I've had an awful time this year trying to get things to germinate. I think a combination of warm end of March, chilly April and something horribly wrong with some of the sacks of potting compost I use. I've been using this stuff for years and never had a problem before.
Out of all the courgettes, cucumbers, potimarrons and various different coloured French beans which were sown individually in pots in my cold frames from mid April to early May I got one solitary French bean!
It was time for Plan B to be put into action.
|Cucumber, Courgette and Potimarron seeds, 17th May|
Chitting the seed indoors on damp kitchen towel in a closed up marge tub. All the cucumbers and courgettes started to germinate really quickly so I planted them up only 2 days later, put them in the cold frames and after a few more days leaves started to appear. I did the same out of desperation with French beans and they all germinated too, including my second direct sowing outdoors which are only just now beginning to germinate, and the leaves are much smaller! However the potimarrons steadfastly refused to do a thing and just went mouldy. All seeds were brand new this year.
Potimarron is a winter squash by the way, in case you are not familiar with it. I think it's pretty much the same thing as one that goes under the name of Itchy Curry or something like that. (Joke. Wikipedia tells me it's Uchiki Kuri, also known as Red Kuri and many other names, just to confuse us all).
So all I have in the way of potimarrons is one solitary plant which self seeded in the veg patch, which is in itself very strange as sometimes I don't even bother sowing seed as dozens of them self seed in the soil from our compost which is dug in!
|Finally have beans, cucs and courgettes! The Cayennes at|
the top are the healthy ones which haven't been repotted yet.
I've also had had a problem with my indoor sown tomatoes and chillies which were slow to grow after pricking out into individual pots. I got them outside into the cold frames as soon as I could so they could get as much light as possible, but some of my chillies have stood still for about a month now and not grown at all. I've potted them on into bigger pots but they still are not doing anything. Yet my last sowing of cayenne peppers which haven't even been repotted are 5 times bigger and healthier with loads of leaves! Nothing makes any sense and the sooner I plant the whole lot out into the soil the better I think. Also when I think about it, my second sowing of French marigolds (which I plant between the tomatoes as a companion plant) are now bigger than the first sowing, yet they are about two weeks younger. Maybe it was a duff batch of potting compost. *scratches head*
I did buy some tomato plants so I will be ahead and of the two varieties that I grew from seed, Gardeners' Delight and Apero, I have one of each planted into big tubs on the sunny side of the house, along with a bought Sungold. All the rest of the bought ones are in the veg patch and they'll be joined shortly by a few more pathetically small Gardeners' Delights.
|The Sungold (on left) has a naughty side shoot which I shall pinch off |
and make into a new plant!
Most of the Aperos did nothing after the initial pricking out and they remain as thin lanky strangely coloured plants. I did give them a liquid feed weeks ago but that didn't seem to help and are a very wierd dark greeny almost purple colour. Never mind I had too many plants so they are going in the compost! This is just such a wierd year but it's not worth puzzling over any more, I'm gonna be tough, plant them out and they either will or they won't. I'm going to concentrate on what is growing properly now!
Next posting will be into the veg patch as it's finally worthy of being seen in public!