Cucamelon – Melothria scabra seeds – baby watermelons

March 4, 2017

Cucamelon

Cucamelon seeds Melothria scabra If you have never seen or eaten a cucamelon (and the chances are that
you haven’t) then you are in for a treat. Not only are they really interesting
plants which would look good scrambling up a fence or even over an ugly shed or
garage, but the fruits look like tiny little watermelons which turn out to
taste of cucumber with a hint of lime. You can get cucamelon seeds from Nicky’s
Nursery and you can sow them now to plant outside when it gets warmer – we are
all assuming it will get warmer, sometime soon!

Melothria scabra seeds (to give these delicious fruits their full
Latin name) are reliable to grow and you can put the plants really close
together because they like to twine and twist onto other stems so will help
support themselves this way. The fruits need to be harvested when they are
about the size of a biggish grape and if you plant the cucamelon seeds indoors
now you should be harvesting them by July and they will hopefully (weather
permitting) still be going strong in September.

Cucamelon is also known by lots of other names, many taken from the
appearance of the fruits – mouse melon is perhaps the cutest, the others being
Mexican sour gherkin, Mexican miniature watermelon and Mexican sour cucumber,
so perhaps it will come as no surprise to find that they grow very freely in
Mexico. The plants can be grown a second year from the roots, but they have to
be lifted and stored like dahlias and other tubers, so most people prefer to
grow cucamelon seeds fresh every year. They aren’t hard to get going and the
yield is very high, so it is simple to just buy a new packet of seeds every
year, especially if you don’t have too much gardening experience.

You can eat them just as they come off the vine and if you like to have
drinks and nibbles outside on nice summer evenings it is really fun to pour the
drinks and then point your guests at the vines to pick their own nibbles. You
can also pickle cucamelon fruits just like gherkins or cucumbers. You can
pickle them whole if you want and they look great that way mixed with olives
when they are done, or, for a crisper result, you can cut them in half. The
main thing to remember when you pickle Melothria scabra is that you must
salt them first or they can be soggy – still delicious, though!

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Grow Your Own Micro greens: big flavour in a small package

March 3, 2017

As we become increasingly aware of the nutritional value of everything green along with the thrill of eating anything that may resemble one millionth of other foods, micro greens continue to prove popular among the beautiful people of our society. With the trend beginning in sunny California in the mid 90’s and swiftly spreading across continents, micro greens are now high on the list of top chef’s must-haves with famous chefs like Heston Blumenthal using them to add flavour, texture and a fresh new look to their dishes. From basil lemon to basil Thai there is a vast amount of micro greens perfect to garnish any soup with dill and chives complimenting most fish dishes. This however has caused the price of micro greens to become considerably high so why not grow these trendy seedlings at home and enhance your diet at quarter the price.

Although easy to grow at home, at any time of the year and with a very short cultivation period, micro greens should be handled with care. Maintaining a good standard of hygiene from the beginning is vital as the young seedlings are harvested quickly. Thanks to their youth they don’t need a lot of room and can be planted approximately a quarter of an inch apart. They can be planted either in an outdoor flowerbed or a container and will sprout in the garden or on a sunny sill. If using a pot, make sure it is at least two inches deep and filled with a good quality, organic potting mix. Scatter the seeds and cover gently with soil and water. Avoid the soil drying out and remove any outdoor weeds that may bully your new babies. Around ten days after planting, micro greens should be ready for harvesting but be careful not to mistake seed leaves for true leaves, snipping the latter just above soil level. Fresh seeds can then be scattered and covered gently with soil, leaving the old roots as a good source of organic matter for the next generation.

The purity of these miniscule greens means they generally offer a higher vitamin and nutrient concentrate than more mature greens. Alfalfa, also known as ‘father of all foods’ contains antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and minerals with the nano alfalfa leaves traditionally used by Chinese physicians to treat digestive tract disorders. Kale’s popularity as one of the healthiest vegetables can be founded by its cholesterol lowering benefits and nutritional properties being linked to lowering five different types of cancer. Kale can also play a vital part in detoxification when eaten regularly and is a great choice of micro greens to be grown at home. Similarly, rocket has also been suggested as a cancer preventative and with its nutritional properties of vitamins B and K, folic acid, iron, calcium and magnesium, it can be hugely beneficial to pregnant women and the elderly. Its strong flavour, along with any other micro greens to hand will compliment any salad or wrap so enjoy the taste as well as the benefits of your new nano friends.

Vegetable seeds and Flower seeds

December 20, 2016
Available from Nickys Nursery  the following interesting
varieties are listed as new for the coming season. Chilli seed varieties includes the world’s hottest
chilli pepper Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. Capsicum chinense, Originating from Trinidad this scorpion is the pure strain, it was tested at over 1,460,000 SHU, making it hotter than the Bhut Jolokia which is the hottest commercialy available from seed.
Chilli seeds over 200 varieties include
the Carolina Reaper, Naglah a capsicum chinense and is a cross between Bhut Jolokia and Douglah
measured at over 1,000,000 scoville heat units, Habanero Black Stinger a hot
chilli pepper with a unique short tail similar to the Trinidad Scorpion, Bhut
Jolokia is an old favourite along with
Trinidad Scorpion. Chilli Basket
of Fire a capsicum frutescens is a medium heat compact chilli ideal for growing
in hanging baskets or containers. Vegetable
seeds
include Aubergine Pot Black a baby vegetable with almost black fruits
and ideal for containers, fruits can be harvested young making them ideal for
baby veg. Brussels Sprout ‘Bitesize’ a unique hybrid baby veg Brussels sprout
with small dark green buttons that are approximately half the size of normal
sprouts. Tomato Peardrops this is a hybrid, high yielding trailing tomato with
a mounding habit. It produces golden yellow
peardrop shapes fruits that are sweet and delicious, ideal grown in hanging
baskets and containers. Tomato Tumbling Tiger is a compact trailing variety
that produces both red and green striped fruits, they are plum shaped. The
plants are ideal for hanging baskets and containers. Some of the many new flower seeds
that are being stocked this year include the cut flower Lisianthus or also
known as Texas Bluebell Arena series in Baby Pink, Blue Flash, Blue Picotee, Champagne, Red and Rose. These varieties
have been selected for their high quality double flowers and strong tall stems.
Lisianthus Vulcan series in Blue Picotee, Deep Violet, Pink Picotee and White. New varieties are added to their online
catalogue throughout the year.

Bacopa for hanging baskets and containers now available by seed

December 9, 2016

Bacopa is an excellent hanging basket and container plant.  Until recently it was only available from cuttings, now there is a seed raised version called Topia, available in 3 varieties, Bacopa Blutopia, Snowtopia and a mixture of blue and white. The plants are naturally self branching so require no pinching back, they quickly fill the container and cascade over the side. An abundance of flowers cover the plants in hanging baskets and containers. Seed available from Nickys Seeds

Bacopa Blutopia

Bacop Blutopia seed raised plants

Bacopa Snowtopia

Bacopa Snowtopia

Cutting raised Bacopa Abunda is available from your local nursery or garden centre. Available in Pink, Colossal Blue, Colossal Sky Blue and Clossal White, plants are covered in hundreds of non-stop blooms all through the season right up to the first frosts.

Bacopa

Bacopa Abunda Pink and White


Bacopa Abunda

Grass seed & lawn seed for quality lawns

December 7, 2016

Nickys Nursery flower seeds, herb seed, wildflower, grass seed and vegetable seeds, chilli seeds and tomato seed

Large range of grass seed and lawn seed mixtures for sowing a new lawn or renovating tired and old lawns. Front ornamental lawn, back lawns and play areas, shaded lawns, embankments, woodlands to sports fields and golf course tees, greens and fairways.
Available Grass Seed Mixtures

Front Lawn Grass Seed

Seeding a lawn – A basic guide to preparing the ground, sowing the lawn seed and looking after your lawn in the following years.

Prepare the ground by removing all rubbish, stones, bricks, weeds and plants. Improve drainage wherever possible, deep digging will help. The finer the prepared seed bed the better the lawn will be.
For lawns on a heavy soil incorporate more sand while digging this will help improve drainage. On light and sandy soil incorporating a good amount of peat into the soil will prevent drying out and loss of nutrients.
Level the site taking care not to remove too much topsoil from any one area. If possible the digging of the ground should be done in the autumn and left to stand for the witer, where the rain and frost will break down the large lumps and leave it crumbly. As the soil starts to dry out in the spring is the best time to prepare the fine seedbed. Roll or rake the ground, or tread and rake it in both directions, keep working it until you achieve a firm level seedbed. It is a good idea to rake in a pre-seeding fertiliser, this helps promote root growth and provide the essential early feed for your lawn.

Sowing into heavy soil / covering seed
Should you need to mix the soil due to it being too heavy to sow the seed into, it is recommended that you use peat to break it down, or to sow the seed into as it retains more moisture and nutrients to enable seed germination.

Sowing
Seed can be sown from mid March until early October, as long as during dry periods the seedbed is kept constantly moist until the lawn is approx 5cm high. Water the seed bed with a fine spray to prevent the seeds or seedlings being displaced. During periods of drought it may be necessary to water continually to aid germination and avoid the young seedlings being scorched and killed off.
A general rule of thumb to get a good established lawn is 50 grams of seed per square metre, allowing a little extra for filling in or patching at a later date. A small area can be sown to be used as patching turf if required for any repair work later.
To sow the seed it is best to divide the area into easily manageable sections, then divide the seed accordingly. Sow half the seed for one section from left to right of the section, the other half of the seed over the first sowing but from front to back of the section. This will ensure an even spread of the types of seed over the section.

Mowing the Lawn
The first mowings are very important for good establishment of the lawn. When the lawn is 5-8cm it should be cut for the first time. Trim the lawn lightly and gradually lower the blades to the recommended mowing height of the lawn seed mixture used. Mow regularly but try not to remove more than a third of the growth at any one cutting. Do not mow the lawn when it is damp. After the first cut the lawn may be rolled, this encourages lateral growth and makes a closely knit turf.
A lawn is best mown little and often, that way you do not remove more than a third of the growth. Towards the end of the season gradually raise the cutting height of the blades. Always remove the cuttings.
Lawn Seed Mixtures

New Lisianthus Varieties

November 22, 2016

A selection from our new Lisianthus to grow from seeds

Lisianthus Advantage Cherry Sorbet

70-90cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, middle to late flowering fully double dark rose pink flowers on strong stems. Ideal for cut flowers 70-90cm

Arena Baby Pink

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, an abundance of soft Baby Pink flowers approx 8cm in diameter on tall strong stems. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid to late flowering. Pelleted seed.
Lisianthus. Arena Baby Pink 30 pellets

Arena Blue Flash

80-100cm New & Unique Colour
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, a unique colour with an abundance of white blue veined flowers approx 8cm in diameter on tall medium strength stems. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid season flowering. Pelleted seed.

Lisianthus. Arena Blue Flash 30 pellets

Arena Blue Picotee

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, Blue Picotee flowers approx. 7.5cm in diameter on tall strong stems, thick petals and a top flowering variety. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid to late flowering. Pelleted seed.

Lisianthus. Arena Blue Picotee 30 pellets

 

 

 

 

Croma Green

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Pale green rose like 6cm double flowers approx 6cm in size, good branching habit ideal cut flower, short plant and early flowering variety

Lisianthus. Croma Green 30 pellets

 Croma Snow

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Early flowering cream/white fully double 6cm wide flowers, good branching habit tall plants with strong stems, an excellent cut flower

Lisianthus. Croma Snow 30 pellets

Croma White

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Fully double rosy like pure white flowers approx 7cm in diameter, good branching habit and plant height, good hard stems. Ideal as cut flowers or in an arrangement with greenery and gypsophila for the perfect table decoration.

Lisianthus. Croma White 30 pellets

Falda Salmon

80-100cm New & Unique Colour
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, salmon coloured single petal 5cm fringed flowers on strong sturdy stems. An abundance of flowers per stem, the fringed flowers make voluminous bouquets especially when many flowers are used in one vase, ideal in a mixed arrangement or as a single colour display, a unique colour – thick petals.

Lisianthus. Falda Salmon 30 pellets

Baby Veg from seeds

November 15, 2016

Cucamelon, Melothria Scabra, Mexican Sour Gherkin

Baby vegetable seeds can be grown in a variety of different ways. You don’t
have to buy seeds which are specifically developed to give baby vegetables – you can also
harvest early or sow the seed thickly of some varieties, so they don’t have much chance to
develop. Some people like to harvest crops such as carrots and leeks when they
are small as a matter of course – they tend to be sweeter then as the sugars
have not converted to starch and they are also tenderer. If you take
precautions against attracting carrot fly – you can ask a dozen gardeners how
to prevent this pest and their replies will vary between putting ground coffee
on the ground, growing marigolds, onions and leeks nearby or using fleece –
then you can use two methods at once. You can sow thickly, then use the early
thinnings as baby veg and grow the rest on to maturity, harvesting as you go to
make the best of their sweetness.

Cucumber Pony baby cucumber

Some plants are best grown from deliberately bred dwarf stock, such as
aubergines – Nicky’s Nursery stocks Hansel, an F1 hybrid with purple fruit that
can be harvested as small as two inches long. This is something to remember –
small is not necessarily ‘baby’; it might mean unripe and therefore not good to
eat. Check the packaging if you intend to eat something when it is not mature;
not all plants take kindly to being harvested young and you could end up with
an inedible crop.

Aubergine Hansel

Baby Veg Aubergine Hansel harvest from 2 inches to 10 inches

Baby vegetables not only taste good, they look good too and if you are
on a diet and tending to ‘eat with your eyes’ the plate appeal is very
important. As well as being small, some of the baby vegetables come in weird
and wonderful colours, such as the cauliflower strain ‘Sunset’. As its name
suggests, it comes in a glowing orange shade, which is deepest at ‘baby’ size,
but does still linger even if allowed to grow to full maturity. If you like
runner beans but prefer smaller veg, then Minnow would be ideal. They are the
size of a stringless French bean but with all the taste of a runner.

Cauliflower Sunset seeds

Baby or Mini veg Cauliflower Sunset

Tomatoes are the undisputed rulers of the baby vegetable patch. Many of
the cherry tomatoes are less than an inch across but the baby of even this tiny
strain is the tomato sweet pea currant, which has masses of fruits of less than
a fifth that size. Perfect in salads or to encourage children to eat more
vegetables, tiny tomatoes are a fun way to the five a day. For a perfect salad,
try Iceberg Warpath, a baby lettuce with the crisp leaves of a classic iceberg
but none of the bulk. Baby vegetables need to be sown in succession, to make
sure of a season-long supply of the little beauties.

Tomato Firecracker

October 24, 2016

Tomato seeds

 

Trailing Tomato Firecracker

Trailing tomato ideal for hanging baskets, containers, patio and window boxes, showy, elongated red-orange fruits with golden yellow stripes. Fruits weigh approximately 35g and have a good flavour, 7% Brix rating, 63 days.

 

Tomato Firecracker 10 seeds

 

Chilli seeds

October 4, 2016

Sow seeds early as some hot peppers can take 120+ days from transplanting to fruiting. Temp should be maintained at the indicated temp 25-30°C chilli seeds will germinate at 25C but will take longer 30C+ is the preferred temp for hot chillies Jolokia, Morich, Tepin and Habanero chillies they can also be slow and erratic to emerge

Chilli Trinidad Genghis Khan Brain

Capsicum chinense
Extremely hot rare chilli ripening from green to red, pimply skin, fruity tones and rivals the heat of many superhots, believed to be a Trinidad Scorpion cross.

Peppers Chilli Trinidad 7 Pot Katie 10 seeds

Chilli Trinidad 7 Pot Katie

Capsicum chinense
A Trinidad 7 pot / Naga cross, bred in the UK and coming in at over 1,500,000 SHU. Large pods ripen from green to dark red with a fruity flavour.

Peppers Chilli Trinidad Genghis Khan Brain 10 seeds

Chilli Trinidad Apocalypse Scorpion

C chinense
Fruity tones and rivals the heat of many superhots this chilli was developed by the Italian growing Organisation AIASP. Wrinkled skins and various shaped fruits ripen to bright red in colour.

Peppers Chilli Trinidad Apocalypse Scorpion 10 seeds

Chilli Trinidad Sepia Serpent

Capsicum chinense
A Butch T x Douglah, chocolate brown in colour and occasionally a little red in the brown. A sweet earthy flavour and heat level is extremely hot, very large pods with rough pimply skin, plants produce different shaped pods similar to other chocolate varieties.

Peppers Chilli Trinidad Sepia Serpent 10 seeds

Chilli Trinidad 7 Pot Chocolate Brain Strain

Capsicum chinense
Very hot Brainstrain chilli, Pods ripen from light green to Brown and have a fruity earthy flavour.

Peppers Chilli Trinidad 7 Pot Chocolate Brain Strain 10 seeds

 

Grow your vegetables from seed

September 25, 2016

Vegetable seeds grow your own Vegetables, oriental veg, baby veg, patio container veg, cut and come again, heirloom, Italian range, tomato, pepper, beans, peas, salad and root vegetables. Nothing can compare to harvesting your own vegetables full of freshness and flavour straight from the garden. No matter what the size of your vegetable garden, from containers on the patio to planting vegetables in your flower border or growing vegetables on an allotment.  It’s simple, easy and nothing beats growing your own vegetables, children will enjoy sowing seeds, growing and eating their own home produce.

Vegetable Seeds

 


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