First of all, I sowed tomato seeds in a heated windowsill propagator. It is in a south-facing window with plenty of sun so it didn’t take long for them to germinate and once they do, the heating is switched off. I try to control the number of seeds sown, usually about eight to one of the little mini trays. It’s still surprising when a head count reveals ten or twelve seedlings though! I used coir in the trays this year, it doesn’t seem to matter what medium you use to germinate seeds, even a piece of damp kitchen roll works.
When the first pair of true leaves appear, I can start potting them on. They will need a bit more nourishment so I use compost in a plastic drinking cup. I prefer the drinking cups, they are deep without taking up too much room and the plants seem quite happy to go along with it. They grow in the cups until I see signs of roots starting to fill them and then they go straight into their forever pots. I buy tomato growbags but only for the compost and ease of handling them when putting them into individual pots. There is more stability with pots and I can move them around if necessary, I can also fit more pots in the space, than I can if I used growbags.
My selection of tomato seeds this year is Shirley, Gardeners Delight, Roma, Sub Arctic Plenty, Marglobe, Marmande, Black Cherry, Berner Rose, Garden Peach, Brown Cherry and some other seeds just marked ‘tomato’.
The tomato seedlings are happy in the greenhouse now, so it’s time to deal with the rest of the seeds. Because of all the tomatoes are taking up so much space, I have to utilise whatever I can for the many seeds I want to sow. A square-bottomed rainwater gutter in the greenhouse makes an excellent shelf for some of the milk bottles, food cartons, yoghurt pots etc. which are now home to some of the seeds.
I don’t let lack of space stop me sowing seeds though, I used polybags with Perlite and hydrogen peroxide to germinate larger seeds and I can hang them up.
Ambercup squash started life off in one of the germination bags and now has been able to be potted straight into a 12 cm pot from the bag.
I have sown some seeds a little early because our weather has been mild and I’m happy to let them make up their own minds when they want to germinate. Some were started a few weeks’ ago with cold sowing outdoors. This is my list so far with more to follow:-
Peppers – Red (sweet), mini orange and chillies.
Kale – Nero di Toscana.
Komatsuna – Japanese Green Boy.
Orache – Purple and red.
Basils – Mrs Burns Lemon, Cinnamon, red, Thai, Red Rubin, Greek Mint, Korean Liquorice and Indian, Perilla Shiso.
Celery – golden self-blanching.
Squashes – Tromba di Albenga, Ambercup.
Cucumber – Passandra.
Spring Onion – Darcy.
Peas – Kelvedon Wonder.
Beans – French bean Amethyst, runner bean Equador.
Amongst the flowers are, Pyrethrum Daisy, Sweet peas, Balsam, Nasturtiums, Giant Sunflower, Poppies.
(Bluebells, Crocosmia (Lucifer), Tree peony, Red Hot Poker have been sown as well to see if I can grow them from home harvested seeds.)
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