We are living in strange times. Plans are being cancelled, people are worried. Yesterday, I tried to keep a focus on the future by sowing seeds. Here are some I sowed earlier, some mixed salad leaves, in a pot in the seed palace, just germinated but ready to grow into something exciting in a few weeks:
Yesterday I made a start on the more delicate seeds, sowing tomato seeds in a little propagator indoors. I’ve started with two varieties: Tigerella and San Marzano. I have some others in packets but I’ll sow a few at a time to see what comes up. They will have to be coddled inside for a few weeks before venturing out into the cold world. I don’t know whether this is going to be a red tomato or a green tomato year but it’s an exciting moment.
With other seeds, I experimented with reusing various containers which I’ll put in the seed palace to get going, before planting outside: sweet peas in coffee cups and peas in egg boxes.
The peas are the saved seeds from this summer’s bumper harvest: the astonishing ‘Salmon Pink’ and the beautiful blue flowered and blue seeded ‘Carouby de Maussane’
It should be possible to plant the peas straight in the ground where the egg boxes will disintegrate nicely. This won’t work with the coffee cups, as the plastic in them will hang around for much longer, but I can still reuse these by treating them like plant pots. I try not to buy coffee in disposable cups but sometimes it’s hard to avoid so I bring them home and store them for this kind of reuse.
I sowed another set of seeds in conventional plastic pots, but provided them with individual mini-greenhouses, made from, supposedly, compostable plastic cups (rescued from a work event and brought home for this purpose). I don’t know if they will ever compost but at least they are being reused in the short term.
Seed sowing is a labour of love and a promise of hope. They won’t all come up and some will be eaten by snails. Last year the snails loved the peas but we managed to co-exist and they left plenty for us
In a few months’ time, I will be rewarded with an abundance of flowers and vegetables and bees.