Potager buddy?

Gardening/Walking/Nature trails & wildlife. Share your experiences here...

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mrsq53
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Potager buddy?

Post by mrsq53 » Thu 08 Jan 2015 16:10

Although I know the best advice is to chat with ones fellow gardeners in the potager, I am finding lots of conflicting advice. I would love to chat to fellow Brits about successes and/or failures in their potagers. Any takers?

Owens88
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Post by Owens88 » Thu 08 Jan 2015 16:20

And you don't expect conflicting advice here?
Did you buy the A-D premium service then ? :)
John
www.Goodviews.co.uk

Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

CPB
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Post by CPB » Thu 08 Jan 2015 21:01

Sounds good to me.

I'm about to start my plot here for a second year.
This years success stories:
Chilli's
Onions
Courgette...way too many! Ended up with a lot of marrows!
Pumpkins
Spring onions
Cornichons but I didn't have time to do anything with them

Failures:
Watermelon - didn't even germinate, maybe duff seeds?
Brussels sprouts - not sure it gets cold enough
Garlic - didn't plant early enough
Carrots - too woody, not enough water early on I think
Peppers - planted early but germinated and didn't get going until very late...
Broccoli - sent up too many shoots and flowered very quickly

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Fri 09 Jan 2015 10:08

I don't have a veggie garden but can say there is a Facebook Group for selling and swapping when you have a glut of produce https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440344332899690/ unfortunately not a lot of members in the 66. You could, of course, advertise it on P O Life Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/781185495231402/

On the subject of garlic I was watching a programme on tv a couple of nights ago where they visited a garlic farm. If you are trying to grow from bulbs you are eating then if they weren't grown in France then the first year you will get split bulbs as it has to acclimatize to the temperature and the soil. In otherr words you wont get a decent crop the first year but must replant and hopefully the second year it will be good.
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Post by CPB » Fri 09 Jan 2015 14:44

The garlic I grew were French and only 3 grew from two rows.

I don't see how garlic can acclimatise...it take generations to change and tweak things.

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Fri 09 Jan 2015 14:56

It was a garlic grower of some 30 years who said this. What do I know!
Dylan

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Post by Sue » Fri 09 Jan 2015 15:01

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your ... les/garlic


Even the Royal Horticultural Society agrees.
Dylan

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Post by CPB » Fri 09 Jan 2015 15:18

Forgive me but in that link I see nothing which says in the second year the garlic will have acclimatised to the tempreture of a different country...

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Post by Sue » Fri 09 Jan 2015 15:29

It was actually Mark Botwright, garlic grower, (apologies 17 years) who said it on the James Martin cookery programme on Mon 5 Jan.
Dylan

malcolm4664
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The GARLIC secret

Post by malcolm4664 » Sat 10 Jan 2015 10:08

All the previous comments are true. Garlic, shallots and onions have a DNA closed related to the area they were first grown in. The secret is to find an established garlic, onion and shallot grower close to you, certainly within 50 kms., and use his stock. In this area the planting times are very generous but it pays to pop your garlic, well wrapped up, into the fridge for seven days before planting out to trick it into thinking its winter.

Most of the garlic stock purchased from local stores seems to come from either Spain or Germany hence the disappointing results. The French garlic in CARREFOURS comes from Brittany, another world in garlic growing terms.

Even better results if you use the right Moon phase but that's a totally different topic.

I imported my first garlic seven years ago from the Isle of Wight and it still produces disappointing cloves compared with the cloves I purchased In Ille sur Tet from a private gardener near the cathedral, 10 kms away.

mrsq53
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Potager knowledge increase!

Post by mrsq53 » Sat 10 Jan 2015 15:36

Many thanks for the helpful replies posted and particularly the info on garlic. I envy CPB having success with both onions and spring onions. My SO never appeared at all - and they were locally purchased seeds!
My successes:
courgettes - lots of soup, cake and made friends with loads of neighbours by passing them on.
tomatoes - only just finished sauces in freezer
radishes - fantastically spicy and great for aperos
melons - and I did nothing much, they just grew and grew and were great!
chillies - very useful for curries but too many! one plant only this year
aubergines - lots of soups (with anchovies & garlic, roasted, ratatouille type)
Disappointments
round and yellow courgettes - yellow particularly never really got going!
spring onions
peppers (but then not a lot of uses for green)
onions
celery - mistake - caused great amusement to fellow potageurs
cabbage - one only
sprouts masquerading as cabbage plants - might yet be OK but currently pretty small

Any thought on where to purchase potatoes anyone?

Finally to Owens88 - at least I can understand this info better than my Catalan fellow potageurs!

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Post by CPB » Sat 10 Jan 2015 19:00

I don't doubt that local garlic is better, as are other vegetable seeds as they would be produced for the climate over generations. What I question is how on a second planting from the same original bulb/clove can then produce garlic which has changed to acclimatise with the climate. That is, from all gardening/vegetable growing that I'm aware of, something which takes generations to produce.

Anyway on to your successes...
Courgette cake? I've not ever tried it, is it along the lines of carrot cake?

Ah yes I should have said my tomatoes went mad- 1 plant = well over 2000 yes thousand cherry tomatoes, 1500 of which made it to the freezer for soup.

Radishes- I'll admit an embarrassing secret...I weedkilled mine by mistake!

Are the round and yellow courgettes a bit of a hybrid and not good with the heat?

My spring onions were from seeds but the onions were from sets...might be worth trying and by passing the seed to set stage?

I've not tried potatoes here, I did in England and got blight and it put me off totally! Sorry no idea where to buy. Lots of handy places around Elne, maybe somewhere there, gam vert or similar?

I've given up on my sprouts, I'm about to rotivate the plot so they have to go to make way for me chopping it up, I'm afraid they were too slow. Maybe not cold enough or have you had success before?

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seedling plants

Post by oulibede » Sun 15 Feb 2015 13:54

Does anyone know where to buy seedling plants in the Argeles / Le Boulou area? I'll be looking for the usual tomatoes, courgettes, lettuce etc.

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Post by Kate » Sun 15 Feb 2015 14:38

They sell them in Le Boulou at Bricomarché next to the burnt out Intermarché. As these places are all franchises, they are having difficulty surviving while the Intermarché is down, as their clientele has decreased enormously. so nice to support them too.

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Post by CPB » Sun 15 Feb 2015 19:07

For seeds you could also try Auchan (quite variety this week) and places like brico marche in le Boulou or weldoms in argeles.
If you want stock that's started to grow on, wait a bit and head to the geranium place in le Boulou (round the back of netto/intermarche and up the hill), they have a good variety in spring from tomato plants and melons to peppers and herbs.

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Post by oulibede » Mon 16 Feb 2015 17:10

Thank you Kate and CPB, that's very helpful.

malcolm4664
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Update on bedding and vegetable plants in Ille Sur Tet

Post by malcolm4664 » Mon 02 Mar 2015 16:22

Any one who knows of them will be pleased to learn that his son, Michel has taken over the Fonquery Nursery in Ille sut Tet. It also appears that he has dragged the operation into the 20th Century and now takes credit cards and cash, no cheques though.
There is a very good web site on www.fonquery-horticulteur.fr and an email address at michelfonquery@orange.fr
The web site is very informative giving information and opening hours.
There is also an excellent planting guide in pdf. format.
Finding the place is tricky, there is a Google map on the site which is not very clear. It's best to turn off the main road just after the town centre car park and head South. With the car park on your left just after the CA bank on your right at the crossroads go straight over for 400 metres. At the next main crossroads turn left. After 800 metres cross over railway and then a narrow river bridge, At the bridge exit make a sharp turn left into the car park.
It is not a help yourself place. Best prepare a list of what you need and hand it in at cash desk. One of the staff will accompany you to the correct greenhouse and select the plants you need. They will also show you what else is on offer and fill your tray for you. Two of the younger ladies and Michel like to try their English out on you. You pay at the cash desk on the way out.
I have no financial interest in them except that they sell an excellent product at a fair price.
PS. Michel asked me to advise buyers of their plants to harden their new plants off in a garage or shed for at least a week before planting out to avoid failure.

Apologies to Kate and forum readers for printing the original in upper case. As am nearly blind I was using my new Braille key board coupled to a 24" monitor to blow up my text. Looks like the software had a mind of its own and decided to do its own thing. All is now fully sorted complete with speech, albeit with an American accent and spelling. 08/03/2015
Last edited by malcolm4664 on Sun 08 Mar 2015 13:53, edited 1 time in total.

malcolm4664
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JUST AN AFTERTHOUGHT.

Post by malcolm4664 » Mon 02 Mar 2015 16:33

ON OUR MONTHLY VISIT TO LIDL IN CLAIRA RIVESALTES WAS IMPRESSED BY THE EXCELLENT QUALITY AND REASONABLE PRICES OF THEIR PLANTS.
ON OFFER WERE ENGLISH ROSES, GERANIUMS/PELARGONIUMS,VARIOUS SHRUBS, NOTHING OVER 3€.

AS A BONUS THEY HAVE ALSO OPENED UP AN ON SITE BAKERY. WE VERY RARELY BUY BREAD FROM SUPERMARKETS BUT WHAT WAS AN OFFER LOOKED SO GOOD THAT WE BROUGHT SEVERAL LOAVES TO TRY AND WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED. NEAREST TO AN ENGLISH BAKERY FOR TASTE AND CRUST NOT ONLY THAT BUT THE BREAD SLICER WAS A WORK OF ART. WORTH TRYING ESPECIALLY AS NONE OF THE LOAVES COST MORE THAN 1.95€ ON THE DAY WE WERE THERE.

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Re: JUST AN AFTERTHOUGHT.

Post by martyn94 » Mon 02 Mar 2015 22:20

malcolm4664 wrote:ON OUR MONTHLY VISIT TO LIDL IN CLAIRA RIVESALTES WAS IMPRESSED BY THE EXCELLENT QUALITY AND REASONABLE PRICES OF THEIR PLANTS.
ON OFFER WERE ENGLISH ROSES, GERANIUMS/PELARGONIUMS,VARIOUS SHRUBS, NOTHING OVER 3€.

AS A BONUS THEY HAVE ALSO OPENED UP AN ON SITE BAKERY. WE VERY RARELY BUY BREAD FROM SUPERMARKETS BUT WHAT WAS AN OFFER LOOKED SO GOOD THAT WE BROUGHT SEVERAL LOAVES TO TRY AND WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED. NEAREST TO AN ENGLISH BAKERY FOR TASTE AND CRUST NOT ONLY THAT BUT THE BREAD SLICER WAS A WORK OF ART. WORTH TRYING ESPECIALLY AS NONE OF THE LOAVES COST MORE THAN 1.95€ ON THE DAY WE WERE THERE.
"Nearest to an English bakery" is a slightly double-edged compliment, but I agree that Lidl's pre-cooked bread is better than some.

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