It’s bitterly cold outdoors this week. We have freezing temperatures and an icy North Easterly wind. Needless to say, I’ve found some indoor gardening work.
Today, on the kitchen table, I sowed a small fraction of the seeds I have in my collection. Can you believe I’ve got over 60 packets of seeds? It seems I need a field rather than an allotment 😉
First to be sown, were sweet peas. This year I’m trying this collection of highly scented sweet peas from Sarah Raven. They have the most wonderful names: Lord Nelson, Painted Lady, Matucana and Black Knight. I can’t wait for the flowers to appear!
Every year I sow my sweet peas in cardboard tubes collected from the bathroom 😉 .
The tubes are ideal for legumes because they need a deep root run. Legumes send out a tap root which then forms branching roots once the tap root has reached the base of the container. Allowing peas and beans to develop a deep root system will help them to grow into strong, sturdy plants. Of course, the cardboard tubes are free – rather than buying root-training pots.
Another advantage of using the cardboard tubes, is that legumes don’t like root disturbance. So, when it’s time to plant them out into the garden, the cardboard has started to disintegrate and can be easily teased open slightly, before planting the entire tube and young plant into the ground.
Remember that sweet peas like darkness to germinate, so cover the tubes with a piece of card or maybe some black plastic, after you’ve sown the seeds. Then you’ll need to check from day 7 onwards to see if they’ve germinated, at which point, take the covering card/plastic away.
Also today, I planted Tomatoes “Sungold” and “Gardener’s Delight” into a module seed tray, one seed per module. Day to day family life is so busy, which means pricking out seedlings can be rather hit and miss for me. So planting individual seeds into modules, makes life much easier – I can simply transplant into pots.
Alongside the tomatoes, I sowed Verbascum and Penstemon seeds. Look how tiny the Verbascum seeds are! I love both these perennials and want to create swathes of them in the garden. With the cost of 500 seeds being a fraction of the price of individual plants in pots – well, it’s obvious that seeds are the way forward for me.
My tomatoes and the two perennial species are in the same module tray, under a propagating lid, on our lounge windowsill. They all need the same temperature to germinate and, if the seed packet information is correct, they’ll all germinate within a similar timescale. Now, I just have to keep fingers and toes crossed that I can maintain the 15 – 20 C degrees temperature they need !
I am eager to sow many more seeds, but the outdoor temperature will need to improve before that can happen. My greenhouse is a simple mini plastic one, with no heat control, which means I’m limited to the lounge windowsill until King Winter says his farewell.
The title of this post comes from a song I used to sing with children back in my teaching days:
“Sow a seed and soon you’ll see / A tiny flower, a tiny tree / Thank you God for all you give / Thank you God for all that lives.”