A Lovely Afternoon Sowing My First Seeds of the Year

sowing

I enjoyed reading Naomi’s seed sowing post on Nomegrown this week. Naomi shared a tip from No Dig expert Charles Dowding, who advises waiting until there are ten hours of daylight each day before sowing seeds.

This starts to happen about mid February, and with today being February 15th, we’re pretty much bang on. What’s more, the sun came out and what started as a pretty dull day turned into a corker.

The temperature here hit 10 degrees, which made for a balmy 30 degrees in the greenhouse. And so, I sowed. 🙂

I went for two sowings this afternoon: mangetout in the greenhouse, and aubergines on a sunny windowsill inside.

I recently blogged about why I’m growing mangetout instead of peas. Quick as a flash, I was recommended a variety called Carouby De Maussane by a couple of kind readers, and having bought a packet last week I made these my first sowings proper of the new season.

One useful tip I’ve picked up for early sowing is to keep your multipurpose compost in the greenhouse, so that the soil warms up quicker than it would outside. This increases the speed in which the seed germinates as you’re not sowing into cold soil.

Sowing the Mangetout
I sowed about 25 mangetout seeds in pots, which I’ll hopefully plant out once the seedlings are a few inches high. I’m undecided whether to grow the plants up netting and twigs or in a wigwam style yet. Both have been productive in the past, but the wigwam might edge it seeing as Carouby De Maussane can grow to nearly 6ft high.

Sowing the Aubergines
My aubergines are de Barbentane from Real Seeds, and are leftover from my failed aubergine experiment of last summer. I sowed them way too late and then let the plant get suffocated in the greenhouse by rampant tomatoes.

Subsequently, I’m getting organised for 2015 and giving the aubergines the long growing time that they need. The seeds require very warm temperatures to germinate so they’ll have to be in the house for a good couple of months before at least before I can even consider transferring to the greenhouse.

Enthusiasm Flooding Back
It’s a funny old thing, this seed sowing game. All it takes is a sunny day, a bit of warm sun and a handful of seeds and all the enthusiasm comes flooding back almost immediately.

With the forecast good for the next few days, and the nights definitely drawing out, I can really feel Spring for the first time this year.

Exciting times are upon us again. 🙂

3 thoughts on “A Lovely Afternoon Sowing My First Seeds of the Year”

  1. Yesterday was a real sign that warmer sunnier longer days are on the way! I was digging out nettle roots to increase the growing area in our veg garden 🙂

    I usually grow tall peas up wigwams but I think a wide fence/tall tent shaped structure is better as it spreads the growth out at the top instead of bunching the stems together. Old pea varieties tend to have most of the pods near the tops of the plants.

  2. I have been thinking of sowing snap peas myself, but have tried the trusted method of putting them between wet paper towels first and then setting them in the garden. It works so well.

    I will be watching to see how your aubergines turn out!

  3. Mange tout for the win – as lovely raw as cooked!

    Isn’t sowing seeds the best feeling? The promise of a whole year of fun mucking about in the garden and lovely fresh homegrown food…! Plus it’s the first time in the new year that I feel I’m doing something constructive (rather than cleaning the greenhouse etc).

    By the way – I took a break from blogging last year when I had our sin. I hope against hope he enjoys gardening as much as your little boy does!

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