Monday 30 November 2020
OK I admit when I think of swede it takes me back to my childhood as my Mum used to cook roast dinners all the time and swede was part of our staple diet, however since growing up and getting married it's not something that the wife is particularly fond off, but now as I am taking on more of the cooking duties and the fact that I have a packet "Best of All" seed that came with the Grow Your Own magazine. I also picked up a couple of Carters Tested Seeds packs from Poundland in the sale.
Due to my leg injury in 2019 and Shielding my wife during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 I didn't get around to sowing Swede, and in chatting with my sister-in-law Pauline who also has a plot on the same allotment site, she has not had much luck growing swede in the past, so with the additional half plot I feel that space needs to be found to grow this vegetable in 2021 and that I should learn how to cook it !
I have a vague recollection of my old Mum boiling it, mashing it and adding butter, but I may be wrong !
Invitation - 100 Seeds - 25p - Carters (Poundland) - Sow by 7/2021
Sunday 29 November 2020
First raspberry bed dug over and weeded, however the bed timber work needs cutting in half as they were built 1.2m x 2.4m and they will now be 0.6m x 2.4m
Saturday 28 November 2020
Laid out the panels to allow them to breath as we have had rain over the last week and some of the panels were very wet.
Over the next two days the panels once dry were painted inside and out and the floor given two coats of paint apart from the front folding panel and with the weather changing and forecast for rain the store was screwed together and assembled.
The pack of screws supplied is a generic pack and there are sizes that are supplied and not actually required for this model. I will never complain about too many fitting being supplied, and I've ended up increasing my screw stock so that's an additional win.
The roofing felt roll had been compressed and was oval with a seam formed each side of the roll. it's always advisable to lay felt out ideally in the sun to flatten before fixing so I took the decision to lay the felt on the roof to keep the rain off the timber and from getting into the store and used the window frames from the cold frame to hold it in place and apply a little flattening force, there isn't a lot of sun about at the moment.
Friday the felt was fixed to the roof and trimmed. Saturday the store had another coat of paint with the corners getting double attention and the trims have been painted all round and will need another couple of coats before I fix them and the Hasp to the front completing the build.
The store is however already full to the brim and has made a significant difference in the amount of available space for access else where. It's been nice being able to actually get into my shed to find the tools and materials I need without having to decant stuff for access.
Winning the Waltons competition has been a little God send, and I'm very grateful that it happened.
How many of you are now saving Loo Roll Tubes to use as root trainers for Parsnips etc. next year?
Between June and the end of October I tend to shred the loo rolls for browns for the compost bin along with envelopes, junk mail and paper waste, But loo rolls are a valuable resource come seed sowing time. My sister saved hers for me and I know of many other allotmenteers who rope in family and friends in the saving process.
3 rows (21) x White Gem - 300 Seeds - £1.00 - Wilko - Sow By 2022
Friday 27 November 2020
My daughter Kelly declared early on in my ownership of an allotment that all sweetcorn grown was hers. Historically we have had some great harvests and the two types of corn that I have grown have been Swift and Lark F1. 2017 was extremely disappointing but it would appear that most people in the UK had a bad year with their Sweetcorn.
In 2019 Marshalls sent me two different varieties to trial which were Alliance F1 and Tyson F1 again due to the leg injury I didn't get the infrastructure in to trial both varieties in 2019.
The results with Marshalls Alliance F1 Hybrid Sweetcorn were nothing more than spectacular (see photos of harvest here) and I have to say they were the best Sweetcorn that I have grown to date
This year I'm going to trial the Marshalls Tyson F1 Hybrid and hope they produce as good if not better than the Alliance F1 Hybrid, only time will tell.
If I get the additional beds in on plot 1 I have Swift - 56 Seeds + two packets of unknown quantity as they came from multipacks and as long as I can grow them far enough away from each other to prevent cross pollination I may well sow these as well unless I'm offered any other new varieties to trial this year as a result of the Gardening Press Event 2020.
Thursday 26 November 2020
Wednesday 25 November 2020
In 2020 I had a bash at the two New Varieties of Winter Squash from Thompson & Morgan, one a Mash and the other an alternative to baked potatoes.
Crown Prince - Seed Circle 2013
Black Futsu - Seed Circle 2014
Flat White Boer - Seed Circle 2015
Blue Ubbard - Seed Circle 2016
Chetunao Organic Butternut Squash - Seed Circle 2017
Mr Fothergill's Butternut Squash 5 Seeds left - Sow By 2021
Waltham Butternut - 50 Seeds - Premier Seeds - Sow By Oct 2021
Butternut Winter Early Organic - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2022
I love the soup my Daughter Emma makes from my Butternuts and have a number of meals bagged frozen and ready to heat up and consume during 2020
Sow Indoors - March to May
Tuesday 24 November 2020
Ideal Catalogue to come through the door if you are looking for something for a gardener for Christmas
Use this link to visit the Sutton's Catalogue Request Page. You can order a hard copy or view electronically, personally I love to have a paper catalogue I can thumb through and look at during the dark Winter months looking for ideas for what varieties to grow next year.
Monday 23 November 2020
- Bedford - 125 Seeds - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2019
- Bedford Darkmar - - Just Seeds
- Brest F1 - 40 Seeds - £3.45 - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2020
- Brodie F1 - 40 Seeds - £3.45 - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2021
- Cromwell F1 - 40 Seeds - - Marshalls - Sow By 2021
- Evesham Special - 500 Seeds - £1.89 - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2020
- Fillbasket - 100 Seeds - 20p - Carters - Sow By 07/2021
- Igor - 30 Seeds - £2.80 - Mr Fothergill's RHS - Sow By 2024
- Mongomery - 40 Seeds - - Marshalls - Sow By 09/2019
- Nelson F1 - 40 Seeds - - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2020
- Brest F1
- Brodie F1
- Evesham Special
- Nelson F1
Sow Indoors February - Mid March or Sow Outdoors Mid March to the end of April
Plant Out in May
A second sowing will take place 14 days - 21 days after the first, as Brassicas can curl up a die so easily if it becomes too warm as I found out in 2019
September - December depending on the variety.
A Sprout is like a puppy, is for all year round not just for Christmas
Sunday 22 November 2020
Saturday 21 November 2020
Do you enjoy those bright red stems in early summer, but wish the season for sweet, young rhubarb could be longer? If so, you will want to grow Livingstone which produces its succulent, delicious, stringless sticks from March to October. This outstanding, British-bred strain was achieved by eliminating the summer dormancy which causes rhubarb to stop cropping by the middle of summer. By the way, this breakthrough came about by conventional means and not by any form of genetic modification.Livingstone really does yield a fine crop of high quality, red-skinned stems through the autumn months, extending the season for this much-loved fruit (well, vegetable actually!).
The disease-free plants will crop heavily once established. Whether your favourite is rhubarb crumble, rhubarb pie or simply stewed and served with compulsory custard, Livingstone is the variety we have been waiting for. Supplied in 9cm pots.
How to grow
CultivationPlant crowns in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, from late autumn to early spring. Crowns can be cropped for ten or more years, though division may be necessary after about five years. Mulch in spring with a 7cm layer of well-rotted organic matter without burying the crowns, and apply a general fertiliser at 70g/sq m in spring or summer. Water during prolonged dry periods in summer. See rhubarb cultivation
PropagationLift crowns between autumn and early spring (usually in November). Use a spade to divide the crown into sections each retaining a portion of the rhizome (thickened root) and at least one growing point. Sections from the outer part are better than the centres of old plants. Discard any old or decayed parts of the crown. Replant straight away or wrap in damp sacking until ready to plant
Suggested planting locations and garden typesLow Maintenance Patio & Container Plants
How to care
PruningAllow the foliage to die back naturally in winter then cut away the old leaves to expose the growing points to winter cold