The Land Rover Owners Wife

Holiday List Item 2 – Tick!

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Tomatoes in the making.

Okay, for the more pedantic of you, I’ll tell you up front that I did this item arse about face, to coin a phrase. I actually moved the seedlings into the greenhouse the day I cleaned it and only potted them on today but there was a very good, logical reason for this  change which I will explain.

The tomatoes had two days to acclimatise to greenhouse conditions.

The last few days have been quite sunny but there has been a fair old wind blowing about and this has brought a chill with it that the warmth of the Spring sun hasn’t managed to banish completely. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the night time temperatures have dipped a bit too close to freezing for my liking and we have had some very harsh frosts in recent weeks and so it was with no small amount of trepidation, that I took the decision to move the seedlings into the greenhouse. I couldn’t delay any longer – I needed the windowsill space for more seeds.

Corn Salad, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage Minicole, Cabbage Savoy and Mixed Salad.

So, as per my original ‘A List for the Holidays’, item 2 was “Pot on most of the seedlings and move into the greenhouse” but the more I thought about it, the more concerned I became that potting the vulnerable seedlings on and then immediately moving them out of the warmth and comfort of the house into the colder greenhouse, could prove seriously detrimental to their wellbeing. It would be far safer, I decided, to let them have a couple of days to acclimatise to their changed environment from the safety of their seed trays, before potting them on. For the last couple of days they have spent their days enjoying the warmth and light of the greenhouse but have been tucked up under a layer of fleece over night and they all seemed to be thriving.

The cabbages in the black pot are in my usual compost and the rest are in seaweed compost.

That said, they have now been repotted into fresh compost, oh and what a compost it is. It’s the sort of compost you put your fingers in and you can feel how gloriously good it is. The sort of compost you’ll happily play with, enjoying the feel of it running through your fingers. The sort of compost you pop your seedling/plant into and you imagine the seedling/plant relaxing ….. can almost hear the sigh as it wiggles it’s roots, in much the same way as you would sigh and wiggle your toes when you sink into a nice hot bath after a days hard graft.

Only time will tell of this is my new best friend in the garden.

For years I have, for the most part, used Erin Multi-purpose Compost because it’s one that we’ve used and had success with time and time again, but also because the local garden centre usually has a really good ‘4 for £10′ deal ($13.05 US or $19.41NZ). However, I was in town the other day and popped into one my favourite shops looking for elastic for Little Mudlets’ new top which I had almost finished. The shop in question is one of those general kind that does a bit of this and a bit of that, not a supermarket but a handy shop that often has just the item you were looking for and is always worth paying a visit too – just on the off chance – if you really don’t want to head into one of the larger towns. Anyway, as I walked into the shop, my eye was caught by a gardening display and more specifically a seaweed based compost which was reasonably priced at £2.99 for 40 ltrs ($3.90US or $5.80NZ).

Knowing that I had the seedlings to pot on and not at all convinced that, after a winter outside, the bag of Erin I had left from last year would be as potent as it was when I bought it, I decided to take a chance on the seaweed compost and I’m glad that I have. Obviously time will tell if this compost is as good as it feels but I will be getting some more because it felt good, much finer than the usual peat based stuff. As it happens I ran out of seaweed compost with four Savoy Cabbages left to pot on and they went in to one large pot filled with some of the left over Erin, so I should be able to do a direct comparison with the other Savoys.

My last job for today was tucking the seedlings back under their fleece and it’s just as well with the temperature outside plummeting towards zero..…. I reckon there will be a frost tonight.

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