I’ve sowed some more seeds yesterday, some carrot and sweetcorn seeds to be precise. Yes, yes, yes, I know its way too early to be sowing these particular crops, especially the sweetcorn and you could be forgiven for thinking I was losing my mind, or being unrealistically optimistic in regards the British weather but as you can see from this picture, all is not what it seems.
Regular readers of my blog may or may not recall my scintillating posts last year, detailing my efforts to produce my own seed from various crops. So far all of the tomato and all but one of the chilli varieties I harvested seed from, have successfully germinated and are now growing nicely. Time will tell if these seeds will lead to bumper crops but this is the second year I have saved seed from two of the chilli varieties, both of which were successful last season, so I’m hopeful of a good, if not better, showing this time. My runner and french beans are also second generation saved seed but it will be some weeks yet before they are sown.
You may also recall that last year I managed to get flowers from second year carrots, the tops of which I had replanted in Autumn 2013 (post here) with the view to harvesting the carrot seed, once the flowers had died back (and that post is here). These flower heads have spent the winter drying out in the greenhouses because once I had picked them, it became apparent that there was a host of tiny little bugs happily living in them and I was fairly sure they wouldn’t be welcome in Mudville. In addition I also kept back one of the sweetcorn cobs from last season (yep got a post about that too here), the biggest and most perfect looking specimen which has been hanging over the Rayburn all winter and which is now perfectly dried out. It has an impressive number of kernels on it and I hope that these will prove viable and deliver a respectable crop of ears during the summer.
So yesterday afternoon I actually got around to starting the greenhouse tidy up and wash down that is desperately needed and has to be done before I can even think of transferring seedlings into either of them. I have to admit that unlike with the garden tidy up, this time I chickened out and opted not to take a before picture because whilst I can’t be held responsible for the filth and green algae that is adorning the outer skin of my greenhouses, I really can’t deny the fact that the extremely sorry and neglected condition of the inside is wholly down to me. Keen to make amends, I set to and composted the last few remnants of chilli plants and grow-bag contents and it was during this clear out that I happened upon my carrot seeds.
A careful examination showed that they looked okay but there really is only one way to discover whether or not a set of seeds is viable but, as I mentioned at the start of this post, it is a little early for even the carrots at the moment. I thought about the viability of these seeds for a short while and then realised that I could either just wait for the warmer weather, sow the seeds in neat little rows outside, then impatiently bide my time and see what if anything happened, or I could just as easily start a few of the seeds off on some damp kitchen towel, in doors. My thinking was that by the time the weather had warmed up enough to sow them outside, I would know if my seeds were viable or if I need to buy some more.
Half an hour later, I had lined a plastic tub with kitchen towel which I then dampened before sprinkling a few carrot seeds over one side. At this point I decided that it would be sensible to do the same with some of the sweetcorn kernels and so I carefully removed 4 and placed them opposite the carrot seed. I then folded the kitchen towel back down to cover the seeds and added a drop more water, being careful not to flood the container.
Now it’s a waiting game and hopefully, in a few days, we’ll see the first signs of life and an indication that the seeds may yet prove productive.