Every year there comes a point where every available windowsill in the house is home to seeds and/or seedlings because I need to get on with this years crops but it is far too cold to be setting seed in the greenhouses and if I wait any longer then many of the vegetables won’t be ready before the growing season comes to an end.
With snow in many areas of the UK this Easter (thankfully we’ve missed it again) and icy driving rain together with extremely low temperatures, planned outside garden jobs such as sowing parsnip seeds and carrots, clearing the beds and cleaning the greenhouses, have had to be put on hold. That said the aforementioned windowsills filled with seeds and seedling are testament to the fact that Mudlets and I have enjoyed some indoor gardening, sowing many of the seeds that need a long growing and maturing season.
So yesterday the Mudlets and I sowed:
Five each of Pumpkin ‘Atlantic Giant‘, Pumpkin ‘Teddy Bear‘, Winter Squash ‘High Sugar Mix‘, Winter Squash ‘Honey Bear’ and Runner Bean ‘Enorma‘.
Ten each of Climbing Bean ‘Blauhilde‘, Asparagus Pea, Mangetout ‘Oregon Sugar Pod‘ and Courgette ‘Black Beauty‘.
With those propagators filled and on the windowsills we turned our attention to the ‘Tinned’ flowers that the girls had received as part of their Easter baskets. Yep tinned flowers. Little Mudlet had found a tin of Red Rose ‘Rutilus Rose‘ in her basket and Middle Mudlet discovered a tin of Gerbera ‘Jamesonii‘. Each tin had a ring pull top which was removed, revealing a dry compost mix. The instructions were simple: remove lid and pour in sufficient water to rehydrate the substrate. A second ring pull, located at the bottom of the tin then had to be pulled to allow excess water to drain away. Extra seeds were supplied with each tin and these have been carefully squirreled away for future growing. Now it’s a waiting game to see what, if anything happens.
Back to seed planting and today (Easter Monday) I popped over to the local garden centre because I had realised during seed sowing yesterday, that we hadn’t bought any cucumber seeds. I enjoy having a mooch about the garden center, especially when I don’t have Mud or the Mudlets hurrying me along, and was soon perusing the many cucumber seed varieties in stock, and, following on from our success last year with ‘Cucino‘ (a very prolific mini variety), I eventually settled on a lunchbox type, Cucumber ‘Diva‘.
Continuing my mooch, I soon spotted some pouches of Mixed Baby Leaf seed from the Miracle-gro franchise of all people and after reading the information on the packet, decided to give them a go. The pouch had a mix of coir and seeds which needed to be sprinkled over a layer of compost and then watered. The packet claims that the first set of baby leaf will be ready in 4 to 6 weeks and I intend to sow more of the mixed leaf seed every couple of weeks to try and ensure that we have a steady supply of salad throughout the summer.
As I carried on my mooch (I like that word) I spotted a plant label which intrigued me, featuring, as it did, a caricature of a terrified cat. Closer inspection revealed the label belonged to Coleus Canina otherwise known as ‘Scardy Cat‘ plants. The pungent aroma given off by these plants is alleged to be enough to dissuade cats from visiting your garden, or at the very least the part of the garden the plants are growing in. Mud has a very serious allergy to cats and there are several who like to use our garden as a thoroughfare which often causes Mud to have a reaction, albeit a milder one than if a cat had physically brushed past him, but the fact is that a single cat hair can cause all manner of discomfort for him. That fact together with the need to protect the myriad of garden birds who like to visit our garden, spurred me on to buy two of the plants. At just £2 each, I felt it was worth taking a punt on the plants and having done some research when I got home, I have discovered that, in theory, these are extremely easy to propagate as well.
This afternoon the Mudlets and I sowed propagator 3:
Five each of Butternut ‘Butterfly‘ which were left over from last year, Cucumber ‘Diva‘ and Radish ‘French Breakfast‘.
The final few rows of the seed tray insert were filled with the Miracle-Gro Growables Baby Leaf Mix and after some jiggery pokery to rearrange the windowsills, moving the chitting potatoes onto the narrower dining room sill, propagator number 3 filled the last available windowsill space beside the chilli seedlings, in the kitchen. Having reached capacity ……. for now at least ……. the Mudlets and I packed the gardening stuff away, safe in the knowledge that the really important things (that would be the pumpkins) were sown.