Tomatos That I Grow

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Gardeners Delght seedlngs sown on the 23-02-18 seed bought from Wilkos

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Image of the aluminium greenhouse where I grow my tomato’s the greenhouse is very old and I have been using it for about fifteen years

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I was preparing the tomato’s for the coming season and you can see I have got about half of the greenhouse planted out the seedling are in the background amongst the chaos I have created

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The tomato’s in this image have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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Notice the grape vine growing on the right hand side

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Close up of the tomato’s which have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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The tomato variety shown in this image are my favourite Gardeners Delight which to grow very well and are not suspetable to many growing problems or diseases

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The tomatos look happy enough and seem to be growing well in their grow pots I always use grow bags as the base component for gowing them in

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Notice the grape vine which is a strawbery tasting type in the back ground its looking really healthy and the main thing it tastes great and there are no pips

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It normally takes about a week to get all the tomato plants into their grow pots and the other containers I use

The Blue Bell Hendon

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Notice the new houses on the right of the Blue Bell these where built in the 1970s and are privately owned

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The roof of The Blue Bell was once a beautiful tiled structure but over many years of neglect sadly it is now nothing like it was in its hey day notice the attic window and the chimney pots and the TV mast

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The Blue Bell was situated in Zion Street Hendon Sunderland which was a street in the Jewish quarter of Hendon

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The Blue Bell looks very sad in its derelict condition and was pulled down shortly after I took these images

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My white Berlingo van can be seen on the left of the image

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Holy Trinity church can be seen in the background the church was opened in 1719 for the growing population of Sunderland as the ship building industry grew

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The attic window of The Blue Bell I wonder what history it can tell us about the pub

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Close up of the Blue Bells attic window now sadly looking very delapitdated after the pub closed shortly after the Blue Bell was pulled down and made into a car park

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Notice the broken windows the drain pipes and the Sky antenna on the wall

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Close up of the broken windows and the drain pipes and the size of the bricks these were the old style a lot smaller than the ones used for building these days

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This was the main door of The Blue Bell the windows are now sadly boarded up with chip board

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Grass and weeds are now growing freely around The Blue Bells main door and on the pavement

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The licence sign of The Blue Bell sadly now looking rather tired and old

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The front of The Blue Bell you can see Holy Trinity Church clock tower on the right of the image

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Notice the broken windows and the curtains hanging out they look vey old

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There is even an original Sky mast next to the drain pipe

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Me and my father Billy Bell often had a drink in The Blue Bell on an afternoon

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The windows of the attic and the first floor are all broken now and the pub now looks a shadow of its former self

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The Zion Street sign looks tattered and weary now is as if to say I have had enough

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In this image you can see nearly all of the boarded up front of The Blue Bell

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The chimney and the attic window can be seen clearly in this image and notice the seagull perched on the attic window

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This image shows The Blue Bells rear extension in Moor Street not quite sure what the function of the extension was but it has been suggested that it could have been the pubs kitchen

Asparagus That I Grow

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This image is of an asparagus plantlet called Sweet Purple I purchased about a dozen of these plantlets of a guy called Keith Wheeler in May 2018
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The roots of the asparagus plantlets can be seen just before I repotted them into larger plant pots

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I use different size pots when transplanting the asparagus seedlings and always mix perlite with the compost I use for transplanting the asparagus

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These images of are of asparagus UC 157 F2 the one of the most popular varieties grown in the world and was developed in the early eighties

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A view of the asparagus plantlets ferns they are looking very healthy and green all these plantlets were grown from seed in my unheated conservatory

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More images of the asparagus plantlets after they had been repotted by me in the conservatory on the allotment

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Image of the ferns of asparagus Sweet Purple planlets which are about seven months old I grew the plantlets from seed in my unheated conservatory

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Friday, 22 March 2019
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Gray Road Hendon

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This a bit of a blured image of the front room of 33 Gray Road in the image you can see a photograph of my late mam and dad celebrating their wedding anniversary also an image of my oldest daughter Lisa

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The fire side in the front room of 33 Gray Road when we were children this was a coal fire but in my mam and dads later life was replaced by an electric fire

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The famous green phone which all of my family hated but my dad loved

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The bay window was a typical type used in the mid seventies on property in Hendon and Sunderland

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Billy Bell my father better known as Hendons historian because of his slide shows and his knowledge of Hendon and Sunderlands history

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David Bell outside 33 Gray Road visiting his father Billy Bell at 33 Gray Road this was just after my Mam had died

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Notice my Berlingo van parked on Gray Road the new buildings on the left was once an old vicarage

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These houses were buitl in the late eighties and were typical of the houses built in Hendon and Sunderland at that time they where well built and looked good

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Image show the repairing of the gable end of the house after wind damage on a house in Gray Road Hendon

Sportsmans Arms

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The Sportsman’s Arms now Known as the Scullery

The Sportsman’s Arms closed on the 05-02-2010 when it closed it was left empty for a few years until a plumbing business opened up a showroom and office in the premises the company owners decided as they were not using all of the building so decided to rent out the old lounge at the rear of the pub

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The Sportsmans Arms Silksworth was once one of the most important buildings in Silksworth

Images taken by Dave Bell

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I took these images from the bottom of High Newport Allotments in May 2010 when the Sportsman’s Arms sadly closed and ended one of the last places that was used and built for the miners and their families of Silksworth very little remains of the miners heritage in Silksworth nowadays

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The once proud sign of the Sportsman’s Arms now looks tired and weary

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Notice the boarded up windows and The Sportsmans Arms sign still swinging as if everything was ok image taken on a wet and windy very cold day

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Close up of the sign on the rear wall of The Sportsmans Arms which closed in May 2010 because of lost revenue caused by very few local people using the public house

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The Sportsmans Arms puplic house built for the miners of Silksworth in 1871 as Silksworth Colliery grew new houses were built for the miners and their families and not forgetting why The Sportsmans Arms built for the miners when they had finished their shifts and to socialise when not working

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Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land.

Emerald

This a new variety I have just introduced from the Ukraine I purchased the seed in July 2018 on a bit of a whim I thought I have had asparagus seed from all over Europe so why not the Ukraine in Russia I was quite impressed when the seeds arrived they took about ten days to come and the postage was free if you bought a certain amount they were well packaged and labelled with basic instuctions

The seed packets were well packed in small plastic bags with growing instructions on the packets
The seed packets as they arrived from the Ukraine Very impressed with these seeds
Asparagus Emerald seed packets 
Asparagus Emerald plantlets 
Asparagus Emerald  Asparagus Emerald 
 
 
   

Looking Forward To The New Season

This is the time of the year when gardeners start to plan what they are going to grow either vegetables or bedding plants or if you are like me I like to grow many different varieties of both whatever one decides to do its all about enjoying your garden January is always a very cold month with adverese weather guaranteed and the new year of Season 2019 was no different we have had very cold rain loads of frosty days snow and hailstones and thunder and lightening and of course the lovely winter sun which nearly blinds you when you are driving

Imagesof the greenhouse during a snow storm in January 2019 fortunately the snowy weather soon came to an end and we had only the frosty weather to live with which is a bit of a pain early in the morning 
Winter January 2019 Winter January 2019
Winter January 2019 Freezing cold
   

The activities that I am going to do over the winter months I try to plan for both good weather were one can work on the garden doing various activities and inside work in the conservatory or the greenhouse or in one of the cabins on the allotment this enables me to always have something to do regardless of the weather conditions so keeping me busy and my mind ticking over thinking about new things to experiment with in the future which hopefully keeps one active and healthy as I become old

Images of the allotment notice the compost bin and the new cloche built to protect the strawberry bed 
Image of the garden on a very cold day in January 2019 Image of the garden on a very cold day in January 2019
Image of the garden on a very cold day in January 2019 Image of the garden on a very cold day in January 2019
 
 

 Hopefully the cold weather  has run its course but knowing British weather I very much doubt it January was a very cold month with some snow showers and lots of heavy frost and frozen water pipes if we dont turn off the water ath mains stop cock


 

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This image is of an asparagus plantlet called Sweet Purple I purchased about a dozen of these plantlets of a guy called Keith Wheeler in May 2018
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The roots of the asparagus plantlets can be seen just before I repotted them into larger plant pots

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I use different size pots when transplanting the asparagus seedlings and always mix perlite with the compost I use for transplanting the asparagus

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These images of are of asparagus UC 157 F2 the one of the most popular varieties grown in the world and was developed in the early eighties

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A view of the asparagus plantlets ferns they are looking very healthy and green all these plantlets were grown from seed in my unheated conservatory

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More images of the asparagus plantlets after they had been repotted by me in the conservatory on the allotment

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Image of the ferns of asparagus Sweet Purple planlets which are about seven months old I grew the plantlets from seed in my unheated conservatory

These asparagus plantlets were all grown from seed in season 2018 kept in cold greenhouse over the winter months and watered very sparingly and now the new shoots can be seen growing very well

Asparagus Growing My Way

Now is the time of year when one gets a little bit excicted about what seed one is going to grow and especially the new varieties that have been developed although a lot of the new varieties are just older varieties rehashed under another name what I normally do in the Winter months is browse the web to see what new vegatables are available and there are many now with the internet one can buy seeds from all over the world one of my favourite vegtatables to grow is Asparagas I have three beds on my allotment of purchased crowns from various suppliers I am starting to be impressed with the purple varieties as you can eat these varieties raw and they are stringless unlike the green varietys but saying that I have the green varietys growing on my allotment as well they were all planted in different months the oldest bed was planted in May 2017 I have just sown the seed of Asparagus for this years growing program I have just sown Mary Washington a very old variety that many of the new strains are based on the main one is Asparagus Uc 72 F1 and the most popular variety grown in the world another very old purple variety is Asparagus Precoce d'Argenteuil this variety was grown in a village just outside of Paris and is a purple variety which most of the varietys of purple Asparagus are bred from

I grow a wide range of garden produce fruit trees,exotics,vegatables,flowers,cacti,root crops,grape vines and not forgetting my favourite ASPARAGUS which I have been growing for decades but with not very good results I would have loved one of those asparagus beds that lasts for years in Season 2017 I decided to give growing asparagus one last chance I decided to buy crowns from a few online garden websites I planted the asparagus crowns not as the experts recomend in trenches with a raised area in the middle of the trench draping the crowns roots downwards instead I decided to just dig a hole I made sure the crowns roots were not all tangled up I then added sharp sand and compost into the hole I then placed the crown into the hole and covered it with soil


The way I planted the asparagus crowns went against all the advice the gardening experts had given but I thought lets try another way to grow asparagus crowns I did not have much hope of my way planting the crowns to be very successful I forgot about the asparagus and just got on with the normal maintaince and growing on the allotment In March as I was weeding the cabbage plot I just happened to look at the oldest asparagus bed and I could not believe what I saw tiny asparagus shoots coming out of  the soil I checked and very gently started to prope the crowns and yes there was tiny shoots appearing I was excited so I went and searched the web for hints on growing asparagus and the general advice was as the asparagus shoots apeared was to apply a good fertilizer which I did 

Images of asparagus seedlings that are about five months old and where all grown from seed in my unheated conservatory on the allotment various varieties are pictured here
The asparagus seedlings The asparagus seedlings are about five months old
Asparagus seedlings 
Healthy looking seedlings 
All grown from seed Image of Mondeo asparagus a F1 hybrid
Image of Mondeo asparagus a F1 hybrid 20190123 103944
   

Parsnips

I now only grow F1 Parsnips as they seem to be less prone to disease and also seem to taste better the one shown in the images below are of the seeds I have just set away in the alloment conservatory

Parsnip Palace a F1 variety I am growing for the first time I am using Humax compost with silver sand added and recyled paper pots puchased from Poundland £1 for sixty cells even cheaper than ebay 
Parsnip Palace a F1 variety  Parsnip Palace a F1 variety 
I am using Humax compost for sowing the seeds    I am using Humax compst for sowing the seeds
I have grown Asparagus for many years  Seedling were set away on the 29-01-2019 
I purhased the plastic plant lables from Wilkos  20190127 091502 
20190128 102409  20190128 102407 
   

I will be adding the varieties and images as I plant the seeds on the 02-02-19 I planted  Gladiator F1 and Palace F1 seeds into invidual square peat pots and put them into the propagator at home today the seeds started to germinate after about fifteen day but as usual parsnip seed sowing is a hit and miss game as they are not the best seeds to germinate very well 

I have just noticed that the parsnip seeds are are starting to come through on both varieties
Notice the pencil in the foreground its one very helpful tool  Notice the pencil in the foreground its one very helpful tool 
 
 

Spring Onions

Last year 2018 I decided to try once again to grow spring onions having tried many times before but failed miserably I rembered in season 2017 I had planted a variety of spring onion called Senshyu Yellow I only planted one row but they over wintered very well and tasted excellent

 
   
   

 Origions of onion Senshyu Yellow

Introduced from Japan in the early 70's for harvesting before the traditional spring sown bulbing varieties are ready. ‘Senshyu Yellow Globe’ was one of the first Japanese overwintering varieties to be tried and tested. Today it remains a growers favourite for surviving the winter well.
Hardy to around minus 18°C (0°F), this reliable maincrop produced heavy yields of semi-globe shaped bulbs with straw coloured skins and crisp white flesh. Growing to a height of around 45cm (18in) and a spread of 15cm (6in), it matures June to July from an August sowing. Giving onions of usable size before spring sown maincrops varieties are ready.

Overwintered onions are in the ground a lot longer than their summer counterparts - roughly 300 days. Because of this, they have more time to develop a vigorous root system, which means they grow more strongly on heavy soils. In addition, overwintering types do most of their growing during spring, when soil moisture is plentiful. They mature and dry down in early summer when the days are at their longest. All these factors add up getting larger onions with less effort.
Since these onions are ready to harvest between June and early July, the, usually dry weather we receive then is much more conducive to good curing. The newer varieties of overwintering onions will easily keep well into autumn if cured properly. So, you can have onions available year-round without too much effort.

Onion 'Senshyu Yellow' is recommended by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany