Here we go again

Sadly, it seems we are facing the second wave of this pandemic much earlier than predicted. Some of us may be back in lockdown, some shielding and yet others trying to cope with the new normal.
I’d like to invite everyone to drop by this topic to say hi and let the community know they are still safe. Maybe leave a comment on what you may be doing to ready your garden in case of another lockdown or lack of supplies.

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Hi Ms Alli -this is real, isn’t it?.
Although various governments (certainly in the UK) have tried for the last couple of decades to separate us with a variety of techniques, this is real!. The only way to combat the negative outcomes is to stick together and share our lives - as gardeners, our successes, and our trials and tribulations. Share advice, share experiences, share new (and old) ideas
Covid19 can either reduce us to single-cell individuals and families or teach us how important it is to share and communicate by whatever means.
We ( the wife and I) are fortunate that, as pensioners, we can self-isolate without undue stress about loss of earned income. I pray for those whose jobs have evaporated in the crisis - it must be the brink of hell on earth for some.
A second wave is inevitable as - in Britain - there are so many self-interested hooligans, older but mostly the young and ‘immortal’ who are in denial.
Denial could cost the world of a heavy percentage of its population.

A parsimonious prelate once counselled me to patience. He was wrong then but now is the time for patience and local, national and global consideration.

UPBEAT, we have had a great French Bean harvest and are ready to harvest the first of the onions. They look scrummy. The spring onions also.
Early tatties were fine but I won’t be using Casablanca next year. They taste Ok and are clean but they ‘fall’ too easily in the cooking.

Recent (25/7 UK Midlands) heavy hail storms have wrecked my mini polytunnel after only 1.5yrs of service (they created a colander overnight ) but - what the heck! - I can’t afford another but I’ll have another viable bed in its place within a month.

I want to say ‘Hi’ to all who tune in, whether committed ‘posters’ or just taking a peep.
If you are a gardener (new or veteran) then focus on the creative objectives that you are embarking on - stay safe - and enjoy the fruits of the earth whether frugal or abundant.

Another - not at all a parsimonious prelate - once counselled me ’to hold on to the vision’.
That is the spirit, in these critical times, which I am holding on to.
Best wishes to all.

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Hi There, I’m afraid that I haven’t really been out from the first one, I am asthmatic and older and I suspect a bit of a scaredy cat, the new normal seems to change on a daily basis so we are tending to stay very local. Did however get to one of the large nearby gardens for a couple of hours though last week and that was lovely, re supplies composting like crazy and collecting seed for the street…

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’and older’ - you can’t surely be older than this geriatric gardener in the UK Midlands - 73.5 who, whilst elderly, is still wedded to the idea of getting some good, healthy stuff out of reluctant (and sometimes very co-operative) earth.
‘Never say die’ either for our plants and efforts or for ourselves.
Warm wishes, Susie.

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60 is the new 40! That’s what we young’uns in our 50’s say. Not sure the body agrees with me some days, but then I remember back to my 20s, when my equally young and active Kiwi husband would spend Saturdays playing rugby and Sundays on the sofa recovering. Not so different really, still hot showers and liniment, just a pint of tea instead of lager. No, honestly, he still has the lager…


Mine used to play too, and he still has the larger and now has a wonderful set of vocal chords from shrieking at the rugby on the t.v…And yes I suppose I still do work out a couple of hours each day but am so much slower…

55 actually but on medication that slows me down a bit…But as you say still here and still growing…

@SusieH like fine wines and good cheese, we are getting better, not older. I don’t know if you like or listen to Adam Frost’s ‘‘gardening’’ podcast but he refers to women of our maturing years, not as older nor mature. We are experienced. That’s got to make you smile. :smirk:

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You’re right, I like that! Experienced! Ha! :laughing:

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Here in Minnesota we are doing better than some other states in the U.S, (especially those with ocean beachfronts), but the infection numbers are still going up. My husband and I are retired and the veg garden is in the backyard so self-isolating is not that difficult for us. We are having some lovely veg dinners now: beans, cherry tomatoes, onions, zucchini, collards, and some cute little carrots from thinning the row.


Hi Raymart, it’s good to hear you are well. I hope things remain that way. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to put a plate of food on the table and say ‘‘that’s 100 per cent home grown’’. The carbon footprint is miniscule and the satisfaction is huge.
I understand Minnesota can be extremely cold in winter ( and who’s to say what that will be like? The seasons seem to be all up the spout this year), are you able to grow enough to store for winter or can you still grow some things during the bleakest months?
Stay safe and stay in touch. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hello AlliG, I usually freeze enough green and yellow beans to last several months. We have at least 10 winter squashes growing now, smallish varieties that are two-person size when ripe. I make about 3 quarts of pasta sauce from the tomatoes, onions and peppers every year. This year I am growing the potatoes (Yukon Gold, a tasty variety good any way you cook them) in grow bags instead of in a raised bed, both to increase what we can grow and to spread the tomatoes and potatoes farther apart in the crop rotation. The potatoes and carrots go into a small refrigerator of their own, and sometimes last until the middle of spring.
In Minnesota, the ground freezes down to four feet, so you can’t harvest anything in winter — outdoors. I always grow lettuce under lights in the basement, and last year as an experiment I successfully grew some carrots in a pot. They weren’t very big but what a feeling of accomplishment! Anyway, no, we can’t feed ourselves ALL winter with our garden harvest, but we go a long way towards that goal. And what pleasure I get from the whole process of growing, harvesting, storing, preparing, and eating food from the garden! Worth every mosquito bite!
I just realized how long this post is. Sorry about that! I will try to be more succinct in the future.


Here in San Francisco California we never quite made it out despite the infection rate slowing down. Our daughter, who is a new mom, 2 weeks ago Sunday noticed she had lost her sense of taste and smell, managed to get tested right away and was positive for COVID-19, so that first week was truly hellish as we all worried about her, her new baby, our other granddaughter and our son-in-law. But after 14 days she is still the only one with any symptoms – no new symptoms for her, husband tested negative and so did her best friend and neighbor family, who were in their isolated “pod” of contacts. We didn’t need to be tested because the first available test was after 14 days had already passed. All that to say, one can’t be too careful, and yes we got lucky.

As for garden stuff I have been busting my butt trying to figure out if there is a type of corn that will do well. I am new to growing corn and our yard & microclimate are very challenging - lots of wind, fog, and it doesn’t get above 70 except for a couple of weeks in the late summer. So this year will be less of a failure than last, but I’m learning lessons each time. We’ve been very successful at beans and squash, mostly successful at sunflowers, and lettuces and leafy greens, if we can keep the snails and earwigs out. We are waiting for everything to finish bolting so we can collect seed for next season.


Hi there, raymart. Don’t worry about being succinct - it was interesting.

I know exactly what you mean. When you think back to the seeds you planted - some so tiny - and then go back to the house, grinning, with the results - you can’t beat the buzz!

Hi there, ShannonW - can empathise with you ‘hellish week’ over your daughter’s symptoms and all the anxiety it brings. Best wishes over the pond for her complete and speedy recovery. My Son No 3 got it in London a couple of months ago and didn’t tell us so as not to worry us. Thankfully, he is through it now. Living with this ‘curse’ is not at all easy, wherever you are in the world.
As for the garden, it can be a challenge to discover what works best in climate and soil conditions. Little variations can make all the difference. I grew several cucumber plants and gave some to a friend. I kept mine in good compost + additives - she planted hers in a large pot of basic garden soil. My results were miserable but she is giving us a supply of cuc’s from the plants I gave her! Trial and error is sometimes the only way.

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Hello ShannonW, so glad to hear your experience had a positive outcome, I, too, hope your daughter makes a full recovery soon.
I can recommend the variety of sweetcorn that I’ve been growing for a couple of years. It’s called Zlota Karlowa. It’s a Polish variety available in my catalogue here in France.
I start it in my polytunnel, but indoors works fine too, mid April to plant out after 14th May (our last normal frost date) and make a sowing of 12 to 15 seeds every fortnight until the end of May.
It only grows to 1 metre tall, so doesn’t steal the light from other plants and should be better in windy conditions. I usually start harvesting about mid July.
Make sure your bed(s) are really heavily manured, mulch well around the plants to encourage the support roots to form from the growing stem and water, water, water.
Each plant will produce 2 to 3 cobs, not enormous and not sugary, super sweet horrors, but corn-tasting corn.
It’s too late for this season, sadly, but I wish you every success with what you have now and maybe you can look for it for next year. Maybe we’ll need to set up a Dig For Victory Seed Exchange.
Best wishes, stay safe.

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I did very well with Painted Mountain Corn which is very forgiving of climate…

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Hi all, thanks for your well-wishes about my stepdaughter & family. I also really appreciate the corn variety tips and suggestions! I’d like to grow a dent corn because I want to make corn flour, but maybe I’ll try the Zlota Karlowa too.

@lanter8673 lol this happens to us all the time. We give many of our volunteers from the compost pile to our (step)daughter, who lives in a better climate – only 15 minutes away! – and she just sticks things in the ground and they thrive and produce veggies. Go figure.