Archive for the ‘Seed Saving’ Category

Seed Collection

Person Author: Sojali Farm Calender January 11, 2015 Posted Tags: , , , , , Comment No Comments
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Gathering tomato seeds is not as scary as it might sound.  After growing a few different varieties you may find one that you like so much, that you want to ensure you will always be able to have the seeds to grow your own at home without the risk of the shop your bought them from not stocking them next year. All you need to do is take a few simple steps and you can guarantee that next year you will have the same tomatoes that have enjoyed in the past and without having to hunt down elusive seeds. Firstly, we need a few bits and pieces to enable us to gather those seeds, namely, a tomato. Pick one that is ripe from a disease free plant. You will need a bowl, a sieve, some water and some paper towels. Slice the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with as little ‘jelly

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How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 1)

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Wow - I was quite astounded when I added the quantities of veg that I grew on my allotment last season.. I grew 588 kg. on 165 sq. mt.   My Harvest 2013 After seeing the price of runner beans in town I decided to do a harvest record just to see how much I have grown and priced at supermarket prices.. Some estimates are on the lower side!! Strawberries 40kg = 88punnet @ £2.50 = £225 Broadbeans 6kg @ £1.80 per kg = £11 Peas 6kg @ £2 = £12 Potatoes 90kg @ £1 = £90 Gemsquash 130 @ 50p = £65 Runner beans 31kg @ 6.67 = £207 Courgettes 20kg @ £1.60 = £32 Squashes loads +/- 12 @ £1 = £12 Hubbard squash 4 large @ £4 = £16 Acorn squash 21 @ £1 + £21 Pumpkin 1 @ 2kg @ £2 = £2 Beetroot +/- 25 kg @ £3.3 = £83 Garlic 80 large bulbs @ 50p = £40 Onions 450 @ 2

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Growing and Propagating Strawberries

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 21, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 2 Comments
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The snow is upon us, which has prompted me to write this article. Many gardeners are worried that their Strawberries will die in the snow - Rest assured they WILL survive. They love the cold and snow conditions.. Fresh Strawberries from the plot are a great seasonal treat. You can have them as the traditional "Strawberries and Cream" and many many more ways.. Trifles, puddings, pies etc. etc. They are great for making jams as well. I use them and mix in with various other fruits to make jams and jellies. See my  "Strawpple Jam" here. Literally hundreds of combinations can be done with Strawberries. You can successfully grow Strawberries in containers as well.. See information here.         General The two types of Strawberries  that I know of are the normal fruiting type

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Asparagus – grow from crowns or seed?

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 14, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 1 Comment
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Many people don't know what they are missing when it comes to home grown Asparagus... (Boiled for 10 minutes, drained and butter splurged over them and a bit of salt sprinkled)    Absolutely Deeeeeelicious.. Well we think so... and so do my family past and present. We always had asparagus growing wherever we were living. We grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe and eventually had our own 12 acre plot with a 2 acre veg patch and huge asparagus bed.. Now my Allotment has a new bed as well. Like other perennial vegetables growing asparagus is easy to do but it takes a bit of effort to get started. It is nearly maintenance free once established. They do take up a lot of room for what you get from them (only a 6-8 week cropping period) but well worth it if you have the space. They can gro

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Planting Garlic started off in pots

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender December 30, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
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I never seem to be ready for planting my garlic directly in the plot in Oct / Nov each year so I start them in pots. Then when they have sprouted and started growing and the plot is ready I then plant them out (weather permitting). It is probably best to sow directly so you don't disturb when planting out but if one's plot is not ready there is no choice but to start them off in pots. Pics showing my tiny new bulbils with two normal cloves, last year bulbils and cloves ready for planting into pots in October.              I always keep some of the biggest cloves for planting out before I make garlic oil or freeze the rest. I also buy or scrounge named varieties on occasions. People say they also plant supermarket garlic - this is ok if its English grown but not if it's fro

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Home-made “Black Gold”

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender December 23, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 2 Comments
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Today is one of the first days I have had a chance to get into my home garden due to work and rain.. So i’m making the most of it and getting some compost ready for potting my seeds this season. Home made compost is one of the best things you can do in a very small space at the back of the garden shed etc.. I have 2 dalek type bins plonked half under a huge fir hedge behind my greenhouse and they don’t get much sunlight at all. But they still make great compost. See my article on Composting here. I basically throw anything that can degrade into it and a year later its done. I hardly ever mix or turn it.    I don’t have much manoeuvring space so I have a short spade to dig the compost out of the bottom door, then into an old recycling bin and then taken to the potting s

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How to over-winter your Chilli plants..

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender December 9, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
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I thought I would share this as it is time to get your Chilli plants ready for overwintering. (I confess this is not my article – I found it on "chilli king" website when I was looking to over winter a few plants of mine.) It is much easier to bring them out after over-wintering as plants rather than bringing them up again from seed. You can choose the best plants in Autumn / Winter that you have to keep for the following season. You are basically going to put them in hibernation and bring them out in the Spring to flourish once more.. 1. Not all your plants will make it though the winter. Assuming you are like most people available space (away from frosts) such as in the greenhouse or conservatory or a sunny windowsill will be limited so only choose your best looking, healthie

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Saving Seeds – Flowers

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

It's mid-August and an ideal time to save your own flower seeds. Lots of flowers either have or are starting to set seed. A quick walk around my own garden and I found about 20 different flower seeds to collect. Flower seeds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are large and easily collected, like Sweet Peas, Cerinthe and Morning Glory. Other seeds can be very small and fine, like Poppies, Foxgloves and Lobelia. The best time to harvest the seed is when the pods are starting to go pale brown. It doesnt matter if the pods still have some green, but the seed will have better germination if it is mature. Poppies for example can be harvested when pale green and still give good viable seed. There are a number of ways you can collect seeds. The easiest way is to walk round the garde

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Saving Seeds – Tomatoes – Peppers – Squashes

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Saving seeds from plants you have grown can be great fun and adds another element to your gardening experience. Some of the most popular vegetables people grow, are tomatoes and peppers, including chillies. Saving seed from these plants is very easy. Always remember as with all plants F1 hybrids are a cross between two other varieties and will not come true from saved seed. It is best to save seed from heritage or open pollinated plants. [ Your original seed packet will say if it's an F1 or other hybrid ]. To save seed from a tomato, select a mature and ripe fruit, one that is of good quality and of a healthy, disease free plant. I like to place my chosen fruit on a saucer and keep on my kitchen windowsill, till nice and ripe and just starting to go soft. This will ensure that the tomat

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Saving Seeds – Peas and Beans

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 1, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 1 Comment
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The saving of seeds from crops you have grown, can have a number of benefits. It allows you to have an amount of seeds that would be costly to buy, also if you select carefully, over time you can develop your own strain. Many older gardener kept seeds from each years crops, selecting from the best plants. By selecting the plants that produced seeds that had good germination, strong growth and produced good healthy crops, a local strain could be developed that grew well in their locality on their allotment or garden. Many heritage varieties were saved from extinction because of saved seeds found stored in garden or allotment sheds. Some of the easiest seeds for the amatuer gardener to save are legume family, this includes peas, mangetout, broad, runner, climbing and dwarf beans. It is best

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