Sunday, 24 January 2010


The rhubarb's sprouting and like the thuggish plant it is, is happily sprouting and growing away despite not being in the ground. There were several lots round the plot we took over - we dug the big crown up back in mid Dec while working our way digging over the plot and split into several pieces (have given some away) and left it out for frost to do it's work. But we've not yet dug over the space behind the shed where we want to move it. Must get that sorted out next weekend and get the rhubarb in.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Spring is just around the corner

Seedlings sown at the beginning of January are coming along very nicely indeed. Started All The Year Round cauliflower and Summer Purple Sprouting Broccoli indoors 3 seeds to a pot on a windowsill at the very beginning of January, and last week potted them up individually and put them outside in the mini-greenhouse. They look as though they are flourishing.

I also have some onion seeds sown (Supasweet and Red Baron) which I also sowed 3 per module, and potted up individually last week at the same time as the caulis & broccoli when they were at the hairpin stage. But as I also have lots of sets either in or waiting to plant, will be interesting to see which do better this year.

At the same time, also sowed some aubergine seeds (Moneymaker F1). But I will be keeping these indoors for a while yet - and may move them to the mini-greenhouse in spring. Might give one a try down at the allotment, but I suspect they'll be happier in my protected back garden.

Spent a little time having a close look at what else is happening in the garden. The Fatsia Japonica has flowered, and is well on it's way to turning to seed....

Chive shoots are beginning to show. This plant is in a plastic pot, which is sat in a solid-bottomed pot with no drainage holes. I keep meaning to take it out if the pot so the water can drain away, and cannot believe that after 6 years the bulbs haven't rotted away as it does sit in water most of the year. But, as they say, if it ain't broke...

And Hazel. Excuse the large photo, but it really is a beauty. One of those plants that is at it's best in the winter months.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Broad Beans

These Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia were sown in pots on bathroom window back in mid-October and planted out early Nov, and here's how they were looking back on 12th December... We'd lost a few to mice digging them up to get to the seeds, so protected what was left with these milk cartons which seems to be doing the trick.

Couple of weeks ago I sowed a few more to fill in the gaps, which are currently growing on in my mini 4-tier greenhouse in my back garden.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

And the rest...

I realise this seed list doesn't seem too bad - until you take into account the rest.

The rhubarb and goosberries that were already there. The blueberry and blackcurrant bargains I found in the pound shop. The 20 crowns of asparagus that will need to go in.

Then there are the things I planted in October (Elephant Garlic, overwintering Onions and Garlic, 50 leeks given to us by our plot neighbour).

And the 200 onion sets I bought on Saturday (Sturon and Stuttgarter Giant) and 6 bulbs of spring planting garlic (Casablanca). Though some of these I will give away.

The seed potatoes ordered back in November but not yet delivered.

The other vegetable seeds I've decided I need to try since my main seed order last month - Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Turnip, another variety of pea.

Choosing Seeds

So.... I've only got a half-plot, so not sure exactly how I think I'm going to squeeze all these varieties in..... But 2010 will be our first year growing veg on the allotment, so thought I'd try everything to see what really does taste amazingly different - and then whittle down my choices 2011 onwards. So here's the list:

  • Aubergine (Moneymaker)
  • Basil (Sweet Genovese)
  • Beetroot (Burpees Golden; Boltardy)
  • Broadbean (Aquadulce Claudia)
  • Cabbage (Minicole)
  • Carrot (Resistafly)
  • Cauliflower (All the Year Round; Candid Charm)
  • Climbing Bean (Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco)
  • Courgette (Midnight F1; Soleil F1)
  • Cucumber (Swing F1)
  • Fennel (Colossale)
  • French Bean (Canadian Wonder)
  • Leek (Carlton; Bandit)
  • Lettuce (Buttercrunch; Salad Bowl; Counter; Tom Thumb)
  • Onion (Supasweet Dulcinea; Red Baron)
  • Parsnip (Tender and True)
  • Pea (Calibra)
  • Radish (Black Spanish Round)
  • Rocket (Wild)
  • Shallot (Banana)
  • Sorrell (Belleville)
  • Spinach (Fiorana; Bordeaux F1)
  • Squash (Gem Store; Butternut Hawk F1; Marina di Chioggia)
  • Swede (Marian)
  • Sweet Pepper (Sweet Chocolate)
  • Swiss Chard (Bright Lights)
  • Tomatoes (Costoluto Fiorentino; Roma VF; Garden Pearl; Mirabelle Blanche; Millefleur Yello Vine; Red Cluster Pear; Black Cherry; Tigerella; Moneymaker; Harbinger; Cream Sausage; Gardeners Delight)
I'm a little shocked just now at the realisation that I have 12 packs of tomato seeds... though I think at least half of those came free with gardening magazines or were sent out free with other seed orders... still, may have a go at growing them all for taste tests - but can see that I'm going to have to make some space in my back garden for maybe half of these...