Archive for February, 2010

Fruit & Veg shortlist.

Whilst it’s dark, wet & cold outside,  my thoughts wander to spring and summer so I thought I’d fish out this years seed catalogues and make a quick shortlist of what I intend to grow this year. This will be my second year of growing my own and I can’t wait to get started.

In addition to the veggie beds & greenhouse, this year I plan on extending my growing area by a using a larger pots & tubs that I’ll dot right outside the kitchen door and patio area. It’s south facing and therefore gets plenty of sun and i like the idea of having fresh ingredients close to hand when cooking.

My list also contains fruit and veg that I’ve not tried to grow before so who knows what the results will be. It’s that particular reason why I’ve come to love gardening.

I haven’t quite decided on what variety’s to grow yet but here’s my shortlist.

Potatoes – I don’t want give up too much room in the veggie beds  for these so I intend use plenty of grow bags.

Carrots – not a great crop last year but definitely  will try again.

Onion sets.

Beetroot – tasted amazing when roasted in the oven.

Dwalf & Runner Beans –  A bumper crop last year, i’ll stick with the same variety of Runners –  ‘enorma’.

Peas – Not brilliant last year but I didn’t provide enough  supports.

Sugar snap peas – Again, not a brilliant crop but more research and I’m keen to try again.

Courgettes – A great crop last year and I had  plenty to give away to friends and family.

Cucumber – My biggest success last year with excess used as ‘currency’ to swap produce with neighbors.

Tomatoes – I’m going to downscale from growing too many vine tomatoes this year but will add in a few compact bush variety’s. I’m also thinking of growing  a tumbling variety from a couple of hanging baskets.

Aubergine – A first for me.

Radishes – Another great crop last year but must remember to plant little & often this year.

Herbs – Too many to list here but like last year, my favorite Basil will be grown en mass. We’re also planning on buying another half whiskey barrel similar to the one we use as mini pond for growing herbs in. I’ll also be adding a small Bay tree this year.

Salad leaves – Again, lots of varieties will be grown this year to keep us in salads right throughout the summer (and maybe further with the cold frame). This will include Pak-Choi & Rocket.

Leeks – I didn’t grow many last year but what I did set are still being pulled out of the veggie beds over winter.

Strawberries – I started with six plants last year and from the side shoots have about 20 plants for this year.

Apples – I thought we’d try a dwarf plant this year so sit on the patio.

Olives – Nothing yet from last years plant, but it’s sat in the greenhouse at the moment and looks healthy enough – maybe this year?

Broccoli – Another first for me this year.

Cabbage, Cauliflower & Brussels sprouts.

Peppers & Chilli’s – Peppers growing indoors were pretty good last year, but the slugs got those growing in the greenhouse. Night inspections a must!

Spinach & Pak Choi.


1st attempt – 2009


Comments (2) »

Macro Extension Tube Set

Whilst I research and decide which 1:1 macro lens I’d like to get for my DSLR, I thought I’d try out a set of Macro Extension tubes that can be found on online for a fraction of the cost.

The set contains tubes with lengths of 9mm, 16mm & 30mm and male/female EOS EF mounts. Each tube can be used independently or stacked giving a total of eight mounting combination’s.

Out of the box and ready for use.

The extension tubes doesn’t contain any  electronics to bridge the gap between lens and camera body therefore aperture has to be set prior to fitting the extensions (although i guessing that isn’t the case if the lens has a manual aperture ring?) and focusing is done manually only rather than auto.

I didn’t have a great deal of time this evening therefore the following test shots are a little blurred as they were taken hand held. Hopefully this weekend I’ll try them again using my tripod & remote shutter cable.  I’ve used all three extensions combined with my EF-50mm prime lens for the shots below.

Lens cover

Guitar string

Fuji 5800 camera dial

Guitar tuning peg

iPod Shuffle (2nd generation)

Comments (3) »