Monthly Archives: February 2012


OK confession time, I am an addict. It wasn’t until I decided to have a good sort out that I realised I have around 180 packets of seeds plus 3 cash bags full of broad and runner bean seeds. I’m not quite sure how this happened but I obviously have a compulsion for buying seeds, hoarding them and giving a home to any poor stray packet that may come my way.

I don’t discriminate, every type of veg and a whole host of seed companies are represented. And whilst the Two Chances Empire is expanding I don’t own acres of land so not quite sure were all this is going. If I can get over the cold turkey our local Project Uganda charity will be getting a donation at the end of the season!

A busy day today with around 200 onion sets planted at the shared plot, brussels and parnsips harvested for Sunday lunch. The long carrots pipes will be filled tomorrow then it’s onto the main business of sowing to reduce the seed packet mountain! Hope you’re all having a good weekend.

And We’re Off Again!

At last I’ve sown the first seeds of 2012 after being uncharacteristically patient over the last few weeks! I filled half a dozen of the 6″ pipes to try some long parnsips for the New Forest Show at the end of July. They are Medwyns seed, variety Gladiator, and they have about five foot of mix to go at before they hit the soil underneath the pipes.

Sowing parnsips seeds is quite a fiddly job at the best of times but when you’re trying to get a few seeds as close as possible to the centre of the pipe the only way is with a pair of tweezers. As you can see I managed to get six seeds on end in each pipe so fingers crossed I should get at least half of those germinate in each one and then thin to the strongest.

Next job is to fill the pipes for the long carrots. It finally feels like the new season has begun!!


With the plot frozen solid I’ve been a little bit stuck for jobs to do over the last couple of weeks so it was an ideal opportunity to set the seed potatoes out to to chit in the cold conservatory (last year I started them 3 weeks earlier). It’s great to think that in a few months time they’ll be providing endless meals for us.

The main varieties I’ve gone for this year are Casablanca, Kestrel and Bonnie. I’m hoping to have a few to select for the show bench but they’re also good eaters. Also there’s a few tubers of Arran Pilot, Pink Fir Apple, Lady Christl, Charlotte and a couple of Salad Blues to try out. Hopefully a good selection, time will tell having only grown Kestrel, Charlotte and Lady Christl before. They were all purchased at the Hampshire Potato Day from a huge selection of seed potatoes on offer.

I’m hoping the weather will turn mild again in the next couple of weeks so I can get the parsnips underway followed by the long carrots. I’m sitting on my hands as far as seed sowing is concerned and no doubt March will be a frenzy of activity on that front. In previous years I would have sowed a fair amount already but I’m learning to be patient. Fingers crossed for a nice, mild spring!