The Land Rover Owners Wife

Seedling Rescue

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Seedling Rescue Plan - Westland Organic Vegetable compost

Seedling Rescue Plan – Westland Organic Vegetable compost

With the seedlings I repotted a couple of weeks ago showing no signs whatsoever of recovery and concerned for the latest arrivals which are still, periodically popping up from the 4th March sowing (depending on their official germination period), I decided that drastic action was needed.

Mud has been on annual leave this week and we’ve been out and about over the last few days, enjoying our child free time and getting done jobs which are easier to do without the curious minds of children present – such as being ‘Easter Bunny’ in Sainsburys and getting Middle Mudlets birthday toys and then hiding the results of both shopping trips, without having to be furtive or rushed about it.

Today we thought that as it was our last child free day before the Easter break, we would treat ourselves to a fish and chip lunch in the cafe part of the towns chip shop, then get some shopping before heading of to the Garden Centre to put my ‘Seedling Rescue’ plan into motion. As it turned out, we didn’t actually make it into town due to the sheer volume of traffic and so we detoured and went straight to the Garden Centre. As is the way with modern day Garden Centres, this one has a huge restaurant, almost as big as the entire plant and gift sections put together a fact which always bemuses us – aren’t Garden Centres supposed to be about, well, the plants and stuff?

Much healthier looking bought tomato seedlings

Much healthier looking bought tomato seedlings

Anyway, we had a nice if slightly over priced lunch and then made our way to the plant section, not that it is too difficult to find though, as the owners have, very craftily, placed the restaurant at the furthest part of the site and you have to go through both the plant and the gift sections to get to and from it.

I love looking around the plants in a garden centre, planning where I’d put them if I had the space but it was the dinosaurs that caught my eye, oh and the enormous gorilla. Yes, there among the palms and fern type plants were 4-6 foot high triceratops and velociraptor models, not to mention a 3 foot high elephant – just what one would expect to find in a typical English garden, don’t you think? I know the Mudlets do but as these are priced up for silly money, they may well have to settle for a couple of piglet ornaments instead.

We were actually heading for the compost section because my master plan was that if I repotted all my seedlings into a compost formulated specifically for vegetable plants/seedlings, then they may have a better chance to recover from their dreadful start in the Surestart seed compost.

I set my 'potting shed' up in the nice warm kitchen

I set my ‘potting shed’ up in the nice warm kitchen

Ordinarily I pot on straight in to Multi-purpose compost and this has worked perfectly well over the years but desperate times call for desperate measures, hence the decision to buy a specific vegetable compost. Having browsed through the various ones available I eventually settle on the Westland Organic Vegetable Growing Compost. We also bought another bag of the right seed compost and some small propagator trays, without holes, in which I could place the pots whilst on the pool table.

Using a widger to carefully remove a seedling before popping it into the newly filled pot with label.

Using a widger to carefully remove a seedling before popping it into the newly filled pot with label.

So, this afternoon I have spent an enjoyable hour repotting the chillis and then potting on 2 Black Beauty Courgettes and also 2 Gardener Delight Seedlings which we also got at the Garden Centre and which were on sale for 99p.  I think this low price was due to the fact that out of the four that should have been in their tray, these two were the only ones remaining and they looked a darn sight stronger and more healthy than my poor little ones.

I kept a very small amount of  the original compost around the roots

I kept a very small amount of the original compost around the roots

I was very careful to remove as much of the compost from around the roots as I could, to give the roots the best chance to quickly find the new and hopefully better compost with which I had filled their new pots. I didn’t want to waste the compost they had been planted in last week and so I carefully potted some of my flower seedlings into the tops of the newly vacated plant pots because I think they will do ok in there.

I always make sure I use warm water when watering during repotting, to minimise the shock to the young plant and I tend to put the water into the hole before popping the plant in, so the roots and not the stem and leaves are in the water. Fingers crossed, this will be just what the seedlings need.

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2 thoughts on “Seedling Rescue

  1. It has been interesting reading about your planting. Mine seem to be all over the place this year with most in the house as it has been so cold and we don’t heat our greenhouse. Fingers crossed we will get some success even if a little later than usual.

  2. Thanks for the crossed fingers 🙂

    I dream of a heated greenhouse. Mud plans to put up a much bigger greenhouse for me in the next 12 months and we hope to be able to heat this one by running a pipe from what will be his office to a radiator in the greenhouse. It’s all up in the air as yet though.

    As for the cold weather, thank goodness for the pool table and MDF boards, although with the bulk of my larger seeds (squashes, beans and another courgette) due to be sown next month (April), I am hoping that spring will make an appearance soon, rapidly followed by summer 🙂

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