Sunday, 20 January 2008

Seeds of hope

With the end of January in sight I was finally motivated to start purchasing my vegetable seeds. After last year's success of the vegetable beds in the garden my first stop was Alan Romans, where almost all the seeds cost just 50p, easy choices were the 'Gladiator' parsnips and 'Early Nantes 2', and 'Flyaway' F1 carrots all of which performed spectacularly well last year despite the poor weather.

Alan Romans only supplies limited varieties of most seeds so I picked 'Florence' fennel and 'Mussellburgh Improved' Leeks based on nothing more than they were available, having grown neither before there didn't seem to be much to compare them too! Finally I followed popular opinion for the tomatoes and chose 'Gardeners Delight' and 'Sungold' both of which will be worth trying outside.

So there is just the potatoes, beans, peas, brassicas, salad leaves, beetroot and spinach left to choose before the growing season begins...

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Spring is coming

Last November I found that one of my garlic bulbs had sprouted in the cupboard so I quickly stuck the cloves into one of the empty veg patches in the garden. The birds helpfully pulled them up again but I stuck them back in the holes and kept my fingers crossed, today after a particularly heavy frost I was thrilled to see the little shoots poking out of the ground, if you look carefully you can almost see them in the photo. I have never grown garlic before but by all reports the shoots turn to leaves and then around July the leaves turn yellow and you pull up lovely garlic bulbs for drying. After months of nothing but dead leaves in the garden and nettles on the allotment it is great to have some veg growing again; Spring feels so close you can almost smell it...