Friday, 22 February 2019


The warm weather continues - 15deg C and sunny today. The nights are cold and a big, bright moon - but no frost thankfully.

Its tempting to start sowing, but we've been caught like that before! However, broad beans are frost resistant and its good to get them going early. Sowed 8 pots of 6 beans in each. They should be fine  in the unheated greenhouse. These are seeds saved from last year's harvest - masterpiece green longpod.

The peas I sowed a couple of weeks ago have just started shooting also the Navarro lettuce and the Bedford onions in trays in the conservatory.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Start of the year

We've had unseasonably warm weather for a week or so and its due to continue for a few more days. Mind you, along with balmy sunny days we've had some early morning frosts. The rhubarb that was beginning to shoot nicely has got zapped a bit. but it will recover.

The snowdrops are a joy - bringing elegant brightness to the borders and all over the lawn.

Trying to get an early start with potatoes in the last few days of December I planted up 2 large pots of Pentland Javelins, saved from last year's harvest, and have them in the conservatory. It's too cold up in the unheated greenhouse. They have just started to show some green shoots. Last weekend I potted up some shop-bought Maris Pipers that had gone a bit green and were displaying some impressive shoots. They were not fit to eat but may make some nice new potatoes around May before the outdoors ones are ready.

I've also sowed onions and lettuces in trays in the conservatory.  The lettuces over-wintered in the greenhouse have pretty much finished.

So the seasons move on. This will be our 14th summer at Froggarts Cottage.

Friday, 28 September 2018


This year the lettuces have been quite successful.

I sowed Little Gem and Navarra (curly, red-tinged leaves) in trays in the greenhouse.

Mainly because of lack of space in the veg plots I decided to plant out the seedlings into some green troughs which had held bulbs and winter flowers.  I have to say that apart from a couple of complete losses of the small plants right at the start they have grown well and provided the kind of small young tender lettuces we like.

I came across this article about an experiment the RHS did to test out theories about popular anti-slug remedies. .

Their conclusion is that none work - but that growing lettuces in pots reduced the damage. That's definitely my experience. I think that with the very dry summer the plastic troughs helped to retain moisture and it was easier to water them anyway.

I did two batches this year and both have worked well so will definitiely do this again next year. I may try and keep some going in the greenhouse during the winter.

See also "Do slugs drink beer?" July 2016 post >>