Julie at Peonies and posies is posting about her very beautiful greenhouse this week so I decided to synchronise my post with hers; so that we can easily compare sowing times and we can see how we use our greenhouses. If you have a greenhouse or just sow seeds on the windowsill why not join in and we can all learn from each other. Also as promised is the story of how I got my greenhouse!
From the middle of January to the middle of February is one of the busiest times for seed sowing for me. I’ve sown almost everything including peppers, aubergines, chillies, tomatoes (many different varieties), Pak Choi, broad beans and peas (the latter two are hardening off outside during the day but at present I’m returning them to the greenhouse at night. Salad leaf sowing has continued to keep up the successional planting, there will come a point when some of the plants raised to be eaten as small leaves will be at a suitable stage to plant out when the weather is appropriate, last year this worked really well and I had salad until the sun was just too hot and it went to seed.
I don’t have a great deal of success usually with spinach grown outside but these module grown ones that I was really growing for salad leaves will be able to be planted out.
I won’t use a large module again for sowing different varieties of tomatoes because they all germinate at different times of course and it means that those that haven’t germinated yet are exposed to the air. I am covering the tray with a propagating lid at night, but tomatoes always germinate very quickly so it won’t be a big problem.
For the cutting-flower garden 3 varieties of Rudbeckia, Cosmos Polidor and Millennium, Cleome Pink Whiskers and Poppy Plum Pudding (I tried both of these last year without success), Lysimachia atreopurpurea ‘Beaujolais’ and more Ami majus as I think my first plants will be finished before it is time to plant them out. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and since then many, many more seeds have been planted; a few Cleome have germinated but none of the Poppy or the Lysimachia.
I’ll write more about all the different seeds and how they are growing in my next post but I promised I’d tell you the story of how I got my greenhouse this month.
My husband travels a lot in his work with the Food and Agricultural Organisation, sometimes to places that he enthusiastically tells me he thinks I should see too. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Sounds like a great opportunity to only need to pay one airfare and add a holiday onto the end of a mission. Well, actually no! It never seems to work out. On several occasions I’ve bought the air ticket only to find the mission is cancelled or the dates changed; the worst occasion was in 2010; he had been to Syria a number of times and thought it one of the most fascinating and friendliest countries he had ever visited. The plan was that he would take 10 days holiday at the end of his planned mission and I would join him to see all the wonderful sights together. I spent a long time, a very long time planning the trip; finding good boutique hotels, calculating travel times between the various cities we wanted to see, buying my ticket, going to Rome to get a visa; a lot of emotional investment in planning and looking forward to an exciting holiday. But at the very last minute (just a couple of days before he was due to travel) he told me that he wouldn’t be able to take a holiday after all and that I should cancel all the hotels. Luckily we didn’t lose any money on the hotel bookings, just my plane ticket and the cost of the visa.
So I was angry, I’m sure you can hear that in my writing. But there was a payoff. I decided that when we wanted a holiday we would plan a holiday, independent of where his work was taking him and to compensate me for my disappointment in not going to Syria (and with the terrible problems in that part of the world now, it is very unlikely I’ll ever get to visit) I said I would like a greenhouse and I would never complain about my disappointment again. I should add that this wasn’t the first time this had happened.
So in February 2011 the greenhouse was ordered and the rest as they say is history.
I am so happy to have the greenhouse, I have so much pleasure in growing seeds and cuttings and being able to have citrus is so special. So although I am a little sad that I’ll probably never see such an interesting country as Syria, I am pleased that I didn’t go as I probably wouldn’t have decided to buy a greenhouse without the need for something BIG in compensation for my disappointment.
Don’t forget to visit Julie and find out what she is doing in her greenhouse this month.