Friday 31 May 2019

Potting Up Session

When you see roots have gone through the capillary matting bung and into the water section of the self watering propagators you know it's time to move the plants up into individual pots or vending machine drink cups, so that's what I've done 

6 x Marketmore Cucumbers (100% Germination)

4 x Burpless Cucumbers (67% Germination)

5 x Piccolo Di Parigi Gherkins (83% Germination)

5 x Long Stripped Marrows (83% Germination)

Vending machine cups have two holes melted in the bottom for drainage, with the trusty soldering iron and each cup is washed and stacked after use ready to be used again the following year. That's my way of reducing plastic by not throwing them away each year. 

Thursday 30 May 2019

Reductions at Morrison's

Morrison's have reduced all their gardening tools and oddments, and it looks like an early clearance by this supermarket this year. I managed to pick up he last two insect houses from my local store left on the shelf.  They were still priced at £6 each but went though the till at £1.80 each.

These will be going on the wall either side of my runner beans to hopefully provide bed and breakfast by way of the aphids for ladybirds etc. 

Alliance & Tyson Sweetcorn

On the 13th May I sowed 45 number Marshalls Alliance Sweetcorn into plastic flexi-pots surrounded by bubble wrap and sat them on the concrete paving of the Space Saver Greenhouse. 17 days later and here is the germination rate and growth so far.

Tray 1 = 14 out of 15 

Tray 2 = 13 out of 15 and Tray 3 = 13 out of 15 

So germination was 40 out of 45 = Germination Rate of 89%

Photo above from last year. As you can see I grow my sweetcorn in blocks at 3 rows of 6  or 18 plant per 2.4m x 1.2m bed which means I need 36 healthy plants so I have 4 spare which I can live with.

If and its a big IF I can get a couple more beds ready before the end of June then I will grow a bed of Marshalls Tyson F1, these again are New to Marshalls and boast extra thick cobs with 20 kernels surrounding every cob at maturity, compared with other varieties which can average only 16. 

If I'm not ready this year you can guess what variety I will be growing next year as the seeds are best before 2021. With 30 seeds per pack I will have enough for one beds worth not two and I know they will fit nicely in two mushroom trays and I only need a 60% Germination rate for one beds worth.

Planting Membrane Layout

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Space Saver Greenhouse

A quick update on germination in the Space Saver Greenhouse

Update since the 24th May 2019 

Butternut Squash - 5 Seedlings + 2 = 7 


Achoch Fatboy   - No Germination yet 
Piccolo Di Parigi - 4 Seedlings + 1 = 5
Burpless             - 4 Seedlings 
Kiwano               - 4 Seedlings + 2 = 4
Mini White          - No Germination yet
Marketmore        - 6 Seedlings + 1 = 6

Marrow (Long Striped) - 5 Seedlings + 1 = 6 

Tomatoes (First Batch)

Bailoni Red        - 3 Seedlings + 1 = 4
Bajaja                - 3 Seedlings + 2 = 5
Crimson Crush  - 5 Seedlings 
Kibitz                 - 1 seedling 
Micro Tom         - 2 Seedlings + 1 = 3
100's & 1000's  - 4 Seedlings
Rapunzel          - 7 Seedlings
Red Robin        - 2 Seedlings 
Tiny Tim            - No Germination yet re-sown 

Tomatoes sown from the Grapevine (VSP) Virtual Seed Parcel (Second Batch)

Mainly sown into small pop bottle propagators at 4 seeds per pot as I only really require two plants of each and should be germinating this week.   

Alaskan Fancy                   - 2 seedling 
Black + Brown Boar           - Not sown yet 
Cyrils Choice                      - 1 seedling +1 = 2
Egyptian                              No Germination yet
First In The Field                No Germination yet
Kenilworth / King George  No Germination yet
Latah Red                             - Not sown yet
Lukullus                              No Germination yet
Petit Moineau                     No Germination yet 
Raspberry Oxheart            No Germination yet +2 = 2
Red Alert                             - Not sown yet
Roughwood Golden Plum - Not sown yet
Sallisaw Café                      - 1 seedling 
Stupice                                - 1 seedling +1 = 2
White Cherry                        No Germination yet

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Mini & Micro Tomato Update

I’ve been searching for the last couple of years for Mini, Micro, Compact, Dwarf Tomatoes up to 450mm high that can be grown on a sunny windowsill (inside or out), patio or balcony and in my case a Small Space Saver Greenhouse. My original listing can be found Here

I asked the good gardeners and allotmenteers for further suggestion on a number of Facebook groups. 

Members   Group Name  (Membership figures as at the 11/5/2019)

50,481     Friendly Gardeners (and Allotment Holders UK)*
31,802     Allotment & Vegetable Growers 
29,315     Allotment Growers UK
19,136     The Allotment Shed 
11.222     UK Here We Grow
  7,519     Allotment Social Club (ASC)
  4,934     Allotment Junkies 
  3,779     Allotment & Gardening Club - Mind Your Peas and Cues   

A big thank you to all who contributed to extending the list, there are some nice-looking tomatoes there and I'm defiantly going to try them all over time. If you know of any other varieties that are mini, micro, compact and will fit into small pots, patio pots/ containers or hanging baskets then please let me know.

This Blog doesn't not really handle tables so the hyperlinks to the varieties are listed below 

AztekBalconi RedBalconi YellowBajajaBirdie Rouge Cherrie KissesCherry FallsFloragold BasketHahms Gelbe Topftomate, Heartbreaker (R) Vita F1, JochalosLemon Sherbet F1, MajaMinibelMaskotkaMicro TomMohamedPinocchioRed RobinRejinaSweet n Neat ScarletSweet n Neat YellowTiny TimTumbling Tom RedVenusVilma Micro

I think another list of just those that are good for hanging baskets may be in order. I have to say I've not had a great deal of luck growing in hanging baskets and tend to shy away from using them as they need so much attention to stop them dying. 

Monday 27 May 2019

Grass Cutting = Compost

Bank Holiday Monday and I decided to have a good tidy up of the garden which is another thing that has suffered due to my leg injury. The grass was cut producing two huge sacks of cuttings.

The 22 Tomato flower buckets that were starting to develop weeds and some have been dug out by the foxes in the search for worms have been weeded and the paving cleaned up. 

The last of the leafs from Autumn on the paths were swept up, old containers of soil that held over wintered spring onions and other dead plants soil was decanted into three buckets with lids and taken to Allotment.

One sack of grass made it into the tumbling Dalek and the other sack wend into Dalek 2 with the spend compost in layers that were watered in. I have to say on lifting the lid I could smell the plug of comfrey from the comfrey pipe clear out on Sunday. Well that brings the compost up to the rim of the Dalek again for a week or so. 

Whilst visiting the opportunity was taken to water the spuds in buckets, who were looking a little sorry for themselves as it has been dry and sunny and the soil was drying out. Then it turned into a whole plot watering session.

Sunday 26 May 2019

Comfrey Pipe Cleanout!

Not one of the jobs I look forward too but when I walked to the back of plot 1A the comfrey had grown so tall is was leaning over the path into the plot and the shed. So that meant that before I cut any comfrey up I needed the dismantle the comfrey pipe and clear out the plug from last year. The plug came out easy into the Dalek and I ran water down the pipe to clean and clear it for this years batch.

With the pipe reinstalled I set about cutting my way into the path and you can see from the before photo on the left of the comfrey pipe and the after on the right how much comfrey  it takes to fill a 1.2m long 100mm dia S&VP or drainage pipe. 

I will clear out the other comfrey pipe in a future visit and I'm going to shorten it so that I don't have to climb a ladder to fill it now that I have two pipes. I filled the Comfrey water butt up and made sure the solar powered air pumps was working.

It's been so dry that everything needed watering, and if the weather stays like this then I shall have to visit a couple of times a week to water if nothing else.

I planted the rest of the potatoes into square flower buckets adding another two buckets to the row on the left and all the buckets on the right  of the picture

.These buckets got topped up and the two at the end of the row are new 

 These buckets also got topped up, meanwhile up on Plot 1A

The spuds are starting to show through all the planting membrane and you can see bed 3 was sown later than 4 & 5 

The first early spuds in buckets are growing well and will need topping up with soil next visit  

Onions have picked up and the stems are now vertical, but I need to water on a regular basis to stop them going to seed.

Not many beetroots showing yet, but in all fairness this bed needs watering 3 times a week, so I'm going to have to step up and water more often 

The elastic hooked ties from the £1 shop wrap around the chimney and hook on the handles and I will get a few more too keep other lids in place as I lost one to the dustbin and had to recover it.

Time goes by way too fast and I wizzed around spraying the weeds in the paths hoping to knock them back a little but I didn't do the bind weed around the incinerators, a job for a future visit.  

Saturday 25 May 2019

Mini & Micro Tomatoes

I’ve been searching for the last couple of years for Mini, Micro, Compact, Dwarf Tomatoes up to 450mm high that can be grown on a sunny windowsill (inside or out), patio or balcony and in my case a Small Space Saver Greenhouse. So half of the varieties of tomatoes listed below I have tried and the other half will be tried next year, plus any other that I can find that fit the search parameters, so if you know of any others please let me know.

This Blog doesn't not really handle tables so they hyperlinks to the varieties are listed below 

In My Seed Box for 2019 - Tomatoes

Updating this list after receiving additional varieties from the Grow Your Own Grapevine Tomato Seed Circle and from the Virtual Seed Parcel. There are also seeds for the Tomato Seed Circle I ran for the Facebook Group Mind Your Peas and Cues in 2018 I now have 102 varieties in my seed bank until this years Seed Circle contributions from two seed circles and a visit to the Wyevale 50p Seed sale adds more to the ever growing collection

I'm growing or at least attempting to grow seeds from the Virtual Seed Parcel that are so old they may not germinate. These seeds are not listed below because I have sown all the seeds as germination will be poor so for the moment there are none in my seed box. We will have to see which ones germinate and that I can get viable seeds from to submit back to the VSP and add to my own Tomato Seed Bank.  

Now that I have at least the frame erected for the second greenhouse on the allotment, I have sown a whole lot of mini and micro Tomatoes for the two plot greenhouses in addition to the 22 that I shall be growing in the back garden in flower buckets this year. 

Alisa Craig - Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2019 <<<< NEW
Alicante - Sow by 2017
Amish Mayberry - Saved 2013 - Self Saved 2016
Arnyalma - Grapevine 2016
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 <<<< NEW

Blaby Special - Saved 2014
Black Cherry Tomato - Grapevine 2016
Black Icicle - Grapevine 2016
Black Russian - Grapevine 2016
Black Sea Man - Grapevine 2016
Blush - Grapevine 2016
Blush Yellow Plum - MYP&Q 2018 <<<< NEW
Brown Sugar - Grapevine 2016
Camp Joy - No Date
Chiapis Wild - Grapevine 2016 <<<< NEW

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 <<<< NEW
Cuor Di Bue Off Magazine <<<< NEW
Dark Galaxy - Grapevine 2016
Delicious - No Date
Ferline F1 Hybrid

Gardeners Delight - Sow By 2015 - Sow By 2016
Garden Pearl - Sow By 2014
German Lunchbox - No Date
German Queen - Grapevine 2016
Green Zebra - Grapevine 2016
Gold Rush Currant - Grapevine 2016
Harbinger - Sow By 2015 - Grapevine 2016
Heinz Soup - Saved 2011
Indian Bush - No Date
Indigo Blue - MYP&Q Saved 2018 <<<< NEW

Jack Hawkins - Grapevine 2016
Kenilworth King George - No Date
Kibitz - Saved 2016
Latah Bush - Saved 2015
Legend - Grapevine 2016
Marmande - Magazine 2018 <<<< NEW
Marvel Stripes - Saved 2015
Maskotka -  Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2021  <<<< NEW
Matina -  Thompson & Morgan Sow by 2016 <<<< NEW
Micro Tom -  Jungle Seeds bought 2018 and Self Saved 2018 <<<< NEW

Mini Plum - TESCO  - Saved 2014 - get new seed
Minibel - Sow By 2014
Money Maker
Mrs Rucks - Grapevine 2016
Mountain Princess - Grapevine 2016
Nector Rose - Saved 2014
Nimbus - MYP&Q Saved 2018 <<<< NEW
One Hundreds and Thousands - Saved 2014 - Saved 2016
Otto's Papa - Grapevine 2016
Outdoor Girl - Saved 2015 - Saved 2016

Peace Vine - Saved 2015
Piccolo - Saved 2011
Plum Roma - Saved 2015
Pomodore Ciliegla - Sow By 2015
Purple Russian Plum - Sow By 2014
Rainbow Blend F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015
Rapunzel F1 Saved 2018 <<<< NEW
Red Alert Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2019 <<<< NEW
Red Buffalo Horn - Grapevine 2016
Red Cherry - Sow By 2015 <<<< NEW

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
Red Fox Cherry - Saved 2015
Rosella - Grapevine 2016
Sandpipe - Saved 2016 - Saved 2015
Santonio F1 Hybrid - Thompon & Morgan - Sow by 2020 <<<< NEW
Schwarse Weinreich - Grapevine 2016  <<<< NEW

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

Sweet Pea Currant - Sow By 2014
Terenzo F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015 - Sow By 2017
Tigerella  Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2020 <<<< NEW
Tiny Tim - << Just sown the last of my seed stock must SAVE this year
Tomatoberry Garden F1
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
Vitorino - Tesco Self Saved 2018