Seed Sowing – All Systems Go!

Today (my day off), didn’t quite go to plan, the game of golf and the rose pruning were off and there are no prizes for guessing why – the weather again! However, I had an alternative mission by lunchtime as the batch of seeds I ordered on Saturday from Sea Spring Seeds, arrived in today’s post. Subsequently it was out with the Super Seven and, having found shelter in my greenhouse from the wind, rain and snow, my first seeds of the year were sown.

After my success with chilli peppers last year and further encouraged by an article in the February edition of ‘The Garden’ (by Joy & Michael Michaud of Sea Spring Seeds), I’m experimenting with a few differing varieties. I”ve chosen from the list detailed in the article, but I also wanted to vary flavour and heat. The five I’ve selected range from the mild and sweet ‘Apple Crisp’ (mild, crunchy, thick and juicy, can be eaten like an apple) to ‘Habanada (mild but flavourful) to ‘Rodeo’ (round and perfect for stuffing) to the hotter Cayenetta (20,000 SHU) and ‘Fairy Lights’ (47,000 SHU and very pretty). The information provided on Sea Spring Seeds website about cultivating these seeds is clear and concise and I’ve followed it by using a fine seed compost in trays that will be kept moist and warm in the Super Seven. Once they’ve germinated, they’ll be positioned in a light place to avoid etiolation. Fingers crossed!

As I had two trays going spare in the Super Seven, I’ve also sown some cosmos ‘Apricot Lemonade’ (as included in the Propogator’s Six on Saturday some weeks ago) and antirrhinum ‘Royal Bride’. Hopefully, these plants will augment my borders this summer……

The heated Super Seven is a great tool – my son Josh gave it to me on Mother’s Day about 5 years ago and I’ve used it each year since – the trays are just the right size for the number of seeds I can handle and I get quite a production line going over the spring months!

By 4pm I was on a roll and so I got on with the sweet pea seeds I bought a few weeks ago. I was so pleased with ‘Cupani’ last year that I’ve sown more for this summer, along with ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Beaujolais’. I chose a root trainer system rather than using the same biodegradable tubes as last year – I found that the roots did not spread particularly well. The theory behind the root trainer is that the main root drops off once it grows out from the bottom of the cell and then roots start branching out along the whole length, strengthening the plant. I’ve also changed the planting medium and used multi-purpose compost with John Innes – last year I threw a few spare seeds in a pot with this and they faired far better than those in the tubes with seed sowing compost. It’ll be interesting to see how successful I am….

With daylight still available, I finished by sowing a tray of beetroot ‘Bolthardy’, as per the picture, I couldn’t find a spare tray cover (strange, as I do tend to accumulate these, maybe they’ve found their way to the refuse tip?)

All done just before 5pm – and I may have been quite snug in the greenhouse, but outside in the garden was anything but!