The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: February 2009

Tomato Black Cherry

tomato black cherryI have sown seeds of Tomato Black Cherry again this year.  We have done well with these in the past couple of years and hope that the seeds will do us proud again this year. I should have bought fresh seeds I suppose but I thought I might as well give them a go to see of they germinate. If not I will buy more because they are well worth growing

Indeterminate. This purple skinned, cherry tomato with dark red flesh and a sweet and juicy flavour fruits in abundance throughout the summer. Ideal for greenhouse growing, or outdoors in a sunny spot.

Tomato Snow White

tomato snow whiteThis morning I sowed the first of my tomato seed. Five seeds to a five inch pot of John Innes Seed Sowing Compost. It is now sitting on the computer tower for a bit of bottom heat. Tomato Snow White is an Ivory coloured cherry tomatoes that are said to be sweet without being sugary. An indeterminate. Update – These tomatoes were great I must grow them again.

Five Fluffy Chicks – Hello Flossie

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(Update – of the five chicks, two had to be culled as they both had seriously splayed legs and just couldn’t cope. Two are cockerels and are going to live in Manchester and one seems to be a pullet so she will stay here. I am quite happy to have one Apenzeller to add to our little flock)

Delivery Day?

Well day 21 has arived but I didn’t get up this morning to the sound of cheeping. I think I can see slight wobble from two of the eggs but that may be my eyes deceiving me. we shall have to wait and see. Hatching is all about patience and I don’t have any.

I have a delivery coming today from Wickes; masonry paint to clean up the concrete posts ready for the fence, several bags of compost so I can get cracking on sowing some seeds, creosote to paint the inside of the chicken shed, as well as sand and gravel. Looks like a busy time ahead. Good deal though as Wickes Direct is new in our area and was offering free delivery and 15% off for new customers.

Hatch update – 17th Feb 9pm – first chick fully out and looking strong. – 19th Feb – last chick hatched mid morning today making a hatch rate of five out of the six eggs. A good result.

Allotment Growing by John Harrison

vegetable-growing-150.jpgLast night I ordered a copy of Allotment Growing. I already have a link to John Harrison’s website on the sidebar of my weblog under friends. Here is a link to the page specifically about his book.  http://www.allotment.org.uk/book/index.php With his permission I may occasionally refer to a hint or a tip gathered from his work. Whilst on the subject of gardening gurus I will mention again the links to two sowing and planting planners written by a forum member TeeGee. The links will also lead you to his website which is well worth a look. Update – well, at 11am the book was sitting on the door mat. First look was good. I like the style of writing, very conversational and friendly. I look forward to reading more. My parcel also included two packets of seed; Cabbage Kilaxy and Cauliflower Galleon.

Dessert Plum Opal – Prunus Domestica

plum-opal.jpgOpal plums are a sweet, bite-sized dessert plum with a great colour range. From sunshine yellow to deep purple, often on one fruit. They have pale yellow flesh with a Greengage flavour. This is a really early cropping plum tree and in a good year you can look forward to the first fruit being ready at the end of July. Opal is a self pollinator

We bought this tree today as a companion for the Cox apple in the chicken run. Update – both of these trees turned out to be plum so my Cox’s Apple tree is still a dream.

Dessert Apple Cox’s Orange Pippin – Malus Domestica

 

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We bought one of these trees today from Lidl for £3.99 and plan to plant it in the scratching area of the chicken run. There used to be a big old Sorbus in there but it has died completely and will have to be removed along with an old Bamboo. We shall have to protect the trunk until it is established. The hope is that as well as providing some shade for the girls they will enjoy the windfall too. We have a Granny Smith’s Apple in the side garden, close enough for pollination we hope.

The Cox’s Orange Pippin is England’s most famous apple variety, sweet with just the correct amount of acidity, it is packed with flavour.