After a few early starters seed sowing has continued apace during February – and I continue to be amazed at how quickly these humble and unassuming little dry seeds jump to attention and sprout their first green shoots. Like last year, seeds needing warmth have taken advantage of the always available heat from the Aga, stacked on the makeshift ‘contraption’; unlike last year however, having learned the sorry lesson of lanky seedlings, they are moved to the greenhouse immediately germination has taken place. In the greenhouse are now trays of sweet peas (October and January sowings), tagetes, marigold, bidens, mallow, cucumber and Bishop’s Children (dahlias), with cerinthe and coleus set to follow shortly. Most of these have germinated in two or three days, well in advance of the expected 7-21 days suggested on the packets.
The existing greenhouse is currently also home to several trays of autumn sown aquilegia (which I am convinced are looking perkier now the days are getting longer and brighter) and overwintering fuchsia and pelargonium, the latter being something I have made a conscious effort to do for the first time. Available staging space is now filling up rapidly and the fuchsia and pelargoniums have been demoted to the floor whilst the Golfer does his utmost to get the new ‘half’ greenhouse ready for occupation before another job gets in the way. The panels against the fence have utilised polycarbonate from the original greenhouse and the latter is gaining glass in the sections where it will make a difference – and indeed the difference between polycarbonate with integral condensation/algae and clean glass is amazingly noticeable! As soon as its baby brother is ready, the aquilegia and other overwintering plants will be moved into what will nominally be a hardening-off greenhouse. That’s the current plan anyhow!