Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spring is Springing!

We had a lovely warm Spring day today in London. Warm enough to go out without a coat! Just take a look at this rhubarb I have forced under a black plastic dustbin. Compare it to the picture below of the rhubarb which is just starting to grow naturally!
The tomato seedlings in the greenhouse have two seed leaves and are looking good. Germination on the Sungold and the Sub Arctic plenty has not been good, only 5 out of 7 germinated so far, but the others, Ildi, Great Wall of China and Noir du Crimee have been 100%.
I have started my shallots Pikant in modules in the unheated greenhouse just to get them off to a start. These are from bulbs I saved last year. Looking good.
A first batch of Purple Podded Peas has been sown in loo rolls in the greenhouse, I'll sow another batch in about a month's time.
I'm off to the Crufts 2009 dog show at the NEC in Birmingham at the end of the week. For those who don't know, this is the largest and most famous dog show in Britain. I'm not showing (they are a bit snooty about crossbreeds!) but a brilliant place to shop and do some networking. PS. Does anybody have any 'dog beans'? I've heard of this variety and would love to grow some. Willing to do a swap.

15 Comments:

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Even your unforced rhubarb is much further on than mine! I'm stilll eating the frozen stuff - and dreaming!

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger Darla said...

your seedlings look great!!

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger UKBob said...

Hi Matron, I like Sungold tomatoes. I don't think they like cross breeds because the snooty dogs might get shown up! If you want to see a dog bean go to this/my blog and see Tippy in the side bar, you don't much more dog bean than that! Bob.

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger UpToMyElbows said...

I've never even heard of dog beans... what are they?

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger Gardeness said...

Dog bean? That I'll need to go look up. The rhubard looks nummy. Did you start those shallots from seed because they look awesome. I'm growing onion 'walla walla' from seed and trying to figure out how to keep them going when I transplant. Ugh. Have fun at the show!

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Your rhubarb looks spectacular. I was out clawing away the mulch from my rhubarb the other day but still nothing, the daffodils have broke ground though. Nice shallots too, they look very healthy.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Dog Beans are one of the many, many old heritage varieties of bush (dwarf) bean with amazing names. Seems appropriate that I should find some and grow them!

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

wow, everything looks great - you have super green fingers. We were going to grow rhubarb but now that space is allocated for asparagus.. Hope you get some 'dog beans', i'd love to see them.
I think Maggie is a pure breed but she'd hate all the posing and supposed 'perfection' - she's a cross-breed at heart!

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

I hadn't heard of dog beans until you mentioned them and now I want some too. We ate our forced rhubarb and haven't started our tomato seeds yet - I think we are behind ourselves!

We got given some asparagus seedlings (not crowns) and have to find room for them now - life is complicated when your plot suddenly isn't big enough!

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger gintoino said...

Hello matron, I do have dog beans. I was given a few last year to plant and collect seeds from. The seeds I got look a bit different from the original ones, but I understand that colour reversal can happen in beans. I might spare a few if you are interested.

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Matron said...

gintoino - thank you, I have emailed you with some swaps I can offer. I would just love to grow dog beans!

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

Dustbins and loo rolls... sounds pretty hilarious to american ears. :) Great start, and the rhubarb looks amazing! Hope you don't get any more snow/frosts. What a wacky winter we've been having here in Seattle and for you guys too! Looking forward to meeting you on your trip out here later in the month. International garden bloggers' unite!

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Dan said...

I also just looked up these 'Dog Beans' looks like they are a sport of the Jacob's Cattle bean. If you are looking for true seed they are available in the seed savers yearbook. I'm not really sure how you order the seed but I think you have to purchase a membership, maybe you know someone with a membership?

http://seedsaversyb.dreamhosters.com/variety_search.php?Variety=Dog%20Bean

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Miss Fuggles said...

Bifurcated Carrots has got Dog Bean as part of the Bloggers Seed Network - http://www.patnsteph.net/weblog/?page_id=65 - I've restrained myself so far but they do look awful purty...

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Pampered Mom said...

Love the pictures of your seedlings. It's so refreshing!

 

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