Friday 11 January 2013

Seeds and slugs

Thanks to a welcome day off work, today I've finally got round to placing my seed order, hurray! (normally something I would do in Dec and already have my seed potatoes chitting-away). It's one of things I enjoy doing but also feel a bit pressured with...have I made the right choices? ...Stick to the old favourites or try some new?

Well I've gone for a mixture of old and new. Potatoes - I've decided to do a few less this year as they did almost too well last year and we still have loads in store. In the next couple of months they'll start sprouting themselves (as a way of extending the storage am thinking of trying to make my own frozen chips, which sound pretty easy - parboil, dry, freeze).

Anyway, so I've gone for one variety of early (Sharpe's Express 1.5 kg) and a main (Rooster 2 kg). Normally I would have 4.5 kg total but always end up giving a few away anyway due to lack of space. Both of these are new for me. Rooster is meant to be a good all-rounder so seemed worth a try. I really would have liked a variety resistant to scab (as we sometimes get it quite bad on our sandy soil) but the sizes available didn't suit.

So just a few other examples of my selection -

Sweetcorn Sweet nugget - grew this last year and was v tasty. Froze well too. As I have a few seeds from last year, it made sense to get the same variety as otherwise they can cross pollinate and not end up how they're expected, as I understand it.

Squash - still have a few Potimarron seeds left and it wasn't in the catalogue this year anyway, so have added Crown Prince.

Onions - Am trying Sturon (new for me, normally would grow jet set, which do ok-ish but fancied a change). Have stopped bothering with autumn onions too as they don't do well for me though plot neighbours have good harvests)

Runner beans - didn't grow any last year as couldn't find my seeds! Am trying a new variety Lady Di.

Climbing french beans - Blauhilde - a lovely purple bean that normally does well. My climbing beans were rubbish last year though - the wind really damaged them. Am trying to think of ways of protecting from the wind.

Broad Beans - Express - a new one for me, mainly chosen due to the number of seeds in the pack! (60) We did well with broad beans last year so hope for a repeat.

I always order through the organic gardening catalogue and also get a 10% discount as a Garden Organic member

SLUGS!! A bbc news report says that a particularly nasty species of Spanish slug has been discovered just outside Norwich....Yikes! Better keep an eye out on the plot.

Sunday 6 January 2013


The weather this morning was lovely so I ventured down to the plot for the first proper session in several weeks. Aside from a few quick visits to dig up parsnips or harvest sprouts (which I
 did on Xmas day for our roast, mmmm) for various reasons it's been a slow time on the plot recently, especially as I'd usually be down there most weekends in autumn and winter. Anyway, today was too good to miss so I spent a few hours pottering around. Despite the need to do a lot of weeding, I've decided to leave this for a while as I reckon they're possibly doing some good at the moment by preventing nutrients being washed out of our sandy soil. Last year I put down horse poo in autumn and then covered the beds with cardboard but didn't manage to do that this year. Am hoping to get some horse poo soon, so will weed then.

Although it was great to have a warm sunny day to get down on the plot (which then made way to colder damp fog), it's worth remembering that probably the worst of the winter is yet to come!