Tuesday, 27 September 2022

In My Seed Box For 2023 - Celery

 

Celery was the one vegetable that I have tried to grow in the past but have never had a great deal of success with until I got some Tango Celery Postiplugs from Suttons in 2022. 

In 2023 I will be attempting to grow them again from seed but will not try them in pots in the greenhouse as I have in the past but in the beds again on plot 1 as they have really been such a success in 2022. 

These need to be sown in February and brought on before planting out after the danger of frost has passed and the harvest period is between August and November.

The average life expectancy for Celery Seed is 8 to 12 years, so I'm not worries that the Sow by date on the pack I have is 2022. 

Golden Self Blanching - 1,000 Seeds - £1.45 - King Seeds free with Kitchen Garden - Sow By 2022 

The stalks of Golden Self Blanching are more yellow-green and not such a strong flavour as Giant White but a lot less work. This variety is ready from about August onwards, and as the name would suggest is a self blanching variety.

Celery is a popular salad vegetable with its crips sweet stalks, but is equally as delicious if braised or chopped in casseroles.

WHEN TO SOW

  • Jan
 
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WHEN TO SOW

February to April

WHERE TO SOW

Sow the fine seed thinly in pots or trays under glass at 18°C. Sow the seeds on the top of moist seed sowing compost and lightly cover to their own depth.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

As soon as seedlings are large enough to handle, prick off into trays 5cm (2") apart. When seedlings are 6-7cm (3-4") tall, gradually harden off before planting out 20cm (9") apart once all risk of frost has passed. Water well throughout the growing season.

MATURITY

August to November

HANDY TIP

Celery requires very regular watering throughout the summer. Weak foliar feeding is beneficial.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

High in sodium & potassium traditionally used as diuretic.

Monday, 26 September 2022

In My Seed Box For 2023 - Cauliflower

 

The life expectancy of cauliflower seed if kept in ideal conditions is 5 - 8 years. The saved to sow by date on most packs is only 2 years, I found one pack that was 4 years, Thus seeds should be viable but with a reducing germination rate each year for an additional 3 - 5 years beyond what it says on the pack. 

My History with Cauliflower is somewhat checkered, early on I had some really fantastic results but over the past years not so good. In 2022 I managed to get two really great looking cauliflowers after losing a lot of seedlings to the heatwave. 

In my seed box for 2023 are. 

Review of Seed Stock with Sow by date of 2020

White Step F1    - Thompson & Morgan  - 30 Seeds - £3.49 - Sow By 2020
Winter Aalsmeer - Thompson & Morgan - 50 Seeds - £2.49 - Sow By 2020

Review of Seed Stock with Sow by date of 2021

All Year Round   - Thompson & Morgan - 150 Seeds - £2.49 - Sow By 2021


Review of Seed Stock with Sow by date of 2022

Amsterdam F1    - Mr Fothergill's            -  25 Seeds - £ Mag - Sow by 2022
Sunset F1           - Marshalls                   -  15 Seeds - £2.29 - Sow by 2022


Review of Seed Stock with Sow by date of 2023

Orkney F1          - D.T.Brown                   -  30 Seeds - £2.59 - Sow by 2023
Zaragoza F1      - Dobies                          - 20 Seeds - £3.49 - Saved year ending 2021

Review of Seed Stock with Sow by date of 2025

De Purple F1     - Mr Fothergills               - 15 Seeds - £3.45 Sow by Dec 2025 
Cheesy F1         - Johnsons                     - 50 Seeds - £2.00^ Sow by Dec 2025
Bought in wilko 50% Seed Sale for £1


Sowing Times vary for each variety

                                Indoors      Outside     Plant Out     Harvest 
All Year Round    - Feb - May   Mar-Jun                        Jun - Sep 
Amsterdam F1    - Mar - May     June          June          Oct - Jan
De purple F1       - Feb - Mar   Mar-Jun                        Jun - Oct
Orkney F1           - Jan - Feb                       5 leaves     May - July
Orkney F1           - Sep - Oct                       5 leaves     May - July
Sunset F1           - Feb - Apr    Apr - May                       Aug - Oct 
White Step F1     -                    May - June                    Aug - Nov
Winter Aalsmeer -                    My - Mid Jun                  April

Sowing Plan

Jan - Orkney F1
Feb -  All Year Round
Feb - De Purple F1
Feb - Sunset F1
Feb - Zargoza F1  
Mar - Amsterdam F1
Mar - Andromeda 
Apr - All Year Round
May - Winter Aalsmeer         


Sunday, 25 September 2022

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

My eldest Daughter was unwell and unable to come and help look after the wife this morning in order for me to get a morning plot visit in. Thus, there was little alternative but to make and afternoon visit after a nice Sunday Roast dinner.

John has built a huge pile of Debris that he has removed from the back of vacant plot 11 in order to get at the tree and remove it. For someone in his mid 70's the guy is just awesome, and I don't know where he gets his energy from but if he could bottle it, I would buy some! 

The debris was head high before John when on his clearance mission, he and Henry have cut the tree in the middle of the plot down to about 2 feet above the ground. 

Henry has been subscribing to a service that provides plug plants for each month and decided he didn't want to grow what they have supplied for September, so he distributed the love between Michelle the bee lady and myself. 


SFG Bed 1 was cleared of the Cucumbers, the last few being harvested, I gave the Chard to Michelle as she loves it and I also gave her one of my Celery plants. The Black Beauty Aubergines didn't bear a single fruit and I have no idea why, so they were pulled and added to the composting Dalek.

Once weeded I removed the climbing frame from the back of the bed and planted the Lettuce Autumn Vailan and Autumn All Year Round, taking the Corn Salad and Land Cress home to grow. I watered the lettuce in and re-covered the bed with debris netting   

  

The courgettes have a light dusting of Downy Mildrew forming on the leaves as does some of the comfrey leaves, which is to be expected now that we have rain and morning dew forming as we enter Autumn. There are still a few Courgettes forming. 

The Green Manure I sowed last week was not really showing, but there again I had not managed to get down to the allotment to water it like I did with the last batch. I managed to sow and rake in some more Winter Rye and set the sprinkler on the middle of the bed. I ran out of time as I wanted to get off the plot before the biting insects started as the sun was going down.  


The 2nd sowing of sweetcorn when tested proved ripe and ready for harvest but only eight of the ten managed to survive the rat with a fluffy tail, and that was because I covered the cobs with pop bottles.

Two celery and a small tug of runner beans and four and a half cucumbers, I shared one of the celery and half the runner beans with my neighbour Sid who is in his late 70's and loves it when I bring him goodies back from the allotment. 

The sweetcorn and runner beans were processed and frozen just before 7pm and as it was getting dark. All in all, a good short afternoon and fruitful visit to the plot. 

Saturday, 24 September 2022

In My Seed Box For 2023 - Cabbages & Spring Greens

   


In the past I have tried to find different varieties that had different sow grow and harvest times so that I could try grow and harvest for as long as possible. Plans for 2020 didn't pan out due to shielding my wife against Covid-19, and 2021 was not a lot better, so I made the magic happen in 2022, and I will be looking to repeat the success in 2023. 


Cabbage Seeds if kept in ideal conditions last 4 - 7 years, so I will expect a reduced germination rate when I sow the remainder of 2018 seed stock.  


Review of Seed Stocks with Sow by date of 2018

Cabbage Ball                          - Mr Fothergill's              - 500 Seeds - £1-65 - Sow By 2018
Winter Jewel F1                      - Thompson & Morgan  -  40 Seeds - £2-99 - Sow By 12/2018
Golden Acre/ Primo (II)          Mr Fothergill's              - 500 Seeds - £1-65 - Sow By 2018
Primo 2                                  - Marshalls                     - 500 Seeds - Sow By 09/2018


Review of Seed Stocks with Sow by date of 2019

Spring Greens Greensleeves  Mr Fothergill's            -   50 Seeds - £3-25 - Sow By 2019
Dutchman F1 Heart                Mr Fothergill's             -   30 Seeds - £3-25 - Sow By 2019
Savoy King F1                        - Mr Fothergill's             -   50 Seeds - £3-25 - Sow By 2019
Greyhound                             - Thompson & Morgan  -  200 Seeds - £1-49 - Sow By 12/2019
Tundra F1                              - Marshalls                     - 100 Seeds - Sow By 09/2019

Review of Seed Stocks with Sow by date of 2020

Durham Early                        - Premier Seeds Direct   -   3grms     - Sow By 2020

Review of Seed Stocks with Sow by date of 2025

Cordoba F1                            - D.T.Brown                     - 100 Seeds - Sow By 2025


Going through my extensive cabbage seed collection and looking for something that looks like it may provide the Spring Greens that SWMBO loves, I finally had a search and found a couple of varieties that are sold as Spring Greens. I purchased a pack of Marshalls Spring Green Seeds - Greensleeves.  

SOW OUTDOORS: April-May or July-August. Sow thinly ½in (1cm) deep in a seed bed or clean module trays of firm pre watered compost. Keep soil moist at all times.

PLANT OUT: 6in (15cm) apart, in rows 12in (30cm) apart when plant has 3-4 true leaves.

HARVEST: October-November or April-May

Protect from Cabbage White Butterfly with netting.

Looking at the sowing instructions in particular the spacing and rows, I thought about the planting membrane sheets that I already have and decided to create a new one specifically for the Spring Greens in 2023

So the idea is to give a 300mm exclusion zone around the perimeter so that hopefully it keeps the spring greens away from the netted hoops that will go over the bed. working on the basis of 150mm centres and 300mm between rows, I decided to stagger alternate rows so there is a little more space between plants but they are still dense enough to assist in growing as spring greens.   


I've also bought a pack of Cabbage Durham Early Spring Green Seeds for £1.39 incl. P&P from Premier Seeds Direct for an Autumn sowing.

This variety is a well-known and very reliable compact spring cabbage producing dark green pointed firm heads of medium size, good flavour and texture. Suited for high density growing for spring greens harvesting from Feb onwards and Apr for fully mature heads. Autumn sowing variety.


Cultivation Advice Cabbage Durham Early Spring Greens

  • Sow between Mid-July and Sep thinly in trays or directly to seed drills using 2-3 seeds every 12 in.
  • Planting depth 1/8 inch. When seedlings are 1 inch tall thin to one plant every 12-18 inches or plant out tray seedlings to growing location.
  • Best sown / located in full sun where no cabbage was grown the year before.
  • Keep weed free and protect against pests, especially pigeons over-winter.
  • Harvest alternative plants from Feb as spring greens and mature heads from early Apr.




The Greensleeves Spring Green seeds are the right candidates for trying again in my AGRALAN Compact Plug Plant Trainer.


Friday, 23 September 2022

In My Seed Box for 2023 - Carrots

   

If packs of seeds are kept in ideal conditions, then the life expectancy for Carrot seeds is 3 to 5 years. Most seed companies give you the year packed and the sow by date which is normally 2-3 years. Dobies - only give the packed year ending date and I have set a 2-year sow by like most other companies.

I have way too many seeds dating back to 2021 and they will be used in 2023, I will be sowing as early as possible and undertaking successive sowings from as early as January under the poly tents. Look at the sow by dates at the bottom of the post to see what I plan to sow when.  

2023 will be the year of the carrot. I still plan to grow the Bugs Bunny Carrots in the blue barrel of sand, but that didn't happen this year as planned.   

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
Charisma F1    - 300 Seeds -                                               Mashalls - Sow by 9/2021 
Early Nantes 2 - 500 Seeds -                           Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2021
Early Nantes 5 - 400 Seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021
Nantes 5        - 2000 Seeds - £1.75 - Mr Fothergill's                          - Sow By 2021 
Rondo              - 400 Seeds - 10p Poundland Carters Tested Seeds - Sow by 7/2021
Silvano F1       - 500 Seeds -                                               Mashalls - Sow by 9/2021 

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2022

Chartenay Red Cored  3   - 1.300 seeds - Kings Seeds Kitchen Garden - Sow by 9/2022
Paris Market 5 - Atlas        -    750 seeds - Kings Seeds Kitchen garden - Sow by 7/2022

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2024

Snowman F1                 - 350 Seeds - £2.59  - D.T.Brown      - Sow by 12/2024
Carrot Cascade F1        - 500 Seeds - £2.99  - Dobies           - Packed Year Ending 2021

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2025

Autumn King 2           - 1100 Seeds - £1.99 - Suttons             - Packed Year Ending 2021  
Ibiza F1                        - 400 Seeds - £2.99  - Dobies            - Packed Year Ending 2021
Mercurio F1                  - 300 Seeds - £2.99  - Dobies            - Packed Year Ending 2021
Mercurio F1                  - 500 Seeds - £2.69  - D.T.Brown       - Packed Year Ending 2022
Nerac F1                      - 350 Seeds - £2.55 - Mr Fothergill's  - Packed Year ending 2022
Royal Chantenay 3     - 1000 Seeds -   75p^  - wilko                - Packed Year Ending 2022      
Resistafly F1               - 1000 Seeds - £1.00^  - wilko               - Packed Year Ending 2022

^ Purchased in the wilko 50% end of season sale     

Alphabetical Listing of Carrots I have grown 

                                            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
Charisma F1                      - Mar - Aug         Jul - Oct 
Chartenay Red Cored        - Mar – Jun        May – Oct
Chartenay Red Cored 3     - Apr – July        Jun – Nov
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
Ibiza F1                             - Mar - Jun          Jun - Oct 
Jitka F1                              - Mar – Jul         Jun - Nov
Mercurio F1                       - Feb - April        Jun - Sept
Nandor F1*                        - Mar – Jul         Jun - Oct
Nairobi                               - Jan – Jun         Jul - Nov
Nantes 2 – Frubund           - Feb – Oct         Apr - Nov
Nantes 5                             - Mar – Jul         May - Oct
Nerac F1                             - Mar – Jul         Jun - Dec
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
Silvano F1                         - Apr  May          Sep - Mar
Snowman F1                     - Mar - Aug           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 for Varieties that have historically been in My Seed Box

                                        Sowing

Amsterdam 2 (Solo)         - Jan
Amsterdam 3                    - Jan
Early Nantes 2                   -Jan
Early Nantes 2 Frubund   - Feb
Romance F1                    - Feb
Mercurio F1                      - Feb
Autumn King 2                 - Mar
Chartenay Red Cored      - Mar
Early Nantes 5                 - Mar
Ibiza F1                            - Mar
Jitka F1                            - Mar
Nandor F1                        - Mar
Nerac F1                          - Mar
Nigel F1 Hybrid                - Mar
Paris Market – Atlas         - Mar
Rainbow Mix                    - Mar - Marshalls
Royal Chantenay 3          - Mar
Snowman F1                   - Mar
St Valery                          - Mar
Sugarsnaps 54 F1           - Mar
Rainbow                           - Apr - Thompson & Morgan
Sugarsnaps 54 F1            - Apr
Chartenay Red Cored 3   - Apr - kings Seeds
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),