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Old 23 Apr 2012, 07:10 AM   #357636 / #776
Cath B
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OTOH Scotland has very long daylight hours in summer compared with New York - four hours more a day towards the end of June (http://uk.weather.com/climate/sunRis...-York-USNY0996).
You are looking at sunrise/sunset. To figure out sunlight, you need to look at "sunlight hours". Just because the sun is up, doesnt mean you can see it! Clouds play a huge role here and that is why Scotland has some of the fewest sunlight hours in your area. [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_United_Kingdom"]

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So if it's a hot and sunny year sweetcorn peaches, melons etc. can do well - but there's always a big if.
Our problem here with peach trees is the winter cold. For us, the freeze can kill them off. We are right on the edge of the growing range. Luckily, there are some pretty good varieties that can tolerate the cold. Some people grow melons, I havent tried. Sunlight is much harder to get a variety to adjust for!
I didn't explain myself properly here. I meant to say that crops requiring lots of summer sun can flourish in Scotland occasionally when there is an unusually hot and sunny summer, aided by the long day length. More typically growing peaches, apricots, sweetcorn etc. is more challenging because of the relatively high levels of cloud and cooler temperature.

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If you guys got more sun, it would be a great growing region. No frost, lots of precip.
Well, we do get some frost and snow though our winters are nowhere near as cold as those of New York.

Fife, on the East coast, is a good agricultural area for traditional British crops.

In recent years increasing numbers of fields can be seen with polycovers to extend the growing season and range of commercial crops.

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What is the source of the inorganic fertiliser you use?
Most fertilizers are inorganic.
Miracle-grow, etc... all those are inorganic. I generally use osmocote or a foliar fertilizer like miracle grow.
I meant, where and how is it extracted?

What effect does this have on the area where it is sourced?

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However, New York recently passed a law banning application of phosphorus containing fertilizers. Phosphorus in the soil is quickly bound up by things like iron, calcium, magnesium. When this happens, it precipitates out of solution and becomes runoff. This then flows into streams, rivers and lakes and causes eutrophication of the waterways. Eutrophication is basically a giant bloom of algae caused by fertilization. We are pumping the algae food. This causes the water to not just LOOK gross, but it blocks light from bodies of water which stops anything else from growing. Additionally, many of these algae produce toxins which can kill fish and other aquatic organisms. So, we have to be careful with our fertilizer here in NYS.
Eutrophication is a problem in parts of Britain too.

Now and again I've collected a couple of bags of seaweed from the beach after a storm has brought a pile up. (It's a holiday beach and folk prefer excess seaweed to be moved). I haven't done this a great deal though, partly because I don't want to make my soil too salty and I'm not sure of the best way to leach it off safely.

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I'm pretty rough and ready about compost partly because I'm too inept and disorganised to build a bin. I have a stone composter with a hole in the bottom which my husband built but I have various heaps on the go too. I am too inept and disorganised to have built any bins myself.
Some 2*4 and chicken wire are all you need!
I have these! I also need drive and focus!

The heaps seem to work OK.

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I don't think I need to worry too much about adding a bit of lime as long as I still need to keep the creeping buttercup in check. But I use it sparingly and limit it to two of my four rotating beds, avoiding it for two years before planing potatoes since I gather that tatties have more acidic requirements than beans and brassicas.
Ok, I gotcha. Some people worry because root vegetables can absorb toxins from the soil so someone may not want to add wood ash which can have nasty stuff in it.
I don't burn wood that's been treated so it should be OK.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 11:11 AM   #357682 / #777
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I meant, where and how is it extracted?
Oh, generally P and K are from mines and lakes while N is fossil fuel derived.

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What effect does this have on the area where it is sourced?
I dont think in many cases the area being used is exclusively for fertilizer, so it can be hard to measure.



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Now and again I've collected a couple of bags of seaweed from the beach after a storm has brought a pile up. (It's a holiday beach and folk prefer excess seaweed to be moved). I haven't done this a great deal though, partly because I don't want to make my soil too salty and I'm not sure of the best way to leach it off safely.
I think people blend it and just lots of changes of water.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 01:50 PM   #357731 / #778
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3.5 inches of rain. Very nice.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 04:38 PM   #357843 / #779
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3.5 inches of rain. Very nice.
Snow, ice, and rain here. Boo...
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 07:02 AM   #358209 / #780
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I meant, where and how is it extracted?
Oh, generally P and K are from mines and lakes while N is fossil fuel derived.
I hadn't realised phosphorous was extracted from lakes.

I don't know much about phosphate extraction, but when I think of it I think of its impact on places like Nauru:-

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Phosphate mining in the central plateau has left a barren terrain of jagged limestone pinnacles up to 15 metres (49 ft) high. A century of mining has stripped and devastated about 80% of the land area. Mining has also affected the surrounding Exclusive Economic Zone, with 40% of marine life estimated to have been killed by silt and phosphate runoff
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru



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Now and again I've collected a couple of bags of seaweed from the beach after a storm has brought a pile up. (It's a holiday beach and folk prefer excess seaweed to be moved). I haven't done this a great deal though, partly because I don't want to make my soil too salty and I'm not sure of the best way to leach it off safely.
I think people blend it and just lots of changes of water.
I've just come up with a plan - leave it on the steps at the bottom of the garden till it's had some rain in it before spreading. The salt will drain into the outside gutter.
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 09:49 AM   #358220 / #781
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The RHS seems to think that adding fresh seaweed is fine so I might just do that in future.

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If you do have access to fresh seaweed, it is a useful substitute for farmyard manure, and does not need to be rotted down before use. It is best dug in fresh before it has had time to dry. Although seaweed is salty, the salt is not usually present in sufficient amounts to damage crops or soil, and the salt will in any case leach out readily with rainfall as it is highly soluble.
http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=301
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 10:03 AM   #358221 / #782
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Cath is there a public tap anywhere along the front?

David
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 11:23 AM   #358228 / #783
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The RHS seems to think that adding fresh seaweed is fine so I might just do that in future.

Quote:
If you do have access to fresh seaweed, it is a useful substitute for farmyard manure, and does not need to be rotted down before use. It is best dug in fresh before it has had time to dry. Although seaweed is salty, the salt is not usually present in sufficient amounts to damage crops or soil, and the salt will in any case leach out readily with rainfall as it is highly soluble.
http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=301
Being an inlander, we dont use seaweed as much as many people do. I do see it on some of the stores though. I was just reading about it and its salt. The salt doesnt seem to be all that bad, but can scare away worms. It works great in the mulch pile. Also turns out the slime on the seaweed helps soil structure a bit. The only other problem I see with the salt is back to the P issue. If salts are present, they can bind the P and pull it out of solution although I imagine the salts should runoff before much of the seaweed decomposes.

And salt isnt bad for a garden. In fact, in wet areas like ours salts are often limiting. Plants need salts just like us for ion control. Places like Burpee sell soil testers that measure pH and "fertility". The fertility is just a measure of electric conductivity, which is salt concentration. Pure water cant conduct electricity, so salt is required. The more salt, the higher the conductivity.

Something like that may be handy to test your soil. I am lucky enough to have full access to our soil analysis labs, so I can use their gizmos! :-)
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 08:35 PM   #359897 / #784
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Potatoes starting coming up days ago.Carrots and red beets were planted today.
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Old 05 May 2012, 10:32 PM   #362217 / #785
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Hmmm...lessee...

The back lawn is recovering nicely, now that it has been 'enclosed'



Just beyond the back lawn is the bleeding heart, doing well this year:



I just covered over the 'mater patch with netting, readying for the tomato sets later this month:



Intervening, of course, will be the iris bloom...set to start next week.

Beyond the 'mater patch is the arbor with grapes just leafing out. By this time next month, the star jasmine will be covered over with grape-shade.



Next to them all, the shed, with it's accompanying blooming rhododendron, also awaits the expansion of grape leaves....some within my easy reach, with which to spoil my hens, who have a taste for tender grape leaves.

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Old 05 May 2012, 11:24 PM   #362230 / #786
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Having spread the lawn fertilizer in the back yard, now watering it in. Planted some new herbs - german thyme and sweet basil (an annual here).

Lots of spring cleanup fixup chores - like new bark mulch, redoing the stone border on the lower terrace garden area.

Slow but sure - me that is, not the garden!
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Old 06 May 2012, 12:44 AM   #362254 / #787
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Time for my second mow of the season tomorrow.
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Old 06 May 2012, 12:36 PM   #362331 / #788
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You have lots of colors growing in your garden there Roo, it looks great!
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Old 06 May 2012, 01:53 PM   #362341 / #789
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You have lots of colors growing in your garden there Roo, it looks great!
Thanks. Just you wait...the color show of tall bearded iris, and then roses, is about to commence. I'll have about a month and a half of intense blooms before it settles into the summer fashions.
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Old 06 May 2012, 05:21 PM   #362385 / #790
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You have lots of colors growing in your garden there Roo, it looks great!
Thanks. Just you wait...the color show of tall bearded iris, and then roses, is about to commence. I'll have about a month and a half of intense blooms before it settles into the summer fashions.

I look forward to seeing more colors and great pics when your blooms arrive.
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Old 08 May 2012, 03:21 AM   #362914 / #791
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The first blossom of this year's iris bloom:




An intermediate iris (not a tall bearded) planted in a broken clay pot on the back balcony.

Then, I noticed this, hiding down in the rosebed below the balcony:




Also an intermediate; for this one I found a name tag: 'Stargirl'
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Old 08 May 2012, 04:21 AM   #362930 / #792
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Grass grass and more grass with a little zen type corner with native plants.
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Old 08 May 2012, 12:33 PM   #363021 / #793
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Also an intermediate; for this one I found a name tag: 'Stargirl'
My parents had those in the garden when I was a kid and I always thought that they were interesting because I thought that they smelled like skunks.
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Old 08 May 2012, 12:59 PM   #363026 / #794
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That 'dendron is spectacular, rooster. The types we get here are a bit meh, very large leaves and not as showy in terms of colour or height.
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Old 08 May 2012, 05:28 PM   #363144 / #795
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That 'dendron is spectacular, rooster. The types we get here are a bit meh, very large leaves and not as showy in terms of colour or height.
Heh...Thanks. That pic really doesn't do it justice, either. The pink is, in reality, almost fluorescent.
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Old 09 May 2012, 09:38 AM   #363289 / #796
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I have a beautiful pink azalea in a here that I'm trying to nurse (it's little more than a seedling really), winter is starting here now and I hope the frost doesn't nail it. I really should put together a little greenhousy shelter in the corner of my yard.
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Old 12 May 2012, 09:25 PM   #364430 / #797
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The first tall bearded iris.



Same, with chicken.
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Old 12 May 2012, 09:59 PM   #364444 / #798
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I keep forgetting to get pictures. So far only thing eaten is radishes - small but needed to be picked to thin it out.
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Old 13 May 2012, 12:26 AM   #364468 / #799
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Okay, rose garden is blooming early. Tomato plants are full with green tomatos, and thats a whole month early. Got daylillies in full bloom. Peony blossoms got frostbite this year. Camillia bloomed in February.

Crazy winter and early spring. I should just now be planting tomatos and seeing new growth on my roses. I risked the tomatos on the idea that they were uphill, had a windbreak behind them and even if we had a frost (which we did), it wouldn't settle on them. It didn't. I picked the perfect spot for them.
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Old 13 May 2012, 12:34 AM   #364470 / #800
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Coming up now - sugar peas, potatoes, radishes, carrots. Also, a shit ton of the wild dill. I could easily have something using it for every meal every day and not even keep up with growth.
Not in garden but have fruit - strawberries and raspberries
Not coming up yet - red beets.
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