The Land Rover Owners Wife


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The sweet corn sprouted

Can you see the tiny tips of the shoots. They're much bigger now!

Can you see the tiny tips of the shoots. They’re much bigger now!

Out of the four sweet corn kernels I took from my saved cob (post here), three germinated successfully. Initially it looked like all four had started to throw out a root but one stopped at a couple of millimeters but still, a 75% germination rate is pretty impressive in my biased opinion, especially from saved seed. Of course getting the seed to germinate is only part of the story and the real test will come as the season progresses and the plants grow, hopefully producing their own fat, juicy ears in due course. Continue reading


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Carrots and sweetcorn

Self saved carrot and sweetcorn seed, rehydrating.

Self saved carrot and sweetcorn seed, rehydrating.

I’ve sowed some more seeds yesterday, some carrot and sweetcorn seeds to be precise. Yes, yes, yes, I know its way too early to be sowing these particular crops, especially the sweetcorn and you could be forgiven for thinking I was losing my mind, or being unrealistically optimistic in regards the British weather but as you can see from this picture, all is not what it seems. Continue reading


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I predict a problem with available space ……

These aren't looking quite so sick anymore

These aren’t looking quite so sick anymore

You may remember that about eight or nine days ago I wrote about the disaster I thought was happening in my seed trays. The seedlings weren’t doing very well, a few had keeled over and several were looking decidedly dodgy. I felt that this was probably a problem called damping off and that I had over-watered my trays, resulting in the facilitation of the damping off fungus which was impeding both the growth of my seedlings and the germination of some of the seeds, not to mention causing some of the seedlings to give up the ghost entirely and fall over. Continue reading


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A disaster in my seed tray

The first true leaves should be in by now!

The first true leaves should be in by now!

The tomato seed tray to be exact and if the cause is what I think it is, then it is entirely my own fault. The majority of the seedlings appeared between 5 and 7 days after sowing which is about normal in my experience and all seemed well. However, a week further on and we still have no first true leaves, one seedling collapsed with a tell tale brown stain at its’ base and a few of the others are starting to look a little under the weather. So what do I think is the matter with my seedlings? I believe they are suffering with a condition called damping off and as I said at the start, if they are then I have nobody to blamed but myself. Continue reading


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Signs of life

Look! Can you see them? Tiny little roots

Look! Can you see them? Tiny little roots

You may recall from my last post, that when I sowed my second batch of Stupice tomato saved seeds the other day, I soaked them overnight in some damp kitchen towel to rehydrate them prior to sowing, instead of just sowing them direct into the compost which I did with the first batch. As I had re-hydrated far more seed than I actually needed for my seed tray, I decided that I would keep the left over seed on the damp kitchen towel to see if these would germinate, as this would potentially give me a clue as to what may be happening, out of sight, buried in the compost. The idea was that if nothing happened with the seeds on the kitchen towel and after a week or so there was no signs of life in the seed tray modules either, then I could safely assume that the seed was not viable. Continue reading


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Stupice tomato saved seed, a no show

Saved seed before rehydration

Saved seed before rehydration

That’s the thing with saving your own seed, there are no guarantees that your efforts will result in viable seed but you have to give it a try. So far this year I’ve sown two saved seed tomato varieties and four chilli varieties. It is still too soon for the chilli seeds to have germinated but the same is not true for the tomatoes and the three varieties of shop bought packets of tomato seed, as well as the saved seed Amish Paste Tomato are all through and standing tall. Alas, this is not the case for the saved seed tomato variety, Stupice. Continue reading


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A spike of green

Tomato Maskotka

Tomato Maskotka

Several actually. Cosmos was the first of the seeds to show it’s face, with tomato Maskotka nipping at their heels. Within a few hours Gardeners Delight tomato seedlings were starting to peep through and then, to my delight, I spotted signs of life in two of the “out of date” Marigold seed modules. Continue reading


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And so it begins…..

The very useful windowsill propagators

The very useful windowsill propagators

… the process of growing our food that is. With the propagators, seed trays and labels washed and ready for use, a nice new bag of seed compost ready and waiting for the sowing process to begin, all that remained for me to do was to sort out my seeds, set out a potting area on the kitchen floor where there is plenty of space and any spillages can be easily dealt with, and get on with it. Unfortunately and in the best tradition of “the best laid plans…..”, sowing seeds had to be temporarily placed on hold when I was struck down by a dreadful cold which knocked me sideways for a few days. Continue reading


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Mangetout Oregon Sugar Pod

This is a record of how long this particular set of seeds took to germinate and how they looked at various stages from first appearance to the development of the first set of true leaves and beyond. I hope this will prove useful.
 

Variety: Oregon Sugar Pod
Sown direct: 27th July 2014
First Seedling: 4th August 2014
Germination: 1 weeks
Germination ratio: 12/15

7th August:

 Mangetout Oregon Sugar Pod  Mangetout Oregon Sugar Pod

Unfortunately, although these germinated and grew well, the colder weather hit a little earlier than I anticipated and I wasn’t able to get them into the ground. I will be growing these again next season, as this variety has always done well in my garden in the past.


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Cabbage, Winter Jewel

This is a record of how long this particular set of seeds took to germinate and how they looked at various stages from first appearance to the development of the first set of true leaves and beyond. I hope this will prove useful.

Variety: Winter Jewel
Sown indoors: 27 July 2014
First Seedling: 1st August 2014
Germination: 5 days

Cabbage Winter

14th August:

Cabbage Winter Jewel

20th August:

Cabbage Winter Jewel I am beginning to think I am doomed where the brassica family is concerned. These seedlings seemed to stall at about three inches high and then something attacked them. I have no idea what but the upshot is that I will not be growing anything over winter, other than the parsnips, carrots and leeks which are already in the ground. I will try these again next year though.