I had a long overdue sort out of my seed packets this evening and, as always, there’s far too many – will I ever learn?
Then I thought why not give a few away? So if you want to have this “summer salad” collection (5 packets – all are sow 2013/4 bar the Radish which should be OK but a little old) – Wild Rocket, Mixed Lettuce, Golden Sunrise Tomatoes, Radish Rudi and Telegraph Improved Cucumbers – just leave a comment on this post. I’ll contact the first person to say “YES” and get your address and post them to you. Simple as that!
And for the record here’s what’s left:
Aubergine F1 Bonica
Beetroot Burpee’s Golden
Broad Bean Longfellow
Broccoli (Autumn) Beaumont F1
Broccoli Purple Sprouting Late Purple Sprouting
Broccoli Purple Sprouting Sprouting Redhead
Brussel Sprouts Bedford
Brussel Sprouts F1 Cumulus
Cabbage (Spring) Pixie
Cabbage (Summer) Ramco
Calabrese Aquiles F1
Carrot Autumn King 2
Carrot Sweet Candle
Cauliflower Romanesco F1 Celio
Chilli Pepper F1 Joe’s Long
Courgette F1 Orelia
Courgette Soleil F1 Hybrid
Cress American / Land
Cucumber Carmen F1
French Bean Climbing Barlotta Lingua di Fuoco
French Bean Climbing Cobra
French Bean Climbing Sultana
French Bean Dwarf Pencil Pod Black Wax
French Bean Dwarf Prince
French Bean Dwarf Sprite
French Bean Dwarf Ferrari
Garlic Solent Wight
Lettuce Artic King
Lettuce Little Gem
Lettuce Salad Bowl
Lettuce Tom Thumb
Lettuce Webbs Wonderful
Lettuce Winter Density
Marrow Table Dainty
Onion (Sets) Stuggart Giant
Onion Spring White Lisbon
Pea Oregon Sugar Pod
Pea Show Perfection
Potatoes Red Emmalie
Pumpkin Rouge Vif D’Etamps
Rocket Va Va Voom
Runner Bean Stenner
Shallots Hative de Niort
Squash Butternut Autumn Crown F1
Squash Butternut Butterbush F1
Squash Butternut Hunter F1
Squash Winter Sweet Dumpling
Sweet Pepper Etiuda
Sweetcorn F1 Earlibird
Sweetcorn F1 Sweetie Pie
Tomato Tumbling Tom Red
Tomato Sungold F1
The 2013 list!!! 35 different types of veg and 60-odd varieties, don’t think I’ll get round to them all!
With the big freeze continuing there’s absolutely nothing happening on the plot apart from the odd sprout and snip harvest. So I thought I’d get all nostalgic about 2010, the highs and lows, and the obligatory next year I’m definitely going to……..
The year really got going when I attended a series of talks from expert Ray Broughton, got my soil tested and learnt a great deal about sowing seeds. I even had a go at growing long carrots which ended in disaster! I dug a new bed in April, picked my first cauliflower and broccoli in June, and by July I was lovin’ the veg, well apart from my pitiful onions. In August I took a different perspective on the plot, the beans went crazy and I picked my first ever sweetcorn. In the Autumn the greenhouse really came into its own and by October the last of the peppers had ripened finally. I also took some prizes at the local Horticultural Society Summer Show and later joined the Committee. In November I started thinking ahead to next year, and we were briefly front page news before the snow arrived and the big freeze set in!
It was a colourful year particularly in the Spring Show and the garden was in bloomin’ good form right through to October. I embraced the dark side of flower growing and became a real fan of Dahlias which I stopped, disbudded, and generally pampered all year until Jack eventually took his revenge!
Off the plot I gave something back to the Southampton General Hospital PICU and Teenage Cancer Trust and raised some money for The Stroke Association with a charity plant sale. There was also and unexpected trip to Wembley with Saints who won the Johnstone Paint Trophy. We had the odd family day out here, there and everywhere, and a nice, long break in Brittany. I cooked some curries, got my first taste of foraging and started brewing my own beer. I also completed another leg of the Pennine Way and got round to writing about it at long last. There were one or two free giveaways as well thrown into the bargain.
On the blog writing front I hit my 50th, and 100th post and Blog Anniversary this year. I’ve really enjoyed writing, reading your blogs and, of course, all your comments and kind words of encouragement.
What a year! So what do I want to do in 2011?
Firstly expanding my empire and growing more veg. Starting that composting regime I posted about 10 months ago. Encouraging more people into gardening and growing their own if I can. Getting out there and learning as much as possible. Enjoying the seasons, our beautiful countryside and wildlife. I may also have a dabble at some prize winning parnsips. If you want to see the work that goes into setting up for a go at growing prize winning veg take a look at fellow Salisbury chap Darren’s blog. Hats off to his dedication to the cause and I’m sure he’ll have some great results next summer, definitely one blog to follow.
But most of all having fun with the family and enjoying the lifestyle that comes from this hobby. Not getting too bothered about things and letting nature take its course is what it’s all about. Hopefully it’ll be a great year.
So what are your goals for next year??
Two weeks ago I started a free giveaway competition for a copy of “Food for Free” by Richard Mabey, a pocket sized guide for any would-be forager. All you had to do was leave a comment on the post to have a chance of winning.
There were 25 entrants battling for pole position: Craig, Jan, Lucy, Ian, Jo, Rob, Sue, Una, Andrew, Amy, Jade, Maureen, Louisa, Flighty, Mellisa, Ellie, Hillwards, Jenny, Niece, Mark, Brittany, Sarah, T.J., Carolyn and Angela.
Choe made the draw, independantly adjudicated by Emily, from her Peppa Pig Wellie boot.
And the winner is………………
Congratulations!!! I’ll be in touch shortly. Happy foraging everybody!
It’s been a miserable start to Autumn, not much sun around, but the greenhouse keeps producing a bounty of wonderful colours.
The tomatoes are still ripening, there’s around 30 more left on the plants. The peppers are now coming good, these orange ones are Etiuda, along with Cayenne and Scotch Bonnet chillies.
The Californian Wonder are starting to turn red at last.
And my solitary Scotch Bonnet, bought as a tiny plant from B&Q for 21p in the spring, is still going strong. I’ve been learning about the heat of these chillies which is measured on the Scoville Scale. Up until now I’ve grown Cayenne which register between 30,000 and 50,000 on the scale whereas Scotch Bonnet are between 100,000 and 325,000, not ones to try raw then! Good for homemade curries though!
Don’t forget my Foraging Free Giveaway Competition, just leave a comment to be included in the draw.
With Autumn now well and truly underway we’ve taken our first tentative steps into the world of foraging. To celebrate this new pastime I’ve got one of the classic guide books to give away. “Food for Free” by Richard Mabey, an illustrated guide to over 100 edible plants, berries, mushrooms, seaweed and shellfish, was first published in 1972 and is probably the best known guide book in its field. And the great thing is it’s pocket-sized, easy to take with you when you’re out and about.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, my daughter Chloe will draw a winner in a couple of weeks time, and I’ll post it out. Totally free, as simple as that. I look forward to hearing from you!
I’ve been running a free giveaway competition for just over a month now courtesy of Lands’ End who have sponsored the Colour Garden at Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland. The prizes are a couple of packets of nasturtium seeds for everyone that commented on the post and a chance of winning 1 of 5 £25 Lands’ End Clothing Gift Vouchers.
So to ensure impartiality Chloe was drafted in as Drawmistress to pull out the 5 winners from her sun hat.
And the winners are…………
Sue at Green Lane Allotments
Maureen at Allotment Heaven
Britta at Gardening in High Heels
Is at Tattie Bogle
Jo at The Good Life
A £25 Lands’ End Gift Voucher and 2 packets of Nasturtium seeds are on their way to you soon.
Thanks to everyone else who entered: Flighty at Flighty’s Plot, Amy at Souper Allotment, Niece, Allotofveg, The Idiot Gardener, Libby, Richard Cox, Rob, Jen, Christine, Claire at Ma Larkin’s and Rose. Seeds are on their way to you all. I will be in touch soon (if you happen to read this beforehand and want to send me a mail with your address please do. But don’t worry if you haven’t got time I’ll be in touch once the gardening jobs for the weekend are done!).
Also thanks to hillwards and Edith Hope who commented and said they didn’t need the seeds.
Hope you all have a great Bank Holiday weekend!!
Ok so my Onions are a disaster (can’t bring myself to write about them yet, I am yet to find Soilman’s ruthless honesty, I guess that will come eventually!). But the one thing that is thriving in the relatively dry weather are the green beans.
This is tonights harvest from a 6 foot wide cane trellis, half green beans and half runners. Whilst the runners are OK, the green beans have gone mad. I guess they like the drier weather.
So whilst Rach is at Pizza Express with girlfriends tonight I’m sampling the delights of home grown beans and spuds which will go nicely with a couple of pork neck fillets I think! It’s a hard life!!
Harvesting/Eating: French Beans, Runner Beans, Cucumber, Tomoto, Chilli, Squash, Carrots, Onions (what a joke!), Shallots, Lettuce, Rocket, Courgette, Cabbage, Potatoes, Swiss Chard.
Don’t forget my free Land’s End Gift Voucher and Seed giveaway that I launched earlier this month. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post, just click here. I’ll be drawing the gift voucher winners and despatching the seeds towards the end of the month.