Saturday, 30 November 2019

In My Seed Box For 2020 - Beetroots


Note to self - In 2018 I made a note to myself not to buy anymore Beetroot seeds in the Wyevale sale for the next two years, you don't need them, or at least if you do then don't buy so many packs, be selective just go for the Boltardy unless you happen upon different coloured say yellow beetroots! and make sure they have a Sow by date of at least 2021.

in 2018 at 10p a pack from Poundland I could not resist and bought 2 packs of Globe 2 (100 seeds per pack). I also could not resist a couple of cheap packs from Wilko at 25p a pack and then when they dropped to 10p a pack, well it would be rude not to buy a few more now wouldn't it?

In 2019 there was no Wyevale 50p Sale as they have been bought out by another company and I didn't get anything from Wilko which means no more packs of seeds?  Due to my leg injury I had help sowing 105 directly into a bed, the variety was in date but very few germinated and even less actually grew, and those that did I let get too large and woody and they ended up as compost fodder. 

In 2020 back to starting them off in modules or plug plants and successive sowings so that I can pickle in small batches.   

Review Of Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags

No seeds at the start of 2020

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2018 - 2020

Alto F1                     - 150  Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Detroit 2                  -  300  Seeds - £2.29 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Detroit 6 Rubidus    -  200  Seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Globe 2                    - 200  Seeds - £0-20 - Carters                       - Sow By 2020
Kestrel                     - 150  seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Moneta                    - 150  seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Perfect 3                 -  275  Seeds - £1.65 - Mr Fothergill's            - Sow By 2018
Red Ace F1             - 150  Seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Solo                         - 200  Seeds - £2.49 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2019

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2021

Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021 
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021

A couple of packs bought at 25p and 4 more picked up when 10p pack in the sale 

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2022

Boltardy                   -  275  Seeds - £1.30 - Kings Seeds - Sow By 2022 - Kitchen Garden


Alphabetical Listing

                                       Sowing            Harvest
Action F1                       Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Alto F1                           Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Bettollo F1                      Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Boltardy                          Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Cardeal F1                     Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Cylindra                          Apr - Jul             Jul - Oct
Detroit 2                         Apr - Jul             Jun - Oct         
Detroit 6 Rubidus           Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Globe 2                          Apr - Jul             Jul - Oct
Kestrel                            Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct     
Moneta                           Mar - Jul            Jul - Oct
Pablo F1                         Apr - Jul            Jun - Onwards        
Perfect 3                         Apr - Jul            Jun - Oct
Red Ace F1                    Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct                   
Solo                                Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Wodan F1                       Apr - Jul            Jun - Onwards     

Boltardy is one of the best beetroots and a gardeners favourite. Good quality, globe shaped , dark-red, well flavoured roots up to 100mm (4") across, and the variety that I normally go for however the Wyevale 50p seed sale is responsible not only for the amount of packs I have in the seed box but also the various varieties. 

Altro is a Hybrid cylindrical beetroot that produces straight roots that stand proud above the soil, but can be earthed up keeping in good condition for longer periods, and will produce more consistent diameter slices for pickling and that is what attracted me to pack when I bought it.  This was also why I bought six packs of Cylindra from Wilko as they are only 25p a pack and were dropped to 10p a pack in the end of season sale.  

When To Plant 

Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings.

Dates based on guidance from Garden Focused based on the last frost date for Sutton Surrey of the last week in April, suggests Beetroots are sown in the 4th week of March. BUT that is assuming sowing directly in the ground, and as I will be starting off the beetroots in the Space Saver garden or allotment greenhouse I intend to sow a couple of trays earlier in 2019 in say the 1st or 2nd week of March. I may even try some early in the ground under a cloche, it's not as if I don't have enough seeds!

Care

Frequent shallow cultivation is important because beets compete poorly with weeds, especially when small. Because beets have extremely shallow roots, hand weeding and early, frequent and shallow cultivation are the most effective methods of controlling weeds in the rows. Deep cultivation after the weeds are large damages the beet roots. Like most root crops, beets need a fertile soil (especially high in potassium) for vigorous growth. Keep your beet plants uniformly supplied with moisture for best performance.

Harvesting

Beets can be harvested whenever they grow to the desired size. About 60 days are required for beets to reach 1 1/2 inches in diameter, the size often used for cooking, pickling or canning as whole beets. Beets enlarge rapidly to 3 inches with adequate moisture and space. With most varieties, beets larger than 3 inches may become tough and fibrous. Beets may be stored in a polyethylene bag in a refrigerator for several weeks. Beets also may be stored in outdoor pits if the beets are dug before the ground freezes in the fall. Cut off the tops of the beets one inch above the roots. Beets store best at 32°F and 95 percent humidity. Do not allow them to freeze


Friday, 29 November 2019

Tomato Seed Selection for 2020



Due to my leg injury tomatoes in 2019 were a complete disaster and I ended up losing nearly all my seedlings. I’m determined to get back on track for 2020 and to utilise both greenhouses on the allotment as well as grow some out on the plot and the 22 Flower Buckets in the back garden

So what to grow in 2020?

On the Plot out in the open - Crimson Crush & Rapunzel

Growing tomatoes out in the allotment is risky in terms of early blight but I managed it in 2018 with one Crimson Crush & Rapunzel that provided me with more tomatoes than the 22 plants at home in the garden did.

So I need to decide just how many plants to grow in 2020?


I have two narrow 600mm wide x 2.4, beds in and they would be ideal for 3 plants per bed spaced at 400 – 800 – 800 – 400 and I can make some planting membrane up to keep the weeds at bay.

In the two Greenhouses on the plot Mini & Micro Tomatoes look to have at least one of each of the 9 varieties in each greenhouse. Sow 4 of each with the hope of 2 healthy specimens germinating.

Also going to try  Gigantomo F1 in at least one greenhouse

I have some Virtual Seed Parcel Seeds over from last year and will once again try and grow and save seeds from these varieties and contribute back to the seed circle. There are 11 varieties which means one row in the back garden.

Alaskan Fancy  6 seed
Egyptian 5 Seeds
Indigo Blue Beauty 10 Seeds
Kenilworth / King George 4 Seeds
Latah Red 9 Seeds
Lukullus 8 Seeds
Red Alert  9 Seeds
Stupice 6 Seeds

Looking for 11 more varieties for the front row of the garden 22

Kibitz

Thursday, 28 November 2019

In My Seed Box For 2020 - Tomatoes


Updating this list after receiving additional varieties from the Grow Your Own Grapevine Tomato Seed Circle and from the Virtual Seed Parcel from 2018, There are 127 varieties of Tomatoes in my Seed bank  

In 2019 I attempted to grow seeds from the Virtual Seed Parcel that were so old they may not germinate. These seeds were never listed below and unfortainly because of my leg injury I lost all the heritage seeds that I was hoping to replace stocks off. 

I need to inspect the list below and decide on the 22 varieties that are to be grown in the back garden in 2020. Those that will be grown out on the allotment and those that will be grown in the greenhouses. That will be a subject of a separate post after due consideration of the list below.   

Alisa Craig - Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2019 
Alicante - Sow by 2017
Arielle F1 - Marshalls - Sow by 2019
Amish Mayberry - Saved 2013 - Self Saved 2016
Angelle - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Arnyalma - Grapevine 2016
Arrat Flamed - MYP&Q 2019  <<<< NEW
Attraction - Marshalls - best by 2017 
Bajaja - Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019 
Balconi Red - Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2020  - Self Saved 2018

Berkeley Tie-Dye - Grapevine 2016
Big Yellow Zebra - Grapevine 2016 
Blaby Special - Saved 2014
Black Cherry Tomato - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Black Icicle - Grapevine 2016
Black Russian - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Black Sea Man - Grapevine 2016
Black Trifele - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Black Vemissage - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Blush - Grapevine 2016

Blush Yellow Plum - MYP&Q 2018
Brown Sugar - Grapevine 2016
Camp Joy - No Date
Carotina (Big Orange) - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Chiapis Wild - Grapevine 2016 
Cherry Cascade Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019
Cherry Falls F1- Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2020
Cherry Kisses Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019
Cream Sausage - Grapevine 2016
Crimson Crush F3

Cuban Flower - Grapevine 2016 
Cuor Di Bue Off Magazine 
Dark Galaxy - Grapevine 2016
Delicious - No Date
Early Door Sandpoint - MYP&Q 2019  <<<< NEW
Ferline F1 Hybrid
Gardeners Delight - Sow By 2015 - Sow By 2016
Gardeners Delight - Kings Seeds Kitchen Garden - Sow By 2022 <<<< NEW
Garden Pearl - Sow By 2014
German Lunchbox - No Date
German Queen - Grapevine 2016

German Red Strawberry - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Giallo D'Inveino - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Gigantomo F1 - Premier Seeds Direct - Sow by 2021  <<<< NEW
Green Zebra - Grapevine 2016
Gold Rush Currant - Grapevine 2016
Halum Gelbei - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Harbinger - Sow By 2015 - Grapevine 2016
Heinz Soup - Saved 2011
Homosa - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Indian Bush - No Date

Indigo Blue - MYP&Q Saved 2018 
Jack Hawkins - Grapevine 2016
Kenilworth King George - No Date
Kibitz - Saved 2016
Latah Bush - Saved 2015
Legend - Grapevine 2016
Livingston's Favourite - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Lizzano F1 - Marshalls - Sow By 09/2021 <<<< NEW
Lukullus - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Marmande - Magazine 2018 

Marvel Stripes - Saved 2015
Maskotka -  Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2021  
Matina -  Thompson & Morgan Sow by 2016 
Micro Tom -  Jungle Seeds bought 2018 and Self Saved 2018 
Mini Plum - TESCO  - Saved 2014 - get new seed
Minibel - Sow By 2014
Minibel - Wilko - Sow By 2021 <<<< NEW
Money Maker
Moskow's Ultra Skorospelyi - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Mrs Rucks - Grapevine 2016

Mountain Princess - Grapevine 2016
Nector Rose - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Nimbus - MYP&Q Saved 2018
Oleron Yellow Cherry - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW 
One Hundreds and Thousands - Saved 2014 - Saved 2016
Otto's Papa - Grapevine 2016
Outdoor Girl - Saved 2015 - Saved 2016
Patio Plum - Marshalls - Sow By 09/2021 <<<< NEW
Peace Vine - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Piccolo - Saved 2011

Plum Roma - Saved 2015
Polish Linguisa - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Pomodore Ciliegla - Sow By 2015
Principe Borghese - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Purple Russian Plum - Sow By 2014
Rainbow Blend F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015
Rapunzel F1 Saved 2018 
Red Alert Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2019
Red Buffalo Horn - Grapevine 2016
Red Cherry - Sow By 2015

Red Fox Cherry - Saved 2015
Red Pear - Mr Fothergill  Sow By 2019 
Red Robin - Saved 2015, Self Saved 2018
Red Zebra - Grapevine - Saved 2014, Self Saved 2016, 
Roma VF - Multipack 2018
Roma VF - Johnsons - Sow By 2021 <<<< NEW
Red Fox Cherry - Saved 2015
Rosella - Grapevine 2016
Sandpipe - Saved 2016 - Saved 2015
Santonio F1 Hybrid - Thompon & Morgan - Sow by 2020

Schwarse Weinreich - Grapevine 2016 
Speckled Roman - Grapevine 2016
Stupicke Poini Rane - Saved 2016 - Sow By 2017
Sub Artic Plenty - No Dates
Summer Cider - Grapevine 2016
Summerlast F1 - Marshalls - Sow By 9/2021  <<<< NEW
Suncherry Premium F1 -Thompson & Morgan Sow By 12/2020
Sungold F1 - - Mr Fothergill  Sow By 2019
Sunset Red Horizon - Saved 2014
Super Marmande - Thompson & Morgan Sow By 2017

Super Roma - No Dates
Sweet Aperitif - Sow By 2017
Sweet Million F1 - Mr Fothergills - Sow By 9/2022  <<<< NEW
Sweet Pea Currant - Sow By 2014
Terenzo F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015 - Sow By 2017
Tigerella  Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2020
Tiny Tim - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Tomatoberry Garden F1
True Black Brandywine - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Tumbler - Sow By 2014

Totem F1 - Jungle Seeds - Jungle Seeds Sow By ?  
Tumbling Cherry  - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2020 
Tumbling Tom Red  Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2020 
Vesennij Mieurinsky - Grapevine 2016
Yellow Perfection - Grapevine 2016
Violet Jasper - Grapevine 2018  <<<< NEW
Vitorino - Tesco Self Saved 2018 

Ryobi Heat Gun R18HG




The R18HG-0 Cordless Heat gun is capable of heating to 470 degrees centigrade in under 10 seconds making it the ideal tool for a variety of DIY tasks including paint removal (small areas), copper bending or tube shrinking. The built-in LED work light can illuminate any work area to enable the user to operate the tool in low lit conditions.

The Heat gun also comes with a concentrator nozzle for direct heating, ideal for paint removal and a reflector nozzle for redirecting the heat, ideal for applications such as wire shrinking or bending pipes.

As part of the Ryobi ONE+ cordless platform it shares battery compatibility with over 125 tools for the home and garden

This is a bare unit - batteries and charger are not included (available to buy separately) Below is a list of all the Ryobi Resellers and the price found during a web site search, with the lowest price with vat and before P&P being £69.94 from SGS Engineering .

£ 79.92 Amazon
.            B&Q
£ 69.95 CBS Power Tools
             CPC
.            Halfords
.            Homebase
             Littlewoods
.            Machine Mart
.            Power Tool Mate
£ 70.95 Tooled Up
              Very
£ 69.94 SGS Engineering

Interesting and worrying that B&Q, CPC, Halfords, Homebase, Littlewoods, Machine Mart, Power Tool Mate & Very are not carrying this One+ Tool

Prices below including P&P that kick in at various values per company

£ 79.92 Amazon P&P Free for Prime Members
£ 77.19 CBS Power Tools = £69.95 £5.95+vat (£7.24) shipping and handling
£ 74.90 Tooled Up = £ 70.95 + 3.95 P&P
£ 69.94 SGS Engineering P&P Free on orders Over £50

A £9.98 nearly £10 difference in price just by shopping around.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

In My Seed Box For 2020 - Spring Onions




Last year again because of the leg injury there were not many spring onions grown and far too many bought from the supermarket, and that must not happen in 2020. A note has been added to my Sowing & Planting Plan for 2020 so I can get Spring Onions  going a month earlier than previous years.

Review of Onion Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags 


Evergreen Bunching                                                                        - Sow By 2020
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

Gerda                                 - 500 Seeds - £              - Marshalls  - 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 Poundland 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 2020 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.