Monday, 31 January 2011

I'm raring to go

I get very impatient at this time of year and can barely wait until February to start my seeds off. I went through all my seeds last week and there were so many that can be started in February, so yesterday (I know it's still January !) I decided to get started.

I sowed the Broad beans in my root-trainers using a John Innes seed compost. I sowed 12 each of 'Bunyards Exhibition' and the Red variety 'Red Epicure'.  Then I planted some Lemon Basil and  Sweet Basil and put these on the kitchen windowsill.  Also sown were some Bergamot 'Panorama Mixed' they are good for the bees and nice for cut flowers, so I'm hoping that they are as pretty as they look on the packet.

I also  got my order in to Victoriana Nurseries.  I ordered a Tayberry called 'Buckingham' which is thornless this will be grown in my soft fruit area on the allotment.  I ordered some seeds that I had from them last year that were so good I decided to get them again, which are Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln' and Parsnips 'Hollow Crown' both were very successful and delicious.
 Also ordered :-
Artichoke plants 'Imperial Star' and 'Romanesco' which will delivered  April/May  ready to plant out
and 2 x Lemongrass plants ' East India'. I grew my own Lemongrass last year but they never grew large enough for me to get more than a couple of small pieces from, so I decided it's not worth the bother. 

Don't forget that Stephen from Victoriana Nurseries is offering 10% discount on orders for readers of my blog, just click on the link on my side bar and your order will automatically get the 10% off.

I went for the first time to the Potato Day in Hampshire on Sunday.  It was a last minute decision to go. I was disappointed to find that there was an entry fee of £2 each, so that was £4 before I had even bought any potatoes. However they were only 17p a tuber as opposed to 26p at the garden centre and as I don't grow many ( we don't eat a lot of potatoes)  that wasn't too bad.  But it cost us more to look at the poatoes than it did to buy them, so probably wont be going again.

I bought  6 x 'Ulster Prince'  to try as they looked nice and had a good write up.
 6  x  ' Chopin' they also looked nice so giving them a try
 10   x   Inova which is a cross between my favourite 'Nicola' and 'Impala'  the man there said they were better than ' Nicola' so thought I'd try these as well.   Now to start the chitting !!

So ! there we go the start of a new growing year albeit a bit early, but I couldn't wait any longer.  I have to take some kitchen scraps up to the allotment later and whilst there I will check on my brussels and Purple sprouting broccoli (can't wait for that to be ready) the garlic planted last year is growing well and I still have some 'Hollow Crown' parsnips in the ground, oh and some cabbages, I keep forgetting about them as they are hidden under a tunnel.

Have a good week  X

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Manuring the Raspberries

I have managed to get up to the allotment twice this week YEAH ! the weather is getting better, although of course we could always get another load of snow.  We moved into our house many years ago during a February and I have photo's of us all making a snowman, so you never can tell !!

Anyway! this week I have managed with the help of my gardening assistant (Austin) to put wheelbarrow loads of manure (that we had delivered at the end of last Autumn) onto my Raspberry canes.  Because of  the cold weather I was unable to cut them back before now.  However I have finally managed to cut the canes right back this week.  They are a late fruiting variety (unknown) I always get lot's of lovely fruit from them, but not as large as the fruit from the canes on the plot where my young canes came from.  I checked with the person who gave me my canes who says she always cuts hers back and manures them.  This is the third year that I have had mine planted, so I thought I would cut them hard back, manure them and see what happens. I only hope I have done the right thing?

There are lots of things going on in the beds, such as flower bulbs peeping through, buds sprouting on the gooseberry bushes and the blackcurrant bush. The herbs are starting to look healthy again, but I have to either dig up and thin out or cut severely back the purple sage as it's far too big for my herb bed.

I am looking forward to growing Globe artichokes this year and I am going to order some plants from Stephen at Victoriana Nursery  who incidentally is kindly giving any of my readers 10% discount on anything you order from him.  If you want to take up this offer just click on the link on my sidebar as it takes you to his website and when you order the 10% is automatically taken off, but please do check your order to make sure that happens before hitting the final step in ordering. I have checked it out and it does work, but technology sometimes does funny things.

I am going to sow my broad beans in the first week of February and this year I am trying a different one called 'Red Epicure' ( Unwin's) which are chestnut crimson coloured beans which apparently if lightly steamed keep their colour, we shall see !! as well as these I shall grow my favourite 'Bunyards Exhibition' which are tasty.
I think this year I am going to try sowing direct on some things, as I find that keeping an eye on seedlings gets to be a bit of a pain especially if we want to be away for days at a time. There are certain plants that I do like to see that they are good and healthy before setting them in the beds, such as - broad beans, onions, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers,  come to think of it quite a few things, so maybe I wont be so brave after all ha ha.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


I hope the New Year brings you all good health, happiness, Peace and an allotment full of lovely vegetables.

We went up to the allotment today for the first time in many weeks. Our visit was just to take bags of kitchen waste to the compost bins, whilst there I had a look around and saw that the garlic looked strong and healthy and the cabbages were looking small but pretty good too. The brussel sprouts had sprouted some more tiny ones at the top of the stems, so we may get some late ones after all. The sprouts at the bottom were horrid and not worth picking. The purple sprouting broccoli looks sturdy and healthy, so we are hoping for some nice pickings in the spring.

Speaking of Spring ! today was just like a chilly spring day with light clouds and some blue sky, and have you noticed how it's staying lighter for longer in the evening ? I can't wait for the better weather and after going to the allotment today I'm eager to get started on tidying up and adding the manure we got late last year onto the beds. My rasperry canes need cutting back and topping with manure too.
Have a good week.
M x