Sunday, 29 January 2012

Month 1 finished already!

I have just finished potting up my seedlings that are under the lamp in my attic. I am concerned that my leeks look nowhere near as advanced as others that have shown pictures on the NVS forum. However mine have only been in since boxing day so I suppose that the extra month and a half of growing is showing.

It is the first year that I have grown shallots from seed and they really have taken off. I am growing matador from medwyns as I am looking for an alternative to hative d noitre which are extremely expensive. I think I saw £12 for 6 bulbs and I know Dan Unsworth from the allotment diary blog said they were expensive and that he wasn't happy with the quality really. Is there any reason why this variety is so expensive?
Its also a sad week for anybody who follows Simon Smiths blog as he has taken a break from blogging for a while due to other commitments. I can certainly understand where hes coming from as time seems to become extremely stretched at times for us all and something has to give. I will miss the twisted humour and very helpful advice on a fantastic blog that's success I can only hope to emulate.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The end of the beginning

Today i sowed the last of the alliums under grow lamp. The small onions i am using will be 'toughball' from medwyns seeds. I also put in a pinch of the blanch leeks and pot leeks to use as replacements for the couple that haven't germinated in the batch from boxing day. These seeds need regular watering now and increase in size every day which is good to see. There is now a break in the seed sowing diary and I will use this time to mix the carrot compost for short and long types. The recipe will be a follows:

4 parts peat
1 parts sand
1 parts vermiculite
1 part topsoil

For every 7 gallons of this mixture (which will be put through a 1/4 inch sieve to remove any debris that will cause the roots to fork) add 1oz of super phosphate and sulphate of potash and 2oz of lime and calcified seaweed. The first two ingredients come with a fairly small grain and can be added straight but the lime and calcified seaweed need to be ground to a fine powder by either using an old blender or manually by pestle and mortar.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

'Getting started on the showbench'

I have just finished reading 'Getting started on the showbench'. What a fantastic source of information for newcomers to the show bench it was. It promised to be full of pointers to aid the newcomer into the world of competition vegetable growing and didn't disappoint. The book arrived extremely quickly and my initial impression was at the price of £4.95 including delivery this glossy magazine style full colour booklet was a bargain. The contents was written in a simple easy to follow format and everything was explained comprehensively. My advice to anybody considering purchasing this booklet either as a new shower or just to improve your general vegetable growing is get it as soon as you can. There isn't another book that builds on the basic knowledge given by all the other gardening books.