Bags of Beans

Another wet and wildly windy week has just gone, so going out to mulch beds at the plot was not at all appealing. Tempting to carry on planting sweetpeas as they are germinating so obligingly, but even I can see I have enough for now. Will wait until March before sowing the next batch of Mollie Rilestone, April in Paris and others.

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Sweetpeas germinating reliably

Last week remembered the technique that I used last year of using a small plastic bag with damp compost to sprout my broad beans before sowing. So tipped an old packet of crimson flowered broad bean seeds in  a small freezer bag of compost and shook them around before tying the bag closed. Then kept this inside in warmth and within a week all but 3 had sprouted which meant I could pot them up for planting out next month. This seems a time, space and compost efficient way of testing what is going to germinate, and I am going to try it with my other  slightly aging pea and broad bean seeds this week.

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A bag of damp compost with Hurst Green Shaft peas 

For the plot, I have made an early sowing of consolida larkspur ( dark blue) and am going to follow this up with white and mixed as they are truly lovely and I have never grown enough. Despite the advice, I have never tried putting a packet in the freezer for a week before sowing and this time I will experiment and see if it makes a difference. Think these seeds probably prefer to be direct sown, but will see if modules work. Despite today’s gentle sunshine,  Spring  still feels far off, but I will hold some larkspur seeds back to direct sow when there is some warmth in the soil.

Have spent quite a time keenly examining my seed packets to see what can be planted inside in February and Violas can, so these and cowslips and anything else that can be planted early will be sown over the next week, before I get going with the tomatoes the week after – this is always an exciting marker of Spring getting closer.

Little pots of chillies – from the yellow ferociously hot to milder Hungarian Wax- have been sown to be planted in the greenhouse this Summer; also tomatillo, chocolate peppers and two different types of aubergine. This summer will be the first time ever that I will have the chance to plant tender crops under glass and I think I might be going a little bit mad. If all the seeds germinate, the pots will be spilling back into all the windowsills in the house which was definitely not the plan. It is spirit raising to see signs of Spring starting to gather around me from the pelargoniums which are wanting to get going again to the newly germinated sweet peas.

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Pelargoniun waking up from Winter and showing a cheerful red 

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