Beginagain (like Michael Finnegan, but without involving whiskers)

There was an old man
named Michael Finnegan,
He grew whiskers
on his chinnegan,
The wind came down
and blew them in again,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (beginagain)

And so the song continues with various other mishaps experienced by the unfortunate Michael Finnegan; here, however, it is not mishaps befalling me over and over again, but the exciting cyclical tasks demanded of an active gardener! In particular, last week saw the start of early seed sowing, following on from autumn sowing of sweet peas and some hardy annuals. The modified pan stand ‘contraption’ was duly brought down from the loft and set up next to the Aga and although seed sowing didn’t quite manage to take off on the first day of February, it was certainly achieved the next day and within a week all early sowings had germinated and were transferred to the greenhouse. Isn’t it exciting?! I don’t think I shall ever cease to be thrilled at seeing new seedlings emerge within a few days from their tiny beginnings and following their progress over the following weeks and months into glorious plants of sometimes huge proportions…

You can see what has been sown so far by looking under the Sowing Records tab above, which will just list what has been sown and in what month. My own records have details of germination times and dates of pricking out, potting on, planting out and flowering and these have improved invaluable from year to year, building a solid knowledge of the whole process. You will see from the list that I have been encouraged by Christina and Chloris’s success with ‘everlasting’ blooms and have included them for the first time. In the greenhouse, seedlings and overwintered plants are kept at a little above freezing by this thermostatically controlled heater (Bio Green Palma Heater), which is set at around 4Β°C; a new addition this winter, this heater replaces the tubular heaters which were plugged in on nights when frost was expected, and with a fan I know the heat is distributed throughout the greenhouse, which can be checked with max/min thermometers at both ends.

Enjoying the increased daylight hours and their free run of the greenhouse border, the Winter Sunshine sweet peas are settling in well and contemplating the long climb up the jute netting that they have been treated to this year:

Exciting times ahead, and not a mishap in site!

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17 Responses to Beginagain (like Michael Finnegan, but without involving whiskers)

  1. tonytomeo says:

    I am glad that we need no contraptions here where the climate is so mild. I do not even have a greenhouse (in the home garden). The greenhouses at work are only used to root cuttings and accelerate production while there is not much else going on, but some could be rooted earlier or later if necessary.

  2. Those peas look happy, indeed! I like the new heater. I hope it works like a charm.

  3. Chloris says:

    You are so well organised. I haven’t really got going yet but you have inspired me to start today. The Pianist will be fed up it means he loses the use of the utility room table again.

    • Cathy says:

      I was itching for February to come! What does the Pianist use the utility room for, I wonder…? At least here my trays are just tucked on one side of the Aga so not really in the way unless I need to remove a drawer from a cupboard to retrieve somthing that’s dropped down the back

  4. Christina says:

    I so agree about the excitement of seed sowing. There is always a little gasp of joy when I see that a new tray of seeds have germinated.

  5. I have to agree with Chloris, this is wonderfully ahead! (Our problem is we need those heaters for the house just to get seedlings started, never mind starting on outdoors! πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to seeing those sweet peas.

    • Cathy says:

      I have such a stack of seeds to sow (easy to overdo the ordering – “that’s nice, I’ll have some of that”) and sowing methodically is the only way to keep on top of it πŸ˜‰

  6. Anna says:

    Exciting times indeed Cathy – nothing quite beats the thrill of those first germinating seeds. I wonder what you have sown so will have to have a peek. It’s shades of Val Donnican here as I’m now singing (if you can call it that) ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat’ – the mention of whiskers bought it to mind.

  7. Cathy when buds emerge from a tray I’m very happy, it’s something special. I like the new heater a lot, although I do not have a greenhouse. Sweet peas look great. Greetings from Margarita.

  8. AlisonC says:

    It is very exciting and you are very organised as usual. I am starting this week and plan to keep good records! I usually fail but I’m going to try hard.
    Your sweet peas look very happy as they gear up for the climb. I love to see other people’s seedling and it confirms that I am not alone in my madness. X

    • Cathy says:

      Being organised really pays off, Alison – even just knowing how quickly to expect germination is useful, and learning the importance of pricking out and potting on. So no, you are definitely not alone!

  9. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It is exciting to see tiny seedlings emerging. I love the peas. I want to grow some of those too. It won’t be long now and I can get started.

    • Cathy says:

      I find autumn sown sweet peas do so much better here, and grow much stronger. These Winter Sunshine ones could be in bloom at the end of April or very early May

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