… of the whole production line process of sowing, pricking out, potting on and planting out – even the washing out of trays and cells as soon as they are emptied! And just how many times a day can you observe a tray of seedlings…? Several, I can assure you! Knowing I am towards the end of this year’s early flurry of sowing I have found myself making second sowings of some things – just because I can – to keep the process going… I don’t think the miracle of what can emerge from a tiny seed will ever cease to enthrall me – nor the rate of growth as temperatures and light levels rise. Each year increases my knowledge, both from my own experience and from sharing experiences with other bloggers.
So what do I feel have learned so far this year, or increased my awareness of? Certainly the following:
- to plant out summer or autumn sown annuals or biennials before the winter to save space in the greenhouse the following year; second sowings can always be made to top up or replace failures
- that pricking out and potting on really do make a difference to the quality of the final plant and hence…
- that bulk buying (I buy in 50s) cell trays makes the whole process so much easier (no faffing about to find appropriate pots), keeps the greenhouse staging more organised, makes watering easier and keeps the same plants together. I have bought in a further 50 12 cell and 6 cell trays this year because the supply ebbs and flows as seedlings move from their original quarter trays through the pricking out and potting on stages
- vermiculite on the surface of trays makes watering easier as the compost doesn’t dry out as quickly
During April the 2015 sowings have been belatedly planted out, joined by outdoor sweet peas and this year’s sowing of linaria, osteospermum and orange Californian poppy; all except some of the sweet peas have been planted amongst the borders rather than the cutting beds which will be filled up with other seedlings and dahlias in due course. It’s hard to believe that in only a month or two these borders and beds will be filling up and filling out with greenery and blooms – lovely, lovely!
Aaaaah, just can’t get enough… 🙂