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Seed list 2013 – my year of experimental growing

seeds

In my last blog post I wrote about the seedlings that I’ve got growing/germinating/thinking about (hopefully) germinating in January. I’ve also been right through my seed collection and grouped everything into zip lock bags, an idea I saw someone post on twitter – last year I had a disaster with an automatic watering system so waterproofing is required! Instead of ordering the seeds by type, I’ve ordered them by month in the hope that I’ll be a bit more organised and I won’t forget to sow things, like the cucumbers I forgot last year.

I’ve totally discovered that I have far too many though! Some seeds simply won’t get sown, so I’ll prioritise new unopened packets and the seeds that I’ve gathered myself over any open ones that I’ve carried over, as they could be a bit dodgy.

Here’s the list!

Broad beans – Karmazyn and Aquadulce Claudia
Leeks – Mammoth Blanch and Musselburgh
Sweet Peas – various varieties
Tomatoes – Every year I grow a variety that my mum also grows, Sugar Plum. They’re the best! I saved the seeds from my crop. The sugar plums are late developers so I’ll be experimenting with some other varieties and sowing them in Jan & Feb then the sugar plum in March.
Lobelia – String of Pearls
Sprouts – Evesham Special
Sweet Pepper – Californian Wonder & Ingrid
Chilli – Cayenne (I saved from my crop last year), Anaheim and Jalapeno
Celery- Golden Self Blanching
Cabbage- January King (I think these are the big beastie ones!)
Cornflowers – mixed
Peas – Purple Podded & Douce Provence
Chives
Wildflowers – mixed packets that were given to me for the Bees
Beetroot – Boltardy
Radish – French Breakfast 3
Sunflowers – Velvet Queen
Asters – Mixed variety that I bought in Amsterdam
Carrots – Nantes Early, Resistafly F1, Amsterdam 2, Cortina & Purple Haze
Nasturtiums – Mixed Whirlybird
Dwarf French Beans – Amethyst
Runner beans – ‘Selby Beans‘ saved over from my crop
Stocks – Mixed
Cucumber – femspot F1 & Crystal Lemon (the round ones!)
Courgette- Atena Polka
Cauliflower – Purple Cape
Squash – Summer Satellite, Winter Uchiki Kuri & Cornell’s
Swiss Chard – Rainbow Mix
Black & White Kidney Beans
Turnips – Golden Balls! Oddly, while I was sorting, Mark’s Veg Plot posted this about his golden balls.
Spring Onions – Summer and White Lisbon Winter Hardy
Mustard – for green manure
Various Herbs and Salads – you name it, I grow them in pots everywhere, mixed in with my flowers.

Things I’m missing and need to buy:
Broccoli – Organic Green Sprouting
Pumpkins
Curly Kale!!!

I’ve been banging on about these and would you believe it, I don’t have any yet!

The other things I grow are Rocket potatoes and Turbo & Red onions from sets. I usually get the onions from Wilkinsons and they’ve never let me down. My mum traditionally buys me the Rockets from their local market and starts chitting them for me. I think this tradition is rather cute so I’ll carry on this year. I need to confirm where she got last year’s from though because they were poor. However, that could have been due to the weather.

I also grow fruit but I don’t think I’ll be adding to what I already have. You can guarantee that every time I visit a garden centre I will come out with something though and I’ll be given lots of plants and vegetables. Adam will no doubt want to sow a load of flowers too. Good job I love gardening!

I’m on holiday in Andorra next week and if I get any spare time I’ll be thinking about my crop rotation and I’ll share some plans at a later date. Have I missed anything from my list?! What have you got planned for 2013? Do you have any tips you can share?

Gardening in January – what’s growing on?

This month I’ll mostly be…

Did you ever see the Fast Show? If not, the line above will mean nothing but if you did then you might have visions of a funny old man emerging from his shed saying, “this week I’ave mostly been…” This month that’s me, except I’m a short ‘youngish’ girl and at some point this year I will have a new shed!

So, this month I’ll be sorting through all the seeds I’ve collected and been given and I’ll be compiling a list for 2013, which I will post in due course.

bradbeans
I’ve also already got some seedlings on the go in various places around the house. I’ve got broad beans germinating on the top windowsill (Karmazyn and Aquadulce Claudia). I’ve sown them in modules this year. You can start sowing these from November onwards although it’s usual to take a break after November and start again in February but this is only really if you’re sowing directly into the ground. If you have space to sow them indoors you can do this anytime.

I’ve covered mine with polythene bags to get them going. These are the ideal candidates for sowing in the cardboard tubes you find in the middle of toilet rolls or homemade newspaper pots and planting directly out in those at a later date. Once these get too big for my windowsill I’ll transfer them to my cold frame and assess the weather situation then. If it remains mild into February I might plant them out and cover in fleece if we get some cold snaps.
heated_propagator
As planned for January 1st I’ve also sown my giant leeks! I’ve used a blanch variety called Mammoth from Seed Parade. I’ve put these in my heated propagator to give them the best possible start. I’m growing them for a competition so I’ll post updates as I go along. I’ve never grown leeks like this before and really I’ve got no idea what I’m doing to be honest! I’m also going away on holiday next week and I’ll have to turn the propagator off then so they could be a bit of a flop. Watch this space!
sweetpeas_seedlings
I’ve also got some sweet peas germinating. Four different varieties, again from Seed Parade, there is a theory that getting them going earlier can lead to better plants so as 2013 is my year for experimentation I’m going to try this and sow some in spring too so I can compare.

I continuously sow salads and have a new experimental batch growing. Four varieties again from Seed Parade, Mixed Baby Leaf, Organic Lettuce Bowl, Arctic king and All Year Around. Even though I grow a lot of salads I am unsure what will happen with these. I sow all year round but have never done a fresh start like this before in December. They are looking a bit leggy and would benefit from having the top windowsill spot really but that’s been claimed.

Other than that I think I’ll save sowing anything else until February, or at least until after I get back from my holiday. I did a bit of pottering at the allotment on New Year’s Day, just tidying things up and making the place look at bit more presentable. While I was there I had a bit of a snoop and spotted a giant cabbage on one of the plots! I don’t think my photo really highlights just how big it is, quite beastly.
giant_cabbage
What have you got growing on?

Gardening gifts – I got some, yes!

garden_bottle_tealight_lanterns
Before Christmas I bought and made some garden related presents and the whole time I was secretly wishing someone would give me some prezzies for the garden. Well, my wishes must have been heard. Pictured above are some awesome glass tea-light holders from my mother-in-law, she must know just how much I like night gardening.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have bought me some cool seeds in the past and this year they topped up my collection for the new year with some very interesting veg varieties. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with these soon. I think 2013 is going to be my year for going all out and trying new things, I just hope the weather is better and won’t come along and destroy my attempts.
seeds
I am also totally buzzing with my new bee hotels! A simple one from my brother and a 5 star version from friends, who referred to visiting my garden in the new year as the ‘bee resort’. Luckily I love bees and welcome them to my plot. A couple of years back I did some ‘bee walks’ for BBCT and noted a general lack of flowers for bees in my area. Once the plants in my local park stopped flowering there were literally no bees in there, yet there’s an abundance of flowering plants that the council could have used to attract them from spring to autumn but they didn’t think to plant for bees. So, anything I can do to help protect bees and encourage them, I will do. I’ve had bees nesting in my garden before and it’s been great watching them flying around doing their work.
IMG_8368My other garden related present was this lovely handmade row marker which was actually a secret santa gift from a work colleague. I’m hoping this will help me achieve the professionally planted rows that I long for.
garden_veg_row_markers
Adam’s mum gave him these cool hooks for the shed he will be building in the new year. I can’t wait for that!
digtheoutside_trowel_hooks
Slightly off subject but maybe a vision of the future, this extraordinary chicken calendar. One day maybe I will own some of these ‘extraordinary’ creatures!
digtheoutside_extraordinary_chickens_with_text

Can you tell that I’m getting excited for the new growing season? Did you get any cool garden related presents?

Thanks for all your comments and support this year. Wishing you all a very happy new year :)

(CLOSED) Giveaway – create your 2013 garden with Seedparade

I’m delighted to bring you a giveaway from the wonderful online seed retailer – Seedparade.

With this giveaway you get to choose £30 of seeds, which will easily create you an entire edible garden for next year or provide you with a mass of flowers for any type of garden.

I’ve been really happy with all the seeds I’ve purchased from Seedparade who choose the finest quality seeds from around the world. I love their organic selection and their wildflowers for various soil types, so I hope that the lucky winner will be pleased. They also have a blog with lots of good ideas.

How to enter
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning £30 of seeds of your choice, is to follow my blog.

  • If you are logged in to WordPress click the black ‘Follow by email’ button on the right hand side of this page (just above the Facebook like widget).
  • If you aren’t logged into WordPress simply enter your email address into the text box above the same black button then click ‘Follow by email’
  • If you already follow me and wish to enter, simply email me at digbean@yahoo.co.uk

T&C’s
Please note, Seedaprade regret that they can not ship outside of the EU, so I apologise to my global readers but this giveaway is just for UK and EU.

Choosing a winner
I’m a professional computer nerd so you can be assured that at the end of the competition I will be able select a winner at random. You are also able to unsubscribe from my emails at any time, but you must be subscribed on the closing date to be in with a chance.

The giveaway is NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who entered. open until December 8th (11.59pm).

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