Saturday, 16 February 2013

Gardening Guilts and signs of spring

You may have noticed I've been a bit remiss with my blogs. Well I tend to write when I'm doing lots in the garden and I feel inspired... of late, it hasn't felt like there's been much to write about and that's because the snow's been stalling me.  Really?  I think that's just an excuse!  And gardening at the lovely Urban Veg just makes me feel more guilty about my absence from my own patch.  There we've been sowing broad beans and salads for the green house and its really starting to be populated with baby seedlings and lots of seed trays. 

Meanwhile, at home my seed box has barely had a ruffle since I restocked it over Christmas.  I should be sewing those seeds that need an extra long season like the chillies and the aubergines (summer willing - pleeeease!).  All my seeds are organised in month order so its not as if its hard to do and over Christmas I bought my seed compost so there really is no excuse.  Hopefully committing my gardening guilts will spur me into action!

In terms of the garden, hey it might be winter still but there seems to be lots of signs of life starting up.  We may be getting lots of snow but that's not halting everything out there.  Over the Christmas period garlic started to peer through the soil and the HSL crimson broad beans germinated (I think something got a taste for one of them though) and despite the snow keeping the ground cold there are some lovely rhubarb shoots in such a vivid red and little lush leaves making a start.  The chives are starting to grow too. 

So if the more hardy residents of the plot are braving their first shoots I really should get on with my window sill sowing in earnest and dust off the heated propagator for those chillies and long season tenders.  Its about time my windowsills are bursting with young seedlings!


  1. Go forth and conquer Claire!

    My broadies have germinated on a windowsill - currently deciding whether to just shift the straight into the greenhouse or not.

    I've sown some chillis too, which are germinating in my airing cupboard.

    You mention aubergines? I'm trying these in my greenhouse for the first time. Should I be germinating them indoors now??

  2. Broadies - I sowed mine straight into the ground last November and they popped up in the Christmas hols. I did only sow half just in case and will sow the other half next to the winter sown ones in March. It was more as an insurance against anything happening to the direct sown and with them being HSL seeds they're pretty precious but it'll be a great comparitor. At Urban Veg we've been sowing them in the greenhouse as Clare (our lovely coordinator) is concerned things may eat the first shoots. I have a preference to sowing direct wherever possible. So this will be another great comparitor.

    Aubergines - I've never had a greenhouse so I always sow inside first and I find a heated propogator or airing cupboard gets the best germination results rather than room temperature. I think if you have a heated greenhouse yes but if you don't I would put them in the greenhouse April time. Greenhouses are the best places to grown them as I have tried all sorts of things for good aubergine results included a fleece tent which gave really good results. They are too tender to grow outside without protection but I love the fresh ones so much!

    Thanks for your comments. Just asking me a few questions and you've really got me inspired to sow now :)

  3. Thanks Claire.

    I've tried to grow aubergines outside before, but in truth they've never come to anything without any cover. Looking forward to having a go with the aid of a greenhouse.

    Interesting you prefer sowing direct - I'm the opposite, and always start off in pots if I can!