Despite the cold these last few days in Brighton, the new growing season feels like it’s started. We’ve started getting seeds in and there are green shoots poking up through the soil.
Our recently sown troughs of salad leaf seedlings in the greenhouse which already need thinning out.
Our tray of that LRSP favourite cavalo nero is showing signs of germination.
We’ve sown different varieties of tomatoes: sweet million, gardener’s delight and tumbling toms.
There are also courgettes and some dwarf beans (Blue Lake) showing signs of breaking through the soil.
We’re also all sowing basil (Sweet Genovese) on window sills.
There are still a few basil seedlings which have survived in the greenhouse over the winter and they are showing signs of recovering. They were very sickly during dark and rainy January and February. Basil proved to be a favourite in our public herb planters so this year we’re trying to ensure we get enough continuous stock throughout the summer.
And we’ve still got lots and lots of seed. Last year, I experimented with scattering all the ‘past sell-by seed’ onto a prepared raised bed in late April. I was rewarded with a wonderful variety of salad leaves, although French frisee lettuce turned out to be thuggish and tried hard to dominate the plot.
Daphne is our seed queen in the LRSP. She’s already potted on tomato seedlings and has basil coming up. Her seedlings enjoy the luxury of a warm south-west facing bedroom.
I never feel very confident about seeding, though germination usually happens. I’ve decided this year to keep heating on at a very low thermostat in the conservatory to encourage the seeds to germinate; after all, we had frosts last week. I’m hoping this will encourage the tomatoes, courgettes and beans.
The RHS have recently posted a guide to what can be sown when in a greenhouse or conservatory that’s particularly helpful.