Well, I cleaned out the greenhouse, found the potting bench (a.k.a. collapsible picnic table), and cleaned out my pots and seed trays. Emboldened by a couple of days of good weather – probably summer, but there you go – I decided to start.
I’ve already got my toms and celeriac going indoors, but the tin of seeds in my nice cool porch was calling me. However, I checked my Red Baron onion sets first, and – bam – they’ve got going all by themselves.
One of my friends had the same problem and has decided to try starting his sets in cells, so I tentatively thought I might give it a go too. I’d never heard of this before, plus I’ve been raised on the mantra of never, ever disturbing onion roots, so it didn’t seem right. A spot of research and another look at my sprouting sets, and I went to find the modular tray inserts.
They’ll be going in the ground soon. One of the pieces of information I found instructed me to lightly shake the soil off the roots just before putting the sets in their final spot, and to treat onions like leeks. I feel a bit more confident about this now… I think…
Then on with my favourites:
I always have to spend a little time contemplating the beauty of the borlotti. Sigh.
Not that other beans aren’t attractive; there’s something fundamentally satisfying about them. These are Cherokee Trail of Tears. Yup, it’s the time of the bean.
(Well, actually, even I must admit it’s a little early, but they were calling me, and the sooner I get cracking on the first sowing, the sooner I’ll be harvesting, and the borlottis need a long season for good fat pods. I’m reasonably confident that I’ve seen the last frost – usually quite predictable round here, given that I’m by the coast and not in a frost pocket – though winds can be a problem. I’ll give the Cosse Violette and Cobra beans a couple more weeks, mind.)
I also planted the four runner beans I had left over from last year – four plants should enable me to feed an army – which are, I think, Czar. And then the mangetout needed to go in, too:
They might be Carouby de Mausanne; they might be Delikata. I saved them, and last year’s mangetout got mixed up. But they both tasted good, so I don’t care what they are!
And then I ran out of decent seed trays. They were there last year; where have they gone? I spent a good half hour searching and reached the stage of looking in places they couldn’t possibly be (that’s the stage just before losing your mind completely and wearing a plant pot as a hat), but all I found were five. Maybe it’s the spirit of the garden telling me it’s too early to plant more. Hmm. And I haven’t even started on flower seeds yet, except for a few Calendula officinalis to partner the beans – good for blackfly.
Still, it’s a good beginning:
even if there’s been a bit of improvisation on the seed-tray front.