About Me

Hi I'm JAMES 60 and married with three daughters all left home now, daughters that is not the wife.I enjoy Gardening /Football and working on my Farm.The picture above in the header slot is where i live and work.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Parsnips and Carrots coming on

Since the weather stopped raining just before the bank holiday it has made a tremendous difference to my parsnips and long carrots, just goes to show that no matter how hard you try you can't beat nature if you have to grow them outside. All the parsnips are still going strong but i did lose one long carrot and a couple of stump carrots to a jackdaw that seemed to be fascinated by them and the beetroot and leeks . I tried all the usual things to keep it of but I think it just got fed up in the end, though i did bring in the big guns to frighten it of.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


It,s been nice and sunny lately and has brought out my Rhododendron out a treat, they seem to thrive in the Lake District because of the high rainfall and acid soil. I started planting them about 4 years ago on the edge of my garden where the ground is very step and on the edge of a neighboring wood they seem get better each year.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Onion and Shallots

These are the only 2 large onions of the 10 that I bought that are showing any sign of making any size at all this year and even these will be struggling to get past a couple of pounds. the rest that survived are now planted out in the open ground next to the Vento onions and seem a long way behind even them.I can only think that they got to dried out in the post as it took 5 days for them to get them delivered. I might with a bit of luck get one to use in the 1 large 1 small onion, and a shallot class. One certainty is they won't be going to Ingleton show, Iv'e seen the size of the opposition see Dans page http://www.allotment-diary.co.uk/

The Vento onions on the other hand are looking to be really healthy so i should be able to select some decent specimens come August. I might have to pull some early just to keep a check on their weight as i,m not sure as to what is the optimum size to get close to 8oz weight limit.

I managed to split down the Shallots to a maximum of 4 on Friday night i did try doing them a week ago but the were reluctant to split then so i just left them a bit longer and it was a lot easier.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


I had the chance to pot on my tomatoes in to their final pot's today, I don't have any growing beds in my greenhouse so they will have to grow in some 15" animal feed buckets that had contained molassed feed blocks for feeding my sheep through lambing time I'm not exactly sure how much they hold but it must be around 22/25 liters . Last year I grew a reasonable crop in just 9" pots so I hope that the extra room should give a lot better results and with just a bit of luck I might get a decent show sample.

First job was to make a good few drain holes both in the base and nicks in the side as well as I intend to sit them in 42cm trays so as to water them well from the base plus from the top. .

They had a good set of roots and potted on pretty easy, the growth over the last few weeks has to be seen to believed, it was only on May 4th that I moved them from 3" to 6" pots.

I did put a short cane in just next to the rootball when i potted up them so as to be able to slip a even longer cane in without damaging any roots when i lift them down to ground level , but just for the moment i have left them on the bench where they can get the maximum light. I did set them in as deep as i could so as to stimulate more root growth. Now it just a matter of regular feeding and keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Parsnips Carrots and Fuchsias

My parsnips are making slow but steady growth since i thinned them down to the strongest one . This weeks wet and dull weather has slowed down their progress but I'm sure if we get a decent sunny spell they will make up. The variety is Picador F1 it looked good in the picture on the sales catalogue so i thought I'd give it a go this season, previously i have all ways grown Gladiator and been satisfied with it, so i hope it it turns out to be a good choice

The long carrots ( Grahame Watsons seeds that i won in club raffle) seemed to take an age to germinate with the first through in 17 days, fortunately all stations bar one germinated which i resowed and it to has now germinated so all station are now growing, the second sowing only took about 11 days to come through probably because things were a bit warmer when it was sown and hopefully it will catch up with the others, makes me wonder if I should rig up some protection to give March sown seed a fair chance. Just to round up on the carrot front the stump carrots are nearly all through with just a couple of stations still to show, but the recent heavy rain does seem to have given them a real bashing.

Last night as the weather was wet and wild i potted on some Fuchsia cutting that i was given buy the speaker at our last NVS meeting it was a different topic to normal to finish of this winters season of meetings. I had to pot them up at about midnight after the meeting on the 14th of April but I'm glad to say they have all
have started to grow plenty of root and look to be doing well with new leaf starting to come, the Varieties are on the right Sophie Louise and to the left Border Raider plus a couple of Dahlia cuttings that i took to fill the 2 empty spaces in the tray

Monday, 4 May 2009

Bank Holiday Monday

As it was typical wet bank holiday weather here in Cumbria we had a drive down the road to the new garden center at Barton Grange near Preston it,s only been open since last year and is massive, only about a third of it is garden stuff though, but they do a decent lunch with a restaurant that must seat at least 500, and a shed full of garden furniture to check out, I couldn't find anything in my price range though so had to settled for a bag of compost.

I did when we got back pot on my Tomatoes from 3"pots to 5"pots planting them a bit deeper which according to Medwyn encourages more roots to form. I only sowed 5 seeds as my greenhouse is 8 x6 and any more just cramps me for room. The variety is Cederico. The stump carrots that i planted on the 18th April are just showing in 2/3 stations this afternoon so that's a relief to see them coming through, hopefully the rest will be showing by the weekend.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

What is it.

I took this picture this morning but i don,t really know what it is, it was dumped in a field gateway a couple of years ago and last year it struggled to get going after i planted it, but this year it is putting on a decent show, it looks at a guess like a member of the euphorbia family but if anyone does recognise it drop me a line.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Shallots are starting to divide

It may be time to think about splitting them down to 3 or 4 in a couple of weeks.

United 2 Millwall 0 Leeds 3 Northamton 0

I always knew we would be safe.

Vento onions

At long last i have managed to get the problems with my computer sorted out (with the help of some child computer genius from down the road) and managed to get some pictures of the onions (Vento) uploaded They were planted out on the 15th April from 30 module trays they were all well rooted and seemed to have been doing well since they went in I did put a stake and collar round them all after a week just to help them to keep growing upright, the bed that they are in this year is close to a old oak tree and although it is on the Northern side it does tend to make things planted lean slightly to the South where the strongest light is coming from. The last 2/3 days of quite heavy rain after the hot sunny weather has really perked them up so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some nice specimens for showing in the under 8oz class, it looks unlikely i will have many for the large onion class as of the ten that i bought 4 died 5 are pathetic and only 1 seems to have any size at all.