1 Year of blogging
May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
The Groblog is one year old!
On reflection I havent written much, mainly because the growing season has been/will continue to be manic this year. Business ventures are expanding in exciting directions… more of that in future posts.
Vegplugs.co.uk is really flying. Order volumes have more than quadrupled year on year, and even though we planted over four times as much we still do not have enough plants!
Due to the dangerous combination of whopping order volumes and the wheels falling off the Royal Mail postal service, a few orders did not make our 7 day dispatch policy. Apologies to customers who had to wait a while for plants .. we are up to speed now. Sincere apolgies for the delays/any administrative mistakes. Great plugs, but the administrative staff (me!) need a kick up the a**e.
We are using APS Couriers and are really happy with their service. Soon all orders should go via APS but for the next few weeks some will still need to go with Royal Mail.
New cultivars have been a focus for 2011, with lots of trials underway. Be blogging about that soon!
A quick note on the weather.
A few of our customers/friends have noticed slowed growth over the last fortnights cold weather, particularly for aubergines and peppers.
I try to get the aubergine/pepper plugs outside 24/7 from May onwards, only covering them if there is a risk of frost, but in all honestly they grow better (well, they look better- greener- but stems are weaker) indoors and in some cases grow a little quicker than outdoor raised young plants.
For aubergines/toms/peppers/soft herbs leave them in a sunny, warm place with low levels of wind (some breeze is neccessary) for as long as possible- on Gardener’s World the other day they still had corn, cucurbits and all of the above indoors and were not going to take them outside until early to mid-June. Best not to rush these plants and let them get as big and strong as possible before facing the elements. The exception is tomatoes which are hardier than peppers/aubergines and need some degree of natural conditions (wind=stronger stems and shorter inter-leaf spacings) to stop them getting leggy.
Here is an indoor raised pepper living happily on the kitchen windowsill since germinating in february:
And here is one raised outdoors:
Ultimately it will be a stronger plant, with I would think better yields. Planted at the same time but growing ‘normally’, i.e this plant is pacing itself and knows it is too early to fruit.. flowers are just beginning and the plant will produce at least 15 flowers at the same time, whereas the pepper in the top image thinks its in St Tropez.
I’d love to be able to say my garden looks fabulous, but sadly it looks like a barnyard. What has been planted so far? Ballhead cabbages, carrots, tons of green manure and sweetcorn. So no harvests for at least another month. I cant bear to post a pic as its just embarrassing. Customers send me pics of their plugs growing fabulously all the time and they put me to shame.
Pumpkin the large black pig is but a distant memory. A delicious, distant memory of roast pork, A4 sized sheets of crackling and fine charcuterie.
Squash … now unfortunately this explanation is going to involve a major digression … well, basically she is now the size of a small hippo, and immensly clever thanks to all the stimulation she gets spending her days trying to reach tantalising rows of plug plants.
She also has acquired expectations beyond basic food and board- Squash needs love. Squash needs love because she is used to being fussed and scratched and hand-fed Swiss white chocolate/doughnuts/marzipan daily.
Let this be a lesson to you- don’t let you’re pigs get too smart or reliant on affection. You will wind up having to schedule time to faff over a 30 stone monster every day. Immediately after said visit a shower needs to be scheduled. Immediately before said visit a barrow load of food needs to be found.
A mildly rubbish post, but I havent posted for ages and i’m feeling guilty 🙂
Better stuff to come! Xx