Potting On

I’ve been spending time in the potting shed. With the weather being so wet, at least it’s dry in there! All of the tomato seeds have moved into 9cm square pots except for two Black Krim seedlings. They’re not quite big enough to handle yet.

The half seed trays with the microgreens for the chickens did better than expected. A good way to use outdated and surplus seeds. The turnip seeds came up particularly well. I thought they were probably past germinating but I was wrong. In hindsight I could have done a small test sowing but we are where we are.

Unwanted brassica seedlings – microgreens for the hens.

Good storage reduces seed costs

Good storage is certainly the key to keeping seed costs low. I bought some ‘Earliest of All’ cabbage seed. The pack has a two year life and contains 3,200 seeds. Assuming an 80% germination rate that’s 2,500 cabbages. Eating one a week that’s 50 years supply. With luck and good storage I might get 5 years life from the seeds. On the other hand, the packet cost me £1.09

Buying plants instead of growing from seed

There was a time when most gardeners would buy a lot of their plants from local nurseries rather than grow from seed. Especially brassicas,tomatoes etc. but times change and the prices the garden centres charge has knocked that back.

From what I can tell, most of the garden centres buy in their young plants to sell on, which pushes up the price. The range offered isn’t great either, they tend to stick with the most popular, which is a shame. The old nurserymen would often run a market garden as well. That meant they would offer varieties that they knew did well in their area and timed for their particular weather conditions.

Brassicas pricked out

Brassica seedlings

Brassica seedlings potted on. In propagator not so much for heat but for the extra light

Most of the brassicas have been pricked out either into 9cm pots or some deep modules I had. Think large plug plants. Added extra lime to the multi-purpose peat-based compost and about 10% by volume perlite. That should help get them off to a really good start before they go into the cold outside world.
The weather continues pretty dull, wet and cool at best. At least we’ve no snow but it could be better. The grow-lights are giving the seedlings a boost. Extra warmth and energy shining down. I always end up with more plants than I need but it’s best to have some spares.


The potatoes are chitting nicely. I had hoped to have some planted around St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, but the weather wasn’t right.

Chitting Potatoes

Chitting Potatoes in the potting shed doing well

Chits Close Up

Chits Close Up – nice firm sprouts, not long spindly white shoots.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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