Tuesday 18 March 2014

Past it Pumpkin

past it pumpkin

Finally managed to get a few seeds started in the propagator, mostly tomatoes and a couple of the Capsicum pubescens I received from Magic Garden seeds. This unnamed rocoto cultivar appears to be very different to the Alberto's Locoto (scroll down) sort I've been growing from Realseeds. Alberto's is relatively small and red fruited, the new sort is orange skinned and appears larger, closer in size to a sweet capsicum.

I managed to kill two of my Alberto's during the winter, just let them get a touch too cold but I still have one good plant and saved seeds to start some more this spring.

The tomatoes are a mixed bunch. Avoiding buying seeds this year has meant rummaging around looking for old packets and hoping that some of the oldest are still viable. For example I found a packet of Mme Jardel's Black which I have no recollection of receiving from HSL or any memory of the plants although the packet had been started. I choose not to interpret this as the start of mental decline but even so, it's a bit like trying them for the first time and I wish I'd had more discipline in documenting my various exploits in the garden over the years. And given that I've no idea how old the seeds are they might not come up at all of course.

I've also popped in a few seeds of Tigerella (which were new, gifted to me at xmas) and some of my all time favourite tomatoes Potiron Encarlote, a huge well flavoured fruit that needs greenhouse protection in Normandy. These seeds are also rather aged so I'm keeping my fingers crossed with them. Scotland Yellow completes this first round of tomato starts. These grew excellently in the open in the poor summer of 2007 so I may try some outside this year if a) any come up and b) there's a chance of a bit of sun and not too much blight.

The Whangaparoa Crown pumpkin is the last one from store. A pity to miss using it up while it was in better condition but allowing it to complete a full cycle should produce plenty of plump healthy seeds for this year. In my head I'm imagining a whole field of plants growing out to maximise the genetic inheritance for the coming years. Who knows, it may even happen.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Back to the future

Back to France tomorrow and the weather forecast is looking good. We're quite apprehensive since we've not been over since the gales and floods. No reports of damage have reached us but we're expecting phone lines to be broken at the least and probably a lot of fallen trees.

To reduce my travelling stress we'll be keeping packing to a minimum but I do have several trays of garlic and shallots to take with us and a whole box of little items we were gifted at xmas, of which I'm hoping the old fashioned oil lamp isn't going to be the most useful. We have another new off-grid toy to play with, my reward for taking part in a crowd sourced funding for Gravity Light who have created a lighting solution that will work anywhere on the planet. They've sent me an example of the product which will make a useful back-up light when the power goes down.

And when I get there I'm hoping to find my pack of Higgedly garden flower seeds because if they're not there I don't know where I've put them.