Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: February 2017

Sowing Brassicas

I have sown the first trays of Brassicas for the year. One 20 module tray of Brussel Sprouts Evesham Special. I have put more than one seed to a section as the seeds are not new this year. One large module tray including 6 Romanesco, 6 Cauli Autumn Giant, 6 Cabbage Primo, 6 Cabbage Derby Day, 6 Cabbage Glory of Enkhuisen and 6 Cabbage Kilaxy. Sown on the 4th February so I should see some signs of life in ten to fifteen days. They are all brassicas that I have grown before many times. Six Romanesco through after five days. Romanesco potted on today 16th Feb. Cauliflower Autumn Giant potted on too 16th Feb.

The GOE are from Seekay at 75p for 100 seeds. The Romanesco and the Autumn Giant Cauliflower, 65p for 50, are new seeds this year but all the others are at least one year old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have had no luck with the brassica seedlings at all, neither the old seed or the new. Today 29th April, I have sown another tray of seeds but have also bought 72 plants from Webbs They are Cauliflower All Year Round, Cabbage Greyhound and Brussel Sprouts Evesham Special.

Tomatoes

I sowed the first Tomato seeds today, 2nd Feb, a little early but last years didn’t seem to have enough time to mature fully. I have sown four Gardeners Delight, two Black Opal, two Alicante, four Black Russian, four Tigerella and four Ildie. I have sown two to a module. Germination should be 1-2 weeks. Update – All of the seeds germinated at seven days and today, 13th Feb,  I have potted them on.

Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and are rich in Vitamins A and C and lycopene, all helping to stimulate your body’s immune system.

Gardeners Delight from T&M – This variety has truly tangy flavour. This cordon has long been a favourite for its trusses of bite-sized cherry tomatoes.

Black Opal F1 Hybrid from T&M – I bought these new in 2016, the dark fruits of Black Opal are tasty Cherry tomatoes. This unique cross combines the dark skin and health benefits of Black Cherry with the high sugar content of Sweet Aperitif whilst retaining high levels of anthocyanins and lycopene.

Alicante from Alan Romans – This vigorous cordon Alicante is open pollinated and will grow true from saved seed. A typical traditional tomato.

Black Russian from Seekay – This is a medium tomato with dark skin that has a superb flavour. The fruits darken with age to almost dark brown when fully ripe.

Tigerella from Seekay – This Indeterminate tomato produces a tangy flavoured crop of early ripening fruit that have yellow stripes.

Ildie from Seekay – A large bush type tomato that grows 5′ – 6′ high producing trusses of gorgeous yellow grape sized tomatoes.

Aubergine Mohican – 2017

I bought these seeds, Aubergine Mohican, F1 Solanum Melongena, in 2007. Ten year old seeds won’t stand much chance of germination in my opinion but I feel that I have to give them a go. Mohican look more like an egg than any other egg plant that I have seen. I tipped a few on to my hand, eleven, and have put them into a pint pot of moist compost and sealed them in a polythene bag. Watch this space!!! I have tried to grow these strange plants many times over my gardening years with mixed success and there are several mentions on old blog posts. If I remember rightly they need heat to germinate so I have put the pot next to the radiator.  My old note to myself way back was treat these seeds the same as Tomato. The first time that I ever sowed these they germinated after two days so my disappointment may arrive swiftly.

History – Native to India, this member of the lethal, deadly nightshade family is kin to tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. It was brought to Spain by the Moors more than 1,300 years ago. Botanists in 16th century Europe called eggplant mad apple because some believed it made people insane. In medieval Europe it was considered useful as a love potion. There is a subtle connection there I think.

 

Eryngium Planum Blue Hobbit – Sea Holly

Eryngium Blue Hobbit  is a dwarf Eryngium, which can be grown in a patio pot. The 12″ plants become top-heavy in midsummer, with sprays of nearly 100 inky-blue flowers. Blue Hobbit is a herbaceous perennial with spiny edged leaves and spiky, cone-like, bright blue flowers on strong stems throughout summer and autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four of the six seedlings survived and are now potted on into five inch modules. I hope that they make it through to May for planting out in the garden.

Geum Mrs Bradshaw

Geum Mrs J. Bradshaw is a clump forming herbaceous perennial with fuzzy, dark green pinnate leaves and erect purple stems supporting double flowers. The rich scarlet blooms set against emerald green foliage are a bonus in the border. These hardy perennial plants will flower all summer from June right through to September. An excellent Geum variety awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases. Cut back the foliage after flowering to encourage new growth. Update – Only two of the seedlings made it through the Winter and they have been potted on again into five inch modules.