I've just joined the Bloggers' Seed Network (http://www.patnsteph.net/weblog/?page_id=65). I'll be putting seed up for swapping later in the season, when I've had a chance to save some fresh! There's also a lot of swapping at Allotments4all (http://www.allotments4all.co.uk/).
The swarm that moved in (now Hive 1) has eggs or brood on five frames. They're Standard Nationals, a third smaller than my normal 14x12's, but it's not bad for the first week's egg laying. Hive 3 is staying put at 4 frames of brood, and Hive 4 is up to five. I've messed that one around a lot this week though, getting eggs from it for queen raising. The real test will be where it is in three weeks' time. Hive Five is making queen cells as expected. It's also in a bad temper - not surprisingly, a queenless hive always is. They kept buzzing me, and several obviously meant business. I'll be glad to get that one requeened.
I potted up sixty sweet corn (Lark), and I've got the same to do again in a week or so. I've planted replacement seeds of Alderman peas, since the ones I saved were no good, and I've got more Magnum Bonum as well, since they didn't germinate too well. My saved Ne Plus Ultra were hopeless, and the seeds I bought in are just coming up. I think the problem has to have been a result of the wet weather when I harvested the seed, as they just rotted in the pots. They're all good Victorian maincrops, though my favourite is Magnum Bonum.
I've planted two lily species this week; formosianum and philippinensis. They're both immediate epigeal, which means they come up quickly, with the seed leaf emerging from the soil. So hopefully there won't be any complications. I've got some fresh Hellebore seed to plant as well, via a swap. Fresh seed is easy; old seed is a tossup. I have old seed of foetidus 'Wester Flisk', Helen Ballard hybrids, and H x sternii, all from Chiltern Seeds. They're good, but it's inevitably not fresh. They've been sitting in pots for a couple of weeks, and there's no knowing when, and whether, they're going to come up.
Early mechanical carriages
1 day ago