Friday, 18 December 2009

HSL 2010 seeds

Mine have just arrived; first choices again.

I have:

Black Coco Dwarf French Bean
Gladstone Pea
London Market Carrot
Boothby's Blond Cucumber
Sheepnose Pepper
Lukovidsky Onion
and a lucky dip of
Mountaineer's White Half Runner Climbing French Bean


Thursday, 10 December 2009


Wow - can't believe that I haven't updated this for so long. Summer got a bit busy.

Well, we had a great growing year.

Successes were the Chilis and Beans

Onions were good, but as always, we could do with more so I have about 400 overwintering at the moment, with about 100 seeds sown in August that are in the greenhouse for the winter.

Tomatoes, we had good success in the Greenhouse but the Outdoor ones got blight, so I got plenty of green tomato chutney from them before they were all binned.

Raspberries; Joan Js - were still cropping heavily in November so I've left the rest of them to the birds

Courgettes - were still cropping in November but have died back now

Carrots; really minimal carrot fly damage as they were grown under nets

Parsnips - started harvesting in Oct but still plenty in the ground

Peas, the HSL tall peas were a great success - apart from Pea Moth after June [eugh]

Celery - I'm growing in the Greenhouse now, in pots in gravel trays full of water. It's just easier than in the ground and they are sweet and blanched.

Very very quick summary there - but back on track with regular updates now

Friday, 24 July 2009

Holga pics

Nothing related to growing fruit or veg at all....just some pics from my Holga 

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Chelsea 2009

Just realised I didn't post any photos of Chelsea. How silly of me

Friday, 3 July 2009

Moon Trial GZ Harvest

Today I dug up and weighed GZ

Sown on Jan 3rd
Harvested on July 3rd
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
9, 13, 6, 8, 9
Weights at harvest 
89, 129, 29, 192, 186

Overall increase in weight 1386%

Clove number 2 had split and created 2 completely new and separate bulbs of garlic. Alternatively, a fluke clove found its way in and grew in the exact correct place; as no cloves had disappeared from the rest of the trial. This was the heaviest clove of the original selection of cloves [there were 3 that weighed 13g]. Clove 3 was the smallest of the final bulbs from the last 2 batches of sowings. 


Need I say more. Very happy. 

Monday, 29 June 2009

HSL Peas

These are close ups of the 4 peas for the HSL trial, all taken on 15th June 

Firstly, Clarke's Beltony Blue

Hugh's Huge
Simpson's Special

Monday, 22 June 2009

Moon Trail GE Harvest

On the 20th of June I dug up and weighed GE

Sown on Dec 21st
Harvested on June 20th
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
9, 4, 7, 10, 6
weights at harvest
166, 256, 151, 197, 144

Overall increase in weight 2954%

Alot of bulking up compared to last month's harvest; interesting that the smallest clove in the whole trial [randomly picked from the 50 cloves in a bag], gave the highest final weight and fattest bulb thus far. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

15th June 2009 - lottie pics

Peas and beetroot, with an allgreen courgette on the corner
Peas with dwarf beans 
My onion bed
Sweetcorn with 2 winter squashes and a bit of piping that will be filled with sand and carrot seed very soon
Onions - autumn sown from sed

stuff flowering in and around the seed bed

B&Q alliums were going for a song, so I popped them in the corner - look nice against the self sown poppies

Poppies from a different angle, with some chives

Gooseberry Pax, looking good - should turn red hopefully

Potatoes - Kestrel - just enough to go in last night's curry

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Gonna be needing this.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

HSL Pea Trial

Progress on the pea trial

These are the Clarke's Beltony Blue. [A]

These are Hugh's Huge [B]

These are Simpson's Special [C]

And these are Alderman [D]

All sown on 11 March
All emerged on 21 March apart from alderman which appeared 2 days later
All planted out on 7th March
These were taken on 29th May. 

Flowers developed on these dates:
A 21 May
B 28 May
C 2 June
D 28 May

First pods so far
A 2 June
B 3 June

Moon Trial GD and GY

I sowed GD on the correct day [Dec 2nd] and it should have ben harvested on June 2nd. 

However, because GY couldn't go in the ground on the correct day [Dec 5th], I could not compare the two, so I am leaving it in situ until the leaves die back, so as not to waste it and get a decent harvest from it. 

Moon Trial GX Harvest

On the 18th May I dug up and weighed GX

Sown on Nov 18th 
Harvested on May 18th 
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
6, 7, 8, 6, 11
weights at harvest:
133, 90, 56, 71, 103

Overall increase in weight 1264%

Friday, 15 May 2009

Moon Trial GC Harvest

I have today dug up and weighed GC

Sown on Nov 15th
Harvested on May 15th
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
6, 8, 11, 8, 8
weights at harvest:
103, 121, 128, 102, 138

Overall increase in clove weight 1479%

Ends of garlics starting to yellow; and the cloves getting bigger. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Holiday time

Well, we are off to New York on Thursday, and staying in London village tomorrow night so just tidied up a few little jobs before we go.  

These are potatoes that have grown from shop bought ones that sprouted in the fridge. I cut the eyes out with a sliver of potato and popped them into roottrainers. They are growing nicely. 
They will go into pots once our greenhouse us up and running [2nd May]

This is a potato grown from seed; not a seed potato - I am talking about the seeds inside the fruit that formed on last year's potatoes after the flower fell off. It was germinated on kitchen roll, and transferred  to this 3 inch pot. After I took this, I repotted it into a deeper pot and it will go into the greenhouse until it in turn flowers and fruits. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Moon Trial GW Harvest

I have today dug up and weighed GW

Sown on Oct 13th
Harvested on April 14th
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
10, 9, 8, 11, 6
weights at harvest:
41, 29, 36, 36, 24

Overall increase in clove weight 382%

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Moon Trial GB Harvest

I have today dug up and weighed GB

Sown on Oct 9th
Harvested on April 9th
6 months in the soil

Weights prior to sowing:
9, 12, 9, 7, 10
weights at harvest:
38, 44, 42, 34, 46

Overall increase in clove weight 440%

Cloves significantly bigger than the last harvest; foliage healthy with a slight browning. No splitting visible but the loves have almost all lost the original clove covering [no gooeyness on the outside]. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Using loo roll insides

Alot of gardeners will use the insides of loo rolls to sow long rooted plants such as peas and beans. I have a huge number to plant this year, and once I knew this, I started collecting them [last summer]. 

I started to get quite a collection, so I had to work out how to store them otherwise Mark would be chucking the whole lot out when we ran out of space. 

So, I have been folding them and storing them as shown:

This means, once they come out, they can be used as squares, rather than as rolls:
They can then be used to split square pots as such:

This gives you 4 separate areas within one pot.

Or, as below, where you can have 9 different areas within one pot

Moon Trial GV Harvest

I dug up and weighed GV 

Sown on 16th Sept
Harvested on 17th March
6 months in the soil

weights prior to sowing:
13, 13, 9, 6, 10
weights at harvest"
34, 17, 24, 19, 16

Overall increase in clove weight: 169%

2 have split cloves, with all foliage healthy with slight browning at the edges

Friday, 13 March 2009

Moon Trial GA Harvest

I have today dug up and weighed GA

Sown on 11th Sept
Harvested 13th March
6 months in the soil. 

Weights prior to sowing:
11, 9, 12, 8, 9
weights at harvest
34, 17, 24, 19, 16

Overall increase in clove weight 223%

No split cloves visible. All foliage is healthy with a slight browning at the edges. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Visiting Piglet Willie and pricking out

On Saturday 28th I visited Piglet Willie and was also taken to see the lotties. Very interesting, and great soil after years of hard work. 
I was given plenty of goodies, seedlings, seeds, a redcurrant, salsa, chilli sauce, and a winter squash. Yum yum. Plus a fabulous lunch and home made cookies.

On the Sunday, I pricked out the Pointy Sweet Peppers that he gave me, and there are 42 of them. All have moved well and are looking perky. I'll spread them around the village and amongst friends once they are big enough to go into their own pots. 

I have also sowed some Rose de Roscoff onion seeds. 

Friday, 27 February 2009

Flowers, peppers and peas

I have just sowed:
Amaranthus, Marvel Bronze [T&M]
Amberboa Muricata [T&M]
Two_Sheds' Borage
Two_Sheds' Teasel
Own saved Cerinthe
Own saved Flax Red
Cornflower Dairy Maid [Chocolate fragrance] [T&M]
Dianthus Siberian Blues [Y&M]

i have also pricked out all the peppers and chillis, and into the spare modules I've sown more...and popped the tray into the propagator for a few days to make or break the seeds that haven't germinated yet. Then, I'll prick those out that have germinated and call the others as dead. 

Plus 15 modules of 5 Early Onward pea. That's 75 peas. Must get my pea and bean area at the lottie sorted out. 

Seed pile is not going down...each time I sow some seeds I get another load through the door. This week it was a free magazine for being a Mod on the Vine...with another 10 packs of seeds. I've got to swap some though as I don't even like Aubergine.

Repotting toms and onions/shallots

I've now put all the shallots out; some have gone into modules to start the roots off. I've also moved some Bedfordshire Champion onion seedlings into the modules. 

I've moved all the tomato seedlings into modules so that each one is in a module of its own. 

I'm visiting Piglet Willie tomorrow as he has some spare seedlings, tomato and pepper/chilli. 

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Transplanting onions and garlic

I sowed some onion seeds last autumn, and they have been in the garden all winter. They are now nice and sturdy, so today I dug them all up, and transplanted them at the lottie. 

There were also a few random garlics that didn't do much last year, so I have left them in the ground all winter and they were also transplanted. A couple of random shallots also went in. 

Quite a few of the beans that were sown last week are now up and running. 

I build another raised bed at the lottie for all this and we have half filled it with soil, home made compost, coffee ground and a sprinkle of epsom salts. 

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sowing flowers and leeks and onions and carrots

Yesterday I sowed:

A half seed tray of Franchi little white onions [for pickling]
A deep polystyrene container of Long de Mezieres Leek and James Scarlet Carrots
These will all be left outdoors to germinate

Today I sowed in modules: 
Quaking Grass
Nasturtium: Cobra/Empress of India and Mahogany Gleam
Rudbeckia: Cherry Brandy/Rustic Dwarfs
These are on top of the fridge until germination. 

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Sowing and repotting and Seed Guardian

On Feb 11th, I sowed some dwarf french beans for an early indoor harvest:
6 x Kinghorn Wax [2-sheds]
6 x Firetongue Borlotti
4 x Yin yang
6 x Yellow dwarf [2-sheds]
2 x Canadian wonder [2-sheds]

They were soaked in water overnight and I checked to them today and most have sprouted. 

Also this week, I got my Seed Guardian list through - so I have opted for:
Wild Pigeon Bean
Stoke Lettuce and 
Longkeeping Tomato

In that order. 

Here's hoping they come through!

Today I also:
sowed 22 Jiffy 7s with a pinch of onions that I will use for spring onions
repotted tomatoes, peppers, coriander, cress and orach
sowed 14 white potato slivers [from shop bought potatoes that had shooted] into Root trainers. 

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Heritage Seed Library - Members' Experiments 2009

I received my seeds today for the 'comparing old and new varieties' experiment. 

4 types of tall peas: 
Clarke's Beltony Blue [old - heritage]
Hugh's Huge [heritage]
Simpson's Special [heritage]
Alderman [new - but they mean commercially available]

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Sowing and potting on activity [Root day]

Today I sowed more Alliums:
Leek - Long de Mezieres [Real Seeds]
Leek - Early Market [HSL]
Leek - Bleu De Solaise [Real Seeds] - need to save seeds from some of these [SS]
Onion - Mr Allen's Resliance [Heligan] - [SS]
Onion - Up to Date [HSL] - [SS]
Onion - Bedfordshire Champion [ From Finedon Dandy from the Vine]
Onion - North Holland Bloodred Redmate [Suttons]
Onion - The Kelsae [Johnsons] - [SS]
Shallot - Banana [T&M, from Seahorse from the Vine]
Onion - Golden Bear F1 [Robinsons] 
Onion - Mammoth Red Onion [Robinsons] - [SS]
Spring Onion - Elody - [SS]

I also potted on:
3 x Grushovak Toms from the Dec sowings
2 x Gelbe Chilli Peppers
2 x Cobra Nasturtiums
2 x Cerinthe

Sowing [Fruit day]

Yesterday I sowed a range of tomatoes and peppers:
Yellow cherry tomato [self saved, originally grown by Ray Monk and given to me by his lovely wife]
Beef tomato [self saved, from Tesco]
Black Plum [HSL]
Smadar [Chase organics]
Cuore Di Bue [Franchi]
Thai Seeds [Small Blue Planet from the Vine]
French Tomato Flat [self saved from a tom bought in Collioure, S of F]
Broad Ripple Yellow Currant [from Hazel at the Hill from the Vine]
Tigerella [from Two_Sheds from the Vine]
Black Krim [self saved from a plant bought in Draycott Open Gardens 2008]
Costoluto Fiorentino [Real Seeds]
Dragotsennost [Real Seeds]
Millefleur Yellow [Real Seeds]
De Colgar [Real Seeds]
Rio Grande [Franchi]
Grushovka [Real Seeds]
Aurora [Real Seeds]
Reisetomate Pocketbook [Real Seeds]
Amish Paste [Real Seeds]
Purple Ukraine [Real Seeds]

Purple Jalapeno [Small Blue Planet from the Vine]
Trifetti [HSL]
Nardello [HSL]
Hot Cayenne [Fothergills]
Long Red Chilli [self saved but labels got lost last year]
Random chilli [from a Grape]
Albertos Rocoto [Real Seeds]
N Napia Sweet Pointy [Real Seeds]
Sweet Chocolate [Real Seeds]
Westlandse Lange Rode [Real Seeds
Purple Tiger [from a grape]
Gelbe Kirshen Chilli [Real Seeds]
Dedo De Mocha Sweet Aji [Real Seeds]
Pretty in purple [Real Seeds]
Purple Venezuelian [Real Seeds]
Bolivian Rainbow [Real Seeds]
Large Sweet Spanish Chilli [from a Grape]
Peppadew [from Tricia]
Ramiro [self saved from Tesco]

3 of each in each module

Monday, 2 February 2009


Just popped out to take some photos of the garden in the snow - we don't often get snow here so it's a novelty. Took some dull photos, but this one of Gollum and some garlics...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Seed Saving

I saw this idea a while back, and as I'm going to be saving seeds all over the garden and allotment, I wanted something to show my over-enthusiastic puller upper of plants [AKA Mark] that I was letting seed heads die on plants for a reason. So, I've collected stones when I've been out and about [these came from Cornwall last October], and the odd bit of driftwood, and I painted them up last weekend to assist the seed saving cause. 

Garden and Allotment Layout 2009

Garden layout for 2009 [canal at bottom of image]
Lottie layout for 2009

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Seed Sowing 30th Jan

Australian Yellowleaf lettuce
Purple Loosestrife
Red Iceberg Lettuce
Mixed Red Leaves [lettuces]
Rouge Tete Cabbage

Potato Day 24th Jan and sowing seeds 25th

Went to potato day at Ryton 
8 Amorosa
4 Mayan Gold
8 Remarka
8 Desiree
10 Picasso
Along with the 19 Sarpo Miras and a big bag of Kestrel, which I was glad i'd bought beforehand as the Kestrel had long gone by the time we got there. 

I sowed the following on the 25th 

and pricked out and repotted the rest of the onions - I chopped the leaves back and they are now outdoors in a propagator [unheated]

New Room

This is the new desk that we've bought - I say new - it's from the 50s and an original piece - we've also bought the chair and are picking it up next weekend. The first picture is it in drawing board mode
This is it in desk mode

and it's going into our new garden room/office which was finished last night. Finished photo to follow - once i get myself sorted and a photo uploaded.