Thursday, 31 January 2008

Sunday, 27 January 2008

What's growing this year ? 27.01.08

Welcome once again to my blog update, albeit a bit late in the day!

Planning for my raised bed plantings is well under way, and most of what I need / want has already been purchased. Todays update is really to let you know the veg varieties I'm planning on growing this season. If you see something on the list and think you can recommend a different variety, I would be only too pleased to hear from you. I'll split the list into 3 parts:
  • What's already growing
  • Seeds in stock
  • Still to buy
Whats Already Growing ?

Regular blog readers will know the answer already, but for those of you who have just stumbled upon the site or found me in a search engine:
  1. Garlic (v. Fokyhama )
  2. Broad Beans ( v. Bunyard Exhibition )
  3. Leeks(v. Musselburgh )
  4. Chives
  5. Parsnips (v. Hollow Crown )
  6. Chili ( v. Winter Warmer ) - Indoor plant.
  7. Rhubarb (v. Timperley Early )
Seeds in stock :
  1. Climbing French Bean (v. Blue Lake )
  2. Kohl Rabi ( Delikatess White )
  3. Carrot (v. Early Nantes )
  4. Cauliflower (v. All year Round )
  5. Pea (v. Kelvedon Wonder )
  6. Lettuce (v. Salad Bowl Mixed )
  7. Brussel Sprout (v. Evesham Special )
  8. Carrot (v. Autumn King 2 )
  9. Cucumber (v. Marketmore )
  10. Radish (v. Scarlet Globe )
  11. Basil (v. Dark Opal )
  12. Courgette (v. All Green Bush )
  13. Parsnip (v. Hollow Crown )
  14. Tomato (v. Gardeners Delight )
  15. Spring Onion (v. White Lisbon )
  16. Onion ( v. Bedfordshire Champion )
  17. Carrot (v. Flyaway F1)
  18. Leek (v. Musselburgh )
  19. Cabbage (v. Golden Ace/Primo (2) )
  20. Chives
  21. Runner Beans (v. Mixed ) Harvested from plot. Some still for sale !
  22. Garlic (v. Fokyhama ) from last season.
Still to buy:
  1. Seed potato's (v. Nicola and/or Rocket )
  2. Swiss Chard
  3. Florence Fennel
  4. Dill
  5. Squash ?
  6. Onion Sets ( v. Stuttgarter )
  7. Plus ???? There's bound to be something I've forgotten !!!
So there you have it. A fair challenge I think you'll agree. So what now I hear you ask ? Well, why not join me for my weekly updates to see what I'm planting and when.
I will share my planting techniques in plain terms, so that you can plant at the same time if you wish, together with regular updates on getting the most from your plot ( mine is half the back garden by the way ) and how to deal with the potential pests and diseases as they come along. There will also be a good deal of seasoned tips along the way, and my latest idea - which will start on 3rd February, will be my "Website of the week ".

I look forward to welcoming you back to Reads Retreat very soon.

Till then,


Thursday, 24 January 2008

It's a fair cop ! 24.01.08

Today folks, I went out and bought a sack of spuds!
It's hard not to though, when you get 25Kg of Whites for £4.90! As I stated in a previous post, I will only be growing earlies this summer, and am hopeful to get some seed potato's tomorrow. I will be growing v.Nicola as well as v.Rocket, and will probably try growing them in large pots this year, As I am planning some interesting crops for my raised beds.
For your reference, the Nicola variety have a creamy yellowy colouring, and are great for all the salad days ahead.

My hand went further into my pocket today, as I purchased some Kohl Rabi and some French Bean "v.Blue Lake" seeds. This, I know, will be the first of many trips to the local gardening centre "to have a look round", so I must try and leave my wallet at home!

That's about it for now, come back soon to read all my plans. Don't forget you can pick up some of my Runner Bean Seeds - I'm selling a mixed bag of 30 seeds for £2.00 incl. UK postage. Drop me a line if you want some ? Or you can use the Paypal donate button on the main page, and leave your details with your payment.

Finally, a word of thanks to all my readers - both regulars and newcomers. With your continued interest, my site is now listed in the "Top 100" Gardening sites, as detailed on the main page. Who knows, maybe I will eventually get to the top spot ?


Thursday, 17 January 2008

Preperation time ! 21.01.08

Welcome back to a belated update of whats happening at READS RETREAT.

As reported at the tail end of last year, there's not an awful lot happening on the plot right now, but there is plenty happening with regard to planning.
Plot first:
As you can clearly see, the Broad Beans I planted about a month before Christmas have put on a lot of growth. I must admit they've been left well alone by me, and until recently, only had my remaining Leeks for company.
I thought I planted 12 but there's 13 shoots ! My mistake I guess.
The Leeks are holding out well, and can be left in situ for at least 2 more months yet, no hurry to pull them up.

Elsewhere on the plot, my winter planting of Garlic has surprised me . Again, About a dozen 1" shoots have now appeared, where I thought I had lost the lot. This despite several sources telling me the garlic would survive, until you try you don't know for yourself !

As always, this is the time of year when time is well spent browsing through seed catalogues, visiting your local garden centre, and working out what you are going to spend and on what. If this is your first year of growing veg, you'll find it very tempting to buy a bit of everything. If however you are a seasoned grower, you will know that money is only well spent if you grow what you can fit on your plot. There's nothing more soul destroying than over buying when there's no chance of growing the seeds.
Think about what you really want to grow vs. what is easily available at the grocer's store.

I intend to grow more of New Potato's , but only one variety. Although last years maincrop was also a success, these are plentiful locally. Check back here next week for a full list of my planned crops ( then check weekly in the growing season to see what I add / forget ) !

As a final note, a little tip for you all. Dont buy drip trays for your seed trays, that cost way too much! Instead get yourself down to Poundland to buy some of these cat litter trays for just a quid each. Each one should hold 2 standard size seed trays with room to spare, saving you a few quid to spend else where. Buy different colours too to help you identify whats growing where !
Seems they come with a free fly swat !

Thats about it for today. Nice to see you keep coming back. Please leave your comments.