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Seed swap 2015

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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd January 2015, 4:49 pm

Ah yes, good idea DL. I was actually considering, in the interests of science Wink , taking some of the older seed and doing a few germination tests on damp kitchen roll. Then we would know if it really is too old. I did find quite a bit on the internet, but there is a fair bit of variation - I suppose it all depends on how the seed is stored, and what is an acceptable emergence rate.

On the subject of the interests of science, I have hopefully got myself into a trial of a sweet onion variety, organised by a local onion grower. Apparently they want to see how the growing conditions affect the taste, by getting local allotment gardeners to try it out at different sites and with different growing methods, and then have a taste test. Sounds fun !

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Post by Dandelion on 22nd January 2015, 5:36 pm

That sounds really interesting

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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd January 2015, 3:15 pm

Had a closer look last night. I have removed the 10 year old broccoli, and 2 packs of Bedfordshire champion onions that were 5 years over - they were in the swap last year and have come full circle, so presumably nobody wants them anyway. Otherwise they look OK. Some interesting beans, thanks DL.

I will, for the fun of it, try and see if any of the broccoli will germinate ...
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd January 2015, 4:27 pm

Thanks Chilli. (I don't suppose you tidy out cupboards as well?)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 26th January 2015, 2:48 pm

The seed swap parcel is on its way ... to Freebird.

I was just toying with whether we should have made it a new seed swap rule that you have to post a photo of something that you grew from it ?
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Post by freebird on 26th January 2015, 4:08 pm

Oooh no don't do that, CH. Last year I grew few veg, and although I took part in the seed swap, didn't use any of the seed I obtained. I'd hoped there might be more flower seed.

Anyhow, this year, I'm still concentrating on the decorative part of the garden, so no veg again this year, apart from the perennial asparagus. So unless there are some suitable flower seeds in the swap package, I wouldn't be able to post any photos.
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Post by Chilli-head on 26th January 2015, 4:25 pm

Oh dear. Are you sure about that FB ? There is quite a vegetable bias this year. I should remember to save some flower seeds. I ought to collect some seed from the prettier Aquilegia, and weed out some of the other more boring ones. My flowers largely are self-sown, I rarely make any effort other than sow a score of sweet peas to grow up a wigwam, which I use to reward my neighbour who does the watering for me when I'm on holiday !

I also still have calendulas from a seed swap some years ago, which I think I will never be without now Laughing Joining them are some yellow things, don't know what they are, but they arrived in a packet of "Bee attracting" seed mix, free from Blue Peter. All over the place now.
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Post by freebird on 26th January 2015, 11:20 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Oh dear. Are you sure about that FB ?

Sadly yes. I have to be realistic about what I can achieve in the garden. My man isn't really interested, so I do it virtually on my own. I would rather give the veg a miss for a year or two to concentrate on other parts of the garden, than try to do too much and do it all badly. Even the very few veg I grew last year ended up neglected and something of a nuisance because I just didn't have the time to look after them.

It's still worth taking part in the seed swap however.
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Post by Chilli-head on 27th January 2015, 8:27 am

I see. Being realistic is not something I seem good at. Both of the last two years have been a challenge for gardening, first the broken wrist then a family holiday in April (terrible timing). Both times I decided to reduce what I grew, and aim to do just the low maintenance stuff, and the things I couldn't bear to be without. In practice, I still ended up growing everything, and not doing so well at it. All the effort, but not fully rewarded. Perhaps your approach is better.

.... or you could sneak the odd veg into the ornamental garden. Artichokes, amaranth, a wigwam of one of the prettier flowering beans ? Tomatoes in a hanging basket perhaps ?
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Post by freebird on 27th January 2015, 11:44 am

Chilli-head wrote:
.... or you could sneak the odd veg into the ornamental garden.  

Hmm, that's a good idea. I'll certainly give it some thought. Although my ornamental gardening to date has been less of the tending plants variety and more of the moving mounds of earth/grubbing up tree roots variety. I'm trying to get a basic structure organised that will more or less look after itself once established - but it takes some effort and maintenance in the early days.

Anyway, I digress. I came on here to say the seed package has arrived today and I've snaffled the few flower seeds. But what a superb pack this year. It's especially heartening to see little packs of saved seed from others' crops. Hoping the trend continues for when I am veg gardening again.

Dandelion - I'm ready to send the pack on, if you could let me know who, please.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th January 2015, 4:35 pm

It's back to me, FB - have you still got my address or shall I PM?

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Post by freebird on 28th January 2015, 7:16 pm

Yes, thanks D, I've just found it. I'll put the seeds in the post tomorrow.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd February 2015, 10:14 pm

The pack of seeds is now safely back (thanks, FB) - if anyone missed it first time round, and would like to join in, let me know.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 3rd February 2015, 10:19 pm

I feel a bit guilty for forgetting about flowers ... they were a bit scarce in the swap. I do have some seeds of Echinops Platinum Blue (aka posh thistles) and some sunflowers which I saved last year, if you want either Freebird ?
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Post by freebird on 4th February 2015, 8:07 am

Ooh the Echinops sound good, CH. So yes please, although I'll pass on the sunflowers.
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Post by Chilli-head on 5th February 2015, 11:37 am

I've put half of them in a packet for you. Don't be taken in by the Nicky's nursery packet; that is the old packet I originally got my seed in, which has helpful instructin on it. But the actual seed in there are fresh ones from last summer.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th April 2015, 7:12 pm

Just wondered how the elderly broccoli seeds are coming along CH? I have been caught out with leeks this year - they were planted in modules in the greenhouse/shed, and only one seed germinated. It may be that the weather was a bit cold, or that they weren't happy in a loam based compost (possibly too cold again). But I am also wondering if I had kept them for one year too long. I've started again with a pack of leek seeds from the seed swap which are newer, and also coir based compost. Not a good experiment I know, as I've altered two variables - but I just want some leeks!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 13th April 2015, 7:28 pm

I thought I had posted about my germination trials, but I can't find it now. But the results were a fair showing from 5 year old cabbage and pak choi, but none for the 10 year old broccoli. This isn't a great surprise I guess.

I did post some viability charts I found on line here.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th April 2015, 10:08 pm

It was worth trying though!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th April 2015, 7:48 am

Yes, I was surprised thet any of them germinated, but it does agree with the viability table I posted. I've put in some of the red cabbage Kalibos and it is just comming through now.

Leeks are a different matter. The table says 2 years and I'd agree; I don't use allium seed for more than a second year. My leeks have just come up out in the garden under cloches; the nursery bed approach worked for me last year better than modules. I'm growing Bleu de solaise.

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Post by Chilli-head on 5th September 2015, 10:01 pm

I cut one of those red cabbage (Kalibos) this afternoon. It is the best I have ever grown; nice and big, and looks perfect. I've got 2 more like that, and another three to follow later. Well worthwhile doing that germination test !

That cabbage will serve nicely with a roast guinea fowl for dinner tomorrow.
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Post by Dandelion on 5th September 2015, 10:13 pm

What precautions did you take to keep the dreaded cabbage white off your brassicas, CH? I had stretched netting over the bed, but a) it wasn't enviromesh (but even so I had thought it would keep the butterflies off) and b) it was possibly too close to the plants so that eggs were still laid. The results has been almost complete destruction of the cabbages I had planted (although I have hand picked caterpillars off a few which looked like possible survivors, and they are...surviving!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 5th September 2015, 10:25 pm

I have to use environmesh. and the whole allotment is fenced with 3' high chicken wire. We have pidgeons, muntjac and rabbits, as well an the cabbage whites, whitefly, etc. To try to grow brassica without is hopeless here.

Even still I found a cabbage white under the mesh today; the plants have grown so well that they are lifting the edges of the mesh ! The other disadvantage is that it prevents the thrushes etc from getting to the slugs and snails. I prepared a rather grueson slug kebab this afternoon Twisted Evil
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Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2015, 9:50 pm

laugh

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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