Saturday, 9 March 2013

First sight of 2013 Tomatoes, and other things

Hello there, it's the weekend and so it's time for a flurry of blog posts.

I am so busy in the rest of my life that the weekend is now firmly the only time I get to do any real gardening; other than a daily round of all the seedlings and watering them as needed. This is frustrating for me (as I want to be doing it more often) but it does sit will with the original purpose of the blog; how does trying to grow your own food work when you are busy busy busy.

So this update is my standard fare for the first one of the weekend; a load of progress pictures and chatter so, without wasting more of your time (or mine typing this) here we go.

**FANFARE!!** The 2013 Tomatoes are starting to show - this is a Moneymaker and was the one which I over-watered when making the self watering planters. I did not know this had started (as I've been away for a couple of days) so it was a great sight for me to see when I did my rounds just now.

Not one but both of the Moneymaker Tomatoes have become seedlings. This is the one on the front windowsill next to the Crossley Specials and the Mint. The Gardeners Choice still have not started but I am sure they will not be far behind.

A happy and settled looking Crossley Special Chilli fully settled in it's new home and clearly showing good second growth. All six of the moved plants are now looking happy (though a couple do still have a small amount of wilting still on the tips of their first growth leaves) so that is really good.

Another Crossley Special. As you can see they are looking happy and healthy and are enjoying being in a location where they get daylight every day. This is because I have put them behind the curtains so, even if we don't open them, they seedlings get the advantage of light.

Moving on, the Ghost Chillis are still in the heated propagator and the first seedling is now showing second growth. If you enbiggen this picture (by clicking on it) you can see that the back seedling has a couple of droplets of water nestled on the leaves. I think I will leave these in the heated propagator for another week or two at least to see if they establish themselves a bit better.

This was a very great surprise to see; this is the first green of the Globe Artichoke. I think this has only been in the compost for a week or two so I was fully not expecting to see anything.  By contrast, the Echinops Ruthenicus still hasn't shown at all. I am starting to wonder if it is not going to happen with that but I will leave it another four or five weeks.

The Foxglove seedlings have not really done much recently; these are confusing me slightly as I expected them to be quite strong seedlings standing tall (as Foxgloves do when they are fully grown) but they are spindly and tangled and not really putting much more growth on over the weeks. Anyone got any ideas?

The two Geranium seedlings, one of which is very advanced now. I am going to repot these tomorrow and there will be a blog about it you can be sure of that.

This is a very sad looking, almost certainly dead, Carrot seedling. I think I have made a few mistakes with my toilet roll idea - the main one was putting too much water in the tray. What has happened is mildew has set in and the seedlings have come up very spindly and they have started to fall back onto the soil and the soil is (as you can see) covered in mildew.

By no means, however, are all the Carrots looking unwell; this one is standing proud and has it's first growth leaves open to all daylight available. Whether I have made mistakes or not I am going to put these seedlings into deep soil tomorrow and hope that the mildew goes away and the seedlings become stronger and less tall and spindly. I will also be putting these outside in the next week or two as I hope the last of the frosts have been and gone.

The mildew affecting the Carrots is also encroaching on the Parsnips as you can see from this picture. The seedling has it's seed casing still attached which has been removed carefully to release the leaves.

Three Parsnip seedlings in a row all reaching towards the light. The Parsnips are looking much more healthy and solid than the Carrots but I will still be repotting them into the deep compost tomorrow.

My seed grown Coriander is now starting to properly flourish and has really started to look like proper Coriander. Pretty soon I will be giving a few of these plants away to people to spread the love of growing things and free up space for other things.

Going outside this is the shop bought Coriander which is looking very battered with the horrible weather we have been having for the last week or so however it is now established and I am confident it will mean that we do not have to buy any Coriander again this year.

A tiny Lettuce seedling. As I have repeatedly complained these have not really done much however, where before I only had three seedlings now a fourth has appeared so maybe something is going to happen here soon?

Four Onion spikes in a line; there are maybe ten or twelve spikes still looking strong and alive however I would suggest that the early planting has not really provided much impetus, nor the spring onions I was hoping for.

The Broccoli seedlings still looking the same as they did the last time I put a progress picture up and the time before and the time before. It is starting to frustrate me slightly that these have not given me the head start I wanted but I suppose I should not be surprised really.

Last but not least the shop bought Chives sat on their new bin-home. If the sun were to come out then these would be in the full glare of the morning sun however, since I moved them, the sun has not really made any appearance at all. They are also battered by the winds but I think they are established and will survive all year and into the next.

So, there you are... a lovely long and interesting update I am sure you will agree.

Tomorrow I will update you on re-potting the Carrots, Parsnips and Geraniums and will show you that yes, I do learn from previous mistakes.

Keep growing.

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