had in the past provided shade but this year, the patio has been in full sun and had resulted in a growth spurt of algae and duckweed. I used to clear about 2/3rds of duckweed off the surface at least once a fortnight but in this case, I only cleared a fraction so that it provided shade to stop the water getting too warm (a bit like a canopy) and also slow down the growth of algae (and the duckweed competed for the ammonia / nitrate waste in the pond water)
The fish were munching on the duckweed which I don't object to as it supplemented their diet with fresh greens, but they spat out the roots which got caught up in the submerged pump grille. It was not unusual to have to clear the grille at least once a day but it was becoming twice a day. It took just a couple of hours later for the flow of water to drop to barely a trickle. I switched the pump off with intentions of clearing out the pipes (every year, I would get bug larvae living inside the pipe that were obviously using the intake of water for feeding on algae and other things, and they would cause a blockage in the pipe to slow the flow rate) but a couple of days later, I realised the water had then been off for too long and the entire 200L biofilter now needed to be drained (water quickly goes off when left stagnant, and smells like sewage)
Now, it's never been a problem in the past leaving the pump off but something went very wrong this time. As far as I was concerned, the pond had an "eco system" with oxygenating plants taking up the fish waste and CO2, but I hadn't accounted for unusually cooler weather. The nights were actually quite cold and this had an impact on the water chemistry. Normally when the pump is running, there is movement of water, but without it, thermal layers at night formed which allowed toxins to build up more quickly. It really was quick - one day the fish are feeding fine, the next day they were dead. Some of the other big goldfish were gasping at the pond surface, and 3 were already floating on the surface (I thought they were dead until they swam away but clearly not far off)
I siphoned off the biofilter at least 3 times (600 litres) and had tap water running back into the pump. I cleared out the pipes and got the pump running again (and this time, no more blockages) as well as removed over 80% of the duckweed. The following morning I approached the pond expecting the worst but unbelievably, all the surviving fish are fine now. I still need to do a major maintenance so still loads to do.
sandy
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by sandy »

How is your garden doing and your fish LL?
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora,Janice,Jo,Robyn,Chrissy and Joyce
The Peds…Mork,Mindy,Bell,Saphire &
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky

Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
lancashire lass
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by lancashire lass »

sandy wrote: 22 Dec 2021, 19:38 How is your garden doing and your fish LL?
It has been a total disaster. I've barely been able to get into the garden this past year and it has "re-wilded" itself again (I had to rescue the garden in 2018/2019 after years of neglect while all my time was spent at the allotment) I managed to keep the asparagus in the deep pots going but the proposed bed in the garden planned for the asparagus was overtaken by bramble. I never got round to half the stuff I had planned on doing last year. And I won't even mention the pond which needs repair and complete rethink. The algae project also got put on the back burner but the good news is that I have managed to keep the culture going (thanks partly to a fairly mild autumn) so should be easy to start up in spring.
lancashire lass
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by lancashire lass »

Thought I'd visit the old gardening diary - it's been some time since I last posted in here. Last year when I was ill and mobility poor, I never stepped outside my back door (for a start, I wasn't going to attempt using the steps in case I could not get back into the house) nor did I have the energy to fill a watering can for the 2 big pots outside of my front door. With such a dry summer and the heatwave that followed, all my potted plants (including the asparagus) and water garden plants died, and the Pink Jasmine at the front which was a triffid every year finally succumbed. Amazingly, a piece of the Pink Jasmine that had managed to root itself in a crack between the concrete drive and house came back to life, and the Sempervivum Houseleeks and even some pot marigolds that had self seeded had managed to survive. I'm not sure of the raspberry canes but I'm presuming they are dead unless they throw new canes up.
The spring bulbs in the troughs and tubs on the other hand are all coming up and I can see tulip flower buds just starting to push up. In the new year I took the mini Christmas tree that was in the office home and when I get round to it, will be planting it in the container that used to have the Pink Jasmine.
While I was at Aldi's doing my weekly shop, they had started putting plants out for sale so naturally I had a peek and spied a red gooseberry bush (Hinnonmaki Red) with green buds which was just starting to open. So I had a moment of weakness and it fell in the trolley.
And to make my day, as I drove to the shops I was wowed by the display of flowering cherry blossom trees everywhere. They might have been coming through earlier but as I drive to and from work on a different route, I hadn't noticed them before. Shame I already know the weather forecast for the next week at least will be back to winter with possible snow otherwise I'd have said spring is on its way.
As I am still "in recovery" with good and bad moments, I'm unlikely to be gardening on the scale I did previously and some of my plans might need to be reduced, but I am hoping to do at least some growing this year. And who knows, even rescue the pond but we'll see how it goes.
Trev62
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Trev62 »

lancashire lass wrote: 04 Mar 2023, 16:46 As I am still "in recovery" with good and bad moments, I'm unlikely to be gardening on the scale I did previously and some of my plans might need to be reduced, but I am hoping to do at least some growing this year. And who knows, even rescue the pond but we'll see how it goes.
Hope you manage to achieve some of your goals this season.
I am catching up on your posts in the other thread there is some good information in them. Timings differ to what we do but that is down to climate and location.
"Not all those who wander are lost"
lancashire lass
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by lancashire lass »

Trev62 wrote: 04 Mar 2023, 20:59
lancashire lass wrote: 04 Mar 2023, 16:46 As I am still "in recovery" with good and bad moments, I'm unlikely to be gardening on the scale I did previously and some of my plans might need to be reduced, but I am hoping to do at least some growing this year. And who knows, even rescue the pond but we'll see how it goes.
Hope you manage to achieve some of your goals this season.
I am catching up on your posts in the other thread there is some good information in them. Timings differ to what we do but that is down to climate and location.
Thank you)t' Timings in the UK differs a lot too - coastal regions are less likely to have late frost compared to inland, and northern regions are more likely to have late snow compared to the southern regions (although this can easily go opposite when westerly weather fronts hit the north west and the east drives in arctic conditions!)
Mo
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Mo »

lancashire lass wrote: 05 Mar 2023, 11:06 Timings in the UK differs a lot too -
The instructions on seed packets are aimed at those in the warm south, not the colder NW
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
lancashire lass
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by lancashire lass »

Mo wrote: 05 Mar 2023, 11:20
lancashire lass wrote: 05 Mar 2023, 11:06 Timings in the UK differs a lot too -
The instructions on seed packets are aimed at those in the warm south, not the colder NW
to be fair, many instructions usually suggest sowing indoors with x number of weeks before the last frost when they can then be planted (unless the seeds are to be sown direct outside)
lancashire lass
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Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by lancashire lass »

Well, winter came back with a bang this past week - to be fair, the forecast of hard frosts where I live did not materialise (I never once had to scrape my windscreen on the car when setting off for work) but we did have heavy snow for the most of Thursday until early evening which was replaced by rain. On Friday morning there were small patches of snow in sheltered spots but generally most of it had gone. Today (Sunday) the temperatures are forecast to soar to about 11oC and then back to arctic conditions next week ... that's the UK weather for you.
During my supermarket shop, I spied some fresh herbs for sale and decided to buy a pot of basil. My plan is to split the plants and pot on and leave them to grow on a sunny windowsill before hardening off for outdoors. The long term weather forecast is for yet another hot dry summer but we'll see before committing to growing lots of warmth loving plants outdoors.
Meanwhile the "Growing your own to lower food costs" topic is inspiring me more than I thought it would. I've started rummaging through my seed box to decide on what plants to grow. Before the pandemic I went through a phase of wanting to grow climate (ornamental grasses) and insect friendly plants (wildflowers) and many of the seeds are still in unopened foil sachets so I am hopeful they will germinate. I had been toying with the idea of allowing the vines of winter squashes to grow on top of the shed (full sun unlike the rest of my garden with all the trees) and had bought a few seeds ... I remember thinking Inca Gold F1 looked like an exciting new winter squash only to have forgotten and seems I had bought another packet of the same variety:oops: I hope it lives up to the blurb!
Meanwhile the tulips in the big tub next to the front door seem to have been unaffected by the cold snap and they are looking very healthy and the flower buds are still coming up.
And my (single celled Chlorella vulgaris) algae culture on the windowsill seems to be surviving - I'd really like to get that going again (the idea is that it takes up CO2 from air to multiply and is then watered into the beds as part of my "carbon capture" plan ... that is, being microscopic, the algal cells will percolate into deeper soil levels so in itself will increase carbon soil level (this is supported by research - the idea is that when they die or decompose, the carbon is retained in the soil or if consumed by other animals such as worms, they in turn will thrive (all plants and animals are carbon based) and being soil based creatures, when they die or consumed by others, they will become part of the soil biome) Of course, on the grand scheme of things, my tiny contribution to carbon capture is microscopic. Like-wise I'd like to start up the composting bin again ... that is, if I can get past the bramble into the rest of my garden ... What I'd like to do and just how much I'll be able to accomplish may well be 2 different things so for now maybe I should just concentrate on what I can do on the patio.
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