Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: January 2008

Tomato Tigerella

Tomato TigerellaThis morning I have sown two seeds of tomato Tigerella from Thompson & Morgan.Cordon (Indeterminate).greenback free, crops heavily and over 3 weeks earlier than Moneymaker. It grows well outdoors or in a greenhouse in all areas, has a rich, tangy flavour uniquely its own – and clearly defined red and yellow stripes! For greenhouse culture sow late winter to early spring. Germination usually takes 6-14 days.

Silkie Bantam Chicks

The seeds arrived today from Thompson & Morgan and I lost no time in getting one of the cucumber Carmen seeds into a three inch pot, covered it in polythene and sat it on top of the computer for a little heat. (germinated 1st Feb at 5 days). We had to go to B&Q for a new kitchen tap and couldn’t resist a couple of bags of seed potatoes even though we had already got our chosen quota. We went for Foremost and Pentland Javelin, both earlies to try and get the harvest out before the Blight strikes again. We picked up a creosote substitute so I can now have fun doing up my broody pen and buy some hatching eggs ready for the spring. Here are two of the Silkie bantam chicks from last year.

silkie chicks

Goodbye Ari and Silva

We made a latish visit to the plots in rare January sunshine. The site was deserted as most of the plot holders would have made an early start and have been tucking into their Sunday lunch by the time we drove through the gates. We took most of the seed potatoes down and put them into the small greenhouse inside the lean to. The seed potatoes we hoped would be harvested and on our plates for Christmas are just about pushing through the compost but do look very healthy. I potted up the Blueberry bought from the pound shop. It looks a bit sorry for itself so I’m not expecting great things. It is in ericacious compost and sheltering in the lean to so should be happy enough. At home we sold two of our lavender Araucana hens today to a nice couple from Yorkshire who arrived with their little boy Elliot. One of the good things about keeping chickens is the lovely people you meet along the way.

Racing Green

The seedlings Derby Day and Greyhound are racing along and showing through the soil already after only three days. Yesterday I sowed two aubergine Black Beauty amd today two tomato Moneymaker (germinated 8 days) and six tomato Gardeners Delight (3 up after 7 days).

sweet pea zorija rose

The first pot of sweet peas are already about two inches high, the second pot, left on top of moist compost to chit are already splitting and showing green,  and today I put the third lot on some damp kitchen towel to chit. They are Sweet Pea Zorija Rose. (Update August 2008 – These have been beautiful this season with loads of flowers and a strong heady perfume)

Sweet Pea Blue Ripple


Sweet Pea Blue RippleToday I sowed fifteen seeds of Sweet Pea Blue Ripple bought from Alan Romans. I am trying the chitting method as described by TeeGee a forum member. (no sign of chitting so transferred to a pot – 3 only showing through on 1st Feb) Update August 2008 – Although there were few plants there are loads of flowers which are very pretty but with little or no perfume

We’re Off!!

Today I ordered some cucumber seeds, Carmen, from Thompson and Morgan, as advised by a forum member. I also ordered cauliflower and tomato seeds to make the order worthwhile. The cucumber seeds are very expensive at £7.99 for five but on a special deal at the moment the most expensive packet of seeds is free so even with delivery charges it was a good price.


Cucumber Carmen A unique all female variety with resistance to all known strains of powdery mildew, scab and leaf-spot. Fruits are bitter free and produced in abundance – 50-100 per plant. Ideal for organic gardeners. Easy to train and day length sensitive. For maximum yield plant after 1st March. Sow singly from late winter onwards ½” deep in 3″ pots of moist compost. Germination usually takes 7-10 days. Transplant at the 2-3 leaf stage into 5″ pots and then into final position. Train up the main shoot to top of wire and then either pinch out the growing point or tie along the roof of the greenhouse. Keep moist but not wet, apply shading as required and provide a moist, warm atmosphere. Regular picking will encourage fruiting.


maxineRocketThe seed potatoes from Alan Romans arrived today and are now sitting in their egg boxes. This year we aren’t planting as many potatoes and the varieties we have gone for are Charlotte and International Kidney, both of which gave us a good harvest last year, and three we haven’t tried before, Rocket, Maxine and Annabelle. The Rocket were grown by some of the other plot holders last year and gave a good crop of earlies with a nice taste. Maxine is a nice looking bright red early Maincrop. Annabelle is a white early salad potato. We plan to grow all the potatoes in tubs this year and give them some cover too if we can, to try to avoid the blight which took most of our crop last season.

Things are beginning to get exciting now and I can’t wait to get some seeds sown. Hopefully tomorrow we shall be able to go and buy some compost and vermiculite. Watch this space……..