Episode 80. Seed organising.

Hello and welcome to episode 80 from the veg grower podcast it's the 5/9/2016 and I'm titling this episode seed organisation.
Coming up today I'm going to talk a little about what I've been doing to prepare and organise my seeds for this next year being the 2016/2017 growing season but firstly what's been happening on the plots.
Well down the allotment all is well. I've been down there trying to keep on top of the weeds but the weather this last week has been challenging. Raining one minute then bright hot sunlight the next which although has been good for plants it's also encouraged weeds to grow.
I decided when I was there yesterday to completely empty the second of the compost heaps so with a spade I dug it out putting each spadeful of compost into a basket placed above my "wheelbarrow". This shopping basket is basically mimicking a sieve, I had this basket lying around and thought it'll do great for this job and i was right it did.
So whenever the basket was full i gave it a good shake and all the compost fell through leaving behind the un composted material which was placed back into the other compost bin. the compost was then placed underneath a couple of bushes and trees until it was all used up.
After this i decided to harvest some potatoes, in the same way i just mentioned i poured the potato bags into the shopping basket and sieved through. I emptied a bag of casablanca potatoes, a bag of home guard potatoes and a bag of aaron pilot potatoes. The manure that these where grown in have been added to the compost bin, along with the many many worms I found in there.
The results of the potatoes where ok, there was about a pound of casablanca potatoes but they where a reasonable size and nice and clean. The home guard was a little under a pound but again a reasonable size and nice and clean. The aaron pilot potatoes again around a pound out of the bag this where a reasonable size the skin on this was darker and a little rough texture.
Now when i say a reasonable size I mean most potatoes was about the size of my palm, so they are a little small but large enough to peel and use without getting annoyed, but they certainly will not win me any prizes. Now i have shown these in the video coming out later this week.
last week you may recall I noticed blight had started on the tomato plants here. last week i cut away the infected parts. well i am pleased to say that the infection has not spread that much. there was a bit more blight that i cut away again but nothing major. normally with blight it wipes out tomatoes in a few days so this is a result.
At home i planted out some chard plants I had growing in the potting shed. These have been planted just outside the potting shed in the little bed there. I have then covered these with a net to make sure the chickens don't get in and eat the lot andIi will be keeping a close eye on the netting this time.
In the greenhouse I've noticed some of the tomatoes have blight so i shall be cutting away in there but the infection is bad in there unlike the allotment. Over the last week I have harvested a great many tomatoes including a rather large beefsteak tomato. these tomatoes have been extremely tasty and we made a pasta sauce using some of them. this was a simple recipe with tomatoes chopped and blitzed in a processor. Poured over some precooked pasta with some chopped mozzarella mixed in and placed int the oven for 10 minutes. It was delicious yet simple, quick and cheap.
I had a single cucumber growing on the plant in the greenhouse but the end started rotting so that was removed and thrown into the wormery.
One other point I've noticed at home has been with the herb plants basically i haven't watered them enough that a great many have dried out and died back. I am hoping that with plenty of water that they may recover but if not then next year this may have to be replaced. that being said i really need to use my herbs more in cooking, I have placed these plants just outside the kitchen door in order to encourage the use of them.
Ok so my main subject which is about organising and sorting my seeds for 2016/2017, now it may seem odd to be doing this at the beginning of September but i see September as the beginning of the next growing season after all in a couple of weeks i shall be planting garlic and onions so I'm going to need to make sure i got all the seeds or sets ready for these.
Now at the time I've recording this episode i can say i haven't completed this project as the process is quiet a long drawn out system but if i get it right now it will save me time in the future.
So what I've started is that i have created a spreadsheet. The great advantage with modern technology is that i create a spreadsheet on my phone and its automatically saved and available on my pad or laptop so whenever I have a spare 5 minutes i can pull this up and work on it safe in the knowledge that any edits i make are going to be on every device.
So the spreadsheet is a simple spreadsheet nothing flash and complicated. its a list of plants, variety's and tick boxes, as i say nothing complicated but let me go into more detail.
The first column is vegetable of which i shall list the particular vegetable such as tomato or onion, all down the rows. The next column is called variety, this row I list each variety of each variety so for example if i take tomatoes as the vegetable i shall list the variety money maker in one row in the next row will be crimson crush and so on. Each row of the variety within one vegetable shall be merged so that it avoids confusion.
The next column is called do I have it and this is simply a column full of tick boxes, I shall simply tick each tick box if I have that variety that is listed. this then makes it easy to see if I have said seeds or not and if I don't i then need to go out and buy them. Again the great advantage with modern technology and being portable is that i can review this list on my phone if I happen to be in a garden centre and hey I can even bring it up in order to show what the seeds I need to buy on top of the list.
The next few rows are each month between now September 2016 and December 2017 with each month having several rows within them. these smaller rows are sow indoors, sow outdoors, plant out and harvest. Much like the back of most seed packets. Again each of these rows are rows of tick boxes and when the action applies in that particular month I add a tick. Again when it comes to looking up the spreadsheet to see what can be done that month its there on hand.
this weeks featured image is a screen shot of the spreadsheet so you get an idea of what I am talking about.
Now with the template of the spreadsheet done i need to start filling it in, this is the point that takes time and i haven't quite completed but i shall go through my seed box and list everything in its relevant place and fill in the relevant information. If i see theres any vegetables or varieties that i want to grow that i don't have i shall add this to the list but not tick the box that states "do i have it" until i get those seeds.
Once completed this spreadsheet shall be printed and kept in my sheds as extra copies on hand for quick reference at a glance. I shall hang this up on a wall in the potting shed as thats where I do most of my sowing.
Ok so i think that covers this subject, the featured image will show you in detail the template and once i have completed this i shall add a copy on the blog too.
Well thats it for this week, its been nice talking about something different. In future podcasts I want to talk a lot about how i grow certain vegetables so that may well take up lots of future podcasts. I also plan on talking about some recipes so if anyone has anything to add get in touch, I would love to hear from you all and any feedback is really appreciated. So till next week bye bye for now.

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