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Hi ballydavis. The disease that has affected Busy Lizzies over teh past few years is a fungus called Downy Mildew. I'll be posting a blog about this soon, so watch this space!
And I agree with other posts that you should be cautious not to sow too early. Conditions have been cold and dull so far this year, and seeds and seedlings need he complete opposite to grow and flourish. A heated propagator might help seeds germinate from early sowings, but unless you have lighting units over them the seedlings will grow weak and lankly in dull conditions.
It's surprising how quickly things improve during March, so get everything ready to start seed sowing in earnest later in March for those tender greenhouse crops. I can't wait!
Someone far, far wiser than I once told me that we tend to get the weather that America (USA) gets, six weeks after they do. Now, I know that this flies in the face of all that's scientific, but I have to admit that up until now, he's been right (he died 10 years ago, so that's at least 10 years of him being right). At the weekend the midwest had severe snow storms that killed 4 people. So I reckon we'll get one last cold snap late march/early April.
I for one won't be sowing ANYTHING until mid-March, as I don't have a greenhouse (only a cold frame that gets very ovecrowded). According to the Met Office Winter officially ends this Thursday, I don't think anyone's bothered to tell this to Mother Nature. Mother always knows best (Mother nature that is, not me, I know nothing - but I'm not from Barcelona). You may scoff, just wait and see.
garden friends and neighbours,here's one for all of you.If u are ready to get stuck into sowing seeds WAIT TILL THE NEXT FULL MOON Its an old one but u will have 100% success with seeds, Why/ the pull of the moon etcThis was passed on to me many yeras ago by an old and wise friend and it never fails. ow right he was.
I quite agree with your wise friend, mummy muddy paws and approx. 1 week after you've had it it reaches us! Today's paper tells us that Winter is over for this year and that it won't get (really) cold again. Well, I'll believe it when I see it! I'm not starting anything until mid-March either.
Ballydavis, I have heard of planting at the time of a full moon, and was thinking of doing that this year as I get 'hit and miss' results with my seeds.
I couldn't wait, cleaned the GH over half term, got the window sill propagator out on Saturday and by Sunday it was full of chillies, aubergines, leeks and various hardy flower seeds.
I read some where, chilli seeds can take up to 3 weeks to germinate so it could be mid March before seedlings start to appear, last year I started sowing this coming weekend so I'm only a week earlier..