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.

The Asparagus Bed

  • Category: Asaparagus
  • Published: Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:51
  • Written by Administrator
  • Hits: 244

This article is about the asparagus I grow on my allotment for many years I have been growing asparagus mainly I have bought crowns online from online  garden nurseries I have not had much success but in 2017 I decided to give growing aspargus another go so I bought some more crowns I decided I would plant them my way so I dug a trench and planted about 18 crowns of various varieties I planted them on about the 05-08-17 nothing seemed to happen and to be quite honest I thought I had failed again they were totaly neglected as I had forgot about them low and behold in about May 2018 some movement had begun on the asparagus bed I noticed a few tiny shoots of what I thought were weeds but were actually tiny asparagus spears so I took an interest in them and started to water them and now I have a one year old asparagus bed 

After many years of trying to grow asparagus I think I have finally managed to produce a healthy bed  in fact the ferns on the one year old crowns were that large I had to supporth them by inserting bamboo canes the actual asaragus bed is a mixture of garden soil peat and sand with chicken pellets added 
My one year old asparagus bed viewed from the path  I had given up ever producing an asparagus bed but hopefully I have finally done it   I am really pleased I have created a asparagus bed for the future   Just look at the healthy ferns  
  I used bamboo canes to support the asparagus ferns   I used bamboo canes to support the asparagus ferns   The green on the fern looks very healthy   Looking good my new asparagus bed

Another close up of the healthy asparagus ferns
  Helathy ferns   Various asparagus plants   20180724 164330
     
 

 In season 2018 I have decided to introduce other Asparagus beds on to my allotment these beds will be mainly for crowns bought from garden websites but I am seriosly considering using some of the varieties and there are a few that I have grown from seed as the root formation and I must add I use Root Grow on the potted of seedlings and this stuff seems to work the roots on the seedling are definitely more healthy some intersting facts about Asparagus and the different varieties

Asparagus is perfectly possible at Spring Cottage although it arrives late – our village is not called Cold Aston for nothing. We planted some soon after arriving. The Best Beloved made a thorough job as always, digging a deep trench that made our neighbours joke about it being a mass grave. If only they knew.
After his initial enthusiasm, activity ground to a halt and it fell to me to sieve the soil back in and plant the newly arrived asparagus crowns. I planted 'Connover’s Colossal’, a widely available 19th-century variety. It was a disappointment. It didn’t produce thick spears as promised. I got lots of thin female spears with berries, so out it came. It hadn’t been helped by the man with the compost heap and barrow, by the way. He mulched it far too thickly in cold weather, over cold soil, so that it had to struggle back. Some crowns simply didn’t bother.
Jamie Petchell, a commercial grower at Hargreaves Plants, was similarly disillusioned with the old varieties. He decided on a radical approach and, after a long trawl via the internet, he amassed 300 different varieties from every part of the world and planted them in a lare field close to King’s Lynn in spring 2000“Seventeen breeders from nine countries sent me material. I chose seeds, rather than plants or crowns, because I wanted to produce the most uniform plants possible,” he explains, “so every variety had the same chance

Each variety was planted in several different test plots, again to give them the fairest chance to shine. “If one plot was damaged by wildlife, for example, we could still see how that particular variety performed in another place.
After a couple of years the spears were harvested and assessed for quality, flavour and yield. “It became apparent very quickly that some were suited to growing in drier conditions. Some were not completely dormant in the winter either, so they would try to grow but there was so much water in the soil that the plants died,” Jamie explains.
Over the next couple of years lots of asparagus lunches took place in Spalding. Friends, growers, retailers and relatives alike had to give each variety a score. Back at the field, rabbits were busy running their own taste test, having found countless ways to breach the fence.
“Initially I was pretty annoyed about this as I thought they were spoiling my asparagus trial,” Jamie tells me. “But in actual fact they were only targeting the varieties that tasted the sweetest.”
The four-legged Norfolk connoisseurs went straight for two similar purple varieties bred in New Zealand, namely 'Pacific Purple’ and 'Stewart’s Purple’. Blindfolded human guinea pigs agreed with the local wildlife, and scientific analysis soon showed why. The purple varieties contain on average 25 per cent more natural sugars than standard green types. “Now we’ve finally learnt to trust the rabbits’ judgment,” Jamie adds, with a touch of irony.
Although varieties were whittled down over time, it became much harder to make the final selections. Eventually Jamie identified 'Mondeo’ (available as crowns and seed from Thompson & Morgan) and 'Guelph Millennium’ as the best in the trial.
“They both provided great taste, excellent spear quality and superb yields. Ever since I have been trying to get as many seeds as possible in order to produce crowns for growers and gardeners,” Jamie adds. Further selections from this trial are in the pipeline, but building up seed stocks is a lengthy process.
Jamie’s ingenuity means we finally have some newer varieties to shout about, although do it quietly if you have rabbits nearby.
How to grow
If you think asparagus is too much trouble to grow, think again. It is the only crop available in late spring, when there’s a “hungry gap” after the early brassicas. This is why it’s a stalwart in traditional vegetable gardens. It’s delicious, too, but you will need at least 10 crowns to get a decent helping of spears.
Plant the crowns in a deeply dug, fertile, well-drained, weed-free plot of generous size (10ftx 6ft or 3x2m for 10 crowns), with a pH of roughly 7. Asparagus is usually in the ground for many years, so be patient and don’t cut any spears for two or three years.
Crowns are easier than seeds, in my opinion. They arrive as large spidery plants and must be planted immediately. Spread the roots and space them a foot apart, at a depth of four inches, with 40 inches (1m) between rows.
Avoid frost pockets and cold sites. And crush spotted, red asparagus beetles if you see any.
Four new varieties to try
• 'Pacific Purple’ A New Zealand tetraploid variety bred by Peter Falloon, with a sweet flavour. Long shelf life, so widely grown as white asparagus commercially. Needs good soil.
• 'Stewart’s Purple’ This new purple high-yielding F1 hybrid is considered the sweetest. The low fibre content means the spears are particularly tender when eaten raw. Mid to late season.
• 'Mondeo’ Bred in northern Germany for the production of green and blanched white asparagus on a range of soil types. High-yielding and early. (Only from Thomson & Morgan.)
• 'Guelph Millennium’ Hargreaves’s most popular asparagus, with superb green spears. Bred in Canada at the University of Guelph in Ontario, this all-male, vigorous cultivar is adapted to cooler climates and colder winters. Late season.