I’m potting on, yes it’s that time of year here. I sowed some Cabbage (Parel) and some Kale (Red Russian) a few weeks ago and they are already at the two true leaf stage. So I started to pot them on.
I always find that there is an explosion of small pots in the greenhouse at this time of year and I simply don’t have enough tags to label them all. So I put them in rows and label the top pot, everything underneath is assumed to be the same plant. I have to trust myself later in Spring when I can’t tell the difference between a Cabbage and a Broccoli plant!
I had a little helper too. My sweet 6 year old (how? why? when?) played ‘potting factory’ and filled the pots so they could go down the ‘production line’ and be filled with plants. Bless him, he’s actually quite interested in gardening. No forcing required.
There’s meagre pickings outside in the garden here. We’re working on the last of the Leeks and Beets but once they’re gone it will be a blank canvas. Not so in the greenhouse. We’re thankful for the greens that are happily growing in the greenhouse. Above is some Bok Choi that is not yet fully grown but can be used leaf by leaf.
Here is the Rocket (Arugula) bed. We’ve already been picking from this and as you know it just keeps coming and coming.
And here is the Radish bed. The Radish are not quite ready yet too but over the next few weeks we’ll soon be eating them.
We’ve already eaten the Winter Density Lettuce that I sowed and thought was killed by the frost but managed to bounce back. And yesterday I re-sowed some more Radish and cut and come again Lettuce.
The greenhouse is not heated. I have a heater set on its lowest setting just to keep the frost at bay. That’s all.
I don’t know about you but I’m starting to think about preparing for seed planting, in my greenhouse at least. Honestly, I can’t wait to get started but it’s a little early yet so all I can do is clean stuff. I’ve been sweeping out the dust, bushing pots, cleaning seed trays and, after seeing Monty do it on Gardeners’ World, scrubbing my plant tags.
It was very tedious. And yes there is not much else to do right now but I’d rather spend my time reading gardening books than this. I got halfway through scrubbing and gave up. Then, I wondered if bleach would work. So I put them into a bowl with some water and poured in some bleach. I left it overnight and, guess what happened… No more scrubbing for me.
I think it worked because the tags were written with Sharpie and the bleach just ripped right through it. I made sure to wash them thoroughly to make sure all the bleach was gone. Now my tags are pearly bright. Just waiting for the season to begin!
What a difference three weeks makes! I planted these Lettuce seedlings on Oct 28th and just look at them now. They are so perfect! Of course they have been cosseted in my greenhouse with the door and windows firmly shut. And so even though there is frost on the ground today they are tucked up all cosy.
We’ll be eating these soon and boy will they taste good. I think the fewer plants you have the more special the harvest.
But I just love to see things grow. It’s the before and after that gets me every time.
It’s time to clear away the Tomatoes in the greenhouse and start to think about using the raised bed for something else.
When I took out the Tomatoes the bed was half empty of soil so I bought some new potting mix to build it back up again.
Then I planted some Winter Density Lettuce that I had sowed a few weeks ago.
And I filled in the gaps by sowing a row or two of Radish, Bok Choi and Rocket (Arugula). Job done. It won’t be feeding the five thousand but at least we will have some Lettuce for Winter.
The number of seedlings in my greenhouse is increasing a pace. There are still two weeks to go here until the risk of frost is gone and so I’m keeping most of them indoors until then. I have started sowing the more delicate crops like Cucumber, Squash and Melon and these already need potting on.
These are my Cauliflowers that can go out into the open ground now – I just haven’t had chance to put them out yet. And behind them some Hollyhocks that will stay in the greenhouse a bit longer.
Lettuce, I have been sowing every two weeks since early Feb. I have two rows in the ground (with the fleece handy incase it’s forecast frost). And others inside at varying stages ready to go in later. I’m growing Rouge D’Hiver, Red Velvet, Super Jericho and Parris Island Cos. I’m also growing some Tom Thumb but I’ve found the germination on this one to be a little patchy.
I’m gradually migrating most things (especially Tomatoes) from seed trays into individual pots. As you can see from the photo above I’m amassing lots of plants, some of which will need to be donated to the neighbours! Nobody needs 10 Cucumber plants, do they?
This is what my greenhouse looks like now. It’s finally finished and I can get in there and start to sow some seeds. Yey! I have some heated growing mats, seed trays and a box full of seeds all ready to go.
My union jack bunting looks right at home as does my Borough Market trough and Haws watering can. It’s my tiny patch of England.
These before and after shots show how the plants are settling in around the greenhouse. And how the brick base mellows the look quite significantly.
The greenhouse is half finished and I’m so, so happy with it.
This is what it looked like only last week but over the weekend the glass went in and it has been transformed into my garden dream. In mid December it was just a base wall. Now it’s a beauty in the making.
I’ve ALWAYS wanted a greenhouse. Every since my Dad had an aluminium one in the garden when I was growing up. He would grow Tomatoes and store his hanging baskets in there until it was safe to put them out. He would potter and potter in there for hours. Me and my mum had no clue what he was doing! And now I have my own to potter in. Maybe, it’s hereditary?
All I know is that I can’t wait to move all of my stuff in. To arrange my plant tags, set up the potting bench, plug in the heated mats and start growing. It seems like such a long time since I actually grew something. I have the seeds, the potting soil, the seed trays. I just need a door and some benches and all systems are go.
The grey wall you see will be covered by red bricks soon. There are automatic window vents to fit and probably a small heater to install (nothing too crazy just to keep it above freezing). Although someone on my gardening course had a smashing idea. She said she plugs in low-voltage Christmas lights to keep the frost away. No that, sounds like my kind of greenhouse!