Sunday 25 March 2007

It's been a hectic weekend with my daughter's 15th birthday yesterday. I managed to plant another bed of onion sets, plant a tray of leek seed, and start six varieties of pre-World War 1 sweer peas I got in a pack from Plants of Distinction, but that's about as far as I got. On the windowsill beside me, I have 16 varieties of tomato sprouting happily, along with squashes. I didn't get anything done today as I was at church all morning, then had to go to a site committee meeting, and didn't feel well anyway.

Right now I'm about to plant 'Double Standard' corn from Real Seeds; I haven't tried it before so it's a bit of an unknown quantity. They haven't done it before, and the variety they usually do all got eaten by mice when I tried it last year.

Monday 19 March 2007

I managed to do a bit on the allotment over the weekend, despite headaches (I had to come home from school on Friday with an attack of migraine) and cold weather on Sunday. One bed of onion sets in now in and mulched. I've been planting peppers and aubergines, which are now germinating on top of the water heater, in the warmest spot in the house, and tomatoes, which are under the water heater. I'm growing half a dozen varieties which did well outside last year, plus a couple of plants each of ten more I haven't tried.

Between work and redecorating it's a struggle just to do that much right now!

Sunday 4 March 2007

Wet weekend

It's throwing it down today, but at least yesterday was OK. The bees in Hive 3 were flying freely, bringing in a bit of pollen, so I grabbed the opportunity to do an early inspection. Hive 1 has died out. It had plenty of bees a couple of weeks ago, but there were only a few left, all dead, not a sign of brood, and stores still left in the comb. That's typial of the winter losses I get, and as there's never any brood, I think these later winter dieouts are down to queen failure. Queen mating is a constant problem. So that's two gone. The last one, thank goodness, had bees and a little patch of mostly young brood the size of my palm. So it sems to be OK at least.

I planted the broad beans, a bit late, and I'm doing my seed ordering this weekend, again a bit late. Most of the veg come from the Real Seed Catalogue at , who do proper varieties, not F1's, and offer plenty of good quality seed ina packet. I also put in small orders from Marshalls at, where I found a couple of heirloom peas, Purple-Podded and Ne Plus Ultra, Plants of Distinction at , who have loads of interesting vegetable and flower varieties, and Chiltern Seeds at , who again have a really interesting selection. I've ordered Couve Tronchuda, an interesting heirloom cabbage, and a couple of other things.