Monday, February 15, 2010

time to germinate

So, my mammoth day of paper potting certainly paid off. Within just a few days, some of the tomatoes and peppers began to germinate in their propagators and most of the chillies were hot on their heels. The germination rate has been 100% for most of the seeds, with lower rates (60-80%) for some chillies and tomatoes which were self-saved or saved by other gardener friends. I have 5 types of tomato (covering the full range of salad, plum and cherry types), 2 sweet pepper varieties and 6 chilli varieties (2 of which were planted only last weekend, so have yet to peek through). There's no way I have space for all of the plants, so I'm already canvassing friends as to who wants what.

The Lancashire Lad purple podded peas germinated very strongly in their loo roll tubes and are now in the unheated greenhouse, swaddled in bubblewrap on the colder nights. They're already 6 or so inches high and looking quite happy. We got an absolute bumper crop of purple mange tout from these last year, so are already looking forward to a repeat of that.

Still awaiting signs of life in the Feltham First pea guttering as well as with a few celeriac (Giant Prague) seeds I sowed. The latter can take a few weeks though so I'm trying hard to be patient. The Autumn Mammoth leeks have germinated well, alongside mixed salad leaves and rocket. And with the presence of all these pots and trays in the kitchen, and no sign of the frost threat diminishing, I decided to invest in a ladder allotment on which to store everything. This will stay indoors during the winter and be moved out onto the patio as spring arrives. Makes a change from lines of seedlings along every available windowsill like last year!

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