For me there is always a whisper of surprise when growing from seed…you never really know what will happen! There is also the simple fact that growing from seed is the cheapest way to grow your own and it is absolutely the most rewarding method of raising your own plants. There isn’t anything more satisfying than harvesting fruit and vegetables, that you have grown yourself!
This weekend the weather here in Wales has been appalling so I’ve been confined to the house, greenhouse and garden for my gardening fix. Yesterday, I decided to dig through the seed box looking for ‘sow in March’ on the packets and after finding a small collection, I drew up a basic ‘Seed-Starting Plan’ in my allotment note book.
There is one slight problem…because this is my first year on Plot 5A, I have no idea when my ‘Frost-Free’ date will be!! (Note to self: Ask fellow allotmenteers – when the weather breaks!) I’m hoping that writing a ‘plan’ will be a useful trick his year, especially with the experimental seeds.
MY SEED-STARTING PLAN
|The Spring Frost-Free Date in My Garden is_______________|
|Seed||Sow Inside Date||Sprout
|Safe to plant (Relative to frost-free date)||Plant out Date|
Plan completed – I then had to choose the best method for sowing. I basically have three options. The greenhouse, window sill or directly into the ground. Clearly sowing seeds where they will be left to grow is the easiest method but Plot 5A is on the side of a mountain and rather exposed, so ‘sow and grow’ is out of the equation for at least another month! I have a greenhouse but no heating, which is better than nothing but a little limiting. I also have a few large window sills perfect for holding a couple of seed trays!
Time to place my bets…I know some plants germinate better than others at home. Sure fire seeds include chives, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, cosmos, marigolds to name but a few. This weekend I’m jumping into the unknown and growing ‘untested’ (by me) crops – starting with Tomatillos, Electric Daisies, Goji Berries and Mexican Spinach along with (tested) Peas and Dwarf Broad Beans.
The Peas and Broad Beans are simple – they are being started in the greenhouse and keep will the Sunflowers company – the rest are being sown indoors, snuggling up on the window sills, in the warm! Now in my opinion, growing seeds indoors isn’t really that hard but keeping them alive can be a big challenge. I admit to scoring a few home goals in the ‘sowing game’ such as…
- sowing too soon
- sowing too deep
- not enough available light
- too much or too little water
- storing in the cold
- losing labels (growing advice)
That said you can’t beat the glory of showing off anything that you have nurtured from day one, despite a few mistakes. The whisper of surprise is way too exciting!