Pipes Are In!

This afternoon I got the rest of my pipes in. Regular readers will know I’m starting to dabble with growing some long carrots and parsnips. I’m going to grow these in pipes, black 4″ soil pipe that I bought in 7′ lengths and cut in half. They are buried in a raised bed and the pipes will be filled with a growing mix which will hopefully produce some lovely, long roots. I’ll also grow them direct in the main bed but rather than just sowing in the soil I’ll core out at regular spaces and fill with a compost mix to see if I can grow a better quality veg. Darren popped up to take a look and on his advice I spaced them out a bit more to allow room for the top growth.

I’ve started chitting my first and second earlies today in the cool conservatory. Lining them up in egg-boxes seems to be everyone’s preferred method and I’ll plant them out in six weeks time as long as the soil feels warm enough.

In my quest to learn more about growing veg I’ve joined the National Vegetable Society (NVS). It’s £17 a year, you get an excellent quarterly magazine, regular talks and visits run through county district associations and access to the on-line forum where members share advice and experience. The first meeting of the Hampshire DA is on Tuesday with a talk from Sherie Plumb on Runner Beans and Cauliflowers. Sherie is renowned as an expert potato grower sweeping all before her at National level, and her runners aren’t bad either. I’ll shall learn a great deal on Tuesday I’m sure.

There’s lots to do in the garden in February, for a list of jobs click here. Please add anything you can think of in the comments.

It’s our Horticultural Society Jumble Sale on Saturday 27th Feb from 2pm at Winterslow Village Hall, Middleton Rd, Winterslow, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 1PQ. All manner of jumble, bric-a-brac, books etc will be on sale to raise money for the Society. Come along if you’re in the area. For more information click here. For a map click here.

If your in the South Wilts/West Hants area look out for the ‘Seedy Sunday’ event on 27th February between 2 and 4pm at Downton Memorial Hall. A seed and plant swap plus advice on growing veg and many other topics, it looks like a good event. Free entry, refreshments and children’s activities. For more information click here.

Downton Memorial Hall
The Borough, Downton

Lastly, if you have young children, don’t forget Mr Bloom’s Nursery starts Monday on Cbeebies, 10.05am and 2.05pm. I first heard of the programme reading Dawn Issac’s Little Green Fingers blog, who was involved with it’s development. We’ll be watching!!

Ok, that’s my cup of tea finished, now back out to get the raspberry canes in. Hope you’re having a good weekend!

30 responses to “Pipes Are In!

  1. wow, loving the pipe idea … hmmm, slinks off to look at B&B website 🙂

    • Thanks, we’ll see what happens. It was a bit of an investment as it cost me nearly £80 to buy the pipes (8 x 7′). But compare that to how the main showers grow their’s in oil drums filled with sand sat on raised beds and the pipes are a very, very cheap alternative.

  2. I can’t believe you got all that done since I left
    You have been a busy boy
    Maybe that should be linked to my blog, “Busy Busy Day”

    • Hi Darren, just got 9 Autumn raspberry canes in after my tea-break as well. I can get stuff done when I get the bit between my teeth! Just changed the link directly to your post so people can compare the pipe and oil drum methods. Right next job is to get the mix sorted out!!

  3. The management at B&Q must be LOVING your blog! What I would like to know is – doesn’t the slim black (heat-retentive?) pipe get very hot in the summer-time?

    • Good question Mark, I’ve heard that root veg grown in the black pipes do better than those in terracotta and I guess that’s because of the heat retention. They’re are not in the hottest bed in the garden either – but this is just a trial, if I pull out pencil thin veg after 6 months then I haven’t wasted a huge investment. Some of the top showers spend thousands on setting up. I am just dipping my toe in the water really.

  4. What’s going to hold the pipes upright, or do you think the weight of the growing compost will be enough?

    • They’re buried about 18″ in a raised bed so should support themselves to a point and I’m thinking of putting some posts in at the 4 corners so I can wrap something around to give extra support – I’ve been told stockings could do the job – very much work in progress I haven’t planned too far ahead. I need to get the mix made up as I plan to sow the parsnips on the 18th.

  5. Impressive! Hope you are successful in growing monster specimens. BTW, after a disappointing run of curries for tea I remembered that you were a fan and had a look at your recipes. Thank you, beef madras was a massive hit, so much so that the rest of the household have promised to buy me the book!

  6. Oh Damo boy, the pipes, the pipes are ca-alling…

  7. The NVS sounds interesting. I’m sure you’ll have a good time on Tuesday, and probably pick up loads of tips.

  8. This is turning into a master class Damo – can’t wait to see how you do – I’ll be ‘rooting’ for you – sorry couldn’t resist!

  9. We could never grow them in pipes here, we would have to be constantly watering them and the heat would just be too much. Good luck with them, maybe it will work for you but I think if you spent that much in soil amendments you would be better off.

    • Hi Becky, the heat is a concern although from past British summers I’m worrying less and less about that! Agree it’s not a project that’s going to pay me back in terms of crop return it is purely an experiment to see if I can actually grow a decent specimen. We’ll see it could all end in disaster!

  10. I admire your efforts – I really couldn’t be faffed with all that 🙂
    It’s interesting to follow your progress, though.

  11. Damo, I love that pipe setup…. i might borrow the idea and try to grow some carrots in some pipes for my village show!!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Simon, it’s a much cheaper option than drums and I’m sure you can work out when looking at Darren’s blog. A way of dipping my toe into the water without spending a fortune.

  12. Sorry, I’m open mouthed with the bizarreness of your pipes. Why do you want such long carrots? And . . . won’t slugs think you have provided them with cosy dwellings and a ready supply of food?

    Oh, dear, I’ve looked at the picture again and now I’ve got the giggles.


    • Hi Esther, they do look very odd don’t they, I agree not your usual veg plot addition. They are purely for growing vegetables for show, most people attempting to grow long parnsips or carrots would grow them in oil drums filled with sand then core out three or four holes in each oil drum to fill with compost and fertilizer so the root grows straight and long. I’ve gone for the much cheaper option of pipes to get this result. I’m looking for something like this hopefully. http://medwynsofanglesey.co.uk/shop/prod_153.html

      And hopefully no slugs!!

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