Monday, 28 January 2013

The pros and cons of sowing early

As I said in my last post, I've not sown this early before so I knew there was a chance that things would not go according to plan.
The fact is seeds need warmth and light to germinate, two things January is not renowned for.

The other day, after a major dumpage of snow, it just seemed bizarre to look at the seeds snug in their propagators with a backdrop of freezing temperatures and snow.

One of the disadvantages to sowing early is that sometimes the seedlings go very leggy, the poor things are straining to seek out more daylight.

So, yes some of my tomatoes have gone quite leggy. I rejected one or two that were really quite lanky but the others I have potted up, planting quite deep in the pot and earthing up around the lower parts of the seedling as tomatoes like that.
 So far they seems happy enough.

I've now potted up dianthus, various varieties of tomatoes, chives and aubergine which I'm really pleased with. So the advantage of being brave/reckless about sowing early is when plants like aubergine and peppers that need a longer growing season get a bit of a head start.
I have cayenne and jalapenos getting bigger by the day.
Each day. there is a little more light at the end of the day and that can only be a good thing for getting those seeds going.

And finally, our cat Immy is not a fan of the snow so I was able to look after the birds a bit more than usual. Some strategically placed apple attracted this gorgeous female blackcap who fed almost constantly for nearly a week.

So the snow had gone and the rain and wind are back with avengance.
Roll on Spring.

Friday, 11 January 2013


I started my seeds off, I thought I would try using proper seed and cutting compost with a bit of vermiculite.
 This time last year, I would have had only one bag of potting compost in the garden.
Now I understand the need for ericacious soil for my blueberries, John Innes No 3 for the new addition of raspberry canes, seed and cutting compost and a bag of soil improver to mix with that from the compost heap and lavish on the garden.
Blogs give you the ability to look back at where you were and how far you've come (hopefully).

Snow is on the cards so I shall wait a little long before I dig all the beds over.
There's alot of gardening going on inside my head.
Plans being laid.........

......and seeds are just germinating all over the place.
I had thought it would take longer, I thought that maybe there wasn't enough daylight or warmth.
Not for the first time, I was wrong.

So far breaking ground are sungold, tigerella  and alicante toms, coriander, fenugreek and some dianthus edwardiana. No action from the chillies, pepper or aubergine yet but that is to be expected.
It's almost overwhelming but I have plans for all of these, I hope that they can be nurtured and will be sell able at an Easter fair. So I foresee months of juggling space and I have a feeling the kitchen and all the window ledges will be full.
Such fun!


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Sometimes life isn't straight forward.

Firstly, Happy New Year!
Had life not got in the way, I would have not neglected my blog so terribly. To cut a long story short, Chris broke his arm just before Christmas and then just after Christmas needed an op and wires fitted. Life is just starting to return to some semblance of normality and normal sleep patterns are returning.

I haven't even had the chance or the inclination to check in on  fellow bloggers so I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.

I have been so looking forward to sowing my first seeds, I may have jumped the gun a few weeks but I started sowing seeds from the 1st of January.
It felt so good to be doing stuff.

I've always been nervous about when to start sowing, last year was my earliest start (the middle of February) but I've decided to give it a go especially with the chillies and tomatoes. I've also sown some peppers, aubergine and herbs including fenugreek.

These are all sitting in propagators sitting in Leah's bedroom window to get the most light.

I had a good sort through of my seeds and completely redid my "filing" system using bigger envelopes and with more details written on them so I can keep track of when to sow and the expiry date of the seeds. Also learnt a valuable lesson about which end of the seed packet to tear open!

May we all have a productive and fertile growing season with the right amount of rain and sunshine.