Early this morning I woke to sun streaming through the window, squinting my eyes to adjust to the light the warmth on my face felt good. I stood at the window for a while, taking in energy from the sun as I viewed our garden from above.
I made a mug of tea and checked on the seed trays (as you do). Tomato seedlings are growing strong and I could just make out signs of life pushing through the soil in the chilli tray. I’m pleased to have tomatoes and chillies on the grow but I will wait a couple of weeks at least before sowing anything else, the weather is set to turn colder.
A sullen wintry sky returned by early afternoon, along with the promise of heavy rain, gales and sleet for the weekend.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 21, 2013
Ever since the hose pipe ban came into force on April 5th it hasn’t stopped raining. At times the rain has been very heavy, sometimes hail, making gardening tasks and allotment visits virtually impossible to carry out. Seed sowing outside is a definite no-no here at the moment, the soil is saturated and cold. But, my garden is thriving in other areas, everything is leafing up and looks green and lush. I’m not in any hurry to sow outside anyway, there’s plenty of time and everything will catch up eventually.
Besides, if you’re really lucky, like me, and you have a warm glass greenhouse in your garden (or at your allotment), I’m sure you have taken the opportunity to escape the heavy rain and banish ‘gardening blues’ by pottering about inside it. As a boredom buster, try sowing some coriander and rocket in pots, or edible flowers such as Calendula to brighten summer salads or the veg plot. They come up really quickly undercover. Potting on seedlings is another task that I enjoy doing inside my greenhouse, as I listen to the rain battering down on the glass roof I appreciate my greenhouse even more.
Speaking of seedlings, cosmos are coming along well and looking really healthy, peas are coming up, also kale, sweet corn, Swiss chard, coriander and alpine strawberries. Sprouts and summer sprouting broccoli have been potted on, also foxglove seedlings – one of my favourite flowers.
According to the news we’re on course for the wettest April on record (although still officially in the middle of a drought!), flood alerts have been issued in some places. What a difference to last year, hottest April on record! Mind you, water-butts are filling up nicely, this time last year it was a real chore to get everything watered and prevent trays of seedlings from being scorched. Everything seems to be thriving in my greenhouse.
From the amount of photographs in this post I think you can probably guess where I’ve been spending a great deal of time lately. I hope you’re enjoying greenhouse or windowsill gardening if the weather is bad where you are.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 26, 2012
I started sowing tomatoes in February (earlier than I usually do) and more again in March. I’m growing Alicia Craig and cherry variety Gardener’s Delight, thanks to the continuous beautiful weather my urge to sow tomatoes in February paid off – the plants have their first flowers and a couple of small fruits. At the moment they are inside the greenhouse with the door open during the day to allow for pollinating insects to do their bit. The March plants are smaller but really coming along well, they need potting on again so I shall crack on with that over the weekend. I will probably grow a few plants outdoors too but they won’t go outside until the risk of frost is over.
I use deep modules to sow tomato seeds, a warm sunny windowsill normally works well for germination. I transplant each seedling into a small pot once the first set of true leaves appear, then I grow them on in a warm spot until they need potting on again into larger pots. When potting on tomato seedlings I plant deeper than they were previously, I find this encourages a better root system which helps with watering during the summer months and generally a stronger plant all round.
Due to a combination of unseasonably warm weather and sowing tomatoes early, I just might be eating home-grown tomatoes earlier than usual this year. Fingers crossed!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 7, 2011