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A new day

The days are getting longer, the temperatures (occasionally) warmer and new growth is to be seen. I love that moment when you realise Winter is over, Spring has arrived and new life and flowers are on their way!

Up at the farm the bulbs are starting to make an appearance. Daffodils and Hyacinths obviously being the first.   Joining them are tulips and muscari and the fleshy greens of alliums. I planted new varieties of bulbs this year so am eager to see how they turn out, the Leucojums in particular.

The Ranunculus that I planted in the mini tunnel are doing very well. The Anemones are not. I think I over soaked them before I planted them. I only soaked them for about two hours but it was still too much. An awful lot of the corms rotted before they ever had a chance to sprout. Next year I’m not going to soak them at all. I’ll just plant them up (in 96 cell plug trays) and give them a quick water then leave them. Hopefully that will give me better results. I absolutely hate when a crop fails as very often it’s a whole year before I can try again, but I just have to get over it and move on. Pronto. (Tho I’m still mourning the loss of my beautiful Icelandic poppies that were destroyed with the tunnel :-( )

I’ve been busy here in the nursery sowing seeds. Armed with a head full of knowledge gleamed from last year’s mistakes I’ve begun sowing seeds in earnest. Last year I literally sowed whatever came to hand. I didn’t fully work out the best strategy to make the most of the time I had until mid-May when everything would be planted out. I had Zinnias and Sunflowers ready to go in March for feck’s sake! It was a real pain trying to mind them, keeping them warm and fed as they out grew their plug trays. Didn’t I feel a bit silly. This year I ordered all my seeds around the one time from Higgledy Garden, Moles, Chiltern and Seedaholic. When they arrived I divided them up into three sections 1st, 2nd and 3rd stage sowings. I also have a spreadsheet I fill in of everything I sow and another sheet where I’ll put any varieties that I’ll be succession sowing so at a glance I’ll know when the first sowing was done and when the next is due.

In my first round box I have :

Borage, Dill, Antirrhinums, Calendula, Statices, Dusty Miller, Ammobium, Stocks, Campanulas, Ammi.

In my second round box I have:

Setaria, Isolepis, Gomphrenas, Celosias, Nicotianas, Amaranthus, Helichrysums, Rudbeckia, Ageratums, Scabiosas, Echinops, Cornflowers, Cosmos,

In my third round box I have : (some of these I’ll direct sow)

Sunflowers, Nigellas, Lagurus ovatus, Briza, Bupleurum, Orlaya, Zinnias, Bells of Ireland, Tithonia, Mina lobata, Cobaea scandens, Malope Vulcan.

It’s nice to feel so organised, hope I can keep it up as the season decends in to crazy, busy, flowery madness!

Happy sowing and seed watching everyone!

Orla

 

rsz blog photo sowing likle seeds

Sowing Cosmos seeds one at a time into individual cells in  96 cell plug tray.  I dicided to do it this way (instead of a seed tray on the heated bench) as Cosmos don't need the bottom heat to germinate and they grow so fast it's easier and less stressful for them to go straight into a plug tray.  Harry loved to help me with this job, he covered over the seeds once I had planted then in their individual holes.

 

rsz blog photo sowing scabiosa

 

Sowing Scabiosa seeds in a seed tray.  To maximise the tray I'm using a divider so I can sow 2 varieties at once.  These then went onto the heated bench with a propagator lid as Scabiosa list snuggly bottom heat to get them going.

 

rsz blog photo seed packs 2


Plenty more to go! (for some reason this picture REFUSED to go in the right way up, sorry!