Tag Archives: tomato seedlings

After a week of gardening – Winter Returns!

As I write this first draft (Sunday 18th)  there is a covering of snow on the garden and a temperature of -1degC! Yesterday I was working in the garden in a temperature of 12degC. Quite some contract. We now have a ‘mini-Beast from the East’ affecting our weather this weekend.

Broad bean bed after snow!

As I mentioned, during the week it was fine and I managed to get a few jobs done in the garden. Threee more raised beds are now clear of weeds, had some pelleted chicken manure added and some ex-growbag compost added (if soil level was low enough). That leaves the bed with kale in to sort out – it has some damage to the retaining plank along one side that needs a repair. The only other bed not touched so far is the one nearest the house. That bed has had carpet over it for most of the winter so should n’t need much weeding, though it may need topping up with compost.

The beds here are clear of weeds – honest!

As far as plants and seeds go, the first lot of broad bean seedlings are now in the bed with the seedling from the overwintered plants. I’ve filled in the gaps of the ‘Aquadulce’ seedlings with the ones from the greenhouse – and they look a lot better than the plants from the autumn sowing. The other seedlings were ‘De Monica’ and they are all in. The bed isn’t yet full but there is another tray of broad beans just coming through in a greenhouse propagator. I was thinking of turning the power off but it’s just as well that I didn’t!.

Broad bean bed – with some of new seedlings in. All are now in

The picture above shows how much better it is to start the plants in pots rather than planting beans in the autumn…..

Meanwhile in the kitchen I have tomato seedlings through and cucumber as well. They rather took me by surprise, I hadn’t bothered to look inside the plastic bag covering the post (it wasn’t a clear one) and when I did the other day was rather surprised to find the seedlings already a bit etiolated and about 2 inches tall. Now the cover is off they are looking a bit more normal. Basically it is a 50% germination, 2 each of the tomato seeds (I think I put 4 in each pot) and 2 cucumber seedlings (‘Baby’) in one pot, the other (Burpless’) none so far. The tomatoes are ‘Alicante & ‘San Marzano’.

Kitchen seedlings just after bag taken off. The cucumber seedlings are upright now!

There is a tray of sweet peas in the other propagator and yesterday it looked as if they were starting to come through – well a couple at least.

More updates soon – as I finish this on Tuesday the snow is all gone and temperatures as high as 8degC today so there is some chance of getting something done in the garden again…..

Just to provide a bit of spring – here is a daffodil (taken before the snow):



Winter Has Returned For A While

With temperatures close to zero overnight the last couple of nights and not rising above 10degC during the day with a cold N & NW wind, it has been quite worrying especially about the seedlings in the greenhouse. I do have enough heating in the greenhouse to keep it above freezing – I think…..(hope)

Outside, so far the cauliflower plants and mangetout peas seem to have survived as well. The second batch of mangetout was planted out over a week ago.

Manngetout peas after second batch planted

Mangetout peas and pigeon scarers! (you can see what magazine I subscribed to)

I now have three tomato plants in the greenhouse planted in a growbag and they seem to be ok. They are 2 zuchero and 1 gardeners delight.

Growbag tomatoes (still surviving after low temperatures!)

Meanwhile I have another eight or ten tomato seedlings close to being ready for growbags – so I hope it warms up pretty quick after this week!

Also in the greenhouse the kale seedlings are getting close tot he point that they really should be planted out as well as a bunch of flower seedlings.

Tomato, kale & cucumber seedlings in the greenhouse

The broad beans are in flower now, at least the couple of rows that I planted in the autumn, and I haven’t yet got round to ‘stringing’them to support them – although they aren’t actually very tall yet.

First rows of broad beans in flower

Amazingly, some carrot seedlings have now appeared! Though not a whole row – but still it encourages me to sow some more seed.

Half a row of carrot seedlings is better than none! (plus weeds)


The only notable development is that it looks as if a pair of magpies seem to be building a nest in one of the trees on one side of the garden. I may try and discourage them…

Also, I have seen frogs (and a toad in the greenhouse) active in the garden – plus a tiny frog which can only be from this years batch!

I have seen butterflies – comma and ‘small blue’, plus  an orange tip possibly (before this week!)

Nice Day So Been Busy

Sunny day Wednesday – really spring-like with temp up to 14degC so had a go at a few jobs in the garden.

First I had a go at the old pear tree in the middle of the vegetable section. The ivy has been growing a lot (what’s left of the tree is covered in variegated ivy) and some tree branches have grown since I last had a go at it a couple of years ago. So I spent a while up a ladder with pruners getting rid of anything that might overshadow the garden. I wanted to get it done now as the ivy is  a good nesting site so it needed to be done before the birds stated nesting.

Then I raked the soil in raised bed 6 and planted a row of mangetout peas (sweet horizon) so that’s started the outdoor planting for this year….

I finally planted a couple of flower plants that had lived in pots through the winter and also put some of the polyanthus plants that had hung on over the winter in tray grids.

The sweet peas from inside the house are now big enough to go outside to harden off and one or two tomatoes are through plus the chives.

Well it’s a start…. but there are loads of other things to plant over the next couple of weeks.

Just to illustrate how things are developing:


Broad bean seedlings in the greenhouse

Broad Beans in the raised bed – coming on and only  a couple missing

More Seeds Planted

Another sunny day so temperatures in the greenhouse were warm enough to sit around for a while so felt the need to get on with some more sowing.

I thought the prospects look good enough to risk sowing some courgette and cucumber seeds – the same varieties as last year. Courgette – ‘Atena’ (a yellow type) and cucumber ‘Burpless’.  The courgette and cucumber are on the kitchen windowsill in the house covered in film for the time being. More tomato seeds and a couple of the peppers are now showing in the other pots on the windowsill.

I’ve also sown some ‘sweet’ basil and parsley (‘Envy’) seeds – but I’ve left the basil and parsley in the greenhouse, hopefully it should be warm enough to germinate them over the next couple of weeks.

Inside the greenhouse some of the mangetout peas have shoots showing.
Outside, I sowed half of the container I use for carrots with carrot ‘Frubund’. It’s an old cold water tank well off the ground to avoid the carrot root fly – which has worked so far…

Meanwhile more broad bean shoots have appeared.

That’s all folks!


Sunny – so bin gardenin’

Yes, temperatures over 12deg. and sunshine tempted me outdoors today. Even the greenhouse automatic skylights were open and the temperature inside was over 30deg. – I know as I was sowing seeds  in there!

Quite a few jobs done today. Firstly, dealing with things in the greenhouse, some of the flower seedlings out of the propagators (which I unplugged) which made room for a half-tray of gaillardia and tagetes (tray split down the middle). I have reasonable numbers of geraniums that have germinated, but in the tray of nicotiana seeds although many germinated a few have keeled over as I think the compost got too dry…

I also sowed some more sweet peppers in a small pot as well as some sunflowers (paquito & teddy bear) which are now on the kitchen window sill.

Some of the tomato seedlings – especially the ‘pomodoro’ are now big enough to consider planting on – I’m going to have to buy some growbags next week I think….

I finally got the remaining polyanthus and bellis seedlings planted out as well in containers and the front garden.

Big news – the first broad bean shoots have shown through in the raised bed! So we’ll see over the next few days how many have germinated and avoided being taken by birds etc.

First broad bean shoots!

First broad bean shoots!

Next to the bed with the broad beans is the ‘garlic’ bed – and they are coming along fine except for one which has gone missing in one corner….

Garlic growing well

Garlic growing well

I checked on the rhubarb- normally covered with an old water tub and it won’t be long before we can have a rhubarb pie hopefully.

Rhubarb coming on nicely

Rhubarb coming on nicely

The fruit bushes near to the rhubarb are low coming into leaf – here is a pic from one of the blackcurrant bushes:

Blackcurrant just coming into leaf

Blackcurrant just coming into leaf

The sweet pea seedlings delivered recently are now all planted in the garden as well.

The container for carrots has been ‘refreshed’ with some more compost with some plant food mixed in.

Carrot container (an old cod water tank supported well off the ground

Carrot container (an old cod water tank supported well off the ground)

I also had to do some hedge cutting and finished cutting up the Christmas tree to go into the garden ‘green’ bin along with the hedge cuttings.

Just to illustrate the spring time in the garden here is a picture of the primroses in flower in the ‘wild’ part of the garden.

Primroses in full flower

Primroses in full flower

Mind some of these have been in flower for at least 6 weeks!


The birds have definitely upped their feeding and I have seen a couple of house sparrows around feeding on seeds – we used to have a large population of house sparrows but they are a rarity now sadly. Long tailed tits have been around as well plus the usual great and blue tits. The blackbirds may have started to try and delineate their territories as I have seen some disputed breaking out on the lawn.

Other than that there were a few butterflies around during the sunny days – brimstone and a darker one that didn’t hang around long enough for me to identify it.

More Plantin’

It was warm enough again a few days ago to work in the greenhouse again and so I managed to sow some more seeds. First of all, some mangetout peas, enough for a row at least. Secondly some flower seeds, in particular some sunflowers, rudbeckia and dwarf dahlias.

Some of the existing seedlings could be moved out of the propagators  and the marigolds were advanced enough for this. The tomato seedlings also were big enough to pot on into individual pots – but these I put onto a tray and kept them in the house for a few days to make sure they were ok (still coldish nights).

Toato and flower seedlings with pots of broad beans

Tomato and flower seedlings with pots of broad beans And sunflower seeds  (tedddy bear)

Also, I put some cloches out over tow of the raised beds ready for the beans and peas (hopefully).

Meanwhile some more seedlings/small plants that I ordered a bit ago have turned up – some sweet peas and petunias. The petunias (36 of them) were just micro plants and needed putting into a grid tray more or less straight away so that was an hour or so in the greenhouse.

One or two pepper seedlings have appeared in the pots on the kitchen window ledge but it still isn’t really a good result – I do have another packet of sweet pepper seeds to start of if no more appear.

The salad leaves in the greenhouse are now coming on well:

Salad leaves comin on well

Salad leaves coming on well

Things in general are starting to bud in the garden – we’ve had a few dry days now but temperatures have in general stayed fairly low – around 3 to 5 degrees in the morning struggling up to 9 or 1o during the day. The daffodils are still in full flower as well – and some of the later narcissi still in bud.


Hot off the press – the badger sighted again! The wildlife cam at the bottom of the garden had been out for over 2 weeks and i just reviewed the results, so mostly cats, squirrel, blackbirds and hedgehog(s) turned up as usual but then on with the badger wandering in then back again very clearly – haven’t had time to process it yet so maybe the next post I’ll be able to show a clip.


Tomato Seedlings Aplenty

As usual pretty much every tomato seed has germinated already meaning I already have more than enough! To make matters worse the current set doesn’t include and small types so I’ve just planted some ‘Tumbling Tom’ & ‘Zuchero’ seeds.

Meanwhile, most of the tomato seedlings (see previous post) are big enough to pot-on so all except the ‘Pomodoro’ are now in individual pots, currently in the lounge waiting to be settled enough to go into the greenhouse (see below).

Repotted tomato seedlings waiting to go into greenhouse

Repotted tomato seedlings waiting to go into greenhouse


'Pomodoro' seedlings waiting to be repotted

‘Pomodoro’ seedlings waiting to be repotted

The pepper seeds have been a disappointment though, of the two pots of pepper seed (one chilli, one sweet) only one seedling has appeared – a sweet pepper.

So I’ve planted some more seed now in hope that I can get a better result….

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse the flower seeds have all produced seedlings, though they can be left for a while before I need to pot them on. Also germinated are the ‘winter salad’ seeds in the container in the greenhouse, so hopefully in a couple of weeks or so there will be salad leaves to harvest.


‘Winter salad’ seedlings

The potatoes in the greenhouse are shooting but only reluctantly, they need to get a move on as they should be planted soon….

Potatoes - with small shoots

Potatoes – with small shoots

Outside, the strawberry plants are coming on, and I have some replacements for the ones that didn’t make it so there should be a bed full of plants and if the information is to be believed a progression of strawberries through the summer.

Strawberry plants - new ones bottom left

Strawberry plants – new ones bottom left

The one worrying thing is the absence of any sign of broad bean seedlings in the bed outside as yet. Just as insurance I’ve planted several pots of beans in the greenhouse and they usually produce ok, but I’ll have to keep a close eye on the situation.


Look no bean seedlings!

Just as a contrast here is a picture of some of the daffodils in the garden:




Nothing to report beyond the birds consuming seed at an increasing rate.