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10 Apr 2017 14:50
From my experience, the best seeds/varieties of fruit/veg seed can be found at:
realseeds.co.uk - seed from real reliable varieties, often grown for hundreds of years, no expensive hybrids!
seekay.co.uk - very cheap seed of a wide variety of fruit/vegetables. Sell many of the same varieties as Thomson and Morgan, Suttons, Marshals etc. but much more cheaply!
Last edited: 10 April 2017 14:50:39
17 Feb 2017 15:43
Start you seedlings off in your greenhouse/coldframe, you will get far, far better plants as a result. As others have said, plants such as tomatoes and beans sown in late March will be much stronger and will very often overtake earlier sowings. There are many hardy plants you can start now to grow on in a cold greenhouse.
17 Feb 2017 15:30
I do the same as Obelixx, my south facing kitchen windowsill is amass with many pots of 4 inch pea shoots! Delicious in salads, to top stirfry's, in a lovely pita with grilled meat/veg and tzatziki, delicious :) Ready to eat in as little as two weeks from sowing.
Given how mild, and dry! the winter has been here in central Scotland, there's still spinach (viroflex), lambs lettuce, claytonia and land cress aplenty coming out of the allotment. Thankfully pigeons haven't touched anything except for a little of the landcress (which surprised me given it is rather peppery, but perhaps the birds don't taste it the same way we do..). In short it's definitely worth sowing these in late August/September to fill the 'hungry gap' now!
In terms of looking forward,my first sowings of Asian greens are growing on nicely in coldframe (Kailaan, Pak Choi, Komatsuna, Wasabi mustard), first true leaves forming and seedlings very happy. The Pak Choi and Komatsuna is likely to bolt before nice big leaves form, but this really doesn't matter to me as the young plants will be harvested whole before the flowering stems toughen up..
Kailaan is highly recommended as it's primarily grown for the flowering shoots, so is perfect for growing when the days are lengthening so quickly like now. I tend to germinate these early brassicas inside and immediately move the seedlings out to a coldframe. This way there is no hardening off required later, and I get no leggy seedlings as they get maximal light outside from dawn to dusk.
I typed much more than intended, but hope it helps inspire some ideas!
Last edited: 17 February 2017 15:33:47
05 Dec 2016 12:58
Here's my crop from this year from 6 plants. Enough for about 40 meals for my partner and I, and very easy to grow!
05 Dec 2016 12:54
If you are looking for reliable pumpkin varieties, go for either a hubbard type (uchichi kuri is very reliable for me) or buttercups. I've never had any bother growing enough to last throughout the winter here in central Scotland. Another upside is that these aren't huge and so are very easy to store and use as needed.
15 Nov 2016 18:45
Many salad leaves can easily be grown over winter, however it is important for the plants to get a good start before the short days really take hold.. I would suggest that you are too late to get 'cut and come again' plants started for this winter. That said, you may still successfully grow rocket, lambs lettuce etc. for use throughout winter if you sow seed little and often in your greenhouse as day time temperatures will allo germination no problem. Using this method, once two or three leaves have formed, simply harvest everything at once :) and mae sure your next batch have germinated!
Next year, you can sow large leaved spinach (such as viroflex), rocket, lambs lettuce, land/water cress and many varieties of lettuce from early September to early October for lovely fresh leaves throughout winter. Hope that helps!
P.S. I would recommend investigating the edibility of many of our so-called 'weeds'. There is an abundance of wild leaves available throughout winter and early spring if you know what to look for :)
Last edited: 15 November 2016 18:49:33
24 Sep 2016 23:34
It sounds to me like you done everything right when preparing the soil with manure and mushroom compost before planting. The fact that you had lots of bees visiting your garden, and even saw them visiting pumpkin flowers, pretty firmly rules out a pollination issue!
You also live in a warm area so there's little reason for pollinated flowers not to set fruit.
Where exactly did you get the seeds from? If they were saved from a store bought pumpkin, I'd say with a degree of certainty that's why they did not produce fruit.
If seed (any seed) is bought from a reputable breeder, there are very few reasons, other that uncontrollable disease, that you shouldn't have at least some degree of success.
Last edited: 24 September 2016 23:38:02
20 Sep 2016 19:13
Hi anyacolo, I'm assuming in central Ontario you get very cold winters and quite hot summers? Pumpkins are my absolute favourite crop so that sounds great! There are so many varieties available with different sizes, beautiful shapes, flavours and textures. So try some unusual ones if you have the space :)
When did you start off your pumpkins and sweetcorn this spring?
As for other crops, tomatoes will do pretty well I'd imagine, as will beans. Assuming you get very hot summer days like Toronto, I'd probably avoid growing heat sensitive plants. Lettuces for example are likely to bolt very quickly in summer, so grow these in early spring or fall.
Hope this helps :)
20 Sep 2016 18:30
Pumpkins, courgettes, sweetcorn and beans all still going strong! Winter veg really coming on now too. Completely agree with scroggin, it's from March till Late May that it's slim pickings on the allotment, we tend to eat a whole lot of greens in March and April, the odd cabbage and leek left by then, but that's about it.. Any suggestion for ideas filling this gap would be much appreciate :)
29 Jul 2016 18:10
Still plenty of time! Spinach, lettuces, Pak Choi and other Asian greens can all be sown now. Carrots/beetroots too if you are quick and have a good spot in full sun. If you can get hold of plug plants, cabbages, brussells and brocolli can also go in now. Hope that helps!
29 Jul 2016 18:05
Sorry to hear about your troubles Mixymax! Have you had any slug damage on other crops this year?Can't say I've heard of any local carrot issues this year down the allotment. Personally my earlier sowings (late march) have been the most successful even though these took several weeks to germinate. Plenty carrots being lifted from fields around us here this last week also.
27 Jul 2016 16:18
You don't have anything to worry about. The 'pinky' bits on your potatoes are characteristic of King Edward's, completely normal! Your plants look fine, the top growth looks good and healthy. As for the yellowing leaves on the bottom, that's simply the plants getting older. Your plants are putting most of their resources into producing tubers at this point, those leaves are the oldest and therefore not worth maintaining (from the plants point of view)..
I don't see any sign of disease or blight :) I hope you enjoy a bountiful harvest of King Edwards soon!
21 Jul 2016 17:12
Hmmm I agree those certainly don't look like strawberries!
21 Jul 2016 11:19
Hi Aster, Dig it in early march to give it a bit of time to break down if that space is going to be used for planting plugs or potatoes. I actually tend to pull all the rye up if i'm going to be sowing direct where it was growing then compost this along with everything else for the following spring.
Perhaps not the traditional way of doing things but as soon as I pull them out completely, last years composted stuff is added back. Makes sowing seed much easier a month later and like I mentioned the ground is always much drier and lighter than patches which are bare over winter.
20 Jul 2016 10:26
I use phacelia or crimson clover to fill any empty patches of the allotment in spring and summer, then sow a mix of rye and common vetch for overwintering (sow late august so they aren't too large come the first frosts when they'll stop growing) .
These may or may not remain green throughout winter, but they should have put on some good growth and developed a good root structure to hold the soil together throughout winter and prevent compaction by the first hard frosts. The soil patches planted with this mix is always the first to dry out and start being used for cultivation in spring!
Personally I've never had much luck with green manure 'mixes', best to buy the seed separately and make a good ratio mix yourself.
Last edited: 20 July 2016 10:30:12
11 Jul 2016 11:38
Also if a floury potato is dug from the garden and cooked shortly afterwards, within a week or so, it will have a lots of lovely sugars. As a result, the potato has little structure and will be fluffy when cooked, or will indeed fall completely to bits if overcooked.. The longer the potato has been out the ground, these sugars are naturally being converted into more complex carbohydrates giving the potato more structure as they become more starchy when stored. Ultimately I believe that's the main difference between shop bought and home grown, storage time! Main crop potatoes bought in the supermarket today may actually be almost a year old! Unless they are imported of course, which is just madness! :)
11 Jul 2016 11:23
Those are certainly the seed pods of a brassica Nora, not a pea or bean, as the others have commented I agree it looks like radish! :)
27 Jun 2016 21:26
Personally I would pick it now kitty, perhaps earlier for the next one!! The joy of growing your own is that you can pick when the fruits are small and enjoy their lovely sweetness and firm texture, unlike those bought in supermarkets :) Enjoy!
27 May 2016 16:31
Definately not frost! Coriander is pretty hardy, I've been cropping coriander sown this year outside since March here in Central Scotland and I always sow in August for cropping throughout winter (outside!). Possible it's slugs but even they wouldn't touch the stalks :/
27 May 2016 15:42
1/4 = beans (french or runner) intercropped with lettuces/spinach or strawberries.
1/4 = Dwarf bush tomatoes intercropped with basil/coriander/parsley.
1/4 = Courgettes
1/4 = Carrots, Beetroot and Radish
These will all grow happily together all summer so long as the soil is sufficiently rich and well prepared beforehand. Beans and courgettes would be my must haves for small spaces as they produce for months on end. Beans also grow vertically, so take up little space! :)
There's not much evidence behind one crop increasing the yield of another I'm afraid, it's mostly up to clever spacing and growing combinations. That said, it's rumoured tomatoes produce better planted with basil. Combinations like this are down to one possibly deterring the pests of another. Likewise with onions and carrots.