Well the New Year has been off to a wild start and not in the party sense. If you have read Martyn's blog you will know that we have been kept busy righting bird tables and collecting other people's rubbish from our garden.
The wind has been worse during the night which has meant a lack of sleep resulting in bleary eyes and a foggy head in the morning but I'm not complaining too loudly as compared to some areas we have got off lightly! I hope all of you in the UK and your possessions are still in one piece. Just hope the plot has survived!
Being confined to indoors has at least meant we have managed to complete our 2012 seed order and send it off.
We are more or less confining ourselves to four seed companies, Kings (because as NSALG members we get a large discount), Thompson & Morgan, Plants of Distinction - Simply Vegetables and Marshalls. Kings don't have all the varieties that we want!
Lots of seeds ordered are the same varieties as last year - any that didn't do well are being given a second chance as last year was hardly a fair test. Our Carouby de Maussane mangetouts were a disaster but it was a poor pea year for us generally so it is on this year's list too.
A new vegetable for this year is Lettuce - Little Gem Dazzle which has red tinged leaves. Another is cabbage - Candissa which can also be used as a mini vegetable but grows to about 1kg in weight when fully mature.
We are adding to our pepper varieties (no not chillies Mark!). The varieties are Planet which is a long pepper, that is supposedly very sweet and easy to grow, and Palladio which is said to be the yellow counterpart to Planet
Two new (to us) tomatoes are Jakarta - a beefsteak variety and San Marzano a variety we acquired as a magazine freebie which will be a tester for growing tomatoes outdoors next year - no doubt blight will see them off but who knows? We also have a free packet of carrot - St. Valery which is supposed to be an exhibition carrot - we'd just like it to produce some edible carrots! We'll leave exhibiting to Damo.
We are also going to try yet again to grow celery and celeriac. Success with both of these has so far alluded us so any tips (are you there Kelli?) will be most welcome! We're trying celery - Victoria, a self blanching variety reputed to grow in places that are 'traditionally' difficult and celeriac - Giant Prague - the catalogue says celeriac is easy to grow as long as it is sown early and kept constantly moist. We will see if either or both these claims are born out.
We are also growing aubergines which we don't usually, they haven't really been fruitful for us, but a friend has a packet of seeds - Black Beauty - that he doesn't want so we may as well give it another go.
After last year's disappointment with the winter vegetable plants we are going to grow from seed this year and have chosen, broccoli - White Sprouting early and Red Arrow, cauliflower - Aalsmeer.
I was going to add the potatoes and flowers to this post but I think it's gone on for long enough so I'll keep these for later.
Our full vegetable seed list can be viewed here