Posts Tagged ‘seeds for salads’

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!

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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

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.

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

 

Grow Your Own Salad Leaf Mixtures

March 13, 2016

Most fridges these days have a bag of salad leaves turning slimy and
smelly in the vegetable drawer – we buy them for a pinch to liven up a salad,
quiche or jacket potato and then promptly forget the rest. Either that, or
there is a certain leaf we don’t like and we pick it out and waste it. Without
even considering the cost – which averages out at over £1 and can easily be far
more – and the risk of catching nasty diseases from inadequately washed leaves,
it make a lot of sense to grow your own. As an added incentive, let’s not even
mention the occasional story of the live frog/dead insects and all the other
livestock found in a bag of salad leaf mix.

Nicky’s nursery has a huge choice of seeds for you to try if you fancy
having a go at growing your own salad leaf mixture. You can make the
mixture whatever you like by choosing the varying kinds for sale and the best
part is that, by careful successional sowing, you can have fresh, sweet and
tender salad leaves right through the season. So no more slimy bags in the back
of the fridge. With no waste and with each packet costing at the most the
equivalent of two bags of washed salad leaves, it makes financial sense to grow
your own salad leaf mixture, but that is to ignore the amazing difference in
the taste. You won’t ever get that horrible sour, bitter taste in your mouth
again as you chew down on a leaf that is well past its best. Every leaf you
pick is at the peak of freshness and you can make up the combination that suits
the dish the best.

You don’t need to have masses of room to keep the average family
supplied with lovely fresh baby salad leaves – a few pots will be ample and if
you start in March by sowing a few seeds under glass, you can progress to
sowing outside once the weather warms up. Nicky’s Nursery also has a huge range
of cut and come again salad vegetables
which you can pull a leaf at a time to add to a leaf mix or allow to grow a bit
bigger to be used in stir fries or wilted gently with some butter for a lovely
light summer vegetable. Even if you live in a flat, you will have room to grow
your own salad leaf mixture. You only need to scatter a few seeds on a decent
sized pot or tray and they will soon be showing green. You can let them get to
proper lettuce size if you want but most people can’t resist pulling them when
they are really tiny and sweet. With a lightly seasoned French dressing, they
are good to eat on their own, or, if you are growing some baby vegetables, why
not treat yourself to a warm goat’s cheese, baby beetroot, red onion and baby
salad leaf salad for lunch. It tastes like summer on a plate and apart from
anything else, it is really good for you.


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