Archive for the ‘Seeds’ Category

Grass seed

September 14, 2017

Best time to sow grass seed is from March to October, make sure the area to sow is level, free from stones, plants, weeds etc. and is deeply dug and raked to a fine seed bed. Preparation is the art of a fine lawn.
From lush green lawns and hard-wearing  mixtures for play areas, to golf course mixes that are perfect for encouraging wildlife – all our grass seed blends are carefully created to offer you the very best results.

There are a number of grass seed mixtures available, choose the one that suits your conditions.

Front Lawn Grass seed mixture

Front Lawn Grass seed

A Front Lawn Grass seed Mixture will produce a fine front lawn, that will withstand a minimum amount of wear.

 

Back Lawn seed

Back Lawn Mixture

A lawn seed mixture suitable to take the heavy traffic of dogs and children playing on it is the Back Lawn Mixture. This produces a hard wearing back lawn that is ideal for children’s play areas, lawns with heavier usage, sports areas and landscaping.

 

Ornamental Lawn grass seed

A Fine Ornamental Lawn

 

Formal lawn grass seed, this is an excellent blend of the best varieties of fescue grasses ensuring a high quality fine ornamental lawn that will have your neighbours green with envy. it has a fine dense sward, free from coarse species that is required to see the full benefit of the short fine varieties.
Ideal for Ornamental lawns, croquet lawns, golf greens a mixture without ryegrass that can be cut to a height of 5mm once established

 

 

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A guide to germinating and growing chillies

September 14, 2017

Ever wanted to grow your own chillies but thought the task is too much for you? Don’t
worry! We’ve got you covered

If you have a bit of a green thumb and a pallet that favours hotter foods, growing chillies might be for you.

Despite popular belief you can easily germinate chilli seeds and grow a chilli plant at home, and it isn’t that difficult to do. Here we’re going to give you a brief guide to growing your very own chillies. You’ll be able to spice up your life in no time.

Ornamental Chilli Medusa

Ornamental Chilli Medusa

Germinating

Most people choose to immediately plant their chilli seeds into their compost. And whilst this is fine, there are a couple of things you can do before hand to help.

One such way is to soak your chilli seeds in warm water over night.

Alternatively you could place your seeds in-between two pieces of damp kitchen roll and then into a sealed container. Place this container somewhere warm and at a constant temperature. This should help speed up the germination process.

Chilli Ancho San Luis

Chilli Ancho San Luis sweet flavoured medium heat level

Planting the seeds

The compost you use doesn’t have to be anything special – multipurpose will do the trick just fine, seed compost is better especially if you sow a lot of seeds. Try and evenly space the seeds and check them once a day. Remember, you’re trying to keep the soil from getting dry.

The key to a solid growth is to keep the temperature constant. I recommend germinating the seeds in a heated propagator and for the hot chillies a thermostatically controlled propagator.

How long will they take to germinate? Well, that depends on the plant, milder chillies are easier to germinate, hot chillies require more heat and time to germinate, it also depends on the area they’re germinated in, temperature, moisture and light, get it wrong and germination can be slow and % germinate can be low.  Aim for around 2-4 weeks for germination.

After germination

Once your chillies have to started to sprout they’re going to need light. Hopefully, on your windowsill they’ll get all the light they need. If however you don’t live in a particularly sunny area, you can purchase grow lights.

These offer the plants artificial lighting but beware! If the light is too hot it could end up damaging or even killing the seeds.

Bhut Jolokia seeds

Bhut Jolokia the Ghost Chilli, one of the worlds hottest peppers

Re-potting

As your chilli plants start to grow you may have to consider re-potting them. When removing the plants be careful not to damage any roots or seeds. Take your time. One damaged root could see the end of your beloved chilli!

Re-potting can be quite a tricky thing to do. If you put the plant in something too big, it’ll focus on growing the roots, rather than the stem. Try and re-pot when you’re seeing roots appear at the drainage holes in the bottom.

When is it ready?

When you start to see flowers appear on your plant it’s almost time for the chillies. The flowers will need pollinating. If you haven’t move the plants outside at any point, then don’t worry. You can pollinate them yourself in the greenhouse or indoors. Take a cotton bud and rub around inside each flower head. This will loosen the pollen the way a bee would.

You will eventually see the flowers drop off. Don’t panic, this just means your chillies are on the way.

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T hotter than the Bhut Jolokia!

Things to remember –

  • It’s best to plant your seeds early in the year around January or February
  • It is best to germinate chilli seeds in a heated propagator and grow them on in a greenhouse
  • Chillies are usually grown as annuals in the UK. However, they are classified as ‘tender perennials’ meaning that you may be able to get a few seasons out of one plant
  • As your chillies start to sprout you may want to move them outside if you  don’t have a greenhouse. If you do want to do this, ease them in. Take them out for a few hours a day so that they can ‘harden up’ to the  elements
  • Don’t put them outside when it’s still frosty! This will quickly put an end to your chillies.
  • As with any plant, the early stage of growth leaves them open to disease

Good luck and enjoy your chillies!

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

 

Growing Vegetables A beginners guide

September 14, 2017

Sick of paying supermarket prices for your greens? Then why not sow vegetable seeds and start your own vegetable patch!

Not only is growing your own little vegetable haven a great thing to keep you occupied but it can save you money too. Those tomatoes you need to cook your favourite meal? No need to go and fork out lots of money at the supermarket, just head to your garden!

For many though, the prospect of starting a veg patch can be a little daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a little beginner’s guide to creating your own vegetable plot, sowing vegetables seeds is easy and fun even if you only have a small veg plot. We hope you find it useful! What would you like to grow? Before you do anything you need to decide what it is you would like to grow. As a beginner I recommend you start small. Putting too much on your plate means that you’re going to be overwhelmed with trying to manage and maintain everything in your plot.

Remember that things like tomatoes and peppers will continue to provide throughout the season. Things like carrots and corn however will only produce once, so you may need to plant more of these.

A favourite is baby leaf vegetable seeds where you can sow the salad leaf mixtures found on the supermarket shelves, make your own mixtures up from some of the following or add your own, Lettuce, Corn Salad, Rocket, Cress, Radicchio, Pak Choi, Mizuna, Lambs Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Endive, Chervil, Mustard Greens, Dandelion

It’s all about what you and your family will eat. There’s no point planting peppers if nobody is going to eat them!

Do you have the room? Now you know exactly what it is you’re growing you can start to estimate the kind of space you’re going to need. You aren’t going to need a lot of space. Heck, you don’t even need a garden. You could grow veg in some containers on your balcony!

There are a few things that the vegetables do need to flourish though:

  • Plenty of sun. Less sun means that they might not produce as much food and they may be more susceptible to diseases.
  • Lots of water. Like everything, your plants need water to grow. If you’re in a bit of a dry spell, make sure that you give them plenty.
  • Quality soil. Regardless of what you’re growing quality soil is a must. The majority of veg perform well in rich well drained soil.

Test the soil So, how do you test if your soil is up to the challenge? Well soak the soil with a hose and then leave it over night. The next morning head out into the garden grab a handful and squeeze. If water is streaming out then you’re going to want to add compost to help improve the drain.

If the soil hasn’t congealed in your hand then it may be too sandy. Adding organic matter will help this.

Now you’re soil is ready, plant your vegetable seeds!

Keep the weeds at bay Unsurprisingly, weeds are as unwelcome in the veg patch as they would be anywhere else in the garden. These pests compete with your veg for sun, water and nutrients. Once a week head out to your patch and pull out all the weeds you can.

You should also look into veg fertilizers to make the most of your crop.

Patience and proper care should mean that your veg yield plenty for you and the family!

Good luck!

Tomato Seeds – beefsteak tomato and cherry tomato

September 13, 2017

New tomato varieties include beefsteak, cherry tomatoes, container and hanging basket tomato seeds from the small cherry to extra large Porterhouse beefsteak.

Tomato Apricot Dreams 10 seeds
Tomato Apricot Dreams
Masses of very sweet fruit in a delightful apricot/orange colour.
Apricot Dream will produce 20-30 fruit per truss with a very high sugar content giving a candy-like sweetness! Indeterminate but with a controlled habit making it very useable in a patio container.

Tomato Baby Boomer 10 seeds
Tomato Baby Boomer
A  prolific hybrid cherry tomato, yielding a bumper crop of up to 300 little sweeties bursting with a great big flavour. Ideal for patio, containers and small areas.

Tomato Big Daddy 10 seeds
Big Daddy
Which Best Buy for great flavour, a breakthrough for taste, size, disease resistance and yield, Big Daddy is a hybrid, bred from the all time great Big Boy. Produces delicious ruby red round meaty fruits, a huge 15 ounces over a long season

Tomato Brandy Boy 10 seeds
Brandy Boy
This new beefsteak hybrid produces loads of large pink fruits up to 14cm across. Brandy Boy captures all the rich flavour of the much loved Brandywine heirloom tomatoes. Fruits have a more shapely form, tidier indeterminate growth, bigger and earlier yields. One of the all time classics has just got better with a nice thin skin, soft heirloom texture and an exceptional tangy sweet taste.

Tomato Green Envy 15 Tomato seeds
Green Envy
A meaty, tangy green cherry tomato, wondrously sweet and juicy. Like no green tomato you have ever seen or tasted before, 1 inch long emerald green sweet cherry tomatoes fruit in abundance in clusters. Great eaten raw, baked, grilled or sautéed, try them in a Salsa, with red cherry tomatoes. Indeterminate 60-70 days from transplant

Tomato Orange Wellington 10 seeds
Orange Wellington
Tipping the scales at up to 340 grams this smooth skinned, hybrid orange heavyweight is plump, dense, meaty with very few seeds. A tomato that is bursting with flavour and ideal to have with dinner, lunch, snacks or on the breakfast plate.

Tomato Pink Pounder 10 seeds
Pink Pounder
A 16oz pink hybrid beefsteak tomato that has gourmet-worthy creamy sweet, pink flesh and superb flavour. Vines produce fruit up until frosts.

Tomato Porterhouse 10 seeds
Porterhouse Beefsteak Tomato
Extra large beefsteak
Plump beefsteak tomatoes that tip the scales at an amazing 2 to 4 lbs each. They are bursting with larger than life old fashioned flavour, smooth texture, deep red luscious flesh all the way through the fruits, with just the right balance between meaty solids and succulent juices.

Tomato Steak Sandwich 10 seeds
Steak Sandwich
Large luscious hybrid tomatoes that offer the good old fashioned tomato taste for sandwiches and salads. They remain firm when ripe, so you can slip a slice into a burger, sandwich or BLT and savour succulent, rich, sweet taste. The compact (less than 1m high) vigorous plants are loaded with dozens of 10oz fruits at a time, that continues from mid summer until early autumn. Tomato Steak Sandwich Indeterminate (cordon) 70 days from transplant to maturity.

Tomato Sweetie 20 Tomato seeds
Tomato Sweetie
A cherry variety producing large clusters of very sweet tasty red fruits, suitable for indoor or outdoor growing requiring a sunny position. plant height 6-8′ days to maturity 69-80 days. Indeterminate.

Tomato Terenzo 8 Tomato seeds
Terenzo 
High yielding compact bushy hybrid plants, sweet red cherry tomatoes Terenzo is a trailing plant that is ideal for baskets and containers, a great snacking tomato, approx 30mm 20g crack resistant fruits. 56 days from transplanting to fruit. Determinate. Plant height 30cm spread 40cm.

Tomato Tomande 10 seeds
Tomande
Tomato connoisseurs rave about the flavour of these broad shouldered 6oz fruits. Fleshy, juicy and flavourful, Tomande (hybrid) will treat gourmet gardeners with both heirloom taste and abundant yields. Indeterminate 72 days from transplant to maturity.

Tomato Seeds from Nicky’s Seeds

Carolina Reaper one of the Worlds Hottest Chillies

September 9, 2017

 

Carolina Reaper seeds

Capsicum chinense
One of the World’s Hottest Chillies the Carolina Reaper also known as
HP22b averages at over 1,500,000 shu. Buy Carolina Reaper seeds these superhot chillies have bright red gnarled fruits with a stinger tail, and a fruity flavour.

 

Morning Star :: A productive and tasty winter crop | The People’s Daily

September 7, 2017

Source: Morning Star :: A productive and tasty winter crop | The People’s Daily

The Star’s gardener MATT COWARD gets his green thumbs on sai sai, the ‘best tasting Oriental leaf’
ONE of the most productive, tastiest and easiest winter crops I’ve ever grown is sai sai — sometimes listed in seed catalogues as “saisai.” It’s actually a type of radish, but you eat the leaves, not the roots.
According to Nicky’s Nursery (www.nickys-nursery.co.uk; tel: (01843) 600-972), where I bought my seeds, it was “rated the best Oriental leaf in taste tests by the Royal Horticultural Society.”

Leaf Radish Saisai https://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/product_info.php/leaf-radish-saisai-seeds-alt032-p-30

Winter Hanging Baskets

August 15, 2017

It is believed that the hanging basket was originally designed to remind a princess of home, some also believe the idea came from the hanging gardens of Babylon, it is with the wonderful versatility of this idea that we can design our own little piece of heaven from our doorstep right through to our garden. However, casting our minds back to the long, cold winter we experienced not so long ago it is probable that most of us may be reluctant to consider planning how to add warmth to our otherwise dreary doorways and garden during the late season. Despite this, in order to avoid even the slightest, sparse period it is vital to plan ahead when it comes to complimenting any garden displays throughout the seasons. When it comes to winter hanging baskets a mixture of upright and tumbling plants can have the best effect. Shrubs like Box,  heathers and carex (ornamental grass) can provide height while trailing plants like ivy not only add warmth but can also hide the edges of the basket. Bedding plants such as primroses, violas, cyclamen and polyanthus will contribute colour with winter pansies great for filling in any gaps and can be grown from seeds.

Regardless of space or the size of your doorway, choose no smaller than a 14-inch basket. Cover the inside of the basket with a coconut fibre liner, followed by a plastic disc to use as a saucer in the bottom of the hanging basket to help retain water. Using soil based compost, particularly if growing shrubs put a one-inch layer into the base of the basket. Make three small cuts across the sides of the liner or fibre. These small holes can be used to secure the plants in place, preventing damage to the root ball of each plant. Add another layer of compost followed by more plants. Once everything has been added fill the basket with compost but leave an approximate two-inch gap from the top. Pack the compost and the plants in tightly, filling any gaps with smaller flowers and compost.

During the winter months, the rugged flowers of heather are superb at filling out an arrangement and surrounding them with trailing plants such as ivy or creeping thyme will soften the edges. With preparation remaining key, why not add a few dwarf daffodil, narcissus, tulips or iris bulbs to extend the display well into spring. Once quality plants and shrubs are chosen, maintain your winter hanging basket by not letting it dry out and dead heading flowers as soon as they show any signs of fading. If weather conditions become harsh, boost your plants with a weekly liquid feed.

Petunia Wave Series, Seed germination, planting seeds, what to plant

August 7, 2017

Information on germinating Petunia Wave series seeds, Wave series, Shock Wave and Easy Wave.

Petuni Wave Ball

Petunia SHock Wave

Description and information on the Petunia Wave series:-

Petunia SHock Wave Coral Crush

Shock Wave Petunia

Shock Wave petunias form a blanket of colour, they have a mounded and spreading habit with small 4-5cm flowers and are ideal for hanging baskets, patio containers and flower borders. Height 17-25 cm spread 75-90 cm.

Petunia Wave Blue

Petunia Wave Series

Petunia wave is a low and wide spreading series and is ideal for flower beds and containers. Similar in habit to Surfinia petunias with 7cm blooms along the length of each branch. Height 10-15 cm spread 90-120 cm

Petunia Easy Wave Starship Mixed

Petunia Easy Wave Starship Mixed

Petunia Easy Wave are more monded and less spreading than Wonder Wave and are ideal for use in Flower beds, Hanging Baskets and Containers, either on their own or mixed with wave petunias,
or other hanging basket or container plants for mixed hanging baskets for your friends to envy. They fill baskets and containers faster and are quick to flower. Height 20-30 cm spread 75-90 cm

Petunia SHock Wave Wall

Petunia Shock Wave Coconut, Denim and Pink

Seed Germination & Planting Seeds
Germinate Petunia Wave series at 22-24C, sow seed thinly onto compost in trays, pots or plu cells, do not cover the seed with compost or vermiculite. Shade from direct sunlight and cover trays with glass to maintain humidity. Seed should be ready for transplanting approx 3 weeks after sowing, dependant on conditions. Once transplanted and plants are established temperature can be dropped to approx 10C and protected from frost, lower growing temperatures produce well branched vegative plants. At the lower temperatures plants will take longer to flower. Cool dry growing, allowing the plants to dry between watering will keep the plants more compact, plants require good ventilation and  do not allow plants to be wet overnight.
Petunia Wave Seeds  –  Available online from the Author Nickys Nursery

Historic Herbs

August 7, 2017

The history of herbs dates as far back as 50AD when records show that the Romans invaded us with knowledge gathered from the Greeks and Egyptians. They believed for example that by consuming mint their intelligence would increase. They also used mint to welcome others into their home. Around the same time dill was used as an important herb in witchcraft and as an aphrodisiac. However, it is quite probable that although no records were made the native Celts used herbs for medicinal and surgical purposes before the Romans took control. It was only slightly later that evidence of herbs such as hemlock and opium poppy were used as a form of anaesthetic in one of the largest medieval hospitals founded by King Malcolm of Scotland in 1164.

 

Good King Henry is one of the many culinary herb seeds still used today. It is easy to grow and a great source of iron. The herbs grow best in well-drained soil and although they may be slow to germinate, transplanting the herbs 1 -2 feet apart can speed up the cultivation period. Harvesting these culinary plants only at the leaves will allow the plant to continue to grow and they can be divided in early spring if they become well established. Another popular historic herb is lovage with it growing in abundance across the country for years, despite its Mediterranean origin. The herbs have been cultivated and used medicinally for sore throats and paediatric ailments such as colic, fever and jaundice. It has also been linked to having aphrodisiac properties. For best results, sow the seeds into well-rotted compost during September or October and enjoy as a culinary addition to soups, stews, rice dishes or in an aromatic tea to reduce flatulence and water retention.

 

In addition to culinary herbs,  historic herbs have made valuable contributions to beauty products throughout the ages. Ancient records reveal recipes for herb infused oils and creams in the tombs of beauty icons such as Cleopatra. Other uses included dill and laurel being used to crown heroes and pillows being stuffed with wild celery. Other herb seeds were sown and grown on for dying fabric with historic herbs such as Artemisia offering magical properties to the people of the middle ages and their juices being rubbed on babies to protect them from the cold. Rosemary was not only used as a common culinary herb but was eaten for its tranquilizing effects to cure headaches. Whatever the use culinary herbs have been used for centuries and will no doubt be used for generations to come. As we become increasingly aware of the benefits of eating and using natural resources I suspect herb seeds may be once again targeted as a primary source of nutrition, medicine and cosmetics in many a home. Considering how easy they are to grow, whether in a garden or on a windowsill herbs are most certainly a more cost effective option in this increasingly financially challenging era.

Sowing seeds for colour next year

August 6, 2017

It is common belief that once summer comes we can relax and enjoy our garden, avoiding anything more taxing than watering and the odd bit of weeding and dead heading. The thoughts of sowing seeds may be the last thing on our minds, taking comfort in the seasonal routine of frantically planning what to grow as spring approaches. This however, can be easily avoided. Sowing perennial and biennial flower seeds now (late summer into Autumn) will not only prove less stressful next year but means that what you do sow will flower earlier and last for longer in your garden, creating the most vibrant of flower borders and hanging baskets well ahead of the rest.

 

Although a colourful garden may be the desired effect it is wise to put some thought into which colours to choose. Opting for primary colours can be a safe bet to create a plenitude of shades but seeing as there is plenty of planning time why not analyse the specific colours needed to get the most out of your outdoor space. Blue and white flowers will create a sense of distance, while pastel colours are best suited to low light conditions. Orange and red can be perfect to warm up an otherwise cool corner. Advanced thought can give your garden that je ne sais quoi with only matching furniture and lighting to worry about come spring. Calendula seeds come in a variety of eye-catching colours. Some of the varieties Kablouana and Snow Princess can be sown September, kept in a cold frame and their stunning double flowers will complement the dullest of borders early next year. With violas offering a magnificent choice of colours from red with blotch to sky blue they are a perfect choice to sow now. Other species to sow late summer are Lupins, Hardy Geraniums, Hollyhocks, Aquilegia and Verbascum. And if a Victorian cottage garden is your desired look don’t hesitate to sow some biennials seeds and overwinter until spring.  Sow outdoors Ammi Majus, Poppies, Nigella and Delphiniums to name but a few.

 

Whatever your preference, all the seeds can be sown in the same way. Half fill a tray with good quality, peat based compost. Avoid using potting compost when sowing seeds as it contains high levels of fertiliser that can damage young roots. Clean all pots and containers thoroughly as old compost can harbour diseases. Sow the seeds in rows, cover lightly with compost and water gently. Pots containing very small seeds should be surface sown and should be watered from the bottom by being left to soak only until the surface is evenly wet and then removed and allowed to drain. You may wish to cover the tray with a transparent cover for the initial stages of germination and if sowing during the summer months store the seeds in a cold frame. You may even be able to find some seeds in your current garden that have been blown from the flowers ready for harvesting. If these are gathered be sure to hang them in paper bags to dry out completely and then store them in manila envelopes until you are ready to use them. Avoid too much handling of these young seeds and maintain the key standard of hygiene when sowing.


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