To Sow or Not To Sow
The new pop-up greenhouse was purchased with a plan to sow and grow seeds in the light and warmth for much of April. From past experience sowing too early at home results in a crazy juggling act with a small sunny window having to cope with too many seedlings all desperate for sunlight and warmth. In the greenhouse it was great to be working away from the wind and in considerable space in the warm so I started with peas since they are hardy and germination was satisfying and quick. The plugs of globe artichokes were potted on and seeds of chard, leeks and cucumber emerged at a steady pace. This was all looking good with full pots and seed trays resting on the soil in beds that would later be used for tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers. Watering every four days or so with cans kept in the greenhouse to warm the water was also manageable. But with a severe weather warning and a reluctance to be slipping around on muddy paths I decided to bring several trays of seedlings home.
Here they are in the potting shed recently edited on one side to take trays of seedlings in need of protection from heavy wind and rain. It’s a perfect holding environment for young plants with enough indirect light to encourage growth although not enough to provoke seed germination.
So plant juggling again but worth it since in spite of severe gale warnings two days later this is what we found…
The metal appears to be undamaged and the frame is back up and the cover will go on later this week. Gardeners on the allotment didn’t fare much better with the glass in traditional greenhouses smashed and there were casualties with cloches and propagators.
I’ve transcended it fast and trust I shall be growing some great produce comfortably protected within the frame over the next few months. The skirt on three sides will be weighed down with bricks and more wood chips piled on top to anchor it.
It’s always a challenge sowing seeds at the correct time-too early and you end up with leggy specimens that are tender and can’t be planted out for many weeks. Then seeds that are perfect for an early sowing and are growing well suddenly collapse at soil level for no reason. Two of my five cucumbers have just succumbed. So it will be mid to late April before I start most seeds off but tomatoes are about to be sown in the heated propagator.
A lovely bed of pale hellebores came into flower later than others and mixed with a very pale double-flowered daffodil they’ve cheered up the kitchen.