The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: March 2008

Well Done Misty

This morning I sowed seeds of Swede Best Of All in modules as last years crop sown direct was hopeless. I also sowed two 3″ pots with lettuce seeds Iceberg and All The Year Round. I did loads of potting on again and before I knew it the whole morning had disappeared. I seem to have less time now that I am retired than I did before.

Lettuce All The Year RoundLettuce IceburgSwede Best Of AllThis morning I sowed seeds of Swede Best Of All in modules as last years crop sown direct was hopeless. I also sowed two 3″ pots with lettuce seeds Iceberg and All The Year Round. I did loads of potting on again and before I knew it the whole morning had disappeared. I seem to have less time now that I am retired than I did before.

 

The chicks are due to hatch tomorrow and the incubator is due to arrive too. The weather is picking up and I am hoping for a bit of sunshine for the babies. Misty has been a very good broody as her sister Frosty was last year too. They are Silver Sussex and are well known to be good mothers. Her brood will be Bantam Wyandottes. Can’t wait.

Hey Big Spender – RCOM20 Incubator

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We finally decided to invest in an incubator and went for the RCOM20 from P&T Poultry. Our savings have taken as much of a battering as the allotment this week as we have also bought some plastic tubing and some netting to build a tunnel.

On Tuesday morning I checked on Pecker, who was initially sitting on three duck eggs and six Wyandotte eggs,  and she was down to three intact eggs.  I took the last three from her and popped them under Misty, our other sitting broody. The hatch is due next Tuesday 1st April. The first try we had this year was with some Silkie eggs and the broody ate them and then with what happened with Pecker’s clutch we decided not to risk any more eggs. I have sixteen eggs here now. They are a mix of Silkie and Pekin so we are hoping for more success with the incubator. We popped down to the plots today even though it was blowing a gale down there we managed to dig over a couple of beds ready for planting up.

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How could we tire of hope?
– so much is in bud. Denise Levertov

Sunflower Giant

sunflower giantToday I sowed 6 Sunflower Giant seed, three to a 3″ pot. We had planned to try some sown directly at the plots but its so cold and windy down there at the moment. If these make decent strong plants I may sow them all at home. (update – all have germinated after just three days)

Libbie is 3

libbie

It is Libbie’s third birthday so we went to take her presents over. She is so beautiful and really bright. We are so proud of her.

When we came home we got changed and spent an hour at the plots. Rob planted two rows of potato Rocket on plot 18 and I planted some Dhalia corms Graceful Mix and a root of Gypsophilia in the flower bed on plot 8. I collected a good sized bag of sprouts to bring home and the rest of the time was spent pulling up plants past their best and tidying beds ready for new planting.

Seedlings

I have loads of seedlings coming through now and have run out of seed compost so have had to stop for a while. The Brussel Sprout seedlings in the propagator must have been too warm as they have shot up and are leggy. I have transplanted the leggy ones to toilet roll tubes and taken the rest out of the warmth. Three of the five Butternut Squash seeds have germinated and look very good. I have sown a mixture of yellow and red sweet pepper seeds in a 7″ pot. I collected them from peppers I have cooked today so they are really fresh. In the greenhouse outside I have planted a large terracotta pot up with Narcissus Tete-a-tete and yellow and blue violas.

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Melons and Lemons

Today I have sown seeds of Melon Minnesota Midget, Melon Sugar Baby and Melon Honeydew, eight of each. I tried the Minnesota Midget last year but found that they ran out of summer too soon. The plant grew and thrived and even set fruit but they were too late in the season to mature. Thats why I am sowing early this year and going to put them under cover. This morning I have sown 24 Busy Lizzie seeds in a modular propagator tray and they are now sitting on the window ledge. I have often bought these from the garden centre as small plants but have never grown them from seed. I haven’t seen this particular variety before. They were bought from Alan Romans at 50p for 85 seeds.

melon sugar baby

citrus tuscan lemon

 

 

 

 

Last season one of the most exciting things we grew was the Avalon Butternut Squash but just like the melons it suffered from not having a long enough growing season so today I have sown five seeds in a four inch pot in damp compost and enclosed in a polythene bag and they are now sitting in my plastic greenhouse which is in my computer room here so I can mollycoddle them well.

avalon butternut squash

Squash:Winter:Avalon F1Hybrid
A superb variety of compact Butternut Squash. Early to ripen, and with a rich sweet orange flesh, Avalon is perfect for baking and roasting. The fruits will also store well, for up to 6 months. Harvest August onwards Cut and store before frosts. 
Sow April to May in 3in pots at 68-86F on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Apply a layer of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container in a polythene bag until after germination which takes 5-10 days