About Me

Thursday, 10 March 2011

postheadericon Want lots of cucumbers?

Soon will be time to sow your cucumbers, still a tad early for me but anyone who actually reads this blog?... will know I grew just one plant last year and in the end the final total was 234 cucumbers from one plant. I also stopped my plant at each shoot, so god knows what would have happened if I trained in every shoot. I was picking 25+ cucumbers a week easily.

Socrates F1 is the name from Mr.Fothergill's seed, you can aquire the seed at any decent garden centre as it's very common. The plant produces MINI, bitter free cucumbers and all female flowers aswell. My only tip would be to pick them when they are small, about half the size of a regular cumcumber for best taste and to avoid any seeds. Make sure you have plenty of friends ready to take them off your hands aswell.
Tuesday, 25 January 2011

postheadericon What I'm doing...

I'm so glad I decided not to grow for show this year, I have to admit I found it really hard to pull myself away, I know deep down I just don't have the time to do it at the moment to the standard I want.

I have been having a good rest and have spent so much time in my own garden (which is pretty big and hard to manage) re-designing near everything has been very enjoyable, although I have made a right mess but I'm sure by summer it will be straight.

Last year I put a 12x8 greenhouse up in my own garden which I grew a bumper crop of tomatoes and cucumbers. It really did surprise me how much better this crop was just for being in my own garden rather than 25 minutes drive away. Having time to tend for them when it suited me was a great feeling, rather than rushing about like a mad man trying to get it all done knowing you won't be back for at least two days.

So what am I going to do this year....

Our new allotment site will be ready to take over around about March time, so I look forward to growing some veg on that for winter use. Much work to be done before you could say it will be usable site tho.

I will give you an insight into the other side of what I do, growing flower plants from seed is a bit of a passion for me and I hope to keep a record of that on here this year aswell as my allotment progress.

So far I have in my new greenhouse at home sown the following:

sweet williams - will be large plants by june ready to flower following year early.
hollyhocks - Will flower first year and will be nearly in flower in June
delphinium - Again will flower first year and near in flower in June
lupins - Same as above
begonia - will be in 6 cells near in flower in June
verbascum - Will be ready to flower first year in July
penstemon - Will flower first year in July

Now I don't ever sow my seeds by what the packet says, I take that as a guide, I add on weather conditions, how warm or cold my greenhouse will be and then work out when I'd like them to flower/be sold or what pot size I'd like them in at the time they are planted or sold, this is a big factor in cost when growing bulk plants.

I am normally aiming at June/July and showing signs of flowering or large healthy plants ready to flower for the rest of the summer.. Personally I never buy plants with flowers on them. As you can see from the list above, the seeds I have sown In January will all be ready by june and should flower all summer with year two being even better. Every thing may be a little slower to grow this year tho as I won't be providing as much heat and my garden does not get the sun as my old site where I grew them.. so time will tell and I shall make adjustments the following year.

My next sowings will be in a few weeks time, hopefully by then I should have some plants to prick out.