Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

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Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby Charlotte Times » Thu May 15, 2008 12:52 pm

Two years ago I started some small veggie patches in my back garden to see if I would be able to grow my own, starting off with the easier veggies first, tomatoes, potatoes, spring onions and carrots (though my carrot growing in the first year was disastrous, but after trial and error I learnt to fool the carrot-fly last year by planting onions and chives between the rows of carrots). Back to two years ago: Sprouts were a disaster (covered in tiny black flies) and my purple sprouting broccoli was stripped back to a skeleton by caterpillars so I dug them up! But everything else grew beautifully.

Because the other veggies worked out so well I expanded the beds last year but was not so successful with the tomatoes (I was told that it was because it was such a wet summer? Or maybe they were just being kind to me :D )

Anyway...

This year I 'swapped' one of my dug over veggie patches for a raised bed, filled with a combination of topsoil and compost. My onions were doing fine in their seedling trays but when I planted them out into the raised bed, one by one they wilted, yellowed and eventually died off all in the space of one week. I used the same compost in the seedling trays as I did in the raised bed so doubt it was that. And top soil is just top soil isn't it? I'm also growing celery in the same raised bed at the other end and noticed that the leaves were also turning yellow though new growth that has recently come through is a beautiful green.

Does anyone know what I've done wrong with the onions? Has anyone else had this problem?

Going back to the Purple Sprouting broccoli – I gave a couple of seedlings to my neighbour who grew them purely for ornamental reasons and therefore wasn't too bothered that they had also been stripped by caterpillars and left them in situ. But I did notice that in the colder season when the caterpillars had long since gone the foliage returned and by the following spring before the caterpillars reappeared she had some lovely purple sprouting broccoli!! :D So with that lesson in mind, I'm going try broccoli again this year.
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby cushty » Thu May 15, 2008 1:05 pm

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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby ponky » Thu May 15, 2008 1:08 pm

Blimey.

Sounds like you could give advice to most of us on a dedicated gardening thread.

I'd better get out and plant my fennel.
Feeling guilty now.


Hi, by the way Charlotte. Good to see a new face :bounce: :bounce:
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 1:11 pm

Sounds as though your soil could be lacking in nutrients. Did you add any soil conditioners to the bed when adding top soil and compost?

Onions should really be pencil thickness before you plant them out, they require very little watering, basically just water them in and only re water if soil becomes very dry. There should be no problem with onions sharing a bed with celery.

Check the ph level of your soil, ideally it should be between 5.5-7.5, you can buy ph level testing kits cheaply now at places like wilkinsons etc.

As for your toms last year, people were not just being kind to you, potatoe blight affects toms as they are part of the same family. Last year potatoe blight was rife, i lost all my toms but sprayed by pots so managed to salvage some for storing.
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby Iseult » Thu May 15, 2008 1:16 pm

Instructions on How To Grow
Onions for Great Crops

http://www.vegetable-garden-guide.com/h ... nions.html
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 1:27 pm

Ok it looks like you problem is either soil inbalance or onion fly, although i wonder if the onion fly would affect celery (as i have never grown it).
It could also be possible that its eel worm, but given the fact that this is a new raised bed i doubt it unless it was an originally turfed/grassed area, as often when such areas are cultivated into veg patches eel worm is present?
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 2:02 pm

just been looking up on celery and came across the following which gives details of virus's and pests that cause failure in crops.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectne ... elery.html
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby Charlotte Times » Thu May 15, 2008 2:14 pm

Thank you for the welcome Ponky :D

Thank you for the links Cushty and Iseult – I feel slightly better that I'm not the only one Cushty, though I do feel sorry for the person who posted their query. Perhaps he/she should have posted here for an answer.

Iseult, your link has pointed me to a new variety that seems very sturdy against onion fly :D I planted Spanish onions (because they're my favourite) but may give the Japanese version a try now.

Bugalugs – I think you may have found the problem (and my mistake)! Thank you :D I didn't add anything to the soil because I thought (perhaps wrongly) there would be enough nutrients in the fresh compost, but I did plant the seedlings out when they were only around cocktail-stick size – far from pencil thick. Now that I know I will get some more seeds on the go and will remember not to plant out until they're a lot thicker.

I hope your tomatoes are faring better this year. It's hard to tell with mine at the moment because I was late in planting the seeds, they're only about two inches tall.

Fingers crossed that my next batch of onions turn out ok.

Thank you to you all for your help.
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 3:17 pm

Charlotte just checked the weather for coming week and ground frosts are predicted, just a warning to cover anything thats not hardy. :wink:

glad to see that my horticultural studies of last 4 years have not been a total waste..... :lol:
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby Charlotte Times » Thu May 15, 2008 3:21 pm

Thank you for the warning Bugalugs - so much for global warming :shock:
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby cushty » Thu May 15, 2008 3:24 pm

right, Bugalugs - another one for you please

can you advise why of the two courgette plants I have raised from seed one has 5 true leaves and a flower bud whilst the other one, although it looks healthy, has not progressed past two true leaves, and no sign of any more to come?

will it suddenly spring into life, or should I plant another seed?
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 3:31 pm

cushty wrote:right, Bugalugs - another one for you please

can you advise why of the two courgette plants I have raised from seed one has 5 true leaves and a flower bud whilst the other one, although it looks healthy, has not progressed past two true leaves, and no sign of any more to come?

will it suddenly spring into life, or should I plant another seed?


Could well spring into life cushty, without seeing the plant its difficult to say but tbh i would be a little suspect if the other plant is coming on leaps n bounds n they where planted at same time. Plant a couple more seeds they should be up in about 5 to 7 days just to be on the safe side.
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby cushty » Thu May 15, 2008 3:54 pm

thanks - will keep the non-coperative plant going and plant a couple more seeds

it makes sense to stagger them anyway as they all tend to fruit at once
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby bugalugs1970 » Thu May 15, 2008 4:12 pm

i love courgettes, a nice dish to try is

tablespoon of olive oil add to this a peeled clove of garlic to flavour oil, then add precooked small new tatties warm through for a few minutes, add then sliced courgettes for a couple more mins max and serve with grilled fish and green salad. totally scrummy.
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Re: Any veggie growers here? Would like some advice please

Postby cushty » Thu May 15, 2008 4:14 pm

have you been waiting for this thread all your life, Bugalugs?

every dog has its day, so they say :)
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