Sowing seed indoors

by Pippa Greenwood

Once again it poured with rain at the weekend, so my heavy clay soil was too wet to be worked. Instead, I made for the greenhouse, to do a spot of cleaning.

Close-up of a gardener creating a seed drill in soil, using a straight piece of wood as a guideOnce again it poured with rain at the weekend, so my heavy clay soil was too wet to be worked. Instead, I made for the greenhouse, to do a spot of cleaning.

I spent a thoroughly productive couple of hours, jet washing the glass inside and out and removing algae from between the panes, using a combination of strong water jets and a slim piece of plastic cut from a margarine tub. Then, having finally cleared the last of the tomatoes from the bed, I removed any lurking traces of grey mould from the pepper and aubergine plants in pots. I spread them out on the benching, where they could enjoy the increased light levels coming through that sparkling clean glass.

A friend recently gave me a trailer load of manure, so, once the ‘housekeeping’ tasks were done, I forked a barrow load into the now-empty greenhouse bed and began seed sowing. First, I direct-sowed lamb's lettuce, then sowed 'Arctic King', 'Winter Gem' and the greenhouse lettuce 'Rosetta', which I've not tried before, into modules.

Next, I planted some miniature daffodil bulbs in large pots, and finally, sowed some rocket (I couldn't resist growing some more, even if it does grow rather slowly from such a late sowing).

So, not a bad day’s work: I sowed some lunch ingredients for the family, some lovely greenery for the geese and hens, and I managed to stay dry into the bargain!

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Gardeners' World Web User 18/11/2010 at 23:11

Very productive; I'm jealous. I took over an allotment in September and have since been clearing it of weeds. I've managed to get in some onions and garlic, but now the weather seems to have turned and the light's dwindled, there's not much to do there - perhaps daydreams of pottering in a smallish polytunnel should be made a reality next year!

Gardeners' World Web User 20/11/2010 at 15:31

Pippa, I bought some pansy plug plants and i don't use chemicals. Potted them up to grow on window ledge before putting them in large containers. They are covered in whitefly and some greenfly, I'm fighting a daily battle spraying them with soapy water as I don't use chemicals. I think I'm fighting a losing battle, help!

Gardeners' World Web User 21/11/2010 at 12:15

Well, with a 16 month old, washing, cooking, shopping, it's not so easy to get around, but by and by, things get done, usually when toddler is asleep! Bulbs planted, lettuces, kohlrabi and cauliflowers ("All year around") growing in garage, and in bit tubs. Got the beans dried, and the best of them chosen for seeds next year. (The rest will be cooked into a Hungarian bean and ham soup, hot and hearty, yum!) It was so much fun cleaning them, and didn't wait this time, as last year I had the few (that I fought with the slugs so hard for) eaten by weevils... I could only save a few for seeds! But this year it was a joy - all those sizes, colours, patterns just like in my childhood! I wish I had a greenhouse - the only window in the garage doesn't let much light in, but no space in a small garden, and no money - still, every available space is full of plants - and my little boy loves to go out into the garden, and demands the raspberries (still got some one Autumn Bliss!)

Gardeners' World Web User 22/11/2010 at 10:09

If you could possibly squeeze in a greenhouse, why not ask all your friends and relatives to contribute to a greenhouse-fund for perhaps Christmas and Birthday combined? They need not be expensive and then you too can join in the greenhosue season-extension!! Fingers crossed you manage it!

Gardeners' World Web User 22/11/2010 at 12:45

I buy a lot of the packs of large mushrooms and save their plastic trays, about 30cm x 12 x 7 deep - smaller, but deeper than your average seed tray. They're great for sowing or plug plants; and when you want to plant out, cut off the end of the tray and slide the whole thing out without disturbance to the roots. Free and handy.

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