Seed trial update stardate 2.6.19

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last post about the seeds on trial from Thompson and Morgan but there’s been some changes. The spinach plants in the pot on the windowsill (below) are doing well. We’ll transplant a couple of them in the garden so leaving a couple in the pot and see how they get on. There’s a couple of patches of T&M’s spinach outside that seem to be tolerating our London clay soil.

A sunflower in its very early stages plus one of the tomato plants were transplanted outside yesterday morning with no hardening off. The both of them seem to have survived the searing weather on their first day outside too, let’s see how they get on with the local slugs!

The lewisham recycling bin has the nasturtiums in and they’re making progress, we reckon we’ll be leaving possibly only one in the bin and move the other plants around the garden.

And finally the spaghetti squash is doing well, no slug damage as yet and putting on some growth. Let’s see what the weather brings. Give us a few weeks and we’ll keep you updated with this and the other trial plants in the garden. Ta T&M for the chance of giving the plants a go!

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 heirloom seeds are 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.

Do it in the mix

Tomtato_CloseI can’t remember what radio show I heard about this mad plant above (possibly Graham Porter on BBC Radio Leeds) but it’s called a TomTato ® aka ketchup and chips and available from Thompson & Morgan. At first I thought it was some sort of joke but they’re available for a tenner a plant if you fancy one in your garden. scotch eggThey also do egg and chips, an aubergine crossed with a potato but at nearly £15 a plant I’d be making sure those blooming garden pests wouldn’t get to them first. I’d have evening and dawn anti-slug patrols guarding my veg beds if I shelled out that much for a plant!

Ain’t it bonkers what they can do today? Me, I’ll be sticking with my leggy tomato seedlings.