We bought seed potatoes this year from the potato day held at the Harper Adams University.

1st Earlies

  • Accent
  • Sharpes Express
  • Winston
  • Red Duke of York
  • Maris Bard
  • Casablanca
  • Amandine

2nd Earlies

  • Saxon
  • Bonnie
  • Maxine
  • Kestrel
  • Alouette

Early Maincrop

  • Red Robin
  • Linda
  • Caesar
  • Red Emmalie


  • Jelly
  • Chicago
  • Record
  • Pink Fir Apple
  • Arran Victory
  • Shetland Black
  • Highland Burgundy Red
  • Setanta
  • Carolus
  • Salad Blue

Didn’t mean to go overboard on maincrop but it happened. Oh well, we’ll see what this year brings when it happens!


Looking for right words to complain

I look forward to reading seed catalogues and deciding which varieties to grow. I decided to go with Nickys Nursery for the bulk of this year’s seed order because of their variety on offer of chillis. I ordered other vegetables too… including broad beans.


The order came quickly but I was furious that this packet of seeds, described on the website shown in the image, had a label saying the seed had been treated with THIRAM. As an almost organic gardener, I find this totally unacceptable. I mentioned this in a gardening group on facebook -the response, just wear gloves when you sow. Surprised at the blasé attitude, I’m sure they’d complain if they ordered peanuts for eating and got sent those not for human consumption but suitable for feeding the birds.

I haven’t yet got round to writing a formal complaint, but they certainly will not be getting any more seed orders from me. DO NOT ORDER FROM NICKYS NURSERY is my advice.

Spring, or do I mean summer?

Winter disappeared pretty quickly (no snow for us, although we did have a cold spell), but perhaps Summer has barged in knocking Spring out of the way.

We had a daffodil in flower for St. David’s Day, yay! and the daffs look great.

We now have a proper greenhouse up. Seeds have only just been sown in there, including aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, some lettuce, and herbs. Still awaiting some seeds on order (only ordered last week after the greenhouse was glazed…) – more aubergines, peppers….

Down the plot, carrots, cabbages, calabrese have been sown. All the seed potatoes have been planted, as have the garlic and onion sets (apart from the ones I bought today, more on that later). The broad beans and peas are coming up too, from an earlier sowing. We still have overwintered produce – leeks, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, to harvest, yay!

Today, I went to a seed and craft fair. It was a beautiful day in the historic town of Conwy. There was a small seed company (from Lancashire) with a stall. They were selling seed potatoes, onion sets, shallots, plants, and seeds. I bought a few packets of seeds, willing to give them another go. I haven’t really had all that much success with their seeds (Spinach Renegade, Winter Squash- Butternut Ponca, Basils – no germination, whereas other companies’ basils will germinate but often not got further than the first couple of leaves)., but have gone for different vegetables this time (their last chance). Seeds bought to try are Coriander Chechnya, Pepper Marconi Yellow, Basella Ceylon/Indian Spinach, Salsify, Soy Bean Envy, and Okra Clemson’s Spineless. Also bought Stuttgart Giant onion sets (the white ones – Ebenezer?, I bought from them last year were not spectacular).

However, I hope they will fare better than the advice I overheard them giving. “Only their Witkiem broad beans could be sown now” but they also had The Sutton and Bunyards Exhibition for sale too. On my seasonal seed plan pages (not recently updated with more recent acquisitions), The Sutton can be sown November, December, January, February, March, April, May, and June. Whereas Bunyards Exhibition can be sown February, March and April. And other ones sowable from March to May. Maybe I should stick with the Organic Gardening Catalogue, Simpson’s Seeds, and the big names available in garden centres to top up with.

Off to the greenhouse to sow more seeds…

Potato Day 2012 – Ryton Gardens

Another year begins for me with Potato Day. It was a lovely day, not as cold as I thought it could be. It was not as busy as previous years, but were lucky to get a spot in the main car park.

We made a bee-line for the potato marquee, in a different place from previous years. We went round selecting many different potatoes, coming with strong shopping bags to carry these heavy things. 20p a tuber, and we came out with 94! We should have enough space for them all down the allotment! List of varieties can be found on a separate page.

I also took some seeds in to swap. In hindsight, I now know the names of a couple of the saved seeds grown from HSL seed are – Coco Bicolor and Czechoslovakian. I’ll have to remember to take photos of the bean seeds for easier identification in the future! I also picked up the HSL seed order (saves on postage and packaging) and got all first choices.  The HSL seeds I picked up from the order or swapped for are :

Tomatoes:- Yellow Russian, Veepro Paste, Orange Heart, Wild Tomato Columbianum, Queen of Hearts

Climbing French Beans:- Turkey Craw, Kew Blue

Dwarf French Beans:- Yugoslav II

Pea:- Purple Flowered Russian

Turnip:- Kaskinuris

Carrot:- Manchester Table, Scarlet Horn

Squash:- Maltese Marrow

Multiplier Onions:- I can’t read my writing for the variety

Also bought some garlic (Pink, Elephant, Picardy Wight, Solent Wight), onion sets (Rumba, wanted to get Red Karmen but they had almost all gone),  broad beans (Witkiem -went a bit overboard, over 200 seeds, oops!), peas (Rondo), Phacelia, and a purple cauliflower from Franchi.

There is a seedlist in a separate page. We haven’t ordered any seeds for this season yet, other than chillis (a present for my mother!) but these aren’t on the list.

Potato Day

We went to Potato Day last Saturday at Ryton Gardens, headquarters of Garden Organic. We came away with many different seed potatoes, some varieties we’ve not grown before. Should be an interesting year then. Shall be putting a page up shortly.
We also went on a tour of the Heritage Seed Library. We enjoyed the talk given by a member of staff and learnt a lot. We also picked up our HSL seed order (dropping it off there too…). Luckily, we got all our first choices as well.
We should visit Ryton again in the growing season. The weather wasn’t too bad, but there wasn’t that much to see. We went there in May and September in 2004! and Pumpkin day in October 2005 (there was an apple tree with blossom!!).

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