Thursday, 27 October 2011

Kings Seeds - A little update on my last post

Rotten Garlic

I was so miffed about the rotten garlic bulb, that I sent an email to Kings Seeds.
They don't give you any obvious way of complaining/ getting a refund via the website, or on the delivery note - something which is sure to aggrovate an already annoyed customer...however...I shall give Kings seeds their due. The following day I received a nice apology email back, saying that they were going to send me a new bulb straight away.

I actually received a complete new pack of 2 bulbs, in beautiful condition. I am a very happy customer. Thank you Kings Seeds. I'm looking forward to getting them in the ground as soon as possible.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

It may be a while since my last post, but I haven't been idle...

There's been lots going on since my last post.

In the garden, I have planted out lots of Spring bulbs, tulips, daffodils, narcissi, muscari and crocus. That was really hard work, as most of them went under the trees in the front garden, which is a mixture of tree roots, clay, chalk and hardcore! Classic!!

I've harvested lots of Achocha from my crazy vines...

This little group look like a family of hedgehogs...if you have a good imagination...and hedgehogs were green!!

I planted out my baby leeks (it was probably faaaaaar to late, but what the heck), and the Ailsa Craig onions I'd grown from seed in spring. I'd sort of forgotten about them, so they've been in modules all summer. I'm not sure they'll survive the winter (they are an exhibition variety rather than a tough over-wintering type), but they've been in open ground for about a month now, and seem to be okay.

I planted out my pot grown brassicas, including brussel sprouts, white sprouting broccoli, normal broccoli, cauliflower and a couple of cabbages.


...the girls have been impossibly cute!!

My glut of beautiful green tomatoes got made into a huuuuge batch of 'Green Tomato Chutney' in my lovely new Maslin pan (Thank Crunchie for Wilkos!!)

Today I planted out my garlic and shallots, with varying degrees of pleasure...
My garlic bulbs, 'Solent Wight', purchased from Kings Seeds was pretty disappointing. They say that 2 bulbs should give you an average of 30 cloves to plant, hopefully equating to 30 bulbs of garlic by June time. However, one bulb (the one on the right) was looking a bit squishy. I wasn't too worried, thinking maybe I'd lost one or two cloves max...

...but as I took off the outer layers of papery skin, I realised it was worse than that.

...I ended up with four iffy cloves, that I am giving the benefit of the doubt, and the rest (however many there were) were a squishy, mouldy mess :-(

The second bulb was the complete opposite. I got 14 good sized cloves, and 5 small ones (which you would normally cook with rather than plant, but bearing in mind the disasterous first bulb, I've planted them too).

See the difference between a 'good' clove from the 'good' bulb (left) and the 'best' clove from the 'bad' bulb (right). Though it's a good size, the bad one is a sort of brownish colour, and didn't feel as firm as the good one. I think I'll be very lucky if they come to anything.

Here are some of the Banana Shallots that I planted out today too. They are from Wilkinsons and are firm and a really super size. I have great hopes for these for next year.

...and finally for today, I wrapped up the brassica beds, with fleece, to protect them from the mob of local wood pigeons, who can dessimate brassica crops just by looking at them!
This will probably be one of the last trips to the lottie for this year, so I want to be sure my little brassicas will survive through to the spring.