Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: March 2010

They’re In – Mantis Stolen

We have been lucky in that since we moved onto the site there has been no vandalism. Until now that is. Rob and I arranged to meet at the plot at two o clock to plant a few seeds etc. When we arrived we found that the place had been vandalised and the big metal shed broken into and our lovely new Mantis Tiller stolen along with everyone else’s. How they gained access to the big shed, which is a big metal container like the ones used on big ships to transport goods, I can’t imagine. It had very hefty padlocks etc. but still they managed it so must have come prepared and had a large vehicle to transport all their spoils. Sheds were ransacked and tools stolen. Our brassica tunnel, which we had spent time restoring after the snow, had been kicked over. The site is not insured as the chairman and the treasurer do not feel it worth it but we feel that knowing the items were insured would have helped that sick feeling we had last night.

However, also in are the first of the Charlotte potatoes planted in bags. A row of Parsnip Hollow Crown, a row of Beetroot Boltardy and two rows of Pea Meteor. I scattered some seeds of Carrot Early Nantes and Carrot Eskimo in the big carrot bin too. The robbers did leave us a few old tools that were obviously not up to their standard for selling on.

Asparagus Gijnlim

We have just ordered five crowns of Asparagus Gijnlim. I have been reading up about this vegetable which I have eaten for the first time ever and quite enjoyed. Apparently if you can get a bed established it could give you a harvest for up to twenty years. The crowns were £1.50 each and delivery is free. We have a raised bed that we could build up a little more and with a little magic from the rotavator and a barrow load of good compost mixed with a bit of sand we may be on to a winner.

Gijnlim is an early season Asparagus, a high yielding male variety producing medium thick, mid-green spears with closed purple tips. Support may be needed for the stems of the tall growing ferns. The asparagus stems will go yellow in the autumn, cut off at ground level in the following Spring. Water well in dry weather. Keep the bed tidy by pulling weeds by hand. Around February/March time give the bed a dressing of general fertiliser. After the cropping season give the asparagus plants a mulch of rotted compost or manure.

Aubergine Violette, Mohican and Black Beauty

Today was the turn of the Aubergine seeds. I didn’t grow any last year and so as I had the seeds left I thought I would give them a go this year. The problem of old seeds is still there but no point throwing them away without trying to get them going.

Aubergines have a long growing season, at least five months, which is why seed is generally sown in March for planting out in May after the risk of frost has passed.

Courgette All Green Bush – Cucurbita Pepo

This afternoon I have sown four seeds of the Courgette All Green Bush. They are in a 7″ pot with a polythene cover and standing on the computer box for a little bottom heat. Germination update – these seeds germinated very well with three out of four making a good plant so thumbs up for Johnsons seeds.

A versatile variety that yields dark green tender fruits in abundance. Can be harvested as courgettes or left to develop into marrows. info from Johnsons Seeds