Friday, 16 July 2010

Wow Cherries!

Not a long post, but I went out and picked 4lb of cherries from our tree tonight. It isn't all of them, they aren't all ripe, but the wasps are beginning to hover about, so this year I intended to make sure we got some! I also picked 500g of raspberries, so we had delicious fresh fruit for pudding, and I've got some to take to my mother for her 85th birthday on Sunday.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Can't believe it's been so long!

Time has flown by, I've been so busy at work and in the garden that the computer has taken at least 3rd place, but I thought I'd update on what I've been up to.
I had a disappointing harvest of onions and garlic from the allotment, despite the fact that I know they haven't been grown their in ages, I found when I harvested that white rot had affected over half the onions, and virtually all the garlic. I never got around to planting garlic at home, so I've lost all the stock I'd acclimatised to the area over 4 years. I will need to buy fresh in for the autumn, and haven't any to use in the kitchen either. I have been picking french beans and courgettes, as well as a good potato harvest from the sprouted supermarket stock. I think the kale is at the end of it's life, tough and very strong tasting now. The chillies at the allotment garden don't look too good, and I've the biggest infestation of blackfly ever. They made the spinach unusable, and are really affecting the runner beans.
On a more posative note, the cherries at home are looking good and I picked a fair few raspberries tonight. The cranberry is finally flowering too, although cranberry jelly is a long way off, I've only got 2 blooms so far! Due to the 'spontaneous generation' of greenfly in the light cupboard the chillies are now in the greenhouse. They are looking good, I think the hover flies are keeping the population down. We have been harvesting a number of different types, but I still like the hotter ones. The dorset naga is great, used judiciously in dips and jam, but the habaneros are still my favourite for heat and flavour combined. They don't look so good at the allotment garden, very yellow, i think some foliar feed would be a good idea. Only 2 weeks to go, then I will have more time to get stuff sorted properly.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Chilly May Weekend

8th of May today and all set to get the beans out. It's so cold though. After such a nice few weeks in April it feels as if winter is back. the forecast for next week has the temperatures going down to 4C, which is the danger point for the plants. I wish I knew what the allotment garden's micro climate was like. i think it would be warmer than here, but if I lose the beans and cucurbits it will put a serious dent in the GYO plan for this year. They all have been hardening off this week in the bottom of the covered patio grow, which still has the cover on, but not zipped up, and they look fine, but out in the open?? From the forums I know a lot of people more northerly from me are taking the risk.
I put in some more basil and salad leaves today. I love rocket, I don't think the others are so keen, although Daniel likes the mitzuna. I have some really healthy plants of that going, but I must remember to keep up the supply. Unfortunately we are short on lettuce, the red ones I planted did not germinate, so there is a gap in supply.
I've picked my first ripe chilli, a purple japaneno, last Sunday, 2nd May, and I noticed there are 2 more ripe friuts on the plant to pick today. The annums are setting fine, loads of pollen and easy to pollinate. The habaneros, scotch bonnets etc do not produce so much, and I've had a lot drop off due to lack of pollination. These are all inside still. It is disappointing, but I have managed to get one of each type at least so far, so I will be able to save true seed for next year. The small plants could do with going into bigger pots, or outside, but that's not possible yet, although some of the chillies are out in the greenhouse, mainly the annum types, as they were too cramped on the kitchen windowsill. They are still fine, the lowest temperature recorded this week has been 7, so although cooler than I would have liked it's still safe. The cherry blossom is already coming to an end, but there are tiny cherries forming, as well as the peaches on the peach tree and plums setting as well. I think it looks like the blueberries are setting on Patriot, and I have loads of blacurrant flowers on Ben Connan, although the other bush isn't doing so well. Time is such a factor at the moment though, too much too do, and i don't feel anything is getting done properly!

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Well last night, being a family birthday, I almost didn't go out and fleece the greenhouse, or put the flower pots in. I'm glad I did, as when Vicky and I went to the boot fair this morning there was ice on the windscreen. The cucumbers are in the greenhouse, along with all the squash and courgettes, but I covered with a double layer of fleece, and they are fine. The digital max/min thermometer gave a low of 2 degrees at the glass edge, the one hanging in the centre of the greenhouse shows 5 degrees.
At the bootfair I picked up a glass fish tank for £2, which is ideal for more of my painted lady caterpillars. I have so many, I 'potted up' 13 jars yesterday, it took me well over 2 hours. The jars that had been potted a week needed new food, so I transferred all I could find into new jars with new nettle tops pressed into the damp compost. They lasted quite well in that medium, and there are no puddles of water to drown the caterpillars. I put all the wilting leaves on the nettle bed in the woods. It is probably too cold for any missed caterpillars to survive outside, but they had more chance than in the compost bin, with no new food plants.
The picture shows a mallow leaf, covered with blue pearlescent eggs and some of the hatched caterpillars. As they get older they become black, with tiny hairs. I've been potting up nettles and mallow with small bit of root attached, hoping I've got plants before I need them for the next generation. They've probably got about a month.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I couldn't resist

Planting potatoes that is. I had 3 maris peer potatoes that had sprouted extremely well, and some Saxon potatoes that haven't done much yet . I've put them into the allotment garden, in the bottom of a trench, so I can earth them up. I've tried potatoes in pots other years, with disappointing results. this year if don't get anything, well it won't matter, because I don't expect much.
I popped into the allotment garden after work this morning, and besides the potatoes I put in more meteor peas and some oregon sugar pod mangetout, as well as the jubilee hysor bean plants and some radish. The soil was quite dry so I watered the seed beds, where parsnips, carrots, beetroot and turnips are all showing good growth, as well as the shallots and onions. The overwintered aquadulce claudia beans are in flower, which is good after the weather they endured. The Martock beans from HeyWaye are looking very healthy, but no signs of flowering yet.
I'm aiming to move the germinated brasiccas out of the greenhouse asap so they stay short and healthy, but the courgettes will soon take up the space, as I need to pot on into individual pots. The rest of the celeriac need pricking out, and I need to pot up the tomotoes into their final pots, they have not minded being in the greenhouse at all, though I will need to watch the temps for the cucumber plants which have been living out there for the last few days now.
I have been collecting nettles and mallow again today for my caterpillars - the next generation. Most of these will be destined for sale as a charity business fund raiser at school, with a few being kept on to go through the whole cycle again.
I hope my starawberry plants come soon, as I've been offered a strawberry planter this year. I've oft been tempted, but been put off by the price, of course if I like it, then I might get another for next year. Things are moving so fast the plum tree is covered in bloom, the peach tree is outside, and the blackcurrant ben connan is covered with bloom. I've just made the last of the blackcurrants into jelly, so that works quite well. Clearing out the freezer to get ready for new produce is almost as good as planting!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Nettles for Caterpillars

Today I had to go in search of nettles. My painted lady butterflies have been so busy laying eggs that the plants I put in the enclosure looked more blue than green. Today I saw the first hatchlings, and they are VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLARS! They definitely need a lot more food than the poor plants could provide, so I have come up with a plan. I took large pasta jars, put an inch or so of wet compost in the bottom, and pushed in the nettle bits I had picked. I then cut off a leaf containing eggs and baby caterpillars, and put one in each jar. The tops have been covered with fleece secured by an elastic band. Butterfly farming could be my new occupation. At around £20 for 10 caterpillars (with food and home though), I could clean up. I only have 4 butterflies still alive, but they were still egg laying today, as a new batch appeared on the fresh nettle plant I put in this morning. I had wondered if the weather might be kind enough to release some of the caterpillars, but the wind is bitingly cold tonight, so I think it is still a bit early.
I finished off planting my climbing french beans and my runners today, checking back in my diary I was doing eaxctly the same thing a year ago. The courgettes, butternut squash and pumpkins are now through, and moved into the unheated propagator. I'm just waiting for the winter squash, Festival. None of those have come through yet, but hopefully they will appear.
I've been hardening off my containers of flowers the past couple of days, a white petunia is already out, and the plants all look good. I'm not risking them outside overnight for a while though. The kohl rabi is also hardening off, and I intend to get that planted in the allotment garden this week sometime., along with the broad beans, Jubilee Hysor, I think they were. They have been sown in the toilet roll middles, and now are strong plants ready to go out. I was going to put them in on Friday when I went, but forgot to take a trowel or small fork. The carrots, radish, beetroot and turnips are beginning to show, and the onions and shallots are sprouting; they all went in a couple of weeks ago. I've still got some onion sets to go in here, but I might use them more like spring onions, as I didn't really have space for 100.
I've been trying to sow salad leaves successionally, most take a week to show, but the lettuce have been more reluctant. The celeriac germinated well, and I transplanted 18 into modules for me today. I've got the other pot, but they seem a bit slower, so I'll give them a few more days befor moving them on. I caught up with Gardener's World on iplayer tonight, and fast forwarded through the bit I wasn't that interested in. However it's good to see that I'm on track with most things. I wasn't growing any potatoes this year, but some of the ones under the sink have started sprouting, so maybe I'll put those in and see if I get anything worthwhile, Maris Peer and Saxon are the varieties, an early and a second early I think.
Tomorrow we are intending a visit to Wisley. My camellia in the back garden is looking lovely, but the one I put out by the drive looks yellow and poorly, I don't think it likes it out there, so I'll have to see if I can find space to bring it back. I do love the camellias, and they have a lovely show of magnolias too, one on Andy's favourites.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Cucumbers in a hurry and other stuff

On Friday I planted the cucumbers in the heated propagator, and yesterday they were all popping through. I have had 100% success rate, so it's a good job I like chilli and cucumber soup. The squash and courgettes aren't up yet, but they are in the heated propagator in the greenhouse, so it isn't as warm as the kitchen windowsill, whihc is filled up with my smaller chilli plants now.
I did decide to set up the greenhouse ready for the tomatoes, and monitor the temperature for a couple of days. I've hung fleece up to make a tent of half of the greenhouse, and plan to snuggle all the tomatoes in there to start with. They can be spaced out a bit later, and in any case the greenhouse is bursting already. I need to move the peach tree out, but it hasn't quite finished blossoming, so I want to leave it for a few more days. I've resisted planting beans yet, but there is still time for those anyway.
I need to start hardening off some of my flower plants, but I'll still need to keep a watch on the weather as I don't want to risk losing them to a chance frost. The petunias, fuschias and lobelia have been potted up, and the petunias are in bud, so not bad for a fiver in Wilkingson's back in February. The cuttings I took from the fuschias are coming along well, and the next lot are beginning to root too.
I spent my vouchers with T&M over the weekend as they had their free P&P. with the rate they charge, I saved quite a lot, although I was disappointed I couldn't combine my vouchers for another propagator. Instead I came up with 3 separate orders, and only paid out £2.98 altogether. I ordered 5 fuschia plants, £5 voucher, so they came completely free. Then I ordered some orchid bulbs, whihc started the weekend at 3 for £9.99, but then came in BOGOF, so I ordered the 6 with my £10 voucher. Then finally I ordered 12 strawberry plants and a casseille bush, which is a cross between blackcurrant and gooseberry. These did come out a little more than the £20 voucher, but I did resist the special offer on clematis, much to Daniel's relief, as he gets a little exasperated when I try to fit 3 times as many plants in as I have space for.

Mushroom Logs

I've finally managed to get this project underway. Just by chance a couple of weeks ago I was on duty at school talking to one of the prefects, who said his family had just cut down an oak tree. He said they were trying to get rid of the wood, so I asked if I could have some logs for mushroom growing. I ordered the dowels online, 30 each of shittake, oyster and lion's mane mushrooms, £12, no P&P, a bargain compared to everywhere else. They came last weekend, and Andy and Dan picked up the logs on Saturday. I paid for them with a jar of chutney and a jar of marmalade! Today Andy drilled the holes and tapped in the dowels, I sealed them with the wax, and Daniel placed them in the shadiest parts of the garden. It does say you can wrap them in black plastic, but I really want the logs to be a bit of a feature in my more 'woodland' bit, so I decided to take the chance. After all the other logs I had originally seem to be covered with a white fungus, so these should manage with all the added care and attention. Now we wait for 18 months or so before trying to shock them into fruiting. If it works they last for 4-6 years, probably closer to the 6 as it's oak. They might not be as 'perfect' as the ones they sell, but at only £4 each they work out a lot cheaper.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

April Already

It doesn't seem possible the year is moving so quickly, but here we are, April already, and so many things to do in the garden. I have checked back through my diary to see what I was doing last year. I had more time of course, as I wasn't in at work, but I don't think that was the only reason things were further forward. The plum tree was in flower on the 2nd last year, this year the buds are only just beginning to burst. They said it was a cold winter, and the plants know it!
I did get very carried away yesterday though, sowing cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins and courgettes, (all in the heated propagators) so I hope the spring warms through soon.
There is no way I will have space for them all, but I'm intending to give some away, and my tutor group at school are setting up an eco-friendly business to sell free range eggs, plants and veg, so they can have any extras. We are going to canvas for donations of just about everything after the Easter break!
I would like to say a public thank you to those who have donated seeds through the Grapevine Forum. They are much appreciated, and we are intending to sell on seeds that are not practical for us to plant. Hopefully we will come by more as the time goes on. We have 7 weeks until the market day at school, so there is time to get saleable plants, although Easter has got in the way of planning.
I now have a good number of jalapeno peppers set on my plant, and there are flower buds on the habaneros, scotch bonnets and Dorset Nagas. I have 65 assorted plants in all, some of which need re-potting this weekend, space is definitely at a premium.
By this time last year I was risking the tomatoes in the greenhouse, but I don't feel so inclined this year. They are getting too tall now, they outgrew the cupboard, and are not really getting enough light in the living room, despite a couple of lamps as well as the conservatory style roof. It's going to be difficult to harden them off as they are all in their final pots, but they are too lush to go straight out, the setback may well kill them.
At the allotment garden I planted parsnips, beetroot, carrots and turnips a couple of weeks ago, and I'm itching to ge there to see what, if anything, they are doing. I have some broad beans; jubilee hysor; to plant out as well as some meteor peas. The broad beans have been grown in loo rolls, the peas just in pots. I have bought Moonlight runners, which are supposed to have been cross bred with french beans so they are self fertile, but look and taste like runners. I was also thinking of sowing some pink ones (Sunset), and some red ones (Lady Di), both from the seed swaps I've done. I was putting the loo rolls in the mushroom boxes (I do try to recycle), and found I was running out! It seemed I had millions, but it just goes to show how important it is to forward plan. I still have french beans to sow as well. I'm not sure whether to try the beans in the cold propagator in the greenhouse, or to wait until the heated ones free up.
As usual, what we do depends a lot on the weather, we are having very heavy showers interspersed with periods of sunshine, but the ground at home is still so wet.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Wow, a tomato!

Amazing news, I have my first tomato! My Golden Sunrise tomato plant, sown on 9th January indoors, and reared under my artificial lights, has set a tomato. I noticed it this morning, it's about the size of my little finder nail, so coming on quite well. I had tapped the stems regulary to help the pollen disperse, but wasn't sure it would be succesful. There is about 5 flowers on the first truss, and another one well on its way. I had found out one of the major problems with early tomotoes was cold night temperatures, becasue it kills the pollen. The temperature in the cupboard seems pretty constant at the moment, so fingers crossed for even more fruit. However they are in quite small pots, probably 5 inch if that. They have spread their roots through the hydrolucca, so if I do need to pot them on, I think I will have to cut the small pot off very carefully, or the roots will break. I suppose it is almost hydroponic growing. I have started feeding them, as some of the other plants are also flowering now.
My purple jalapeno has also set a chilli, and I have french beans about 1cm long. I'm really excited by the possibilities, although I will be interested to find out what the electric bill comes to!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Tomatoes and Rain

The two subjects in the title are not connected, but the rain has certainly stopped any playing outside today. It is bucketing down, the path is a river, and about 3 inches of water by the garage door. Thankfully the wind is not blowing it through the letter box.
I've decided I hate water, we have a leak (now 2!) I've been trying to fix in the airing cupboard. The water started coming through the ceiling, and in investigation we found the pipe to the heating pump was leaking. 1 tube of Plumbers Mait later, I've almost managed it, but I've got a few minor breakthroughs I'm hoping to plug today. The other option is to drain the system and get a plumber to sort it out.
Having just sat down again, I now realise the conservatory roof is leaking where the rain is so heavy. I've got a bowl under the drip, there isn't much else I can do.

Anyway, but to the matter in hand, tomatoes. The six I planted originally on 9/1 are getting their first flower buds. The burning on the leaves happens when they grow so far towards the light they are touching. It is not hot enough to burn me, but the leaves laying against it for a time does the damange. The Sunrise is going to be first flowering, it is now showing colour, but not opened. I will be keeping a close eye!

The purple jalapeno is almost in flower too, and I've moved 6 plants to take their chance on the window sill, although today that seems a bit unfar as it is so dull; they get better light in the cupboard, even if they are further away from the source than I'd like.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Electric propagator!

Well having planted even more chilli varieties yesterday, after filling my heated propagator with 12 new varieties on Thursday, I decided to have a look for a cheapish extra one today. Amazingly I found a real bargain at Wyevale, much better than B&Q and Homebase. The ones at B&Q were their own brand with a strangely curved base and lid, which severely limited the amount of growing space. At Wyevale they had Stewart ones on offer at £10 off (sounds better than £34.49), which was cheaper than the aforementioned stores. I picked the one with the prettiest box, and realised when I got home I had the themostatic control one, for the same price as the basic model! It is quite large, so I now have room for 12 more pots, and plenty of head room too. I hadn't intended to spend so much, but it looks a real Rolls Royce compared to the other ones I saw. Seed trays and pots were included too!
I've had to make space in the cupboard though, which makes access a bit more of a problem than before. The Golden Sunrise tomato buds are growing bigger, and the purple jalapeno is also looking good. I saw tomato and chilli plants the same size as my small ones for 60p today, so felt good about that.
I did get some bargain petunias, lobelia and fuschias from Wilkingsons too. (3 for £5 for the plug plants). I just need to find frost free space for them too. The petunias look a real bargain, they obviously planted 2 seeds per plug in case of germination failures, but looks as if they were good quality seeds, so 24 plants for the price of 12.

A week in the garden.

It's been a mixed bag with weather this week, so nice dry and dare I saw it, sunny days, mixed with storms sleet and hail. I've put my martock beans from Heywayne of the Grapevine forum into the cold greenhouse though. They are supposed to be hardy, so as soon as I saw a little shoot I popped them out. I only planted 6 to start, but I've got the other 8 under the kitchen table until the germinate, then out they can go too. I'll get them into the driveway garden opnce I can get the ground ready.
We've been eating leaves off the lettuce I grew under the lights. They can downstairs to the kitchen windowsill due to pressure of space, and it is cconvenient just to take a few leaves. They won't keep us in salad as such, but it lovely to have started eating something grown this year. I've just finished up the beetroots, and think I will try putting some seeds in modules to get them started off for this year's crop.
Besides the beans, I also put some peas to soak, and once they had shown signs of germination I put them into the rectangle plastic boxes the dishwasher tablets come in. They are not that deep, and I know peas do put their roots down, but I plan to put them into the allotment garden as soon as possible, maybe protected by fleece for a bit. The pigeons seem to be back in force, and have pecked my spring cabbage, althought the kale looks OK. The sprouts are still a bit small, but I'm going to start picking them next weekend anyway I think.
Andy severely pruned the mahonia tree on Wednesday at the allotment garden; it's now safe and I've got much more space to work. We took a whole car load of branches to the tip, but I've had a text from Chris saying it looks fantastic, so as long as he's happy I haven't wrecked his garden that's fine. I dug over half of it after the pruning session, the soil was damp but crumbly, not like mine at home which is still so wet a fork just ends up with lumps of clay attached. The broad beans look a bit the worse for wear, but I haven't lost many, and some are making new shoots from the base too, so fingers crossed for a good harvest. The garlic and onions look fine, and not that many weeds yet, mainly cleavers showing itself so far.
I dug up the rhubarb and found the middle of the rown was rotten, so I split it into 3 bits, and hopefully they will grow better. I am taking one piece to the allotment garden, hopefully today, but I can hear the rain beating on the windows as I type, even though the sun is out, so it might need to wait. I also tried moving the raspberry canes that were in the wrong place, but they didn't come up with much root so I don't know if they will take. It did talk about snow though, so I suppose rain is better, unless we were to get so much we get snowed in.
The snowdrops are well underway now, with 3 definite clumps established. The wild primroses are blooming away, cushions of pale yellow; a lovely sight. I need to winter wash the trees soon. It's an organic mix of oils that dissolves insect eggs, so sounds a good idea, what with the population of greenfly I had last year. I bought a sulphur candle for the greenhouse, so I feel that besides the clean(ish) glass, there shouldn't be any nasties lurking around. The peach and lemon trees are now inside; the lemon had one lemon left, in the centre where it was more protected from the cold and snow. I'm hopeful the tree will survive; I should take better care of it. The peach tree may have some flower buds on a couple of branches. I do hope so, and that I can get a peach to maturity. If I can, we can see if it's worthwhile keeping the tree. I did get some bordeaux mixture to treat it for peach leaf curl, because it is late coming undercover, and the spores of the fungus might already have attacked the unfurling leaves.
I better close this post now, the dreaded marking awaits due to some technical difficulties earlier in the week. I do want to post again later though!
Vicky's Ice Cream rose is also showing signs of the buds swelling, so that will need a quick prune. I easily gets too tall each year for the washing line anyway, so I have to take it down drastically each spring. It is a hybrid tea though, so hard pruning suits it.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

What's going on with my chillies and tomatoes?

Yesterday I potted on my 12 biggest chillies and the 6 most advanced tomato plants. They had out grown the 3in pots they were in, some with roots 3 inches out the bottom. (more to be added).
Tonight, when I was checking the plants I had to grap for my reading glasses, sure enough, the Golden Sunrise tomato, planted on 9th January, had tiny green flower buds showing. Now with decent sight, I saw my biggest chilli, a purple jalapeno, planted 26th Dec, is also showing flower buds!
Just to show I do have more going on, I decided to post some pics of the amaryllis. The large double one is now 3 years old (from buying). Last summer it stood in the bottom of the greenhouse and was treated like the tomatoes. It looks as if I've got some offshoots coming, as well as the 3 glorious flower spikes. Problem is, I can't remember the name of it. I've also had some lovely flowers on the hyacinths we bought through the Iwade Garden Club. The picture also shows a free gift, the Red Lion amaryllis.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Earth is hard as iron!

I woke up this morning to what was obviously going to be a brilliantly sunny day. I was full of enthusiasm to get outside, but alas everything was frozen solid. There was no way I could do anything to the ground, although there is a lone snowdrop in flower. The ones further down the garden are slower. I just had a tidy around, and had a mini bonfire in the bbq; the small bits of rose and grape prunings from last weekend, and a few other twiggy bits that wouldn't go in the compost. After getting frozen feet and watering eyes from the smoke I retired into the kitchen to wash some more flower pots, and sow some chillies that arrived in the post from Mr Dinkle of the Grapevine forum. I'd got the pots of soil into the heated propagator last night, so put in 2 each of the prairie fire and dorset naga seeds he sent.

As the French Black tomato seed was so slow germinating, I removed some seeds from the last wrinkled fruit on the windowsill last Saturday and sowed 3 along with some of the tigerella seeds I'd had to buy after losing my ones from last year. They were all up within 3 days and moved up to the light cupboard. I'm amazed at how quickly the plants are growing. The chillies in the picture were only sown on Boxing day, the tomatoes a week later, and the lettuce another week on. All the seeds have been planted directly into the 3 inch pots, so I haven't had to do any transplanting yet, although the roots are showing through the bottoms of the pots already. I've got them standing in hydrolucca (expanded clay pellets), and keep that a bit moist to add a bit of humidity to the air. The temperature is still maintaining around 20-25c, although I've now got 6 lamps in there which helps.
The chillies below are the same ones I posted on 16th January. They still haven't seen any real daylight but seem to be thriving!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Chilli plant pictures

Here are my plants so far. The first planted on boxing day, the others a week ago with the tomatoes. As with last year, the Green Tiger tomatoes were fastest through, only 3 days!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Surreal Snow

Snow has hit Iwade again, not as bad as Medway and Canterbury, but more than we've seen since moving here 5 years ago. School has been closed for two consecutive days, but today we had to travel to Medway anyway to get Vicky's fund released for her trip to Japan. The judge agreed so we now just need to wait for the paperwork to go through and she can start planning and booking. She is really looking forward to seeing Takae again.
It seemed very surreal, I was planting tomato seeds in the kitchen, while watching people trudging past in the snow. I have set up a light room in one of my cupboards by lining it with reflective foil , and putting 4 energy saving light bulbs in there. I now have 2 Dorset Naga, 2 Naga Morich, 2 chocolate habanero, 2 hot lemons and one purple jalapeno up and living in the cupboard. They are looking good so far, one of the Dorset Nagas is beginning to grow its second leaves. The temperature in there hasn't gone below 15C, and when the lamps are on, around 16 hours a day, it is averaging 25C. This will probably be a bit lower once the winds pick up again, as it will still be a bit draughty I think.
With the success of the chillies to go on, I've planted some tomato plants in the heated propagator. One of the Green Tigers is up so far, so I will be getting it into the light room in a minute. I have another Green Tiger, 2 Black French, 2 Costalu and 2 Golden Sunrise planted as well, but I can't find the Tigerella seeds so I will need to order some of these. I don't know if there will be enough light, but I am also trying some lettuce seeds, 4 All the Year Round, and 4 Little Gem. If it doesn't work, I haven't lost much, just a few seeds.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

Today was icy cold, I went to put out the bird food on the green opposite, and the path was a crazy paving of ice, so I waited until it had thawed a bit. There had been a sprinkling of snow, but it had frozen solid. I moved the lemon tree into the greenhouse, too late for the immature lemons, but hopefully the plant might survive. Really all I did was a bit of tidying up, it was so bitterly cold in the back garden, though the front was warmed by the sun.
I have 4 chilli plants up so far, 2 hot lemons, 1 Japapeno and 2 Dorset Naga (from seeds kindly sent from a Grapevine member). Oh, that makes 5 doesn't it? Counting is not my strong point tonight.