NASA we have a (money) problem

It may look a scientific experiment aboard the ISS that’s been done on the cheap but hopefully the above object may help us sort out the problems of “leggy” seedlings. The seed we sowed a week or so ago on the Weeds HQ windowsill has now started to germinate so we’ve taken the lid off the propagator and stuck the seed tray inside a cardboard box covered in tin foil. The idea of the tin foil is that the seedlings don’t grow towards the light from the window and instead grow upwards. This is a trick nicked off the great Graham Porter on the BBC Radio Leeds “Sunday Gardening with Tim Crowther” show. It’s the first time we’ve tried it so we’ll let you know how we get on.

There were three propagators in the set we bought from Shannon’s so behind the tin foil lined cardboard box another tray of seedlings has just been started off. Why not? It’ll be spring soon and we’ll need something to plant outside.

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That’s May sorted then!

Two events in the distant future that are well worth sticking in the diary or on that wallchart thingy:

Annual plant sale at The South London Botanical Institute, 323 Norwood Road SE24 9AQ. Saturday 12th May 11am – 1pm. Wide range of unusual, locally grown and reasonably priced plants and advice on how to grow them. Free entry. More info here.

Spring Plant Fair at Telegraph Hill Centre, Kitto Road, New Cross, London, SE14 5TY. Saturday 19th May 2018. 1pm until 2pm. Admission £2. More info here.

And for no other reason that finding this single on youtube at work this afternoon here is the excellent Big Youth with Gregory (Isaacs) with My Time.

And Bob Andy’s original from years gone by. Tunes to stick on loud this weekend while keeping warm indoors if the weather forecast is to be believed! Roll on spring!

Out of the starting blocks

It looks like the growing season is now underway at Weeds HQ after a quiet autumn/winter. The other Monday we popped into Shannon’s and purchased a set of three plastic plant propagators (complete with lid, seed and drip tray) at a nice price (below).

Granted they’re not as sturdy as those green hard plastic ones with the plastic cover that has a circular air regulator on the top but we find the covers of those types of propagators get used outside in the garden as cloches and seed protectors and by the end of the season are lost or in a right state. An advantage with the one from Shannon’s is that the seed tray is a collection of “plug plant” type holes that’ll make transplanting the seedlings a whole lot easier (less of that pricking out business!)
Seeds purchased: Tomato (Red Alert), Italian Basil, Pepper (Sweet Boneta) and Chilli Pepper (Numex Twilight – the fruit go all sorts of colours while ripening).Thanks to a discount code (Thanks to Ola at Thompson & Morgan Blog!) we purchased some nice seeds from Thompson & Morgan including some nice poppies, giant sunflowers (you know we here love anything with “Giant, Weird or Rare” in the title) and also a dwarf blackberry bush which’ll be good for sticking in a pot outside the kitchen door. One plant that did interest us was the cat’s whiskers/bat plant or the devil flower (below) that looks great but as we haven’t got a greenhouse or conservatory we had to pass on it. If you have somewhere under glass where it can go, go get this plant!
Seeds purchased: Poppy (Pink Fizz), Poppy (Checkers), Night Scented Stock, Russian Giant Sunflower, Sweet Pea (Night and Day).

Finally the Sunday just gone we ventured to the great place that is Roots and Shoots (in association with Pennard Plants) in Kennington for their potato and seed shop day. Getting there just before the allotted time of 11am we treated ourselves to some bamberger long seed onions and “Rocket” seed potatoes which when chitted (the art of producing nice green buds, more on how to do that here) we’ll do that trick of cutting them in half so we’ll have twice as many plants. Also after taking ages going through the racks of seeds we purchased some great heritage and heirloom seed varieties (more on what heirloon seed is here.)
Seeds purchased: Far too many to mention but included Beetroot (Detroit Crimson Red), Courgette (All Greens Bush), Sea Holly, Cornflower (Black) and Sweet Peas (Black Knight, America and Albuit Blue).

It’s been a very good week or two for gardening and we haven’t even set foot in the back! By the way do send in any news of seed swaps, plant sales or related events (London based or nationwide as they’re all good) as we’d love to post them up. Fingers crossed we’ll all be out in the garden very soon.

Spring is just around the corner

Here’s an excellent mix from a good mate of weeds The Rhythm Doctor. It features some lovely tunes including one of a very rare nature; Joe Monsano – Haile Selassie Instrumental off Bullet Dub, a special Rhythm Doctor re-edit of Lizzard – Satta I and the damn right mad The Upsetter – Tipper Special. The full tracklistings are:

Alan Watts – Intro
Beris Bradley – Cool Rock (Slight edit)
The Upsetter – Tipper Special
Rupie Edwards – Feeling Irie
Big Youth – Jim Screechie
Augustus Pablo – Harmony Dub
Light of Saba – Collie Version
The Destroyers – Compass
Geffrey Chang & all stars – U.F.O
Lizzard – Satta I Dub (RD version)
Prince Buster All Stars – Boop
The Morwell – The Giant
Joe Monsano – Haile Selassie Instrumental
Michael Campbell – Home Guard version
Linval Thompson – Mariguana
Blackbeard – Cut after Cut
The Upsetters – Return of the Super Ape
Prince Far I & The Arabs – Homeward Bound
Augustus Pablo – Abyssinia Dub

It’s a mix to stick on loud while sowing those early tomato seeds under a plastic propagator on a warm windowsill indoors. But in the words of the song “Cool it, don’t rush it” as it’s still a bit t’wirley!