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Signs of Life

March 6, 2018

A polystyrene fish delivery box found on the street is perfect for my Sarah Raven ‘Bonanza’ dahlia collection.

I sat the tubers on 20 cm John Innes compost and then covered with another 30 cm and watered them. It seems the cellar steps, albeit in semi-darkness, are warm enough to encourage leaves as confirmed by this pot of dahlia tubers lifted and planted last October and just showing.

It’s important not to let the compost dry out and they need to be frost-free till April. Then they can sit outside in the day and will be planted mid-to late May on the allotment.

An emergency sowing of sweet pea seeds have germinated fast in less than ten days. The challenge will be to prevent them getting leggy so they are now in the cold frame to slow them down. These were sown to cope with  the distinct possibility that the ones in the pop up greenhouse on the allotment would have been knocked for six by the snow and ice.

But here they are and very happy and anyway you can’t have too many sweet peas. And this small tray of stalwart seedling fennel survived in the cold frame in minus 8 for two nights running.

A clump of Winter Density lettuce has also grown into substantial seedlings in the poly-tunnel and will be planted out over the next week or two.

So all in all there is a huge prompt to get sowing again and with a packet of labels for a pound (from you know where) there is nothing to wait for.

Oh and plenty of seeds…

Helleborus argutifolius coped brilliantly with the snow apart from one or two lying horizontal across the path which was a great excuse to cut them for the kitchen table.  They only last for two to three days before flopping but are irresistible at this time of year.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2018 1:45 pm

    seed sowing time is so exciting isn’t it? The optimistic hope that everything will grow into strong plants. I like Helleborus argutifolius very much and would probably grow here if I could only find some plants.

    • March 7, 2018 2:00 pm

      Next time you are in the UK purchase some in 9 cm pots. They grow huge over about three years and provide months of interest. I loved all the tulips in your latest blog and I am making notes.

  2. March 8, 2018 4:53 pm

    Good choice with the SR ‘Bonanza’ dahlias! I’ve only sown chillis so far, but this weekend is lift off as far as seed sowing goes. I need to do sweet peas at the very least.

    • March 8, 2018 5:42 pm

      Yes today I sowed beetroot and Swiss chard seeds now in the heated propagator. Sunny and warm -long may it last.

      ⁣Sent from BlueMail ​

  3. March 12, 2018 7:13 pm

    I’ve got dahlias waiting to be potted up – you just reminded me! I love Helleborus argutifius; mine is behind yours though. Love your vase!

    • March 12, 2018 8:00 pm

      Several new plants here remain small and have been in the ground for over a year. But the huge hellebores in another bed are three years old. So they take a while to establish but once they get going they make fabulous ground cover and produce flower for months.

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