Pottering On

May 4, 2018

Obeying the iron law that seeds only germinate *after* the gardener has given up on them, my Himalayan poppies have finally popped up having been planted in March and largely given up for dead in April.

himalayan poppy seedlings

There’s no end to the disasters that may befall these tiny little scraps of green before they get a chance to turn into any sort of display of flowers but it feels like an achievement anyway. And besides, tending seedlings is really my favourite part of gardening – as I said in my last post, my gardening tends to be of the kill or cure variety but there’s something about these hopeful little green shoots emerging from the soil that makes me spend far too much time watering them, turning them, blowing gently on them to encourage stronger growth, and just generally hanging over them hoping they’ll be okay out there in the big bad world.

pea plants going out

But all good things must come to an end, and my pea plants were beginning to tangle their tendrils with each other so out they went today in the first real test of our new raised beds (the potatoes got there first, but potatoes will effectively grow in anything so they don’t really count).

pea plants under cloches

For now they’re still getting a little cossetting with bottle cloches and a precautionary slug trap, but soon they’ll have to fend for themselves.

Meanwhile, if anyone’s got any tips for germinating lemon seeds, I’d be grateful. Assuming that the iron law doesn’t apply in this case, and the batch I planted weeks ago doesn’t surprise me tomorrow …

Deep in the Compost, Something Stirs…

April 4, 2011

It’s that time of year when half my search referrals are from people looking for pictures of seedlings of various kinds. So by way of a public service (and not at all to continue attracting random hits from people who know even less about gardening than I do), here are my latest batches of seedlings

Tomatoes – including one that suddenly emerged about three weeks after everything else. I know I should just get rid of it but I always feel like Dr. Goebbels pulling out the weakest seedlings

Tomato seedlings



Pea (survivor of the Great Pea Massacre)

pea seedling


Broad beans

Broad Beans

Spring onions

Spring onions

I could have sworn I took pictures of my broccoli too, but there you go. You’re just going to have to wait, if you can stand the tension. Or buy an egg-and-cress sandwich because the ‘cress’ in those are usually some kind of a brassica.* The rest will have to wait because there’s a bit of a bottleneck developing with the planting out. Meanwhile, for some actual useful identification photographs try here.


*You can tell I’ve had lunch with too many botanists, can’t you?


Top Tips for Gardeners…

March 28, 2011

When you’re raising seedlings in the shed and you decide to rotate the modules so that they don’t develop a permanent yearning lean towards the light …

… it is customary to rotate them 180° around an axis at right-angles to the floor and not, as I did, drop them butter-side-down fashion so that my neat little block of seedlings was suddenly transformed into 20 sad little piles of compost…

… I’ve repotted them as carefully as I could. Here’s hoping pea seedlings are tougher than they look.

You Go Away…

April 3, 2009

… for four days and look!

Tomato Seedling

Tomato Seedling

Of course, there’s no sign of any of my outdoor seedlings coming up, but I seem to remember from the last time I had a garden that they come up 3 days after you have definitely given them up as a lost cause, and not before.

Of course, knowing this only prolongs the agony, but that’s life for you.