Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Seed Saving Cucumbers Mini Whites

Not a good year for tomatoes this year but to quote Bill & Ted 

"A most excellent and bodacous year for the humble cucumber". 

The Mini Whites that I got in a seed swap some time ago have been prolific and they are so yummy. I have not found a person I have given some too who has not liked them, in fact my neighbours daughter wanted to know if I had given him any more as she wanted to relieve him of them if I had.  

Seeds cut from the middle of the cucumber when I chopped it up for a salad and left in water like tomato seeds. now washed off sieved and laid out on the plastic lids from KP Nut tins and left to dry out next to the airbrick above the tall fridge freezer in the kitchen before bagging up and putting away in small ziplok bags in one of my seed boxes, ready for next year. 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Marshalls Alliance Sweetcorn

This years crazy seesaw of rain and very hot and warm weather made the corn grow high and on the 4th August the pollen tassel at the top where there before the fruit or ears of corns have even formed on the stalk. I was not not holding my breath for a good result from this new variety from  Marshalls Alliance Sweetcorn and stated that I will have to wait and see what happens. Out of nowhere the cobs started to form and I've been keeping an eye on the corn for the tassels to turn brown and for any sign of attack from animals.

This Sunday the tassels had turned brown so I tested for ripeness by peeling back the outer husks and pushing my fingernail into the cob. If a milky solution comes out, then the cob is ready to pick, but if the liquid is clear, leave it a little longer. The liquid was nice and milky so I harvested the lot. 

I put them all in a trugg and decided to strip as many back as possible. I used my cheap supermarket Secateurs for the first few and the nut started to come undone so I got my new Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens Razorsharp 6659KEW Heavy Duty Bypass Secateurs. What a joy to use they are, and they come with a 10 year Guarantee. 

I still have at least half of the stalks to cut up for the Daleks when I next visit. I exposed three nice sized marrows that I had planted in the sweetcorn bed, and found a number of Butternut Squash and a couple of pumpkins when cleaning the paths and cutting the invading vegetation back. 

It has to be said this variety of sweetcorn lived up to the description on the Marshalls Web site and the husk stripped very easily, and before I know it I had two mushroom trays of stripped corn ready to be topped and tailed and bagged for the freezer.

As you can see I really didn't need to worry about the pollination and the slowness of the cobs to form. A third of the harvest went with my eldest daughter a third for my youngest and the remaining third is now awaiting cooking in the freezer. 

Marshalls Sweetcorn Alliance Seeds 
Marshalls Sweetcorn Alliance Plants 

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Secateurs Arrive

Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens Razorsharp 6659KEW 

Heavy Duty Bypass Secateurs

My competition win arrived today and I had to look on line to see what they are worth. They have a RRP of £34.99 and Amazon are selling them for £20.43 and on ebay someone is selling them at £14.99 that is a huge drop from the RRP. 

As always it pays to shop around but in my case I got these for my favourite price of FREE
After all the cheap £2 from Tesco & ASDA Secateurs I have bought at the end of season sales It's going to be nice having a quality pair to play with and add to the other better quality hand tools I'm gradually gathering.