December

Well November has left us with some of the coldest weather for a good few years. We experienced -6 on one night. i am reminded of the old saying however ‘November ice to bear a duck, rest of winter mud and muck’, lets see if it has any truth.
Hope you had your tender plants wrapped up? but at least it may have killed off a few of the bugs we seem to have accumulated after the last couple of very mild winters.
We have a new member of staff at the nursery, we have been joined by Rodent Control Manager – Billy. Billy is a black and white boy cat who seems to have decided the nursery is home with three square meals a day in return for presenting a few dead mice occasionally. He now has his own twitter account so you can follow him @Billythe mouser.
We are busy dispatching your fruit tree orders at the moment although this cold spell has put a stop to this for a few days, hope to resume next week.

Newsletter August 2016

Autumn Newsletter – September 2016

Welcome all existing and new subscribers to our newsletters, we normally publish monthly but there has been a bit of a gap this time. apologies for that but in this edition you will find details of up coming shows, things to plant and a few ideas for the garden in winter.

Shows first, many of you will have seen us at the Wisley flower Show in early September, regrettably we shall not be there this year! However we will be at Malvern autumn 24/25th September, probably near the cookery stage, the autumn harvest show 4/5th October and the autumn RHS Show, both at Westminster RHS halls.

We know many of you purchase your seeds, garlic and autumn onion sets at Wisley and so we would like to offer all our customers a special discount if you order on line over the period of the show.

20% off all orders made on line by Sunday 11th September! Use the code AUT2016 in the discount/coupon box at the checkout.

(applies to all orders placed on line up to and including 11/10/2016, does not include postage and packing costs. Please note some items may not be dispatched until November – bare root fruit).

What should we be planting for autumn/winter cropping and for next year?

Garlic – best planted October, needs the cold weather to produce good bulbs

Autumn onion sets – often giving better results than spring planted when conditions in spring are wet. Plant October harvest June.

Broad Beans – for an early crop next year, choose Aquadulce, The Sutton or robin Hood. Don’t plant too early, end October is fine.

Spring Onions – winter hardy variety such as ‘White Lisbon’.

Perpetual spinach ‘Erbette’ – sowings now will yield fresh young leaves over winter.

Winter salads – cold hardy lettuces such as Winter Density and Valdor, corn Salad or Lamb’s Lettuce, Mibuna, Mizuna, Mustards, Rocket, Land Cress, all will yield over winter in a cold greenhouse or with a little protection outside.

Try our cold hardy winter salad mix for growing in boxes or pots in a sheltered position cut & come again all winter long.

Remember 20% off all these when you order at www.pennardplants.com by September 11th and use code AUT2016.

It is also time to think of new plantings of fruit trees and bushes for autumn/winter, we have Fruit Days coming up in October – 7th/8th where you can taste Apples & Pears if you can get to the nursery or order on line.

Please don’t hesitate to e mail your queries or comments to sales@pennardplants.com we do our best to answer quickly.

We hope you have a good gardening summer and are reaping the harvest at the moment, hope to see some of you at the late shows.

Chris & Mike

Pennard Plants

 

 

New Web Site

After weeks we have a new web site, not perfect yet, still lots of work to do this end but designers have done a good job I think. Just one thing, Google has to learn the site is not a secure site anymore as we no longer take payment details, this is all done by SagePay so if you have us on your favourites please change the URL to commence http:// NOT https:// Hopefully there will be more blogging going on this end now.

Spuds, spuds and morespuds

A few hints and tips on choosing and growing your potatoes.

1) Choose certified seed potatoes, don’t be tempted to use those bought in the supermarket, they may look good but can contain hidden diseases which although do not affect the eating qualities will certainly affect the growing. Seed potatoes will have been specially grown and inspected for very very low levels of disease.
2) Decide how much room you have to devote to growing them. If it is only a small space, or you are growing in pots or containers, choose First earlies. These will give you a crop in 10-12 weeks! They are the delicious new potatoes and most are waxy (do not break up on boiling) unless you leave them in the ground too long!
Dig and eat once they start flowering. Second earlies take a little longer to grow giving a bigger crop and many of our delicious salad potatoes fall into thus category. Maincrop potatoes are the ones for storing, they need to grow for 18-24 weeks and therefore use valuable space for a long period, only grow if you have the room!
3) Chitting – the act of getting the potato tuber to shoot. Must be done in a cool, LIGHT place, not under the bed! Essential with First Earlies, not so important with the rest.
More to follow in the next blog, including what varieties to choose.

Potato_colin

For those of you who don’t know Potato_Colin he is our Potato Day Mascot! A Robin! He visits all the event with us and regularly tweets about his adventures on Twitter @potato_colin.(Well what else would a bird do!)

Over the 12 days of Christmas he tweeted about his favourite potatoes and for those of you who missed these here is a little recap.

1) HARLEQUIN – If you like Anya you’ll love this Pink Fir x Charlotte. Delicate, waxy texture, good taste.
2) JAZZY – like Charlotte only better, according to Mrs Colin who serves them with lashings of butter.
3)CERISA – Red-skinned salad variety with some blight resistance. Good in lighter soils, tasty too.
4) BF15 – Terrible name, great potato. One of the best for boiling and lovely in those summer salads.
5) For Christmas Eve it had to be CAROLUS. Red flesh and yellow skin, blight resistant.Good for baking or roasting.
6) CARA – The lovely Mrs Colin used these today for our excellent Xmas lunch. Superb fluffy bakers.
7) IMAGINE – waxy blight resistant salad. Maincrop, so keeps too. Perfect with those Boxing Day leftovers.
8) ORCHESTRA – All rounder, creamy flavour, high yield and good storer. Good if conditions aren’t ideal.
9) JESTER – New baby salad variety Vales Emerald x. Short Folige so good for growing in pots.
10) APACHE – Buttery chestnutty flavour with a red skin, hence the name. Steam or roast whole.
11) VIOLETTA – Mrs Colin makes purple mash for the kids with these. Good as a novelty salad potato too.
12) VIVALDI – Third fewer calories and carbs than other spuds. Mrs Colin says I need more of these.

So that was Potato_colin 12 days of Potato Christmas, there are so many varieties to choose from. We have put together two small collections of 5 varieties 3 tubers of each to help you try some of these. They are available on the website www.pennardplants.com now.

Just a few other points about some of these, Apache makes great mash too, Cara is my favourite for Roasties, BF15 is just typical of that beautiful yellow firm fleshed potato you get served on the continent!

More soon.

Potato Days and things!

So long since I added to this blog I am really embarrassed to be writing it again at last. (New Year’s resolution to add something at least everything month!)

What’s in this bulletin – Potato Days, Special Offer, News from the Shows.

Firstly the time is nearly here for our Famous Potato Events! The first will be at Bridport on Saturday 9th January 2016 and the second in Bristol on the following day 10th January. Both of these events have FREE admission, the latter sponsored by Country Gardener Magazine for whom we are extremely grateful. After that we have events every weekend and some evenings too, full information at www.potato-days.net.

We should have at least 60 varieties available at each event some new ones, some old ones and some neglected ones!

Now a special offer for you all. Until January 10th we are offering 25% off all seed orders placed via the website (minimum order £7.50) to get the season of to a great start. We have a huge range now so should be something for everyone. Use the code ‘Happynewyear25’ in the discount/coupon box.

Now for some news from the shows, we appear to be at all the usual culprits again except Wisley Flower Show, but will also be taking on a few new ones for 2016 including a return to Malvern spring after a few year’s of absence. Full details can be found at the ‘Our Shows’ page on the website.

Apart from wishing everyone a Happy New Year, that’s all for now folks, check back for updates including what you should be getting on with in the garden.

Chris

October

A really mild month again, lots of wind but otherwise things are still growing well. Fruit trees all up dated on the website and the calendar is done for 2015. We have been confirmed at all the major shows again and just planning the displays. Chelsea has been done, Hampton Court well under way. Hardly seems a few weeks since we were building this years.
In the garden the Yacon is flowering (waiting for a frost to harvest this and the Oca), if top growth is anything to go by should be a bumper crop

A long time coming……

Oh dear, I see I last wrote on this blog in December 2013, all the resolutions about a regular article seem to have gone out of the window. Time, where does it go, here we are in June, England nearly out of the World Cup!, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show looming, halfway through the year already!!

At last the weather is warm, talk of water restrictions in some areas (after all that flooding!) plants are growing strongly, even the agapanthus are flowering which will be a first for the last couple of years when we have really struggled to make it through the displays at Hampton and Tatton due to late flowering.

We have a new show coming up too, the replacement for Cottesbrooke, this one at the well known Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex, near to Haywards Heath. On June 27th, 28th and 29th. We shall be there with our incredible Edible plants and a few surprises including some Agapanthus. Do come along and see us at a part of the country we don’t often visit.

A few reminders about sowing and planting. Keep sowing beetroot, carrots, radishes and salad crops to maintain a supply into the autumn of fresh, young vegetables. As you harvest other crops such as potatoes, plant out the winter crops, leeks, brussels, cabbages and others. Keep courgettes picked (we don’t like marrows), and start to feed the tomatoes

New Year

Its November since I added to this blog – sorry. Here we are, Christmas has already been and gone, its Boxing Day, the sun is shining but don’t be fooled more rough weather is forecast for tonight.
For the first time in 12 years we had quite a lot of damage at the nursery, apart from trees blown over on the beds we actually had some trees snapped off and the covers removed from the shade tunnels by the severe south-westerly winds which lashed the nursery.
We will start repairs next week but that will take time so hoping that the forecast gales tonight wont materialise or at least be less severe than previous.

On a positive note the crop of Oca, just harvested, is excellent and we can now offer that on the website. The potatoes are now listed and available to order, despatch mid Jan onwards and the scary thought is that Potato Days start in just three weeks.