Live at the seed trials

Thanks a million to all at the Thompson & Morgan blog for sending us a lovely package a few weeks ago that contained some packs of yet-to-be-released 2020 seeds to trial in our garden. They came in a nice green wallet and the actual seeds (that were in sealed plain white metallic packs) were labelled simply “spinach 201902”, “squash 201904” etc as the proper names of the varieties are under wraps and will be given out later this year. We love that sort of thing here at Weeds. Very GCHQ. Walls have ears and all that!

Above is a bit of an experiment, we recently moved a small silver birch we originally found in the street a couple of years ago (post here) and around it we planted a ring of broad beans, don’t ask us why but it made sense at the time!

In the circle we thought we’d sow a row of the lettuce and spinach. Hopefully the shade will be just enough to keep the plants growing but not bolting (aka going to seed early) as spinach and lettuce do have a tendency to do so if the weather is too hot. It’s only an idea, let’s see how we get on.

We’ve already started off a fair few tomato varieties this year but we welcome another one with open arms especially one in a plain white envelope just called “tomato 201905”. We may have started them off too late (and we didn’t write down the date of the sowing sadly) but it seemed like they took their time to germinate on the kitchen windowsill (compared to the spaghetti squash that was planted on the same day). Out of the three tomatoes that have germinated so far, nearly all of the seedlings are nowhere near the centre of the pot. When/how did the seed move? There must be a scientific explanation, answers on a postcard please. We look forward to finding out what varieties these are. Will they be small cherry tomatoes or beefsteak ones the size of your hand?

The tropaeolum (nasturtium) was sowed directly outside in the Lewisham Council recycled bottle bin and has germinated like a treat. We’ll transplant a couple of these around the garden. We like the look of the darker leaves than the usual varieties of nasturtiums we usually put or self seed in our garden.

The spaghetti squash is something new to us and it will be great to see what they look like and actually taste like. The seed was germinated on the kitchen windowsill and went out in the garden just when it had two seed leaves on with the minimum amount of hardening off (one night under a cloche!) and it’s doing well!

Apart from spinach in a pot on the kitchen windowsill (above) there’s sunflowers in a seed tray, some lettuce sown (in the ridge) in between earthed up potatoes and zinnias (that we have never grown before but look interesting) sowed straight into the ground. We will keep you posted!

Back after a short break…

A big thanks goes out to DJ Phil Harmony in Berlin for playing (and for the kind words too) a couple of tracks off Jazzmin & Madtone’s “This Frequency E.P” on his excellent Dubnight Radioshow on Radio Blau. Another gardener of the dub variety (a few interesting past posts from Phil are here and here) he’s sent us some recent gardening pics of his pots on his balcony where there’s limited sunlight.

The first is of the herb Lovage. As Phil told us “I was very surprised when I cleaned my pots as I found the root in the soil with little sprouts so I let it sit and a few weeks later it came back to life! I love this herb for potato or other soups. We also call it Maggi herb”. Looks good, we’ve heard of it here before but never used it, perhaps we should!

And some spuds he started off this year, and they’re looking grand! He only had a smallish harvest last year (below) but as Phil says “the taste you get from your own harvest is not like anything you can buy, not even in the organic shops! Even if you only grow just one tomato it’s not comparable with anything from the supermarket!” and he’s right! Good luck with the spuds Phil! Keep sending us those pics.