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I am so sorry folks this season just isn’t going as I planned it, first of all everything was delayed due to the awful cold and weather in general throughout Spring then the growers that did my vegetable plants last year pulled out of doing it for this year, so I had to bring it back in house and this has all just had a massive impact on how the season has gone and after last years’ debacle with the germination on the Tomatoes it was absolutely the last start to the season I wanted. Because everything has needed to be ready and going out at once ive suffered with major space issues getting everything ready because of the tomatoes being so late ive had real space problems and of course with the very hot days weve had that makes things like Rocket, Mustard, Lettuce etc either not germinate because its too hot or bolting when it does so I have to keep re-sowing it.

I do normally prefer to do orders in the order they come in but the way this year has worked its not been possible as I have had to give the girls smaller later orders to do whilst I pick the larger earlier orders in order to maintain the amount of orders going out so were getting as many orders out per week as is possible what we have left to go is still a mix of early and later orders therefore im afraid.

There is only me and two part-timers But this year has been hugely stressful and there will be massive changes for next year and I have some very big and tough decisions to make once this season is over The business isn’t working in its current form I need more growing space and full time staff if I am to continue and the whole business model needs to change I have the experience I’ve run huge nurseries for other people.

I am still intending to get the orders out if it is at all possible and will work with what ever is best for you I do understand some of you will not be prepared to wait and all I can do is apologise again as I seem to do every year But sometimes no matter how much you plan there are things that happen you can’t just change at the drop of a hat just work with what you’ve got and what you have been dealt.

Its been quite demoralising letting people down yet again but all I can do for this season is battle on.

A few people have e-mailed me saying it’s too late / getting to late to plant now it’s absolutely NOT the seasons are changing on the whole we are getting later colder springs and more often than not warmer Autumns

A lot of places in the UK were still getting frost last week ok we’ve had periods of warmer weather but on the whole the nights have been far to cold for planting many things out.

People get anxious when the garden centres are full of plants weeks ago what you have to realise is they grow to a plan probably put down a year before their growers are huge nurseries with temperature controlled greenhouses and the contracts are such that if the garden centres cancel orders for plants because it’s too cold there will be huge penalties involved so they have to take the stock they don’t care that the growing conditions in your garden are not suitable they will put a sign up saying protect from frost so their backs are covered and hope you don’t heed their warning and come back for more when the frost has killed them all

The garden centres are full of stretched and poor looking plants because they’ve been sat their for so long

I sow according to what the spring is like ok that means you have to wait a bit because we then have a huge amount of orders to get out at once but what you will get is superb quality plants in the right condition and growth to thrive in your garden

So please consider this before sending me angry messages because I don’t like letting people down and it really hurts when I’ve passionately grown things with love and care for people to then turn round and say I don’t want them it’s too late

Happy growing Keith

The veg is now coming on nicely and I will get veg orders out as soon as I can as items come available I do still have a few seeds to sow and hope to have them all done this week So please bare with me I will get your veg out as quick as I can

URGENT MESSAGE : If I could politely ask you not to e-mail me or contact me regarding order deliveries unless its to let me know that your going away it would be very much appreciated I am getting so many I cannot physically answer them all and I don’t want you to think then I am ignoring you I’m not I just don’t have the time to keep sitting here replying to them all my time is better spent actually getting your orders out. And the evenings which is the only time I get to answer them means I am not shutting off at all from work and that’s not healthy.

Most of the veg seeds have now been sown and they are growing quite rapidly some of the things I sowed earlier in the week are already coming up and usually at this time of year it’s only takes about a fortnight for things to be ready to dispatch obviously the slower growing items it takes longer but I will do my best to get all of the orders out as fast as I possibly can I am also buying in some extra stock from elsewhere just so that I can start getting a few orders out so we’re not getting too far behind

So some of you will be receiving orders shortly but others because of the items that are on it there will be a bit of delay but it’s still pretty cold and it’s still pretty wet so I don’t think it’s going to cause too much damage as far as planting goes I wouldn’t be in too much off a panic just yet we will catch up and we will get the orders out as quick as we can so hopefully it won’t be too long now before I get the veg orders out

also I hope we have a second pair of hands starting in the next week or so so that will help me a lot and getting the orders out

I am just getting the last of the veg seed in now and should have everything ready in a couple of weeks (please see blog posts for more info on the delay or watch the video below ) If your ordering now Mid May is the earliest can do at the moment sorry due to circumstances beyond my control I am running way behind with the veg Items I can get out quicker are as follows Tomatoes, Herbs, Asparagus, Welsh Onions, ready soon will be Aubergines, Peppers, Courgettes and Cucumbers everything else will be ready shortly

Despite the currant warm weather the ground still won’t be sufficiently warm enough in some places and in many is still too wet to plant, Just because its warm and sunny don’t be in too much of a rush if your ground conditions are not right !!

The Veg sowing is well under way and I will continue sowing as seed arrives Ive had to play catch up a bit as the veg was contracted out last year to allow me to develop the Tomato side of the business But my growers are not renewing the contract for this year and I have therefore bought the growing back in house But this wasnt budgeted or planned for so ive had to do a lot of restructuring to accomodate it. I have three more large seed orders to place and hope to have them placed by the end of the week and with warmer weather due from next week things should soon catch up
 
A lot of gardens still aren’t ready for planting into yet, so I don’t think it’s too much of an issue at the moment But I want to keep you informed and up to date

Please note we are currently running behind due to the weather and a few other factors.

Most veg orders will not be going out until the second half of April at the earliest I may be able to send things like single orders for Asparagus and certain Herbs shortly as we have them ready and I may buy in some stock to get some mixed veg packs done But if you have ordered single items they are going to be a few weeks But the ground is still to wet and cold to plant out into anyway.

Grab a bargain in our Spring Sale and get 25% off your vegeteble plant orders today just enter the code spring at checkout

With Spring Just arround the corner we can now start sowing for bumper Summer harvests of tasty veg, If your not confident in sowing from seed then its worth looking at Buying in young plants from suppliers like us who have done the hard part for you and got the plants to healthy size with a good root sytem ready to plant straight out in your garden or allotment or pots wherever you choose to grow yours and get off to the best possible start.

This odd brassica looks like a sputnik but don’t let this put you off. It has a delicious smell and nutty flavour. More drought resistant than most brassicas, it succeeds where swedes and turnips fail. Green varieties are sown from mid spring to mid-summer for summer crops; hardier purple varieties are sown from mid-summer for autumn and winter crops.

Sow

Create a firm seed bed in any reasonably light, fertile, free draining soil. Sow seeds, 1cm (½in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart from late February (under cloches or fleece) to early March, continuing until mid-August in warmer areas.

Sow a little and often, say every three weeks, for a constant supply.

In cooler areas and where soil is heavy clay, early crops can be sown in modules, hardened off and transplanted when the soil warms up, when they are a maximum of 5cm (2in) high.

Grow

Thin out seedlings when they are 2.5cm (1in) tall or the first true leaves appear, leaving a final spacing of 15cm (6in) apart.

Keep the soil constantly moist and weed free, watering before the onset of drought.

Net or fleece young plants, to protect against birds and cabbage root fly.

Common problems

Cabbage root fly

Cabbage root fly: White larvae approximately 5cm (2in) long, feed on the roots just below the soil surface, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt and die.

Remedy: Grow under insect-proof mesh or horticultural fleece. Seedlings are most vulnerable.

More info on Cabbage root fly

Flea beetle

Flea beetle: Leaves are covered in small holes and damaged areas turn brown. Seedlings are particularly susceptible.

Remedy: Grow plants under horticultural fleece and keep the soil moist. Water in nitrogen-rich fertilser to help the crop outgrow the pest.

More info on Flea beetle

Club root

Club root: Roots become swollen and distorted, and leaves become pale and yellow and wilt easily. Plants may die.

Remedy: Improve drainage and add lime to make soil more alkaline. Do not grow in affected soil.

More info on Club root

Harvesting

It’s important to harvest when the plants are young and the swollen stem bases are between golf- and tennis ball-size. If you leave them too long they lose their taste and tenderness.

Plants can be harvested until mid-December, and the leaves can also be eaten.

Source RHS


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