A seed-swapping Saturday in Deptford fun city

Seed Swap 2015

A big shout to Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for letting us know about their next seed swap on Saturday February 21st at Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Reginald Road, Deptford SE8 4RS from 1pm – 4pm.

Last year’s event was great (a post all about that here) and this one looks even better. Alongside the seed swap there’s some interesting talks too, including one from Dig This Nursery (who know a thing or two about the humble tomato) and Alison Marsden from Garden by Design. The cost of the afternoon is only £1, talk about value for money. Spread the word!

No tunes pon the iTunes

SFTS ITunesWant to know what happened when a council worker met a Sex Pistol? Or when a seagull stole a leaving card plus ten pounds in shrapnel at work? Would like to know more about the origins of the aggressive Peckham Parakeet? Or how about, tips on watching the International Space Station from your back garden while supping a glass of vino? or Why we love our seed tins?

Well, our “Sounds From The South” podcast aired on The Dirt on Fab Radio International last year has all the answers to the above and is now on i-Tunes. Give it a couple of weeks and all episodes will be up there and do look out for new ones coming very soon! Due to copyright we can’t put on any of tunes featured but there’s links to them in the shownotes. Tap in “Sounds From the South” into the i-Tunes store or at the link here. Subscribe, my gardening friends!

If anyone is keen on sending us their tune-age in a ambient, downbeat, dub or reggae style and don’t mind it being featured on the podcast if we like it here, drop us an email to onedeckpete (at) gmail (dot) com.

Blimmin’ eck, the sun’s out!

A lovely tune from the island of Hawaii (a place where they absolutely love reggae!) called “Smile” from Hirie (featuring E.N Young) with a nice and chilled dub version. This one’s a bit of a grower.

Thanks to our good friends “across the pond” Dr Strangedub and DJ Baby Swiss who have been playing this over the last few weeks on the excellent Echo Chamber on KFAI.

This is a tune to whack on while thinking of ditching plans for the rest of the day and go out and tinker in the back garden. Then you realise how cold it really is out there and have to give it a miss!

It’s never too early for “earlies”

It’s definitely that time again! I popped into Shannon’s today as I had a day off work and procured a small pack of first early seed potatoes, Pentland Javelin. Just like the last couple of years I’ve stuck my seed spuds in an egg box with the blunt end of the tuber upwards (the end that has the “eyes”) to give them a head start come the spring (aka “chitting”).Chitting 2015The process of “chitting” encourages the seeds to sprout before planting them outside. We’re not talking the long pale shoots that you see when potatoes have sprouted after being stored in the dark, but ones that are short and sturdy.

The important thing with “chitting” spuds is to make sure the container is in a cool position with natural light and where’s there’s no risk of frost. I’ve stuck mine next to the propagator on the floor in the back room by the patio doors.

A couple of years ago we were emailed a great tip from Shirley Calgary who said “Actually you do not need the whole potato – I have cut the potatoes in 2 or 3 pieces as long as you have a sprouted or sprouting eye you are all set.” Great stuff!

More on chitting here.propogator a week onAs for the propagator (post here), the seeds I put in last week have started to come through. How good is that? I know it’s early and I’ll be left with leggy tomato and pepper plants on the kitchen windowsill in the spring but why change a habit of a lifetime?

On the other side of the world…

Sweet CornA big thanks to our good friend (and musical collaborator) Paul Greenstein, formally of these parts now based in Melbourne, Australia for sending us some pics of his great garden taken last week. Just look at the healthy looking sweetcorn above!

I’m finding it hard not to be too jealous as it’s well dormant in our garden here and at the present moment it’s freezing and the rain is tipping it down! Paul was saying the other week it hit over 40 degrees and was leaving the garden looking a bit bedraggled. It looks good to us Paul!

Globe ArtichokesOn the great looking globe artichokes above he told us, “We left them a bit too late, so they’ve opened up, but we already ate a few and they were delicious. Apparently the second year is when you get a better crop, although they did pretty well for the first year. It’s been really hot, which tends to make the flower heads open more quickly.”


We love the aubergine above as well,  “We’ve got about five plants, but so far only one aubergine! Well at least it’s a big one” he told us, great stuff!

Below’s a kent aka jap pumpkin. “No actual pumpkins as yet, and it’s taking over the garden. We also have a load of tomatoes and courgettes just ripening up, so we’re planning to do a load of tomato sauce and various pickles.” Brilliant!

Jap (kent) PumpkinAnd finally a photo of a very hot looking cat!

Hot CatGreat stuff Paul, we’re loving your gardening pics.They’ve now whet my appetite and I can’t wait until the spring!

Have a listen to some good tuneage at his Soundcloud page here. Here’s a collaboration from a few years ago with myself (as Madtone) and Paul under his Audiovert guise.


Outside the winds blows a hooley, inside it’s mellow

Inner Circle ft. Chronixx & Jacob Miller – Tenement Yard (News Carryin’ Dread)

Heard this on David Rodigan’s radio show this week, a lovely reworking of Jacob Miller’s “Tenement Yard” from Inner Circle featuring the great Chronixx and a vocal loop of the late great Jacob Miller. A tune to warm up those cold evenings to come (if the weather forecasters are to believed!) and one that creeps up on you slowly.

Proud to be twirly

It’s always happens come this time of year, I start to get a bit twitchy and “sow just a few seeds” and come March/April I’ve loads of leggy looking tomato plants sitting on my kitchen windowsill waiting to go out after the risk of frost has gone. Will I ever learn?

It certainly don’t look like I will, as just after the new year I went to Shannons and bought some seed compost, a set of seed trays and a plastic propagator. I even had a look at one of those heated propagators with a view to buying one but at £30, had second thoughts. It’s funny I got rid of one on ebay a few years ago as I thought I’d never need it again. Great eh?

I was also told a top tip though at Shannon’s, “never mind buying a heated propagator, just stick one of the normal ones next to a radiator.” Not too close though as it will dry out the compost and the seeds will possibly cook!propogatorMy seeds aren’t by a radiator but just tucked out of the draughts by the patio doors in the back room (image above with an patented added extra to keep the lid firmly on, 2 clothes pegs!) I sowed some tomatoes (moneymaker), peppers (sweet mini-mix), coriander and lettuce leaf basil which will give you leaves as big as your hand (if the picture on ebay is to be believed!) As they used to say at the post office, I think I have “a touch of the twirlies*”

compost bin 2015

Also over the christmas holidays while off work, I managed to tidy up some of the back garden that got a bit neglected last year. A couple of beds have now been weeded, forked over and now ready for the growing season, giving myself a bit of a head start come spring. I spread some of the great compost that is now starting to come out of the compost bins (albeit with eggshells still in it, I’m now breaking them down more before sticking them in the bin).

garden stardate jan 2015

Also there was a bag of seed onions (Troy) under the stairs that I should have sown in the autumn to be overwintered. Even though I thought I kept them cool and in the dark there’s a few green shoots developing so a few of those went in alongside some cloves of french elephant garlic.

They’ll more then likely rot but “what the eck” they’ve gone in under the old glass frame I found in the street years ago which now doubles as a cold frame once two broken peices of paving slabs go on the ends of it and there’s a few onions under the sawn off glass part of the old kitchen door we had replaced (image above).

I mean can you ever be “too early”? We’ll soon see come the spring, if they’ve either rotted or started sprouting! As I write this, the rain is lashing it down like nobodies business. “Twirly?” I do think so!

*Full explanation of the term “twirlies” here.