Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Update on Mr Fothergills seeds

I received an e-mail from Mr Fothergills asking how my seeds were faring.  So I guess it is time for an update. I was hoping to have huge flourishing leafy plants to show, but the weather has been a bit strange this year. These are the seeds I originally received:

Climbing snow pea - climbing up the back fence and looking quite healthy - I have successive sown some more seeds about a week ago.
Basil seed mat  - doing really well in my herb spiral.
Carrot seed tape - I have put these tapes in different areas - alongside the harlequin carrots, and between the tomatoes as they are good companion plants. They look very neat in their evenly spaced rows and are very easy to plant - great for children.
Carrot Harlequin - these look very robust and are doing very well - I keep assigning more space to them - in fact all the seeds are now planted out!
Parsnip Gladiator - sent to Sunny corner farm
Radish beauty heart - I need to figure out why my radishes do not form bulbs!  I just grow radish tops!
Silver beet organics - I have planted them in two different areas, but they seem very, very slow growing.  I do like them in the little jiffy pots as they are so easy to transplant out into the garden.
Parsley Italian garden pot - this started so well with its little sauna cover and I have now planted them out into the herb spiral where it is very happy.  This is a great way to start parsley.
Strawberry temptation garden pot - the strawberry seeds never came up, but I planted some lettuces into the pot once I gave up on the strawberries and they have done well.  My grandson who does not eat anything green has been picking and eating the lettuce leaves - hooray!
Here are the harlequin carrots with the (little) silverbeet in little jiffy pots alongside.

The herb spiral with its basil tower taking pride of place.
I received another package from Mr Fothergills containing the capsicum seven colors heirloom and blue lake green beans.  The capsicum seem quite slow growing, but it may be because our weather is much cooler than normal.  We also have had a lot of overcast days so they are not getting the sunshine needed for optimal growth.  I have planted them next to some cherry tomatoes along the back fence next to the herb spiral.  Capsicum and tomato are also supposedly good companions.
The black beans had shriveled away so I planted the blue lake beans against this fence and they seem to be doing well.  Some silverbeet are struggling along in front of them - I am hoping with some sunshine predicted this week they will take off.  In front of the ginger were some tropic tomatoes - they all died from wilt - I wont try them again.  Replacing them are tommy toe tomatoes and I have put carrot tape between them.
I was so blessed to receive the free seeds, and hope I can do them justice.  Ours is a difficult climate to grow veggies in and this year has certainly had its trying moments.  Every year I find a few new favorites and  I would say it looks as though the snow peas and harlequin carrots will be the favorites this year.


  1. Your experience with the garden sounds similiar to my own:) It's hit or miss and it all depends on the season. Good luck with the new seeds.

    1. You have to plant early not knowing what the weather will be like, and this year the rain just doesn't seem to be ending, and overcast skies. One good thing about seeds is that it is easy to keep sowing more.

    2. Yeah I've done this as well. AND I usually spread them over different areas just to be on the safe side:) But those darned birds will dig in certain areas of my garden.

  2. I love the sound of the carrot tapes, it must be a bit of a no brainer to a novice like me.
    My plants are all doing really well, although I see a lot of eating of my cabbage plants, must try and stop that before they get theyre growth stunted.....

    1. They do get the spacing perfect, but I always plant closer than I should so they seem so far apart lol. My tokyo cabbage just got decimated and I had to pull it all out. I am trying kale and should plant them out this weekend.

  3. My favourite winter veg to grow is snow peas. They are a real hit with any visiting children, picking them straight off the vine too. Yours are looking good. Ours haven't started flowering yet this year.

  4. Yours are the same snow pea seeds I have (I bought Mr. Fothergills). Maybe you can ask them if they think you could hold some back to plant next year. I'd be interested if they think you must plant the whole package in one year.

    I wonder if you will ever get radishes to grow. I find them finicky little plants even though everyone says they are the easiest to grow. My theory is that, even though they should grow all year here in Sydney, they don't like it too warm. I get much better results from batches that aren't planted around summer. You might find it is always just a bit too hot for them where you live.

    Are the black beans you talk about the ones you bought at a health food store? Did you get a good harvest?

    1. My packet said the expiration date was 2012 so that is the reason I planted them all. I find the expiration date quite realistic. I like to think they last longer, but often when I am having trouble with seeds I turn the pkg over and discover they are out of date! If yours will still be in date next year then go ahead and keep them. That might be true about the radishes.

    2. Oh and Laura the black beans grew fine last time and I harvested about two cups from about four plants. I need to look back and see when I grew them.

  5. Your garden looks really healthy and green. I eagerly follow your update for harlequin carrots. If it grows well in the tropics, I might want to get some seeds.

    1. I seem to remember you growing purple carrots a while back - that is what got me thinking

  6. Your garden looks just lovely!

  7. I'm truly impressed with your gardening skills, Gillian! Even your veggie garden speaks volume of your passion. Congrats!!


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