Archive for the ‘New Seeds’ Category

Mmmm new Project – DIY Light Grow Box…

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 28, 2014 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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So..... I was sitting at the Christmas dinner table (on boxing day) with the family and suddenly decided I need a grow box to play with for growing some show onions, a few peppers and chilies.. Bright idea... I had a light box of sorts sitting in my garage for layering my vinyl signs which I had made out of an old cupboard from a skip with some lights inside and a perspex top. Basically a box to lay signs on and then lay another one on top in the correct positions to create different backgrounds etc. I don't use it any more so decided it can be DIY'd into my new grow box.     I removed the lights and door, hacked it shorter and started on the new design. I had previously used 6 energy saver bulbs and had some plugs and switches in my draws. I decided on using 2 bulbs and hav

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How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 2)

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So to continue... Spring Onions... As I said in the part 1 we love our onions.  As well as the normal onions I also have a small bed of multiplying onions - like a spring onion but a bit smaller. I originally planted a few bunches of two or three onions and they soon turned into huge bunches of tall tasty onions which are ideal in stews and soups. They have a totally different taste to normal onions. I dig up a portion of a bunch when required by driving a spade through the bunch and replacing some soil to fill the void!! When the whole bunch has been used I replant a small bunch of 2-5 and in not time they will be ready for eating as well. This way one only needs a square meter or so in the garden for theses.  They over-winter without any problem and jump back into growing mode i

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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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Easter Sunday on the plot

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender April 2, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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I had a great Easter Sunday at the plot ... It was the first time for quite a while that I could spend the a day there due to the incumbent weather we've been having. So I woke up early.... 'ish... and made a packed lunch of sarnies and some cans of diet coke, packed all my bits I've been collecting and headed off. All the snow has gone but some parts of the plot are still frozen and generally still too cold to plant anything. I have broad beans, onion sets, shallots, peas and potato onions all in modules waiting to go in. I reckon we are nearly a month behind now. Fairly cold to start off with but the sun came out and it was a lovely day. I tidied the shed and emptied all the bags of manure I had placed waiting to be dug in. We get free horse manure mixed with shavings delivered in bla

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Itchy Fingers – I wish Spring would hurry up!!

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender March 20, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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I'm itching to get going this year and get things planted out... But I still have to finish preparing the plot as with the strange conditions I've not had a chance to get stuck in and get all the digging done. And the ground is still too cold!! Last year was my first year on the plot that had been neglected for years so I double dug the whole thing to a depth of 18" or so and added loads of manure. This year I'm just turning over one spade depth and then going to rotavate it to fluff it up. I did a few yards a few weeks ago but was still too wet and a bit more last weekend and it was so much drier. So soon I will get stuck in and get it all done. Starting off over the weekend - weather permitting.    The Garlic is doing well but still taking time to really start shooting up. I have a

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Spring has Sprung!

Broad beans seedlings.

As spring has sprung, we decided to spend Saturday afternoon down on the allotment and what a lovely afternoon it was! The sun came out and at times, it really did feel like spring was in the air! We hadn’t spent much time down there recently so it seemed like there was a lot to do. I guess that’s always the thing with gardening. So we weeded all our raised beds and checked on how things were doing. The things we planted in late autumn last year like garlic, bunching onions and broad beans are all doing well, so that’s good to see! We filled our last raised bed and cold frame with a mixture of topsoil, compost and charcoal. It’s good to know that everything is good to go as things warm up. We planted out our broad beans (‘Aquadulce Claudia’) that we have brought on

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Using Weed-Suppressant fabric to grow crops through

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender February 24, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 5 Comments
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This year I have decided to grow a lot of veg through weed suppressant fabric. For a few reasons.... mainly due to running two home based businesses I don't have a lot of time to dig weeds at the plot and secondly it makes for a tidy plot - well I think so and I'm a meticulous geek that likes straight lines and measured spacings. How sad is that!! Last year I was given a part used roll of poly prop type weed fabric and as my first year on the plot I planted all my strawberries through it as well as my courgettes. I just cut slits in it and grew through it. They all did really well and I noticed I had almost no slug damage. I'm hoping it's because maybe they don't like slithering on the fabric... However I did get a few through the planting slits I made. I did throw a few hand-fulls of s

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Growing Onions – “Non Conventional” way

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender February 10, 2013 Posted Tags: Comment 3 Comments
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This year I decided to grow all my onions from seed instead of from sets. I have grown enough to be self sufficient (or almost) for many years now, starting way back when I was growing them on my flat roof-top garden. See my blog here about that..  Then onto my garden shares and now finally on my Allotment..  I used to grow over 1000 sets each year but now cut down to about 400-500 as my two sons have moved out and don't need so many. I also normally do a packet of Japanese winter sets in September/October which I start using on 1st May each year as a filler crop to be used before the main crop is ready. So just before Christmas I planted out a whole bunch of onion seed, fired up the new electric propagator and within a week they were over an inch high!! Wow I was pleased.. then I

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New Cold Frame!

Person Author: Helene Coleman Calender February 5, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , , Comment 1 Comment
Woodchips for the paths.

As the sun was shining on Saturday we decided to make the most of it and spend a couple of hours down on the plot. Having spent so little time there in the past month because of the snow and rain, it was good to check on how our veggies were faring and catch up with some of our fellow allotmenters. Most things are doing well and have survived the snow, which was good to see, although we have lost most of our purple sprouting broccoli to some sort of pest. I can’t fathom out what it could be, the early sprouts of broccoli have been all but devoured and lots of the leaves in the centre of the plant have been stripped to the stem. It looks like the sort of damage that slugs could have done, but isn’t it too cold for them this time of year?! But our broad beans, swiss chard (‘B

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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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