With the warm and sunny weather continuing throughout this week and the seedlings in the propagators quickly outgrowing their nursery conditions, I made the decision to start moving the plants into the greenhouse and have been steadily potting them on, one tray at a time, and already the larger greenhouse is almost full. Mud has informed me more than once that we will no doubt find ourselves in the midst of another freezing cold spell in a day or two but, as Middle Mudlet was happy to point out, that’s what horticultural fleece is for and we have enough to provide protection for everything in the greenhouses.
The Asparagus peas continue to be a complete enigma, growing as they are at a much slower pace than normal peas and looking absolutely nothing like the ‘Mangetout’ seedlings currently romping away in the little green house. We have five of these pea seedlings and their first set of true leaves have started to show ….. oddly enough, the baby leaves seem to close up and over the first set of true leaves on an evening, as if trying to protect them which meant I had to wait until this morning (Sunday) before I could get a good picture of one of them.
If the leaves of the ‘Atlantic Giant’ pumpkin seedlings (and I use the term ‘seedling’ very loosely as seedlings aren’t meant to be THAT big), then any pumpkins we’re lucky enough to produce are going to be huge. Four of the five seeds germinated and three of them are rather large already, the fourth is a bit of a runt size wise, although it looks healthy enough, so we’ll keep it anyway. Four ‘Honey Bear’ and three ‘Baby Bear’ pumpkin seeds germinated and we sowed replacements for these but they haven’t come up as yet.
The tomatoes and sweet peppers have thrived over the last few days, obviously enjoying the long, hot, sunny days and warmer nights and have put on significant growth. Some of the tomato seedlings will probably end up in the school poly tunnel, as we have way too many for us and the sweet peppers are ready for potting into larger pots now – I’m going to have to make some space some how.
I spent yesterday evening, Saturday, potting on the tray of chillis. These were long over due being transplanted into larger pots but, even under fleece, I wasn’t sure they would cope too well with the cold temperatures we had been experiencing and the ‘Jalapeno’ chillis had grown so tall, that covering them with a propagator lid under the fleece, like I’ve been doing with the sweet peppers, wasn’t a viable option. Anyway, an hour later and we had four ‘Patio Sizzler’, eleven ‘Curry’, ten ‘Tabasco’, fourteen ‘Paper Lantern’ and nineteen ‘Jalapeno’ chilli plants, potted up and taking up all the remaining space in the two green houses, in fact, such is the number of plants now waiting for planting out day, the ‘Jalapeno’ pots have joined the beans on the floor.
You can see from the picture that I’ve sprinkled some slug pellets around the pots on the floor because these are within easy reach of the slugs. I don’t like slug pellets and usually only deploy them when crops are undercover (as in under netting), or in the greenhouses, where affected slugs are out of reach of the birds and hedgehogs.
If you look closely at the photo’ above you will see:
- The pots of chives that the girls sowed from seed last year and which have come back with gusto and need potting into something a little bigger. Just behind these, almost hidden from view, are the two pots of parsley which were also grown from seed by the Mudlets;
- That the five radish seedlings have been moved into a seed tray specially designed for veg who may benefit from having the space to send out a long primary root. We’ve sown more radish seed and these are now starting to emerge;
- Five Butternut Squash ‘Butterfly’ seedlings which were from last years left over seed;
- The Miracle-Gro mixed lettuce seed seedlings from the first sowing (not many came up) and the second sowing. Quite a few seeds appear to have germinated from the second sowing and so I’m thinking we didn’t shake the bag enough first time, to ensure a good spread of seed; and
- Fours cucumber seedlings which are a lunch box variety and will, hopefully, provide us with a prolific crop of snack sized fruits in a few months.
This weekend Middle Mudlet and I will hopefully be planting out more of the ‘King Edward’ seed potatoes, sowing more Asparagus Pea, Mangetout and, as ALL the courgette seeds we sowed at the start of April failed to germinate, some more of them as well. We’re also going to direct sow some bean seeds near to where the bean seedlings will eventually be planted out and I think we might also direct sow some of the pumpkin and winter squash seeds, as a direct comparison in terms of performance, to those plants which have been sown under cover, grown on in the greenhouse and are due to be planted out mid to late May.
At least that’s the plan but as the saying goes – ‘the best laid plans of mice and men …….’