Sleepy Allotment

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On 22nd January 2017, here in London, we had a really good overnight frost! Temperature at 6am was -10degree C …and all I could think was: hope this has sorted those slugs out!

If not, Plan B will be actioned.

Although the day time temperature in the unheated greenhouse is 15degree C, night time temperatures drops quite sharply, so I have decided to carry on growing indoors, much to my family’s annoyance, the obstacle course, these propagators are creating!

First Seed Sowing Update:
The seeds planted on 6th and 10th January have done well, all except Bhut Jolokia chilli, Warangal Chilli, Sweet Peppers and 2 varieties of Aubergines. Not giving up and started another sowing on 20th January.
I decided to transplant the chillies in 3″ (7.6cm) pots and aubergines in 3.5″ (9cm), (as space is required in the heated propagator for other seed sowing) ,seedlings are a little young but the true leaves of these chillies and aubergines are strong and healthy so no harm in transplanting them carefully at this stage.
Check up on the transplanted seedlings a few days later and these are doing well in the unheated propagators dotted around the Kitchen Diner.
At this stage feed is not required, but made a note on my calendar to give ‘transplanted seedlings’ a very mild feed of organic seaweed in 3 weeks time.

23rd January:
I also decided to put some flower seeds down, (Geranium,Nicotiana,Evening Primrose, White Echinacea, Salvia, Honesty Flower and Jerusalem Sage) placed them in unheated propagators, joining the indoor obstacle course.

There are still many flower and vegetable seeds  I would like to put down, but will wait until end of Feb/March; when hopefully the night time temperatures aren’t dropping below 4degrees C; when sowing can begin in the unheated greenhouse.

Some of my flower seeds like the Perennial Rudbeckia, Delphinium and Lupins, require stratification (a spell of cold); I have sown these in pots and seed trays, covered with horticultural grit and placed outdoors for natural stratification. I have been kicking myself!, I should have planted these a while back (around November), so now I am hoping a short spell of cold may just be enough to start them off. Fingers crossed.  

Please note: all these are Mr & Mrs Slug & VAST family’s, favourites too! 

Next sowing
Some tomato varieties require a longer growing season, like the seeds I have chosen to grow, when started early,harvests can be achieved from July right until end of September. All my chosen varieties will be planted outdoors after all signs of frost have disappeared. 
This year I aim to grow onions purely from seed and not purchase any seed bulbs packs. Last year, I trialled a variety: Onion Bedfordshire Champion Seeds and was very pleased, from seedling stage right until the harvest; non of the onion bulbs bolted (when a plant prematurely produces a flowering stem before crop can be harvested), and the harvest crop has stayed healthy through these winter months.
I also bought a packet of Alpine strawberry seeds, purely out of curiosity. The fruit is said to be small in size and harvest ready during July and August, a small window but told it is a very juicy variety and will not let me down on taste. Seed packet recommends starting the seeds in February, so I will put a few seeds down this weekend, if no germination occurs, will wait until mid February and start again.

As the seed sowing is not enough work for me, I also plan to get on the plot and start prepping the soil for the garlic to go down which I planted in individual pots overwinter.

These are my jobs for the weekend what do you plan for your weekend?

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