Friday, 16 November 2018

Nearly Set The Shed On Fire!

My daughters took my wife out for a day of female bonding and shopping, allowing the old guy to spend the morning on the allotment.



The first thing I did after unloading the car, was fill up the kettle on the small suitcase camping stove and light it to make a cup of coffee. I fitted a new gas cylinder and the size of the flame was larger than usual, must be because its a new bottle me thinks then I notice flames coming out of the slider lever control slot. I opened the flap and saw flames lapping around the gas cylinder. I turned off the gas to the burner but the flames continued around the gas cylinder.

I just picked it up the camping stove and threw it into the middle of the plot, expecting to hear an explosion. Luckily the cylinder fell out and the flames went out before anything nasty could happen. 

I have heard that these little suitcase cookers can be temperamental, the instructions that come with it tell you not to leave them unattended. Well it will not be getting a second chance from me that's for sure, they are just downright dangerous and it's gone home and been put in the metal recycle bin, minus the gas cylinder of course.       



Beds 9 & 10 raked and covered for the winter

Bed 11 cleared of potatoes today and also covered over for Winter. 



I ended up with one and a half flower buckets of spuds out of the bed. I will be revisiting and sieving the soil in the bed to try and find any lost spuds

Monday, 12 November 2018

In My Seed Box for 2019 - Spring Onions




A note has been added to my  Sowing & Planting Plan for 2019 so I can get Spring Onions  going a month earlier than previous years.

Review of Onion Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags 

Feast F1 Hybrid                 - 500 Seeds - £1.49     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2018
White Lisbon                      - 650 Seeds - £1.89     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2018
North Holland Blood Red -                                        Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2017


Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets

Arrow                                 - 300 Seeds - £2.19     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2017
Arrow                                 - 300 Seeds - £2.19     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2017

Ishikura                              - 500 Seeds - £2.29     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2017
North Holland Blood Red   - 500 Seeds - £2.09     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2017
Pompeii                              - 300 Seeds - £2.19    - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection - Sow By 12/2017
Purplette                            - 300 Seeds - £1.99    - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection - Sow By 12/2017



Ishikura                              - 375 Seeds - £2.99      - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Ishikura                              - 375 Seeds - £2.99     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Purplette                            - 375 Seeds - £2.99     - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection  - Sow By 2019

Long White Ishikura           - 375 Seeds - £2.40       - Johnsons - Sow By 2020
Long White Ishikura           - 375 Seeds - £2.40       - Johnsons - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020 

White Lisbon                      - 700 Seeds - £2.00       - Johnson from Wilko (20p in sale) - Sow By 2021
Long White Ishikura           - 375 Seeds - £2.50       - Johnsons (20p in sale)- Sow By 2021
White Lisbon                      - 120 Seeds - £1.00       - Carters from Poudland 10p in sale - Sow by 2021

Ramrod                              - 250 Seeds - £1.00       - wilko - Sow 2022

Alphabetical Listing

                                                Sowing            Harvest


Arrow                                     Mar - Apr          Aug - Nov
Feast F                                         Mar - Jul          Jun - Onwards ( Winter hardy) 
Ishikura                                         Mar - May        Jun - Sep - Thompson & Morgan
Ishikura                                         Mar - Jul          May - Oct - Mr Fothergill's
Long White Ishikura               Mar - Jul           May - Oct - Johnsons
North Holland Blood Red       Feb - Jul           Apr - Oct
Pompeii                                  Mar - Jul          Jun - Oct
Purplette                                 Mar - Jul          Jun - Oct
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)       Mar - Sep         Mar - Nov  
White Lisbon                            Mar - Sep         May - Oct - Thompson & Morgan
White Lisbon                            Mar - Jul           May - Oct - Mr Fothergill's

Sowing Plan for 2019

In 2017 spring onions were grown in vending machine cups in tray modules and transplanted into the onion beds plant membrane, but white rot got a few and the rest had to be harvested early or disposed off.

In 2018 I tried to grow them in cut down square flower buckets but the results weren't very good, saying that the Spring was unnaturally warm and dry.

IN 2019 a return to growing in vending machine cups in tray modules and transplanted into the onion beds plant membrane, 



Looking at the back of the seed packets, yes I do read them! What I find interesting is the different guidance provided by different seed companies for the same variety of plant. for example, looking at Ishikura Spring Onions from Wilko, Thompson & Morgan & Mr Fothergill




Sowing Outdoors

Mar - May ~ Thompson & Morgan
Mar - Jun ~ Wilko
Mar - July ~ Mr Fothergills

Frequency of Sowing

Wilko &  Mr Fothergills both suggest every 2 - 3 weeks for a continuous supply throughout the summer, interestingly Thompson & Morgan advice is that "The long harvest period means one sowing lasts the whole season!" which is kind of mad as there harvest period is shorter than both Wilko & Mr Fothergills ! Thompson & Morgan also states "Can be harvested pencil-thin or thinner, or left to mature to carrot size" although they don't state what kind of carrot.  

Thinning

Wilko & Mr Fothergills both suggest no thinning is required whereas Thompson & Morgan state it is!

Harvesting

May - Oct ~ Wilko
Jun -  Sep ~ Thompson & Morgan
May - Oct ~ Mr Fothergills

Germination 

Wilko &  Mr Fothergills both state 14 - 21 days and Thompson & Morgan provides no information on germination, I have seen this missing on quite a lot of their packs and it's something I'm and I guess most other gardeners are actually quite interested in.

I know that like Structural Engineers, if you get four or five gardeners together and ask them a question you are likely to get three different answers but until I see what other suppliers of Ishikura Spring Onions have to say, I think I will ignore T&M and go with the guidance from Wilko & Mr Fothergill.  


Saturday, 10 November 2018

In My Seed Box for 2019 - Sprouts



In 2017  I grew 
  • Bedford Darkmar
  • Cromwell
  • Evesham Special
  • Mongomery
  • Rubine Purple Sprout             
Last Year I had nine varieties of sprouts in my seed box 
  • Bedford
  • Bedford Darkmar
  • Brest F1
  • Brodie
  • Cromwell
  • Evesham Special
  • Mongomery
  • Nelson
  • Rubine Purple Sprout   
The  Rubine Purple Sprout  really have not been good the last couple of years, and I have decided to ditch the seeds on this one. Based on 10 plants in a bed I decided on 
  • Bedford
  • Brest F1
  • Brodie
  • Evesham Special
  • Nelson                                    
So that's five varieties and I will need two of each to fill the 10 holes in the sprout weed membrane. 

A second sowing took place in 14 days - 21 days, after the first, then came the strangest hottest spring weather we've had for a few years and they all died. 2018 was the first year without home grown sprouts and I'm aiming to make sure that in 2019 we get sprouts in the ground and of course for Christmas, Although like a puppy Sprouts are for all year round not just for Christmas.

So the plan is to grow some of all the varieties and plant those that survive. One addition to the list for 2019 is a pack of Fillbasket by Carters Tested Seeds - 100 seeds from Poundland for 10p in their sale. 

Last Year I had nine varieties of sprouts in my seed box, replacing Rubine Purple Sprout with Fillbasket for 2019 I still have nine varieties of sprouts 
  • Bedford
  • Bedford Darkmar
  • Brest F1
  • Brodie
  • Cromwell
  • Evesham Special
  • Fillbasket
  • Mongomery
  • Nelson

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

In My Seed Box for 2019 - Carrots


My planned year of the carrots, never really happened as I would have liked, I did end up with a whole lot of carrots but in 2019 I'm going to be more organised. I bought far to many carrot varieties in the Wyevale 50p seed sale in 2017 but who can blame me when I'm getting £34.21 of carrot seeds for £6 or putting it another way 12 packs for the RRP of 2 it's a no brainer. 

I could not resist the four packs of Carter Seeds from Poundland that were being sold off at 10p a pack, so I have added them to the list below:0

As planned last year, looking at the information from the packs below I will be sowing 7 row per bed at 300mm centres in the following order, based on their sow & harvest dates.

1st Bed  

Amsterdam 2 (Solo)          - Jan
Amsterdam 3                 - Jan
Early Nantes 2                  - Jan
Nairobi                              - Jan
Early Scarlet Horn            - Feb
Early Nantes 2 Frubund   - Feb
Romance F1                     - Feb

Cascade F1                      - Feb

2nd Bed 

Autumn King 2                  - Mar
Chartenay Red Cored       - Mar
Early Nantes 5                  - Mar

Jitka F1                             - Mar 
Nigel F1 Hybrid                 - Mar
Paris Market - Atlas          - Mar *

Royal Chantenay 3           - Mar
St Valery                           - Mar


Review Of Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags

Chantenay Red Cored
St Valery - Sarah Raven Collection - sow by 2017
Jitka F1 - Sarah Raven Collection - sow by 2017
Royal Chantenay 3 - Sarah Raven Collection - sow by 2017

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2016/ 2017

Early Scarlet Horn - 1500 seeds - £1.49 - Unwins - Sow By 7/2017
Early Nantes 5 - 6m seed tape = 5 rows - £2.99 - Mr Fothergill - Sow By12/2017

Nairobi - 500 Seeds - Marshalls Best Before 7/2017
Nantes 2 - Frubund x 2 packs - 500 seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2017
Nigel F1 Hybrid - 500 seeds - £2.29 - Thompson & Morgan Sow By 12/2017
Paris Market - Atlas - 2500 seeds - £1.99 - Thompson & Morgan  Sow By 12/2017
Sugarsnaps 54 F1 - 500 seeds - £1.99 - Unwins - Sow By 7/2017


Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2018/ 2020

Amsterdam 2 (Solo) - 1500 seeds - £2.19 - Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2020
Baby Chantenay (Cascade F1) 350 seeds - £2.80 - Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2020
Early Nantes 2 - 500 Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Early Nantes 2 Frubund - 500 Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Flyaway - 400 Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Nandor F1 Hybrid - 350 Seeds - £2.69 - Kew Urban Garden  Collection - Sow By 12/2019
Nigel F1 - 500 seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Rainbow - 300 seeds - £ 2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020

Rainbow - 250 Seeds - £2.49 - Marshalls - Sow By 9/2019
Romance F1 - 400 Seeds - £2.99 Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020

Sugarsnaps 54 F1 - 500 seeds - £2.80 - Mr Fothergills - Sow By2019

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2021

Amsterdam 3   - 400 seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021
Autumn King 2 - 400 Seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021
Early Nantes 5 - 400 Seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021

Rondo              - 400 Seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021

Alphabetical Listing

                                           Sowing            Harvest

Amsterdam 2 (Solo)         - Jan - July         Apr - Oct
Amsterdam 3                    - Jan - July         Apr - Oct
Autumn King 2                 - Mar - Jul           Jun - Nov
Cascade F1                     -  Feb - Jul          Jun - Nov
Chartenay Red Cored      - Mar - Jun          May - Oct
Early Scarlet Horn           - Feb - Jun          May - Sep

Early Nantes 2                 - Jan - July          Jul - Dec
Early Nantes 2 Frubund  - Feb - Oct           Apr - Nov
Early Nantes 5                 - Mar - Jul           May - Oct
Flyaway                           - May - Jun         Aug - Oct

Jitka F1                            - Mar - Jul          Jun - Nov
Nandor F1 *                      - Mar - Jul          Jun - Oct
Nairobi                              - Jan - Jun         Jul - Nov
Nantes 2 - Frubund          - Feb - Oct         Apr - Nov      Nigel F1 Hybrid                - Mar - Jun         Jul - Dec
Paris Market - Atlas*         - Mar - July        Jun - Oct
Rainbow                           - Apr - Jun          Jul - Oct - Thompson & Morgan
Rainbow Mix                    - Mar - Jun         Jun - Sep - Marshalls          
Romance F1                    - Feb - May        Jun - Sep          
Rondo                              - 
Royal Chantenay 3          - Mar - Jun         Jun - Oct
St Valery                          - Mar - Jul          Jun - Nov
Sugarsnaps 54 F1           - Mar - Jul          Jun - Nov - Mr Fothergills

Sugarsnaps 54 F1           - Apr - Jun          Aug - Mar - Unwins


* Short ideal for starting  in loo rolls 

Sow Date Listing
                                           Sowing           

Amsterdam 2 (Solo)          - Jan

Amsterdam 3                    - Jan
Early Nantes 2                  - Jan
Nairobi                              - Jan
Cascade F1                      - Feb
Early Scarlet Horn            - Feb
Early Nantes 2 Frubund   - Feb
Romance F1                     - Feb
Autumn King 2                  - Mar
Chartenay Red Cored      - Mar
Early Nantes 5                  - Mar
Jitka F1                             - Mar
Nandor F1                         - Mar
Nigel F1 Hybrid                 - Mar
Paris Market - Atlas          - Mar

Rainbow Mix                     - Mar - Marshalls
Royal Chantenay 3           - Mar
St Valery                           - Mar
Sugarsnaps 54 F1            - Mar

Rainbow                           - Apr - Thompson & Morgan
Sugarsnaps 54 F1            - Apr
Flyaway                            - May

Germination 10 - 21 days

Rows  250 - 300 apart


An interesting thread re the different sowing times for Sugarsnaps 54 F1 and Varieties that will over winter on the Grow Your Own Grapevine Carrot Confusion

Other cold tolerant varieties are Eskimo (T&M) and Marion (Marshalls),