As I mentioned earlier in my diary, I had a bit of a disaster with my first sowing of tomatoes, managing to freeze some and then cook them. Some of the ones I didn’t manage to kill are looking a bit thin on the ground, so another sowing. All into 2½” half-height pots that will go into my bedroom windowsill to germinate.
- Harbinger (T&M) these look like a decent cordon tomato but they’re no longer available.
- Ailsa Craig (T&M) an old standard variety with a nice tomato flavour but susceptible to greenback
- Sungold (T&M) our favourite sweet yellow tomato that my young nieces and nephew are convinced are sweets.
- San Marzano (T&M) an Italian plum variety that I hope will be better than Roma that we normally grow for sources.
- Garden Pearl or Gartenperle which we grow in hanging baskets as a salad cherry tomato.
Gaynor from the allotment site had kindly donated some Gardener’s Delight seedlings so they went into 3″ pots in the greenhouse.
I also sowed some extra assorted chlli peppers – you can’t have too many chillis!
Next on the list were the brassicas. Once again the first sowing wasn’t too successful as they got scorched in the windowsill. All into 2½” half-height pots in the coldframe. I’ll prick out as soon as ready
- Purple Graffiti (Dobies) the flavour is nothing special but they are worth growing for the amazing colour alone, which is supposed to make them rich in antioxidants.
- Cauliflower All Year Round (T&M) a standard summer variety, holds well and usually has reasonable sized heads.
- Romanesco (Dobies) didn’t succeed last year, but hey if at first you don’t succeed you try again.
- Calabrese Chevalier (HDRA) did rather well last year so hoping for more of the same.
- Broccoli Autumn Calabrese (Wilko) a cheapo seed but they grew well last year
- Broccoli Early Purple Sprouting (T&M) is a new one to me. All part of the excitement with new varieties, will it, won’t it?
- Brussels Sprouts Wellington F1 (Suttons) gave a reasonable performance last year
- Brussels Sprouts Topline (T&M) an early variety that is supposed to stand well
- Cabbage Kilaxy (Suttons) the club root resistant variety. These were a free gift from the NVS. I don’t have club root but if I did they would be a must.
- Cabbage Red Fuego (Johnsons) I did well with these last year
- Cabbage Marner Storing Red (HDRA) didn’t perform as well as Fuego but last year’s brassicas ended up a bit of a disaster anyway so not exactly a fair trial.
- Cabbage Christmas Drumhead (Wilko) Standard drumhead variety
- Cabbage Greyhound (T&M) an old variety producing pointed hearts.
That lot should cover our needs (there is just the two of us!)
I’ve sowed these into modules, 6 per half seed tray and will thin to one plant per module. These also went into the coldframe along with some slug pellets in case the little devils get in there as well.
- Little Gem (T&M) I know lettuce isn’t fashionable but we like a sweet cos lettuce and these are just the right size for us.
- Lettuce Tom Thumb (T&M) a solid butterhead, fast and great in traditional salads
- Lettuce Lollo Rossa (T&M) good flavour and nice in mixed salads
I like to start my sweetcorn by chitting them and planting very carefully into 3″ pots as soon as the root strikes. I pop them between damp kitchen roll in an airtight Tupperware style container in a warm dark place and check daily. See picture below.
I’ve sown two packets (we like sweetcorn) of Extra Tender & Sweet F1 (T&M)
Potting On Onions
The smaller onions from John Carver were looking good in the modules but already the roots were starting through so they all went into 3″ pots. I use a lot of square black 3″ pots because you can get more onto the bench than round pots. I know that’s not logical since the round pots are 3″ but that’s how it seems.
Carrot & Parsnip Mash
As if that wasn’t enough for an afternoon, when I came in I turned the last of the parsnips and carrots into a mash. They won’t last much longer so this way we can freeze them in portions. Dead easy to do. I prepare the vegetables and chop into chunks which get cooked in the pressure cooker. I love the pressure cooker as it is an energy efficient way to bulk cook. Then just mash with a generous lump of butter, some salt and white pepper. Job done in 10 minutes.