Gardening Day, Potting Onions, Sowing and a Vist to Garden Centre

A Gardening Day.

Since yesterday was spent messing around with a mis-configured mail server, I asked the boss if I could have today off. Well to be honest, the MD insisted I take some time off that blessed computer. Can’t argue with the MD since she might beat me!

 Stapeley Gardening Centre

We’re fortunate in having Stapeley Water Gardens just a stone’s throw away and a little further takes us to Bridgemere Garden Centre. They organise trips to these places from far and wide.

Of course, we had to pop into Aldi’s and check for bargains on the way so I picked up a pack of compost accelerator and then to Stapeley. I wanted to start sowing the tomatoes but I hadn’t any plum tomatoes so that was the official reason. I got a pack of San Marzano for just ?1.25, which I thought was a pretty good price. They were Suttons under an Eden Project label. I’ve been successful with Plum Roma but I heard the blessed Bob Flowerdew sing their praises on Gardeners Question Time recently. While I was in the seed section , I noticed some climbing borlotti beans. I have a dwarf variety but not a climbing one, so picked those up as well.

I picked up a couple of four foot (OK 1168mm in silly money) heavy duty gravel trays as well to go in the small greenhouse on the plot on the benching I have yet to build.

Back home, a quick cuppa and it was down to the potting shed. It was bitter cold in the wind but not too bad in the shed, about 10 degrees.

Moving the Onions Along

John Carver had given me some of his large exhibition onion seedlings and they badly needed moving on. I filled a decorative pot with water and washed the soil off the tangled roots. This enabled me to separate them with minimum damage and transplant into modules. Ended up with 30 from one three inch pot.


I’d sown some cauliflowers and germinated them in the back south facing bedroom. Although it’s unheated one sunny day was enough to have scorched them. Still, I moved 3 of each variety on into two inch pots. I’ll keep a close eye to see if they survive.


I sow these into a mix of seed and general purpose compost. I find the seed compost alone a bit solid and the general purpose (Humax) just opens it up enough. I just use some half height two and a half inch pots,

Tomato Varieties:

  • Harbinger – one I’ve not tried before and got from the NVS seed swap.

  • Sungold ? my favourite small sweet yellow tomato

  • Garden Pearle ? another cherry tomato, we usually grow outside in the garden

  • Big Boy ? as the name says, a big beefsteak variety

  • Ailsa Craig ? an old variety but I like the flavour even if it is prone to greenback

  • Gardeners Delight ? another old favourite, which I think is worth a go at least although last time I grew it I wasn’t too impressed by the flavour

Cucumber & Aubergine

After the tomatoes, I sowed some Tasty King cucumbers and then two types of aubergine. First was Black Beauty, a standard deep purple variety and Red Egg. Red Egg was a T&M but they don’t seem to stock it now. Apparently a South American variety giving hen’s egg sized fruits.

Then Hot & Sweet Peppers

Last year I discovered habenero peppers had a bit of a kick, hopefully they’ll do as well this year along with some generic cayenne peppers. We still have hanging strings of those dried.

For the sweet peppers, Golden Californian Wonder and a pack of mixed salad peppers should provide.

Everything was taken upstairs to germinate in the propagator in the north facing bedroom. One tip, don’t water them in with cold water. Using tepid water helps get the compost up to a good temperature faster.

Greenhouse Benching

I hadn’t finished, though. The boss is on a decorating spree (she doesn’t let me play with paint) so to B&Q. I picked up some wood for the construction project. Now I know I could probably get the wood a bit cheaper elsewhere but this way I don’t spend a load of time and fuel to save a few pence.

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