Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Alan Romans

Garden Birds Brighten up A Grey Day

It’s grey, foggy and cold outside this morning so, after making sure that all the pets are fed and comfortable, to cheer myself up I have ordered the seed potatoes for next year. I am using Alan Romans again as we have always received reliable quality goods from them. I have ordered one bag of Charlotte, three bags of International Kidney and three bags of Vivaldi. We have grown them all before so no surprises. They are first and second earlies so they should be up before any risk of Blight. Despite the greyness of the day there was plenty of colour and entertainment in the garden this morning as the birds were busy feeding.



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……..

To Chit or Not to Chit That is The Question

Rain, rain and even more rain. Temperatures are very mild for January but there are bound to be frosts and low temperatures to come. Nothing much happening at the allotment so apart from delivering the poo for the compost all we have done is tie down fences etc which have been loosened by the high winds.

The seed potatoes arrived yesterday from Alan Romans with no substitutions. Everything exactly as we ordered. International Kidney, King Edwards, Cara, Pink Fir Apple, Lady Christl, British Queen, Charlotte, Picasso and Roseval.

International Kidneybritish queenrosevalcara

All we have to do now is decide what to do with them while we wait for planting time. A lot of discussion going on on the forums about whether to chit or just plant but our first concern is how and where to store them. We have decided to put our little Wilko greenhouse inside the lean to and lay the potatoes on the shelving when we are ready to chit them. They are in very good condition at the moment so we want to keep them that way. We are planning to grow some in pots and bags and the rest in the ground. I have e-mailed Alan Romans for advice about storage and planting times so we will wait and see what he says. I will have to look up again which are earlies etc as I have forgotten now. Later this month we are planning to sow another row of broad beans and peas outside and sow cauliflower and leeks in pots undercover. Hope the rain slows down a bit though or we may have to wait until February.