Herb sowings at Easter

16 April 2017

Sowed basil: mixed Mediterranean and sweet.

Sowed broccoli: autumn calabrese.

Sowed cucumber: Marketmore.


Photo of the day – Hibernating herb

14 January 2010


Proving that you can grow warm weather plants over the winter. My basil plant spends every night snuggled up in the airing cupboard. It gets 6 hours of sunlight (well, light) every day.

The trick is to ensure the basil germinates before the really cold and dark days. I made sure that the seeds were kept at or above 16 degrees C to help germination.

A crisp Saturday morning

18 December 2008


It was one of those beautiful December mornings that you get occassionally. A bit too wet to dig, but fine for checking on the wintering garlic and onion bulbs.


That’s Sultop on the right; Solent Wight on the left.


Over at the onion bed, I’m trying out Senshyu, a yellow onion. It was one of only a handful of varieties I could find that was both suitable for autumn planting and available.

Meanwhile, the broad bean seeds are still sitting in the fridge. The onion seed experiment has yet to start. Strawberry plants need to go in the pot – thanks Ernie. I have managed to start off some more basil, but have failed sow any winter salads.

I really need to do some planning.

Chilli willy

10 July 2008


Residents of southern England may have noticed a few spots of rain over the last few days. Exmoor, just up the road, had 58 mm yesterday. So, you can assume that we had about the same – 2 inches for those hard of metrication. The Met Office would have you believe that June was drier than normal. What’s more, the temperature was apparently near normal.

Hogwash! It’s cold outside.

But, it’s hotting up in the greenhouse as one of the chilli flowers has finally condescended to fruit. Just how do you spell it? Chili? Chilli? Voodoo Chile?


Rain, wind and cold aside, I emptied a couple of potato pots this afternoon as I waited for a heating engineer. (We thought we’d wait until the summer to replace the boiler. Summer 2007 that is – we’re still waiting for that one.)


The chillis have to compete with the tomatoes in the greenhouse. Like just about everything else here, the tomatoes are lagging behind. So far, so good though. We’ve got good strong flowering trusses on all the plants. I clipped off some of the lower branches today, giving the top growth more of chance to develop.


Probably not a surprise that I’m eating a lot of potato salads for lunch. I pack in mixed green leaves, baby spinach and rocket with the pots, a bit of cheese and shop bought tomatoes (boo!). I’m now having baby lettuce leaves from the raised bed too.

To complete my day off, I sowed yet more basil and marjoram.

You may feel a small prick

6 May 2008


For the last year and a bit I have been suffering from trigger finger, a rather unpleasant and irritating feeling. The condition is most noticeable when my hand has been at rest for awhile. The middle finger on my right hand locks in the claw position. To straighten it, I have to pull it, causing a clicking and a slight pain.

A steroid injection dissolves the nodule that causes the clicking. I hate injections. But, what you going to do? I can’t go around with a claw hand, or even part of a claw hand.

Then again, the condition doesn’t affect my digging. (Yeah, that’s the good news.) In fact, activity like digging improves the mobility.

For someone in a sedentary job, it’s probably wise to cure the locking. One of the doctors in the local surgery can carry out the injection. Apparently, you have to know what you are doing. At least, that’s what he says.

So, on my day off, and a day after my birthday, and the best day of the year, I endure a small prick and an pushing sensation in my hand as the doctor finds the right place to release the drug. The injection includes a small amount of anaesthetic to make it less painful. That means I spent most of the afternoon with a numb right hand. Well, that matches the numbness and pins and needles from my neck problems.

Excellent all around.


In better news, it was such a nice day that I gave the cucumber, tomato and chilli seedlings a treat of sun in the greenhouse.


It was also a great day to plant salad leaves. I put in a bunch of rocket, oriental leaves, rhubarb chard, baby spinach and lettuce. For a change, I popped in a few short rows of cornflowers, which I love.


Next to the spinach (protected from the birds by my horrid, but cheap, coldframe), I have sown some wild poppies. No idea how these will turn out, but again it’s a bit of colour to contrast the green of all the lovely leaves I hope will grow in the raised bed.


Herbs ‘n’ sh!t

21 April 2008

Monday evening offers a short breather and a chance to catch up on growing back at home as well as the opportunity for another gratuitous photo of horse sh!t.


Blue overalls’ tower of turd was dumped just inside the path this past Saturday morning. It caused inconvenience and some mirth.

It was half-an-hour or so after the steaming muck was deposited, blocking my rickety wheelbarrow and its bits and pieces, before the owner showed his face. It was a slightly red face. Not only had the muck stuffed up the path, but also was encroaching on Alex’s rhubarb.

He’s not the most chatty of allotmenteers is blue overalls. But, he did offer the odd comment or two as he spent the next 6 hours (with an hour for lunch) clearing the path and dumping the poo on his perfectly manicured plot.

There were jokes about reporting the poor fellow to the chairman of the new allotment association – motto: ‘down the pub with the members subscriptions’. (I kid.)


Herb-wise, the basil is making a valiant effort. Poor blighters look like they have suffered the usual fate in this house: over watering. I gave them a feed this morning and maybe they will perk up in the promised sunshine.


On the other hand, just check out the marjoram. One of the more fickle of herbs, these specimens have positively thirved (or is it thriven) on the east facing window sill. I will think about re-potting in a week or so. But, it is still too cold to put them in the greenhouse.


Hooray! The chillis have poked their little heads out of the damp soil. I have got four out of twelve visible. Again, the promised warmth and sun of the next few days should help.


A hard afternoon’s dig merits a cup of tea and a scone. Thanks to my little runner.

Herbs – one week on

11 February 2008


Back indoors, there has been a bit of (upward) movement with the herbs.

Both pots of marjoram have germinated and the little sprouts have poked out for a peak. The ones in the relative warmth of the kitchen seem a bit less timid. Upstairs the sprouts get drowned with each watering – no matter how gentle I am.


Three pots of basil are perched on the landing with a south aspect. This evening it is easy to see the tiny sprouts developing leaves. (They’ll taste nice in lasagna – tonight’s dinner.)

Yeah, basil’s easy. But, you need to watch the watering and last year’s crop got a bit furry.

Oh, that alfalfa crop from last week has now been eaten. Another two batches are on the sprouter trays.