Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

Well, here i am reporting from windy Margate. I want to wish everyone (followers an all) a very merry christmas and a grand growing season for 2011! Look out for more posts in the new year

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

LIghts On!

Put the growtubes on today for the first time. I've only got onions under at the moment but have leeks coming this week so i shall bung those under aswell. Started building a temporary growbox out of turkey foil and the reflective stuff you stick behind radiators to reflect the heat back into your room. The temperature under the tubes will now regulate at 10oC which is just enough to keep evrything ticking over nicely.
Went out this afternoon and bought 4x 100ltr bales of Irish moss peat ready for the potato bags. I bought a shredder a few weeks back so i'm going to try passing the peat though this as it took me ages last year sieving it with the rotasieve. I'm growing 40 bags of potatoes this year, NVS Amour and NVS Sherine. All the bags and seed potatoes i've purchased from JBA see potatoes again. This is my second year dealing with them and i woukld reccommend them to anyone.
Got all my dahlia tubers boxed up now, thoroughly dried and any cut surfaces are dusted with sulphur to stop any areas of rot forming. I use old mushroom boxes (these can be picked up from your local greengrocers or at market stalls) to box t tubers and i keep the compost dry until after christmas when i will start to water every week or so depending on the weather.
More or less every show grower i know likes to think they have one thing that they grow best and i like to think mine is Chrysanthemums. And to that end i have got most of the stools boxed up aswell. Again, i use old mushroom boxes and keep them on the dry side until after christmas which is when i shall start to take the first batch of cuttings. (If i have enough i am thinking of selling rooted cuttings of my best show varieties- anybody interested please do let me know).
More on chrysanthemums in the weeks to come...
Well, i've come to the end of another post and i'll leave you with the weather forecast here in Stourbridge:
It will be 25oC with lots of sunshine.  The wind will be a southerly one bringing warmer air in helping all those Midlands growers to get a headstart on the rest of the country!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Went to my first DA meeting ever last night at Rugeley. It took just over an hour to get there but it was well worth it. They had a short AGM which was followed by a talk on tomatoes by the master himself- Charles Maisey- which actually turned out to be a talk on toms, cucumbers and runner beans! I have to admit i went thinking "God, i'm not going to know anybody and it's going to be a room full of miserable old men, disgusted at the fact that a young 'lad' was growing for show"
HOWEVER, when i entered the venue i woukld say there was about a dozen people i knew and those i didn't were VERY friendly indeed. I must thank Si Smith (Smithy veg) for coming over and introducing himself- it was great to meet him after following his blog for sometime now- i hope we bump into each other again. Wh knows we might even come up against each other on the showbench! What do you say Si?
It was great to meet Colin Higgs and to see good friends such as Bob Plant (a wonderful leek grower with a wicked sense of humour!), Mick Poultney and Stan Greenway (a fellow xanth grower).
I would strongly advise anyone with the slightest bit about them to go to their next local DA meeting because i thought it was great and i shall definitley be going again.
The weather here is supposed to turn milder towards the end of the week so i shall be recieving my leeks from a couple of top growers. Greenhouse heaters been cranked up and bottom heat is up and running. Looking to construct a temporary housing unit for my growtubes in the next three days as there's little else to do whilst the grounds frozen.
Coming back from the meeting last night we came through Cannock and it was -12oC!!! Is it me or are our winters reverting back to ho they used to be?
I'll leave you with a joke for all those unfortunate enough to suffer with moles:

"There was a papa mole, a mamma mole, and a baby mole. They lived in a hole out in the country near a farmhouse. Papa mole poked his head out of the hole and said, "Mmmm, I smell sausage!" Mamma mole poked her head outside the hole and said, "Mmmm, I smell pancakes!" Baby mole tried to stick his head outside but couldn't because of the two bigger moles. Baby mole said, "The only thing I smell is molasses."

Saturday, 4 December 2010

After a heavy flurry last night the snow is finally retreating! Its rained all day today which has helped in clearing the roads and pavements. Spoke to David Metcalfe last night, he said he's posting my leeks next week if the weather remains milder- so fingers crossed on that one. Work's getting busy now- christma trees galore!  Feel sorry for you Northern buggers all this snow must be a right pain in the 'arris! Next, they be warning us all of flash floods.
Just been going through some show photos from ts years season. Found this picture of my vase of mixed flowers being held by a rather dashing young man. The flowers didn' come anywhere but the 'certain individual' was voted Mr Stourbridge 2010! HaHa. On a serious note, it does go to show that you can enter some really cracking blooms in such a class but if you haven't got the variety then you haven't got a hope in hell!
I also came across this photo of myself when i applied for Mr Stourbridge competition!

Its hard keeping a physique like mine but i try- it must be all the Midland air!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Winter Wonderland

The snow has finally got here!
The lane to work is like an ice rink because South Staffordshire council can't be arsed to grit it. Its an accident blackspot, already this morning a chap obviously pretending to be Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button skidded into one of the lads at work and finally ending up in a tree! Pillock.
Gonna cost a fortune heating the greenhouse sufficiently- AND gas is going up again. Surprise, Surprise! Still waiting for leeks to come from David Metcalfe- guessing the weathers got something to do with the delay.
Hoping to get down the plots on Thursday and do some work in the tunnel. But before that got another day at work to endure.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Chrysanthemums, onions and leeks...

Well its absolutely freezing here!!! Measured minus 7 last night and forecast a degree colder tonite. Still everything's snuggled up in the heated greenhouse along with half a dozen 'Cumbrian' pot leeks given to me from a fellow exhibitor and.
A couple of days ago sowed my heavy onion seeds. Using Peter Glazebrook's strain this year and have sown 30 to get me started. Going away for christmas so this screws everything up for anyone wishing to show. Thus, having to juggle sowing dates about.
Once the germinate they will go under lights to get them growing away quickly. Keeping the greenhouse around about 55oF.
Nearly all Xanth stools boxed up now and are throwing some nice healthy-looking cuttings. Will start striking them after christmas when i get back.  Oh well- thats the worst bit over- my first post. Here's to the next one!